Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites

Favorite Flatware Pastel Tea Spoons
These spoons from Anthropologie are the perfect spring addition to your kitchen.  They are a great way to add a subtle pop of color and would look so sweet for any Easter events.  I honestly don't even drink tea and still want to pick these up - I mean they could totally be ice cream spoons too, right?!

Favorite Cute Flower Crown Bunny
How cute is this sweet little bunny?  I'm loving her little flower crown and she looks so ready for spring!  Her name is Poteto and the best part is is that she wears flower crowns on the regular.  Check out her Instagram account here.

Favorite Living Room Gray & Pink
I have been swooning over pink couches lately and love this one I found on Pinterest.  This living room is so chic and those copper accents are the perfect touch.  Seeing this space and how it is decorated has definitely left me wanting a pink couch now more than ever.  

Favorite Blooms Hydrangeas
I'm only recently getting into flowers and was never a huge fan of them in the past.  Now I am really loving them though and picked up some hydrangeas last week to try my hand at flower arranging and was so happy with how my little arrangement came out.  I found this image on Pinterest and really loved how the colorful hydrangeas looked mixed with other beautiful blooms.

Favorite Office Space Pink Organization
This office is serious #goals!  It's so girly and perfectly organized, which really speaks to my type A personality.  I also really adore that wall calendar and am wanting one for the little office space in my bedroom that I'm putting together.

What are you loving this Friday?

Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Dresses for Under $100

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Pantone's Colors of the Year for 2016 were Rose Quartz (a pale pink) and Serenity (a periwinkle blue).  Both of these colors are super popular for spring and summer and are popping up everywhere.  When looking for dresses for springtime I kept seeing rose quartz and serenity everywhere and wanted to share my finds with you.  All of my picks are super on trend and will help you to usher in spring (if it ever gets warm enough to wear them!).  Each of the dresses is also under $100 (with this, this, and this under $50!), which is a major bonus in my book.  While I am loving all of these my top choices are this blue one and this pink printed one.  After finding all of these I can't wait to get my hands on a few rose quartz and serenity pieces for spring!

What do you think about rose quartz and serenity for the new season?


Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!

Today I'm linking up with Midweek Inspo, Oh Hey Girl!WIWWI Feel Pretty, and Trendy Wednesday.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pretty in Pink

Sweater: Sweet Romeo (similar here)  |  Jeans: PAIGE  |  Shoes: Adidas  |  Sunglasses: Fendi (similar here)  |  Bag: Old Navy (similar here)  |  Earrings: Francesca's (similar here)  |  Necklaces: c/o Verve Jewelry

Happy first day of spring!  I feel like winter went by so quickly, but unfortunately its chilling temps are still sticking around in New Jersey.  I'm trying to get into the spring state of mind though and this look is perfect for that.  It's a great outfit to transition seasons and this bright pink sweater is so cheery that it has me extra excited for spring and summer outfits.  Try mixing lightweight, colorful sweaters, like this one, with jeans to help you through the change of season and pair them with boots, sneakers, or ballet flats depending on the weather.

The necklaces I'm wearing will be on repeat all spring and I can't wait to style them with different items from my closet.  They were designed by a sweet Instagram friend of mine, Christy, who owns Verve Jewelry.  Verve is known for reinventing and repurposing jewelry from the past and has a wide range of collections with pieces of jewelry that go with everyone's style.  Whether you prefer dainty pieces (like me), chunky and vintage, or a more bohemian look, Verve has something for you.  My absolute favorite part of Verve though is that portion of their sales go towards rescuing dogs and cats in our country’s shelters; I love finding a designer who's heart is as beautiful as her creations.

Make sure to stop by and checkout Verve Jewelry to pick up a few pieces for yourself!

Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!
Today I'm linking up with #HowIFallHello Monday, and Weekending.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ask Me Anything Q&A

About a month ago I told my Instagram followers that they could ask me anything for an upcoming Q&A post on here.  You all asked some great questions and today I'm finally getting to answer them.  The questions below are a combination of the ones I got on Instagram and the ones I get asked a lot in "real life."  If you want to know anything I didn't answer here drop a question in the comments and I will add it to the post!

Where are you from?
I grew up in a tiny (like only one square mile tiny) beach town called Spring Lake Heights in New Jersey and this past August I moved to Brick, NJ which is where I currently live.

Where did you go to college?
I went to Villanova University and graduated this past May.

