May Hits List!

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope those of you in the States had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Mine was mostly rained out, unfortunately- but I still managed to have my share of fun with friends and family while paying respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while they were defending our country and our freedoms.

I’m back at work this morning bright and early to get a jump start on anything that may have accumulated over the long weekend and to assist with training a newcomer to the team (and she’s an absolute doll! I’m so excited to work with her!) but I wanted to take a little bit of time to share some of my favorite things from the month of May. Some are helping me prep for this Summer, others were the breakout stars during my recent trip to the West Coast- but I’ve put them (and some other things!) all right here to share.

Let’s take a look!

I had previously showed off these holograph sneakers from Primark in my pre-vacation haul/shopping spree post a couple of weeks ago- and while I am still completely smitten with how cool they look- I also just want to comment on how unbelievably comfortable they are, too. I was sporting these in the airport, around the Las Vegas strip, and throughout downtown San Diego last week and not once did my feet ever feel sore or stiff.

Considering I paid less than $20 for these- I wasn’t expecting long-term comfort or style- but these made it to and from the West Coast and are still in great shape. I’m so, so thrilled about this purchase that I had to share them again!

Last month, an Aveeno face wash had made my “Hits List” for being my g0-to cleanser when I was freshening up post-workout at the gym. This month, the brand returns- but in the form of a really incredible nighttime repair cream that I’ve been swearing by in recent weeks. I brought this with me to California and it’s a lifesaver, to put it plainly.

Between the climate change, staying out late with my friends out West and having one too many drinks (more than once)– I was pretty much expecting to wake up every morning of my vacation looking rough and tired- but after generously smearing this cream all over my face and neck every night when I got back to where I was staying/crashing- I THANKFULLY always looked fresh-faced and radiant. The multi-vitamins and soy complex loaded into this fluffy, lightweight moisturizer worked wonders at repairing, hydrating, and protecting my skin while I slept. I’m a believer now and I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve also been using this incredible color-changing/complimenting lipstick from Lipstick Queen I received in a recent POPSUGAR “Must Have” box pretty much non-stop. While the lipstick appears yellow in the tube, it quickly transforms into a flattering coral shade once it hits your lips. It brightens me up in the mornings when I head to work and is perfect for that no-fuss “beachy” look I covet around this time every year. I always keep it nearby in my bag for quick touch-ups!

As much as I love the latest Vegas key chain I picked up for my collection during last week’s visit- the key chain itself isn’t the only thing that made the “Hits List!” this month- but the overall memories, really.

I went to Vegas with a bit of an agenda- one, was to visit some friends I wish I got to see more often (which was also part of my agenda when I went to California shortly thereafter) and the other thing was to give a serious look and some consideration into the real estate options out that way.

I would love to live in San Diego- anywhere in SoCal, really- but the truth of the matter is that it is obscenely expensive. What I pay now for a lovely enough place that suits me and my present lifestyle where I’m currently located is barely enough to afford a decent studio (or even a basement apartment) in that region. Finding good condos or a suitable house is like winning the lottery- and I’m not getting any younger. I have to be realistic- and while I continue to take some roommate offers into consideration- the possibility of moving to the slightly-less-West-but-still-West-enough and infinitely cheaper Las Vegas/Henderson region has piqued my interest.

I did look at a couple of homes in the desert during my stay- still close enough to civilization so I’m not cut off but far enough away from the bright lights and the noise where I can get a full night’s sleep. I haven’t made any definitive decisions yet- but this entire trip really felt like a step in the right direction for a lot of reasons (some very personal) so that is a hit as far as I’m concerned.

On Mother’s Day, while out in Western Massachusetts for a day of shopping with my darling mom- I picked up a couple of packets of these punch mixes at a farmer’s market/general store to make on the hotter days this Summer. I ended up making them as soon as I got home- and yeah, I’m addicted. So much, in fact- that I went back and bought a few more during one of my recent days off- some for myself and some to gift to friends for their respective cookouts and BBQs.

These things are refreshing, and can be made with or without alcohol (guess which I prefer!) I have a feeling I’ll be including a couple in an upcoming giveaway I have planned for the Summer and a blogging milestone.

Finally, I’m in the process of compiling a list of my favorite burger joints around the New England area (the most fun part being the field research, of course)– but I’ve also been actively working on perfecting the art of the burger, myself. I recently picked up this cookbook featuring some of Shake Shack’s most famous recipes and it. is. awesome. Seriously- they have everything. Burgers. Fries. Breakfast sandwiches. Milkshakes. I’ve been working my ass off all Winter/Spring to get into shape and I’m going to blow it for the sake of trying everything in this book- but it’s gonna’ be worth it.

