Good Reads

Sunday, April 30, 2017

1. On Being Young, Driven and Still Human In which Arbela absolutely knocks it out of the park. Also, how awesome is her new blog layout?

2. How to Successfully Transition to Your First Job Just when I thought I was done studying forever, I now need to study this blog post (and the rest in the series) to prepare me for life.

3. How to Style a Menswear Inspired Look This is just hands down one of the coolest looks I've seen.

4. Up Your Instagram Game: 10 Instagram Flat Lay Photography Tips I'll totally admit that I am the worst at flat lay photos. These are some awesome tips!

5. One Shoulder Wonder Jane can literally pull off any look, I swear.

6. 32 Harlem Street-Style Looks, Plus a Playlist Another edition of I LOVE STREET STYLE.

Mwah! | An April Playlist

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Before I go any further, I will admit that this playlist features two songs by Metro Station as well as some songs from Beauty and the Beast. Really though, this is a fairly normal occurrence within my playlists. I'm pretty sure last month had new Frank Ocean, Celine Dion and George Michael so...

I digress, this month has been fun for music. Bleachers came out with some new music, which absolutely blew my mind. "Don't Take the Money" has their signature 80s flair that will make for the perfect summertime, windows down jam. Banks has a new haunting track that makes me want to dim all of the lights and let a fog machine go wild in my room while I sob in fetal position in the center of my bed.

New YouTubers On My Subscriptions List

Friday, April 28, 2017

I probably spend more time watching YouTube videos than I do watching actual television. It's been this way for quite a while, at least a few years. It's not even just content creators who I'm subscribed to. I watch videos in my suggested videos section, things that I find on social media that pop up in my feed, or even just hours upon hours of interviews from late night talk show hosts and their silly games. I subscribe and unsubscribe from channels every few months. Sometimes my mood shifts and  I become uninterested in certain video topics. I'm constantly seeking new YouTubers to watch and new channels to discover. I like beauty channels, fashion channels, vlogs, humor, anything that keeps me entertained for whatever amount of time. These are just the channels that I've subscribed to recently or somewhat recently!

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 27, 2017

1. Nine West mules

My favorite pair of booties that I have ever owned were a pair of black suede boots that I picked up for about $35 at the Saks outlet. They were Nine West too and from January 2016 until a few weeks ago, they were my staple. I'd wear them everywhere–to class, work, concerts, wherever I needed a pair of simple black booties that went with everything. Sadly, I wore these boots to the ground and then some, causing some holes in the toes. I nearly teared up when I tossed them into the dumpster a few weeks back. I try not to think about it, truly. Will I ever find a pair of boots that treat me as well?

Warehouse District: Cathy's Creamery

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cathy's Creamery is a constant in my life. And by constant, I mean a constant craving that I have to continuously squash so I don't gain six million pounds. When I first downloaded Uber Eats, Cathy's was (and still is) one of the few dessert places listed. Food, I could not care less about. But dessert? Dessert is my passion. Dessert is my everything. Dessert is something that keeps me awake at night. People have a sweet tooth and I, well, I have a set of sweet teeth and–when given the opportunity to have something sugary–an insatiable hunger for all things dessert related.

Bleached Hair Upkeep

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I've been using bleach to lighten my hair for the past four or five years. I realized late in life (relatively speaking, I've been highlighting my hair since sixth grade) that my hair doesn't take to normal blonde hair dye. When my current hair stylist told me this, it made my traumatic orangey-blonde hair from eighth grade make so much more sense. Since the only way to lighten my hair is bleach, the texture and state of my hair does get affected (somewhat dramatically, but not too bad in the grand scheme of things) by the chemicals. For a while, my hair would feel somewhat like straw until I deep conditioned enough. It'd be in seemingly rough shape for a little bit before I'd get it under control and back to my normal hair texture.

Recent Outfits, Part Nine

Monday, April 24, 2017

I call this look I Only Wanted To Wear the Blouse But It's Sheer and I Didn't Want to Wear a Bra So I Layered This Varsity Sweater On Top For Good Measure also known as I've Definitely Worn This Exact Outfit Before Somewhere On the Blog also known as Lizzie McQuire, You Are An Outfit Repeater!!!!! also known as #NOSHAME.

