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TRAVEL BUCKET LIST: HELLO MIAMI

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Welcome to Miami. I traveled to sunny Miami to celebrate my cousin's 30th Birthday. I stayed in the Presidential Suite at the Hilton Bentley. This two floor, two bedroom 278 sq. m./3,500 sq. ft. suite has panoramic ocean views. Each of the two king bedrooms features marble bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, walk-in closets and private oceanfront terraces. A kitchen, dining and living room, and extra half bathroom complete this space and make it an unforgettable setting. The suite was completely digital and we used an ipad to operate everything from the temperature, to lighting or even controlling the music.


 I was very excited for this trip because it had rained frequently in New York, and I was looking forward to lounging at the Hilton Bentley's private beach, which offered food and beverage service.


My favorite part was the spiral staircase that led up to the most outstanding feature of the penthouse - a 1500 sq. ft. split-level roof top terrace with private whirlpool, overlooking South Beach. 


Sunday was the highlight of the vacation. We boarded a sprinter and partied on our way to our Yacht charter for the day. 
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The on board staff served us drinks and prepared a delicious BBQ meal, capping off the night with fresh fruit and pastries. 


When we weren't sunbathing, we took a dip in the yacht's jacuzzi and
got fancy by jumping off of the ship into the water! click here to watch the video.





I was decked out in full H&M this day rocking a cute black romper and sandals. 


Before leaving Miami Airport, I found a cafe and took a gamble on this crab cake sandwich which ended up being a great idea! It was delicious. 


I had a wonderful time in Miami and I'm looking forward to going back for another quick getaway. What's your favorite quick getaway location? Comment below. 

RAW SHEA BUTTER RECONSTRUCTIVE FINISHING ELIXIR REVIEW

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the winter my hair can get dry. I decided to pick up SheaMoisture's Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir to prepare my hair  for the colder weather. This intensely moisturizing and penetrating all-natural oil treatment repairs and strengthens hair. It helps with dry and/or damaged hair and helps to control frizz while adding brilliant shine. I've been using this product for about three weeks now and so far I love it. I think most people fear that using an oil in your hair will cause it to be greasy/oily. I am happy to report that this light oil does not leave a greasy oily residue on your hair or hands. My hair looks vibrant and healthy and full of life. I love to use this oil to massage on my scalp and I'm excited to use it in the future as a hot oil treatment for conditioning. This product does have a soft scent but I think that it smells really nice.  See below for my complete breakdown of this product.


How To Use It:
I apply it on my hair about every other day but depending on your hair you should do what's best for you. I like to spray two pumps of it in the palm of my hand and then I massage it on my scalp and then focus on my ends. It makes my hair soft, smooth, and frizz free!  

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir:
Pros:
- Made with natural and certified organic ingredients
- Great for all hair types especially thick hair 
- May be used with a plastic cap and moderate heat
- May also be used as a leave-in hair treatment
- Sea Kelp provides mineral-rich nutrition which seals and smoothes the hair cuticle
- Argan Oil restores shine while helping promote hair elasticity
- Shea Butter deeply moisturizes while conditioning hair and scalp
- Provides shine, reduces the appearance of frizz 
- Affordable, 4 fl oz is $10 at Target, available at most drug stores 

Cons:
- I honestly didn't find anything negative about this product. Overall it suits well with my needs. 

Final thoughts:  I love this product and I'm happy that I decided to try it out. If you have dry scalp or suffer from dry hair in the winter, you may want to consider using this. If you have an oily scalp or a lot of oil build up then this may not be the best product for you. 

Do you have a favorite Shea Moisture product? Comment below.

THE ALL WHITE PARTY IN BROOKLYN

Monday, October 13, 2014

Delayed post but this Summer I attended a very cool Pop Up Dinner in Brooklyn. I can came across a deal on Gilt.com to attend this event and thought it sounded a lot like the popular dinner en blanc series they have across the world.  Organized by Handmade Events in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, the pop up event was a huge success! Thousands of guests socialized with each other, enjoyed food and drinks, and entertainment by Ben Folds, a live jazz performance, and a DJ set that included dancing (on table and chairs - click here to watch).

The hardest part of the event was preparing! Luckily Handmade events provided us with tables and chairs (unlike dinner en blanc) but...we had to bring all of our own decorations, food, drinks, etc. I was so impressed by the amazing table decorations and fashion choices by the other attendees. The hardest part was carrying everything to the venue which was situated in the middle of a park. Luckily it was a beautiful day and once we were all settled it turned out to be a fabulous event.



So, I'm not a huge fan of white clothing because I'm quite clumsy and I sometimes spill things on my clothes. Other than just a white blouse, I don't really own anything white (skirt, pants, dress) and wanted to pick up something fast and affordable. I decided to check out H&M and found this really cute affordable white lace dress and purchased a festive floral headpiece to go with it. 






