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WEEKEND CHRONICLES

Friday, April 25, 2014
Last weekend I traveled home to Boston to visit my family and friends. I had such a great time! I haven't been home since Christmas. Time goes by fast because I didn't notice that it had been that long. Saturday night I met up with my friends who I've known since we were in middle school. My best friend I've known since I was five years old! We decided to go Downtown to have dinner and stopped by the Boston marathon finish line to take photos. All my life I don't have one memory of going down to the marathon site but because of what happened last year I thought I should go and pay tribute. 


I definitely did not know those people were behind me lol. Kind of crazy to think that I felt absolute no one around me while taking that picture. My friend Jackie, the photographer, didn't even warn me and gave no sign that someone was standing near me. I was curious why she was taking so long to take a photo and then I realized after seeing it what happened. Crazy story, I posted the image on Instagram and it turns out someone recognized one of the people in the photo and tagged them in the picture. Social media is wild! 

Yay for Spring! I love flowers and stumbled across a vendor selling these beautiful roses outside. Check out the variety of beautiful spring colors.


Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar is a hot Mexican spot in Boston that my friends like to go to. I was super excited to try it because at the end of your meal they give you free cotton candy. Two of my friends ordered the ribs, I don't even like ribs and these looked really amazing. I ordered the chicken tacos because I loveeee tacos! Later I saw a photo of the grilled chicken salad and wished I got that instead. 




My Grandmother and I have a lot in common. She loves makeup just as much as I do. I remember as a kid watching her apply her makeup in the mirror and curling her hair. My mom is the opposite, she didn't start getting into makeup until I showed her how to do it. When I arrived home for Easter in a jean button down shirt and leggings, I was shocked to see that my grandmother had the exact same shirt! She is very fashionable so I shouldn't be that surprised.


After Easter dinner my family surprised me with a Birthday cake! My birthday is on Tuesday the 29th. Since I won't be home to celebrate it they wanted to do something special for my big day. I was so full from Easter dinner, I only managed to eat a tiny slice. I meant to take a few pieces with me to New York and totally forgot that morning. I was bummed! This giant birthday cake for me and I barely ate it. 

I'm excited for my Birthday next week and starting a new year!

LINKS YOU'LL LOVE




THIS WEEK'S LINKS YOU'LL LOVE LIST

1. This really cool trick to keep your nails from chipping (http://diana212m.blogspot.com)

2. How cute are they sandals from Express? and they are on sale too, boop! (http://www.express.com)

3. This cute money jar (urbanoutfitters.com)

4. Did you know that watermelon makes a great facial toner? DIY details here (sheknows.com)

5. This "Who You Should Marry" buzzfeed quiz (I got Pharrell) (buzzfeed.com)

6. This article that takes a Surprising Look at What Sleep Deprivation Does to Your Body - it will change your life or at least your sleeping habits (policymic.com)


TROPICAL STATE OF MIND

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I mentioned this once in a previous post but when I decorated my apartment I just came back from Miami. When I searched for inspiration for my place I noticed it was starting to look a lot like the hotel I stayed in. White everything with specks of colors and very modern art deco pieces. Smack dab in the middle of New York City was my mini Miami apartment, a vacation hideaway I could go to in order to escape the concrete jungle. Playing dress up with your apartment is so much fun! It's also a great idea to switch up this look every couple of years. I'm due for an apartment makeover.  Lately I've been thinking of turning my bedroom into a tropical oasis.

Thinking of doing the same? Here are some pieces that may strike your eye.


1. Mercury Bowl Pineapple Bamboo

2. Plum & Bow Striped Weave Chair

3. Fabric by the Yard: Tangier Frame Print in Driftwood

4. Factory Side Table

5. Magical Thinking Boho Side Table

6. Wesley Bird For DENY Wander Pillow

7. Recycled Plastic Sky Planter

8. Elephant Hook

KENDRA'S FASHION CHALLENGE

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kendra Thornton is a well known travel expert that has been featured on several news channels and shows such as Tyra Banks and Nate Berkus (my dream job). Kendra is planning an upcoming getaway to Miami, Florida with her husband and is in need of some inspiration. Since I love fashion and travel I thought I'd help her out!  Miami is known for its luxury and fashion so I decided to give her two looks that fit that style.
Kendra and her husband are staying at The W South Beach which is probably one of the most popular places on the beach to visit. The hotel has an amazing spa and over 300 feet of gourmet restaurants, shops, private beach and infinity pools. It's located right in the middle of South Beach, which will make it easy to explore and find some interesting boutiques.


