Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 30, 2015

1. Chanel Extatique Lipstick

I've officially dubbed this my first (and probably last) Chanel. First and foremost, I'm going to PRAISE the packaging because it might be some of the nicest packaging since I got my first YSL lipstick. Like, I'm going to have a ball just pulling this little guy out in public. Basically, to get it open, you press in the emblem at the bottom and the tube releases the lipstick portion. It's crazy stuff.

The color itself is a bubblegum pink, but not neon like MAC's Candy Yum Yum. It's more subdued, applies like a dream, and even has a bit of a blueish duo chrome that makes your lips look shiny (but not frosty, which is something I personally avoid at all costs). It cost a pretty penny, but I know it was worth every cent I paid for it. It wears nicely (especially through replication, which is something that I struggled with sometimes when it comes to lipsticks that I wear practically all day). This one is definitely going to be one that I reach for on long days.

2. MAC's Mineralized Skin Finish is Lightscapade

I got this at a CCO a few years ago and never got much use out of it because I purchased Soft and Gentle shortly after getting this. However, I've been gravitating more toward this product to use as a highlighter over my cream products and even Soft and Gentle. It has a smoother finish and less dramatic high light. My skin hasn't been the nicest lately and some of my breakouts have been around my cheekbones, so the last thing I want to be doing it drawing more attention to them. This gives a hint of a highlight to liven up my face, but doesn't place unnecessary emphasis on my problems areas.  I don't recommend it if you're looking for a dramatic highlight that is really going to brighten your face up, but it's definitely great for those more subtle and subdued days.

3. Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

As I said, my skin has been going through a rough patch (I'm not sure if it's stress, hormonal, or a new product I've been using...I'm trying to get to the bottom of it!) so I've been trying to treat it infinitely nicer. I've been using this toning mist for years from Lush and I've started to bring it back again but use it differently. I used to spray it onto a cotton pad and gently run it around the high points of my face to remove any dirt or bacteria from my pores. However, I've just taken to spraying it on the swollen areas of my face to alleviate the swelling and spritz it with a cooling and healing mist. Instead of applying more pressure to the area, I'm just using it as a quick revalidating spritz and it seems to be working? It definitely feels nice.

4. Rooney

Holy throwback Thursday. I was obsessed with Rooney back in middle school. They're like...the equivalent of California into music. I've been listening to them in the mornings because they get the day all started on a good note and their music is just so much fun to listen to. They get me dancing and singing and smiling, all bright and early in the morning.

To listen to: "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?," "I'm Shakin'," "Blueside," and "I Can't Get Enough."

What have you been loving lately?

Stress Relievers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

If you would have asked me if I was stressed before yesterday, I would've told you no. But some weird last minute switch flicked in my brain yesterday evening where I just had a massive freakout in which I realized that don't have as much time as I thought I had. Finals week stress hit me like a freight train last night and now I'm trying my hardest to keep it at bay, but we all know that it's easier said than done.

Making lists is one thing that destresses me (BONUS), so I made a list of then things that help me calm down and alleviate some of the stress I'm feeling. These obviously don't make the stress go away entirely, but I find that they at least help somewhat.

1. Pugs
2. The Mindy Project (full episodes or even just gifs)
3. Baths
4. Running/walking
5. Bon Iver
7. Yoga
8. Painting my nails
9. Doing a face mask
10. Pinterest

Obviously, these things are going to take time away from studying/work/packing/all of your life's troubles, but you just need to do these activities in moderation. Don't spend 3 hours on Pinterest because then that'll just stress you out more in the long run, but there's nothing wrong with a 15 minute Pinterest break when you're feeling overwhelmed by your work.

What's your favorite destresser? 

The Great Lipstick Adventure

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It is certainly no secret that I have an extreme a slight problem when it comes to hoarding owning too many lipsticks. I personally live with the mindset that there's no such thing as too many lipsticks. With that being said...I might have a few more lipsticks than are entirely necessary. Rather than giving away or tossing any of these lipsticks, however, I've decided to take a much more fun and challenging route (though I find throwing out makeup more challenging that what I've chosen to do).

I've decided to embark on what I've appropriately dubbed The Great Lipstick Adventure. I began this journey through my makeup drawers last Sunday in an attempt to properly and fairly utilize all of my lipsticks (and trust me, there are many). Since I wear my hair and the rest of my makeup the same every day, switching up my lip color is the one way to bring the color and creativity into my life.

What is TGLA you might ask? Well, it basically entails me wearing a new lipstick color every day with the intent to not repeat the same shade in a week (though sometimes it may be necessary). It gets me wearing lipstick every day (which I feel naked without now) and gets me using the shades I paid a pretty penny for!