What is your degree in?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

What classes did you take in college?
For my first two years of school I was undecided on my major and took so many different classes.  I wanted to try everything before settling on a major so in those two years aside from my core classes I took classes in economics, Russian history, art history, political science, communications, and took Russian as my language.  Once I declared my major I took communications courses and concentrated on Public Relations, I also took enough political science courses to fulfill a Political Science Minor.

What have you been up to since graduating?
My plan was initially to start graduate school this past January, but that was put on hold due to some new health issues.  Since graduating I've been going to the doctors a lot, resting, blogging, and looking into grad school.  I will hopefully be applying to start a grad school program in the fall.

What is your dream job?
Beauty Editor at a fashion magazine or website like Byrdie.

What made you want to start blogging?
I started blogging in 2013 on a whim after I had a surgery that left me bedridden for two weeks and on restricted movement for three months.  This was my second of three surgeries and it was during the summertime, I was bored out of my mind, came across a blog on Pinterest that I loved, and decided to start my own to give myself something to do.  I've always loved fashion, beauty, DIY, and baking/cooking so it made sense to me to try to share that with other people.

Where do you see your blog in five years?
I would love for my blog to continue to grow and to be my fulltime job in the next five years.

What do you like to do in your free time beside blogging?
A lot of my free time is spent going to doctors' appointments and sleeping since that is my only "escape" from not feeling good.  I also recently got back into reading for fun (see what I'm reading here) and love a good Netflix binge.  When I feel up to it I love to go to Villanova Basketball games, as I am a huge fan, and spend time with friends and family.  I honestly feel like I spend so much time blogging too because the topics I share are things I'm so passionate about.  I spend time reading beauty articles, studying fashion magazines, crafting, or baking something and all of that lands up relating back to my blog one way or another, which I love.

What are your health problems?
I have RSD, Crohn's disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and chronic migraines.  If you're interested in learning more or are just curious I have posts explaining everything in detail here and here, and an update at the end of this post.

Do you get migraines along with your visual snow?
I have an issue with my vision called visual snow, which means I see television like static in the whole of my visual field constantly and it makes seeing in very bright or dark conditions difficult for me.  I've had it my whole life and it doesn't bother me that much because I don't really know any other way of seeing.  As stated above I do also have chronic migraines, however the two are not related.  My doctor (from the Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital) explained to me that people with visual snow are more likely to get migraines, but they don't always and there's no reason for it.  I've had the visual snow my entire life, but was only diagnosed with chronic migraines in 2016.  I do however get an aura with migraines, but that is separate from the visual snow.

What are your hopes and dreams?  Can you accomplish them now or do you have to wait until you are in better health?
Unfortunately at this point, I will most likely have my health problems for the rest of my life so I have to think of my life those terms.  I've learned to think more about the now and what I can do instead of planning for way down the road and getting disappointed if I cannot accomplish something because of my health.  As of right now my hopes for the near future is to feel better (even a little bit better would be amazing) and go to grad school.

Do you wear glasses?
Yes, I have a low prescription for distance and have to keep them in my purse at all times so I don't lose them or forget to bring them somewhere.  I'm seriously the worst at remembering them until I'm somewhere struggling to see clearly.

Did you ever have braces?
I actually get asked this in person all the time and I think it's so funny because I never had braces.  I kind of look at is as one thing I got a break on.

What breed is your dog and how old is she?
Coco is a Maltese and she just turned 9 last month!

What is your favorite place you've ever traveled to?
Mykonos, Greece.  It is beyond gorgeous and I would highly recommend going if you ever get the chance!  I would love to go back since I didn't get to appreciate as much as I would've liked to because I was on a school study abroad trip, was really sick, and was also dealing with crippling anxiety while I was there.

Where is your favorite place to go?
Definitely New York City!  I would love to live there someday.

Where is your favorite place in New Jersey?
This sounds dorky, but I love being home.  I'm fortunate enough that I live with my Mom who is one of the coolest people I know and our house is just so warm and cozy that I love being there.  I'm also very easily entertained and can find about a million things to do while I'm home.  Other than that I love Spring Lake Lake and Spring Lake Beach.  I don't actually like to "go" to the beach in the summer (I know I'm weird), but I love to walk on the boardwalk or drive past the beach for an instant calming effect.  I'm also really fortunate to live in a place that has access so many different things, people and places, and I love living in New Jersey.  If anyone wants me to do a "Jersey Shore Guide" let me know!