I’m actually thinking of sharing one of my recipe attempts a little later on this week/over the weekend- so stay tuned!

And now, for a couple of things that couldn’t quite be photographed so easily:


– WWE: Okay, hear me out. When I was a kid- I desperately wanted to be like my two older brothers- who were the coolest as far as I was concerned. That included getting into what was then called the WWF and keeping a brave face on whenever either one of them would attempt to throw me in a figure four leg-lock or a Sharpshooter after every installment of Monday Night Raw or SmackDown! we’d watch together (I always tapped out, for the record. That shit is PAINFUL.)

My favorite wrestlers back then were undeniably Matt and Jeff Hardy- who recently made a triumphant comeback and thus caused me to sit down and tune in again. A group of my friends are still really into it, and have been giving me lessons on all the new faces and feuds I didn’t recognize- and I gotta’ say- it’s still wildly entertaining. I’ve been having a ball watching along- and now my brothers may be jumping back into it, too- which means I need to learn how to get out of a chokehold ASAP.

– “Wonder Woman”: While the movie hasn’t officially hit theaters yet, the early reviews are all fantastic so far- and I’ve been anticipating it’s release for a long time now. Coupled with some recent controversy over some “Women Only” screenings scheduled across the country- WW is looking to be the feminist movie us ladies need right now and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I might even go see it twice- just because.

I think that’s pretty much everything for May 2017’s “Hits List!”- it might not seem like much- but it’s all been helpful/fun.

Feel free to share your own favorites for the month of May!


Pre-Vacay Haul!

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Good Morning and greetings from Chicago! I’m currently sitting in the airport terminal waiting for boarding to begin for my layover to Las Vegas, Nevada- and I. Am. So. Tired. I know once I’m in Sin City I’ll have a boost of energy that should keep me going all night and well into tomorrow- but right now I just want to curl up with my coffee and take a long and much-needed nap. If only these seats weren’t so uncomfortable!

Anyway, after a long night of packing and being way too excited to get a proper amount of sleep (every. single. time. I. travel)– I think I remembered to bring everything I need- including some new additions to my wardrobe and makeup bag courtesy of Sephora and Primark.

I warned y’all there was going to be a haul post- and here it is!

I have been down to the bare minimum of makeup lately- having traded in elaborate cat-eyes for a more natural look so I could sleep a little later in the mornings before work during the week- so I thought I’d treat myself by picking up replacement foundation, concealer, and powder- but also throwing in some new waterproof mascara, a lipstick (“Stark Naked” by Urban Decay- a lovely nude matte!) and some spa-level face and eye masks to get myself looking alive and awake before I hit the Vegas strip tonight.

I’m a young, single gal on vacation, after all- and I gotta’ look like one!

In terms of clothing- I just wanted to pick up a few things I know I’d get plenty of use out of instead of just wearing it once and forgetting about it for months at a time. First things first- I needed light, cool pajamas to sleep in while I’m resting in the desert since all I currently own are thermals from this past Winter.

I snagged these two pajama sets- one with cute little lemons printed all over them and one with bright fringe/tassels- at $6 per set!

Once I laid eyes on these holographic sneakers- I knew I had to have them for long walks through the airport or from casino to casino on the strip. They’re cushy and comfortable- and definitely eye-catching.

The silver flip flops, for when I finally head poolside or want to dig my toes in the sand when I finally hit California- may not be as attention-grabbing as the sneakers- but they’re sparkly and don’t hurt my feet the way other sandals can- so I love them, too!

I have accepted my pale-ness and no longer attempt to cover it up in embarrassment. I’m as white as a ghost. That’s who I am- and it’s too hot to not be wearing shorts or trying to hide my legs- so I made sure to stock up on a bunch of these low-priced denim and/or crochet style shorts to keep cool and chic wherever I go- as well as a couple of loose-fitting cotton shirts to mix and match them with.

I’m all about going casual for this trip. It’s long overdue!

Of course, there are going to be one or two instances where I may need to dress up a little while I’m away- so I made sure to grab this metallic pleated skirt (one of my favorite trends right now!) to give me a little sparkle if I’m wining and dining anywhere on the West Coast.

A nice top and a little jewelry and I can go from dressed-down to glamour girl in a few minutes. It’s all in the details!

I also don’t intend to walk around with a big purse the entire time I’m on vacation- so I grabbed this little zip-up faux-leather pouch to hold the essentials like my I.D., my hotel room key and some lipstick while simultaneously displaying some hometown love. Cutest $3.50 I’ve ever spent!