I documented six days of TGLA on Snapchat before deciding to give my friends a break from my ridiculousness. For the first week of TGLA, I wanted to go through a majority of my newer shades to really test them out and take them for a spin, which I think I accomplished quite well, whether it was wearing them for a full day of classes or even a full day of work! Of the four pictured above, Chanel's Extatique is my absolute favorite and completely worth the money. I'm going to get A LOT of wear out of it this summer and for the rest of eternity, probably. It's the closest I will ever get to a nude lipstick as well (which is sad because it's quite a bright pink with a hint of like..blueish duochrome/pearly sheen when you first apply it).

What's your favorite lipstick?

Finals Prep List

Monday, April 27, 2015

This is my last week of classes, which means that the dreaded finals week begins a week from today. OH THE HORROR! If you haven't been on top of all things to do with finals, that's okay! There is still time (especially if your finals aren't actually for another two weeks or so).

Before classes end, there's definitely a few things that you should make sure are complete or in order before the semester is over.

1. Make sure all of your outstanding assignments are turned in.

I know for some of my classes, there is one day at the end of the semester where everything has to be turned in, whether it's assignments you didn't bother turning in on time or revisions to improve your grades. Ask your professor if you're missing any assignments if you're really not sure. Even if you don't receive full points, half credit is still better than receiving a zero on an assignment!

2. Get your due dates in order. 

I've had assignments due sporadically throughout the past week and in the upcoming week and it has been really important for me to track their due dates in both my agenda and on my full-sized desk calendar, color-coded depending on the class it is for. Make sure to keep track of extensions as well so you're not rushing to get a paper done and come to realize that it's not due for another week (or, conversely, so you're not rushing last minute because you think you have more time and in reality you have a day to write an entire essay).

3. Double, even triple check your exam times and dates. 

I have nightmares about missing my exam times. I ask my classmates about a thousand times when the final is just to double check with what the syllabus says as well as professor's announcements. Due dates and exams dates are just as important as the knowledge you fill your brain with to write your papers or take your exams.


When it comes to studying, it all depends on how you prepare best for exams. Whatever study method works well for you, it's best to start earlier rather than later so you're not relying on a cram session that may or may not backfire in the end.

1. Make a study plan. 

It sounds incredibly lame when I write it out, but don't go into your studying blindly. At this point in your life, you should at least have one solid way to attack the whole concept of studying. For example, I know that I study the best with flash cards and by writing lists and timelines. So I'm going to make sure I have all of the materials I need to create my study tools. If you have friends in classes that you want to study with, start coordinating when your schedules align so you can squeeze in studying with a partner, if that's one of your preferred methods. Try to assess how you're going to tackle the studying process before diving into it blindly and overwhelming yourself.

2. Create your study tools. 

As I said, I like flashcards and lists. I started making my flashcards for my Spanish final last week and have slowly been chipping away at filling them out every day (I'll do anywhere between 15 to 25 a day) so I'm not overwhelmed by trying to fill out over 100 flashcards in a single sitting. But before I could do my flashcards, I had to fill out my study guide, which meant cyphering through two months worth of Powerpoints to find the simplified definitions and descriptions of the key terms on the study guide rather than the drawn out and verbose explanations given in the textbook. I chipped away at this two, taking it a few countries at a time so I didn't want to cry from stress.

Pacing yourself during the preliminary studying stages is just as important as pacing yourself during the actual studying. You don't want to give up before you've even started!

3. Put your finishing touches on that paper. 

I'm not totally against writing a paper last minute. Do I personally think it'll yield your best work? No. But I'm also not the type of person who feels the need to force somebody into being on top of their work, especially given everyone's different circumstances. However, if you have the time, I highly recommend getting started on writing your papers long before due dates.

The first thing I do when I'm given a paper assignment is hone in on what my topic is and asking myself questions about it. Why do I care about this? Why should anybody else care about it? What can I say about this that'll make it interesting? What research am I going to have to do to prove my point? Is there going to be enough research on this topic?  After all of those questions and a short bit of preliminary research (which, admittedly, probably involves Wikipedia. Sue me), I'll write an outline. I may or may not actually follow this outline, but it 1. makes you feel like you're accomplishing something that day and 2. could prove helpful in the end a couple of weeks later when you're proofreading your paper and wondering if you included all of the points that you wanted to from the start.

When do your finals start?

