Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Reflection

January's reflection post is coming a day early because, well, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to it's my blog and I'll write about whatever when I want to. January has been A Month™ to say the least. The beginning of a new year can either go one of two ways. This year, from the start, was going to be bittersweet. Collectively, 2016 was a pretty awful year. Of course there are going to be people who had great years, but I'd say for a great deal of humanity, 2016 was not kind. 2017 was a beacon of hope for a better year.

But now we're only a month into 2017 and everything is starting to seem bleak. The past two weeks have felt like they've been eons long. It seems like for everything terrible, unspeakable thing that has happened, something good has followed, even if it's just the masses coming together to rally support.

I've addressed this on Twitter, but nothing has stretched formally onto my blog. Nothing will be discussed in detail, as I'm not a news source, but just as Leandra addressed in Man Repeller's post Man Repeller’s Role in Trump’s America this week, not addressing this and diving into spring trends and my favorite face masks just seemed wrong without some kind of acknowledgement.

January is my first month without school and the first month of my new job. It's also the start to the next four years of our lives and I think that that's a hell of a lot more important than what happened to me this month. Here's to a better February!

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Review of Sorts: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Part of my goals for 2017 was to read a new book each month. Twelve months, twelve books that I haven't even cracked the spine of before. It's a goal that I'm finally ready to keep, no matter what. I made a reading resolutions post shortly thereafter where I listed off a dozen or so titles that I would like to read during the year. High on that list was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, a young adult book that I've been recommended quite a few times by friends with impeccable tastes in books. Normally, I only buy paperback books, but I decided to splurge and finally bite the bullet and buy the hardcover version of this book because I spent too long trying to put it off.

We Were Liars is a fairly short book. It's about 225 pages with a decent sized font, but my god, if those weren't the most thrilling 200 odd pages I've read in a long time. Thrilling? A young adult book? I could go on a rant about the negativity that seems to be associated with YA literature and the bad rep it gets for being geared, generally, towards younger audiences. My favorite books are, and will be for a long time, YA novels. But, that's another rant for another time.

The book follows, in brief memories through the narrator's eyes, the Sinclair family. They're wealthy beyond belief, spending their summers off the coast of Martha's Vineyard on their own private island. They live lavishly in their own homes on the island, cared for by a staff of housekeepers and cooks (whose names Cadence–the narrator–doesn't even know). There are three daughters who have children of their own, Cadence, Mirren and Johnny being three-fourths of the "Liars." The fourth is Gat Patil, the son of one of the sister's partner. It's clear that Gat feels as though he's an outsider in the Sinclair family. He's treated differently, especially by the grandfather, and his thoughts never quite align with the rest of the groups'. His perspective is fresh and against everything they've known growing up, and it hooks Cadence.

We know that Cadence suffers an accident in "summer fifteen" (the summer she was fifteen, easy enough) and that becomes the main purpose of the book. What happened on that night? Why couldn't she remember what happened? Why was she discovered alone? Because of this mysterious accident, Cadence suffers memory loss and intense migraines. She can't go back to the island for "summer sixteen," her schoolwork is affected and she still can't piece anything together. She begs her mom to let her go back to the island for summer seventeen and, reluctantly, she agrees to allowing her four weeks on the island. Except, when Cadence arrives, it's clear that her mother warned them not to talk to her about her accident because the doctors told her to remember naturally.

The rest of the book follows Cadence and the liars as she tries to remember what happened that summer. And let me just tell you, it's wild.

I was completely and entirely engrossed in this book. I loved the language that was used. The sentences weren't winding and complicated with multiple parts making it difficult to follow. There was almost an element of shorthand to some of them which seemed to suit Cadence's narration and character.

I read this book entirely on Saturday, starting it during a lull at work and finishing it while the kids I was babysitting were sleeping. Yet again, I complete a book without being able to wait until the next day to finish. I highly highly recommend checking this book out if you're looking for something new to read. It'll keep you on your toes, for sure.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Good Reads

1. Camel Coat I love the simplicity of this outfit. It's still super chic and it only requires a few key pieces. Plus, I loved the sentiment about simplifying your closet. I mean, who knows whether or not I'll be able to give up my ruffle sleeved sweater without a good fight, but I think everyone could benefit from a little bit of simplification.

2. Gird Your Loins: “The Devil Wears Prada” is Coming to Broadway I have been internally screaming about this since I heard the news. Honestly, my life has never felt more fulfilled than it has now just from hearing the news about a musical that I have zero part in.

3. 8 Important Questions About ZAYN and Taylor Swift’s New Music Video Honestly, these are my thoughts exactly. I hate the franchise, I'm not Zayn's biggest fan as of late, and the song...the songs sounds like it was done in a week. Jack Antonoff, you've done better. Anyways. There's my little spot of negativity for the day. Number five and number eight get me though.

4. Is ‘Sorry’ Still a Dirty Word? I say sorry like it's going out of style. If statistics were ever made about my conversations, I think they would read as such: 60% of sentences begin with "Sorry, I *fill in the blank*. The word "sorry" appears probably twice as much as any other word in my vocabulary.  And for what?

5. A Floral Dress + A Pink Wall God, that floral dress is gorgeous. I love that it has the black piping to contrast the really delicate floral print. Plus, that pussybow is just an adorable addition to an already great dress.

6. Take a Bow Speaking of bows...oh my god, I am in love with this look. Plus, the pink jacket? Honestly, my eyes are hearts right now because of this look.

7. 11 Must-Read Books for Winter Hibernation I am so in need of new books to read, especially if I want to keep up with my new book each month goal for 2017! I just finished my first book of the year last night.

8. How to Make a Matcha Latte at Home Lord knows I will be too lazy to buy these products, but matcha lattes are my favorite so I'm just going to sit over here and pretend for a hot second that I'm not a piece of trash and could, in theory, make one for myself some day.

9. Confessions of a Former Celebrity Gossip Addict THIS. WAS. ME. In middle school, my favorite website was Oceanup.com. I wanted to know the hot gossip on every single Disney-esque celebrity and I wanted to know it quick. I scoured Perez Hilton (gag), surrounded myself with enough Hollywood gossip that, as I look back on it, makes me a little sick. Sigh.