Top: J. Crew
Sweater: American Eagle
Jeans: Levi's
Boots: Stuart Weitzman

Good Reads

Sunday, April 23, 2017

1. Celebrate the Everyday Trousers? With a pair of sneakers? I NEED TO TRY THIS! You know, especially since I finally (seriously, how many good reads posts have I mentioned that I need to get a pair of ~ fashion ~ sneakers to call my own?) got my own pair of white leather sneakers!

2. 10 Things I Learned About Leandra From Her Vogue Closet Tour I'm just here for the first comment on the post, from none other than the woman, the myth, the legend, Leandra Medine. But for real, this video was actually hilarious. She's so charming and clever and hilarious and so, so well-dressed.

3. Is Fran Drescher Pink the New Millennial Pink? I haven't even seen The Nanny, but I feel like I know the character Fran Drescher like the back of my hand based solely on her incredible style (and, you know, the whole having the first name in common–it's a thing, don't worry about it).

Dream Closet, Vol. 28

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Apparently, my dream closet consists of color. I find it hilarious how my normal day-to-day wardrobe is a sea full of black, grey, white and the occasional tan if I'm feeling particularly neutral that day. The only color that occasionally comes out to play is my lip color. And even now, I'm getting a bit lazy with that. What gives?!

I've never been a fan of body-skimming silhouettes. I'm not a body-con dress kind of gal. I'm lucky enough that I can get myself into skinny jeans a majority of the week. I love that all of these pieces are either bohemian and flowy or have a nice flare at the bottom so it won't hug to my body. Plus, how incredible are those Fendi shoes? I have going ga-ga over the Fendi sock boots that Tamara Kalinic was wearing a few weeks ago and those heels kind of sort of give me the same vibe. And how stinking cute is that rainbow bucket bag? Ugh, adorable.

Navigating College As An Introvert

Friday, April 21, 2017

Some people don't believe me when I tell them that I'm an introvert. The concept of being an introvert and extrovert has many facets, but to me, simply put, as an introvert I get drained being around people for long periods of time where I see extroverts as people who thrive off of being around people and gain energy from those situations. It doesn't mean I'm anti-social and don't like being with my friends and out and about. It just means that I might need a brief period where I "recharge" and have a few moments to myself.

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 20, 2017

1. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I didn't know that this story existed. I saw Beauty and the Beast the other week with my roommate and the trailer for this new movie showed beforehand. I saw that Amandla Stenberg was starring in it and immediately decided that it was a blockbuster hit and deserved six trillion awards. I knew I would have to read the book before I dare saw the movie and lo and behold, it was on sale for like nine bucks or something at Target and it felt like fate.

The Stages of Putting Together An Outfit

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

1. Wake up to first alarm. Snooze. Wake up to second alarm. Snooze. Wake up to third alarm. Consider getting out of bed? Snooze one last time, for good measure.

2. Slowly crawl out of bed. Somewhere between the kid from The Grudge and an infant. Groan of defeat is not required, but if potentially waking up roommates is not a factor, go for it. It adds a certain gene se quois.

3. Go through morning routine. Wash face, brush hair, cake on three layers of foundation and concealer to hide your still acne ridden skin even if you've been dealing with this crap for at least seven years and IT IS STILL PLAGUING YOUR FACE. Take a deep breath after suffering through the same acne rant you have weekly.

Confession: I'm Super Type A

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Type A, noun: a personality type characterized by ambition, high energy, and competitiveness, and thought to be susceptible to stress and heart disease.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I didn't know that Type A and Type B personalities existed for the longest time. I saw Carly (The College Prepster) talking about herself being Type A in a blog post years ago and a series of balloon-like question marks floated above my head until I finally researched the topic and realized that–yikes–I fit into the same bubble. Is "yikes" the right word to use?

I don't think that me being Type A ruins everything. Of course, I notice it in my everyday actions. I see it in my work ethic, my stress levels, my occasional difficulty to fall asleep at night. But I also see it in my conscientiousness–making sure everyone is doing okay, sending personalized birthday messages on time, creating a welcoming environment for those around me–my need to achieve and make things happen.

Layering for Spring

Monday, April 17, 2017

Let me tell you one thing: taking photos during some of the worst wind I've experienced in Downtown Cleveland is not an easy task, not in the slightest. I just wanted to take some cute photos of one of my favorite sweaters in my closet but the weather was having absolutely none of it. These steps at Mather Mansion seemed to be even more of a wind tunnel somehow, blowing the wind in all directions simultaneously. The weather was testing us and we, thankfully, made it through a round of photos. It involved a lot of pausing, blooper shots, and knotted hair, but we did it!