She's definitely going to need an outfit that will translate from walking around shopping, to lounging on the beach. I decided to put her in these really cute blue scalloped shorts (similar here) and a simple white top. These comfortable black sandals are also the perfect addition to this outfit, and inside of her bag she can toss a pair of flip flops to swap into before she hits the beach.  Miami is a place where posh is just about synonymous with everything. From the architecture to the little cafes, there are a variety of places to stroll through. I decided to place her in this look because plain jean shorts could appear too casual but I did not want her to look overly dressed up since she wants to look and feel great while she walks around South Beach.

Another part of the trip will likely be spent at the W's spa called Bliss. There's also a gym called SWEAT at the hotel. Since she loves to work out even on vacation, she'll be taking some time off from exploring the city to run and get her workouts in. If you plan on eating a lot during vacation, it's not a bad idea to stick in a 20 minute work out before you get your day started.

Since Kendra wants to completely wow her husband and make his jaw drop with an outfit for a special night out on the town, I decided to put her in this Kim Kardashian inspired outfit. Since Kimmy is the Queen of Miami I thought it would be fitting. Whenever I see the color white I think of Miami! White is a very simple color but worn the correct way, could also be very sexy as well. Since Kendra is also a Mom I didn't want to put her in something too revealing but this clingy white dress is super sexy especially paired with a nude high heeled sandal.

Kendra has a lot of great ideas of things to do while she's in Miami. Here are a few of hers and some more suggestions that she might consider on this trip: 


  • Relaxing on the beach
  • Enjoying a Basketball game
  • Dining at a variety of restaurants
  • Swimming 
  • Shopping
  • Going out dancing or taking a salsa dance class
  • Enjoying a spa
  • Riding on a jet ski 

For more information on Kendra Thornton CLICK HERE and make sure to follow her on TWITTER and like her on Facebook.

I'm going to be traveling to Miami in May and participating in this challenge made 
me super excited for my trip! Do you have any vacation plans coming up? Comment below. 




HEY GIRL CUTE FANNY!

Fanny packs are definitely in style this Summer. You can find them in a variety of styles and prices. I personally like them because I hate carrying a heavy bag. Wearing a fanny pack also makes it easier to carry around my necessities when I am running errands or just hanging out with friends. As long as it can fit my iphone, keys, money and lip balm - I'm golden. I also love these when I am on vacation.


1. ONE by Evan Fanny Pack
2. Wandering Nights Waist Bag
3. Marni Embellished mesh belt bag
4. Tribal Print Fanny Pack
5Back Bay Bicycle Club Belt in Brown

Which one is your favorite? Comment below.

SUMMER FESTIVALS - WHAT PRODUCTS TO PACK

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Have you seen my Music Festival Survival Guide? Great news! I have more really great products tips for you today. Festivals can be a lot of fun but they can also be a bit overwhelming. It's important that you are well prepared for them when you attend. Here are just a few necessary items you should consider bringing with you when you go.




Are you attending any music festivals this year? Made in America tickets just went on sale. 
I went the first year and had so much fun. 


H20 FASHION

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I've been on this super water kick lately. It's important to stay hydrated and since I've been working out and trying to stay healthy I like to drink lots of water. If I could I'd drink a gallon a day I would but honestly I struggle with that (ha). I try to drink as much as I can and sometimes I add a bit of flavor to it. The other day I decided to purchase a traveling water container. I needed one that was going to keep my water cold because I like it SUPER cold. I chose a really cool metallic blue bottle. As I was looking online I saw a lot of really interesting ones. Here are a few of my favorites!


