Is It Warm Enough For Ya? | An October Playlist

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It genuinely took a lot in me not to (a) name this playlist after a Niall Horan lyric and (b) not include the entirety of Niall Horan's debut solo album Flicker (stream it on Spotify, y'all). I'm actually seeing him today. Well, not today as in the day that I'm writing this blog post because this is pre-written so I don't have to bring my laptop with me on my mini trip to New York City. But today, on Halloween, I will be bopping around with Niall and fellow fans, so you know, that's pretty fun.

Five Foolproof Shopping Tips

Monday, October 30, 2017

I don't know the exact tally of the number of times I've referred to myself as a shopaholic on this blog, but I'm assuming that it's pretty astronomical. It's true though! I like shopping. It's my cardio, one of my favorite things to do. It's what I do when I hang out with my friends, my mom, or even when I need a little bit of alone time. Until the sad state of my bank account comes to mind, I'm usually my happiest when I'm shopping. Since I shop arguably too much–and I'm sure many of you might also feel like this (it's okay, this is a safe space)–you start to pick up a tip or two here and there.

Shopping is a sport. If you don't have a disposable income, easy access to all of your favorite stores, or patience to return things from online orders, shopping can be also be a complete pain in the butt. Everything is expensive, dressing room mirrors are glorified funhouse mirrors and distort everything, and the urge to impulse buy everything pretty you see is out of this world.

Friday is Forever | Weekly Favorites

Friday, October 27, 2017

My new haircut and baker boy cap 

This one's a twofer. After about seven months or so of not touching my hair, not even with a pair of scissors, it was about time that I freshened up my look a bit. I'm back in the growing out stages of my hair after chopping it fairly short back in March or so. Luckily, due to my laziness since May, my hair was not super damaged by heat (or at least as much as usual), it just happened to be a really ugly shade of dirty blonde. Typically I go in and just bleach my highlights for a subtle bright blonde look. This time, we went a bit ashier with the blonde and not quite as blinding bright. It turned out to be a really beautiful autumnal honey shade, but a little bit lighter. I'm bad at describing colors but my favorite hair stylist (and the only human I trust with my hair) and I both loved it.

I also was reunited with my baker boy cap from Epoch that my cousin bought for me as a complete joke, but I continue to wear anyways. I should probably get myself a new, proper baker boy cap, but my head is so big that I fear that I won't fit into one. This one is a size XL and fits my head gloriously. Seriously, my head is that big, and I don't think it's because it's full of brains.

She's On the Loose

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Typical Francesca, naming blog posts after her favorite Niall Horan songs. Naming blog posts like this is hard. What else am I supposed to call this? Grey Turtleneck & Mom Jeans? Cashmere & Jeans So High Waisted That They More Than Cover My Bellybutton? I Tried to Crunch Every Single One of Those Leaves?

All jokes aside, I was going to talk about more important things in this blog post today. I have a few blog posts drafted that I've started, but I'm not quite ready to finish or share yet. Do you guys ever do that where there are topics you really want to talk about but then you second guess yourself about posting them on the interwebs?

Six Makeup Mistakes to Avoid

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I am not a beauty guru. Shocking, right? I've been wearing makeup for a long time, but just like any normal human being, I make mistakes from time to time. Or rather, more often than not. However, I'd like to think that over the course of the past seven or so years that I've been wearing makeup, I've learned a thing or two in regards of what to avoid when applying my makeup. I've also enlisted the help of my friend and makeup sage, Hannah (and also a Sephora employee, for a nice little bonus), for her two cents on the subject matter.

Applying makeup is a much more complicated process that most people would imagine and there are plenty of things you learn from trial and error. Whether you're a newbie to makeup or just want to make sure you're on the right track, these tips can help you in your daily morning routine and fine tune your skills.

Tips for Buying Luxury Items Secondhand

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

If you're new to my blog, you might not know that I worked nearly two years at a luxury consignment store when I lived in Cleveland. I went from having a Kate Spade purse and wallet as my only two "luxury" items to being completely immersed in everything from Tory Burch and Rebecca Minkoff to Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, the list continues. Basically, I got to play around with items that I thought I would only see in the magazines or through a window outside of their flagship stores. I've always had a huge appreciation for luxury fashion, but I've never had the financial means for it.

