What’s In My Beach Bag???

I’m going to the beach today and since I’m up so early I figured I’d do a post on what I bring with me down the shore.  I have a lot of beach bags, but so far I’ve been using my Tory Burch one this summer.  Most of my other beach bags are from Victoria Secret, they were free with a Pink purchase.  I love those bags, they fit so much in them and they’re made well for being free!
Anywayyyy, I got this bag the day after Christmas in Bloomingdale’s, it took me forever to realize that it was printed in pink bugs.  My friend said to me, “why does your bag have cock roaches on it??” — I thought it was just pink and pretty…wrong.  But, oh well, i just ignore the bugs…whatever species they are.
Aside from my wallet, towels [I bring two, one to lay on and one for my head…makes it more comfortable] and sunglasses [with case for extra protection against sand scratches!] here are some essentials I always make sure come with me to the sand.
Most importantly, here are the two sunscreens I use while I’m at the beach.  I use Aveeno Face 30SPF, and I love it.  I’m really picky about the sunscreen I put on my face, Aveeno isn’t super oily, and I’ve never broken out after using it…which can sometimes happen to people with oilier prone skin.  The formula is light, and doesn’t leave a gross residue.  I def suggest this for your face if your looking for a new facial sunscreen!  For all over sun protection, I took my mom’s 48SPF sunscreen the other day.  It’s from Walgreens, it worked really well.  I applied every hour and still got tan without being burnt.  Since it’s not a facial sunscreen it’s a little bit thicker than the Aveeno, but it applies pretty dry which is always a plus…as opposed to streaky and yucky white goo everywhere…bleh.  It worked just fine for being a generic brand, so I’ll keep that in mind from now on! 
I prefer to read while I’m at the beach, as opposed to listen to music.  Since I’m always with my friends I think it’s more fun to read so I can still talk, rather than be zoned out in music.  Today, I’m bringing the August issue of Cosmo [Kim Kardashian…yay!] and one of the books I’m currently reading, Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl.  It’s a very cute and easy read, I’m almost half way through…I feel more like a French glam girl already!  I bought this book in Anthro a few months ago, and while I can’t find it on their website now..here’s a link to Amazon for it! 
I make sure to have a compact with me, I always need a mirror.  This compact is from the Hello Kitty collection from Sephora.  I also always carry blotting papers, I hate to feel oily whether it’s just from the heat or my sunscreen.  I really love these tea tree oil blotting tissues from The Body Shop.  I know the link doesn’t exactly look like the ones I have, but I’m 100% sure they’re the same ones!
Lastly, while I don’t wear a lot of makeup when I go to the beach, I still need to have something on.  I always put on Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer spf 20 [I use bisque] on in the morning, and I actually add the Aveeno sunscreen to that before I leave.  I don’t put much else on besides mascara [Maybelline Falsies is my new favorite], because nobody will ever see me in public without mascara on. 
I bring a bronzer with me because we usually go out to lunch so it’s nice to have a glow-y look after I’ve been laying out.  Right now my summer bronzer is MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in medium deep.  I use it as an all over bronzer or sometimes just as a blush which looks great too. And lastly, I always have my Burt’s Bees Replenishing Pomegranate Oil Lip Balm with me…everywhere.  Some people don’t like this Burt’s Bees balm, they like the original better, but I love this one.  It’s so hydrating, especially after being in the water.  
I keep my makeup in this oversize Coach wristlet I got a longggg time ago.  I don’t want to bring my everyday makeup bag since I have other unnecessary stuff in it.  Everything fits in here just fine, and with a zipper I can make sure nothing falls out of it and gets sandy in my bag!
This is all the stuff I’m bringing with me today!  Also, a quick tip…I put water bottles in the freezer the night before and wrap them up in paper towels [for when they start to super sweat from the hot sun, the water doesn’t get everywhere] to bring with me to the beach.  Cold water for hours in 95 degree weather sounds perfect to me.  It’s SO important to drink water all day when in the sun, but I’m sure you all already knew that!
   

Haul: Anthropologie

This past weekend I went to Anthropologie, it’s one of my favorite stores because they have the cutest clothes and household accessories.  I went shopping with my mom, and got a few things.  Hope you enjoy!  PS: I have yet to find a decent background for pictures, sorry, I’m still working on it!  
When I saw this dress, known as the Wayfarer Dress, I knew it would be perfect for my internship this coming semester.  When I tried it on, I was very impressed with how professional it looked, while still looking incredibly stylish.  I’m a tall girl, but the length is perfect on me, which is sometimes difficult for me to find!  The middle is a little too big, so I’ll need to get it taken in a bit, but the bottom half is perfect and super flattering.