As a dessert my friend skewered fruit and made a delicious chocolate dipping sauce to pair it with. 





For this look I used the anastasia brow pomade on my eyebrows in chocolate.




TRICKS THAT HELP YOU GO FROM 0 TO 100 REAL QUICK!

Friday, October 10, 2014


So when I get home from a long day of work sometimes my mind is still racing thinking about my work day or just pondering my life plan. I do a few things to help myself relax and these tips just may help you as well. Enjoy! 

1. Enjoy the silence. No TV, no phone, no computer, no nada. Just sit on the couch for 20 minutes. Have some time for yourself, sit back and relax. Think about things that happened that was positive that day. Think about any exciting things coming up ahead. The reason why I enjoy planning things in advance is so that I always have something to look forward to so if I'm looking forward to going back home or on an exciting vacation I sit and think about that.

2. Make some tea. I don't know what it is about tea but it immediately calms me. It helps me to feel really relaxed. My grandparents enjoy drinking decaf coffee in the evening, I'm more of a coffee in the morning, tea at night kind of girl. Fun fact: drinking ginger tea after a meal helps you digest your food better.

3. Work out! Working out helps clear your mind. You are so focused on what you are doing sometimes you forget what is happening around you. It gets your energy pumping and allows you to feel good (when it's all over). It's a great way to put in some tough work and to see a reward in the end. Anytime I begin a new work out regiment I like taking before photos and progress photos so I can see the success I'm making. Being a witness to your own success is a great motivator for you to continue working hard.

4. Update your vision board or write in your journal at night. I talked about vision boards on here before, click here. Oh, I LOVE vision boards. Not only do they allow you to put your hopes and dreams in perspective but it's a great thing for you to see daily to remind you to stay focused. I started a new vision board just recently and believe it or not some things on it have already come true.

5. Go to bed early. I say this but I actually never do it haha. We all know that getting extra sleep or as much sleep as possible is important to maintain a healthier life. It's great for your body and mind and it will give you that extra energy boost to get through the very next day.

6. The power of prayer! Everyone is different so some may not agree but I personally believe in the power of prayer. I also enjoy reading books like Joel Osteen's Everyday A Friday to keep me in a positive mindset. The title comes from research that shows people are happiest on Fridays. Pastor Joel Osteen writes how we can generate this level of contentment and joy every day of the week. If you are looking for a great new book to read, I highly suggest it.

What are some of the things that you do to stay positive, maintain high energy, and stay happy? comment below.

IMPRESS PRESS-ON MANICURE BY BROADWAY NAILS

Thursday, October 9, 2014
All Summer I tested the Impress Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails. These super affordable press-on's which range from $5.99 to $7.99 can be found at drug stores like Walgreens, CVS and Target (locations). When I think of press on nails I think of this scene from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. 



Classic! So, I was never really a big fan of them until I was able to test them out recently. Press-On nails have both positive and negative attributes and I'm going to break them down but first check out some of the nails that I wore this Summer.


How To Use It:
When the nails arrived they came in this cute little fake "nail polish" container. You'll get enough to use them more than one time and trust me you'll need it because when one falls off you'll need another to replace it. The package comes with a tiny nail file and a wet wipe to clean your nails. The first time I did this I failed miserably. I applied them in the morning and by the evening I lost about four of them. My second time trying I decided to use a nail buffer to real smooth out my nail to prep them. Then I filed them a bit to get the shape just right and then I used the wet wipe to really clean them. Once I had super fresh nails I carefully selected the best press-on to fit my nail size. It's very important that you use the right nail size otherwise they may look a bit funny. The first time I did this I also put the nails on the wrong way! (see: the multi-colored nail photo above) the top of press-on where your cuticle is should be flat and not lifted up.  Once you've removed the plastic strip on the press-on and pressed the fake nail on to your nail, hold it firmly in place so that it really sticks on. Apply some pressure! It took a few whirls but eventually I got the hang of it and it wasn't that bad! For the majority of the time the nails did stay on for up to a week! Depending on how active you are with your hands they should last. Would I suggest playing flag football? cleaning out your closet? or gardening with them on? No, more than likely one will fall off. Though, I was able to wash my hair and put my hand under water without the nail falling off. The adhesive will work as long as you really push it down on your nail.

Some may find it annoying for a nail to occasional fall off but for $5.99 press-on's are a quick little solution when you just don't have time (or the money) to get your nails done professionally. I often wore my press-on nails right before an event or out for an outing with friends and even once on a date. I enjoyed wearing them because I could switch up my nails every week. When you get your nails done professional you are pretty much stuck with that same look until it fades away. Some may think the adhesive would cause damage to my nail but surprisingly my nails got healthier during this process. I was finally able to give them a break from gels and polish and by filing and buffing them weekly they looked shiny, long and healthy. Hey!!!!

Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails:
Pros:
- Nails come in a variety of lengths 
- Super affordable and accessible in most drug stores
- Easy, fun solution to switching up your look 
- Improved nail quality, get healthier and longer nails 
- Nails come in a variety of looks - fun, funky to sophisticated 

Cons:
- Only lasts less than a week

Final thoughts:  Great product! I'm hooked. I don't wear these all of the time but they are fun to pop on (literally) when I want some cute nails for the week. Most people wouldn't be able to tell just by looking that they are press-ons. Great quality! 

Next, I'm testing out the press on PEDICURE! Would you wear Press-on nails?
Comment below why or why not. 

Disclosure: The products were provided to me by a PR company but the opinions of the products are my own. 

WEEKEND CHRONICLES

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
I recently endured the painful experience of getting my wisdom teeth removed (three to be exact). I definitely didn't think Beyonce was going to pick me up after my appointment like this guy, but luckily for me my Mother traveled from Boston to save the day, and nurse me back to health (because I'm a bit of a drama Queen). Before this painful procedure we splurged on a yummy dinner at Root & Bone. I first discovered Root & Bone on instagram. Instagram is actually where I discover most of the New York City restaurants, bakeries, and what have not's that I want to check out. The Executive Chef at Root & Bone is Jeff McInnis who you may recognize from his time on Top Chef (my mom and I love that show and this year they are in Boston, YAY). 


If you go to Root & Bone you must try the chicken (obviously) and I also suggest the waffle fries. Since I'm a BIG fries connoisseur please take my word that they are delicious especially because they come with a chunky remoulade. When it comes to fries I love something to dip them into and that sauce was AMAZING!


Of course we had to order the southern style cornbread with whipped buttermilk cream & house-made preserve. I'm not a big berry preserve person but it was actually quite good and you can tell that its made with fresh berries. The cornbread was delicious and the tiny flakes of thyme gave it a really great flavor.


Root & Bone only accepts reservations for large groups so if you are going on a date or with a friend I suggest showing up early. We arrived around 6:30PM and it was a 45min to an hour wait for two people on a Thursday night. The staff there is amazing, super nice! The hostess was lovely and I'm
definitely going to return to check out their brunch menu.


You know ... one of the reasons I adore H&M is because they ALWAYS have a sale going on! They always have some sort of discount, buy one get one, or something and that's what keeps me going back. A few months ago they had a huge Winter sale and I scored this really cute black dress for (drum roll) 10 bucks! It was originally around 60 and I loved the cut at the top. Even though the dress was a size 4 and I typically wear a 6 I bought it anyway. I figured if I couldn't fit it then I only lost 10 bucks, luckily for me I must have shed some pounds because I managed to squeeze myself into this number for a Birthday party event. 


Are you ready for the Fall? I can't believe it's almost Halloween.

LIZ EARLE CLEANSE & POLISH HOT CLOTH CLEANSER REVIEW

Recently in my Birchbox I got a real winner from Liz Earle! The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser was immediately appealing to me. Lets talk about luxury! Instead of traveling to a spa Liz delivers the spa experience by providing you with a cloth along with its cleanser. Their original, multi award-winning hot cloth cleanser quickly removes daily grime and make up to leave skin clean, soft and radiant. This product is ideal for your morning or evening cleanse, and works on every age and skin type, offering concentrated yet gentle cleansing power.

The plant-based cleanser has a two-phase action. Phase one is the cleansing. Free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make up, even stubborn mascara. Phase two is the polishing. Polish off the cream using the pure muslin cloth to gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin. Naturally active ingredients include eucalyptus and cocoa butter for smoother, cleaner skin.


How To Use It:
First I use a makeup remover wipe to get rid of any makeup or access dirt. Then I like to massage one or two pumps of the cleanser onto my dry skin all over face. I rinse the pure muslin cloth in warm to hot water and wring out before gently wiping off the cream from my face. I rinse one last time with cold water and I'm all done. 

Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser:
Pros:
- Suitable for all skin types 
- Useful for morning or evening cleanse
- Additional clothes are available for $6 each 
- Affordable online for $24.50 
- Improves skin, less breakouts and helps reduce oil build up 

Cons:
- Only available online, shipping fee
- Cloth can eventually get dirty its important you clean it and purchase extra cloths

Final thoughts:  Great product! Helps to improve the skin and reduces breakouts.  I'm not use to applying cleanser to a dry face, so it was a new experience. By massaging the product on my skin I think it really gave it a "deep" cleaning. My skin had a glow after using this product and I think it also assisted in reducing my dark under eye circles. 

Have you tried any of the other products from Liz Earle? Comment below.

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