I didn't realize how massive the resale community was until I started to work at the consignment store. I thought people resold items on eBay, but that even those sellers were probably sketchy as all hell. Little did I know, there were plenty of places beyond eBay for online reselling, and even more brick and mortar stores locally to do so. The one thing you lose with buying luxury items at a discounted price secondhand is the complete knowledge that what you're getting is absolutely authentic. The counterfeit market for luxury items has stretched beyond just handbags, dragging clothing and accessories into the mix as well. This makes both your job as a reseller and as a buyer even more difficult as both of you work hard to ensure that you're selling/buying a completely authentic item.

Time to Take a Breather

Monday, October 23, 2017

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are still, and always will be, my own.

Since the 26th of September, I've essentially been on "vacation." There's nothing wrong with a good vacation. Getting away and taking time off of work is the loveliest feeling. It just becomes weird when you have three vacations in a row and spend nearly four weeks living solely out of a suitcase. For me, that's when it starts to transform into a nomadic zone.

I'm a homebody, for sure. I like being at "home." That doesn't mean that I need to be in the childhood house that I grew up in all the way in Western New York. It just means that wherever my home base and stuff is. My dorms become home, as did my apartments. My mind gets a little confused when I technically have a place to stay that I've stayed a thousand times before, but I'm living out of just a suitcase without my own bed, my own closet, my makeup drawers, and my own sense of comfort. It's like a child without their blankie and favorite stuffed animal, except to a much higher degree.

Friday I'm In Love (With Some New Stuff)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Long time no see! Well, not really. I've still been posting, but there has been a severe lack of my weekly favorites posts around these parts. I've missed them quite dearly if I'm being honest. Am I even going to be able to fit these favorites into a whole post without it becoming a novel? Definitely not. So let's begin!

1. California

It's absolutely no surprise that I loved California. I wrote far too many posts detailing my entire trip and don't want to bore you with any more details. I couldn't have asked for better weather, food, or friends to have spent my first time in California and further west than Chicago.

2. Flicker by Niall Horan

I have no words to describe my love for this man and his debut album. I've been bopping too much to "This Town," "Slow Hands," and "Too Much To Ask" that I've been waiting very impatiently for this full album to drop. As expected from Niall, it's very folksy, has its own Eagles meets Fleetwood Mac vibes, and is just his persona wrapped up into one album. He's said in interviews if he had to sum this album up in one word, he'd say it was "personal." All I want to know is...WHO HURT YOU, NIALL?!?! If you've liked the singles he's released so far and want to feel like

To listen to: Literally the whole album. It's only ten more songs if you don't count the singles. It's 47 minutes of pure gold.

Almost Adulting + You'll Grow Out of It

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Almost Adulting by Arden Rose

If you're unfamiliar with the YouTube community, you might not know of dear, dear Arden Rose. I've been watching Arden since she first started on YouTube, which was about eight or so years ago. Yikes. I feel super ridiculously old now. I digress, Arden is a lifestyle YouTuber. She does fashion, travel, beauty, advice, all sorts of videos. She's like your big sister on YouTube, which beautifully translated into her first book Almost Adulting. It's a collection of essays laced with personal anecdotes and light-hearted advice. Instead of feeling stuffy and impersonal though, it feels like you're sitting down with a cup of tea across from Arden while you two gab on about anything and everything.

Diet Prada, the Death of the Runway Walk, #MeToo, and More... | Recent Reads #3

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1. Reese Witherspoon Gets Glamour To Clean Up Its Scribbles Reese Witherspoon is an incredible human being. She's my favorite historical figure. I read her article in Glamour on the bus ride to New York a couple of weeks ago and started crying. On the bus. Luckily, at that point, I don't think anyone was sitting next to me yet, so at least I didn't have to explain that rush of emotions to a stranger.

2. 'Just Hire Mannequins': On the Slow Death Of the Runway Walk Drop the mic, Jezebel. Drop the mic. I like to keep it pretty neutral on the blog regarding most things and celebrities, but man, there are some things I want to say but I just have to hold myself back...

3.  I've Become "Basic" With Age (But I Don't Give a F***) I'm basic as all hell and I can and will fully admit it. So what? I'm still a rockstar. I've got my rock moves. Wait, does quoting Pink count as being basic? Asking for a friend (me, I'm the friend).

What Does the Word 'Cool' Mean?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I'm going to be completely honest with y'all right now: the title of this blog post was going to be Shorty Got (Lud)low (Low Low Low Low Low Low). But since I'm not in the business of titling my posts about 2008 classics, we're going to just make note of it and then move on and pretend it didn't happen.

