Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Ahead

1. Take More & Take Better Pictures
I want to remember to take more pictures.  I want to remind myself to not feel embarrassed or dumb when I photograph something random or take a million pictures for here.  I also want to use my digital camera as opposed to my phone & get better with handling it so I can take better pictures.

2. Collaborate
I want to collaborate, work with, & meet more bloggers.  Everyone I've met through blogging so far has been amazing & I've had a blast working with a few girls.  These experiences have made me only want to continue this & I am excited to share a few things that I have coming up!

3. Explore
I want to explore with new fashion, beauty looks, crafts, & recipes.  And I want to share all of this here - the good, the bad, the hits, & the misses.  My goal this year is to be more fearless with all of this & to document everything along the way.

4. Grow
I want to grow this blog & do great things with it.  I want to work hard & feel rewarded for it.  I want more followers.  I want more interaction.  I love this space so much & want it to grow so I can share it with as many people as I can.

5. Get More Personal
I started this blog as a place to talk about fashion, beauty, crafting, & cooking, but have slowly began letting my readers get to know me.  I am a deeply private person & fiercely guard my privacy, which is not always best.  Through writing this & reading other blogs I've learned that the blogging community is a very supportive community that I would like to share more with, so that you all can really get to know the true me.  In the coming year I will share more about my life & work to be more open here.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

My Best of 2013

I've searched high & low, & worked very hard to bring you my 'Best of 2013' list!

Best Female Celebrity
Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is a fabulous trendsetter who had a whirlwind year with multiple hit movies, an Oscar, & numerous other awards.  It's no surprise that his year everyone (including me!) was crazy about Jen.  

Best Male Celebrity
Justin Timberlake
Justin came out with a new album, toured the country, won awards, made People's Sexiest Man Alive list, & most notably reunited with 'NSYNC.  All of this only furthered my love of JT, making this choice a no branier.

Best Celebrity Kid
Flynn Bloom
With a supermodel Mama & a hunky Dad, there was no question that Flynn was going to be cute, but his adorable looks coupled with his sweet disposition takes his cuteness to another level.

Best Celebrity Family
The Cambridges
You may remember how excited I was when Baby George was born, I love the Royals & the three of them make the perfect little family.

Best Dresses
 -Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta at the Oscars in Los Angeles.
-Kate Hudson in Alexander McQueen at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills.
-Jessica Alba in Reem Acra at the Baby2Baby Gala in Culver City, CA.
-Amanda Seyfried in Zac Posen at the SAG Awards in Los Angeles.
-Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture at the Oscars in Los Angeles.

-Kate Middleton in Jenny Packham at the Conservation Awards Gala in London.
-Jennifer Garner in Vivienne Westwood Couture at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills.
-Taylor Swift in Reem Acra at the Winter Whites Gala in London.
-Rose Byrne in Calvin Klein at the Emmys in Los Angeles.
-Elizabeth Banks in Elie Saab at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in Berlin.

Best Dressed
Miranda Kerr
From the red carpet to her street style Miranda Kerr always looks fabulous; this year has been a big one in fashion for her as she amped up her style & everyone took notice.

Best Maternity Style
Kate Middleton
The alway chic Kate dressed her baby bump in some of the most stylish maternity wear out there.

Best Celebrity Wedding
John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
John & Chrissy's lavish wedding in Lake Como, Italy boasted a star studded guest list & 3 different Vera Wang gowns!

Best Royal Moment
Birth of Baby George
This was definitely the highlight of the year for the Royal Family.

Best Fashion Trend
Through all the seasons leather has prevailed & is here to stay.  Celebs have worn leather tops, dresses, pants, jackets, & more, each looking fabulous & putting their own spin on the leather trend.

Best Shoe Trend
Ankle Strap Heels
This simple & classic style was everywhere in 2013; a variety of celebs wore ankle strap heels in a variety of colors.

Best Lip Trend
Wine Colored
From the runway to the red carpet, everyone was rocking this pretty shade on their lips.

Best Eye Trend
Bold Brows
This trend was inspired by celebs & models like Cara Delevingne & Lily Collins, these statement making brows are the epitome of glamour right now.

Best Facial Trend
Skin All Aglow
This was a big trend on the runways for Spring 2013 & is one that celebrities have mimicked.  Glowing skin is always chic & something we should all strive for.

Best Haircut
Jennifer Aniston
This was definitely the best & most buzzed about cut of the year.  Jen's hair looks gorgeous no matter what, but I was happy to see her change it a little after having the same hairstyle for such a long time.