What does your perfect day consist of?
Walking around New York City with family or friends, eating something Italian for lunch and/or dinner, getting cupcakes at Sprinkles, and then coming home to love my dog!  Bonus points if it's a sunny day and the temperature is in the low 70s.

What singer or band defined your childhood?
Definitely Britney Spears and I'm still obsessed with her.

What is a song that defines your life?
I feel like I'm always changing my mind on this one, but I actually decided the other day it's "Stronger" by Britney Spears.  I know it's a song about being dumped, but that's not the part I'm talking about, the lyrics I love are "I'm stronger, Then I ever thought that I could be, baby [...] You might think that I can't take it, but you're wrong, Cause now I'm stronger than yesterday."  In my life I know that I'm strong and can get through anything, which is why I love this song.

If you could date one celebrity would would it be?
Zac Efron.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip.

What's your favorite flower?

Do you dye your hair/have you ever dyed your hair?
I have never dyed my hair and it was actually even lighter (basically paperwhite) when I was a kid!  The closest I've ever come to "dying" my hair was in this post.

Do you do anything special to take care of your hair color?
The color of my hair can make it super hard to take care of; it absorbs the color of anything that touches it, which can be a pain.  My hair has taken color from everything from mascara to blood to face paint to chlorine and held that color for days to weeks.  I even have to be really careful about what color shampoo and conditioner I use because if I use ones that have a color to them my hair will start to tint that color.  I recently picked up this purple shampoo because I heard it was great for blondes, and I love it, but I can only use it once every one to two weeks because if I use it more frequently my hair will (and did) get a purple tint to it.  Being careful not to get anything colorful into my hair and making sure to wash it right after I swim in chlorine are the only two things I really have to do to take care of my hair color.

What are your best skincare tips?
Hydrate (inside and out), exfoliate, always take off your makeup before bed, and wear SPF.

What sunscreen do you use?
Neutrogena makes my favorite sunscreen products and I've found that they protect me from the sun the best.  I also love this one from Clinique for my face when I'm wearing makeup and I recently picked up this to try.

How do you deal with eczema?
I've suffered from eczema since I was a kid, but I'm super lucky now that I only get patches of it here and there.  When I was a kid my dermatologist told my Mom to put Crisco (yes, shortening) on me and she did it every night and it helped so much.  If it was really, really bad and wouldn't go away I would go and get a prescription cream from the dermatologist that would clear it up.  As an adult I will still sometimes use the Crisco trick and love this and this from Lush to help prevent eczema spots from forming.  Also in the last few months I've started getting small eczema patches on my face (which is new) and my dermatologist told me to use this diaper rash cream because I couldn't use what I normally do since it was my face and it clears up the spots so quickly!

Do you wear fake eyelashes?
This is another question that I get asked all the time in person.  I actually haven't worn fake lashes since probably freshman year of high school because my eyes can be sensitive to things like that and honestly I'm just too lazy to be bothered with applying them.  Instead I just curl my lashes and use a few coats of this mascara.

What is your number one go to beauty item?
Right now it's definitely these from First Aid Beauty, they literally changed my skin and I get so many compliments since I started using them twice a day.

What are your favorite hair products?
I recently started using this shampoo and this conditioner from Shea Moisture and I'm obsessed because they clean my hair so well without drying it out or weighing it down!  I also love this for priming, this to combat frizzing, this for beach waves, and always use this when heat styling.

What is your holy grail perfume?
Pink Sugar by Aquolina.  It smells delicious, never bothers my allergies and I always get a ton of compliments on it!

How would you describe your style?
My personal style is classy and feminine with influences from trends and my favorite celebrities.  For celebrity fashion inspiration the stars whose style I most covet are Olivia Palermo, Lauren Conrad, and Blake Lively.

Where's your favorite place to buy clothes?
Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth, and small boutiques.

Where's your favorite place to buy jeans?
Nordstrom Rack.  I've had such great luck there recently, they have so many options, and their prices are great!

Do you have a piece of clothing that's meaningful to you and why?
I have a vintage leopard belt that was my Great Aunt's who passed away, which means so much to me.  My Aunt was incredibly stylish and just an amazing person who I miss so much and I love that I think of her everytime I wear the belt.  It's also a very chic belt and always makes an outfit look better.