And for one last dressy item- I was absolutely smitten with this thin, bell-sleeved floral dress that fit me perfectly when I tried it on. I bought this not only for my trip, but for when I come home and head back to work- too! It’s completely office-appropriate! How lovely is that design?

Overall- I spent just over $200. The Sephora stuff was actually what cost the most (no surprise there) but I think I made out pretty good considering all of the things that I got!

And with that being said- my flight is boarding in a few minutes. Time to try and get some last minute shut-eye on the plane!

For updates from my trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting a LOT, I’m sure.

See you all when I get back!


March Hits List!

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Happy Hump Day, everyone! I’m getting ready to head into my office for another day of keeping busy and staying caffeinated- but I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month that was- and to be honest I’m still a bit shocked that March is almost over since it feels like it only just started! Have I been so preoccupied at my job that I missed these past few weeks? Or did my recent fight with the flu just knock me out for a while and I completely lost track of time?

I’m going to go with the flu, since it was pretty brutal- but oh well. At least I’m feeling better! There’s plenty I can do to make up for lost time in April.

I only have a handful of physical favorites this month- but they’re all a lot of fun and I’m very excited to share them before I get into some of the other things that made March memorable!

In regards to beauty products that I fancied in March- two were breakout stars that garnered repeated usage. In desperate need of a replacement lipstick that walked the fine line between nude and subtle pink- I fell in love with the “Naked” shade of Urban Decay’s VICE Lipstick line. Creamy and long-lasting, this formula gives me a natural pop of color that I can wear with pretty much anything in my Spring wardrobe- day or night.

To keep my digits nice and neutral- I turned to Avon’s TRUE COLOR collection in “Rose Quartz”- which is one of my favorite colors, anyway. The formula is smooth and chip/smudge-resistant, so I can type and text without fear of having to constantly re-apply this. Like the lipstick, this shade matches nearly everything I own.

I really do make an honest and earnest attempt to keep myself from impulse purchases, but sometimes- a girl has got to treat herself and splurge a bit- which is exactly what I did when I spotted these glitter ankle boots from ASOS and knew I needed them in my life immediately. Typically paired with black leggings, jeggings, and a simple top (and a good piece of statement jewelry to balance out my shine)– these super comfortable boots give me just a little bit of height and are easy enough to walk in for long periods of time.

I feel like David Bowie in these and I LOVE them.

Okay, so I recently started my new position at my job following my promotion- and I have to confess: I love it. Truly. It’s such a breath of fresh air. The people I work with are wonderful and fun, the work is challenging and detail-oriented (which I am ALL about) and it’s just so, so rewarding and fulfilling for me and I couldn’t be happier.

That said, I wanted to decorate my new desk space with a little something to keep me motivated when those inevitable challenging days emerge- and I picked up this “W.W.B.D?” desk plaque I had initially seen advertised on ModCloth a while back. I’ve been keeping track of my co-workers’ reactions when they see it for the first time and it’s always priceless.

Finally, I picked up a couple of t-shirts this month that have been getting some considerable wear. The first is my black and white Dropkick Murphys tee from my recent St. Patrick’s Day weekend insanity. The last shirt I own of the band’s is starting to fade out since I’ve had it for so long- and this one is a fine replacement. I love the design on the front!

The second, made of softer material- is this longer gray and pink tee from Yes Way Rosé– because if I’m going to be one of those people who want to tell the world about how much I enjoy a certain type of wine- then I’m just going to show my appreciation with a cute and cozy t-shirt. The brand also offers some other accessories that are adorable, too- so any shameless winos should definitely check it out!

I think that’s it for the more photogenic favorites from March, but I was loving some other stuff, too!


  • “Feud: Bette and Joan” – I have a love/hate relationship with “American Horror Story”. Every season starts off with so much potential and promise and five episodes later there are 30 new characters being jammed into a single hour with convoluted plots that serve no real purpose but for some inexplicable reason have to be resolved within the season finale. It’s almost always a mess- and I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard Ryan Murphy was going to be directing a new series based on the off-and-on-camera drama between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Thankfully, the show is excellent. With a small cast led by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange- “Feud” is funny, surprising, and not to miss. I’ve been having a blast watching it.

  • The Lumineers – “Cleopatra” – I know it’s been almost a year since The Lumineers (one of my favorite bands!) dropped “Cleopatra” on us- but it recently ended up back in my regular rotation and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it all over again. This is one of those albums that is perfect for those rainy day Springtime drives when you just want to mellow out and get some deep soul-searching and contemplation done- and I admit that listening to it again in it’s entirety has moved me to tears more than once in the past couple of weeks.

