Windows Down Playlist

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Any chance I can get, I will drive with my windows down. It doesn't matter if it's a fifty degree day with sunshine in the middle of fall, I'll try it. I just find driving so much more enjoyable when the wind is blowing around my hair like crazy and I can yell at the top of my lungs to songs that improve my moods tenfold. I have very specific songs I like to play on really nice spring and summer days that call for a nice cruise with all four of my windows down.

Organizing Your Closet

Monday, May 30, 2016

I don't have a spectacular closet by any means. I've never had any sort of walk in closet with incredible shelves. I've mainly just had dresser drawers and a long hanging rack that I have to keep organized seasonally to make sure everything fits. It's pretty much the same at my apartment here, but that doesn't mean I don't have a little bit of fun organizing my wardrobe!

I always like to keep my clothing in sections. For the spring and summer season, I have them into these sections: jackets, vests, kimonos, sweaters, sweatshirts (Wildfox jumpers, mainly), button-ups, blouses, t-shirts, skirts, pants, jumpsuits, dresses, scarves and shoes at the bottom of my closet. And in those individual sections, I like to keep everything organized by color as well, from darkest to lightest.

Keeping my closet sectioned off helps me know what I have in my closet at all times. It's easiest to pick through the options that you have for a complete outfit when you can go piece by piece. If I know I want to wear my ripped boyfriend jeans on a warmer spring day, I know to go to the blouse or t-shirt section to find something weather appropriate. If I know I want to wear a dress, I only have to sort through one section of my closet rather than digging through the entire thing to find options. Compartmentalizing every aspect of my life seems to be one of my saving graces that saves my sanity on a daily basis.

When it comes to my drawers, it's sort of a different story. I keep my casual wear stored in the six drawers that are built into the bottom of my bed. Other than the normal daily essentials (socks, bras, underwear, you know the deal), I keep my regular tanks and tee shirts that don't require a hanger to keep their shape in a drawer, my sweatpants and oversized shirts for pajamas, crewneck sweatshirts for loungewear, my workout gear and then another drawer for my jeans and now, shorts. Just as I find that keeping my closet organized by sections, having drawers (and even sections of my drawers) folded and organized by occasion creates a sort of ease when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, which takes it down from an hour of picking an outfit to half an hour. All jokes aside, an organized closet is a happy closet in my opinion!

These are my best tips to having a happy wardrobe!

1. Organization | Keep your closet sectioned off based off what each item is. You could go even deeper into it, keeping tunics together, keeping popovers and traditional oxfords separate. It's up to you based off of what sort of clothing items you have.

2. Color coordinate | This just might be a personal preference, but a color coded wardrobe is so much more aesthetically pleasing to me and helps keep me in line.

3. Put your clothes away after you try them on | Don't let your clothes turn into sand dune piles in the middle of your room. It's so much easier to put them back in their rightful place in their spot in your closet rather than having to scramble to reorganize after clothes have spent a week or even more laying on your floor. It's way easier to keep order along the way than to have to restart weekly.

Good Reads

Sunday, May 29, 2016

1The Man Repeller 2016 Commencement Speech Graduation season is always super emotional!

2. Rosé All Day For those of you who are of age...

3. Instagram vs Real Life (vol 2) I love these kinds of posts. So funny!

4. Bag of Roses Who doesn't love a bag full of flowers in spring?

5. Is Personal Style Thoughtful Anymore? I love reading posts about style. I think it's such a fascinating thing, really.

6. Chicago Chicago is the only city who would possibly steer me away from New York. So. Gorgeous.

7. A Glass Half-Full In which Kelsey somehow manages to write the most #Relatable post in the entire world.

8. How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home I don't have a French Press, but I do have a mason jar....interesting.

What have you been reading lately?

Stuck In A Limbo | May Playlist

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Back at it again with a monthly playlist. This month has been a weird mishmash of my new playlist on my phone and these songs. I've tried to broaden my horizons once again this month music wise, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've been listening to "Black Magic" on a regular basis AKA I cannot walk to my car without the song blaring through my headphones. It's the one of the ultimate strut songs, don't fight me on this.

I'm convinced there's a hierarchy of strut songs in this world, though. The mild strut is to "Style" by Taylor Swift. Medium struts are "Cake by the Ocean" by DNCE and "Black Magic." Then the ultimate of all ultimate strut songs is obviously "Crazy In Love" by Beyoncé. Sometimes, if I'm feeling extra awesome on any particular day, this song will subconsciously play in my head as I walk, even if I don't have headphones in. It's that strong of a song.

To my knowledge, none of these songs have been officially tested by me to live up to a  strut song expectation, but all of them are great nonetheless.

What have you been listening to this month?

Entertaining Yourself Without Roommates

Friday, May 27, 2016

This summer, I'm going to have an extended period of time without roommates. I've spent weekends without them, sure, but this past week without having anyone to come home to has been a bit, well, lonely to say the least. Even when I spend the day working, I still have the evening where I'll just sort of sit and do nothing and then go back to bed before I repeat the process all over again. While there's nothing wrong with sitting down and relaxing there's only so much you can do before it becomes too much right? Plus, if you're lucky and you're best friends with your roommates, you're going to miss 'em while they're gone!

Never fear, there are always ways of coping without them!

1. Mini adventures | Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Go for a walk, go out for coffee. Explore a part of the city you've never seen before. I'm not saying you have to go out for a full lunch by yourself or do things that make you uncomfortable, but staying alone in your apartment/house all day is going to drive you crazy, eventually. Maybe. Then again, if being alone doesn't bother you, then perhaps this post isn't going to help you in general...

2. Netflix | Honestly, watching shows like Gilmore Girls make me feel like I'm surrounded with my best friends. Maybe it's cheesy and a little bit weird, but there are just certain shows that make me feel all homey and warm and a lot of them are available on Netflix. I mean, I'm not saying to sit on the couch for twelve hours straight with no breaks and binge watch something, but even sitting down for a few hours to watch a show or a movie is enough of an escape for that short period of time!