10. New Jeans Worth Raving About I must agree! They are so cute. I need more jeans in this style to go with my statement ankle boots. Sometimes skinny jeans just don't cut it for the looks I'm trying to aim for!

11. Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing These are the cutest cookies my eyes ever have seen. I have zero use for them at the moment, but I'm just going to enjoy staring at the pictures for the time being!

12. Intersexism Finally Has a Boldface Advocate: Hanne Gaby Odiele What a brave, brave soul. So proud of Odiele for coming forward and helping others understand.

13. Office Apropos: Winter 2017 (Part 1!) I love these girls' style so much. When will I ever get to dress as cool? When will I ever be as cool? When will I finally be in New York?

14. Love Trumps Hate It's been really refreshing to see some bloggers come forward and use their voices on their platform to promote their beliefs. I believe Mackenzie Horan talked about her experience at the Women's March last week on her blog recently as well.

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

We Could Be Heroes | A January Playlist

The end of January is near and we're a few days closer to surviving the first month of 2017. A lot of sh!t has happened in the past week that has made January feel like it was six years long, but hopefully  that doesn't become the theme for the year. But, this isn't a January reflection quite yet! Today we're talking about the tunes that I've been enjoying over the past month. 

As usual, Little Mix has dominated this month, but I haven't included any of their stuff on this playlist sheerly because I think by now my obsession with them is apparent. Other than my usual monthly Little Mix binging, I've listened to a fair bit of new music this month! I had two really, really great Discover playlists in a row which gave me dozens upon dozens of new awesome songs, most of which you'll see on this playlist.

Two of my favorite songs on this playlist are "Are You Home" by Broods and "Heroes" by David Bowie (where the title of this post comes from). Broods are just a sick band in general, but there's something about this song that is just super addicting and has me belting out the chorus and swaying back and forth. I think I need to listen to it right now, or at least as soon as I finish this blog post. The second song I've loved this month is one by David Bowie. How have I gone 21 years without hearing this song before? Maybe I have but I feel like I would have remembered it. It's one of those songs that I feel like would play somewhere in a coming of age indie movie and I just cannot listen to it enough. 

Can't wait to see what music shows up on next month's playlist.

What have you been listening to this month?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Recent Outfits, Part Five

I call this outfit I Very Desperately Wanted to Be Comfortable, But In Reality It Was Around 60 Degrees and I Was Sweating Bullets All Day also known as Any Excuse To Look Cute and Cozy In My New Glasses. 

Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Joe's Jeans (from Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Boots: Steve Madden
Glasses: Prada

I call this look I Feel Really Bougie Whenever I Say That I Find It Difficult to Wear Sweaters That Aren't Cashmere also known as This Is The Closest I Will Ever Get to Finding the Ultimate Audrey Hepburn Breakfast At Tiffany's Sweater, Now Where Are My Pigtails? 

Sweater: Max Mara (purchased at Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Zara

I call this look I Bought This Sweater Dress/Tunic (Seriously, What Are You?) Solely So I Could Wear Leggings to Work also known as These Boots Make Leggings More Acceptable, Right? Right?

Sweater: H&M
Leggings: Hue
Boots: Rebecca Minkoff


Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Joe's Jeans
Boots: Nine West

I call this look I Cannot Keep My Eyes Open When I Am Outside also known as I Only Posted This Because the Coat Is Bomb AF. 

Sweater: Saks
Coat: Marni (from, you guessed it, Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Steve Madden
Bag: Zara

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Things I'm Loving

1. Burberry Pale Barley eyeshadow

I've been trying to get my hands on this eyeshadow for years. I always heard Allison (Amarixe on Youtube) rave about it in her videos from a couple of years ago, but I never found myself in a Sephora that sold Burberry products and wasn't going to order a $29 eyeshadow online without getting to at least see it in person first. Last March, I picked up my Burberry shadow in Nude to dive into their beauty products, deeming them safe to order. Still, I never got around to trying out more colors.

Thankfully, my friend Hannah is a huge proponent of Burberry cosmetics and ever so kindly send me the Pale Barley single for Christmas and I've been in love ever since. I'm not quite sure how to describe this color. It's a simple shade, yet it seems to have layers and dimensions to the colors that go into it. The best way I can describe it is a very light taupe combined with a sort of wheat gold with the slightest hint of a gold sheen. It's a little bit darker than the color of my eyelids, so when I apply the color, it's like a fresh sheen on my lids for a really nice and simple natural look.

I love how the Burberry shadows have the iconic nova check embossed into the product. It's such a nice touch, especially for a product with that price point. I've really been enjoying incorporating this color into my day to day looks!

2. Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme mask

This was another Christmas present that I got from my mom, though I will admit to being at the store to pick it out with her because I hadn't figured out what I wanted for Christmas at that point. On recommendation from, you guessed it, Hannah, I figured why not try out some new skincare bits. The last thing I need is more lipstick, blush or eyeshadow. Might as well invest in some things to improve my face.

The mask is supposed to do three things: exfoliate, peel and polish. All of this is meant to lead to, according to Sephora's website, smoother, younger, radiant and revitalized skin. Now, I don't remember what my skin looked like before I started using this, but I don't remember it ever feeling this smooth. My dry patches, even while I continue to use my Mario Badescu drying lotion, are rare and my skin's texture just feels so smooth, like it's finally evening out after years of my skin rebelling against me. With my own two eyes, I'm not sure what to look for when it comes to revitalized skin, but the mornings of me staring into my reflection poking at my dull skin seem far and few between nowadays.

Okay, plus this straight up smells like a pumpkin pie and while I don't like to eat pie, it sure as hell does smell delicious.

3. Too Faced Chocolate Honey Melted Chocolate liquid lipstick

Never in a million years did I think that I would find a brown lipstick that didn't look absolutely horrendous on me. I've been talking a lot about Too Faced lip products lately and that's for good reason. They're some of my favorite in my collection and I continuously reach for them over others (which, I will address in a potential second wave of my "Great Lipstick Challenge" from a couple of summers ago...). One shade that I grab when I'm unsure of where I want to go lip color wise for the day and have a split second to choose is the Chocolate Honey shade from Too Faced. It is, hands down, the most gorgeous brown nude I have ever tried to apply on my lips. It's a light to medium brown with a slight hint of peach to cut out some of deeper tones that a brown lip could lean towards.

