Blog Maintenance!

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The view from my windshield – 03/24/17

It’s a good thing I’m not a vlogger, because any videos or updates I would have posted over the past week would have been filled with me coughing uncontrollably and sounding disgustingly congested. I’m just getting over a cold- and while I can finally breathe out of my nose again (and I will never take that ability for granted again for as long as I live)– I still feel a bit bobblehead-ish, like my head is ten times the size of my body and I can topple over at any moment.

Lots of fluids and rest, of course!

The plus side to being bed-ridden for a few days while I recovered is that it gave me the opportunity to catch up on e-mails, re-organize my laptop, and clean up my blog- something I’ve wanted to do for a while now!

So what’s new here on “Legally Redhead”? Well, not the layout, obviously. While I’ve tried different templates and color schemes to mix things up a bit in an attempt to keep the look of my blog from getting stale- I always come back to this one. I love the colors, the fonts, the graphics- and it’s so perfectly me that I can’t bear to part with it right now. I may hire a designer in the future when I do eventually decide to make a change- but for now the navigation is going to stay familiar to me and to my readers.

My “ABOUT ME” page has been updated to reflect changes in my life and provide more accurate information about my career, education, and interests.  My “CONTACT” page is still up-to-date, however!

Finally- along my toolbar, I’ve included an alphabetized listing of every company/business I’ve partnered with throughout “Legally Redhead”s conception. I often have people ask me about a brand I mentioned or reviewed couple of years ago- so I wanted to make it easier for my readers to be connected to those brands without having to go searching on their own! Every company can be located under “PARTNERSHIPS” along the side of my blog. These include sponsored posts, product reviews, editorials, etc.

I’m hoping to create a separate page, much like my “ABOUT ME” and “CONTACT” pages  within the next few months that may also feature a FAQ for any brand looking to partner with me and with this blog- but for now- the organized links work just fine!

They’re small changes- but they are changes nonetheless and I’m pleased with them. I love writing “Legally Redhead” and I want to stay on top of it’s changes/updates/transitions- and I want to keep my readers informed of those changes/updates/transitions, too!

Thank you all for your continued patience and support!

xx

“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling…”

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Only in the city of Boston does St. Patrick’s Day go from being a one-day-only holiday to a weekend-long affair- but we extend the celebration for as long as possible and my God- do I love it! Even if you’re not Irish (and I believe I’m too small a percentage of it to really count)– you are going to celebrate and enjoy every second of it, damn it- whether you want to or not.

From our cherished traditional parade in Southie, green beers on Boylston Street and our annual Celtic punk shows over at the House of Blues- the city of Boston is briefly turned green for a few days around this time of year and everyone is in high spirits (until the hangovers kick in, anyway.)

I’ve been pretty tame the past few St. Patrick’s Days- focusing on work or playing the role of designated driver for my friends who wanted to see how much Guinness they could ingest before 2 p.m.- but since the holiday fell on a Friday this year, I thought I’d have a bit more fun after I’d left the office for the weekend.

While I only had a couple of beers (and some clover cake- as pictured above) on Friday night- the real party started on Saturday when I headed to Agganis Arena to catch a Dropkick Murphys gig where I had been generously provided a V.I.P. pass that got me club room access and a really great seat by the side of the stage where I could see everything. It was AWESOME. I met and sat with so many wonderful people from all corners of the globe who were just buzzing with excitement and positivity that it really just made the whole afternoon even more fantastic.

The set, probably one of my favorites in recent memory- included new and old favorites alike. My ears are still ringing and I’m still a little hoarse from singing along so loudly- but it was worth it.

After the show, I booked it over to the House of Blues across from Fenway to catch the Murphys Boxing match lineup from ringside (another generous treat!) I’m a big boxing fan, and as the night progressed each fight got more and more intense. The definite highlights were finally seeing two of my favorites- Danny O’Connor and Mark Deluca- both win their respective matches. Dropkick Murphys also played an acoustic set before the main event- which was an added bonus for everyone.

I seriously had the best time and I can’t thank Ken enough for going above and beyond for me with the hookup for the show and the fights. I’m so, so grateful and I’ll cherish the day and the experiences forever!