Most of my shirts are sleeveless, and in the summer going into a restaurant can prove to be quite the chilling experience.  The air conditioning is full blast, but I still don’t want to wear a sweater, or necessarily something with sleeves.  I think this Circle Vest is super cute, the color, taupe, is perfect for matching any outfit, and (hopefully) it’ll take away the slight chill when indoors.  I like the design, and it’s slouchy frame.

I loved the style and fit of this shirt when I tired it on.  I know it’s simple, but I can dress it down with jean shorts or dress it up by tucking it in with black shorts for going out.  Adding a big chunky necklace will be great too, the coloring is perfect so I can choose either gold or silver jewelry.  Unfortunately, I can’t find this shirt online!  It wasn’t on sale, so I don’t know why I can’t find it…but check out the store if your interested!

I always find myself picking up a book in this store, when I saw The Gospel According to Coco Chanel I knew I had to have it.  Any book title with the words ‘gospel” and ‘Coco Chanel’ should be in any fashionista’s life.  While I haven’t started reading it yet, I know I’ll start it soon…I think it’ll be a perfect beach read.

While I was in Anthro I tried on a pair of AG Stevie Ankle jeans in sulfur plum.  Colored denim is taking over this summer.  Everyone from Kim Kardashian to Cameron Diaz has been seen rocking ROYGBIV via denim.  I love it, but I wasn’t sure I could pull it off…turns out I really liked the look!  I decided not to get them because I wasn’t 100% sold on the color, but I’m glad I tried them out and I’m happier I liked it!

My First Birchbox!

I was SO happy today when I came home from the beach…I saw a bright pink box from Birchbox!! YAY.  I wrote about Birchbox a couple of posts ago, I while I said I was hesitant at signing up, the good news is…I LOVE EVERYTHING IN MY BOX!
First off, the packaging is so cute.  When I opened the box I saw that Cynthia Rowley was a contributor to this month’s box.  I love Cynthia Rowley, I have a super cute silver sequin pillow by her and I take it everywhere with me…literally…it’s in my car right now.  The products in this month’s box are her favorites, which works perfectly for me because my favorite facial product of all time is in it!  
I’ll begin with my favorite, “Purity made simple” facial cleanser by philosophy.  This is my favorite makeup remover ever.  My mom and I both use it, and we’re addicted.  Of course, it’s a travel size, which is perfect because I’m going to Chicago at the end of the month, so I’ll def need it then.
My next product is “Redken shine brillance” glistening mist.  I thought maybe at first this was a light hair spray, but I sprayed it on my hand and it’s not sticky at all…which is what I was hoping for.  The smell isn’t so lovely, but we’ll see how it works out.
The next two products are Joya perfume and Nuxe dry oil.  I’m not familiar with either of these brands, so I’m excited to see if I like the products.  I don’t typically use shower oil in the summer (spray tan killer), so I probably won’t start using that until the fall.  The Joya perfume is a roll on, it smells very clean and fresh but I’m not sure I would really consider it a fabulous scent.
The last two products are a ybf beauty eyebrow pencil, in taupe, and a KIND almond and apicot snack bar.  Um, I was slightly confused as to why there was a snack bar in my beauty box…but then I read the note in the box and Cynthia Rowley says she always has one on her, so it’s an extra for this month.  I’m excited to use the eyebrow pencil, I’ve honestly never used one before because I really love my eyebrows, but whenever I go get my makeup done professionally they always still fill them in.  It’ll be a good experiement…hopefully.
SO, that’s my July Birchbox!  My expectations were definitely exceeded with this first box, from the products to the packaging.  I hope next month makes me just as happpyyyyy!

Zimbabwe + Zambia Adventures

Yesterday morning I got home from a 16 hour flight from Johannesburg, South Africa.  I spent 2 weeks volunteering at a lion conservation center in Zimbabwe and the experience was amazing, I honestly didn’t want it to end– 2 weeks was entirely too short.  I learned so much about the Zimbabwean people, their language, and customs.  I met other volunteers from all over the world..from the U.K to Iceland…from Norway to Sweden. It was awesomeeeeeeeee!
Here are some pictures of me with the lions..and some elephants!  I love, love, love animals so this experience was over the top incredible for me.
I was staying in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe…Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World…and boy were they wondrous.  We took a helicopter ride over the falls, and also walked through them which was so much fun…even the getting completely soaked part.
Lastly, here are some beautiful sunrise and sunset pictures!
This was the best experience I’ve had in my life thus far.  The opportunity just came across and I took it, I had no idea what to expect but I didn’t really care!  If you wanna do something adventurous like this, do whatever you need to do to make it a reality and just go for it!
XO.
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Just Because…Birchbox

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Last night I took the $10 plunge and signed up for the beauty-box-of-the-month club, Birchbox!  This club is relatively new but so far the press and reviews have been great!  In case you haven’t heard about Birchbox here’s a quick rundown…every month, for $10, you get a box with four or five beauty samples.  The samples cover hair, skin, makeup, body, and fragrance.  