3. Phone calls, Texting and FaceTime | Communication is key when you're separated from anyone. My roommates and I have a group chat that we add nonsense too every once in a while that keeps us connected. But there's also so many options with technology today that the opportunities are endless. You can call them, text them, FaceTime them, Skype with them, What's App, seriously there are so many ways to chat and keep in touch!

4. Time at home or with your family | I know I'm going home a lot in June while my roommates are gone because, well, why not? What better way to get past the loneliness at an apartment than to spend some time at home? I mean, obviously if you're across the country, this might not work, but if you live close enough to make the trip, take advantage!

What's your best way to cope with missing roommates?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, May 26, 2016

1. Gilmore Girls

"Oh my god, again?" you groan. Yes, I did it. Or should I say, oops I did it again? For the fourth time, I watched Gilmore Girls all the way through. It's my favorite show ever, probably the only thing I can watch and leave on as background music and enjoy just as much as music. Because honestly, the dialogue between the characters on that show is like music to my ears. It's so funny and clever and witty and IT'S JUST THE BEST, OKAY? I have seen some episodes too many times to count and I'm not ashamed. That show just brings me insane amounts of joy and I will never give it up. I recommend it to everyone who has still managed to go this long without seeing it. It's been out for sixteen years, c'mon! And yes, if you were wondering, I continued the tradition of absolutely bawling my eyes out during the last episode from start to finish. I don't care if season seven was the worst thing in the entire world, Gilmore Girls is #Life.

2. Warm weather 

#Finally, am I right? It's been like incredibly gorgeous weather for about a week or so here in Cleveland and if you haven't heard me yodeling out of excitement from wherever you are yet, give it time. I mean, it's bad timing because our AC is still broken from last summer (#ApartmentGoals) so you know, I'm sweating a lot, but that's a small price to pay for consistent sunshine and the ability to finally wear my summer dresses and skirts. I'm living for the sun right now. Give me all of the sunglasses and floral dresses and dear god, just give me some color on my legs. I'm begging you.

3. Origins GinZing moisturizer

Back to my tried and true, at least until my sample runs out. My only complaint about this for summer time is that is has no SPF in it. However, despite this, I'm still happily using my 100-point sample from Sephora and layering a moisturizer with SPF in it over it because I love it that much. I used that moisturizer for like two years at the end of high school and my first year of college. I swear to Zayn Malik that this stuff gives you this weird boost. Like, it smells so citrusy and strong and maybe it's too strong for some people but for me, it gives me energy. Not like "I'm going to go run a marathon" energy, but like "I can do today" energy, y'know? It's a more gel like moisturizer and it smells amazing and seriously, if you can get your hands on a sample, do it, fall in love, buy the full-sized version, marry it, have a beautiful family, get buried together. The whole nine yards.

4. Tim Hortons K-cups

The only coffee that has ever mattered, truly. I don't know what to even say about Tim Hortons coffee other than it's the best coffee in the entire world? Don't argue with me on this. The fact that I can't have Timmys when I'm in Cleveland is a cruel punishment and honestly, it was on the con-list back in the day when I was trying to decide on colleges. However, I have slightly gotten over this because Tim Hortons makes their own K-cups and my mom always gives me some when I go back home for the weekend. That's true love right there. Lorelei and Rory who? I'm kidding. But not about Tim Hortons being the best. I would never joke about that.

What have you been loving lately? 

Lipstick Collection

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I own a lot of lipstick. This is a well known fact that I absolutely cannot hide. I have a whole drawer dedicated to it in my makeup collection and even that can't hold them all. I keep my fall and winter lipsticks in a bag underneath my desk so I can actually keep the drawer functional. 

I figured what better time than to do a lipstick collection than now, right? This features all of my lipstick colors sans three because I completely forgot about them (it's the Bite lip duo in Lingonberry and Tangerine and Chanel Extatique). I tried to split them up color wise as best as I could and I'll denote all my favorites with a little asterisk!

Tarte Enchanted, NARS Rikugien *, Tarte Escape, Tarte Elite, Tarte Sweet, Elf Tea Rose, MAKE Taffy, MAC Syrup*,  Lorac Pink Taupe, Lorac French Rose, and Makeup Forever N9

NYX Sydney *, Bite Velvet, City Color Flirtini, Revlon Lovesick, NYX Stella, NYX Ibiza, Urban Decay Anarchy *, NARS Claudia, MAC Divine, MAC Candy Yum Yum, Too Faced Melted Jelly Donut, Anastasia Soft Lilac, and NYX Addis Ababa *

YSL Peach Me Love, * NARS Heat Wave *, YSL 15, Makeup Revolution Vice, MAC Party Parrot *,  Revlon Siren, and NYX Morocco *

Covergirl Hot, Urban Decay F-Bomb, Revlon Cherries In The Snow, NARS Jungle Red, NARS Cruella, Bite Tennin, Bite Holly, NYX Alabama *, Revlon Standout, Tarte Enchanted, Rimmel 107, Rimmel 111, Elf Rich Red, Makeup Forever N43, NARS Dragon Girl *, MAC On Hold, L'Oreal Eva's Red, Too Faced Melted Strawberry, and Kat Von D Vampire. 

Revlon Shameless, YSL Fuchsia in Rage *, Revlon Berry Haute, NYX Violet Ray, NYX Temptress, NYX Transylvania *, Wet N' Wild Raisin, NYX Aria, and Too Faced Melted Violet * 

Covergirl Eternal, Revlon Raspberry Bite, Revlon Blackberry, Lorac Mulberry *, Revlon Black Cherry, Urban Decay Shame, Kat Von D Mau5, NARS Scarlet Empress, MAC Flat Out Fabulous, and NARS Vera *

There wasn't any chance that my lips would survive trying out all of these colors so hopefully the swatches will suffice. If I didn't like any of these lipsticks, I would probably toss them. The only one I'm not fully convinced on is the Makeup Revolution Vice shade, but everything else is up to my standards. Sure, there are formulas and colors that I prefer, but anything truly problematic would be tossed or returned. 

