Thursday, September 13, 2018

The LBD You Need For Fall

 It's officially that time of year where you begin to put away your colorful summer dresses and dive right into a fall wardrobe. I for one tend to stick to muted or darker color tones but the one classic I can't resist is a Little Black Dress for any occasion.

If you're going to purchase one staple item for the season then I suggest this LBD from London Times.

(Shop Here)

I love the simple silhouette and how you can basically dress it for work, a fun night out or to a cocktail event.

The perfect reason to opt for a little black dress is the ability to accessorize- you can change the outfit with any options whether it be a belt, textured bag or a pair of fun heels.  I had fun pairing this dress with different shoes, scarves and jackets to make a completely new outfit.

My first outfit- I paired the dress with a fun shoe and statement bag. To me this outfit would be perfect for a date night, girls night out or to a social event.

My second pairing was more for work because honestly I spend more time probably in work attire then I'd like to admit. I thought a staple shoe would add some flair but still ride those conservative lines for the office. I also decided to try it paired with a patterned scarf and for cooler days added a cute trench to the mix.

This is personally one of my favorite closet staples because I know I can wear it over and over without having the same look twice and it's completely effortless. I'm a girl on a budget so the more outfits I can create for less...the happier I am!

Thank you so much to London Times for sponsoring this post! #LTpartner


Thursday, September 6, 2018

7 Tips for Shopping Designers for Less

Every once in a while we spot something that we absolutely can't resist and after clicking the image to see the brand and price... you're immediately gut punched after reading all the numbers between one decimal. You've then given up the idea of item completely at this point...but, there may be several outlets for discounted pricing that you may be forgetting...

Insert: this post! I've been an avid bargain shopper for a while now- thanks to my mom for showing me the ropes of Ebay many years ago. I learned how to search brands and items and uncover items that had been sought after for half the price. Not only did I buy on Ebay but I would also sell my designer items on the site as well. Ebay is really a win-win for both! I recently started shopping and selling on Poshmark as well but personally for me- the buying experience is better from Ebay- there's more options and it's easier to review ratings and what the seller has previously sold- this is an important factor especially when buying high-end designer items.

Most recently I was on the hunt for wedding shoes. From the moment Big placed that blue Manolo Blahnik in Carrie Bradshaw's hands as a proposal (back in 2008)... I knew that I wanted those shoes for my wedding one day. After getting engaged this past April the hunt was on...most brides immediately go on the hunt for the dress... not me...I was on the hunt for the shoes. I would scour the sales but never really wanted to spend almost 1000.00 on a pair of shoes...I turned to Ebay. There I found an array of colors, heel heights and the option to buy new or used. I could buy a brand new sparkly pair for roughly half the price of shopping retail. I searched and searched each day to see which pair caught my eye for the right price- thankfully for Mother's Day - Chris gifted me my dream shoes but I still had to pick them out. I finally decided on pair after researching the seller and authenticating the shoes- I got the shoes for less than half the price and they are absolutely stunning!

(shop my total look and similar options below)

My second find is the Tory Burch slides that I've been eyeing... while they have been on major sale the price was still a little steep for my wallet. I searched for them on Ebay and viola! NEW IN BOX Tory Burch pearl slides for 80% off!

The point is- I always try to be savvy and resourceful when shopping for higher priced items. I've put together a few pointers for shopping and selling on Ebay and Poshmark to help you save or to add a few extra dollars into your pocket!

1. Search the site- sometimes sellers will have the specific title of the item but something they don't know... so do basic searches- instead of Tory Burch Tatiana slides... search maybe Tory Burch pearl or just Tory Burch.

2. Always price compare- if I'm searching on Ebay and find the item... I'll research the items on another site to make sure the product is the best price for the best quality.

3. Buy it now gives instant satisfaction but if the offer button is there... why not use it. I find that a lot of times sellers will AT LEAST take off 10.00 from the list price with this feature.

4. For selling- I'm constantly going through my closet- think practicality, trendy or you don't wear it because it's uncomfortable... get rid of it! I make the option easier knowing that if I sell this piece- I'll get another piece with the funds I make. Poshmark is really great about allowing you to run discounts with shipping and bundles and lets you efficiently communicate with the buyers. Another fun fact is the send you the shipping label - so you just print and ship!

5. Compare prices for items on high demand. The floral jumpsuit I recently wore in a post was purchased for 25.00 on the Zara sale- it was a complete hit everywhere and now it's sold out. The price has doubled and even tripled on Ebay for this item - so price accordingly!