1. Ello Syndicate Glass Water Bottle 
2. Classic Glass Water Bottle
3. Black + Blum Water Bottle 
4. AdNArt Flavour It Glass Water Bottle with Fruit Infuser
5. Ello Thrive Flora Glass Water Bottle

WEEKEND CHRONICLES

Monday, April 14, 2014
I had a great weekend and it was centered around friends and food (not planned). I kicked off the weekend Friday night with my friend Alexis. We were meeting up for drinks but then ended up at one of our favorite spots, Pio Pio. The restaurant is known for its amazing chicken, delicious sangria and this spicy green sauce. Our waiter was so nice he gave me extra green sauce to take home. Boom! This place definitely always gets two thumbs up. Clearly we didn't finish all of this food.


I spent some time on Saturday with my friend Beverly. She just got a new dog, a cutie pie Shar Pei named Sasha. I absolutely am obsessed with Beverly's apartment. It's so cute! Every time I go there I want to go back home and redecorate mine. She has this really cool Bull's Head (don't panic its animal-friendly faux taxidermy) from Z Gallerie because she's a Taurus. I'm also a Taurus and I really want to get this for my place. She has it in her living room and it brings a lot of personality to the room. She recently traveled to Morocco and gifted me this amazing Argan oil. It's supposed to be the best! I've been using it everywhere, my hair and my body and so far I love it. For dinner we went to this seafood market in Harlem and I had the most amazing crab legs. Delish!


Sunday I went with Ariel and Dani to Shopsins in the city. Shopsins is this insane restaurant with a million items on the menu. No joking, look at the image below. It's a tiny little shop. I was excited about going because it's on my New York food bucket list. Lately, I've been doing a really great job tackling this list which makes me excited. This restaurant sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. They have a lot of really unusual combinations. The one I decided to try was the mac n' cheese pancakes. I thought you might find that odd so I found this video for you to watch! 


I prefer eating healthy. I try to avoid bread when possible, I eat a lot of vegetables and mostly fish and some chicken. This weekend I wanted to splurge and boy did I. I can honestly say it was delicious but when I got home I was so exhausted. It was way too heavy.  I don't normally look forward to work outs but I am looking forward to mine tomorrow (ha!). I started the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred again. Usually in the Spring/Summer I get focused on eating well and working out. I've already started seeing great results and it motivates me to keep going.




Overall it was a great weekend. I enjoyed talking to my friends about a variety of things going on in our lives and things we want in the future. I am very appreciative that I have these women in my life to lean on for support.

I hope that you had a fantastic weekend as well!


TRAVEL SITE OF THE MONTH: TRAVEL NOIRE

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April's travel site of the month goes to ... Travel Noire. I discovered this site through Instagram.  Travel Noire is a beautifully designed platform featuring cultivated insights from a global community of black travelers. Created for the urban explorer. The site has done an excellent job at capturing images of travelers from all across the world as they embark on exciting adventures and share with us their experiences through photos. It's exciting to search the hashtag #travelnoire and see the various locations and images that splash on screen. From Africa to India to Hawaii to Monaco, the images are endless. 

Travel Noire highlights a variety of different destinations, and spotlights everything from food, to style, culture and more. The site also offers helpful information for the average traveler as well.


The site recently organized a google+ chat for followers that are interested in learning how to get paid to travel around the world. The video discussion offered a lot of helpful information. In case you missed it and would be interested in learning more, click here.

Do you have a favorite travel site? Comment below.

LINKS YOU'LL LOVE

Friday, April 11, 2014



THIS WEEK'S LINKS YOU'LL LOVE LIST

1. Did you know Jergens has a BB Cream for the body? (http://makeupbykim-porter.com/blog/)

2. This recipe for Cardamom French Toast (http://dinnerwithdeems.com)

3. This video on How To Dress for Music Festivals (youtube.com/theplatform)

4. Two guys cover Beyonce's entire album in this video and it's AMAZING (time.com)

5. This amazing company dedicated to music lovers (songkick.com)

6. This Urban Outfitters inspired Buzzfeed List (one of my favorite stores) (Buzzfeed.com)

7. Love, love, this H&M biker jacket (http://www.hm.com/)


MY BANGIN' NEW HAIR DO

Thursday, April 10, 2014
LOOK! I got bangs. I've been feeling anxious about a new look lately but I haven't quite committed to the idea of chopping too much of my hair off.
Actually I didn't cut my hair at all. Want bangs but don't want to cut your own hair? Well, it's easy! You can use clip in extensions to cut and create "fake bangs" to achieve this look just like I did. Remember the recent post I did on Bella Strands Clip In Hair Extensions? Well, I simply took one of the smaller pieces and cut them to create bangs, clipped them in and ta-da! It's very easy and I didn't have to commit to cutting my own hair and worrying that I wouldn't like my new look. If you can't make your own, no sweat. Companies like Bellami Hair are offering bangs ready to go. You can purchase either a side sweep or Cleopatra.