Good Reads

Sunday, April 16, 2017

1. Madrid City Guide It's been about four years since I went to Spain. The details are still a bit blurry, but the entire week

2. Mellow Yellow Jane always has the best old school vibe in her outfits. I love the vintage spins she puts on her modern dressing!

3. Little White Tassel Dress This is such a great summery dress! I love the simplicity of it. It's probably a dream to style!

4. Minimalism is Boring: 3 Maximalist Approaches to Spring Dressing I'm always out here trying to do The Most™. Minimalism? Not really my thing.

Four Things I'm Generally Too Lazy To Do

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My toes have about ten layers of nail polish on them at the moment because I'm too lazy to take it off and pick a new color. Big shocker there.
I wouldn't consider myself lazy, but at the same time...I can be kind of lazy. Can't we all? Trying to do everything all at once is exhausting and sometimes I just don't want to participate in certain life activities. I'm lucky half of the time that I brush my hair and do a full face of makeup and like, brush my teeth and stuff. Okay, perhaps not the last one, but the brushing hair only happens about half of the time. I digress, there are just some days where I'm too lazy to do more than necessary. Some days might actually translate to most days, but we're going to pretend I'm a little more active than I'm letting on here even though we all probably know the truth. There are definitely certain things that I'm way less likely to do on a consistent basis that never fail to surprise me when it comes time to do them.

Frayed Denim & Graphic Tees

Friday, April 14, 2017

I saw Little Mix at the end of February and I'm still not even sure how I'm alive to tell the tale. I adore those four girls so much. I haven't purchased concert merch in so long because I never wear it, but I'll be damned if this Shout Out To My Ex shirt doesn't go to good use. I definitely had no business buying this shirt, but now it's in my t-shirt drawer and I probably wear it more than I should admit to.

 If you're unaware of Little Mix for any reason, that's the title of their lead single from their fourth studio album Glory Days and I'm convinced they were sent to earth to own pop music. They're fantastic. But this post technically isn't about them, but I will happily make everything I possibly can about them.

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 13, 2017

1. "Sign of the Times" by Harry Styles

In the midst of writing this blog post, Harry Styles released his album cover and the date of release (May 12th) and I'm not entirely sure I'm going to be able to make it through this blog post without combusting. I'm going to try, but nonetheless, I will fail. Um, where was I? *closes sixty tabs of Harry's shirtless album cover*

Last week, Harry released his first solo single and rocked my whole world. I really should've started this post off with something else, it's going to be a mess from here on out. "Sign of the Times" is a weird song. Not weird as in there's like alien-esque synths or anything, weird as in I have no idea how to categorize this song in my mind. Is it pop? Is it rock? It's just magical. Some might say it's boring, I've even seen the word "bombastic" used more than once (which, as I've learned, it apparently not a good thing). But I think this song is quintessentially Harry (because I know him so well, yeah? *facepalms*). It has hints of Bowie and Pink Floyd and is, in my opinion, a really brave first step into his solo career. I highly recommend giving it a listen or two. Bonus if it's in the car at dusk.

2. Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

I was in need of a new exfoliator when I noticed that my Ole Henriksen tube was running low. My friend recommended a few to me and I ended up deciding to pick up the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator on my most recent trip to Sephora. I was a bit weary at first because usually exfoliating cleansers that seem overwhelming like a cleanser don't polish off the dry skin like I want them too. I don't have dry skin, but I do get spotty dry patches because of the topical treatments I use on my acne (when will it ever go away, ugh).

I'm surprised that I like this as much as I do. It's gentle and doesn't rip open my skin from being too coarse, but it's still gritty enough that it really does polish off the dry skin and leave a nice smooth surface for my makeup to apply to. I obviously use a moisturizer afterwards and I don't use this every single day to avoid over-exfoliating. If you're curious about a new exfoliating cleanser, I'd say give this one a try! It's about $35, which was cheaper than I thought it was going to be for Caudalie.

3. "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" by Dua Lipa

Lots of music favorites this week. I can barely go an hour or two without listening to this song. In fact, in writing this portion of the blog, I decided to put it on. It's just SUCH A GOOD STRUT SONG. It's my new sassy song. Dua Lipa's huskier voice is just so damn cool and I've really just been enjoying her stuff in general. If you're digging some girly bada$$ pop music, highly recommend checking this gal out. She's the bomb dot com and this song is giving me life at the moment.

4. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

I did it. I bought into the hype. I couldn't resist!!! I'm a sucker for a good undereye concealer and after my Collection concealer ran out, I've had a void in my life that I haven't been able to successfully fill. I love my Maybelline undereye concealer, but after going through three or four (maybe even five?) tubes of it, I was in need of a change of pace.

I've seen this concealer everywhere so I'm not going to talk too extensively about it mostly because there's not much I can say besides the fact that people are talking about this for a reason. It instantly conceals my undereye circles, it doesn't cake up and it. Does. Not. Budge. You don't need as much as people apply on Youtube, that I can tell you. A little goes a long way with this product. I use my Real Techniques sponge to dab it in under my eyes (and a little on my eyelids to even out the tone) and sometimes I set it with my Laura Mercier powder. Sometimes I don't. Regardless, it stays opaque and in place all day and makes it look like I got a full night of sleep when I most certainly did not.

What have you been loving lately?

Top Five Pieces In My Wardrobe

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I own...a lot of clothes. Arguably, too many clothes. Even despite selling and giving away what felt like half my wardrobe last spring and once again in the fall, so much still lingers (and so much has been added since). Still, despite having options to chose from every morning, there are certain pieces that I just gravitate towards, no matter what. They're my wardrobe staples, my favorite investments, whatever you want to call them. Sure, there are definitely pieces in the mix that I haven't mentioned here, but for the most part, these are the five pieces that I don't think I could live without.

1. Wandering Wardrobe floral halter dress

I ordered this online during one of my summers home, despite working for the boutique. I saw it on Instagram, immediately texted my boss and asked how it fit. She confirmed it was true to size and I immediately rushed to the computer and placed my order. I've worn this dress so many times that people are probably sick of me wearing it. It's legitimately the easiest piece to style in my wardrobe. It goes with every single lipstick color and can go with wedges, flip flops, flat sandals, whatever I want. It's breezy, comfortable, and that neckline is just so flattering that I want one in every single color.

A Jellyfish, French Fries and a Thunder Bolt Walk Into a Bar...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I feel like this outfit looks like every single fast food chain all meshed into one. I've got that whole primary color thing going on which was completely coincidental, really. I'm not one to wear color, but if I'm going to wear it, it's probably going to be an accessory or a lip color and red will somehow be involved.

Easter Dresses

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Sunday is just right around the corner, giving us all an excuse to buy a pretty floral or just all around colorful dress. My family usually just does an Easter brunch, which is somewhat casual. I mean, you could show up to any family party of mine in a sweatshirt and leggings and nobody would even ask questions. Still, even knowing this, sometimes I just want to put on a pretty dress for a few hours, while also simultaneously complaining about how uncomfortable I am trying to lounge around in a dress when I could have very easily chosen pants and a sweater of some sort.

All of that nonsense aside, I have no idea what I'm going to be doing outfit wise for Easter this year, but these are some pretty cute options!

Good Reads

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1. All White On my never ending list of things that I really need to purchase, a pair of cool, loose-fitting white jeans is somewhere near the top. I think that they look so ridiculously cool on everyone else, but I've never been fond of white jeans on my body. But who knows, maybe I just didn't have the right pair!

2. 10 Things to Know About Olivia Palermo Number 11 is that I am absolutely obsessed with the fashion icon socialite. SHE'S JUST SO COOL!!!! I honestly think that I wouldn't be able to stop staring at her. THOSE CHEEKBONES!

3. Red, White, and Plaid All Over I love the vintage look of this plaid overcoat paired with a more modern outfit–frayed hem white jeans and a cropped ribbed sweater–to spice it up during spring. I don't know if it's the beret or the outfit in general, but it's so Parisian chic and I adore it.

4. Denim Jacket Picks I just bought my first leather jacket around my birthday in November, so I'm seriously behind on the outerwear game. Is it finally time for me to get a denim jacket? If I do, I want one just as cool and distressed as Hannah's!