This formula is just so comfortable to wear. These don't dry down into matte lipsticks, so they don't wear as long as a matte liquid lipstick might, but you can get a good four to five hours out of these without reapplying and you don't even need that many layers to begin with for an opaque wash of color! The best part? It straight up smells like honey. Too Faced might, hands down, have the best smelling products of all time. Their Chocolate Soleil bronzer is my holy grail!

What have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Working from Home: Stage One


In the past, I've talked about how to still be productive when you spend the day at home. This was mostly in the context of not having classes on a weekday or having to balance online classes with "in person" classes. With my jobs, there's always been some kind of work at home aspect to them, whether it's editing the website or posting on social media or even this blog is like working from home. However, I now have a regular part-time remote job where I actually need to work from home and do important things on my own time.

So, I've decided to try to document my struggles of working from home. I only say struggles because I know it's going to be hard at first, but it's also an ideal situation for me. I've been trying to find remote jobs for a while now because for my situation with work and school and moving around, it just works best for me at this stage. Now that I have that opportunity, it's time to tailor it to my work ethic, schedule and living situation to make it work.

The first thing I had to do was nail down my other work schedule and carve out specific days and time periods on other days. I wanted to ensure that I had clear cut times each week for a majority of the work to be completed or at least prepped. I narrowed my main days to be Sunday through Tuesday, as I have all three of those entirely off at the moment. Wednesday through Saturday is pretty much packed, but there's room before and after my shifts to get little projects done. So, the beginning of the week is when I'll (hopefully) get a bulk of the work completed and start planning for the week to avoid scrambling at the last minute for content to post and all of that good stuff.

The second thing that I had to do and am still going to have to work on is keeping my morale up during the day. I'd prefer to stay in the apartment because I don't want to be spending money to sit in a coffee shop because lord knows I'll treat myself to at least two caffeinated beverages because that's just the type of person that I am. However, since it is my home, I tend to start getting comfortable. I also don't live alone and I'm not too keen on ignoring my roommates for hours on end. Plus, we have a cat that also adds another layer of distraction. I'm also a stress cleaner, so if things start to feel overwhelming with work, I tend to find everything wrong with the apartment's state of cleanliness and will just go to town for however long until I  realized that I've wasted precious working hours. 

These are the tips that I've come up with myself for the first acclimating stage of working from home. They're simple, sure, but they've already helped during my second week of attempting this new working style. 
  • Do not sleep in. I'm certainly not getting up at the crack of dawn to crank out work, but I've been getting up around 7:30/8, working on my blog post and then diving into my job around 9:30/10 in the morning to keep my schedule regular. I'd rather get done with my work earlier in the day rather than later!
  • Get ready! I don't put a full face of makeup on for a day of working at home (unless I have a video meeting or something, because nobody wants to see this face without at least foundation on), but I like to do the first step of my morning routine. I'll still wash my face and moisturize like normal. I'll probably brush my hair and try to style it into a cute ponytail or bun. And the key is to get out of my pajamas. I try to sleep in sweatpants now so I can put some leggings on in the morning with a cute crewneck or oversized sweater so I'm still comfortable, but also am not rotting in the same clothes I went to sleep in. 
  • Keep track of all assignments, both small and little, in my agenda. Yep! You can't have a post from me without mentioning my agenda. I got a specific work agenda that I keep track of my assignments for both jobs. It's probably the only thing that keeps my head on straight sometimes. 
Stay tuned for stage two!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Happy National Compliment Day!

Today is, by far, the best day of the entire year. It's only January 24th and the best day of 2017 is already here. That's potentially a terrifying thought, but the reality of the situation is that today is National Compliment Day. That's right. A whole day dedicated to the incredible art of giving genuine compliments and making people happy.

Compliments are such an easy way to make someone's day. You don't have to buy them anything or perform any extravagant act. You literally just have to look someone in the eye and say "hey, I love your top!" or "hey, you're really funny!" and I can guarantee it'll be stuck in their head for at least the remainder of the day, if not for a long while, too. That's it. That's all you have to do.

I love that there's a whole day dedicated to one of my favorite things in the world to do. Other than the fact that I think people should know these things about themselves or their outfits or makeup, I just think that there's no reason why we shouldn't take two seconds out of our day to try to make someone else's. It's such an easy concept and I think that it's something that we should all adopt into our daily lives.

It's always a goal of mine to compliment somebody every day, even if it's not done in person. There's nothing wrong with giving compliments on physical things, but the best compliments stem from a place where you want to praise something about someone's characteristics. Tell someone that they're funny, let them know that they're a good friend or a kind person. I feel like sometimes there's a weird stigma around complimenting people where the complimenter might feel creepy or weird. I think as long as you're not trying to compliment in the way that men think they're complimenting women by cat-calling or touching without consent, you're in the clear.

So, my challenge to you on National Compliment Day (and every day from now on) is to compliment at least one person on anything. Watch how it makes them smile. I promise that it will brighten not only their day, but yours in return.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trends I Want to End in 2017

Every time I see any variation of the title of this post, my eyes automatically roll up into my head, roll out of my eyes, continue to roll on the floor until they cannot roll anymore. There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing distaste for trends. Am I continuously confused by the cold-shoulder trend? Of course. But I'm also extremely frustrated that I look really, really dumb in cold-shoulder tops while other people are out their slaying that look. Because that's what fashion it. Not everyone is going to look good in the same thing and that is just how the game goes.

I feel like there's a way to discuss trends that were widely disliked without putting down those who enjoyed them. I know it's probably just my over-sensitivity to letting people do whatever they want, whether it applies to wearing full faces of makeup to no makeup, an sweater with massive ruffle sleeves or a plain old t-shirt. I don't love every trend out there. I'm not pretending I do, nor would I ever pretend for the sake of fashion. It would take the fun out of everything if everyone liked the same thing at the same time for the rest of humanity. Would it even be a trend if that was the case?