Good Reads

Sunday, April 26, 2015

1. Amy Schumer Tackles Rape Culture in 'Friday Night Lights' Parody I personally think she nailed it. What about you?

2. Notes for the Spring It's been flip-flopping between being warm and cold, but at least the consistent sunshine brings a semblance of spring. Also, going to relay this question from the post: what are you reading this month?

3. Glitter Guide to my Office Actual home office goals, oh my goodness.

4. 20 Bright Finds To Spruce Up Your Home For Spring Might have to order some of these for my apartment... ;)

5. Finding a Minimalism That Works Best For You  I definitely need to find a minimalistic balance in my life.

6. 15 Things We've Learned So Far In 2015 RIP Zayn's involvement in One Direction...

7. Stylish Ways To Wear Spring Culottes If I was living in a chic city and regularly wore heels, I would definitely need a pair of these pants.

8. 10 Picks from Ikea's Spring Collection  I need EVERYTHING. All the furniture! Send it my way!

9. Sitting In Bars With Cakes I NEED to read this book!

10. Advice To College Seniors I'm not even finishing with my sophomore yet, but I'm on a track to graduating a semester early in a year and a half and this was really great preliminary advice!

11. Favorite Floral Fabrics I love the alliteration and every pattern. "Florals for spring? Groundbreaking."

What have you been reading lately?

Middle School Memories — A Playlist

Saturday, April 25, 2015

First and foremost, happy 500th post!!! How exciting! I mean, talking about Francesca circa 2007-2009 isn't the best way to celebrate this milestone, but it's just how the cards had it planned out!


My music taste had a terrible identity crisis in middle school. Part of me wanted to be "cool" and listen go rap and hip-hop, another part of me wanted to act like an actual middle schooler and listen to boy bands and unapologetic girly pop (so basically what I listen to now), and the angsty part of me (also known at 90% of Francesca from ages 12 to 17) wanted to listen to pop/punk/rock combinations. My iTunes account dating back to middle school is an interesting place indeed, so I figured I'd share some of my favorite songs that I purchased during the time I spent being a miserable brat with really bad hair and teeth and even worse taste in music (though, admittedly, I still do listen to a majority of these songs, which is why I chose them).

Listen to Middle School Memories here!

Things I Do Daily

Friday, April 24, 2015

I am a creature of habit. I can admit this and I have accepted it with open arms. I get comfortable in routines and doing certain activities daily and when I don't get to do those certain things...well, I become a sad Francesca. However, I'm pretty good at making time to do all of the things that I like to (read: I force myself to stay up late, wake up early, or rush through homework...) as of late. And these things are obviously besides things like showering, brushing my teeth, and all those great hygienic things.

1. Write 

This is other than posts and such. I like to write and even if it's only one paragraph of prose or some dialogue, I still feel like I accomplished something. 

2. Cry because of Harry Styles

Have you seen that boy? He is like...chiseled but soft and handsome yet adorable? He is a living and breathing juxtaposition I cannot handle his perfection any more. All of this can apply to Zayn Malik as well.

3. Reorganize my lipsticks

My drawer becomes a mess after I try to sift through it for a new color every day. Don't judge. I like my things to be organized and half of the time I can't even shut the drawer. I need to do another purge...

4. Blog, duh!

If it wasn't obvious by now, I post a new blog every day (even on weekends!) on here. I just like the habit of rambling about something for a few hundred words daily. It's like word vomit or info dumping on my friends, except I post it for however many people who read this.

5. Dance

I am a dancer and a prancer and all of those obnoxious things in between. If there is catchy music on (though my friends will tell you that I have tried to dance to every genre of music because I just like to move), there is no stopping me from jumping around and twirling and swiveling my hips at least a beat or two off rhythm. I do it when I'm getting ready for classes or work, when I'm at work, occasionally when I'm walking and nobody is around, in the mall, at the grocery store, most frequently at Target...It's all good for the soul, I promise.

What are some things that you do daily? 

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 23, 2015

1. Sweet Berry Pressed Juice 

Some days I just can't get to fruit, but I can always find myself at a Starbucks. It's a sad truth about my life's terrible priorities. I've been picking these up when I want to trick myself into the mindset that I'm actually being healthy when it would really just be more beneficial for me to eat the actual fruit. However, these little guys are just too good to pass up! I prefer the consistency to Naked Juices, as it is much more of a thin liquid and tastes less sugary. The Sweet Berry flavor is the only one I've tried so far, but I definitely want to give the Orange flavor a try as well.