Foundation First Impressions: Too Faced Born This Way & Tarte Amazonian Clay

Saturday, April 8, 2017

My history with foundation has been a rough journey. If I had a dollar for every time that I've said that I have acne prone skin on this blog, I'd have enough money to pay for it all to go away. I go through a vicious cycle with foundations and skincare where I need to wear foundation to cover up the never-ending redness and party of zits on my face (three cheers for hormonal acne, thanks a lot Type-A personality!), but also run the risk of new foundations irritating my skin and making everything ten times worse. And before someone says "But Francesca, you don't need to wear foundation," I know I don't need to and I could bare face it all I want but I don't want to do that. I feel really gross and insecure when I'm bearing my naked face, acne, scars and all, and I prefer not to put myself in that mindset. So, to combat that crippling insecurity of mine (LULZ), I like to wear foundation, medium to full coverage depending on my skin's mood.

Recent Outfits, Part Eight

Friday, April 7, 2017

I call this look I Legitimately Looked Like an 80's Mom In This Jeans and Turtleneck Combination, So I Had to Throw On This Shaggy Faux Fur Vest At Work to Save the Day also known as The Cowardly Lion Wears the H&M x Coachella Collection.

Sweater: Target
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Celine (from Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Vest: Cleveland Consignment Shoppe

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, April 6, 2017

1. Celine Ballerina Pumps

These shoes might be some of the ugliest shoes I own. On the other hand, these shoes might also be one of my favorite pairs of shoes that I ever have and ever will own. I've said it before and I've said it again, I love where I work. I love the people I work with, the customers that come in...but most of all, I love the killer deals and pieces that come through our doors. A pair of Celine ballerina pumps for $100? Granted, we get employee discounts of course and they did end up going on sale because not many people want to walk around in these semi-hideous shoes, but still.

Where to Splurge and Save

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It's up for debate whether or not I am truly responsible with my money. On one hand, I always make rent and utilities for the month. On the other hand, I'm more apt to spend money on magazines and a new shirt than I am to make sure that I have an excess of groceries. Maybe I haven't totally gotten the hang of finances and spending yet, but I think I'm starting to realize where I should be investing my money and where I should be trying to save as much as possible. My mom would probably argue that I should be saving in every aspect of my life but to that I say...I KNOW STOP JUDGING ME, MOM.

Downtown Cleveland: Colossal Cupcakes

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I have, quite possibly, one of the worst set of sweet teeth ever. That's right, sweet teeth. It is not just a singular sweet tooth in my mouth, but rather the entire set, sans maybe a molar or two. I don't crave sweet treats all that often, but when presented with an opportunity to eat one, I lose all sense of control. I can't ration it, either. My theory is go big or go home, which means that no sweets are safe in my presence. I try to avoid them to keep my cravings at bay. Well, this is until I inevitably cave and feed into the sugar demon that lurks around in my mouth. If there is one place that is sure to always break me out of my "no sweets, ever!" rule, it's Colossal Cupcakes. They had only one location down on Euclid Avenue in Downtown Cleveland, but they just recently opened up a second location at Crocker Park shopping center in Westlake.

College Advice From a Recent Grad

Monday, April 3, 2017

In college, you need to learn how to stand your ground. College is absolutely a time to experience new things. You're immersed in new people and things, opening up the realm of possibilities. Throughout this, you might come across conversations where you have a certain opinion or activities in which you don't want to participate in. There's nothing wrong with wanting to try new things (in fact, that's also a part of college), but if it goes against who you are, you absolutely have the right to say no. It's okay to not do something if it makes you uncomfortable, just as it's okay to have a different opinion from everyone (so long as that opinion isn't maliciously hurting anyone else, but that's a whole other topic...).

Good Reads

Sunday, April 2, 2017

1. National Stripes Day I used to wear so many stripes that I think I had enough to wear a fresh shirt every day of the week, including weekends, and then some. It's such a classic look and pairs perfectly with a red lip!

2. NYC’s Upper East Side is a Treasure Box of Street Style It always amazes me how unique and wonderful NYC street style is. I JUST WANT TO BE A PART OF IT!

3. Occasion Wear; The Sexy Dress This. Dress. Is. Amazing. Also, styling it open with a pair of jeans? AMAZING.

March Reflection

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I'm not going to lie, I hate that it's April. Am I happy that we're out of the most bitter chunk of winter and that spring weather is finally starting to appear? Of course. It would be silly if I wasn't glad that the worst of the snow is behind us, though I do recall a random early April snow that required me to wear a really thick turtleneck and clean off my car. It was April 9th, actually. I only know that because I took a really cute series of selfies on that day.
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