Throughout the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, I've seen more than enough posts about this to make me ditch my entire blog post idea for today to talk about this. Clearly, I was reading the posts for a reason. I was just curious to see what people's opinions were, as I always am. But as I read the posts, the language became less fashion-related and more...well, attacks on people who enjoyed these trends and who might want to continue in the new year.

Everyone can do what they want. A twenty-one year old blogger can't stop the way people write and word their articles and posts. That would just be silly. But, as I have for years now, I just wanted to get this out there. There's no need to make assumptions about the people wearing the trends. If you don't like highlighting and contouring, don't tell people to let their natural beauty shine from the inside and not from the outside. Straying from the fashion discussion to take on the role of the fashion police does not have to go hand in hand. You can talk about how much you don't like leggings as pants without taking digs at those who just like to be comfortable.

What trends do I want to end in 2017? Not using turn signals. Old white dudes trying to regulate women's bodies. Leaving the ice tray in the freezer with only one ice cube left. Not supporting intersectional feminism. Hating on the dog filter on Snapchat. That kind of stuff.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Good Reads

1. How to Meet People A perfectly timed post, especially since I had a post this week about being unsure of how to make friends without classes.

2. What to Do When You've Lost Your Creativity Man, this is a struggle, let me tell you.

3. I Still Can’t Stop Wearing Leggings as Pants I'm with Leandra. I spent far too long refusing to wear leggings as pants and now it is ALL I WANT.

4. 9 Beauty Splurges We’re Almost Embarrassed About I've definitely had this embarrassing feeling before...

5. Light Blue Wrap Coat The color of that coat alone is gorgeous.

6. The Forgotten Jeans This is literally just #StyleGoals.

7. The Women’s March Paints an Optimistic Future for Feminism *insert a string of clapping emojis here*

8. Beauty Brand 2 Know: Ouai I've heard so much about this brand through various Youtubers and I've been so curious about all of the products. Hair products are one thing I never buy, but perhaps this might have to be a special purchase...

9. 5 Reasons You Should Start (Or Resuscitate) Your Blog This Year I love the point about unique voices being needed. I whole-heartedly agree!

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dream Closet, Vol. 25

We're creeping closer and closer to the beginning of spring. Hell, it feels like spring in Cleveland right now (thanks, global warming). In usual shopping and retail patterns, stores are starting to stock up on their spring clothing, starting with some resort pieces before they most likely dive straight into full-fledged spring fashion early next month. 

My monthly scroll through Net-A-Porter (okay, so maybe I was looking last night at some of their final sale pieces...) was much more colorful this time around. The pages of new arrivals were flooded with brightly colored and shoes and bags, plenty of crepe and silk to go around. For a brief moment, some of the cold-shoulder pieces and cut-out dresses made me yearn for summer, until I snapped back to reality and remembered that fall is where I thrive.

Regardless of my seasonal preference, there are a lot of gorgeous pieces out in this world that I wish I could have sitting in my closet right now. Or, more realistically, on a rolling rack because I literally cannot fit a single other thing into my closet at the moment. Or my drawers. It's becoming an issue...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Positivitea Cup Twenty-Five: Words of Wisdom...Inspired By Elle Woods

It's no secret that Elle Woods is my absolute idol. The blonde-haired, pink-loving, best-dressed and clever young law student (turned lawyer) is iconic. One of my favorite posts from last year was Seven Things That Elle Woods Taught Me, so I figured it was time for a second edition of that. With a new semester starting for many (and some their last semester ever) or new jobs and beginnings, I figured we could all use a big dose of Elle Woods in our lives.

Elle Woods taught us all to not let anyone tell us we're not smart enough. We're all incredibly capable and intelligent human beings, even if it's in ways that are not societally common. We don't have to be incredible with numbers or tightly weave complicated sentences with words from the deepest depths of a dictionary or thesaurus. We shouldn't let other people dictate our level of intelligence or let their words affect us in such a way that would discourage us from pursuing what we want.

Just because people have preconceived notions about you doesn't mean you have to get stuck on them. Sometimes, though it's easier said than done, we need to separate our thoughts from people's thoughts if they don't align. Just because someone thinks of you in a certain way that may paint you in a negative light in their eyes doesn't mean you have to abide by it. You know you the best. Somebody's else's perspective of you through their own eyes may not match yours. Don't let it affect you.

Liking characteristically "girly" *vomits* things and having feminine interests does not make you vapid. Do not let people underestimate you because you like nail polish or are interested in fashion or because you talk in a such a manner that people look down on you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with caring what you look like or about aesthetics.

It's cool to help out other girls. #GirlPower, am I right? Elle had her sorority sisters, Paulette, Brooke, and down the line, even Vivian. There's nothing wrong with lending a helping hand or offering a shoulder to somebody. Life isn't this big, massive competition where we all need to be pitted against each other.

And, perhaps one of the most important sentiments in the movie that I will talk about time and time again...have faith in yourself. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Stay dedicated, work hard. The hardest thing in the world can be putting faith in yourself, but believing in ourselves is one of the best things that we can do.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Things I'm Loving

1. Prada glasses

I answered my own question I posed a couple of weeks ago on my blog. Should I get new glasses? The answer, as it turns out, was yes. Or at least, I made the executive decision of "yes." I had an eye exam set up for my trip home this past weekend, mostly to make sure that my prescription didn't change and so I could get another contact fitting so I could get myself another supply of those as well.  In the back of my head, I knew I wanted a new pair of glasses, but I didn't intend on finding what might be the perfect pair for me.

My standards for glasses are very high. I have a big head in general and my big nose (it's okay, I know it's there. It's very hard to miss), which severely limits what frames I can and cannot wear. I tend to stray from anything that isn't massive and that doesn't have even a slight cat-eye. I also stray from dark or completely black frames because the color is too heavy on my fair skin and light hair. I tend to go for something "patterned," hence why my first pair of glasses that I could wear in public were a pair of brown tortoise shell glasses.

When shopping for new glasses, I didn't want to get anything that was too similar to the pair of Kate Spade glasses that I already have. I strayed away from browns, which left me pretty limited. Or so I thought, at least. This pair of Prada glasses were one of the first pairs I tried on while my mom and I were waiting for our appointments. I think I tried them on about six times just to make sure that they were what I wanted because they were definitely a splurge for me. But sometimes, especially with me and my high standards, you just know what's the right fit for you.