Also, you can earn reward points, there are different things you can do to earn these points like purchase full size products (recieve 1 point for every dollar), refer friends (50 points for every friend who signs up), and review products (10 points for every review you do).  Once you get 100 points, you’ll get a $10 reward that you can put towards a full sized product.
I’m super excited to recieve my first box in July.  I took a beauty quiz so my box is more tailored for me.  For example they ask about skin tone, hair color, etc.  It’s very similar to the jewelry profile Jewelmint asks you to complete. It’s all about narrowing down the best options for you!  
I was slightly skeptical about this club for the past month, samples are samples.  They’re small, and although you get 4 or 5 per box is $10 really worth it?  Well, I decided it was once I took a look at their brand page.  I think Birchbox has done a great job of securing deals with amazing brands, I recognized and think highly of almost all of them!  bareMinerals, benefit, Cargo, juice Beauty, laura mercier, Nars, Oscar Blandi, stila, too faced, and Kate Spade are some of my favorites from the list!  I use these brands, and others listed, almost every day.  So I know I’ll use, and hopefully love, every sample given to me!
I’m constantly looking for ways to build up and evolve my beauty routine.  Rather than spending $30-$50 for a new product, I can try the sample first and then really think about whether or not I want to purchase it.  And if I do, I can purchase directly from Birchbox and get rewards points!  While I’m not really looking to spend money on full sized products any time soon, I’m loving my beauty routine right now, it’s always a good option down the road.  
For now, I think I’m gonna have fun sampling new things every month!  I’ll do a review with pictures once I get my first box!

Save Some Moolahhhh

Bath and Body Works AND Victoria Secret are having their MAYYJAHH sales going on right now!!  I feel like both of these stores suck me in, hypnotize me, and force me to buy everything in sight. It’s so awful…but not really!  Anyway, I told myself if I was going to purchase anything from either of these stores it would be online as opposed to in store.  For some reason, especially when I’m in Bath and Body, I just keep adding things to my basket and I lose all control.  I’m not like that online, thank god.
I wanted to get a few things from Bath and Body for the new school year coming up…I gave myself a $50 limit and got to searching for things I’d need for senior year.  I love the aromatherapy line at Bath and Body so I got most of my items from that line.  I can’t remember everything I got, and I’ll be in Africa when my package gets here, but I’ll do a haul when I get back!  
Anywayyyyy, I wanted to stress right now how amazing this Yellow sale is.  There’s also a 20% off coupon you can use in store or online in addition to everything being 50% off.  C-r-a-z-y.  I used that coupon and calculated how much my order would have been without the sale or the coupon.  Although to be honest I wouldn’t of bought anything if it wasn’t on sale.  With my $50 budget I ended up saving over $50!  Without the sale prices or coupon my total came to $110…I can’t believe I saved $60…amazingnessssss!! 
So, shop the Yellow Sale…indulge a little because you’re saving so much money….and use promo code SALE20 at online checkout, or print this coupon, for that extra 20% off!
Next, Victoria Secret.  I love Victoria Secret and I always seem to have a gift card to use which is great.  The semi-annual sale is going on right now — there’s also an online promo for 20% off any one item, code HOTSUMMER, AND free shipping over $100, promo code SHIPVS11.  
I was looking online and there are a ton of cute summer dresses on sale, I have way too many so I’m not even gonna consider buying one — fighting the urge, ugh so hard.  The only thing I’ll be purchasing from the semi-annual sale this time around are sheets from the Pink line.  I seem to have quite a few holes in my sheet sets right now, I think my dog claiming my bed as his has something to do with it.  If you’re looking for lounge wear def check out the Pink sale section, it’s my favorite and they have a ton of cute stuff!!