6. Make sure you do a complete review of the product you're purchasing to ensure it's exactly in the condition that you prefer. If you're ever the seller. Poshmark will authenticate higher priced items for you. 

7. Listing your item is super easy. I love to shop eBay and list on Poshmark but both are great in either way you use them. I just love the ability to snap a pick from the Poshmark app on my phone- put in a few details and list the item within just a couple of minutes.

Lastly, consignment boutiques are great- you can find great pieces for a fraction of the cost- however, you can't always offer a price since it's usually set between the store and the seller. If you're out shopping and not looking for something in particular- I highly suggest them! I really enjoy City Girl Consignment, Consign the Times - both in South Florida and Dress in Raleigh, NC. You can always shop their Instagram pages as some will offer shipping for a small fee.

If you have any favorite tips, tricks or consignment stores... be sure to let me know about them! 


Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Sephora Sale!

I love this time of year mostly because I feel like the year is transitioning...we're going into fall and everyone LOVES fall but also, it seems like every retailer has a major sale

I've always been a loyal Sephora shopper as they seem to have every brand and product imaginable and I really love their reward system- I'm all about those samples. However, Sephora rarely has a SALE...I wait months for this to happen- much like the highly anticipated Zara sale. We obviously know a woman's maintenance can be expensive so why not benefit from saving 20% to 10% off your order?

So as of right now, the VIB Rouge is 20% and starting today the VIB and insider memberships are 15-10% off. If you haven't signed up- it's quick and free and your levels depend on how much you spend for the year. 

With all of this excitement - I've rounded up all of my tried and true's and the staples that I buy every time. I've also put together a list of items that I purchased to try... I never flee from a product that I love but I do love to try something new every once in a while- although I usually end up reverting back.

These are my tried and true favorites that I honestly can't live without:

IGK products: I love this product- it's one of my staples for my hair and I can't tell you how well this product smooths my frizzy/damaged hair. I tried this maybe a year ago and I've been in love ever since!

Olaplex: Another hair staple of mine. My hairdresser started me on these treatments after battling breakage about a year and a half ago and what a difference it's made!

The Ouai: I recently ditched my long time affair with it's a 10 to give this a try and so far I'm impressed and LOVE the way it smells!

Aerin Rose Garden Rollerball: I love wearing this scent when I'm on the go for travel or when I forget to spray perfume- the scent isn't overly intoxicating as it's very light and fresh.

Luxe Tanning butter and St. Tropez bronzing lotion: I recently switched from St. Tropez to Luxe and while they both have great factors- I personally prefer the Luxe Butter as it doesnt rub off on clothes or your sheets and has less of an oder and a gradual build. If you need something with quick color- I highly suggest the St. Tropez.

Caudalie Milk Cleanser and Fresh Soy Cleanser: I recently switched to the Caudalie Milk due to a few skin issues I was having. I love Caudalie products to start but this cleanser is super soft with my skin and keeps the natural oils to keep me from being overly dry. I love that you can squirt this on a cleansing pad and remove makeup without water if you're on the go! Fresh is a good option if you're looking for something gentle- I just had overly dry skin.

Caudalie Moisturizers: I love both of these- I actually use one for morning and one for night. The pink tube is a heavier cream and I love how my skin feels instantly hydrated. The green tube is a lighter moisturizer which works great for during the day!

Sunday Riley- Luna: I love this serum! I don't buy it often because of the price point but I love how great my skin looks and feels when I use this product! I highly recommend if you're looking for a game changer in your skins appearance!

Benefit Brow Kaboom: The holy grail for your eyebrows- I've used this for 2 years and refuse to make the switch! It's budge proof during the day but washes all well at night with any facial cleanser.

Sephora liquid eyeliner: We all know how much I love the cat eye and it's become my signature. This is the product that I use... it's 12.00 and it's AMAZING! I've used this for years and I won't ever switch - I did list the Stilla Pencil for all of you who are afraid to use the brush- I've heard great reviews about this one.

Lancome Primer and Mascara: I recently switched from Mac falsies mascara to this and I often get asked about my eyelashes and what I use. My favorite is the primer because I do think it makes a great base but I honestly believe you can use it with any mascara and still have the wow factor.