On Sunday, utterly exhausted from the previous day and night- I didn’t attempt the Southie St. Patrick’s Day parade. Instead, I had brunch and some much-needed coffee with friends before taking a long stroll through the Common and all the way to the waterfront to get my blood pumping and energized. It worked wonders- and watching the sun gradually poke it’s way through the clouds as I passed by plenty of people waiting to get into pubs (and sporting as much green as possible)– it seemed like a fitting and peaceful way to end the weekend before I came home to crash and prepare for work on Monday morning.

Every year I say I’ll make it to the parade and every year something comes up that delays or stops me- but I’m really hoping to make it back to the sidelines in 2018. It’s one of my favorite traditions during the early days of Spring!

xx

POPSUGAR Must Have Box: March 2017.

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It’s that time of the month again- the time when I get what I can only describe as “Christmas in a crate” and my POPSUGAR Must-Have box arrives at my doorstep. Despite still being in cleanup mode from Winter Storm Stella rolling through my neighborhood a few days ago and downing power lines, clogging up the streets and generally causing an overall mess for everyone and anyone- getting my Must-Have box definitely brightened my mood and lifted my spirits.

If only it could help with my shoulder and back pain from shoveling so much.

Anyway- let’s take a look at what I got!

It doesn’t feel like it this week- but Spring really *IS* right around the corner. Keeping that in mind, POPSUGAR ultimately tried to make their March collection as festive as possible. This month’s themes/inspirations were: SPRING FEVER, PLAYFUL, TRAVEL, NOSTALGIA, CARNIVAL and SNAPSHOT.

It sounds like an unusual combination- but I promise- it worked!

I have about 120 pictures stored away in my phone and on my laptop that I’ve been on the fence about where and how to place them around my home, so when I received this adorable photo album from Kate Spade (a brand I loooooove)– I knew my problem had been solved. I’m already in the process of organizing the pictures I’m going to place in here- 95% of them being photos of my dog, Oliver- and I plan on leaving it on my coffee table for my guests to flip through when they come over!

I wasn’t sure how the “CARNIVAL” theme for March’s Must-Have box was going to be incorporated until I spotted this bag of cinnamon-churro flavored marshmallows from SmashMallow. Gluten-free and made from all natural ingredients like 100% organic sugar- these things taste pretty incredible and definitely give me a local fair/circus vibe.

I checked out SmashMallow’s website and I’m already dying to try their toasted coconut & pineapple marshmallows. Best. Snack. Ever.

The item I had received a spoiler for via POPSUGAR’s e-mail alerts was this creamy highlighting stick (for the eye area) from Thrive Causemetics. I was previously unfamiliar with the brand, but since receiving my Must-Have box- I’ve done a little more research into them- and I am obsessed.

This brand is not only vegan and cruelty-free- but with every product purchased- they donate one to a woman battling cancer and/or domestic violence. Having previously worked in cosmetics long before my career in law and insurance- I can tell you that something as simple as a swipe of new lipstick or mascara can brighten a woman’s day when she’s going through a hard time. I love that this company keeps that simple pleasure going strong.

Perhaps my favorite item in March’s Must-Have box- I am head over heels in love with this see-through pink/coral cross-body bag from Stephanie Johnson. I’m waiting for the warmer weather to start using it because it has a very Spring/Summer feel and look to it- but it’s going to come in handy on those days I’m traveling light and just want something small and simple to keep my essentials in.

And I’m sure the plastic material is going to be pretty nifty on rainy days. You can just wipe it off and go!

A while back, POPSUGAR had sent me a bright yellow and blue plastic lunch box- a similar size to this one- that I used constantly, and while that box is still in good enough condition despite multiple washes and me being clumsy more than once and dropping it- I’ve been looking for a replacement to bring to work. This watermelon patterned lunch box (made from a heavier material and a little more durable) from Sunnylife is so cute I can barely stand it.

I love simple, adorable designs like this!

Finally- POPSUGAR included a couple of vouchers in March’s Must-Have box. The first (and I blocked out the code to prevent theft)– 20% off of an order from Smash Mallow (hello, toasted coconut and pineapple marshmallows!) and the second, a $25 gift card to Velvet Eyewear! Now, VE’s sunglasses are admittedly a bit on the pricier side- but they do have a “Trends” section that has some more reasonably priced glasses where this card can be applied. I have a feeling I’ll be treating myself this weekend!