2. Boyfriend Jeans from Gap

I'm normally a strictly skinny jeans person because I think they're just the most flattering on me and the easiest to wear with my clothing. However, I do own two pairs of boyfriend jeans from the Gap and I've been getting a lot of wear out of them recently. They're really nice for those more relaxed looks. I wore my looser pair to a baseball game and it was perfect for the occasion! Plus, it was warm that day and nobody wants to sit in the sun wearing skintight pants (I mean, Harry Styles probably would, but that boy would swim in skinny jeans if he could). If I want to go all out in the casual, relaxed look, you'll definitely me wearing a tee shirt, boyfriend jeans, and either a casual pair of loafers or my Keds!

3. Living Proof Texture Spray

I got this as a 100 point perk at Sephora over the weekend just for fun and I actually really love it! I have been using a sea salt spray, but I figured it'd be fun to switch it up (especially since, as much as I love it, the sea salt spray has a tendency to knot my hair if I use too much of it). I really like it so far! And it smells amazing in addition to giving my hair a nice bit of texture to muss up my curls or give a bit of flair to straight hair...which leads me into the next thing...

4. Straight Hair

Yes, it is a miracle. I haven't purposefully worn straight hair in a very, very long time. Nine times out of ten, you will find me with my hair curled. Those off days will either consist of my hair being in a bun, ponytail, natural if I'm feeling lazy...and now apparently, straight? I discovered that this haircut looks adorable straight some time last week when I was feeling lazy and running late one morning. Now it's my go-to lazy day hairstyle because it takes a total of five minutes start to finish, whereas curling my hair involves a lot of upper arm strength, clipping and reclipping sections, and a lot of hairspray, which is a process that takes 20 to 30 minutes depending on how tight I want the curls. Bless this discovery of looking decent with straight hair!!!

5. Lush "Sunny Side" Bubble Bar

Before Sunday, I was under the impression that I hated baths. I hated sitting stationary in a tub in an attempt to relax. I find it very difficult to sit in one place for an extended amount of time (which is one reason why I hate beaches as well) and I usually just feel like it's an utter waste of time. There are thousands of better things I could be doing than just lying around in a bathtub where I can't do anything for however long I decided to soak.

But, alas, Sunday happened and now I want to embrace bath time weekly. Yes, it was very difficult to get myself to relax. I think I texted my friend about...four minutes into my bath saying that I hated it. Around ten minutes, it finally hit me and I think I melted into the water. All of this is just leading up the fact that I used the most lovely Lush bubble bar that I need 10,000 more of. Yes, it leaves a ring of gold glitter around your tub afterwards. Yes, it smells a bit citrusy and sweet. And yes, I do intend on using the other half this week to relieve my stress after trying to finish and start my final assignments for spring semester (I'm going home in two weeks!!!)

What have you been loving lately? 

My Favorite Eyeshadow Looks

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In my spring makeup routine changes post, I talked about how I like to make my look a bit more natural during the spring (aside from my penchant for bold lipsticks, which you will rarely see me without). Eyeshadow is one of those areas I definitely switch up the most when it comes to seasonal makeup changes. Other than just not wanting to wear that much makeup during the warmer months (for sweating purposes, really), I just generally like the look for more matte eyelids during the spring and sumer, opting for my shimmery and glittery eye colors during the fall and winter months.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I like a nice champagne or gold color swiped across my lid during the spring, especially if it's an occasion I should be a bit dressy for. Generally though, I wear a few different color combinations of matte eyeshadows in three different "intensities" so to say (and one wild card non-matte look).

*All of my looks start off by using Urban Decay's Primer Potion in the shade Eden*

On days where I generally don't feel like doing a lot on my eyelids, I'll do one of two things: use MAC's paint pot in Painterly all over my lid to create one creamy base that gets rid of all of the veins on my lids and then set it with my normal face powder, or use Benefit's cream eyeshadow in Bikini-tini all over my lid. I won't apply and powder eyeshadows or crease colors. I generally go without eyeliner on these days as well, really focusing on whatever lipstick I'm wearing and my lashes.

Then there are the days where I kind of want to try, but I still want to keep it incredibly natural. I'll use one of two different color combinations, both from different Urban Decay palettes. Either I'll use (from the Naked Basics palette) the shades Walk of Shame and Naked 2 all over the lid and in my crease, respectively. If I'm not using those, I'm using (from the original Naked palette) Naked and Buck all over my lid and in my crease, respectively.

Days where I work or have something more important that just going to my two classes, I resort to using either my Revlon quad or TooFaced Natural Eyeshadow palette. The Revlon quad doesn't have name for its eyeshadows, but generally what happens is that I apply the lightest color to highlight my brow bone, the second lightest all over the lid, the darkest on the outer corner, and the remaining medium shade into my crease. And then with my TooFaced palette, I'll use the top row starting with Heaven all over my lid and up to the brow bone. Then I go in with Sexpresso in the outer and Velvet Revolver into the crease. I know some people like to use the darkest shades in the crease, but I prefer the definition of my eyes to be in the outer v (mostly because I cannot do winged liner for the life of me so it gives some edge to my look).