5 Tips for A Long, Long, Flight

I’m going to Africa for almost three weeks this Sunday! As I’ve been getting ready to leave, one very important aspect I’ve been thinking about is how I’m going to survive the 18 hour flight from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa.  I think I’ve come up with some good ideas, and I figured I’d share them in case anyone else is traveling long distances this summer!
1. A super huge water bottle.  I drink so much water, sometimes people think I’m a fish.  I’m going to bring a liter bottle with me, although since flying can be dehydrating I’ll probably go through it rather quickly.  Whenever you’re flying it’s super important to stay hydrated.  No soda, coffee, or alcohol!
2. Books and magazines.  I already have Cosmo, Self, and Allure lined up for the flight but I also want to bring some good books for my time in Africa and the flights there and back.  The first book I’m bringing is Tim Gunn’s Golden Rules: Little Life Lessons for Making it Work.  I got this book a long time ago, right when it came out actually, but never got the chance to read it…until now!!  I have a bunch more options to bring, I’m still trying to pick a second and third book!
 3. A sleeping mask. I plan on forcing sleep upon myself with some Unisom, and you need to look good even while snoozing.  I got an eye mask at Natural Body Spa, my favorite spa on this planet.  It’s silk which is better for the skin and soft on the delicate eye area compared to the fabric-y and sometimes itchy ones the airline gives you.  If I’m gonna be on a flight for that long and need to be super well rested when I arrive, comfort is key.
4. Upkeep essentials…in addition to my makeup bag I carry everywhere with me…

While I’ll be wearing makeup from that day, first thing I plan on doing is using my Neutrogena Makeup Cleansing Towelettes to take it off when I get in my seat.  I don’t want to clog my pores by keeping it on the whole flight (yuck.), especially if I’m already in a dry environment.  So off comes the makeup, on goes my Origins Perfect World moisturizer.

My next upkeep essential is Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir.  I love, love, love this facial spray, it’s great when you need a pick me up during the day, tingly on the skin, smells like peppermint, and I know I’m gonna need that when stepping off that plane.  This is my favorite refresher spray, and although it’s expensive, the luxurious feel is so worth it!

My last key upkeep essential is Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream.  I love this hand cream because it isn’t greasy and truly is high intensity.  My hands feel silky after using it, which is always a plus!!

5. The last thing I’ll need are some snacks.  I’m not really a plane food type of girl and it’s so easy to just buy a big bag of chips or something along that line.  But, I really want to have healthy options for the flight so I’m going to bring some meal bars and hopefully a big salad and other veggies to snack on en route!
Hoping these 5 Tips will help ya out next time you’re on a long flight!
XO.
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Dove Advanced Care Deodorant

Some may find this post comical, kinda it is…but it’s important! 
I’m obsessed with my deodorant.  I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.  I’ve been using Dove Solid: Ultimate Go Fresh Cool Essentials since it came out, and it’s the best. Really, the best.  The “Cool Essentials” are cucumber and green tea, it smells divine and super fresh.  It works the whole day, I’ve never had to worry about feeling gross during the middle of the day whether I’m in class or running errands. 
Dove advertisements say you don’t have to worry this deodorant about staining your clothes, that statement isn’t entirely true– but that’s okay I’m just careful.  I love that you can buy a pack of two of these at a time, or you can get a deodorant and the spray in a pack.  I’ve only used the spray once when I used my friends, and I really liked it.  I just feel the better value is to buy the double deodorant pack.
I used to use Secret Scent Expressions in Ohh LaLa Lavender, which I really loved too.  It’s the gel deodorant which I know many people don’t like, but it worked fine for me!!  This smelled amazing, but I prefer the Dove more because it smells more fresh and clean than this Secret scent.  I’m sure there are other Secret options comparable to Dove, but I don’t want to part from Dove just yet.
 
Many people don’t think about how important deodorant really is.  But seriously, it’s super important.  If you’re not using a deodorant you love, you won’t feel fresh and clean — and that’s my favorite feeling!!