Overall, March’s Must-Have box was another hit. I loved everything I received and thought it all went perfectly with the theme/inspirations for the month. I’m so thrilled with POPSUGAR for this one!

xx

The Perfect Fit

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If you Google “late bloomer” at any point in the immediate future, there’s a 99.999% chance that a photo of me between the ages of 17-19 years old will pop up in all my awkward, fumbling, semi-unsure and insecure glory. I am the personification of the term- having spent my early and mid-teens almost completely oblivious to the opposite sex, trying and typically failing to adjust and flatter what felt like never-ending changes to my figure and body type- and often displaying one of the most immature and depraved senses of humor (okay, so that hasn’t changed much, but…) while other girls my age were mostly developed and nearly adjusted to their body types at the time.

Once I hit 19/20- adulthood and womanhood abruptly hit me like a truck. I was working full-time, was more career-oriented, was traveling the country (and overseas!) and noticing guys a lot more. My body had seemingly developed overnight as well- with the bust that had so alluded me throughout puberty and the majority of my teens finally making an appearance- which in turn caused some guys to notice me more, too.

I digress. Throughout those volatile and hormone-fueled years- one of the biggest struggles for me was finding a normal bra that fit me properly, was comfortable, and didn’t cost a small fortune since I was prone to growth spurts. One A-cup bra that fit my tiny frame one week would be cutting off circulation to my shoulders the next month when I suddenly shot up to a B-Cup without warning. I often relied on sports bras to get me through the days so I wouldn’t get stabbed by a rogue underwire or constantly have to adjust the straps to function- but they were also pretty unsightly when I needed some support for more formal events like my prom or graduation, for example.

And if I needed something to give me a boost in the bust for special occasions? Then you know those silicone “chicken cutlet” inserts came out. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, ladies. We all tried them and we were all equally disgusted at the end of the night when we finally removed them from our bra cups- sticky and sweaty after hours of pressing up against our chests. Don’t be ashamed. I think I still have mine somewhere. I fully intend to explain them to my future grandchildren someday when they ask me about weird fashion trends women my age participated in back in the day.

Bye bye, sports bras and silicone inserts.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, it’s become a LOT easier to find bras that meet my needs and ones that are the correct size. I’m still in the B-cup range- and given that my diet/exercise/lifestyle has remained pretty consistent throughout the years- my figure hasn’t changed too much. But I have friends and I know other women whose bodies and lifestyles have changed- sometimes drastically- and they are in need of some assistance when it comes to finding new bras that give them the support and comfort they depend upon to go about their daily tasks without distraction. Pregnancy and childbirth, gaining and/or losing weight, and various forms of birth control or medications can cause changes to a woman’s breast size significantly- and you may need to get fitted for some new brassieres sooner than you think…

… Especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve had a proper fitting.

Enter ThirdLove, a company that believes that every woman should have the perfectly-sized, comfortable and high quality bra of their dreams without the frustration of being incorrectly sized or the hassle of having to constantly readjust it. With memory foam cups, silky smooth overlay and a variety of styles to discreetly accommodate any wardrobe choice- ThirdLove is confident you won’t even feel like you’re wearing a bra. That’s how comfortable they are designed to be and that is perfect for someone like me who typically has a busy schedule and doesn’t need anything else to worry about during the day.

And if the idea of getting sized in a department store or at Victoria’s Secret intimidates you (and it’s totally okay if it does)– ThirdLove has a unique “Fit Finder” on their website to help you better determine your bra size and provide a style recommendation that they think would suit and benefit your preferences based on your answers. The company also offers a “Try Before Buying” option where they will send you a nude-colored and brand new, never before worn bra that matches your results that you can try for free for 30 days. If you love the bra- keep it and ThirdLove will charge you the retail value. Don’t love it? You can return and/or exchange it for free!

Eager to get the word out and change the bra-buying game, ThirdLove was kind enough to provide my female readers with a promotional code should they want to splurge a little on the company’s bras, cute undies, lounge wear or their plush robes. Enter “TLSPRING10” at checkout and get 10% off of your entire online order!

Treat yourself. Treat your friends. Just have fun with it! You deserve it, Queens- each and every one of you!

xx

Quick Eats: Triple Chocolate Pancakes

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Don’t let the really, really chocolate-y photo above fool you- I admit I went a little crazy with the decorating- but I assure you that these pancakes taste amazing. For those of you who appreciate a good dessert for breakfast (or just need to satisfy a chocolate craving in a creative way)– then this is a must-try for you. This might be one of the quickest and most fun ways I’ve made pancakes in a long time- and you don’t need a ton of ingredients to whip them up, either!