The most important part about the eyeshadow looks with more than two colors is TO BLEND THEM OUT. You can get a blending brush for anywhere between one to three dollars at Target and it will be the best investment you will ever make. There are few beauty faux pauses worse than unblended eyeshadows and bronzers, but they're both such an easy fix! Take your clean blending brush and run it through your crease and along your outer corner to blend together all of your colors and smooth out any harsh lines.

What's your go-to eye makeup look in the spring time? 

Corkboard Transformation

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Both in my bedroom at home and in my dorm at school, I keep a massive corkboard hung above my desk. I don't use it to tack reminders to (that's what my Lilly Pulitzer agenda and Kate Spade sticky notes are for!), but rather as a mood board of sorts. I used to re-do mine at home bi-annually as my mood changed with the seasons and I matured throughout high school. I haven't touched it since, though, because I want to preserve who I was when I made it.

Last year, in an effort to make my dorm feel more at home, I also added a cork board above my desk area to mimic my bedroom at home. I ended up keeping the same pictures from my freshmen year on through the summer and leading into this year. But as I looked at the fading and crooked pictures, I realized that it was in for a makeover. There are only three weeks left in the semester, but I figured now is as good a time as ever to give it a facelift.

Here's its transformation!

Sunday Night Routine

Monday, April 20, 2015

So you have your regular nightly routines and then you have your Sunday night routines...

My usual nightly routines just involve some face was washing in the shower, a thin layer of a Vitamin C Serum (I'm currently testing out the OZ Naturals one, I will give an updated review when I've been using it longer than two weeks!), and my daily Neutrogena moisturizer. However, Sunday is when I really like to do the deep cleaning. I have a very specific beauty process that I look forward to the second Monday comes.

My Sunday night routines start around 7 PM when I take off whatever nail polish is left from that week. This is when I'll usually cut and file any jagged nails or ones that are just too long to handle. If I wore makeup that day (7/10 times I'm not wearing makeup on a Sunday), I'll take off my eye makeup with my Neutrogena eye makeup remover. I'll go into the shower around 8 and do my normal shampooing (L'Oreal) , body washing (Body Shop gels), and face washing (Philosophy's Purity Cleanser). Instead of using my normal matching condition, however, I'll use my InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask to reward my hair for being a good sport all week after the amount of hairspray and heat damage I probably did to it (always use a heat protectant spray, kids!)

I'll leave the mask in for about 10 to 15 minutes, which is why I normally put it in right after I wash my hair with shampoo. I'll apply a generous amount of product to my hair and then will twist and clip it back with a big butterfly clip so it's not in my way for the rest of my shower. I'll rinse it out right before I get out of the shower and dry off.

Next, I'll use my InstaNatural Dead Sea Mud Mask when my skin has dried. I apply a thin layer all over my face and leave it to dry for 15 minutes. I'll normally fiddle around with social media to pass time before I go in with a warm washcloth and rub the dried mask off in small circular motions. After that, I'll pat my skin dry and wait a few minutes before applying my Vitamin C Serum to clean, dry skin. After that dries, I go in with my regular moisturizer and let it soak into my skin.

At this point, my hair has been in a bun for about 25 minutes, so I'll normally take it down and brush it out with my Wet Brush (LIFE. SAVER). When it's tangle free, I apply my Tresemme Keratin Serum from the bottom of my ear to the tips of my hair. Then I pull my hair back into a pony tail so it is out of the way when I paint my nails.

I always always always apply a base coat to my nails before I put any sort of color on them. Once that dries, I'll do however many coats I need of the nail polish of my choice and wait for it to dry a bit before applying my top coat. I'll usually watch Youtube or go on Pinterest while I'm sitting at my desk for my nails to dry fully before I move on over into my bed to be more comfortable when I play around on social media.

And that's it! It's more time consuming than it sounds, which is why I reduce doing it to once a week (though if I'm having a particularly rough skin or hair week, I might add in an extra use of the hair or face mask depending on what's giving me issues).

Is there one night in your week where your daily routine shifts? 

* This post contains products I have been sent. However, as always, opinions are my own! Thanks! *

Good Reads

Sunday, April 19, 2015

1. Homemade Brown Sugar Granola Bars These look delicious and I am itching to bake something. Lethal combination right there.