Grande Lash: This is my jam! I've previously use Latisse and Nuelash - Latisse worked wonders for me but it was costly. I switched to Nuelash and didn't really see much of a result so I read the reviews for Grande Lash on Sephora and decided to give it a try since it was at a much lower price point than any other option- WOW! It works wonders- I've been using it now for over a year and I only use it maybe 3- nights a week? I think I last purchased this bottle back in Feb! So I highly suggest this! You'll start to see results within 3-4 weeks!

The Naked Pallete: I have this one but I don't use it that often- I'm honestly not huge on eye shadow but I do think it's a great base to have for those of you who like to create more looks! 

Bobbie Brown Bronzer/ Nars Blush/ Tarte Blush: I LOVE the BB bronzer- the compact has lasted me well over a year and I love the natural color that it provides- not to mention is stays on! Another favorite is the Nars blush- a true makeup staple and I received a sample of the Tarte blush which is what I've currently been using- all 3 of these are top rated!

Anastasia Contour kit and the Becca Highlighter: So, I hardly ever contour- last time I touched my pallete was maybe 8 months ago? Maybe because I'm not that great at it... but I will say I do like how the product in the pallette applies to the skin- as I mentioned earlier I'm dry so I need something that's a more liquid base. The Becca Highlighter- I use it every day! I usually do it under my eyes- in the corners of my eyes and down my nose to have the added glow. I love the natural look this product gives you and it's powder based but not too heavy.

Pressed Powders- Laura Mercier and Kat Von D: I love them both- if I had to choose one- I'd say Laura Mercier because it's slightly lighter. Kat Von D works just as well but slightly heavier.

Smashbox Primer: I love this product. I can't live without it. I love the radiant formula- it gives me the added shine AND if I've used the Luxe tanning butter on my face- I can just apply this with a little concealer and walk out the door. I haven't tried the redness formula but it's on my list to buy as I've been battling with redness lately.

Estee Lauder Concealer and Nars Concealer:  I've been between both and both are very similar. I do think the Estee offers more coverage but requires a little more powder to set as it can smudge if not dry. 

Last but not least- Dior Forever Foundation: I've gone through many brands and formulas of foundation but this is one I will not stray from. First of all you can do from light to heavy coverage without looking like a cake. Second of all- it has SUNSCREEN! SPF 35. Third- I love how it applies and perfects your skin. If you're looking for a nice foundation that doesn't feel heavy, protects your skin and easy to apply... look no further. If I had to tell you to buy one item- this would be it!

Sorry for the lengthy post but you can obviously tell how much I love these products and use them every day. My next selection is for the items that I want to try and have ordered. I usually buy based on reviews and stars- if you've tried these products and love them- let me know!

Hum Collagen: I've been researching the collagen trend and there seems to be proven benefits to adding this to your diet- I'm all for looking younger and feeling great! I decided to give these a try instead of doing the powder scoops for convenience.

Olaplex Shampoo and Conditioner: I love the bond treatment so much that I wanted to give this a try. I've been using Kenra and Kristen Ess- while I like both of those- I wanted to try something to give more moister to my hair- along with using the IGK leave on treatment.

IGK Treatments and Keratase : I love the IGK expensive treatment so I wanted to branch out with these other two products - both have outstanding reviews and over 4 stars! I also wanted to try the Keratase to see how much of a difference I would notice from using my heat tools- this one also has rave reviews.

Ouai Rose Oil for Hair and Body: This product is everywhere- possibly her best seller from her line so I'm all in to give it a try! I love anything that makes my hair glossy and smell like roses.

Summer Fridays: This is one of the most sought after products. I follow Marinna Hewitt -partner of Summer Fridays and to see her and Lauren's success has been incredible. They've made a product that literally can't stay in stock- it's like gold! It's highly moisturizing and works as a mask or lotion but apparently it will change your life- totally sold me!

Sunday Riley Treatments: I really haven't done too much with anti-aging but if it's anything like the Luna serum- count me in!

Charlotte Tilbury Mascara: So, I'm switching from the Lacome mascara to this one to give it a try with the primer. I recently started using her lip liner and lipstick and really love her products.

Fenty Beauty Blush: I've been dying to try this type of blush since my skin has been on the drier side lately. I've heard great reviews about her products so I'm definitely looking forward to giving this one a whirl!


Monday, August 27, 2018

Vacation Series: The Florida Keys

Have you ever heard of the term Key's Disease? It's a real thing. There's something so quaint, timeless and effortless about these tiny little islands in the southern most point of Florida. Everyone always seems to be cheerful and optimistic, no one is in a rush and a good time is to be had at every turn.