What's your favorite lipstick of all time? 

"It" Bags

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

They're everywhere. You can't scroll through Instagram, flip through magazines, walk down the street, really without seeing one of these bags. They're in the magazines, propped on the arms of the rich and famous, or even just the fashionistas of the internet and cities. They're "it" bags for a reason. Everyone wants them and those who have them are envied. If you're into keeping up with the trends, you might want one of these bags. Hell, you might have one of these bags already! I'm sure there are more than I'm missing and more that will come up throughout the summertime, but these are some that I see everywhere I look. They come into the store, they're in every Youtube video, every Instagram, you name it.

I'm a person who appreciates fashion as an art. I would never (never, ever, ever) suggest that anybody purchase a fake or faux designer bag. However, as a college student on an extreme budget, I also understand that it's physically impossible to allocate thousands of dollars toward a new handbag of all things. There are places like consignment shops and trusted online resellers that you can get second hand and discounted authentic designer handbags. But, you can also rely on fast fashion brands to create similar versions for an extreme price difference. They're not identical and the quality isn't on the same level, but it's a nice alternative for those budgeting something else!

Céline Micro Luggage Tote (approximately $3,400)

Alternatives from H&M and Forever21

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour (between $1990 to $3490)

Alternatives from Call It Spring and Zara

Gucci Soho Disco Bag (approximately $980)

Alternatives from H&M, Forever21 and Zara

Chloe bags (like the Drew, Hudson, etc) (approximately $990 to $2590)

Alternatives from Zara, Forever21 and H&M

Chanel Boy Bag (approximately TOO MUCH MONEY $5200)

Alternatives from Rebecca Minkoff and Zara

I know this aren't exactly cheap alternatives and Rebecca Minkoff is a contemporary designer, but the original bags are so expensive that it just makes sense that the dupes would be too, I suppose.

What's your dream "it" bag?

Summer Fashion Staples

Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer is started to rapidly approach, even if it doesn't seem like it. Warm weather isn't too far off for us up north, meaning that there's going to be a wardrobe shift eventually. Summer is always a difficult time to dress for me because I hate being sweaty and uncomfortable. I'm also typically too lazy to try to put together an actual outfit. Because of this, I tend to follow a pretty similar formula for most of my outfits during the summertime to be "more efficient" as I like to say, though in reality, it's because I'm just too lazy to think about it. These are some of my must-have items in my closet to get me through a long, hot summer.

1. Distressed denim | The perfect distressed denim should come in the form of a pair of proper jeans and a pair of shorts. They could be a pair of all black edgy with rips up the whole whole leg or a pair of loose fitting boyfriend jeans with the knees ripped out. Really, any sort of jeans that have intentional holes in them (whether or not you buy them this way or not) is the perfect pair of bottoms for those not-so-warm summer days where you just don't feel like bearing bare legs. When it comes to distressed denim shorts, you could go for a pair of store bought cut-offs in any shade you want. I prefer a medium to light blue with a cuff at the bottom. I tend to make my own from old or thrifted jeans that I chop up to my own liking! But really, any pair is fine. They just the easiest thing to pull on with a simple outfit so you can go on your merry way!

2. White tees and tanks | I could make a wet t-shirt contest joke, but I'll refrain. Did I technically make one anyways? Probably. Anyways, everyone needs a white tee, a black tee and a grey tee, but for summer? A white tee and tank are absolute musts. They are the easiest thing to throw on with whatever bottoms. Denim, shorts, skirts of all kinds. They match everything! You could get sweat stains like you would in grey and you won't get insanely hot like you would in all black. Explaining the importance of a white tee seems pretty ironic considering I just got my perfect white tee last week at work. But hey, it was just in time for summer!

3. Floral dress | Florals for spring? Groundbreaking. Same goes for summer, I suppose, but they're a staple for a reason. Color is a must have for me during the warm weather and the easiest way to show it off is through a dress that has multitudes of color in one frilly pattern. Plus, it's so easy to match lipsticks to your outfit if you're in a floral dress! There are so many colors to choose from.

4. Solid jumpsuit | This is a new must have for me that has deep rooted reasons for me: for days when you just don't want to shave your legs and days when you're just too bloated to want to wear anything else. Trust me, I can think of a week during the month in which everyone would need something like this. Sure, maxi dresses exist, but some days you just want to wear pants. Even I, the extreme hater of pants, have those days, usually when I don't want my stubbly legs rubbing against each other.

5. Braided sandals | These look good with everything: jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, whatever your little heart desires. Take your pick! They sell them practically everywhere in so many different colors.

6. Signature sunglasses | What is summer without a pair of sunglasses? Everyone has a frame style and color that suits them better than others, so my theory is to go to a store and try on every single pair you're interested in. Take pictures in them, look at them from different angles and truly try to think of how they're flattering your face. There is not one shape or size that is universally flattering, so finding your own shape is your battle. I need big glasses in a lighter color (but not too light, like a frosty white or anything), either round or cat eye lenses. I still haven't found a pair of flattering aviators yet, though.

7. Bralettes | I hate pants and I also hate bras. I try to avoid them at all costs, but sometimes, you just can't. I also have a small chest, practically concave, truly. I'm not sure how bralettes work for bigger chested girls, but if they do work, get them in every color. My god, they are a life saver. Not only are the comfortable, but if they peek out of something, they're cute! Not that it matters if your bra strap shows anyways because like...we're humans with boobs, we wear bras. It's not a secret's just a bra and they're just boobs. This is turning into a whole #FreeTheNippple post which is a totally different story. I digress, bralettes are a really nice alternative to bras for the summer if you're able to wear one comfortably without any worry.