I had originally thought I had some strawberries to garnish these mocha delights with to mix up the color and flavor palette a little bit, but it unfortunately looked like I was fresh out and had to improvise somewhat, instead. I used some chocolate whipped cream along the corners of the serving plates so that myself and my friends I was preparing these for could dip our bites in for an extra boost of chocolate and to lengthen the duration of our sugar high.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

2. To the bowl add milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla.

3. Whisk together until almost all of the lumps are gone.

4. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and coat with butter or cooking spray.

6. Ladle 1/4 cup of the pancake batter onto the skillet and cook until bubbles start to surface.

7. Flip pancake and cook for another 30 seconds or until brown.

8. Repeat with remaining pancake batter, top with chocolate syrup/powdered sugar/fresh fruit- and savor the goodness!

Between the mocha and vanilla flavors of the pancakes combining together, the chocolate syrup drizzle and the powdered sugar- this was the best way to start a long and lazy cheat day. I won’t admit how many of these I ate in one sitting (it was a lot, though) but it was worth it. These were so rich, so indulgent and so filling that I could barely move when it came time to clean up the kitchen afterwards.

I’ll definitely be making these again- and on a weekend- so that I can take a long nap once I’m done shoveling them into my face. They’re delicious!

xx

Return To Marble House

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Of all the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island- my favorite, by far- is Marble House. The interior decor, heavily influenced by the Palace of Versailles- is like stepping into another world when you first walk into the main hall. The house is big, bright, sparkling and luxurious- and especially pretty around sunset when the light hits all of the gold in areas like the dining and ballrooms just right- which is around the time I stopped by this past weekend to kill an afternoon since I hadn’t visited in quite some time. I had originally stopped by Cliff Walk before making my way over on foot. It was brisk outside, but not too cold- which made wandering the grounds a lot more bearable than if I’d gone during a chillier day.

By all accounts, the home’s original owner- Alva Vanderbilt- was a pretty tough and no-nonsense woman (and a badass feminist with her women’s suffrage efforts!) who was hell-bent on building up her family, their name and status no matter what it took. She went all out when choosing how the rooms were going to look- and her eye to detail really shows. It’s no wonder her neighbors and the community flocked to every party she threw here. I could just spend hours wandering from room to room all by myself!

I always said that if and when I ever get married- Marble House is one of my dream places to tie the knot. I’m sure it would cost a small fortune- but it’s on my wish list nonetheless. I’ll have to find a groom first, of course.

Below are a few of my favorite photos I snapped during my brief late-afternoon stay. Alva’s Chinese Tea House is currently fenced off for renovations/repairs (I believe!) but I’d like to go back in the Summer to see it a bit more closely.

I’m planning another trip back to Newport soon to visit Rosecliff and the Chateau-sur-Mer- both of which were closed during my last stay for various reasons. By then, the flowers in the gardens should be blooming and the trees should be blossoming- which will make for some really lovely scenery!

xx

Quick Eats: Pan-Roasted Salmon and Vegetables

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by salmon recipes that didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped. Everyone have their hands up? Okay, great- because I have good news. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, filling and tasty recipe that isn’t loaded with harmful or artificial ingredients- and don’t want the salmon included in it to be overcooked or, worse- undercooked and rubbery- then you’ve got to give this one a try! It’s pretty much impossible to mess up!

The asparagus in this recipe can actually be swapped out for different types of vegetables. Originally, I saw the salmon and potatoes combined with romaine lettuce- but since I had devoured a pretty big salad in the hours leading up to my making this- I thought the asparagus would be a nice change. I’ve also tried this with carrots and zucchini on two separate occasions and it came out just as good!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or other bite-sized)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Four 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Your preference of asparagus spears

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

3. Roast the potatoes in the oven until slightly golden and fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the potatoes roast, rub the asparagus spears with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon juice. (*SIDE NOTE: you can steam the spears to soften them prior to roasting!*) Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Brush the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season each fillet with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Arrange the asparagus spears and salmon on the baking sheet with the potatoes. Continue roasting for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the lettuce is tender and the fish is cooked through.