2. Net-a-Porter's New BFF? Chanel Quilted metal bracelets? A girl can dream. 

3. On Blogging A little insight from one blogger to the rest of us...I LOVED THIS. 

4. Spring Stripes Kelsey seriously finds the best things at thrift shops. First the little brown leather bag and now this trench coat...I almost bought the dress she's wearing as well!

5. She Did What She Wanted Check this out! #GIRLPOWER 

6. Becoming a 'No' Woman Always remember that "no" is a complete sentence.

7. A Photo Diary: Notting Hill, London I WANT TO GO TO LONDON SO BAD. I need to make this happen.

8. Reese Witherspoon Wardrobe I am in love with Reese Witherspoon and everything she does, from Elle Woods to her street style. 

What have you been reading lately?

What I'm Currently Reading

Saturday, April 18, 2015

This weekend is going to be a very reading-centric one, what with this post and tomorrow's weekly Good Reads post. However, if there's anything I love almost as much as music, it's reading.

As for books, I'm currently reading The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I picked up Hawkins's book on a whim at Target one day after hearing a lot of good reviews about it. I've owned The Alchemist for years, but I've only managed to read it twice.

I follow Paulo Coelho on Twitter and every time he tweets something, especially the NY Times Best Sellers list (he's been on it for over six years with this book), I tell myself "I should really reread The Alchemist." And so I started! It's a whimsical little story about finding your personal destiny and your life's treasure. It's inspirational, moving, and very insightful. Plus, it's less than 200 pages, which is the type of book I need in my life with finals coming up.

Contrary to that last statement, though, I've also been reading The Girl On The Train which is definitely not less than 200 pages and is probably something I shouldn't be starting before finals because I heard it's very hard to put down. Basically, this is my bedside table book. I bring The Alchemist to work with me because it's small and light and easy to carry in my purse. I reserve TGOTT to when I'm lounging in bed or when I'm cooking and waiting for water to boil or something.  So far, I'm enjoying it. I just got to the beginning of the juicy stuff, so I'm guessing that things are definitely going to pick up where I left off.

On the magazines side of what I've been reading, I've been really digging into some Karlie Kloss issues. I'm nearly finished with last month's Vogue featuring Miss Kloss and her BFF (can I get on this friendship, please?) Taylor Swift. I skipped ahead to read their feature article and I kid you not, I cried. I don't do well when people praise Taylor instead of dragging her down with gross tabloid rumors. AND THEIR FRIENDSHIP IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND FRESH AND EASY. Ugh, I nearly lost it again. I also picked up Karlie's cover issue of Porter because it's my second favorite magazine and she is just a ray of sunshine packaged into one very tall, very beautiful human being. Such a big heart on that one.

What books or magazines are you currently reading?2

My Pug-session

Friday, April 17, 2015

Do not get me wrong. I love my family's dog Cash more than anything in the entire world (this includes my family, Harry Styles, and his extensive boot collection). He is a rat terrier and is hands down the cutest thing the world has ever seen.

But I've been so damn infatuated by pugs lately that my love for the scrunchie faced dogs is undeniable. I have accepted this and have already started planning my future with Fitz. Yes, that's right, when I get a pug his or her name will be Fitz and they will be adorable. I will also adopt a cat named Nemo and they will be best friends.

I am not properly equipped both emotionally, maturely, or financially to own a dog at this point in my life, and probably not for quite a few years, but let this blog post be evidence that I do indeed need to have a pug that I can love for and care for at some point in my adult life.


My three favorite pug-stagrams are mrbiscuittthepug, pugdonut, and itsdougthepug (BONUS, he has  a twitter as well). 

What's your dream dog?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 16, 2015

1. Organix Moroccan Sea Salt Spray

While I was hoping and praying that spring would be upon us, I seemed to forget that the warmth also comes in conjunction with a lot of rain and therefore, humidity. My hair is not match to the wind downtown near the lake combined with the disgusting humidity that follows and precedes the rainfall. It took me a week of curling my hair for nigh until I remembered that I had a texturizing sea salt spray stored in the cabinet beneath my sink. I dug it out and crossed my fingers that adding a bit of texture to my hair after hairspraying it loads would do the trick...and it did!! If I know it's going to be extra windy or if it looks like a dreary day, I'll spray a generous amount into my hair after I've curled and hairsprayed it to make my hair less silky and smooth. The spray gives the purposeful-messy look before the wind can ruin my hair.