What's one must have in your summer wardrobe?

Good Reads

Sunday, May 22, 2016

1. Perking Up As someone who constantly does too much on too little sleep, this post was practically written for me.

2. 5 Looks We Want To Copy From J.Crew I went through a massive J. Crew phase in high school and my first year of college, sort of flirted with other brands, and now I'm back to heart eyes over J. Crew this season.

3. Tweed Jacket + White Jeans I see plenty of tweed jackets filtering through the store I work in and, god, nothing screams chic more to me. I feel like it's all about the cut and style to keep it from looking aged and old. This one? So unbelievably chic!

4. Cara Delevingne, Kanye West and Other Crucial Tidbits Lots of interesting things going on this week. I made it through twenty seconds of Kanye's Ellen clip before I burst into laughter. It went downhill from there.

5. 10 Habits Of Highly Organized People I like to pretend that I'm an organized person. Who knows, maybe I might actually be, but for now I'm faking it 'til I make it.

6. 3 Tips For Connecting On Social Media Social media is a wonderful, wonderful thing, huh?

7. DIY Deconstructed Jeans Another DIY that I might be able to attempt! I used to make my own high waisted shorts back in the day!

8. Beauty Buff // Vol. 2: Eyebrows Eyebrows are like the most important thing in my life, if I'm being honest and totally dramatic. What was life like before we all cared so much about brows?

9. 8 Chic Makeup Storage Options To Try I desperately need new makeup storage, but I'm holding off until after college.

10. How to Trick Yourself Into Feeling Awesome This went to places I never expected, but you know's not wrong.

11. 25 Things To Stop Freaking Out About Easier said than done, but these are things I'd love to try to stop worrying about!

What have you been reading lately? 

Top Ten Makeup Products for Summer

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I admit it, I wear makeup in the summer and lots of it. I've never been the type of person who can just avoid it all together. I've done plenty of posts on this blog about why I wear makeup. The amount I wear is considerably less in the summer, of course, but you know, it's still on my face. I'm still going to be wearing winged eyeliner to work. I can't help that, it's my signature.

But sometimes, god, it's just too hot to wear my full face. So I have my sort of beauty shortcuts. I always wear foundation because homegirl is always breaking out, but I tend to not set it during the summer and I try to wear the bear minimum of "thicker" products on my face to avoid it a. melting off and b. clogging up #allthepores on my face. After the skin situation is sorted out, I like to give myself a little bronze and glow, some cheek color, a nice light lipstick and, of course, my eyebrows need a little love too! There's definitely some products that I tend to lean more towards during the summer, especially if I'm in a rush and need to do my ten minute makeup routine.

1. Benefit Coralita Blush because it is the ultimate coral blush that gives you the most beautiful natural sheen. You could skip highlighter with this one if you aren't a huge fan of the dewy look!

2. Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel because...brows. This sucker stays in place and gives you enough enhancement that you can skip the powders and pencils if you must.

3. MAC Painterly Paintpot because it is the easiest way to even out the veins on my eyelids without needing to pack on eyeshadow that will either melt or rub off.

4. NYX Sydney Soft Matte Lip Cream because it's the most lovely light pink/lavender hybrid that is the nicest hint of color for summer.

5. Becca Opal Highlighter because sometimes you just want to be a glowy, ethereal being.

6. Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara because who wants mascara that isn't waterproof when they're sweating and around water (well, not me, I hate water).

7. YSL Peach Me Love Lip Oil because I need lip products in the summer. I NEED THEM.

8. NYC Sunny Bronzer because #ContourAllTheThings.

9. Covergirl Champagne Eyeshadow because sometimes you just want an easy pop of shimmer on your eyelids to match that glow on your cheekbones.

10. NARS Orgasm Blush because it's pretty much the most beautiful and flattering blush shade with golden flecks that will keep your cheeks looking bright and happy.

What are you top beauty products for the summertime?

Dream Closet, Vol. 17

Friday, May 20, 2016

It's that time of month again in which I cry over new arrivals on Net-a-Porter. Partially because these items are beautiful and partially because I just looked at my bank statement this morning. Note to self: stop looking at bank statements so often. 

I've come to the conclusion that there's no rhyme or reason to the items that I pick each month. I still don't think I have a set style. I just like things that are aesthetically pleasing, no matter what area of fashion they fit into. I don't have a niche style yet. I mean, there's a classic lace dress and blank jumpsuit in the same photo collage as geometric printed sandals and rose reflective round sunglasses. I'm a bit all over the place, but I kind of like that. 

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, May 19, 2016

1. Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub

My skin is going through a dry patch again. I can't win with it, I swear. I had about two weeks of really nice clear skin and then I started to break out, and bad. I got some spots on my chin and under my lip and one nice and painful one on my nostril. I had no choice but to use my strong topical treatment from the dermatologist. There are two big pros and cons from using this: it scares the zits away by drying the sh*t out of them. The skin around the left side of my mouth and my right nostril is so dry that you can see it flaking. It's gross, okay? And to make matters worse, I ran out of my Dermalogica exfoliating powder right before it happened. I was in desperate need for a new exfoliator that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg like Lush Ocean Salt or Dermalogica Exfoliant. I love my Simple Facial Cleanser, so I figured it'd be safe enough to try out their gentle face polish.

Needless to say, it was a pretty solid life choice. My problem with drugstore exfoliants is that they are either too rough and coarse or too gentle. I either rip apart my skin or it feels like I'm slathering my face with goop that has a few little grains in it. But I like this one! It is gentle, but it feels like when you work it into the skin. I try to do thin layers to try to concentrate the exfoliants on one area at a time instead of trying to goop on a large dollop and get my whole face at once. Concentrating on one area lets me fully exfoliate and detoxify that area. Plus, it smells nice! Nothing worse than a bad smelling product on your face.

2. Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

Since my senior year of high school, I've been using the spot concealer from Origins religiously. I don't know how many tubes I've gone through since then, but I can guarantee that it has been a lot. I figured it was time to try a new spot concealer, so I followed the lead of many other beauty bloggers and Youtubers and headed straight for the Urban Decay counter when I went to Sephora. And pardon my language, but damn, this concealer is great. I use half the amount than I did with my Origins concealer. It's pigmented, it's easy to blend out, and it's long lasting. What more do you need in a concealer? It does the job and it does the job well. If this concealer was a person, it would get promotion after promotion from its good work ethic.

3. Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

I've been using the same terrible contour brush for years and it was finally time to get something that didn't have flimsy, thin bristles and a messed up shape. On the recommendation from a friend (my ultimate beauty guru, in all honesty), I picked up the Real Techniques Sculpting brush. I use their flat top synthetic brushes for my foundation and love them to death, so I'm not at all shocked by how much I love this one. It's soft, picks up just enough product, and fits perfectly into the hollows of my cheeks. It feels so lovely against the skin when I'm applying it. I was nervous that the denseness of the brush would apply way too much product to the skin, but all you have to do is tap off the excess product (like you should do anyways) and you're fine.

4. Chocolate Chip Pancakes

If you don't have a bag of chocolate chips and instant pancake mix on hand in your cupboard, get both of them as soon as possible. I didn't realize how happy your morning could start with a nice hot cup of coffee and a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. I can't imagine starting my morning off any differently. I know it's not exactly the healthiest breakfast, but I throw in some fruit with it and I call it a morning. I love eating pancakes on days that I work because they keep me fuller for longer than my usual bagel. Long live the mornings of pancakes for breakfast! But this does remind me that I need to pick up a new box and some eggs so I can switch it up once in a while...

What have you been loving lately?

A Hair Dilemma

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It's actually not a dilemma. I don't know why that blog title is so dramatic. I mean, I do. I'm dramatic and extra and I like to make everything in my life the same way but...I digress, I need something done to my hair, stat. There is only one magical human in the world I trust with my hair and since my time at home is very, very rare, I have to strategically plan out my trips to the salon to fix the mess on top of my head. Alas, I haven't been able to go since...I'm ashamed to admit the last time I had my hair cut, so I'm not even going to say it. But I can assure you it wasn't in 2016.

However, good news is that I've had an appointment schedule for the beginning of June for about a month or so and I have just been bouncing off of the walls since. My head is just full of new ideas for what I want done to it. The length, the color, the...well, I mean, I guess that's it. But still! Haircuts are always new and exciting for me. Before The Great Haircut of December 2014 (when I chopped my mermaid hair off into a Taylor Swift lob), I used to go into the salon and tell my personal hair magician to cut off the least that she needed to. I wanted to keep my length. I was terrified of short hair. Now I'm like #BeenThereDoneThat, do what you need to do. Hair stopped being my security blanket and now it's just part of me that I like to play around with. I think my eyebrows might have taken the security blanket position...I kid, I kid.

So, I'm not quite sure what I'll end up getting done, especially since I like to give the hair queen free reins on it. If she doesn't think it will work out, I'll nix the idea, no problem. These are just some of the cuts or colors I've been thinking about. I'm definitely staying lighter in color because I don't think I'll ever be ready to stop being blonde. I've been going 20 years strong with that color. I'm not ready to give it up.

Okay, so this one is obviously based on length. I'm not ready for dark hair, definitely not. But Olivia Palermo always looks perfect and put together and is the human embodiment of everything I want to be in life and more. So I mean, if I get my hair cut like her at this period in her life, that means I'll follow a similar path. Right? Right? If I can't be her, I might as well try to look like her...

I would marry Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a heartbeat. I can't tell if  want her hair because it's beautiful or if I really just wanted an excuse to have a photo of her on my blog? The true reasoning behind this is still unclear to me, but I love the honey color of her hair and the length of this cut seems to be right up my alley...

Saoirse Ronan has been ultimate #HairInspo for me since I saw her on the red carpet during the Oscars. Other than the fact that that emerald sequin Calvin Klein dress was amazing, my eyes were focused on her bright, beautiful hair. I think I immediately found photos online and saved them because I knew I wanted to do something like that. Since her hair was styled in those photos and it was a bit hard to tell the actual style, I think that the picture above is probably what I'm going to go with.

And last but not least, Meghan Rienks is everything inspiration, but I really liked this cut that she showed a while back on her Instagram feed. I wouldn't do a center part because I am not nearly cool enough to pull it off (it's in the same boat as the 'athleisure' trend and Adidas sneakers), but I mean, the length is great. I would go a bit lighter, for sure. And while that picture is there, someone remind me that I need a really distressed pair of boyfriend jeans. Thank you. 

So I guess we won't know what I pick until June 3rd, but know that I am 100 different types of stoked to get my hair done, for multiple reasons. One of them being that my hair right now is an absolute disgrace and I should honestly make a cake for my hair wizard for having to deal with the mess I'm about to bring her. 

(images from: here, here, here and here)

Adjusting Your Schedule Without School

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It hasn't even been a week since the semester ended and I'm already entirely out of sorts. When the semester is in session, I constantly complain about work and having too much on my plate. I don't like going to classes, I don't like stressing over the workload. I spend the whole semester wishing it was over, essentially. But now that I don't have school for the summer, I feel a bit lost. Where does all of my free time go now? I still work, sure, but what do I do with my hours upon hours allotted for homework, reading for classes, studying, writing papers? Where does that time go? How am I supposed to spend it now?

This wasn't an issue when I was living at home. I had friends at home I could hang out with and knew I at least had three family dinners a week to attend. But now I'm in Cleveland, three and a half hours away from home with my roommates and friends here gone for the summer, or at least for the most part. How am I meant to pass the five or six hours that I have free after work. Or even worse, how am I supposed to spend an entire day off of work?

