Wednesday, March 27, 2013

[OOTD] You Know I'm Bad

Sorry for the odd title, but Michael Jackson is playing on my iTunes and it's early morning and I'm not feeling creative.

It's been SO long since I've posted an about we do that today? (Side note - can you tell these pics are a bit older by the ginormous number of leaves behind me?? Haha)

Outfit Details:
Top - Forever21
Jeans, Belt - Target
Wedges - Payless

My outfit inspiration came from this outfit from Caroline at Caroline In the City that I had pinned:

However, I feel like my outfit doesn't come off quite as cleanly as hers. I liked the pop of color thrown in with otherwise neutral items, but I feel like the structure of my wedges make the outfit disproportional. This is one of those outfits that I thought would be a cinch to pull together, but in practice it didn't come out quite right. From straight on, I think the outfit looks fine, which tells me it's the bulk of the shoe that doesn't do this outfit any favors!

Also, my hair up on my head just doesn't work with some looks and this is definitely one of them. It looks sloppy.

Necklace - Forever21
Bracelets - Macy's, Forever21
Watch - gifted from my sis-in-law
Earrings - no idea, old!

Have you ever put an outfit together and expected a totally different result than you got??

Monday, March 25, 2013

[Life] Why I'm Leaving Facebook.

Oh, Facebook (or "the book of faces" as one of my close friends calls it). I've been a part of the community since at least 2005 - back when you had to have a .edu email address to sign up (lucky me, I have an "" address that worked!).
And I'm finally over it. Honestly, I was going to write a big long post as to why I deactivated my Facebook account...but then I came across this article, which kind of sums it up for me:

"63% of women said their friends "complain all the time." 41% hated their friends' political views, and 32% were sick of their stupid perfect friends bragging about stupid perfect lives."

So true, so true.

Basically, I got tired of the whining, bragging, and political posts that made me feel like my friends wouldn't actually be my friends if I was at all vocal about my political views because we don't agree. Facebook was depressing me - I was finding myself being snarky and mean because of the way others were using it, and I don't want to be that person.

It's been a few weeks now and honestly? I don't miss it. It's kind of nice not to have to see the 3 albums worth of vacation photos from Bora Bora or read cryptic messages about how things-are-terrible-but-I-don't-want-to-tell-you-why-I-just-want-attention or 10 posts about something political flying in your face. Because no one talks about how they saved for 3 years to take that trip, or about how they're just lonely and Facebook makes them feel more connected, or about how you really don't care as much as you seem about politics and that you're ok with friends on both sides of the political coin.

So, it's nice. I'm not sure if this is forever, but right now I'm defintely enjoying being 100% Facebook free.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

[Life] 4 Years

4 years.

That's how long it's been since I married my best friend. Best decision ever.
I love you, Hubby!!! Happy Anniversary!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

[Life] 33.9767° S, 18.4244° E: Cape Town, South Africa

With my travel and illness I'm running a bit behind on 10-year anniversary Semester at Sea posts. I'll try and catch up this week!!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
"We made it!!! Missed watching the ship pull into Cape Town, South Africa, but did get up to catch the sunrise. The city isn't as built up as Salvador looked - I think I had the size images swapped. The area we docked in (Victoria Waterfront) is clean, modern, and gorgeous with a view of Table Mountain for the backdrop."

"Our first trip was to the District 6 Museum, a shrine to the district that was taken over during apartheid where they knocked down homes and forced people into squatter settlements or illegal townships." (side note - anyone ever see the movie District 9 a few years back? It's an alien version of what they did in District 6 in South Africa. Great movie if you ever get the chance to see it - and I'm not into scifi at all!!)

"We went to a township from there. It was so overwhelming, I'm still processing it all. We saw 'Vicki's B&B' - a shack made into a place for visitor's to stay to see the 'other' part of South Africa. These kids & families live - literally - in a house the size of my bedroom at home. All of the kids loved the digital cameras because they could see themselves in the viewer on the back."

"We went up Table Mountain in the cable car. What an amazing view - and the cable car spun!!!"

"We headed out for dinner and ended up at the Ocean Basket - we ordered the priciest bottle of local wine on the menu - for the equivalent of $7. Our waiter invited us out to Cantina Tequila with he & his friends. We ordered a Gulf of Mexico - a giant drink w 7 straws to share that tasted like liquid candy."

Thursday, February 20, 2003
"After a longish bus ride, we got to the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas. After climbing to the top, we drove a few more minutes to get to the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet."

"Afterwards, it was over an hour ride to Hermanus, where we stayed overnight. After dinner, we went out for drinks at a bar called Dro's, and made friends with the bartenders. They took us to a tiny little local techno bar where we had a great night with the locals."

Friday, February 21, 2003
"The morning started with a nature walk. The guide was bad, but the hike itself was gorgeous!"