2. "Believe" by Mumford and Sons

I heard this song the day it was released, then promptly forgot about it because that's just the type of person that I am. However, on one of the pre-made Spotify playlists that I occasionally use when I'm working if I get bored of the playlist I made for the store, this song came up and I had a minor freakout because it's that good. I'm sure there are a lot of faithful Mumford fans that are probably disappointed in the new sound, but I'm so into it. I liked the indie-folk rock genre they had going on for their first two albums, don't get me wrong, but it's always interesting to see what happens when a band with such a distinct sound strays from it.

3. Glitterbug by The Wombats

Okay, so this album only came out on Tuesday, but I am not exaggerating (I exaggerate a lot but this is honestly not a joke) when I say that I listened to it on repeat for my entire six hour shift and then again on my 30 minute walk home. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. I've listened to The Wombats before this album, but just a song here and there (I'm particularly fond of "Here Comes the Anxiety"). Not entirely sure what inspired me to only listen to their album for six entire hours (probably the name, if I'm being honest. I can't resist anything that mentions the word glitter), but I'm glad that I did it because it's probably the first album I've listened to in completion in a very, very long time (probably since Hozier or Vance Joy's debut albums) (this is not including 1989 or FOUR, obviously).

To listen to: "Emoticons," "This Is Not A Party," "Isabel," and "Flowerball." But honestly, just listen to the entire thing because choosing these four songs was ridiculously difficult.

4. DKNY 'Be Delicious' Perfume

I mentioned this perfume in my spring scents post, but I've been using it almost exclusively and religiously because it smells so good. It's like a sophisticated fruity smell. I have no idea how to describe scents and I am not even going to try. Go to your local makeup counter and get a whiff of it and you'll understand when I cannot stop wearing it.

5. MLB Season

Cleveland's home opener was last Friday, but most teams had theirs at some point last week. Baseball is, hands down, my favorite sport to watch so that fact that the season is now in full swing (HAH) makes me so happy. #BaseballPants anybody?

6. Have A Great Day! Spotify Playlist

Stumbled upon this playlist by accident when I was looking through playlists to switch up the normal one I use at work, and oh my god, I have never experienced a more happy and upbeat playlist in my life. It has songs like "I Try" by Macy Gray, "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, "Hey Ya" by Outkast, and so many more. If you have Spotify, look for this playlist because you will not be disappointed. I dare you not to smile and dance and sing along to every song. I DARE YOU.

7. "St. Jude" by Florence + The Machine

Could I be loving any more music lately? I'm really sorry for such a music-centric post, but I genuinely love music so much so I can't really help it! Florence Welch's voice makes me feel like I'm ascending into heaven. It's so glorious and angelic and in this song, it's a bonus with the St. Jude reference.

What have you been loving lately?

Dream Closet, Vol. 4

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I've gotten into a terrible habit of scouring Net-A-Porter before my broadcast class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is how all of these clothing items (and a lot more, to be honest) came to be pined after.

Bonus! If Talina Hermann isn't offering 30% off when you enter your e-mail, here's a special code to use at checkout: first30off. 

What would you like to see in your dream closet?

*This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own!*

Apartment Inspo: Throw Pillows

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The end of the semester for me doesn't just mean final exams, but the moment that I move into my first apartment (okay, that's happening at the end of the summer, but the shopping portion happens earlier!). I can't help but scour different websites for decorations, or at least decoration inspiration.

I've become extremely fond of throw pillows since moving into my first dorm last year. They're such an easy and comfortable way to bring color and different textures to your space!

Top row: Society 6 and Nordstrom
Bottom row: Urban Outfitters and Society 6

Where's your favorite place to get your throw pillows? 

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Monday, April 13, 2015

That's right, folks. The official MLB season kicked off last week and I for one could not be more excited. Nothing screams summer to me more than baseball [pants] and spending a day at the ballpark to see a game of baseball [pants].

Now, I'm sort of a Red Sox fan out of pure rebellion against my dad's Yankee fanaticism. However, I always like to root for the Athletics (this is solely based off the fact that Moneyball is one of my favorite movies) and the Mets. And, since living in Cleveland (and living next to die hard Indians fans my entire life) I've picked up a loyalty toward the Cleveland Indians and likely will carry out my #TribeTown tradition into postgrad life.

The Indians home opener was Friday against Detroit for a three game series (a series is usually three to four consecutive games spanning that time) over the weekend. I didn't get a chance to go until Sunday when my family came up because I couldn't go home for Easter last week.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny, warm with a slight breeze whenever it felt like it was getting too hot sitting in the stadium, and not a hint of humidity (which my hair was extremely grateful for).