7. To serve, divide the potatoes, romaine and salmon among four plates.

8 Enjoy!

I love the flavors in this dish. They all tasted so wonderful together and the meal was filling without making me feel like I was weighed down or like I’d eaten too much of a good thing. Most importantly- the salmon was cooked to perfection. It was flaky and juicy- not dried out or overtly crisp!

If you’re looking for something that tastes great and is loaded with nutrients- then this is a go-to dish for sure!

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xx

February 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Valentine's Day, 2017.

Valentine’s Day, 2017.

Good Morning! Although I’m heading into work shortly, I’m in a lovely mood. The weather has been beautiful these past few days and it feels as though Spring may be right around the corner- which means fresh flowers, picking up some new dresses to commemorate the nicer weather- and spending more time outdoors without wanting to sob into a heavy knitted scarf or hide under a wool hat until Summer gets here.

Indeed, March is a magical month in New England- and not just because we know how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day particularly well. It contains the start of a new season, birthdays and anniversaries of people I adore, and more specifically for the coming month ahead- the beginning of a new career path for me!

That’s the biggest news for me to come out of February 2017- I got a promotion I have been working so hard and for so long to get! I’m so excited to get started in my new position within my company and to work with an incredible team of people. I’m in the process of moving things into my new office space as we speak and so far the transition has been a breeze. I go to work with a new title, new responsibilities, a more convenient schedule- and a much appreciated raise- in just a couple of short weeks and I am practically bubbling over in my eagerness to get started!

Oliver, February 2017.

Oliver, February 2017.

It’s been a long and sometimes difficult road to get to this point- but it was worth every frenzied morning, every bitter cup of coffee, every minute of overtime and every late night spent reviewing things over and over and over until my eyes felt like they were on fire. I’m so grateful and the fact that I still look forward to going to work each and every day has kept things in perspective for me. I understand how blessed I am and continue to be and I do not take a moment of it for granted- even on the days where I’m exhausted or frustrated. I’m thankful.

Apart from this joyous work update- what else am I thankful for from February 2017? How about that Patriots win at the Super Bowl? That was a wonderful way to start the month, wasn’t it? I love nail biter games with unexpected endings- and that one pretty much took the cake in that department! The resulting week-long party here in Massachusetts following the win was pretty great as well. Sometimes it feels like my body is still trying to recover from celebrating as much as I did.

And when I wasn’t partying too much- I took some time to travel a bit to a couple of new spots around the city and to New York on a whim as well. Not bad- considering we started the month with a series of intense snowstorms and are ending it without jackets and being able to roll our car windows down!

So apart from getting myself acclimated to my new position at my job- what exactly do I have in store for March? Well, now that it’s easier to brave the outdoors for longer periods of time- I have a few day trips planned for the weekends, some much-needed bonding time with nature planned for my post-office workouts, a couple of highly anticipated concerts around the city and quite a few posts scheduled for the blog- including some new recipes, some makeup and body treatment reviews, and a bit of long overdue photography I’ve been meaning to complete featuring a couple of new places (abandoned or otherwise) around the New England area.

I’m also attempting to coordinate a visit with some friends on the West Coast- although whether or not that will happen in March or a little later on in April has yet to be determined!

So here’s to what has been a really great month, and to the hope that March is just as good- if not better!

xx

New England Sunset, February 2017.

New England Sunset, February 2017.

February Hits List!

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Goodness, is the weekend almost over? Is tomorrow really Monday and is February nearly finished? It’s been so unbelievably warm out in New England these past few days that it almost- ALMOST– feels like I’m in the midst of Spring Break. Having to switch back into work mode and return to a heated office tomorrow morning seems a little unfair if you ask me!

But before I look back on all the exciting changes that happened this past month (and believe me- I have a lot to look forward to!) and share what I have planned in March- and before I prepare to meet friends for brunch a little later on this morning/afternoon- I wanted to review some of the things that I’ve been absolutely loving in the entirely-too-short month of February 2017.

This is my monthly “Hits List”! Enjoy!

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First things first- this year’s Super Bowl was one of the most unexpected, exciting games I’ve ever watched- and the celebrations throughout Boston only made the 72 hours following the Patriots’ comeback and subsequent victory over the Falcons all the more fun. I know they aren’t the most beloved team outside of New England- but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing this silky, commemorative quarter-sleeved shirt out and about (especially on casual Fridays at my office.)