These are the perfect size on my face. They're definitely bigger than my Kate Spade glasses, which is a plus for me. The bigger the better for my face size and structure. I love that they've got a bit of color to them. Mixed in with the black and white is a gorgeous burgundy shade that, surprisingly, goes with much more than you would expect. They fit so comfortably on my face and the best part was that I didn't have to wait for them to be shipped to the store because they had my lenses in stock at the store. Twas an exciting purchase indeed!

2. La La Land

If you know me at all, you would know that I am not great at watching movies. I rarely watch new releases, let alone anything besides Legally Blonde when I'm feeling a little blue. I think the only time I ever used to see new movies in theaters was when the next part of The Hunger Games movies would release. For me to see a movie within the time period that it's in theaters is incredibly rare for me, especially movies that seem to be buzzing in the box office and winning awards left and right. Quite frankly, for my interests, those movies are usually a little #Snooze for me. Take no offense to this, movie lovers. I am a mere peasant in your presence with my marathoning of Legally Blonde three times in one week because I was feeling a little blue.

I digress, I saw La La Land on Sunday and it changed my life. I don't think anybody is any stranger to what this movie is and who it stars, but just incase you're more film-sheltered than me, I'll give a little low down. La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, AKA the perfect couple from Crazy, Stupid Love. It's a modern day musical set in LA where Mia (Stone) is trying to make it as an actress and Sebastian (Gosling) is avidly trying to open his own jazz club. Their dreams, naturally, are setback by the the competitive nature of the city they live. Still, they find each other and inspire each other to do the things they love the most, which, of course, has its downfalls and failures.

It's honestly a beautiful story with equally as incredible cinematography, music and performances. I mean, Ryan Gosling does his own piano playing for godssake. You can tell that Emma and Ryan put in incredible amounts of work to make this movie as well done as it was. Plus, the soundtrack is out of this world. I've been listening to it repeatedly, at least twice daily since Sunday.

3. Laura Mercier translucent setting powder

For about a year and a half, maybe even longer, I've been using my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette to set my foundation and concealer. I was having some oil issues with my new foundation (which had since been solved before I got this powder) and so I toyed with the idea of trying to set my foundation with something else. I used to use regular matte pressed powders religiously before I got the Hourglass palette. Then, I got accustomed to that extra bit of glow that the Hourglass powders gave my face. But sometimes it's time to try new things out, even if everything else is still working in your favor.

I've been recommended the Laura Mercier powder for a while now, not only through beauty Youtubers, but through friends, family and co-workers. I finally made the plunge around Christmastime and picked the translucent setting powder from Sephora just to see what difference it would make on my face. And to be truthful? I LOVE IT SO MUCH. So much. I never thought I would see a day where I wasn't setting my foundation with a stupid (just kidding I take that back I love you so much Hourglass palette) $62 powder trio. I just love that I have the option to mattify my skin or to keep it a bit more dewy and natural looking. Sometimes, if I feel like my face is too flat or dull, I just dust on a tiny amount of the Hourglass powders (all three mixed together) to just add some dimension to my face before I contour and highlight.

This powder sets my under eye concealer so well as well as just locks my foundation and concealer into place. I haven't had any issues with skin irritation or noticed any weird patches or creasing, either. It just wears really well on my skin and keeps all of my makeup set in place, just how I like it.

4. Too Faced Melted lipstick in Chihuahua 

I've talked about these lipsticks a while ago on my blog. Two of my favorite spring shades are from this range from Too Faced. However, I haven't purchased a new one in a while, which is why I am eternally grateful that Hannah found me worthy of three new minis. I've been slowly but surely testing all of them out, but the first one I want to talk about is Chihuahua.

First and foremost, if you're unfamiliar with the Melted liquid lipsticks from Too Faced, basically, they're what they sound like. You squeeze the tube and through the soft sponge applicator, the product diffuses. Chihuahua is the perfect dusty mauve shade. It has just the right amount of pink and brown to make a really gorgeous nude shade. Nude, at least, for me. I have skewed viewpoints on lipstick shades as anything that's not a bright red or dark plum is nude to me.

These aren't the most long-wearing lipsticks in the world, but they do a great job at staying on while still being extremely comfortable to wear. They don't dry down completely matte, so they're really what they sound like. The apply like a liquid lipstick, but instead of drying down into a matte stain, they sit on your lips like a normally demo-matte lipstick would. It's a really fun formula and I love all five of the shades that I have. If you're looking for a typical liquid lipstick from Too Faced, I would try out the Melted Mattes. I even talked about Lady Balls from that range a couple of weeks ago in a Things I'm Loving post.

What have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Campus Style For a New Semester

I'm not ready to let go of my college central blog posts yet. Bear with me as I try to slowly let go of the things I will miss about college. It's going to take some time to get used to letting go of my organization methods and love of getting dressed for class every morning. I'd like to think that even if I am done with college, I'm not quite done with talking about it yet and I might not be for a while.

If I was going back to school this week, these are the kind of outfits that I would lean towards. I've never been great at the whole "going casual" thing. My outfits usually give off a vibe that I like to do the most. I like characteristically "ugly" things, strange prints, clothing with voluminous sleeves or ill-placed ruffles. I grew up wearing uniforms, so the moment I got freedom to wear what I wanted, it seemed that what I wanted was to stand out, which is pretty ironic considering the thought of attention makes my stomach churn.

I like bold lipstick and fashion statements. Perhaps they seem more as statements where I am living at the moment, but I like to call certain looks my "New York outfits," as I feel they reflect the freedom and creativity of the city more than they do of a metropolitan area in the Midwest.

The greatest thing I did for myself in college was let myself do and wear what I wanted. I never strayed from bright colors smeared across my lips or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, having my lips coated in a thick layer of black lipstick. I'll walk to campus in four inch heel booties or strut my stuff down the hallway in a hunter green faux fur bomber jacket. Sometimes, you just have to find comfort within yourself to wear the things you want to without fear of being judged. What's the worst that could happen?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How Do You Make Friends Without Classes?

