New Year's Eve

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy Almost 2016 everybody! I have a whole slew of posts coming about this year over the course of the next week, but I just wanted to take a moment to briefly express how wonderful 2015 has been. It's been a year of firsts and exciting times and I'd like to think that 19 (with a month of being 20) has most certainly been my best year yet. Suck on that, early teen years!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve and a wonderful start to 2016! I'll see you guys next year! ;-)

Sorry, I had to. Dad jokes are my LIFE. 

Top 15 Blog Posts of 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I made a list of my favorite blog posts that I wrote last year and I figured I'd round up another list of my favorite fifteen posts from 2015. 

P.S. Have you entered my Stay Lean Tea Detox giveaway yet? Check it out here!

New Year's Inspiration

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We are dangerously close to the new year, giving all of us a reason or two to celebrate! There are plenty of different ways to ring in the new year and there is not right or wrong way to do so! If you're choosing to go out and have a social new year's, here's a few outfit ideas or inspiration as well as some makeup and nail ideas! The main theme is SPARKLE, which you absolutely cannot go wrong with. I myself will probably spend new years in a pair of leggings and a sweater, which I am 100% content with!







2016 To Do List

Monday, December 28, 2015

I just did my What I Did In 2015 post a couple of days ago, detailing–you guessed it–the things that I was able to cross of my 2015 To Do List. I do these every year, creating a list of forty things that I'd like to accomplish throughout the year, one way or another. I considered not doing one this year, but at this point, it's a tradition for me. This is my fifth year doing it and I think I'd regret it if I didn't humor myself with yet another list. I'm switching it up a tiny bit this year regarding what I put on the list. The "tasks" might seem easier or a bit more obvious, but I think that it's a really gratifying experience to cross things off of a list, so while some of these things are going to happen regardless of a goal set or not, I'd like to add them regardless!

1. Compliment somebody everyday
2. Get new makeup organizers
3. Go to New York City for spring break
4. Graduate in December
5. Get another 4.0
6. Read one new book each month
7. Wear everything in your closet at least once. Donate anything that you don't wear.
8. Go to one new spot in Cleveland every month.
9. Keep the frivolous purchases to a minimum. Start saving your money!
10. Apply for an internship
11. Learn how to actually cook a meal!!!
12. No more drinking coffee at night
13. Stay hydrated!
14. Start sleeping more
15. Get your body moving! Start exercising again!
16. Buy yourself your first legal drink
17. Be even more organized.
18. Attempt NaNoWriMo (preferably complete it)
19. Invest in a pair of staple black heels
20. See a Cleveland Cavaliers game
21. Go on a road trip
22. Focus on skincare! It's time to demolish that acne once and for all.
24. Think more about that fashion program, if you want. No pressure.
27. Focus more on friendships.
28. Give out lots of hugs to those deserving of them.
29. Pet lots of puppies.
30. Survive the first year of One Direction's hiatus
31. Make a bomb a$$ Halloween costume (yes, even better than the last minute Pumpkin Spice Latte)
32. Finish the gallery wall you set out to create and only have two prints for
33. Remember that time you said you wouldn't drink coffee at night? SERIOUSLY DON'T DO IT.
34. Get better at remembering to respond to text messages. Stop disappearing!!! You are not a magician!!
35. Remember, just because you're finished with Spanish academically, doesn't mean you should stop caring about it. Continue to practice!!!
36. Improve this blog tenfold. Make it prettier, get a proper layout, and just put more effort into LATF
37. Go to the beach at least once so you can solidly your hatred for it
38. Start going to the pier again! It's your favorite spot in Cleveland and one day very soon you will not be able to visit anymore!
39. Be kinder
40. Be positive.

Stay Lean Tea Detox (Review & Giveaway)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! There's nothing like spending time with friends and family and stuffing your face with all of the good dinner fixings and desserts. Or perhaps that's just me...I probably could've used a tea detox post-Christmas feasting rather than the weeks leading up to it.