Filling up free time is a harder task than I thought it would be, especially when the weather hasn't been fantastic. Without schoolwork, I feel like I need to get out of the house. Class and work always at least got me out for a few hours, but if there's a day where I have neither of those things...what am I meant to do? It's almost like class work was my roadmap during the semester and now I'm wandering aimlessly around trying to find my way. I don't want to spend my whole summer lazing around in a daze because I feel like there's nothing else to do.

Yes, there's always Netflix and movies and what not. I could blog, I could watch Youtube. I could do a lot of things in the safety of my apartment, but that's what I've been doing and it's getting stale already. I am not a sit on the couch for hours type of person. I can marathon things if I'm doing work or if I'm with a friend, but by myself with no other distractions? It makes me feel like my soul is deteriorating. I am not a sit around type of person, I am a "you need to do something right this moment, young lady" type of person. So how do I rectify this?

I need to get out of the house. I need to take walks to the lake, to the pier, just for half an hour downtown to get a coffee. I need to start exploring Cleveland solo, finding new places rather than hitting the same digs continuously. I need to start running around, find a park or something where I don't have to worry about traffic lights and stopping at every street corner downtown. I need to remember to take advantage of the time that I do have when people are in Cleveland so I can spend time with them while I can! Really, I think the key to adjusting my schedule is to remember that there is a schedule to adjust. Because it's easy to fall into a pattern of nothingness if I don't at least force myself a little to break the habit. There's absolutely nothing wrong with relaxing (which is another thing I need to tell myself), but that means there has to be something wrong with too much relaxing, right? Right? Or is that just my hyper type-A mind telling me so?

Summer Beauty Essentials

Monday, May 16, 2016

I feel like every time I have one of these warm weather posts planned, the weather seems to do the opposite of what I want it to. So I am currently writing this summer makeup essentials post from the safety of my bedroom with a warm blanket draped around my shoulders, much like a cape. My desk chair is my throne and while I don't have a crown, I'd like to think that there's always an invisible tiara perched delicately on my head.

My makeup routine changes with the seasons. Certain things remain the same and it always depends on what I'm doing at the time, but my summer beauty routine has to adjust to the warm weather. It's hotter (usually) and more humid (always) and tailoring the products I use to cater to the seasons is a necessary step in my seasonal routines.

Skincare routines are essential for me, a human with skin who has had a personal vendetta against her since age thirteen. Four score and seven years ago, my skin was cursed with acne, oil and the occasional dry patches. There are ten different terrains on my face. A desert around my mouth and nostrils, a rainforest on my cheeks and forehead. It's like my face is split up into permanent hemispheres with their own seasons. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

The most important (seriously the more important) part of my summer makeup routine that I don't worry about all year is the usage of SPF in all of my makeup. My moisturizer has SPF, my foundation has SPF. I keep my face covered as much as I can. The last thing I need in my life is burnt skin on my face that will just lead to stinging and more painful skin peeling. I don't care if my face ends up being shades upon shades lighter than the rest of my body. I don't want sunburn anywhere on me, but I really don't want it on my face. However, sunscreen in general is one product that I cannot go without in the summer. That, and aloe vera.

I use practically the same products all year round, but I tend to switch up how I apply them. I'll wear less foundation and I typically won't get it unless I really need to. Setting it tends to make my makeup  look cake-y and gross and it just transforms into a sloppy mess. I switch to cream products: cream eyeshadow, cream blush, the occasional cream highlighter if it's not particularly humid and sticky that day. Cream products settle much better into my skin when the weather starts to heat up and my skin has some life left in it. My favorite cream eyeshadows are MAC Paint Pots and the Maybelline Color Tattoos. And my all time favorite cream blush is NARS Cactus Flower, but I also love the NYX Rouge Cream Blushes (I have Orange and Glow). Looking for a cream highlighter? Benefit High Beam, Girl Meets Pearl and Watts Up! are three that I la-la-loved using them.

But above all, my #NumberOne during the summer is bronzer. Bronzer, bronzer, bronzer. As I mentioned, my face tends to be a shade or two lighter than the rest of my body. To even out the color, bronzer becomes my best friend. I apply more than my usual sculpting contour, using it to warm up my features without turning me into a muddy, orange mess. I really love the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, NARS Laguna Bronzer, Benefit Hoola Bronzer and the NYC Sunny Bronzer!

Another key characteristic of my makeup other than cream is waterproof. I tend to wear waterproof products all year round because my eyes get a bit wet. I use my waterproof eyeliner on my bottom lashes as well as a final coat to hold the curl. I like the Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes waterproof mascara and used a waterproof version of Maybelline Rocket mascara, but I'm really loving MAC False Lashes. It says it's smudge-proof and doesn't flake, which is true. It's so, so true. I used to get darker circles under my eyes, not from a lack of sleep, but from my mascara flaking off of my lashes and pooling underneath my eyes.

Last but not least, my hair needs some love too. My hair holds a curl just find, but the second that there's even a trace of humidity in the air? Pin straight with gross frizzy textures that can't even be combed out with my fingers. The only product that I've ever been able to use to keep my hair from flattening during the humid periods of the summer is my texturizing spray from Living Proof. Either I'll spritz it directly on my hair if I want to retain the curl I have or I'll spray it into the palm of my hands and scrunch it in if I want a more deconstructed look. As long as I don't over do it with my hairspray/texturizing spray combination, my hair doesn't get heavy, crunchy or knotted. It's great!

And that's how my beauty routine survives over the summer!

Good Reads

Sunday, May 15, 2016

1. How To Dress Well On A Budget: Suit & Tie I will never, ever get over Carly Cristman's style. Never. This is one of the coolest, sleekest looks I've ever seen. 

2. Screw Self-Esteem. Self-Compassion is Better for Personal Style "...self-compassion is something else entirely. An internal acceptance of ourselves as whole individuals who are both flawed and worthy of love at once." 