I’d love to see these guys live someday, but I know I’d be reduced to an emotional wreck three songs into their set.

  • Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Specials – THANK YOU NETFLIX. THANK. YOU. I have not laughed that hard in a long, long time.
  • SYFY’s “Cosplay Melee” – From the same network that brought us the disastrous and overly petty “Heroes of Cosplay” series a couple of years ago, SYFY finally hit the mark with their most recent offering to the cosplay and comic-con community with “Cosplay Melee”- which focuses more on the actual fabrication and construction of the costumes themselves by talented, passionate and actually NICE contestants who are striving to win weekly cash prizes for their efforts instead of perpetuating drama between women week after week. It’s only a couple of episodes in so far- but the show is fascinating.

Which brings me to…


  • Planning For Comic-Con – It’s that time of year again when people spend perfectly good Saturday mornings in front of their computers for hours at a time while hoping and praying they can score badges to this Summer’s San Diego Comic-Con. I recently received the e-mail with the information I’d need for the sale when it happens in a couple of weeks, and as is tradition- I’ll be giving it a shot- but leading up to that point I’ve been focusing on starting the costumes I have planned for the 2017 Comic-Con circuit that typically kicks off at the end of Spring.

While I initially had outfits inspired by “The Walking Dead”, Punisher, and “Preacher” planned out- I’m also going to see if I can go a little further with my detailing and fit in a “Resident Evil” costume into the mix as well. A couple of the costumes are team efforts- so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with great groups of people- and I’m excited to start sewing/gluing/sobbing into plastic molding more than once.

And I think that’s everything for the month of March! I’m looking forward to finding new favorites in April- and as always- my full recap of this month will be up in a couple of days.

If you have any favorites you’d like to share- feel free to drop me a line!


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!


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.


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


*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!*

November Hits List!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was spent in the company of my family and friends (for the first of two annual “Friendsgivings”. The second and larger of the gatherings usually happens shortly after New Years when it’s easier to coordinate a dinner with so many people after the hectic holiday season winds down and schedules open up a bit more!) and also putting in a bit of overtime at work.

December and Christmas are upon us- but before I bid a fond farewell to the roller coaster that was November and focus on getting my decorations set up and my gift shopping list organized- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month, first!

There’s only a few things I photographed- but plenty of other random things that made the list, too!


I used to snicker at jokes about “basic bitches” who collected UGG boots and drank pumpkin spice lattes all the time- until I turned into one, anyway. While these boots are not UGG brand- they are just as comfortable for half the price. I’ve been sporting these almost daily since we haven’t seen more than an occasional flurry of snow around here lately. The faux-fur lining on the inside keeps my feet warm and dry, and walking or standing for any length of time feels like I’m simply wading through marshmallows. These boots are super cozy and go with just about any pair of skinny jeans, leggings or tights.


Speaking of being cozy. Now that it’s considerably more chilly outside (and sometimes indoors, too)– I’ve been bundling up in anything with Sherpa material underneath my winter coat for extra warmth. I’m particularly fond of this lined flannel pullover with Sherpa material around the collar. I usually bring this to work with me to put on at my desk in case there’s a draft. It’s long enough to wrap around me but it’s still chic- so I don’t look like I’m wearing a bathrobe in public or anything.


While my home typically smells like pine, gingerbread, peppermint and vanilla (with a hint of brown sugar) around the holidays- I thought I’d add a touch of something new this year and purchased one of Yankee Candle’s new “All Is Bright” jars. The fragrance- a freshly popped bottle of champagne- is already getting me ready for New Years. It’s sweet and bubbly- just like the drink. If you see this candle around- definitely grab one. It’s lovely!


I received a sample of this brightening moisturizer with SPF 15 from Garnier with a recent purchase of my usual micellar water- and I’ve been hooked ever since. This oil-free formula is lightweight, loaded with vitamins, keeps my skin feeling soft all day, and has visibly evened out my complexion (which usually gets a little blotchy and patchy with the dropping temperatures) with continued use. I’ve already picked up a full-size tube for when I run out of the decently-sized sample- and I plan on using it religiously throughout the Winter.


Finally, in an attempt to cut back on my spending for the holidays (and overall, really)– I’ve started taking the time to prepare my own coffee in the morning using my K-Cup brewer instead of making speedy early morning stops at local cafes. I’ve been loading up on homemade peppermint mocha lately (with a touch of chocolate flavored creamer. So good!) and my mom was kind enough to pick up this spill-proof and durable Vera Bradley travel mug for when I head to work. It’s definitely better for the environment than multiple discarded plastic and Styrofoam cups- and the painted feather design is really pretty.