Best Hairstyle
Braids have been all over in 2013.  It is a simple hairstyle that has been taken to another level by celebrities with their intricate styles & patterns that we have all been scrambling to recreate.

Chic Trend: Matching Crop Top & High Waisted Skirt
This was my most viewed fashion post of the year & there is no wonder why since this ├╝ber stylish trend was super popular this year.

What's In My: Makeup Bag
My most popular beauty post gave everyone an inside look into what makeup I have & use!

Friendship Bracelets
This tutorial on how to make the very popular Rainbow Loom Bracelets is my most viewed post to date.

Healthy Smoothie
My recipe for a healthy smoothie was my most popular recipe of 2013.

About Me
Santa Claus Came to Town
My most popular personal post was from only a few days ago, when I shared what Santa brought me for Christmas.

What are some of your 'Best of 2013' picks?

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Year in Pictures

This year has been a bit of a roller-coaster.  Like every year it's had it's ups & it's down, but as an optimist I like to focus on the ups.  Looking back 12 months I've grown & learned so much, met so many amazing people & made friends that will last a lifetime.  I have pushed my boundaries & gone out of my comfort zone to do great things.  Starting this blog has been one of my best decisions & I truly enjoy writing here each day.  I've fallen in love with blogging & blogland.  I seriously cannot believe I've been doing this for 6 months.  I am looking forward to what blogging has in store for me.  I am also looking forward to sharing with everyone the things I will be doing in the new year.  However before we look forward into 2014 let's take a minute to recap 2013.  
{Disclaimer: Please excuse the quality of these pictures, it's awful & most of them are from pre-blogging days!}

January is my birthday month, which is why I love it!  It's a good thing that I also love the the snow because it snows every year for my birthday.  I turned 21 this year , unfortunately I did not have that crazy wild 21st birthday that everyone dreams of.  I had surgery in the beginning of January, & missed the first week of second semester; my first day back to school was my birthday.  I was exhausted that night & didn't go out, one of my best friends came & had dinner & wine with me though which was fun.  I was supposed to go to dinner the weekend after, but a snow/ice storm stopped that so I spent the night hanging out in my apartment with my friends.  I honestly didn't mind not having the crazy birthday, I was so exhausted from the surgery that I didn't need something else to make me tired!  Also all of my friends were great & made everything so much fun for me, regardless of the change of plans!

In February I made the decision to interview to join a new sorority on campus, Alpha Gamma Delta.  (I wore the pretty bow tights on my interview!)  A few days after my interview I accepted a bid to be a founding member of our school's chapter.  Being part of a new chapter has been a crazy ride, but I love it & wouldn't want it any other way.  In February, I also moved into a new apartment on campus because of roommate issues.  My new apartment was interesting, as I moved in with 3 girls I had never met before.  Two of the girls were really weird, but I made did make an amazing friend in the third girl who I had a great time living with!  The top right picture is from a crazy night at a bar in Philly.  Right after I moved my sister came to visit to celebrate her birthday, & one of my friends & I took her out, which is the bottom left.

March was a busy month for me.  I planned a sorority bonding event with a committee I was assigned to, that went really well.  Next, my cousin got married on St. Patricks Day, which was a blast!  I came home from school for the weekend to celebrate & attend the wedding.  She looked so pretty & I love the picture of my sister & I with her.  Finally we ended the month with Easter & all the fun festivities that come with that!

April was my sorority initiation & our chapter instillation, which was so exciting.  Initiation was such a cool experience that really brought me close to my sisters.  We also had our first formal, which was so so so much fun!  I spent the end of the month hanging out (& hitting the bars) with my friends who were graduating.

May was an emotional month.  A little over a week after I finished school my cousin passed away; this was a trying time, but we all know that he is in a better place.  Before my cousin passed my sister & I had planned a trip to Florida.  My cousin's death was very hard on my mom, so we convinced her that she had to come with us to cheer up.  This trip was just what we all needed, it was so relaxing & happy.  We stayed with my Dad's brother who lives in a condo community that is exactly like a hotel, it was so cool.  I had never been to Disney World before (I had been to Disneyland though!), so we took 2 days out of our trip to go to Epcot & Magic Kingdom.  We had a blast there & 2 days was the perfect amount of time to spend there, not too much or too little.  It was such an amazing vacation.