Haul: Charming Charlie

I’m in the Atlanta area (Suwanee, GA to be exact) visiting my Dad for the week.  Unfortunately, but excitingly (I didn’t know that was a real word), he’s moving to the Fort Worth area in a few months.  While I know I’ll be in the city area of Atlanta still quite often, one thing I will miss is the jewelry store Charming Charlie which is just about a 10min drive from our house. 
I had absolutely no idea what Charming Charlie was until I walked passed it one day, at which point I turned my head and thought to myself OMFG I NEED EVERYTHING IN THIS STORELiterally.  I truly felt like I hit the fashion jewelry mecca.  If you’ve never been to, or heard of, this store before I have one word to describe it…color. TONS OF COLOR.  It’s a huge store (at least the one by me is) and all the accessories are divided up by color on huge round tables.  Also, everything is super inexpensive, think one step above Forever 21 in price, but a flight of stairs above them in quality, which is why I always seem to walk out with half the store.
Before I get started on my haul, here’s a quick commerical from their YouTube channel! (PS: Check out all their videos on YouTube, they’re great!!)  They also have a a blog, Charm Chronicles, which while I’ve only read a few posts, looks pretty good!!  
Here are my purchases!!!  Unfortunately you cannot buy their products online…lame.  But check out the store locater because you never know if there’s one near you!!  I just found out there’s one about 40mins from my house in Jersey!!  Enjoy!
I love classic looking pieces like the one on the right that I can dress up or dress down.  I have a few necklaces along the line of this one but I love the layered look and I have great bracelets that will complement it!  The black and silver necklace with flowers reflects my true style and I know that one will get a lot of wear.
I loved these earrings when I saw them, I think they could go both in a casual and elegant direction.  I actually have a bracelet that will match perfectly with them!  I love that color blue against a rustic gold color, and the shape with that coloring looks great.
A cute flower power ring, just because.  I thought it was summery and I could wear with a black outfit for a pop of color, or at the beach! And, an owl ring because owls are our mascot and I can’t help myself when I see owls!
Two owl necklaces one gold and one silver.  As I just said, I can’t help myself when I see anything owls, and the price was right, so I went with it!  I don’t think you can tell but the other necklace is gold with a hint of copperish color to it.  I thought the coloring was interesting and I would have the focus be on the necklace when I’m wearing it since it might be hard to match other pieces with it.
Another owl, this one kinda looks scary but it has abuncha purples in it which is why I liked it so much!  I loved this drop ring because of the color and while it’s still a piece of fashion jewelry I know I’ll be able to dress it up if I want to!
I thought this necklace was really pretty and I absolutely love the colors.  It’s light and perfect for the summer– I think I’ll layer on tons of bracelets with complementing colors when I wear this.
I know this bracelet is a little loud and ridiculous, but I really don’t care…I think it’s fun and unexpected.  I have an all black bathing suit that I know this bracelet will look great against when I’m at the beach.  It might be hard to incorporate this into a lot of outfits, but I think its a great easy option for the shore.

Must Have iPhone Apps

I couldn’t even deny it if I tried…I’m addicted to my iPhone.  I used to be team Blackberry in high school and part of college, but then we broke up and I got together with Apple. #sorryimnotsorry
Anyway, I use my iPhone for everything from keeping my schedule and financial shiz completely organized to having Netflix and Food Network instantly at my fingertips.  I love love love my iPhone. 
One very important aspect of my iPhone are apps that are dedicated to shopping and beauty.  These are obvz my favorites.  I thought I’d share all my favorite apps on here, hopefully most of you are iPhone users…and if not…after reading this you’ll probablyyyy want to run out and get one!
1. Sample sale apps — these are without a doubt my favorite apps I have.  Hautelook, Gilt Groupe, and RueLaLa have each come out with their own app which makes the rush to the 11am sample sales that much more easy.  Each app works great, I used to have some technical issues with Gilt but they fixed it with a new update.  If I’m not at home but I’m super excited about a sale I’m so happy I can just click on my app and have everything right there…checkout is super easy too and they store credit card info so it’s just one click and purchased!
2. Groupon. My obsession with Groupon has gotten out of control.  Today for example, was $40 for $100 worth of lingerie at a boutique in Georgetown (I go to school in DC) — so obviously, I bought it.  I have all my cities — DC, Atlanta, NYC, and all the Jersey areas — saved so I can look at all the deals and purchase what I want.  I also love how I can stay green and not print out my Groupon, it can be scanned from my phone! 
3. Allure Best of Beauty.  My favorite magazine is Allure, hands down. Every year they have their Best of Beauty awards highlighting the best makeup and beauty products at all price points.  This app has all that information including comparisons and even a locate option to find the product at a location nearest to you!!  Hmmm, there’s also an option for you to “Shop by Store” for the products — everywhere from Bloomingdale’s to Walgreens! 
4. Style.com — I love Style.com on my computer, so why wouldn’t I love it in an iPhone app?!  This app covers videos from runways around the world — it has almost all of the Fall ready to wear shows (Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy) and tons of pictures from red carpets and parties.  I also love their Look of the Day which highlights different runway looks and you choose which you like the best– today, for instance, is all bold colors ranging from a DVF piece to Narcisco Rodriguez.
5. Ebay. I love the format of the Ebay app much more than I like it on my laptop.  I find it’s much easier and fun to use and I like the layout a lot.  I can conveniently go to my ‘watch list’, ‘buying’, and ‘selling’ and my recently viewed items are pictured on the bottom.  I use eBay a lot so this app is very useful!
I have tons more apps, but those are def my fave!  Team iPhone all the way !!!