All jokes aside, for the past fourteen days, I've been trying my hand at another "teatox." I tried one over the summer and enjoyed it, but this time around, things were a bit different. Over the summer, I was living at home and had more access to food, but wasn't eating as regularly as I should have been given my schedule. With the Stay Lean Tea Deotox Program, I was at school in my own apartment, on a regular eating schedule, even if it wasn't the most ideal one (read: lots of coffee and carbs).

There were two things I first noticed about this Australian brand before I started the teatox that made me excited to start (and pushed me to do it):

1. NO LAXATIVES!!! Now I didn't react poorly to the last teatox I did that did have laxative properties, but I feel like I will sleep better at night (both figuratively and literally) if this wasn't something I had to worry about. These are very natural teas, so there's no worries about a bad reaction to laxatives if you have a sensitive stomach.

2. TEA SACHETS, NOT LOOSE TEA!!!! I never know how much to measure! And loose tea, while absolutely delicious, is a pain for me to make when I'm in a rush. I'd rather just pop in a tea sachet and call it a day rather than trying to figure out how to measure a certain amount and hope for the best.

Now, as you know, I'm a massive coffee drinker. I love it. I need it in the morning, or at least I convince myself that I do (I do need caffeine of some sort though, or else I get headaches). So I was pleasantly surprised that on days where I didn't have to be anywhere, I would drink the tea and forget to drink my coffee afterwards. I always wanted to make sure to start my day with the Lean Burner Blend (Longjing Green Leaf, Pu'erh Tea Leaf, Dandelion Leaf, Lotus Leaf, Lemon Grass, Oolong Leaf, and Goji Berry) to give me that fresh burst of energy and boost my metabolism before I attempted to drink coffee or eat my breakfast. My favorite thing about this tea, other than the effects, was the taste. You know something tastes great when I don't have to add any sugar to it. Even my favorite black tea needs a spoonful of sugar to make it taste better! So, the taste gets two thumbs up from me right off the bat.

The 14 Day Detox is supposed to: 
  1. Give the metabolism a huge boost
  2. Burn fat & excess calories while at rest
  3. Suppress appetite over a sustained period of time
  4. Remove toxins from the digestive tract
  5. Enhance nutrient absorption
  6. Reduce bloating and water retention
  7. Increase energy levels and boost the immune system
Now, I'm not entirely sure how to gauge five, but I would say that the detox did everything else it was supposed to. I don't own a scale, so while I have no idea whether I lost weight or not, I certainly didn't gain any weight or fat. I will say, I normally get really hungry when I'm at work but the mornings that I had this tea and went to work, my appetite wasn't as "ravenous," so to say. AND BLOATING!!! Bless this tea for reducing my post period bloating. I know, I know, TMI, but seriously I was so excited to start this tea toward the end of my last period because it helped so much when it came to deflating my bloated belly. I generally find that tea detoxes always help me with my appetite, energy levels, and bloating. They're an easy (and delicious!) way to cleanse my system without going to dramatic lengths.

There were some nights where my stomach didn't hurt but I could tell that I had a little too much to eat and maybe it's just a placebo in my head or the tea, but when I'd have my Lean Cleanse Blend (Longjing green leaf, Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Rose flower, Lavender, Roselle, Lemon Grass) I could continue on with my evening peacefully. 

As I mentioned earlier, when I'm at my apartment, I generally don't eat as much as I do when I'm home just because of limited money and the fact that I don't know how to cook anything. I think I would've really liked to try this detox after the holidays...

Which brings me to the second part of this post! To start off the New Year, Stay Lean Tea was kind enough to gift me with a second 14 Day Tea Detox for one of you. I'm going to be giving away one 14 Day Tea Detox Program to one lucky reader! The giveaway is going to last one week from today (1/3/16) and you can enter below (under 18 with a parents permission, as I will need your address to ship the teatox to you)! Unfortunately, this is going to limited to the United States and Canada for shipping purposes. I will contact the winner by email when the giveaway is over to arrange the delivery. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, of course, if you're interested in purchasing one of these programs for yourself (there's a 28 day one as well), you can use the code 'fran99' to receive 10% off of your purchase!