3. The Chatroom: Alexa Chung Alexa Chung AND Leandra Medine in one video? YES PLEASE. 

4. Spring Rompers I would like warm weather now, please. And also this romper. And also the ability to wear hats.

5. BB Dakota Fergie Top Fergalicious definition....just kidding! This top is so cute and summery, though! Loveeee it. 

6. DIY Off The Shoulder Shirt Is this a DIY that I can actually attempt and succeed with? 

7. #NeverBasic Everything about these outfits are amazing. They're so simple yet they still manage to pack a punch. Gosh, I'm obsessed with this styling.

8. Why Is the Internet Obsessed With Chrissy Teigen? Chrissy Teigen is an absolute babe

9. The Tone It Up Team Shares Their Morning And Nighttime Routines I used to be obsessed (uhhhhhbbbbbsesssed) with the Tone It Up girls! They kept me nice and fit my freshmen year of college!

10. Addicted to Coffee? Same, Ditto, Me Too. How to Wean Off of It I am always torn between wanting to quit coffee, but I'm always dragged right back in. I NEED THE CAFFEINE. I need it!

11. Gluten-Free Done Easily Sometimes it's fun to switch it up in the kitchen!

12. How I Save Money When I Travel I figure in about a year's time, I'll have to start using these tips! Hopefully! Crossing my fingers!

13. Ten Life Lessons I Learned In College Numbers one and ten...hashtag same. 

What have you been reading lately? 

Summer Concerts

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I used to be the biggest fan of concerts. It's not to say that I still don't love them now, but things got a little different when I stopped having disposable income (aka no bills) and people to go to concerts with. Now I pick and choose which acts are lucky enough to deserve my attention (I'm a great concert I will be the most animated in the crowd if needed). All jokes aside, me attending concerts has become a rare event, despite me wanting to go to so many.

Like all summers, this summer is going to be packed with fun tours and nonsense. If you're a concert goer, here are some shows that you could/should check out if they're coming to your city!

  • Twentyone Pilots
  • Ellie Goulding
  • The 1975
  • Maroon 5
  • Parachute
  • Melanie Martinez
  • Born Ruffians
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Selena Gomez & DNCE
  • Nick Jonas & Demi Lovato
  • Florence + the Machine
  • Rooney
  • Dashboard Confessional
  • Death Cab For Cutie & CHURCHES
  • The Wombats
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Weezer, Panic! At The Disco & Andrew McMahon
  • Coldplay
  • Boys Like Girls (#TBT)
  • Goo Goo Dolls
  • Bob Dylan
  • Train
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Beyoncé
  • Drake/Future
  • And many more...
If you just scrounge around on ticket selling websites, there are tours on tours on tours on tours. The chances of you finding an awesome show to go to is high, so definitely check out the dates from your favorite bands to see if they're coming around to your area. There's nothing like that adrenaline rush that a concert gives you, so seize the day and get your dancing shoes out and over to the venue. 

I know I'm personally seeing the Weezer/Panic/Andrew tour this summer and I would give an arm and a leg to see Parachute again. 

Are you seeing any concerts this summer?


Friday, May 13, 2016


You heard it here, folks. The Spring 2016 semester is finally over. After five grueling months of what has felt like the worst semester ever, I am free. We are free. I feel like Jean Valjean at the beginning of Les Mis when he stares Russel Crowe in the eye and marches away. I didn't steal a loaf of bread, but it feels like I've served my time. I could just burst out into song, but I won't. I haven't had nearly enough coffee for that. I give myself an hour until I'm in the car. My life is just one big episode of Carpool Karaoke.

I finished my last exam at approximate 6:43 yesterday and honestly, I don't know how it went. I am, and always have been, the type of person who takes an exam and immediately forgets everything that happened on that exam. I don't remember questions, I don't remember my answers. I essentially blackout while I'm taking the test and just accept whatever has happened to me.

What am I supposed to do with my free time? I mean, I'm going to work but like...what else? What am I supposed to do when I'm done with work? What do I work on? What do I stress about? WHAT IS FREE TIME?!

I'm going to hate myself for this when next semester (my last semester) comes around and I'm like "why did I not want free time?" But for now, I have a feeling I'm going to be a bit lost. Granted, I have books and magazines and TV shows to fill me time. I could start exploring downtown again. I could do a lot of things. The question is...will I?

Well, I sure hope so!

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, May 12, 2016

1. YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil in 6 Peach Me Love

Never in a million years did I think that a product like this would show up on one of my Things I'm Loving lists. Never. I am an opaque, matte lipstick kind of gal. I like my bold, bright lip colors that take immense amounts of effort to wash off at the end of the night. I am not a glossy person. However, after a friend talked about this product and I saw some videos about it on Youtube...I had to. Okay, perhaps it had to do with my tax return as well, but regardless of that fact, I got it and I fell in love. Everything about it is wonderful. It smells great, it feels even better, the color payoff is surprisingly amazing for a lip oil. And the stain it leaves...I literally cannot. It leaves the most beautiful and even stain that is way more pigmented than you would expect. Even my mom tried it on and said it felt nice. My mom, the woman who wears only chapstick and just got her first MAC lipstick on Mother's Day (courtesy of me). Completely, totally, 100% the price tag.

These were a spur of a moment purchase. I was just looking at Quay glasses online last week because I've been seeing them absolutely everywhere. Glasses are always funny on me because I need very specific colors and sizes for my skin tone and my massive head/nose combination. Ordering sunglasses on a whim online sounds like a disaster to me, so finding the perfect pair of glasses sitting on a table at Nordstrom was completely unexpected. I've always wanted reflective lenses and honestly...these glasses just scream summer to me. They're comfortable, they're lightweight, and yet they're still incredible quality. I love, I love, I love. 

3. Perlo

Have I talked about Mree before? I definitely have talked about Mree before. Regardless, this is Mree's new side-project, an ethereal ("dream-folk") duo with Henri Bardot. They have their first EP out and's so good. It's so, so, so good. It's very reminiscent of Mree's music with the same dreamy, light vibe and lyrics that just punch you in the gut. New writing and reading music? Yup!