I will admit, I did look slightly like a tool at the game. But my hair was too big to wear the hat regularly and I didn't want to wear my Kipnis shirt (second baseman) with the jeans I wore, so the hat was my only source of Cleveland attire. And one does not go to an Indians game without team attire! Let alone any Cleveland sport without some sort of team attire (I made this mistake at a Browns game my first few weeks living here in 2013). 

It was pretty crowded for an Indians game (other than the sold out home openers and the well-selling Yankees games) (and obviously post-season in those rare times that it happens), which was really cool to see! It was a gorgeous day and the third game to the inter-league home opening series , so I totally understand why a lot of people decided to come out. 

I had my mom bring my trusty Keds from home home for the game to add a little extra spirit to my relatively bland outfit (white v-neck, boyfriend jeans, with a blue and white striped hoodie tied around my waist for aesthetic purposes). Also, it was fifty shades of sunny outside, so you best bet I rolled up my jeans as high as they went to try to get as much sun on my legs as humanly possible. 

I cannot resist baseball park french fries. I dare you to try.

Unfortunately, Cleveland lost due to some early home-runs (Cabrera on Detroit had two in this game, bummer). We're now 2-4, which isn't the best start, but it's certainly better than 0-6! 

There was no debating where we were going for a late lunch/early dinner after the game. The Winking Lizard is one of my favorite places to get food ever, but I never get the chance to go by myself because past 5:00, you have to be 21 or over if you're not with a parent or guardian. LAME. 

If you're ever in downtown Cleveland though, definitely check out this place. There's a location in the Gateway District right near Progressive Field and Quickens (where the Cavaliers play) and also one further down on East 9th, closer to the water (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and First Energy Field). 

I always get the grilled chicken caesar salad (with no cheese and ranch dressing instead of caesar), a side of macaroni and cheese, and if I'm feeling extra hungry AKA my mom is paying (sorry, mom) I'll order the fried macaroni wedges as an appetizer. 

My day ended with a run and trip to Starbucks with Abby because we hadn't seen each other the entire weekend and running is actually fun when you're not doing it alone? Weird, right?

Are you excited for the MLB season? Who do you root for? 

Good Reads

Sunday, April 12, 2015

1. Weekend Shopping: Green Stripes That chair is a dream. And for a bonus, here's a Kate Spade  dress that I've been pining after since the spring 2015 preview back in the fall.

2. What's The Point Of Runway Nudity? #FreeTheNipple

3. Get Your Sh!t Together, and Meditate Ooooof, this is definitely something I need to start doing. I'm a bundle of stress 90% of the time! I feel like I could definitely benefit from meditation.

4. Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwich Bites I am all about anything that has cookie dough involved.

5. High School Trend Regression Disorder I remember begging for a black North Face jacket for my birthday my freshmen year of high is now buried somewhere in a bin. Oh, 13-year-old silly...

6. Digital Hacks I am, admittedly, always connected one way or another. Either I have my phone in my hands or am sitting at my desk on my computer....

7. Quick DIY: The Word Sweater While I normally avoid graphic prints on tops, I am an absolute sucker for word sweaters!

8. Blogger Bloopers Part 2 Nothing makes me happier than seeing behind the scenes photos from bloggers. It's not always glamorous!!!

9. How To Get A Salon Manicure At Home I've gotten approximately two manicures in my life: one for my brother's wedding in 7th grade and another time right before prom. It's always nice to find new at home tips for lazy (and cheap) girls like me who just want to do it themselves!

10. Spring To Do List To-do lists are my kryptonite, guys.

11. Delicious Blueberry Muffin Always, always, always looking for new recipes to try out!

12. How To Be A Dreamer Confession: I cried while reading this. I have no idea why, but I did. I am a dreamer, through and through.

13. Real Talk: Living Alone I was under the assumption for a few months that for my junior year, I was going to be living in a studio alone. Who knows, maybe post-grad life will lead me to a solo studio!

14. The Comparison Curse I used to torture myself with comparisons (hell, I still do, though I tell myself to cut the sh!t when I start falling too deep into the trap). It's something that we all struggle with!

What have you been reading lately?

Get Ready With Me — A "Girlcentric" Playlist

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Over the course of the last month, especially with the discovery that I might like girl groups more than I do boy bands, I've decided that the best songs to get ready to are by female artists. I mean, ever since 1989 came out, I was doing my hair and makeup to it, but now my range has expanded. I figured that sharing my revelation would be the kind thing to do (also because I love making playlists more than anything in this entire world).

So kick back, grab your eyeliner and lipstick, and let's get this show on the road!

What's your favorite song or type of music to get ready to?
© life according to francesca. Design by FCD.