* Many, many thanks to Stay Lea Tea Detox for this opportunity! As always, all opinions are my own! *

What I Did In 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

You may or may not remember this from last year, or from me mentioning it quite a few times in passing, but every year since the beginning of high school, I've decided to not make resolutions. Instead, I make yearly to do lists with around forty things I want to accomplish during the year, whether it's buying something or going somewhere or making a small change within myself. I find it easier to monitor myself through the year with a list, so the lists I shall make. 

Before this year, I was really adamant about wanting to cross everything off because it made me feel accomplished. But 2015 was an incredibly stressful and busy year and I genuinely had no time to do most of these things. As I was reading over this list, though, I didn't feel unaccomplished. Sure, I didn't complete a majority of the things I set out to do, but then I think about all of the things off of the list that I did throughout the year and I can't help but want to give myself a massive pat on the back. Sure, I didn't read as much as I thought I would and I didn't go on a road trip or try out a certain ice cream shoppe, but I managed to snag myself two jobs that I love and–pardon my cliche–sort of transform into this new and improved version of myself, someone who is always positive and just wants to support everyone and anything in what they set out to do.

So when I look at the things on this list that aren't bolded, I'm not upset (though I would've really liked to go to a Cavs game, I'm not going to lie). Instead of thinking of all of the things you didn't do in 2015, think of everything that you did do!

1. Finish Gossip Girl
2. Watch Gilmore Girls in its entirety and fall in love with it all over again.
3. Read 35 books 
4. Travel somewhere
5. Finally read Don Quixote or Les Miserables—your choice
6. Seriously, go a day without your phone. It’ll be good for you. *Went an entire weekend without my laptop. Close enough.*
7. Find an apartment that you love, or at least one that you can learn to love for the price. 
8. Never stop writing, ever. 
9. Fix up your blog
10. Get loans for school. It’s not your parent’s responsibility to put you through college.
11. Learn how to cook a meal that isn’t rice pilaf or pasta. You’re an adult.
12. Apply for an internship. 
13. Attempt & complete NaNoWriMo.
14. Go on a road trip.
15. Seriously, do some yoga. You’re a ball of stress 24/7. I tried, I really did. I am too impatient.
16. Get a new, small Kate Spade cross body. Unless you can miraculously afford a Tory Burch Robinson tote. Then you can get that instead. 
17. Work at a clothing store.
18. Get something you’ve written published.
19. See Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour.
20. Bake 5 new recipes and cook 5 new recipes from Pinterest (Cookie Butter Cupcakes, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter cookies, Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies, Salted Caramel Cookies)
21. Learn more about graphic design.
22. Attempt to vlog for a day, just for fun. 
23. Eat at or visit: Mama Santas, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, West Side Market and Sweet Moses.
24. Go to the Cleveland Art Museum and the Albright Knox.
25. Go to at least one Cavaliers and Indians game.
26. Create a recipe book.
27. Compliment somebody every day. I highly recommend trying to do this.
28. Play “i giorni” on piano.
29. Run twice a week during the summer, at least. 
30. Sleep more.
31. Invest in nicer skincare products
32. Visit 3 new baseball parks (background: when my family and I travel to new cities, we almost always have to go to an MLB game. We’re a baseball family!)
33. Own something Lulu Lemon because I’m all about that expensive trendy stuff.
34. Start reading and commenting on more blogs. Get involved!
35. Wear more skirts and dresses in public. It’s not as embarrassing as you think!
36. Find the perfect red lip. NARS 'Dragon Girl'
37. Try out some DIY projects!
38. Ask more questions—in class, in conversations, in general.
39. Invest in a pair of black heels
40. See NYC at Christmastime.

What is the favorite thing that you did in 2015?