How do you take your photos for Instagram?
I take most of my photos for Instagram using my iPhone 7Plus and try to use my DSLR camera when I remember to.  My best advice for taking Instagram photos is to have good, bright, natural lighting and to take a ton of pictures of the same thing so that you have choices to pick the one you like best.  I always take my pictures for Instagram during the day and try to set them up to avoid shadows; sometimes I'll get lucky and get it in the first few shots and other times I have to take a hundred to get one I like.  I would definitely say to take your time when taking photos for Instagram and learn what works best for you.  Also editing apps for shadows and lighting are always your friend.

What is your favorite photo editing app?
ColorStory.  I used to use VSCO, but I started using ColorStory a few months ago and think it does a much, much better job.  ColorStory is really great at lightening photos (which is what I like) and does an amazing job at keeping the quality of your photos intact through making lighting or color adjustments.  My second favorite one is Snapseed because it allows you to brighten specific sections of photos like shadows.

How do you get your Instagram photos so bright?
I take them in bright light and use ColorStory!  I edit the 'Brightness' and 'Curves' on ColorStory to brighten everything.

What are your best flatlay tips?
Pick a cohesive theme like fashion, makeup, skincare, etc. or a color scheme for a flatlay.  Make sure you have good natural lighting and try taking pictures of your items positioned a few different ways to see which you like best.  Again take a ton of photos so that you have choices.  Also the sectional brightening in Snapseed is always helpful with flatlays and any shadows they might have!

Make sure to let me know if I missed anything you want to know about me!

Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!

Today I'm linking up with Midweek InspoWIWWOh Hey Girl!I Feel Pretty, and Trendy Wednesday.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Classic Brunette

Today I'm back with my another installment of Beauty Behind the Blog with an interview of Sami from The Classic Brunette!

Name: Sami
Age: 22

Who taught you about beauty?
My mom wasn’t super into makeup and beauty when I was younger, but my grandma definitely was! I was always going with her and my sister to get our nails done and would always watch her put on her blush and lipstick. Other than that I love watching YouTube makeup tutorials and teaching myself by experimenting with various products.

What is your favorite thing about beauty?
I love that it lets me be creative and increases my confidence. We all have insecurities, but I like that beauty and makeup allows me to emphasize my features that I truly love. Although I definitely don’t rely on makeup and beauty for confidence, it’s nice to know that I can always give myself a little bit of a boost.

Do you have a favorite beauty blogger?
I don’t really, but if I had to pick I would say Katey McFarlan from Chronicles of Frivolity, although I would just say she’s my favorite blogger in general, ha!

What is your best beauty secret?
Embrace your natural beauty! Confidence comes from within, and you should always embrace who you are!

Do you create any DIY beauty products?
I haven’t, but I really want to! I have a lot of pins on Pinterest saved for the day that I actually attempt to do this!

What is your favorite natural beauty product?
I have these sugar scrubs from a company called Spa Thyme and they’re made from all natural products and I love them! They smell so good!

What is your skin type?

What is your basic skincare routine?
I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to do too much with my skin. I wash my face in the shower every morning with Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser and after my shower I apply a small amount of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion since my skin always feels dry. If I feel a zit coming on I’ll use Mario Badescu Drying Lotion on the problem spot and hope it goes away!

What is your biggest skin issue?
Dryness is probably my biggest issue! Every time I shower my skin feels like it’s lost a lot of moisture. But again, I’ll just put on some lotion and be good to go. I’m very lucky that this is my biggest problem!!

What are your must have skincare products?
Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser! And I also love the face masks from Tony Moly. The Red Wine Mask Sheet Pore Care is very relaxing!

What is your favorite skincare splurge?
I honestly don’t think I have one! I’m a college girl on a budget, so I just haven’t been able to really splurge on anything yet!

What is the first thing you do when you get a breakout?
Like I said above I love Mario Badescu Drying Lotion! I put a little on a q-tip and put it on the spot where my breakout is. If that doesn’t work, I use the acne treatment from BioClarity which is a little stronger. If it’s just a red spot, I actually use toothpaste and leave it on while I sleep!

What is your everyday makeup look?
I normally don’t use foundation, but will use a light BB Cream just for SPF and a little bit of coverage. After that I go in with Benefit My Brow PencilBenefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, and Benefit 3D BROWtones Instant Color Highlights on my brows to get them filled in. For my eyes, I am obsessed with my original Urban Decay Naked Palette and I use it every single day. I do what I call a nude smokey eye, and put the lightest shade all over my lid and up to my brow, then go in with a nude color on the lid, and a sparkly brown/gold on the crease. I blend that all out, add mascara and I’m done!