This isn't one of my usual thinly veiled advice posts. Today is, technically, day one of navigating life as a post-grad, as I am supposed to be starting my last semester of college today. Instead, I'm still laying in bed at the house I grew up in, covering in a real warm hand knitted blanket. Up until now, everything has felt like a normal winter break, but after seeing back to school tweets and posts today, I'm starting to feel it a bit more.

There are plenty of things that I knew would change. First and foremost, since I'm not diving into a full-time "career" yet, I wondered how I would spend my free time and how I would adjust to having it. What do I do with the hours I poured over textbooks, rewriting notes, writing and editing papers and articles? What do I do with the hours that I was sitting in class trying so hard to pay attention to my professors even if I had only gotten a few hours of sleep the night before? What do I do with the energy that I would have lost at exponential rates just thinking about school?

One thing that I didn't think about was friends. I've made friends through classes, whether it's just sitting next to people in our unofficial assigned seats, working on group projects, or just being in classes with the same people, especially when getting more in depth into required classes for my major. I always say that making friends in classes is probably the easiest way to make friends in college. So...how do you make friends out of college? What do you do when you don't have that class in common? Sure, there's co-workers, but what if you work from home?

Perhaps this is a question to bring up at another time in my life when I'm not living with my friends still. This, I think, will come in handy when I ship off to a new city by myself without knowing a soul.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I'm Not Going Back to School

I've jokingly made this threat before the start of every single semester since my freshmen year. But this time, I'm being serious. It's not for lack of effort or me finally throwing in the towel. After seven grueling semesters and wanting to seriously give up more than once, I don't have to go back to school. I have my diploma sitting on my desk at home in its white envelope with the incorrect date printed on it (I think it's too funny to get it fixed). My gown and sash are still hanging in my closet at my apartment and my glittery cap, bless its heart, is somewhere in some trash pile because I could not keep that mess contained.

I digress, for me, there is no more school. No waking up at five in the morning so I could leave for classes. No more stuffing my tote bag full of notebooks and textbooks and walking to campus with my upper body at an angle. No more suppressing my stomach growling in class because I'm too cheap to pay for food on campus. There's so many little things that I'm not going to miss about being in school, mostly all surrounding the insane amounts of stress that college bestowed upon me.

Is there anything that I'm going to miss? Sure. I liked getting ready for classes. I like getting out of the house a few times a week for some fresh air when I walked to campus, even if it was absolutely freezing at 7:30 in the morning when I used to leave with my roommate. I'm going to miss that little six block strand of campus in the heart of downtown Cleveland and calling it my school. I'm going to miss seeing friends in the hallway. It always gave me a such a homey feel, for whatever reason.

Life After College™, as I'm pegging it for myself, hasn't hit me yet. The past month has just felt like a normal winter break, the same one I would have gotten if I was a student still. But now with my friends and roommates going back this week, it's starting to hit me. I'm done with school forever. Forever. There's no grad school on the horizon for me, no second degree. I'm done. Finito. Complete.

It's such an odd feeling. I've been in school since I was just a tiny little three-year-old with butterfly clips in her hair. For the past eighteen years, I've been in classes, too afraid to raise my hand and speak up. I've worn three different uniforms before I got to make my own sartorial choices as a college student.

It's going to be weird without school for a while, I think. I'm lucky that I have more than enough work and jobs to keep my occupied during what would have been my eighth semester, but I think that it's going to make me feel a little left out when I see my roommates doing school work or leaving for classes on my days off of my "in person" job. I'll probably feel a little guilty, which for me is pretty normal. I'll just need to remind myself that I paid my dues and that it's time to finally get to enjoy life instead of constantly worrying about something academic.

So, no, I'm not going back to school and nothing has ever felt as great as being able to say that. To all those who aren't done with school yet, good luck! You're going to do great things. And to my fellow alumni of whatever school you went to, want to get a drink?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Good Reads

1. 10 Outfits for Winter Weather There's something so chic and classic about Jessica's style that I adore. Plus, I swear, she always has the cutest hats and coats! I guess those are two necessities in Chicago winters...

2. Moons, Stars and Lucky Charms Those red booties with that leopard coat? Incredible. I've also loved a pop of red against leopard print, but usually mine is through a red lipstick.

3. Book Recommendations I'm also trying to set myself reading resolutions for this year, so any recommendations I can find I'll take!

4. Feeling Neutrals I love the combination of a long camel coat with a pair of sneakers. Such a fun way to add a bit of casualness to an outfit.

5. Why I Stopped Caring About Being Cool Such a good read, especially as someone who as also desperately tried to be "cooler."

6. 4 *New* Ways to Wear Your Old Turtlenecks Do I see the word TURTLENECK? I can hear my roommates sigh from hundreds of miles away.

7. The Blogging Balance I love the idea of looks being reinvented. Seeing old looks vamped up with a new piece or two? Love!

8. Two Women on Being Called “Ugly” An interesting discussion, I think!

9. 12 Instagram Accounts to Unfollow in 2017 Sorry, Man Repeller just had some damn good content this week!

10. If You’re Freezing, You’re Layering Wrong Everything Leandra touches is gold, I swear.

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cleveland Bucket List

I've lived in Cleveland for a majority of the past three years, sans my winter and summer breaks home during my first two years of college. Despite being an unofficial Northeastern Ohio resident, I've barely scratched the surface on what I've seen in the area, let alone the whole state. I've still yet to visit Columbus and I doubt I ever will. It's probably for the best. I've heard their shopping is incredible and I've been told once or twice that I have a shopping problem. I'm saving myself with that one.
  • Visit the shops in Chagrin Falls
  • Brunch in Ohio City
  • Go inside the Museum of Art, not just outside to snap photos for a class project
  • Go to Opening Day for the Indians
  • Visit the Cleveland Zoo or Aquarium (because I'm still a child)
  • Drive myself to Little Italy for dinner and deal with the confusing and cramped parking
  • Walk around one of the Metroparks
There's a whole list on Cleveland Scene about 100 things that every Clevelander must do. But since I am not actually a Clevelander, I feel better about my list being so short. I love my little nook of downtown and while I haven't done a lot of things on the list, I've had my own fun in Cleveland and that's all that matters. But damn, would I like to at least pop into the shops in Chagrin Falls...