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Eve/Thursday yesterday! And, just like yesterday, I wish your a merry Friday full of cheer and laughter and the best food ever. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Day Twelve: Merry Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone! I hope your days were merry and bright and full of good food and people! 

Day Eleven: The Best Things About Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

1. Christmas cookies

2. Watching people's faces when they open their presents

3. All things peppermint

4. Driving around to see all of the decorated houses

5. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey

6. Dogs in cute sweaters

7. Glittery ornaments

8. Bright red lipstick

9. Parents who take pictures of their babies in stockings and post them on the internet

10. Ugly Christmas sweaters

11. The warm fuzzy feeling that Christmas spirit gives you!

Day Ten: Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Welcome to day ten of the #12DaysofFranmas. We're in the homestretch of the holidays and if you're anything like me, you're struggling for some last minute stocking stuffers and little items to fill up the rest of your presents (or to just pick up something small incase there's a spontaneous gift exchange). I've found a few items that would make great little gifts in themselves, or would be great additions to any other gifts you find that need a little extra something for that special person you're buying them for!

Day Nine: Holiday Mugs

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hot chocolate is socially acceptable at any point, of course, but I feel like it is obligatory during the holiday season. I don't even like hot chocolate and I find myself craving peppermint hot chocolate come December first. And it's a proven fact (in my head) that holiday drinks taste better out of themed mugs. Also, mugs double as a fantastic gift because everyone needs them, but nobody wants to buy their own. These nine mugs are obviously all holiday themed, a gift from me to you on the ninth day of Christmas.

Day Eight: Holiday Movies

Sunday, December 20, 2015

If you remember my pathetic holiday movie list from that year, this one might seem somewhat similar. To be completely honest, movies still aren't my thing, but I'm slowly learning. What better things to learn with than happy, cheery, and festive holiday movies? Here are eight options for you to get through over the course of the next few days (or even after, is there a wrong time to watch The Holiday?)

1. Love Actually

2. The Holiday

3. The Polar Express

4. Elf

5. Four Christmases

6. Bridget Jones's Diary (work with me on this one!)

7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

8. Four Christmases

Day Seven: Sweets and Treats

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Because who doesn't love desserts around Christmas time (read: ALL THE TIME)? Christmas is a big dessert season, especially for cookies, and I don't think anybody can resist baking a dozen or two or ten...There's just something so wonderfully festive about baking and all things Christmas. Can you tell I am festive as heck this year?

1. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

2. Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

3. Eggnog Snickerdoodles

4. Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

5. Chocolate Peppermint Bars

6. Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

7. Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Day Six: Christmas & Winter Candle Scents

Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Friday! Welcome to day six of the #12DaysofFranmas. Today I bring you six wonderful Christmas and winter candle scents for you to burn throughout the rest of the holiday season (and even past to keep the spirit alive!)

Day Five: 5 Gold Things

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I genuinely hope you sang out this blog title as, "FIIIIIIIIIIVE GOOOOOOLD THIIIIIINGS." Because that's how it sounds bellowed in my head and I am not ashamed in the slightest. We've made it to the fifth day of the #12DaysofFranmas. Five gold rings seemed a little limiting, so here are five golden things that would make lovely gifts for anyone!

Day Four: Hot Chocolate Recipes for You (or Two!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy holidays! Welcome to day four of the #12DaysofFranmas. Today, I'm bringing you four different hot chocolate recipes that you can make for yourself at home. What screams winter and the holiday season more than hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and whipped cream? Generally, I am just the laziest when it comes to things, so I normally take a simple mix and just add some Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer, but if you're feeling more adventurous, here are some recipes for you!

2. The Best Mint Hot Chocolate Recipe Ever *Zayn Malik voice* Best mint hot chocolate recipe was the best mint hot chocolate recipe ever...

Day Three: An Outfit for Every Occasion

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Welcome to day three of the #12DaysofFranmas! Today I have three looks for three separate holiday occasions: Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner, and the bonus: Christmas morning. Why not take advantage of being able to wear obnoxiously bright red with emerald green at this time of the year?