What is your go to makeup look when you go out?
I would say that my going out look is just an amped up version of my daily look! This time I use foundation, and a contour kit that I actually got at Marshalls (remember, college budget girl!). I do my contour, but focus more on highlighting, since I think it works better for my paler skin. Then I use my Urban Decay Naked Palette and do a darker smokey eye, repeating the same steps as above just with darker shades. If I’m feeling up to it I might add winged eyeliner and some glitter liner at my upper lash line. I add lipstick, mascara, and I finish off my look with Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent so all my hard work doesn’t melt off while I’m out!

What are your must have makeup products?
Obviously my original Urban Decay Naked Palette since I use it for everything! But I also never go out without mascara! My two favorites are Urban Decay Perversion and Maybelline Falsies Lash Push Up! SO GOOD.

What is your favorite makeup splurge?
I think it has to be the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent. It keeps my skin from looking shiny, and makes my makeup last all day! Also any YSL lipstick. The pigments are gorgeous and the formula is so smooth!

What is your best makeup trick?
Okay I might get a lot of heat for this one, but sleep in some makeup if you know you won’t have time for it the next morning. I never do this with foundation or any face makeup, but I do this all the time with eyeshadow and mascara. I’ve had people tell me this is going to ruin my skin, face, etc. over time, but nothing has happened to me yet! It saves me so much time in the mornings!

What is your hair type?
Oily at the top, dry at the bottom. Is there a name for this?

What is your basic hair care routine?
I’m so simple with my hair! I wash it probably way too much, then just kind of leave it alone! I very rarely add product or style it, just because I don’t have enough time! If I’m going out I might curl my hair, but normally I’ll just braid it and spray with hairspray to get some slight waves. Nothing too drastic.

What is your biggest hair issue?
Knots. My hair is very thin, but there’s a decent amount of it and it always ends up with little knots all over. Hairdressers have joked that if they just look at my hair it will get knots! I normally solve this by brushing through it every few hours.

What is your must have hair product?
The only product I really use is hairspray. I love Dove Flexible Hold Hairspray. It works and it smells like vanilla!

What is your favorite hair care splurge?
Again, I don’t use too much! So I don’t really splurge on anything!

How do you style your hair everyday?
Most days I brush it and go! If I want to add a little bit of styling I will put it in braids, spray it with hairspray and wait a few minutes for some subtle waves. I’m lucky that I have straight enough hair that I don’t have to do much with!

How do you style your hair when you're going out?
When I go out I might curl it, but normally I’m so impatient that I just let it be natural. Sometimes I just have my best friend and roommate do my hair for me because she’s so much better at it!!

What is your best hair trick?
I love sleeping in braids and waking up with wavy hair. This works best if my hair is wet, but I’ve done it with dry hair as well. The waves last all day, and they are practically perfect! Plus, it doesn’t take much effort!

What is your basic body care routine?
I always exfoliate in the shower! After exfoliating I either use an all-natural soap (I have a rose goat milk soap from a beauty subscription service called Scently Box and I am obsessed!) or a body wash. Then after showering I either apply lotion or body butter to keep my skin soft.

What is your must have body product?
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. It is my savior. I put it everywhere! I also love finding natural soaps that smell delicious. I’ve found that local farmers markets always have good ones!

What is your favorite body product splurge?
I feel like I’m not very helpful in the splurge department, haha! I think the most expensive thing I buy is body butter from The Body Shop!!

What is your basic approach to nutrition and dieting?
Moderation. I am in no way the picture of health, because let’s be honest carbs are my best friend. I just try to limit the ‘bad’ things like sweets and fried foods, but I’m not going to restrict myself if that’s what I’m craving. I try to keep a good amount of fruit and vegetables in my meals, because that way I know that I’m at least getting something good in my body three times a day.

What is your current workout routine?
I go to Zumba twice a week and I love it. I have absolutely no rhythm though, so it’s rough watching myself in the mirror knowing that I’m not doing the moves right! But it’s such a fun way to exercise that I don’t feel like I’m actually working out. That was an issue I had in the past. I would try a new workout, and wouldn’t go because I just dreaded doing it! I also go on nightly walks with my roommate that last from a half hour to an hour just to have some movement every day. We also do it late at night so it tires us out before bed and I’ve been sleeping a lot better because of this!

A huge thank you to Sami for sharing a look into her beauty routine!  Do you use any of the same products?  Let me know below! 

Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!
Today I'm linking up with #HowIFallHello MondayWeekending, and MIMM.