"Finally got back to the ship and got ready for dinner. Had ostrich and champagne at Aldo's, then headed over to Camp's Bay - Sarah has friends studying abroad there from her college! They are renting out some filmmaker's home and it was gorgeous. We went out from there, enjoying a fun night on the town."

Saturday, February 22
"Got up for the Robben Island tour. It was interesting to see where Nelson Mandela had been imprisoned."

"After dinner at Imelo, we had the amazing opportunity to hear the local PSS Choir sing on the ship before we departed - simply incredible!!"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

[OOTD] There's Life At Both Ends of That Red Dirt Road

Note: I wrote this last Friday. And then forgot to post it. But since I'm in LA this week with no access to my photos, and I was a bad blogger and didn't schedule posts, you get this one I already wrote. :)

It's March. In Atlanta. And it's currently 32 degrees outside. And there's snow on the ground.

Will everyone hate me if I say I love it? Cause I really, really do!!!

Generally, by March, we're getting pretty mild down here. Being a gal hailing from the northeast, I always wish the cold would stick around a little longer - mostly because it never gets really cold down here (at least to me), and I love my winter wardrobe - I want to keep around the boots and heavy knit scarves and cute layers as long as possible! Because once the summer rolls's so hot you want to wear as little as possible which makes it difficult to feel quite as put together.

Although in these pictures - you can't see half of what I'm wearing because it was too darn cold!!!

Coat, Shoes: Old Navy
Jeans: Guess
Scarf: New York & Company (old)
Earrings: Made by me
Sunnies: ? I can't remember!

Sweater and White tee: H&M

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

[Beauty] Mary Kay Party Facts...or Fiction?

I recently went to a Mary Kay party at a friend's house. I normally avoid these parties like the plague, but the host is a really close friend of mine and I hadn't seen her in awhile so I agreed to go. It was exactly what you'd expect - nothing out of the ordinary. I have my opinions of Mary Kay that I won't get into here, because that's not the point. The MK rep said 2 things that stuck with me after the fact, and I wanted to find out if there was any truth behind them.

#1: Mites live in the base of our eyelashes.
This awesome tidbit came up during a discussion of washing our faces and making sure to wash off all of our makeup. You guys, I was not honest at the party but since we're all friends here, I'll be honest now: I sometimes don't wash my face or take off my makeup at night. Cue the gasps!

It's just that some nights, I'm so exhausted, I can't stand the thought of spending 10 minutes over the sink. Yes, I know. That's a horrible excuse. So when I heard about the mites, I had to know. The rep said "If you don't wash your makeup off at night, mites that live in your eyelashes can actually eat eyelashes off!" Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa???

So I looked it up. I don't know about the "eating your eyelashes off" part, but we definitely have mites. (Don't go look it up unless you want to be completely grossed out. Just trust me). And not just in our eyelashes - all over our faces. They live off of dead skin cells, and those of us (like myself) with oily skin have even more than the rest of the world. Yikes! I think I'm going to be more dilligent about washing my face.

#2: You should only use the same brand of product for all of your skincare items because they are designed to work together.
This one sounded a bit fishy to me. She kept reiterating it - saying even if it's not Mary Kay, your skincare products should be from one skincare line. Over and over and over again. So I wondered - is this a ploy to sell more product, or is this really true?

I'll be honest - I couldn't find a single yes or no answer in all my research on this one. But I did get this basic overlying answer: active ingredients play a big role in the answer. Things like retinol, or alpha hydroxy, or any ingredient that's meant to actively work on your skin, can interact with one another. So, by sticking to the same line, you're ensuring that all of the products work together in a way that minimizes unwanted effects - irritation, redness, etc.

However - if you're not using more than one active ingredient - you should easily be able to mix cleansers with moisturizers with toners from different lines and have no issues at all. You can even do this with active ingredients, but this is where you start to open yourself up to potential irritation with the overlapping use of certain ingredients.

Whew. I feel smarter now. Hopefully you do too! :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

[Beauty] For Hair That Just Won't Curl

I have naturally curly hair. And by "naturally curly", I mean super frizzy, super poofy, refuse-to-be-defined curls. This is why I so often wear my hair straight. It's easier and it always looks great, thanks to my favorite flat iron, Helen of Troy. (Funny story, when I was in college and living in the Delta Zeta sorority house, one of my sisters found this flat iron. One by one, we all gave it a whirl and pretty soon we all had one. We used to joke that Helen was the extra sister of the house and that she deserved a photo on our sorority composite.)

When I let my hair air-dry, the volume exponentially grows. Over the years, I've been trying to find a way to let my natural curls shine through without making me look like Roseanne Roseannadanna. (And let's be frank: I come by this honestly. I am totally serious when I tell you that my father actually calls my mother Roseanne Roseannadanna. I totally and completely have my mother's hair.)
Roseanne Roseannadanna.