Actress Katie Holmes recently brought back her bangs. She's tried a variety of looks over the years but I can say that bangs on Katie is definitely one of my favorites. If you aren't ready to commit fully to this new look then definitely consider the fake version.

FREE STUFF ON YOUR BIRTHDAY

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My friend Rana has been asking me to do this post for the longest! Since my Birthday is on the 29th I've decided it's time. Here you go! 



STUFF YOU CAN GET FOR FREE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY:
  • IHOP has a program called the Pancake Revolution that offers a free meal on your birthday. Unlike a lot of my friends, I love IHOP pancake. I'd gladly ring in a new year there! 
  • If you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider, you get a free gift! This is obviously one of my favorites. 
  • Free admission to Medieval Times! All you have to do is join the King’s Court. I must admit, I've always wanted to try this (despite the fact that I have zero interest in eating a giant turkey leg). Members of the King's Birthday Fellowship program receive one free admission that can be used during the week of their birthday. One full-priced adult admission required. Some restrictions apply.
  • Starbucks Rewards members receive a free drink. On your big day enjoy a drink or treat, plus a coupon for 15% off a purchase at StarbucksStore.com.
  • Not into Starbucks? Well, Dunkin’ Donuts, will give you a free coffee too
  • Who doesn't like free ice cream? Grab a scoop from Baskin-Robbins for free when you sign up for their Birthday Club
  • Au Bon Pain eClub members can grab a free sandwich or salad on their birthday. Must be 18 years or older to join.
  • Smashbox! Sign up for their rewards program and receive free beauty products during the month of your birthday!
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill will give you a free Birthday burrito! (Chipotle should do this!!!) Sign up for a free cup of queso and a free burrito on your birthday.
  • I'm personally not a fan of these donuts but hey, I'll still share the knowledge. Sign up at Krispy Kreme and you can get a free doughnut and small coffee on your birthday.
  • It's rumored that Joe's Crab Shack will give you a free appetizer on your birthday but you have to sign up to receive the information 
  • Aveda will give you a free gift with a $25 value as long as you sign up for the Birthday program
  • Join the Chef's Table at Benihana and you'll get a $30 gift card. That's a lot of money off! 
  • CVS’ Extra Care Beauty Club will give $3 on your birthday. Plus, you should join anyway because you'll also get 10% off beauty shopping pass after enrollment, $5 ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 spent on qualifying beauty purchases, and exclusive emails with coupons, tips and new product info.
  • Not available at all Benefit Beauty Brow Bar locations but some offer a free brow service on your birthday. Call in advance to find out if your location offers this service

If you are also celebrating a Birthday coming up, Happy Early Birthday! 
Did I miss some? Share below. 


WEEKEND CHRONICLES


On a typical New York weekend my mornings are spent doing a chore around the home. Either cleaning or organizing my closet. I'm generally up extremely early (no later than 10AM) not purposely, if I could I would. I'm a super morning person who finds it difficult to sleep in, even on nights when I've been out late. After I'm done doing my chores I'll run an errand. On Sunday's I typically enjoy going to brunch. This past weekend, I went to Sotto 14 in the city which hosts a fabulous tapas style brunch (menu). For $29 per person you can enjoy a "Boozy Brunch" which includes tapas or pizza plus unlimited brunch cocktails. This restaurant also has a DIY Prosecco Bar. The concept allows Brunchers to become their own mixologists with a bottle of prosecco and a tray of five mixers, including signature fresh juices, liqueurs and toss-ins like candied ginger, fresh berries and more. 