And now, onto some of the other odds and ends!


  • The Killers – “Don’t Waste Your Wishes”: Now that’s it acceptable and not way-too-early to listen to Christmas music, I strongly recommend The Killers’ new album- a compilation of all of their holiday singles- to benefit charity. While “A Great Big Sled” and “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” will forever be my all-time favorites, hearing Brandon talk about his childhood in the album’s closing cover of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is especially poignant, too.
  • TCM’s Natalie Wood Marathon: This past month, on the nights when I would get home from work and just wanted to veg out on my couch or in bed- I flipped on any one of the TCM’s choice Natalie Wood (one of my favorites) movies since she was the network’s star of the month. I loved re-visiting “Rebel Without A Cause” and “West Side Story”- but “Searchers” and “Kings Go Forth” were fun to see for the first time, too.


  • Planning my New Years: 2016 was, essentially, a dumpster fire- and a year I plan on giving the proper attention and criticism it deserves for my “In A Nutshell” post at the end of December. Until then, I’ve been starting preparations for my New Years Eve- and while I’m keeping quiet on what my final farewell to this past year that was will look like- I can say that the details have me very excited. It’s nice to have something to look forward to considering how rough 2016 has been so far. Not just for me- but for a lot of others, too.

And I think that’s pretty much it for my November hits! As always- if you’d like to share your own list of favorites for the month- feel free!

Have a great Monday!


Day to Night Transition Tips

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I know that it might not seem like it, given that I take a good portion of the month of October to watch really, really bad horror movies on Netflix or go to comic-conventions to stock up on t-shirts and trinkets- but I’m a pretty busy woman. I work long hours at my office (including on Saturdays!), I have a packed planner filled with appointments, gatherings, dinners and social events- I bring my eight year old niece to school twice a week, and I still have to make time to cook, clean, get a good workout in, spend time with my family (and my dog!), do my blogging- and manage to get enough sleep to keep me functioning like a normal person.

It’s a lot, and when you’re living on a schedule and deadlines have to be met- sometimes I don’t have as much time as I’d like in-between leaving my office and racing to catch dinner with my friends to re-do my makeup or get glammed up. For that reason, I’ve become a sort of master of easily transitioning my daytime look into a “nighttime” look- and all I need are a couple of pieces to add to my ensemble and two or three makeup products that can easily be stored in my bag.

To demonstrate how the process takes literally 2 minutes of my time- I thought I’d go with a regular, “standard” outfit for me on my days off when I’m running errands- jeans, a t-shirt, and my black knee-high boots (it also works with leather or velvet ankle booties!) It’s classic, it’s chic- but most importantly- it’s comfortable. I’m not terribly concerned with looking like a runway model when I’m doing laundry or couponing at my local grocery store. I just want to be cozy!

BUT- once the sun begins to set and I have to hop on over to whatever I have planned in the evening- there’s a few essentials that make me look more put together and get me feeling more confident:



The quintessential “cool girl” piece, I pair my leather jacket with much pretty much anything and everything in the evenings- jeans, mini-dresses, pencil skirts and blouses, rompers/jumpsuits or sweaters. It always takes my outfit from looking professional from work or casual from my days off to looking effortlessly chic. This particular jacket features my HYDRA pin from Marvel- which I think adds a neat, badass touch.



With Halloween approaching, I’m having a blast busting out my more creepy pieces to wear out and about at night at friends’ costume parties or when checking out haunted houses/hay rides. The above-pictured tarantula bangle is one of my favorites, but during the other 11 months of the year when those types of pieces aren’t exactly considered seasonal (or appropriate)– I keep my jewelry simple but noticeable.


One of the best “All Day Wear” pieces I’ve come across recently is this minimalist gold bar necklace from AUrate New York. What I love most about this 14K Yellow Gold piece (which also comes in Rose Gold- my favorite, and White Gold) is that it really pulls together my workday outfits, but also gives me just the right amount of subtle sparkle at night. It’s the perfect transitional piece that I don’t have to worry about misplacing since I can keep it on from morning through the evening!



During the day, my makeup is definitely on the neutral side. Light eye shadow, barely-there-blush, and my usual rose-colored matte lipstick. I like to look fresh-faced and awake at work, and I find this color scheme works well for me- even on my most exhausting of days. At night, however- I swap out my usual pale lipstick for bright reds or deep oxblood hues to make my lips pop or give me that vampy look I covet around this time of year.

If I’m feeling a bit more daring- I can also get my eye look to catch up to me in the evenings by adding a cat-eye effect with a swipe of eyeliner or add a bit more of a darker shadow to my crease to give me a nice smokey eye.