I've tried a ton of product cocktail combinations, but the defined curl remained elusive. Sometimes it would look good and sometimes not, and there was no telling which way it would go, so every time I let my hair air dry it was a crap shoot as to whether it would be presentable or need to be throw up in a ponytail or bun. Lest you believe this post is about figuring out how to perfectly style natural curls - it's not. After realizing that I may never figure out the exact right product concoction to get defined, natural curls, I turned to curling methods.

I started with curlers of all different kinds. Velcro rollers: these took too long. If my hair was too dry, it wouldn't take the curl, if my hair was too wet my hair would never dry. Hot curlers: the curl fell out in about 30 seconds, and the curlers themselves never wanted to stay in my hair. Steam curlers: these worked unbelievably well, however the curl was so tight I looked ridiculous. And volume. Steam curlers gave me mega volume - which was not pretty. Talk about 80s beauty queen style!

Miss America 1988
This is my hair after steam rollers. Eek! And if I brush it, it's even worse.

Holy cow. My hair refuses to hold non-natural curl (which seems a little bit like my hair is fighting its own natural inclination, no?). Even with product. Even with hairspray. I kid you not - I then tried at least 5 different curling irons. The curls fell out after 5 minutes. I thought my problem was that I wasn't letting my hair cool, so I started curling my hair and pinning the curls to my scalp until they cooled. They lasted about 15 minutes longer doing it that way.

But now. I've finally found my solution. For over 10 years now, I have believed my hair would not curl. I have joyously been proven wrong. Enter this:
The Remington Curling Wand

I randomly asked for one of these for Christmas. I don't know why I decided I would try it, but I did. I'm pretty sure it ended up on my Christmas list because I figured I would try it if I happened to get it and if it didn't work, I'd feel less bad because I didn't buy it myself with all this false hope.

I was so confident it would not work that I waited over 6 full weeks before I even took it out of the box and tried it. Part of the reason is I always try new hair stuff on the weekend, when I actually have time to fuss with it, and time to fix it if it looks like crap.

Ya'll, I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the super high heat? Maybe it's the pretty pink barrel? I have no idea what makes this thing so darn awesome, but it really, really is. I was gifted the 1-1.5" barrel wand and ended up with gorgeous, big, soft curls that lasted through a five hour long dinner and a movie date with the hubby.

Curled with the 1-1.5" barrel wand - photo about 5 hours post-style!

I slept on my curled hair, and woke up the next morning to hair that was still curled. I don't think anyone is aware just yet, because I haven't posted any new pics since I did it, but I chopped my hair off at my shoulders about 2 weeks ago. The big curls were awesome, but not quite suitable for hair this short. I was so impressed, and loved the wand so much, that I went out and bought the .5-1" barrel wand for my short hair to see how that looked.

Same thing, just a tighter curl. I curled my hair with the small wand, went dancing for 2 hours, slept on my curls, showered with them in a shower cap, tousled them up with my fingers after, and wore them the entire following day without losing a single bit of curl. AND, the following morning when I woke up to shower, my hair was still nearly perfect.

Curled with the .5-1.5" wand, 9 hours post-style!

This wand is amazing. I honestly have no idea if it's this wand, or any wand, but I don't care. I am so incredibly excited to be able to finally get long-lasting, defined curls with no frizz. If your hair doesn't curl easily, try this. It may not work for you, but if it did for me after all I've tried, what do you have to lose in giving it a shot??

For you ladies with natural curls (or unnatural long-lasting curls), what are your tricks of the trade?

**note: I was not provided with any compensation, product or financial, I just love these wands so much I wanted to share!!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

[Random] Sunday Soup #14

Just popping in with 3 little laughs for your Sunday!


This makes me laugh because my dog is obsessed with her lady bug toy....perhaps I need to buy her this costume, too?

This is just hilarious:

And lastly, can she be one of my BFFs??

Happy Sunday!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

[Vlog] February Shopping Part 2

And here's the rest of what I got in February that blew my budget!! (See part 1 here)

  • Pink heels, White House Black Market via Alexis Suitcase, $15
  • Green wedges, Karen Millen via Alexis Suitcase, $5
  • Black chevron bangles, Target, $3.98
  • Green bangle, Target, $8.50
  • Scarf, Gap via Alexis Suitcase, $13.50
  • Floral blazer, Lauren Conrad for Kohl's, $14.00
  • Sunglasses, New York and Company, $5/each, $10 total
  • White sheer top, Macy's, $16.80 but store credit of $40 makes it $0
Total for this vlog:  $69.98
Total for Feb: $203.44 (plus $80 for Prabal Gurung items = $283.44)

Overall, I only went over by $24ish, unless you count the Prabal Gurung items I saved money for, in which case I blew my budget pretty badly. Though I had money saved, the items weren't necessary, so I do feel a bit guilty about buying them. I really want to be better this month, but I already am planning on hitting H&M after work today to pick up a top that I was lusting over last weekend. This spells trouble so early in the month...hopefully ya'll will keep me in check!