Friday, January 13, 2017

On Tolerating Winter

If Winter and I were in a Facebook official relationship, the status would be "it's complicated." Similar to my relationship with free time, I don't get on very well with winter, but it's also essential to my sartorial side. I could never live somewhere where there wasn't all four seasons. I need winter, spring, summer and fall (And I now have "You've Got A Friend" by Carole King stuck in my head, thanks, self) in my life. I don't know what I would do if it was hot all of the time. I hate the heat! But I also don't think I could live anywhere where it was cold all of the time. I hate the cold! Despite this, I can't live without either of these weather extremes. I would go crazy.

Despite the rising temperatures this winter, there was a period of bitter cold that tried so hard to make me miserable. Sometimes, it succeeded. After living through 21 years on the Great Lakes, I'm not stranger to extreme winters that last a majority of the year. There's plenty of ways to handle the winter, whether you like it or not.

1. You don't. Just kidding! The key is to not let the weather bring you down. Cold weather can sometimes lead to gloomy days and I know that if there's no sunshine out, it really is a mood killer. Sometimes you just have to make it til you make it when it comes to this part.

2. Layers on layers on layers. The one good thing about the winter time is that you finally get to wear all of your cute sweaters and thick scarves and cool coats at the same time. The only way to sartorially survive without losing a limb or two to frostbite is to take all of your favorite pieces and literally just stack them on top of each other until you're a fashion forward marshmallow. Arm mobility is not necessary, unless you're operating a vehicle. In that case, sit and wait until the heat in your car is blasting full force and then remove the necessary layers.

3. Don't be too proud for a hat and gloves. Just don't be that person. I used to get lectured by the police officers directing traffic downtown when I would walk home from work for not wearing a hat and covering my ears. I was just a mere teenager, too proud to ruin my hair. I learned quick, though, and always kept a knitted beanie and a pair of warm gloves in my bag or pocket for moments where it felt like the windchill was legitimately burning my face. Not a fun experience.

4. Embrace the hot drinks. I spend exponentially more money at Starbucks and coffee shops during the winter than I do in the summer. Sometimes I go just to have a hot drink in my hands, not because I'm hankering for some caffeine (though that urge usually plays a small part, too).

5. Never leave the house. This is rarely an option for me, but if I have a rare day off and the weather is looking bleak...I just stay in all day. I'll change out of my pajamas into a slightly nicer set of lounge clothes (AKA clean leggings and a Bow and Drape sweatshirt) and accept the fact that I am limited to the confines of my apartment for the day. It's all for the greater good of my body and not getting whipped around by the cold winter air for absolutely no reason.

What's one of your winter survival tips?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Things I'm Loving

1. Brooklyn 99

As usual with everything, I was way behind on jumping on this bandwagon. Over the past few months, I've seen so many gifs and clips from the show on my Tumblr dashboard and I laughed every time I saw them. So, last week was the final straw for me. I saw something particularly funny and I decided to start watching it on Hulu just to see what I was missing out on. Less than a week later, I found myself watching the mid-season finale three and a half seasons later wondering where the hell the time went.

The episodes are short, only about 21-22 minutes long and every single one had me in stitches. Seriously, I was straight up cackling in my room so loud that I had to avoid watching it late at night so I didn't wake up my roommate. The entire cast is absolutely perfect. Anything Andy Samberg is involved with is hilarious, naturally, but the rest of the actors and characters are just as great.

If you know nothing about the show, it's basically a comedy about the 99th precinct in Brooklyn. Each episode has some sort of crime solving and a whole lot of discourse and nonsense. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) is basically a carefree cop, but he has the best arrest record in the precinct. The beginning of the show starts off with a bet with another cop, Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) on who can get the most arrests. Everything changes when they get a new commanding officer Raymond Holt  (Andre Braugher) who is more stern than Peralta is used to.

But let's get down to business: Terry Crews is on the show. I love Terry Crews for no particular reason besides the fact that he's Terry Crews and he's hilarious. There's also a character on the show named Gina Linetti and she is actually me, just a little more mean and meddling. Basically, I love this entire cast with my whole heart and I want to protect each and every one of them. If you're looking for a new show, I highly recommend starting this one. It's quick, easy to follow and will have you laughing so hard that your chest hurts.

2. Rebecca Minkoff Bojana Bootie 

On the same day I impulsively bought those pink velvet Steve Madden booties, I might have also been a bit naughty and treated myself to these booties from Rebecca Minkoff. In my defense, they were 45% off at Saks Off Fifth and I hadn't purchased myself a graduation present from myself. So really, it was a no brainer. I went into Saks first, tried a bunch of boots on, and then left to go Steve Madden before I got myself into trouble there. I was going to go home after Steve Madden, but I parked at Saks so I had to walk through one last time to get to my car.

Instead of heading to the back doors, I veered off to the left, found the booties, tried them on one more time and boxed them up and walked my butt to the checkout counter. They were definitely a splurge for me, much more than I've ever spent on a pair of shoes for myself. I've been dying for a pair of statement boots like this and it's always nice to be able to try them on in person. I've worn these twice to work and they're not as uncomfortable to break in as they seem. The chunky block heel certainly helps, but the height might be something that someone might have trouble with at first. There's not much of a platform and they're almost 4/4.5 inches tall. Which, for me, is perfect because they make me my dream height of 5'10", which is all I ask for in life.

3. "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill" by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran single handedly saved 2016 by coming back from his one year hiatus/disappearing act on December 13th. He kicked of 2017 right by releasing two new singles from his upcoming album ÷. I adore Ed, his music, and his ginger red hair.

"Shape of You" is similar to some songs from his previous album, a more toned down version of "Sing." It's the kind of song I want to listen to when I'm getting ready for a night out, swaying around my room while I try to pick out an outfit. It's a bop, tbh, and it has that special Ed Sheeran touch. There's just something so simple about his music that makes it that much better.