Some of you may know this but the Florida Key's started my existence in  Florida. Six years ago I moved to Key West for a job without knowing a single person! Sometimes I can't believe I did something so spontaneous but I'm beyond thankful for my time that I spent there and the incredible people that I met.

Fast forward to now: Every summer Chris plans to dive for lobster with a couple of close friends- this year we decided to make it a family trip and travel down for a few days so that he could lobster and we could vacation- one can never "over" vacation. We arrived to our resort La Siesta in Islamorda on Friday after a long day of traveling. This was our first time staying at the resort and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The rooms were extremely spacious and the amenities were plentiful. The offer a pool, breakfast, beach, boat ramp- including dock space, bicycles, paddle boards and kayaks. The resort also offer access to two sister resorts the Amara Cay and Pelican's Cove which I highly recommend visiting.
You can shop Lilly's looks below (actual bow: Splendid Bows, actual sandals: Gap Kids)

                                                       (Actual Bag: Zara, actual romper: Zara)

Our first night there involved more of exploring the resort and catching up with friends over dinner. The next day I planned to take my daughter, Lilly down to Key West for a few fun activities. You wouldn't necessarily think of Key West being super child friendly but there really is so much to do with children while on your vacation. Our first stop was lunch- while I have an enormous list of all my favorite restaurants including but not limited to (Santiago's Bodega, Bagatelle, A&B Lobster, Louis Backyard) We decided to try out a French creperie across from Blue Heaven (my original choice- but closed). Our lunch was delicious and filling and in the perfect location of a little sight-seeing. I elaborated to Lilly about all the six toe kitties at the Hemingway house and she was eager to go visit them all. The Hemingway House is the famous residence of Earnest Hemingway. The house is truly remarkable and the gardens are immaculate. Lilly loved touring the home and was beyond joyed to see all the kitties running around and in the most inconspicuous places.

Our next stop included the lighthouse across the street from Hemingway's. I've honestly forgotten all of the beautiful places that Key West offers. Lilly was amazed at the size of the lighthouse and couldn't wait to see it in person. After scouting out the tourist spots, I met up with a dear friend of mine and her daughter at the butterfly conservatory. While we have one in Gainesville- it's no comparison to the beauty of this one. The butterflies were vibrant and lively, the colorful birds and parrots were flying and the beautiful pink flamingos were the show stoppers. I highly suggest taking your children if in Key West! 

After our excursion in the heat (it's uncomfortably hot in August) we ventured over to Maria's gelato spot. My friend, Hollie knows Maria quite well and she's known for the best authentic gelato in the keys. Her machinery even came from Italy! I ordered the Key lime (when in the keys) and Lilly had the mango- both were unbelievably Delicious! She's located near Mallory Square and worth every penny!

We couldn't stop with just the gelato... I had promised over and over again to Lilly ...the Key Lime Pie on a stick. I personally had never had one and I was curious to give it as try as I love anything in the form of Key Lime. We visited the cute little shop right off of Mallory Square and were pleasantly surprised with their selection of all things key lime. Lilly had the chocolate key lime pie on the stick while I opted for the strawberry key lime pie on a stick with white chocolate- both were phenomenal! The girls thoroughly enjoyed their visit here!

After getting our sweet tooth fix, we headed over to Mallory Square- the best time to go is before sunset when all the vendors come alive and the views of the sunset going down over sunset key are magical. Unfortunately, we went a little earlier as I had to get back to Islamorada... so the girls had plenty of open space to run around, chase the chickens, view the water and just have some fun.

After a day well spent in Key West, it was time to head back to Islamorada. From Islamorada it's roughly a 2 hour drive to Key West. Once we returned, we enjoyed a nice dinner with our friends at the resort and Lilly's grandparents came to pick her up for the rest of the vacation. Chris was able to go back out lobstering and I could catch up on a little R&R and work.