Overall, my entire transition process- from a day look to a night look- takes me less than 10 minutes to achieve. All of the pieces/products I’ve listed and shown above can transform any outfit- nearly anything you’re wearing- from on-the-go to out-on-the-town in little to no time at all!

Do you have transitional tips/tricks or must-haves when you go from your daily activities to nighttime excursions? Feel free to share!


September Hits List!

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Have I ever mentioned how much I detest packing? Because I really, really detest packing. Once my suitcase is loaded up and I’m on my way to my destination- I’m as happy as can be- but trying to sort out outfits, accessories, toiletries and electronics (and all those chargers!) is nothing short of torture. I’m always left feeling like I forgot something and triple-checking every inch of my bag to make sure the necessities are accounted for.

That’s the stage I’m at right now. My flight leaves tomorrow morning and I’m only halfway done with sorting out my vacation wardrobe for the next week- so I thought I’d take a break, decompress, and use some time to share my favorite things from the month of September, instead!

As always, I’ll be starting with the items/things that are easy to photograph- and move onto some other hits I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks.


The first item I’ve been wearing non-stop this past September should come as no surprise- it’s the black, wool, wide-brimmed hat I received from Jack & Lucy in this month’s POPSUGAR “Must Have” box! This thing is just so cute and so comfortable- and it pairs well with pretty much every outfit I’ve been sporting so far- whether it’s full-blown Fall-appropriate sweaters, jeans and booties- to rompers and mini-dresses with flats (the weather has been a bit unpredictable lately.)

I’ll be bringing this with me to the West Coast- not only because it looks so chic- but because it’ll keep the sun out of my eyes, too.


As much as I love my corals, pinks, and neon purple shades of nail polish- it’s time to retire them to make room for more Autumn-friendly colors to sport on my fingertips and toes for the next few months. I recently splurged a bit over at ncLA on these two lacquers from the company’s “Back to School” themed Fall collection- and although it was a tough choice when there was a beautiful red and royal blue available for purchase- I ultimately settled on “These Grades Are Just A Jumping Off Point” (a deep hunter green) and “2” Above The Knee… Yeah, Right” (a rich canary yellow).

I’m absolutely in love with these polishes and I cannot wait to start rocking them once I’m back home next week!


It’s been a while since I’ve purchased anything from Fortune Cookie Soap– but when they re-released their “Basic Bitch” Fall line (ALL THE PUMPKIN SCENTS)– I snatched up some of their body cream, lip balm, and hand sanitizer. With fun named like ‘Selfie Stick”, “Can’t Even”, and “Yoga Booty”- I have smelled like a pumpkin patch/Starbucks’ PSL for the better part of the month and I’m loving every minute of it.

Best of all? FCS’ products are all SUPER affordable, too!


I’ve had the same phone for about three or four years now, and we’ve been through a lot together: holidays, birthdays, travel, comic-conventions- but by the time I finally got around to upgrading it a few days ago- only half of the touchscreen worked correctly and the battery couldn’t hold a charge for more than a couple of hours. It was finally time to say goodbye and get something new.

My provider went above and beyond with updating my plan, my billing- and hooking me up with a brand new Samsung Galaxy with one of the most insane and incredible cameras I’ve ever seen on a phone (it rivals my professional camera I use for urban exploration shoots- that’s how clear and innovative it is!) as well as a fabulous “TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE” pink and black case from Kate Spade.

I’m so thankful to have this with me when I travel. My shots from Vegas and San Diego are going to be awesome!


What’s a Fall “Hits List” without something from Yankee Candle? While I’ll never get tired of scents like “Harvest” or “Pumpkin Cupcake”- my home has been filled with one of their newest fragrances as of late- “Candied Pecans”. If you’re a fan of sweet and almost peanut buttery scents- you’ll love this one. It smells delicious and really sets the tone for the season. I’m sure I’ll be picking up another one of these soon!


Finally- I can never have enough oversized sweaters in the fall. I live in them- and this knitted red & white cardigan I picked up from Kohls earlier this month is everything. It’s soft, cozy, and keeps me warm- and I’ll be wearing this tomorrow morning during take-off to keep myself toasty (and looking cute) during the flight.

Now that I think about it- I should probably start doing some Fall-inspired “Closet Crushes” posts, shouldn’t I?

I digress. Let’s see what else I loved in September!