While most of the post-Super Bowl memorabilia has been a tad on the expensive side- this officially licensed shirt was reasonably priced and will surely get more wear than if I had purchased a $150 jersey or $50 hat. Plus- it’s so comfortable!

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Now that I’m in my 30’s (just don’t tell anyone)– I’ve been researching different skin care products that will keep my complexion clear and my face looking smooth, bright and firm. Every product or system dubs itself a miracle worker- which can leave a person skeptical after reading for so long. For assistance with my occasional breakouts (usually after PMS)– I turned to Reviews.com to get honest opinions from others who were also doing their own homework into better skin care and results. Reviews.com doesn’t just stick to skin care, however. They weigh in on pretty much everything and anything- making them a valuable resource if you ever want a second, third, or fourth opinion on anything you’re thinking of trying/buying!

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to skin care, and one of the things I saw mentioned quite frequently on Reviews.com is over-exfoliating the skin. While it might seem like a good idea to scrub and slough away dead skin cells as much as possible- you can actually be doing more harm than good if you overuse products like scrubs or tools like cleansing brushes.

I’ve wanted to pick up a decent cleansing brush for a couple of months now- but had read mixed reviews on different brands (most that were overpriced or very harsh)– and I finally found this really great brush from Avon that has been working extraordinarily well on my skin! The bristles to the brush are soft and clean out my pores without shredding my face or drying me out. It’s my new wonder tool that I use each night before bed. I find that once a day with this thing works just fine!

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I don’t wash my hair every single day (I do always condition it in the shower, however)– since I don’t want to dry my curls or my scalp out by over-cleansing- but since product can build up pretty quickly, especially if I’m wearing any type of hat for any length of time- I’ve turned to this light, fresh-fragranced dry shampoo from Batiste to keep my hair looking and feeling soft and squeaky clean. I simply spritz some of this on in-between washes and massage it into my scalp and through my curls before styling my hair as usual- and the formula adds volume and shine without any residue or stiffness.

Batiste makes dry shampoos that also add temporary color to your hair, too- so if you’re looking for a quick fix to problematic roots peeking through in-between salon visits- it’s worth checking out!

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One of my favorite finds in February was this holographic nail polish (the color itself is called “MEGA”) from ILNP. The shade- shimmery and multi-colored- never appears quite the same in different angles and lighting. I treated myself to my first manicure and pedicure in a while literally hours after this arrived in my mailbox because I was s excited to see how it looked on- and I’m confident that this is going to be the lacquer I’m spotted in the most throughout 2017.

It’s so gorgeous, and fun- and long-lasting. I made it just beyond the two-week mark before this started to fade/chip and even then it wasn’t all that noticeable and was easy enough to cover up. That’s impressive for someone who does as much typing and texting as I do!

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I am an avid collector of key chains- and although not all of them have made it onto my main key ring (can you imagine how heavy it would be if they did?) I try to keep them on display. This Prince chain from The Found, however- has been added and is proudly on display on my main key ring alongside my Michonne from “The Walking Dead” charm and a flip-flip souvenir from my very first trip to San Diego back in 2007. That’s how awesome this one is.

I’m loving the sass levels of this key chain- the charm being considerably larger than the U.S. quarter I had thought it was initially compared to. I’m not complaining, though. I’ve already had a ton of people notice it and ask to see it up close. It’s so well-made and so, so much fun. My keys just feel ten times sexier with this chain hanging out next to them.

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Finally, as we begin to transition into Spring and I begin to re-organize my perfume collection- I splurged a bit via Avon and bought a bottle of their PRIMA fragrance (the body wash and lotion were a bonus with my purchase!) This scent is a really pretty, light and unique blend of rose, plum and patchouli- which might sound a little funky on paper- but I assure you all it’s quite lovely!

It reminds me of sunny mornings spent in a garden- which given the recent warm weather- has me feeling extra happy these days!