We ordered the cacio e pepe which is a soft scrambled egg with cacio cheese and cracked black pepper. The egg benedict with rosemary ham and hollandaise. Sounds crazy but it was my first time trying a poached egg. For something sweet, we ordered the french toast with berry compote and vermont maple syrup. And topping off the list was the baked crespelle with baby spinach, ricotta cheese, tomato and bechamel sauce. For sides we got the applewood smoked bacon, and crispy rosemary potatoes with red peppers and parmigiano cheese. Seems like a lot of food huh? It was just enough!


Too bad we didn't have room for dessert because they had these fabulous warm bomboloni “fried doughnut holes” with warm nutella-chocolate sauce. I never have room for dessert which is one of my favorite parts of dining. I think next time I'd order the donuts first as an appetizer so I can make sure to fit it in.


It's still cold in New York. Enough already, it's April! It's also very rainy. I must admit I do love dressing for the Fall/Winter more than the Summer but I wish the weather would improve. I love to layer up, wear hats, coats, and a scarf. I'm going to miss my bin of beanies but I'm sure my hair could use a break from it. Speaking of hair, did you read my post about the new product I'm loving? Click Here to learn about this fabulous new hair oil that's making my hair less frizzy and is adding shine.


After brunch I stopped by the Everyday People's Brunch in Harlem hosted by Chef Roble. Great for people watching. A lot of fabulous fashion by the men and women as well. A lot of networking and meeting new people which is what I love most about New York. Another thing I love about New York is the street art.

Can you guess who this is an image of? Comment below. 

AWAPUHI STYLING TREATMENT OIL REVIEW

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Voted Best of Beauty in 2011 by Allure Magazine, Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment Oil is definitely a show stopper. I was introduced to the product this weekend by my friend Rana. Remember when I did a profile on her for my Beauty and Fashion Talk feature? click here. Rana washed her hair and then blew it out, applied some of the treatment oil, curled her hair and then applied more oil at the end. The before and after picture is below.

Doesn't that look amazing? The product is supposed to smooth and add shine and as you can see from the photo above it does just that. Applying oil to your hair can be scary because some oils can weigh it down and make it feel "greasy." Fortunately, Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment Oil is transparent and colorless, with a strong ginger scent and does not weigh down the hair. The best part about this product is the smell. It's amazing! After applying some to her hair, Rana applied a tiny dime size amount to mine. My hair instantly looked less frizzy and looked a lot more vibrant.


Key Ingredients:

Dimethiconol, isoeicosane, PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate, hydrogenated castor oil/sebacic acid copolymer, and awapuhi wild ginger extract (condition and tame frizz)

I just ordered mine from amazon.com! I can't wait for it to arrive. Do you have a favorite styling treatment oil? Comment below.

THE BODY SHOP TEA TREE OIL REVIEW


Tea Tree oil is amazing. Have you tried it yet? This product is targeted care for blemished skin and can be used direct on the skin or for facial steaming. Tea Tree Oil is my secret recipe for clearer looking skin. You can purchase it in organic stores such as Whole Foods, but they also sell an excellent line of tea tree oil at The Body Shop for $9.50. If you suffer from breakouts, skin irritation, or excess skin oil, then you should consider using tea tree oil in your daily skin regimen. Are you struggling with your skin? click here to check out a few more skin care recommendations.



What's so great about Tea Tree Oil?
One of the things I love the most about this product is that it has many uses. It can be used as an anti-fungal for treating Athlete’s Foot and eczema, an antiseptic to be used on cuts and burns, add a few drops in the bath for improved skin all of your body, add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion, add a small amount when washing your hair to treat dry scalp. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:
Water, Alcohol Denat., Polysorbate 60, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Limonene, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, t-Butyl Alcohol, Citral, Leptospermum Petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil, Denatonium Benzoate, Tocopherol.

The Body Shop - Tea Tree Oil: 

Pros:
- Soothing
- Does not dry out skin
- Reduces blemishes
- Reduces redness
- Great for travel
- Great for oily skin
- Multiple uses

Cons:
- Small bottle
- Strong smell

Final thoughts: This product is great and I highly recommend it. I personally don't think it smells strong but I also do not have a strong sense of smell. Tiny drops can go a long way, do not use a ton of this product. Apply in oily areas or areas where you are more than likely to break out for improved skin. I very rarely have a breakout and this product has allowed me to have consistently clear skin.

Do you have a favorite skin care product? Comment below.

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