"Castle on the Hill" is the kind of song that I would listen to when I'm driving into Buffalo after being gone for a while. Ideally, the windows would be down and the sun would be setting. It gives you that feeling of going home after you've been gone for a while. There's something exciting about the music behind the lyrics and it makes me feel #AllTheFeels. I have a feeling it's going to become one of those songs I can't listen to without crying, despite it not being that sad. It can join the ranks with "Nashville" by David Mead (which I officially cannot have on my car playlist anymore because it does make me sob every time, without a fail).

What have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Complicated Relationship With Free Time

When I was younger, I used to relish in free time. I used to read, hang out with friends, and just truly let myself relax. As I got older, time for leisurely activities was quickly swallowed by soccer or softball practice, pitching lessons, piano lessons, schoolwork and family time. Before I could catch my breath, I threw myself into college and things were okay again. I wasn't very social freshmen year and my workload wasn't massive, so there was still time to read and just enjoy my free time by exploring downtown. Then, with the flip of switch, I got a job during the spring of my sophomore year and I seemed to have forgotten what it was like to have a spare moment to myself.

I felt like I had to use every ounce of time I had on something, whether it was studying, doing homework, working or trying to get more hours. Nothing seemed to stop after that. I left Cleveland in May to go home for the summer and jumped into working two jobs all summer, desperately trying to save money for my apartment. From then on, it felt like an escalatory downfall. I taught myself to enjoy being busy and to thrive off of a constant go, go, go lifestyle. I chugged coffees and bypassed sleep in order to try to keep living the same life I was without dispensing my free time to work.

All at once, I transformed my life into a series of balancing acts. Junior year, I balanced two jobs, continuously (and almost desperately) increasing my hours so I didn't have to suffer through free time after finishing my assignments. My plan was to keep packing on the responsibilities, tacking on dozens of bullets to my daily to do list just to keep myself from getting bored. Because of this, I forgot how to treat free time. When I know I have free time now, I panic and try to find productive things to fill it. I take every shift I can at work, every chance to babysit, any kind of job opportunity that might come my way.

I don't like having immense amounts of free time. I don't like lounging. I don't nap and I can't sleep in. There's only so much reading and writing I can do without wanting to put myself to sleep. But this has brought me to a place where I'd sooner stress myself to the point of a breakdown than let myself enjoy a week off.

Slowly but surely, I'd love to reteach myself this and reverse all of the bad habits I've formed. There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to hustle and get work done, but there comes a point where it all becomes too much. My relationship with free time is more complicated that I would like and it's something I hope to change over the coming years as I started to distance myself from college and school life and move on into the world of adulating.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The World of Social Media and Technology

My first experience with social media was, probably to some extent, Neopets or Club Penguin. I was merely in elementary school and found enjoyment out of these games. This advanced into me making my first Myspace page in sixth grade. I was probably 11 or so when I made my first profile, diving head fist into the weird and ever-developing world of social media channels.

Myspace led to making my first Twitter account in 8th grade. Ever since that moment in 2009, my life has been documented in this kind of weird digital diary. Between my archive of tweets spread across two different accounts, my hidden Facebook albums and statuses that were never deleted and, of course, this blog, a majority of my adolescence has been tracked on the internet.

Throughout the years, social media has advanced so much. You can send money through these apps now. There are careers based in social media. This blog, in general, has social media to thank for existing. It's become something much bigger than itself, but technology still has a negative stigma.

Millennials are always pegged as addicted to their cell phones and laptops, too involved with technology that they neglect the real world. There's a negative connotation with technology and social media that just blows my mind. I can read books and articles on my phone, take and edit photos and videos, and keep in touch with friends and family alike.

Through my years on social media and creating this blog, I've made plenty of friends, friends who, if I didn't have technology, I would not have nor be able to keep in contact with. Sometimes, being stuck in one geographical location can be limiting, especially if you're from a small town or only explore a small portion of the city you live in. The internet gives you access and the ability to connect with people across the country, even across the globe, who have similar interests. It can expand your reach and give you the opportunity to meet, even if just virtually, in ways that you wouldn't have been before.

One of the other things I love about social media today is that it can keep us all connected and in tune with what's going on. So many news outlets report immediately to social media, breaking news before anything can go live on broadcast. This has its downfalls, as fake news becomes increasingly more prevalent today. But it also gives people who might not otherwise have a platform to discuss and share their ideas a place to do so. Which, again, can have its downfalls, but it also has its high points where unique experiences can be shared in order to broaden our knowledge on certain subjects.

Some people are going to love the idea of advanced technology and the ever-growing media landscape. They're going to see it as an opportunity for growth and as a positive aspect of communication and learning. And then there are going to be some who thinks it's rotting our brain and ruining all kinds of communication skills as if people weren't reading books and newspapers to avoid talking to people before.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Golden Globes Red Carpet 2017

Award shows aren't my favorite things in the world. I normally never know what's nominated and I've probably never seen any of the shows or movies that are mentioned. But, award shows do yield one of my favorite things in the entire world: red carpet fashion. So, I will be playing the opposite of Fashion Police and will strictly be praising my favorite looks from the night because there's nothing I love more than drooling over a gorgeous gown.

1. Emily Ratajkowski wearing Reem Acra

2. Olivia Culpo wearing Zuhair Murad 

3. Lily Collins wearing Zuhair Murad

4. Millie Bobby Brown wearing Jenny Packham

5. Mandy Moore wearing Naeem Khan

6. Ruth Negga wearing Louis Vuitton

7. Milo Ventimiglia wearing Ralph Lauren

8. Michelle Williams wearing Louis Vuitton

9. Jessica Biel wearing Elie Saab

10. Anna Kendrick wearing Vionnet

11. Sienna Miller wearing Michael Kors

12. Brie Larson wearing Rodarte

13. Emma Stone wearing Valentino

14. Evan Rachel Wood wearing Altuzarra

15. Kristen Wiig wearing Reem Acra

16. Naomie Harris wearing Armani Privé

17. Viola Davis wearing Michael Kors

18. Hailee Steinfeld wearing Vera Wang

19. Ryan Gosling wearing Gucci

20. Caitriona Balfe wearing Delpozo

What were your favorite looks from the 2017 Golden Globes?