I just want to talk about the word "cool" today, which I know is something I throw around on this blog every two seconds to describe something. This handbag is cool, that song is cool, this person is get the idea. I've also talked a lot about thinking that I'm not cool enough to wear things. Remember that time I thought I wasn't cool enough to wear sneakers (sneakers y'all...just sneakers)? What does that even mean?

Missing Friends On a Different Coast

Monday, October 16, 2017

Am I going to get emotional? Most likely. It's in my blood and part of my brand. This is probably going to be the last of my California posts, mostly because I'm out of pictures and think I've really stretched the word count on this one. You know when you have a trip that so far exceeded your expectations that you just don't know how to handle it? That was this trip.

I didn't go into it thinking that I was going to have a crappy time. I thought it was going to be a nice six-day vacation sandwiched between two trips to New York City, but it ended up being so much more. The only appropriate way to end off a week of wedding prep and a busy day in LA was to go an hour down south and spend the day with my old roommate.

The LA Outtakes

Friday, October 13, 2017

I took a lot of pictures when I was in California. Like, more than usual. I went full blown tourist. I mean, who wouldn't?! It was my first time feeling like a tourist in a long time. I'm technically a tourist every time I go anywhere I haven't been before, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it anymore. I miss that childhood sense of the unknown and having everything be new. I would say it was weird to feel 80+ degree heat in October, but I do believe New York gave me that when I was here a couple of weeks ago...I digress.

This is a fairly stripped down post. Honestly, most of my posts lately have been extremely stripped down. It's been really nice having this travel content to fall back on. It's been really busy and finding the time to write and create my normal blog content has just been impossible. Plus, if I'm being honest, I love these stripped down posts (and I now have "Strip That Down" by Liam Payne stuck in my head for no apparent reason besides thinking of the word "strip").

I've been taking everything with my iPhone. I know, *gasp*, what about my DSLR?! I don't find traveling with a huge camera conducive to my spacial and packing issues. So, I've been relying on my good old iPhone 6 for just about everything. For the time being, while I'm not living at home with endless resources in my closet and beauty drawers and my mom to take outfit pictures for me, this is just what I'm working with.

California Food Tour

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Since I couldn't eat the complimentary breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express for every meal of the day, it's fair to say that I enjoyed my fair bit of food while I was in California. I should have probably been a little more concerned about fitting into my bridesmaid dress at the end of the week, but I had a little bit of wiggle room in there, it was fine.

I've seen so many restaurants over the course of the past few years that have popped up in LA vloggers' videos that have sounded so delicious and yet when it came down to it, I forgot them all. I nearly forgot Lemonade existed until I saw a girl carrying a cup in Manhattan Beach on the way back to the car so I could go to LAX. Lo and behold, there was a Lemonade right near my gate so my dreams of trying Alfred, Lemonade, and In-N-Out finally came true. Oops, spoiler alert, I guess? I mean, it's just food, not the plot of the next Star Wars film.

I Thought We Were In New York

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I could blame it on the glass of rosé I had at dinner the other night, but the truth is that I had a complete and absolute brain fart. My friend, her boyfriend, and I were talking and my friend mentioned that the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina, did most of their videos on Manhattan Beach. I immediately furrowed my brows and, for a split second, forgot where I was. I then commented something along the lines of (perhaps this was verbatim), "I thought they were from California?" 


I dropped the beach and thought we were temporarily in New York, 2,800 miles between Manhattan Beach and New York City's borough. I think that was the final indicator that I needed to sleep and have a moment to relax.

Foxy Roxy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Full disclosure: my mother picked up this shirt. She thought it was funny and we (read: I) was desperate for t-shirts for this trip. There was something so retro about this tee that hooked me. Or perhaps it was the under $15 price tag. It was most likely the latter, but y'all know I'm a sucker for a bargain. Forever21 is hell on earth, but sometimes it comes in clutch, like shopping ten minutes before close because you realized you didn't have t-shirts approximately six or seven hours before you had to leave for the airport to go to California.

I Had A Really Good Time Tonight

Monday, October 9, 2017

The amount of times I've referenced Pretty Woman over the course of the past five days has been astounding. I genuinely don't think I've talked about this movie more, and I have to say, Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel are for sure to blame. I knew I should've watched that movie on my plane ride to LAX instead of The Devil Wears Prada for the twentieth time. I couldn't have done without 27 Dresses though, it was far too fitting for the reasoning behind my trip.