  • “Sam’s Town” – Part of my trip to Vegas this week includes a show from The Killers, who are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the release of their sophomore album (and now I feel super old.) The show is at- you guessed it- Sam’s Town Casino, and I’ve never been more excited. I’ve been revisiting the album in the recent days leading up to my trip, and it really does withstand the test of time. It’s pretty flawless from beginning to end and I’m really looking forward to hearing some of the tracks live again.
  • “Apple Cider Afternoons” – Have you all listened to my Autumn-inspired playlist? I’m quite proud of it. It’s a beautiful combination of dreamy, soothing old favorites and newer tracks. It’s perfect to plug into your phone/music player when you’re going for a long walk through the falling leaves or a nice drive to your closest apple orchard.

That’s enough self-promotion. I swear.

  • “American Horror Story: S6” – I’m pretty sure I’ve just been hate-watching the past couple of seasons of AHS, which always start off so strong and then completely fall apart with excess characters and storylines that go absolutely nowhere by mid-season. Although this current season is only a couple of episodes in so far, I’m liking the premise and how there isn’t too much happening at once. I hope it can stay consistently strong and scary (also: where is Evan Peters? Where is he?)

I think that’s pretty much everything for this month. I’ve procrastinated enough- and now it’s time to get back to packing!

Feel free to share your own favorites for the month of September in the comments- and if you’d like to follow my travels over the course of the next few days- I’ll be updating my Instagram regularly!


June Hits List!

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I’ve reserved a few words to describe this month of June 2016, none of which are particularly kind (I’ll get to that in tomorrow’s ‘In a Nutshell’ post,) but one word that stands out- especially this week- is “scorching”. This month was ridiculously hot! I’m not complaining, since I’ll take middle-of-the-desert-like temperatures over snow any day of the week, but I did have to adjust a few things- namely my makeup and my wardrobe- to keep either of them from sliding off of me in my perpetual state of sweaty-ness.

Because of that, my June ‘Hits List’ is filled with mostly necessities and/or odds & ends I’d picked up over the past few weeks to help me beat the heat and decompress as much as possible after some stressful situations I took on and tackled this month.

As per usual, I thought I’d show the material things that are easy to photograph, first- before I dove into music/movies/apps/tech and miscellaneous things that require more of a words-only description.

Let’s take a look!

Last week, during a day of cycling through downtown Boston, grabbing lunch at Paul, and lounging poolside back at the apartment, Sean and I also stopped by my new favorite store- Primark– for an impromptu mini-shopping spree. For those not familiar with the glory that is Primark: think Forever 21 prices meets H&M-but-better quality- add five stories of limitless clothing and accessory options in the heart of Downtown Crossing- and you’ll understand why it’s so appealing and why I could spend hours and hours in there on any given day.


From our most recent haul, these are three of my favorite finds (not pictured are the two swimsuits and the cover-up I also bought!) The first is this really big, really Summer-y navy blue, tan and gold bag that can hold pretty much all of my work and beach necessities and then some- and which has really cute, very sturdy rope and faux-leather handles that gives it a sort of nautical feel- which we all know I’m a huge fan of. The price of the bag? $14.


I also picked up this adorable and oversized cream-colored lace hat with brown suede accents for when I’m heading to the pool/ocean/out for a stroll in the sun. At $6- this was a steal- and it matches pretty much everything in my Summer wardrobe. I’ll be getting a lot of use out of this and I’m so excited because it looks great on- and that’s coming from someone who never thought she could pull off the “floppy hat” look properly.


Finally, when I laid eyes on these $7 canvas sandals with flamingos printed all over them- I knew I had to have them- and considering they are SERIOUSLY SO COMFORTABLE- I’m thrilled I picked them up. If I’m wearing black? I put these on. Pink? I’m sporting these. Any color? These are my new go-to’s. I’m in love.

Good God, I love Primark so much.

Next up is my makeup selections for June- which, given the soaring temperatures- I kept as light and minimal as possible. You’re crazy if you think I’m dropping serious dough at Sephora for products that are going to be melting off of me the second I step outside. I’ve found decent enough dupes/substitutions in my local drug pharmacy- and both my wallet and my face are quite pleased.


For example, I rediscovered my love of Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream, which matches my skin tone perfectly and gives me just enough coverage where I look refreshed (and not like I’m wearing a mask) and I have been coveting my #113 shade of Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick from Kate Moss’ collaboration with Rimmel since it gives me a subtle, natural pop of color that compliments my complexion and doesn’t feel sticky/tacky/drying. Most importantly? It stays in place- even when it feels like the rest of me is roasting in the sun.


In regards to my skin care, I haven’t really changed anything up too drastically this Summer. I’m still using lightweight and oil-controlling moisturizers (and plenty of SPF!) as well as light cleansers and gentle toners- but one addition I’ve made is implementing this gentle grapefruit-infused daily scrub from Yes To into my routine. I like that this scrub cleans out my pores without being abrasive- and it smells really nice, too.