Day Two: Makeup Looks for Day and Night

Monday, December 14, 2015

Welcome to day two of the 12 Days of Christmas (According to Francesca). Or, #12DaysofFranmas because I really can't resist myself. Today I bring to you two makeup looks that you can recreate for this holiday season. One is more natural and the other is pretty much Christmas if it puked all over your face. Honestly, the only thing more Christmassy would probably be strands of garland used as fake lashes.

For both looks, you can do your usual face routine, whether it's just concealer or a full coverage foundation. Just put on your skin what you're comfortable with and leave it at that. Feel free to do your brows however you want as well.

For the more natural look on the left, instead of using a normal setting powder, I would go in with one of Hourglass's ambient lighting powders to give you a natural, glowing finish rather than a precise and smooth matte look. If you wanted to go in with an extra highlight, I would go in with NARS Albatross on the highest points of your face (top of your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, forehead, cupid's bow, and your chin). For your cheek color, pop on some of Tarte's Exposed blush for a natural flush that also acts as a faint contour. To finish it off, use some of Lorac's Pro Matte Lip Color in Pink Taupe for that perfect natural mauve lip.

On your lid, place an even layer of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Bikini-tini all over the lid. With a small brush, place a chocolate brown shade (like NYX Tryst) along your upper lash line to act as a very natural eyeliner. Add a coat of your favorite mascara and head out the door!

* * * * * 

For the second look on the right, use a matte setting powder like this one from Rimmel to set your foundation and concealer. Use your favorite matte bronzer (like Too Faced Chocolate Soliel) to contour your cheeks, forehead, and down your neck. Using the original Naked palette, place the shade Half Baked all over your lid and use Smog to blend into your crease to add some definition to your eye. Use a liquid liner to draw a thick line on your lash line and add a small cat flick (Kat Von D Tattoo Liner gives a nice, precise line). After you add your mascara, finish off your look with the perfect holiday red pout (NARS Dragon Girl is a personal favorite).

(images here and here)

Day One: Another Random Gift Guide

Sunday, December 13, 2015

If you're anything like me, you might not know of the perfect gift for somebody. Some people have their niches or "that one thing" about them that makes it easy to get a gift for them. On the other hand, there are some people that you try to shop for and it just seems hopeless because you're not show if what you're getting is special or specific enough for them. Fear not, though, because if the shopping struggle bus is real for you, I have a few suggestions that could solve your problem or point you in the right direction (that would be in One Direction...)

12 Days of Christmas (According to Francesca)

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Hello there! Happy holidays everybody! It's the most wonderful time of the year, aside from the two month-long fashion week circuits for the fall and spring collections. Those two periods of time aside, the holiday season is always a joyous time of year, what with all of the twinkly lights and pretty garland and all the red lipstick.

I won't be home for most of the holidays, which is très tragique, but that doesn't mean that the spirit isn't still alive with the sound of music in my life. I made some snowflake cookies the other night! I have an 80 song Christmas playlist that gets quite a bit of love from me. This time of year makes me want to skip around malls (more than I usually feel like doing) and hug everybody and rattle around some jingle bells obnoxiously. 

To celebrate the season, the next twelve days are going to be filled with holiday related fun, very creatively titled The 12 Days of Christmas (According to Francesca), because Franmas sounded silly and I wouldn't subject anybody to that.

Tis the season of ridiculous hashtags and fun holiday related lists!

My Winter Reading List

Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm being realistic with myself this year. There's no way in hell I'm going to be able to read a lot because I just simply don't read like I used to. Such is life, I suppose. Regardless, here are a few books that I hopefully will finally get a chance to read while I'm off of school.

1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
3. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, December 10, 2015

1. Freedom from classes

ALAS, THE DAY HAS COME!!! All of my finals have been taken and turned in, all of my books have been returned...Francesca is a free elf at last! I have been looking forward to the end of this semester since basically week two. This has been the hardest and most stressful semester I've ever had and I am so relieved that it's over and I get quite a few weeks to relax and and work and just not focus on school. I finish up my Spanish minor next semester, but that's out of sight, out of mind for me right now. I just want to enjoy my time off for once!

2. Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara

I featured this in my top five mascara favorites a couple of weeks ago and that was only after a few uses. Now that I've had it for a couple of weeks, I have truly learned how absolutely fantastic it is. I love the slight curve in the brush and the short, synthetic bristles. It separates and volumes so fantastically that I generally only need a single coat. I nearly just said it was good for a drugstore mascara, but honestly, it's just a great mascara in general. I highly recommend picking this one up if you're in the market for a new one.

3. Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner

I swear, I've had this bottle for ages. I always break out the Kenra conditioner when I'm running low on whatever I'm using at the moment so I have a bit of leeway before I have to dish out some actual money for a new bottle of whatever I'm using at the moment. I just love the scent of this and how I can still smell it when I wake up in the morning after I shower. It makes my hair feel so smooth and soft, even with just a small dollop of product.

4. Selena Gomez

I'm not even going to pretend to be slightly embarrassed about this one. I'm a grown adult, I can like whatever I want to! And Selena Gomez's new album is absolutely fantastic and I cannot get enough of it. It all started when "Same Old Love" kept coming up on shuffle at work and I just learned to embrace it and eventually love it. Then, "Hands to Myself" appeared on my Spotify Discover playlist and basically, I just fell into the black hole of her new album and haven't come out to see the light of day yet. I am just having so much fun listening to her new music and feeling myself and all that nonsense. Such a good album to get ready to or listen to when you're hanging out with your pals. Give it a listen (or don't, if you hate happiness).

What have you been loving lately?

Christmas List

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I don't want a lot for Christmas...there's just one thing I need....I don't care about the presents...underneath the Christmas tree...I just want you for my own...more than you could ever know...make my wish come true...all I want for Christmas is...

In all seriousness, as great of a gift as Harry Styles would be, there's really not a whole lot that I'd want for Christmas. It's basically in the same boat as my birthday, or really any times of the year that would yield gifts. I love giving them out, but when it comes to actually getting gifts, my mind draws a blank and I want to decline every single one of them.

1. pens
2. Mindy Kaling print
3. Chloé perfume sample set
4. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara
5. Kate Spade bracelet
6. Kate Spade Mug
7. Zara booties
8. Donations to NEDA (or my usual Malala Fund)

What's on your Christmas list this year?

Winter Break To Do List

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I am two days away from freedom!

That's right, starting at 2:30 PM on Thursday, I am officially a free woman...until spring semester picks up in mid January. But that's out of sight, out of mind. I am all sorts of excited to have this month off of everything besides work (which I love, so is it really work?)

With free time comes a to do list because even when I'm not doing school work, I still always have to keep myself on some sort of schedule. So here's a list written to myself (shocker) detailing some things that I need to do over break and some kind suggestions to myself.

  1. Clean out under desk and reorganize magazine holders and shelves
  2. Think of new magazine organizer because you, my friend, are running out of space in your little room.
  3. Get more prints for the wall. You can not call it a "gallery wall in progress" when you've had only two prints hanging for nearly four months.
  4. Get floor lamp and step up your selfie game, girlfriend.
  5. Get shoe organizer or trunk or something to put at the foot of your bed. Your room has no furniture. It's kind of creepy.
  6. Read through all of your books and magazines in your room. Do the whole reading thing with your eyes.
  7. Try out new places in Cleveland. It's a win/win, honestly. Cool blog content and yummy food or coffee? Yes please!
What are you going to do over your winter break?

Dream Closet, Vol. 12

Monday, December 7, 2015

Today brings the last Dream Closet of 2015. It's been real, honestly. I still will continue to aspire to own all of these, or at least something from Net-A-Porter. Or at least some sort of designer item that I haven't purchased outside of a consignment shoppe (though really, that's how you get the unique pieces!)

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