In the beginning of June I had surgery again so I had to lay low for most of the month.  There were two things that I really wanted to do though & was happy I made it to them.  My sister graduated from high school at the end of the month, which was so exciting.  It was a great time for all of us to celebrate her accomplishment.  The other thing I wanted to do was to go be an Orientation Counselor for a summer program I had done at school the summer before I was a freshmen.  It's always fun to meet the new freshmen & to get to hang out with some of my friends. {Sorry these pictures are AWFUL.}

July was a little slow because I was still resting from my surgery.  It was a great month though because my best friend of forever came to visit, which I was so excited about.  She usually spends the entire summer in New Jersey, but after she graduated in May she started all year round physical therapy graduate school that I am so proud of her for!  We got to hang out & hit the bars together, it was great!  In July I also went to a crazy 1st Birthday Party for the triplets that my sister babysits for.  These kids are too precious & my sister & I had so much fun picking out their presents.

August always means the end of summer.  Thankfully I didn't start school until the end of the month so I got some extra time at home.  In the beginning of the month we hosted my sister's graduation party, which everyone enjoyed.  About a week after that my sister, bff, & I went on a day trip to NYC, which was a blast.  I'm not much of a beach person, but I did make it there once before I left.  Finally I headed back to school at the end of the month!

I had so much going on in September!  I spent a lot of time with my sorority sisters from charity events to family dinners.  We even held our first open recruitment & gave bids to 6 amazing girls.  At the end of the month we had our Grab-a-Date that I had a great time at!  It was a jam-packed & fun month!

October was a really good month.  I started it off at my sister's school's Family Weekend.  It was cool to walk around her campus & meet some of her friends that I hadn't previously met.  They also had a beer garden, which was awesome!  My Dad & I got to have a beer together at lunch.  The following weekend I headed home for October Break, this is always the perfect time for a break because it is half way through the semester.  While home my Mom & I headed to NYC one day & had an amazing time.  After break it was the start of basketball season, which means Hoopsmania.  Hoopsmania is one of the most fun events of the year!  Finally I ended the month by going to a big Halloween bash at a club in Philadelphia.

November was a more chill month for me.  We initiated our 6 new members, & I loved going through the initiation ceremony again, it's so incredible.  A week or so after that, one of my very talented sorority sisters took amazing photos of me for my About Me page.  Last, it was my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving, which was a great way to finish the month.

All of this leads up to this month, which I cannot believe is almost over.  I made my apartment holiday festive with my pink tree.  I had my sorority formal that was so fun.  I also made it through finals, which is the most amazing feeling ever.  To wrap up the month I baked Christmas cookies like crazy!  Christmastime is definitely the most wonderful time of the year.

This sums up the short version of my year.  I love having so many pictures to relive memories, it's crazy how looking at one can remind you of something you completely forgot about.  It's also really cool to go back through all the pictures like this & see all the things I did this year.  As I mentioned I have really grown & I am so thankful for being blessed with another year.  

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

NYE Outfit Inspiration: Sequin Dresses

Untitled #40
Bottom:  Akira  /  Boohoo  /  Missguided  /  Akira Black Label  /  Forever 21

Nothing says New Year's Eve like a little sparkly dress.  I've searched high & low for 10 perfect options that each cost under $50!  I love all of them, but my two favorites are the first on the bottom {Akira} & the center on the bottom {Missguided}.  No matter which you like, you will ring in the New Year in style with any of these!

What are your plans for NYE?

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Santa Claus Came to Town

So I'm still a little tired from the holidays & am really enjoying break & getting to relax.  Yesterday I had shared this photo & promised to show what was in all the boxes!  Santa was very good to me this year, & I am so thankful to my parents, especially my Mom (AKA Santa) for that.  She outdoes herself every year, which is so amazing of her.  I tried to organize the gifts into categories because I like everything organized I'm crazy, don't judge me.

Christmas Hello Kitty {Ty Beanie Baby}
This cutie did not really fit into any of my categories so she got one of her own.  If you know me then you know I love Hello Kitty.  I decorate my apartment for every holiday & I have 2 Halloween Hello Kittys, & now 2 Christmas Hello Kittys.  They are so festive!


Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System {Limited Edition Pink}
I have been wanting one of these so badly & was very excited to get it!  It's a more wallet friendly alternative to the pricey Clarisonic brush.  I was even more happy that my Mom got me a pink one, I didn't even know it came like that!  I already used it last night to wash my face & it is amazing.  [This was #2 on my Skincare Gift Guide!]

(Left to Right)
Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Triple Moisture Body Cream in Warm Vanilla Sugar
I love this cream & it's scent.  It will keep me moisturized & smelling yummy this winter!
Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Golden Sugar Scrub in Warm Vanilla Sugar
This pairs great with the above cream, & smells just as good.  I was thrilled to get this because I needed a new scrub.
Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Body Lotion in Vanilla Bean Noel
This lighter lotion is only available at the holidays & has always been one of my favorites.
Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Super Rich Hand Cream - Lay It On Thick
I go through hand cream like water & the True Blue ones are some of my favorites.  This one has added shea butter, which will really help prevent dry winter hands!

Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don't Stray in Light/Medium

Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing in 01 Light

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder in #1
I wasn't happy with the concealer & powder I was using under my eyes & how I was applying it.  I have dark circles that do not go away & make me feel self conscious.  I felt like I was just caking on makeup & it was beginning to show in pictures.  I really wanted to go to Sephora to have one of the makeup artists help me find better products & show me a more effective way to apply them.  One day my Mom & I went there, & had the most amazing girl work with us.  She was beyond helpful & taught me different techniques & tricks, & showed me the right products to get.  My Mom then got them for me & put them under the tree.  I have been using each of these & am so happy with the results, I'm thinking about maybe doing a video to show what I learned.

Benefit Cosmetics CORALista
When we were there I also was interested in getting a new blush, I wanted something that had a little more pigment & stayed on longer then the one I was using.  The same makeup artist was again so great & helped me to try on different ones until I found one that I loved!

Aquolina Pink Sugar Gift Set {3.4 oz Eau de Toilette Spay & 0.34 oz Eau de Toilette Roll-On available separately here}
This is my absolute favorite perfume, it smells amazing.  I have the 1.0 oz bottle now, but it's almost empty so needless to say I was so excited to get a larger bottle & the roll on!

Clothes & Accessories
Aerie Gift Card
I was going to take a picture of it, but I may have spent it before I could!  They're having GREAT sales right now that I recommend checking out!
Octopus Earring
My sister & I went & got our cartilages pierced last year.  She has been wanting this earring for both of us so we could be matching.  My Mom knew this & surprised us with them, they are too cute!

Fuzzy Socks
I love wearing fuzzy socks around my apartment at school, & I sometimes even wear them under my boots when it's really cold out.  On Christmas Eve I was talking about how I desperately need a few new pairs because all of mine were stretched out, we all had a good laugh when I opened these the next morning!

Aerie Socks
I am in love with these, they are adorable!

Fur Headband
I always wear headbands like this to cover my ears outside, they are the best for walking across campus.  My Mom got this one at a local boutique & it is so soft, I cannot wait to wear it!

Zara Basic Clutch Bag in Nude
I have really been needing a nude clutch, it is one of my favorite fashion colors & I wear nude all the time.  This clutch is roomy (it fits my Epi Pens, which is a must!), butter soft, & super chic.

Greek Lettered Tote in Navy with Lilly Fabric Navy Shorely Blue Bellina Letters {Custom}
I got a letter bag when I received my bid, but it's looking so beat up now & I really wanted a new one.  I love the Lilly pattern on the letters, it's so pretty!  This bag will be perfect to carry my iPad, planner, & other essentials all over campus.  

Gildan Long Sleeve Crewneck in Black with Lilly Fabric Spike the Punch
Most of my sorority shirts are short sleeves so I was very happy to get a long sleeve one.  This will be perfect for the winter & the bright letters will add a nice pop to an outfit.

Look Legwear
These are thermal leggings that keep you so warm.  I got 2 pairs of them, but my Mom gave me one when it started to get cold out & the other pair on Christmas.  I wish I could find a website for them because they are the best, but I can't & my Mom got them at a small boutique that doesn't have a website.

Montrose Sweater {Francescas}
This sweater is so chic!  It's a little different then what I typically wear & I am so excited about that!

(Left to Right)
Pandora Royal Crown Charm
Pandora Pink Oval Lights Charm
Pandora Perfect Gift Charm
My Pandora Bracelet has a pink theme.  I've had it for a little less then two years & was so close to finishing it.  I mentioned to my Mom that I liked these & that they would complete my bracelet, & I was shocked when I opened them.  They are so cute & I really like the finished bracelet.  I will take pictures of it for another post! 

Enzo Angiolini Ellerby Boot
This was my biggest & favorite gift.  I have really been wanting a pair of black boots & fell in love with these when I found them.  They are gorgeous, I seriously cannot say enough about how amazing they are & how much I love them!  I can't wait to wear them!

Like I said, Santa did well this year!  I really love everything she brought me & am having a fun time playing (aka apply makeup & styling looks) with it all.  I will be doing reviews for all the skincare products & makeup, & I will be styling all the clothes I got so look out for all of those!  Have a great weekend!

What did Santa bring you this year?
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