And in the spirit of all things fruit/citrus-scented for the Summer- I’ve also been obsessively slathering this Sparkling Limoncello hand cream from Bath & Body Works all over my palms for the past month. I love citrus scents/flavors in general- but especially in the hotter months (I think it’s because they remind me of my home away from home in Southern California and it’s comforting in a way.) This hand cream is super softening and moisturizing- which is nice after I’ve been in the pool or out on the sand for a while and my skin gets a little prune-ish and dry.

And now, onto the other stuff!


  • ‘O.J.: Made in America’ – Not since ‘The Jinx’ has there been a documentary that has been so gripping, so chilling, and so revealing. I was a kid when the “Trial of the Century” went down- but I remember watching the Bronco chase in my parents’ living room, and the big glove-don’t-fit moment- and sitting in my fourth grade classroom listening to a radio broadcast of the verdict and not fully understanding exactly why it was so important but knowing that it was. ESPN’s five-part documentary: detailing O.J. Simpson’s rise to fame, his repeated abuse of Nicole Brown, the murders, the trial- and then his downward spiral  post-acquittal- all with the backdrop of rising racial tensions in Los Angeles at the time O.J. was charged- really shined a light on so many factors to the case that I don’t think a lot of people who tuned in every day saw for themselves or took into consideration.

Featuring interviews with/commentary by Marcia Clark (LOVE HER), Mark Fuhrman (still a piece of garbage), Carl Douglas (still awful), O.J.’s former friends and colleagues, and members of the L.A.P.D. and surviving members of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman’s families- the documentary is definitely worth a binge-watch on your next day off. It’s fascinating- even if there are no real winners by the end of it.


  • ‘Death Stranding’ – Okay, so even though the game hasn’t been released (yet)– can we talk about the weird, semi-creepy trailer from the latest collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus after the game-changing demo ‘P.T./Silent Hills’ fell through? Revealed at this month’s Sony E3 Conference- I have so many questions, no answers- and nothing more than “Norman Feetus” jokes to get me through this until we get a tentative release date and more information. Even still- this looks incredible and I can’t wait to dive into it.

I think that’s pretty much everything for the month of June! I plan on recapping this shit-show of a month tomorrow, but I’ll have more favorites in July!

And as always- feel free to share your own hits for June. I’d love to hear about them!


Closet Crushes: C.K. in D.C.

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It’s been forever and a day since I’ve done a proper “Closet Crushes” post- mainly because my usual staples in Fall/Winter aren’t really worth blogging about- but also because it’s hard to find the time to properly photograph an ensemble with my often busy and packed schedule. It’s much easier and time-friendly for me to write about my monthly subscription boxes or bad horror movies than it is for me to jump in front of a camera and hope I’m not pulling an awful face when the timer goes off (spoiler alert: I’m ALWAYS pulling an awful face.)

I had some luck with my recent trip to Alexandria/Washington D.C., however- having loved my choice of dress (and shoes!) to attend a wedding so much that I knew I had to revisit the world of fashion blogging and share it.  There’s something about Spring and incorporating actual colors into my wardrobe that makes me feel flirty and fun- and I think this sky blue Calvin Klein sheath dress- bursting with blooming white flowers- really captures that.


I love how lightweight this dress is. It was classy enough for the church ceremony but loose-fitting and flowing enough where I could party at the reception and still be comfortable. The blue also compliments my red hair and fair skin- but it a pretty close match to my eye color, too.

When it came to shoes, I paired this dress with matching sky blue pointed toe heels (with a small heel- so that I could look fancy- not alarmingly taller than my date- and still move around!) and carried along a pair of nude flats in my bag in case my feet started to get a little sore as the night wore on. Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue.

I also carried along a white cardigan with me in case it got cold- which it most certainly did as the afternoon wore on. The cardigan did little to block the frigid temperatures as I was maneuvering to/from my rental car- and I owe my friend and date Duncan for being such a gentleman and wrapping his jacket around my shoulders more than once so I wouldn’t freeze to death!


Since I’ve given up on my hair being anything other than curly and huge at all times (flat-ironing it takes a little more than an hour, maybe two- and I didn’t have that time to spare while I was getting ready since I had to get moving!) I let it air dry after combing some coconut milk serum and mousse through it- and kept my makeup subtle- using soft pink eye shadow, rosy/nude lipstick, and minimal blush to round out my springtime look.

Overall, I loved this entire ensemble- and I have a couple of semi-formal events coming up in the Summer where I’ll be able to wear this again (I’m not one to wear an outfit only once!)