The following day was full of fun with the girls...we did a couple of photo shoots for the blog, met a few friends at the bar over ice cold pina coladas and made plans for dinner at Pierre's. If you visit the Keys and have time to stop for dinner, a drink or even just to view the property- I highly suggest it. I've been a fan of Pierre's for almost 6 years now- way before it's popularity to bloodline. The food is incredible and the property is breathtakingly beautiful. The grounds are full of beautiful flowers, chickens, roosters- the house offers so much character and alone is the show stopper. We also decided on doing a few photo shoots here, which is why you probably noticed I was after day. A fun fact: during a full moon- they participate in what's called a "Full Moon Party" I've personally never attended but I've heard it's worth checking out. Across from Pierre's is a resort called the Moorings- while we didn't stay there- I've been for a visit or two. The property offers a beautiful- tranquil stay. The resort offers cottages full of amenities and breathtaking views- the property is lined with beautiful tall palms and has been home so several major productions. Also beside Pierre's is a more casual dinning area on the beach called Morada Bay- the two properties practically connect but I hear the food and drinks are delicious! One must is that you arrive to Pierre's before sunset- have a drink at the bar downstairs and venture off onto the back porch. You'll catch the sunset in one of the most beautiful places- it's practically an attraction to Pierre's.

Our next day was our last full day and the vacation mourning had already set in with the thought of going back to reality. After breakfast at Robbie's (which if you've never been - you must go...and feed the tarpon) we decided to take the boat out to the sandbar to relax. This is something we'd do every weekend in Key West so it brought back all the nostalgia from Snipes. We packed a cooler and off we went- the weather was beautiful and the water was crystal blue- it couldn't have been a more perfect day. If you don't have a boat- don't worry... there is a boat service that will take you to the sandbar. After spending a few hours out in the water- we decided to head back in to get ready for dinner. We decided on a quaint place right on the water called "Lazy Days" most people coming to Islamorada LOVE Lazy Days- the atmosphere is fun and laid back. I recommend sitting outside on the bottom floor vs upstairs inside- the atmosphere is very different. We were surrounded by tiki torches, live music and a beautiful night. Our food was delicious- especially if you love seafood! One item you can't skip out on is the key lime pie martini... I know several other places outside the keys will make them but there's no comparison to a REAL Key Lime Pie Martini from the keys...

A couple of other restaurants in Islamorada worth checking out:
The Green Turtle- featured on the food network, Lorelei's, Mac's kitchen for key lime pie, Chef Michael's, Florida Key's Brewing, Sea Grapes Wine Bar and Bistro.

Things to do in Islamorada:
Theater of the Sea, Alligator Reef Light House, Snorkeling, Indian Key State Historic Park, Charter fishing

Driving to Key West:
Make a stop at : Square grouper in Cudjoe Key- phenomenal restaurant- order the tuna wasabi egg rolls. Baby's Coffee: Best coffee shop in my opinion- order the Cafe con leche. Hogfish on Stock Island- order the hogfish- it's a must!


Friday, August 24, 2018

Shop My Favorites: It's Anthro Day!

I'm an avid lover of all things Anthropologie. I love the store and how it caters to an individuals uniqueness and offers something for everyone!

Today is Anthro Day which means it's 20% off of EVERYTHING! New arrivals, sale... you name it! Considering the sale only last for 1 day... I did a quick round up of all my favorite items and also added to my shopping cart!

First off- clothing selections. I love buying my outfits from Anthro because I can always count on the quality of their products. I love to shop for pieces there that I know I won't see somewhere else. I based these selections on items that I would HAVE to have and would be perfect going into fall and winter. For instance, I love the fleece lined leggings- these are some of my favorites- I know that I can wear them out or lounging around the home and they keep you completely cozy. Another big favorite of mine was the corduroy overalls- I loved the shade of blue and perfect for fall! keep in mind- everything is 20% off at checkout plus free shipping!

My next selection is from shoes and accessories because now is the time to stock up! I found the cutest booties for all and winter and found a pair of black riding boots at a great price! I tried to keep all of my items under 150.00 with the 20% off- I personally don't like to spend a ton of money unless it's truly an investment piece. I also found a few french berets, I have them in the pink and the off white. The scarves are a must have for this season, I love how you can wear the over a pony tail or just around your neck for an added detail. I also love to buy my earrings here and I picked up the ones shown to add a few fall selections to my closet.

I couldn't shop without flipping through the home section. I love to buy their home accessories and furniture. They have the best selection of fabrics, wall paper, kitchen items and the CUTEST items for the kids. I always shop at anthropologies for Lilly's Christmas- the toys and books are very educational and unique! I found the state puzzle that's officially going under the tree and the cutest little cat pouf for a girls room. I also spotted the sweetest farmhouse dishes- I'm drawn to anything with a pig or a cow and I saw the set of matching glasses and bowls - perfect for a farmhouse! Another good sale buy is the art and tapestries- they offer a unqiue selection for any style. The large floral tapestry above our fireplace was purchased here and still in stock!

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