Four Tips for Navigating a City Solo

Friday, October 6, 2017

I've been to New York City with my family since I was a small, tiny, pint-sized child. I've had uncles, cousins, and family friends living in the city for as long as I can remember, giving us a built-in tour guide every single time we came into town. I went on my first "solo" trip to the city when I was a sophomore in college. I had about a week off of in early November classes because of the way a holiday fell and my class schedule aligned. Instead of hanging around in Cleveland alone for a week without any work to do or going home when I was going to be home in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving, and then another couple of weeks after that for our month-long winter break. I decided to take a trip to New York and stay with my cousin who was living in Queens at the time.

The trip was fairly last minute and during the week, so I didn't expect my family to drop everything to entertain me and make sure I had things to do. I was just shy of 19 and for the first time, I was in the city "by myself." Sure, I wasn't staying alone and I had people there who helped me get to and from my cousin's apartment, but at that point, I hadn't had that much freedom in a city so huge. I'd been living in Cleveland, for all intents and purposes, by myself for over a year at this point, but Cleveland and New York freaking City are much, much different.

What I Ate In New York

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I really did mean to gather up a list of places that I wanted to eat in New York, but, you know, I forget to do things. I can barely remember to reply to a text message, let alone do research about where to eat and drink and all of those fun, delicious things that you can do in big cities. So, this list of places I've eaten was a result of where I usually eat when I'm here, wandering around hungry and stopping places out of desperation, and based on recommendations from family.

I'm the worst and am admittedly a pretty picky eater. I'm sure all of these places have other very delicious foods, but if you're a fellow picky eater or don't know where to start food-wise, here are a couple of options! Hopefully I continue to eat my way through New York City without going up a pant size because I have too many pairs of jeans that I refuse to replace!!!


What: Spice 
Where:  236 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
(has multiple locations)
What to eat for appetizers: Crispy Spring Rolls, Chicken Basil Egg Rolls, Pad Thai Spring Rolls, House Soup
What to eat for entrees: Siamese Fried Rice with Chicken and Pad Thai Fried Rice

Because I'm Too... Blonde?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

There are times where I want to dress a little bit crazy. I like big, ruffled sleeves and heeled mules and putting on clothes that perhaps a majority of other people wouldn't want to wear. I was telling a friend this weekend, whilst shopping in Zara and eyeing this absolute monstrosity of a sweatshirt, that sometimes I can't tell if I like something because I think it's cool and I would wear it or if it's because I find it so ugly that I am fascinated by it and want it. The best way to describe it is that it looked like a western alpaca and I can almost guarantee that few humans would want to rock that sweatshirt. And yet, I was tempted by it.

Was it because I liked it? Or because it was so novelty that I thought it would be funny and I would stand out?

One Foot In Front of the Other | September Playlist

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The only song that matters this month is "One Foot" by Walk the Moon. They're back, baby! They're back! There's been a serious lack of Walk the Moon since 2014 after they went on a small break due to some private family issues (to my knowledge unless something else came up after that). Regardless, they just released a new song and it's amazing, which isn't surprising in the slightest. Such talented dudes. Talking Is Hard will forever remain one of my favorite albums of all time and I'm beyond stoked to hear what's to come with their music.

I did share a list earlier this month of six artists that should be on your fall playlist, so you know that Jake McCullen, featured in said post, has a comfy little spot on September's playlist. Who doesn't love the song "Dancing On My Own" (originally by Robyn, our favorite Swedish pop queen)? I'm a sucker for a cover of that song and I'm a huge fan of this one, even if sometimes l listen to it late and night and think it sounds like Kermit the Frog.

Putting Color Back In Your Wardrobe

Monday, October 2, 2017

I wear a lot of neutrals. Like, probably an overwhelming amount of neutrals. My closet is a sea of black, tan, grey, and the occasional navy blue, though that shade has been rare since I stopped shopping clearance at Hollister and Abercrombie in the late 2000s. For someone who loves wacky clothing and likes to stand out with her lipstick shades, color in clothing intimidates the crap out of me.

What is it about color that instills fear in us? I could've worn this outfit with a white shirt, no problem, wouldn't have even questioned it. But when I was picking out some new clothes at Nordstrom Rack the other week, I hesitated to get this shirt in the shade I did and wondered if I would be better off with white or black. A very common line from when I'm shopping is actually, and I quote, "I would like this better if it was black." However, I didn't let my bad habit of boring colored clothes take control of my decision with this top and lo and behold, I adore it.
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