And I think that’s it for all the photogenic stuff for February 2017. Let’s move onto the other odds and ends that have made this month so enjoyable!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Get Out” – I was a huge fan of Key & Peele’s sketch show on Comedy Central, and their first movie since the show wrapped up, “Keanu”, left me pretty much in stitches from laughing so hard- so when I heard that Jordan Peele was working on a horror movie- I was intrigued. When the first trailers/previews for “Get Out” were released and were already SUPER unnerving, I couldn’t wait for it to be released- and now that the movie is getting glowing reviews and is dominating at the box office- I’ve made plans to see it after work this week and I am. so. excited. I love seeing other, brilliant sides to comedic geniuses- and I love a genuinely good horror flick!
  • “Logan” – Speaking of movies that are getting glowing reviews, I am all about the new Wolverine movie (even if the last few weren’t that great.) The latest- and I think final- installment to this particular franchise looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’ll happily spend an afternoon checking it out with my friends in the coming days. Hugh Jackman, after all…

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • “You Must Remember This” – Hello, newest podcast obsession. If you love old Hollywood and all the bizarre and salacious stories that came out of it, this one is a must-subscribe-to. Every episode, approximately 30-40 minutes long (perfect for that morning commute!) details different famous figures from Hollywood’s golden era through the 70’s and 80’s- including their work, scandals, contributions to film/society, etc. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, etc. The podcast is fascinating- and free on iTunes- and extremely entertaining!

And I think that’s it for this month! I have to take off to meet my friends for brunch- but I’ll be back to recap this past February in it’s entirety on Tuesday.

As always, if you have your own favorites for this month that you’d like to share- drop me a line!

xx

That 70’s Shoe!

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One of VH1’s best events!

My fashion sense and personal style has always been unique and often unpredictable, to put it mildly. Some days I’m all about bold prints and daring cuts while other days I’m into more classic silhouettes and subtle shades- and while my makeup has always been fairly consistent (a bold red lip and dramatic mascara is forever my signature)– my clothing and accessories are often a reflection of my mood and/or my interests on any given day- and I really do love mixing it up as much as possible!

As most people know- certain fashions almost always have a resurgence every few years. In late 2016 and early 2017- the beloved pairing of velvet pants/boots/blazers and chokers made a comeback (and growing up in the 90’s where I wore things like that constantly- I was more than thrilled to dig those things out of storage again!) and skinny jeans were briefly rivaled by flared jeans for the first time since I was in high school. It seems like just when we think it’s time to finally throw some our most beloved pieces away- they are suddenly on trend and in high demand again- which is why I only toss out the really, really, really bad and embarrassing stuff I used to wear.

Juicy Couture sweatsuits, glittery tube tops, butterfly hair clips and low rise jeans with thongs, anyone? Oh yeah. I wore those a LOT. Not my proudest or most photogenic moments, I assure you.

I digress- in 2017 it seems like the 70’s are making a highly anticipated comeback- and I’m not talking about Space Invaders, Fonzie, disco or “Soul Train” (although I’d honestly be fine with that coming back because watching old episodes is seriously the best)– but 70’s fashion is returning in a big way- and shoe brand Alterre is at the forefront with some seriously innovative and stylish designs!

For those not familiar with Alterre, they are a New York-based company who design shoes that can be modified and altered within minutes by simply snapping and locking different pieces (with various colors and designs) into place- making the transition from work to happy hour a breeze and rendering the need to carry a separate pair of shoes in your bag or your car obsolete. Alterre offers starter kits, individual shoes/snap pieces for sale- as well as a monthly subscription service (starting at $14.99 a month) for those who love shoes but may or may not have enough closet space to store them all.

I’m guilty as charged on that one.

And I love working with companies who give back in big ways- so it makes me even happier to advertise Alterre’s unique brand knowing that their products are made according to fair labor laws in Brazil, are environmentally friendly by using recycled plastic heels- and that they donate 5% of the proceeds earned to the women’s abuse/sex-trafficking victim shelter Restore NYC– which is a cause I am so, so passionate about.

The company was recently kind enough to invite me to their studio in NYC to check out their upcoming 70’s-inspired Resort/Winter 2017 collection as part of NYFW- and I am already in love with the metallic, sparkle, and floral designs that would make even Jackie Burkhart jealous.

jackieburkhart

I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on some of these pieces. I’ve also taken a peek inside Alterre’s Look Book for the collection and really the shoes, the materials, and the colors are all part of my 2017 fashion aesthetic. This is a company those of you who love versatile, creative, convenient and fashionable footwear should keep an eye on. They’re quite brilliant!

via Alterre

via Alterre

xx

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker. I do not work for Brandbacker and/or Alterre and was not paid or compensated to post anything I did not agree with. All opinions are 100% and completely my own!*