4. Pleated skirts

I think I've always loved pleated skirts since my eleven year stint with uniforms. I got rid of my last pleated skirt because it wasn't the pleated skirt for me. This one however...this one is officially the pleated skirt of me. It's so flattering and easy and I can see myself styling this all summer with absolute ease. Obviously, with this knitted silk mock neck sweater, it's a bit more fall/winter, but I have plenty of light weight sweaters and tops that I can pair with it to make it more spring and summer!

What have you been loving lately?

New Cooking Endeavors

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Want to know who needs to start cooking and baking again? I'll give you a hint. It starts with Fran and ends with Cesca. I've been absolutely horrible when it comes to doing things for myself, mostly involving cooking. I tend to take the easy road, which is also a really, really frozen road. Also, boxes. Lots of boxed mixes. It's truly sad. If my life was a reality TV show, the cameramen would feel so bad during feeding time that they would immediately put the cameras away.

I used to be a baker. That is not only a great quote from Harry Styles used repeatedly over the course of the past few years, it is also very true and relevant to my life. When I was living at home and had free time, baking became a sort of hobby. Okay, mostly it was to satisfy my sweet tooth without leaving the house. Baking does bite up more time than, you know, driving to the store, but I'll do anything to get out of leaving the house.

Alas, my third year of college has stolen so much of my time that baking has become a thing of the past. But never fear, Franchefsca is here! Or she will be! Hopefully! I'm optimistic about making at least one of the things on this new list of recipes to try out. Between baking and cooking, there are a few things I'd like to try out over the summer when I at least have a tiny bit more free time with school being done.

1. Roasted Garlic, Chicken & Herb White Pizza
2. Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry
3. Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges
4. One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
5. Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf
6. Homemade Best-Ever Blueberry Streusel Muffins
7. Lemon Crumb Muffins with Lemon Glaze 

What are the chances of me actually making something listed above? The world may never know...

My Recent Buys

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Over the course of the past few days, I think I've done more shopping than I've done since January. Okay, that's a lie, I did quite a bit of damage in New York but that's different! That was New York, this was just me being a little too swipe happy over at Beachwood Mall and the outlets back at home. It's for my blog, I told myself as justification but who am I kidding? It's all for me.

I picked up some beauty bits and a couple of fashion pieces that I justified as necessary. I mean, to an extent, part of it was, which I will explain in a bit.

For beauty, I picked up: the YSL Volupté Tint-in-Oil in the shade 6 Peach Me Love, MAC False Lashes mascara, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in the shade Light Warm, Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in the shade Soft Lilac, Makeup Revolution Salvation Intense Lip Lacquer in the shade No Ordinary Love,  Makeup Revolution lipstick in the shade Vice, and a Real Techniques sculpting brush. I will talk about all of these separately at some point, but just know that the YSL lip oil changed my life and I am 100% willing to buy every single color.

As for looks like I went a bit overboard. Did I really need three new pairs of shoes? And my answer to that is yes. I literally have two pairs of shoes I can wear on a regular basis this time of year: my Steve Madden open toed booties and my Target braided sandals. I have some wedges and a pair of gray fabric quilted slip-ons, but those are for specific outfits only. So, I decided to make the jump and buy a few more pairs of shoes at Old Navy to add to my teeny, tiny collection. Two pairs were on sale and the booties were only $35. I'm always better off with leather, but honestly, I'm not too concerned about these nude ones not working out.

Last but not least, I picked up two clothing/fashion pieces. The first is my first pay of Quay sunglasses that I got on a whim at Nordstrom on Friday. I saw them, I tried them on, I headed straight for check out. They're so fun. I have never received more compliments on a pair of sunglasses in my life. They have to be, hands down, my most flattering pair of glasses since The Great Burberry Purchase of January 2016. And last, but certainly not least, I couldn't resist picking up this Wildfox jumper. I just couldn't! I've had my Shopping Is My Cardio Wildfox jumper since...god, freshmen year of college? I've worn it between two to three times a week since I've gotten it and I figured it was time to get a second one to alleviate some of the wear on it.

I think I am officially done shopping for a while. Well, that's a lie. There is one thing I didn't get during this weekend shopping extravaganza that I desperately need: a pair of black leather slip-ons. I'll get there eventually...

Head to Toe Black (Night)

Monday, May 9, 2016

The word "night out outfit" is not something that is typically in my vocabulary. I'm not sure if I've ever used it before today, though I'm sure it's slipped. But my love for this lace shift dress from Tobi is eternal, okay? My love affair with shift dresses has been an ongoing one since my first year of college, when I realized that shift dresses were not only uber flattering on me, but also allowed me to eat whatever I wanted without losing any comfort. From then on, we've been going strong and I haven't thought about turning back since.

I've never owned a shift dress as pretty, intricate and delicate as this one though. Basically, there's a whole lot of stuff going on, but it works. There is one bottom layer that is just a black sheath dress. On top of that is this thick layer of like...embroidered lace that hangs a bit lower than the sheath underneath, giving it this really cool laser cut look at the hem. Then at the top, there is this mesh cap sleeve/collarbone thing going on that is just like uber flattering and cool, conservative but not conservative at the same time. It's this detail that's like "I'm not like other moms. I'm a cool mom!", but replace mom with high neckline and then you've got it.

I'm rambling so much because I am just a tiny bit in love with this dress and I am looking for some place to wear it immediately.

Dress: c/o Tobi
Shoes: Call It Spring

And just when you think you're done with all of the mesh fun....BAM! You've got a deep V in the back covered in that pretty sheer mesh. Could this dress get any better? Probably not.

Sorry for the up close boobage shots but like...THAT LACE THOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

** This post was sponsored by Tobi but, as always, all opinions are my own. Thanks!**
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