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7.30.2013

Quote of the Week: Winning


Stress. Man, I've been feeling it lately...tons of traveling, lots of deadlines, more meetings than I know what to do with, not being able to spend as much time as I'd like with Charlesband & Merlin...BUT it's a learning experience. Where, in the past, I may have just gotten crazed and let myself spin out of control (read: ranting, raving, raging, chain smoking, pacing, anxious, restless, and sleepless - sounds super pleasant, right?), I now just take a step back.

What needs to get done? What's the best use of my time? Do I need help? Are these deadlines realistic? Not sure if it was just a matter of growing up or my brain refusing to go into freak-out mode...or, perhaps it's a combination of the two, but now I try very hard (and don't succeed every time, mind you) to stay poised under pressure.

Control is a difficult thing to learn. Restraint. Calm. Focus...

But it's how we win. Think about the problem you're facing and ask yourself, "is this is going to make a difference to me - or will I even remember it - in 5 years?" More times than not, the answer will be "no."

Pick and choose your battles. Reserve your energy for when it's truly needed. Don't let your uneasiness or fear take hold of you.

Life only throws things at us that it knows we can handle.
Don't worry. You've got this. xo!

7.28.2013

Sunday Styles no. 36


So, pants with pleats were never my thing. In fact, they usually make me want to run and hide. Something about seeing early 90's corporate fashion flash before my eyes...and then I experienced an odd fashion occurrence. I had time on my hands and Saks was having a crazy insane-o sale a few weeks ago. The perfect combination of factors to result in a new style choice.

Charlesband and I, being the window-shoppers we are, decided to just lightly peruse. I came across a pair of gorgeous feeling, navy pants. Slacks, really. A very grown-up thing...but they had pleats. I did a quick label check and realized they were from Theory and I've never tried anything on from them that seemed grossly outdated. So, with faith and time to kill, we made our way to the dressing rooms.

I slipped these babies on and it was like heaven. Lush, super-breathable, roomy, perfect for an evening summer get-together where you want to go more menswear than just another maxi dress...even Charlesband, who I was sure would hiss at them, actually liked them. We agreed, they were gallery owner-ish. (This is a compliment, if you were wondering.)

So, here we are. Balancing out the structure of the piece with something simple and basic with basic hair, neutral colors and a bright pout. It's a little bit Madonna, a little bit art gallery, structured, but relaxed and also...much more exposing than I had originally planned for.

This is one of those outfits I would usually wear with a field jacket to balance it out and make it look a little less serious, but for Sunday Style's sake, I'm sticking to this for interest's sake. So, what's your take on pleats? I may have become a mild convert. Hope you're having an amazing Sunday! xo!

A Note About the Clothing: Theory Pants - I can't seem to find them anywhere (will keep looking!), American Apparel Cotton Spandex Underwire Bustier, Michael Kors Elena Sandal

7.26.2013

Black Magic: The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask (A Skincare Review)

I'm back with another video! Can you believe it? (I can't.) And not only that, but I went so far as to feature myself completely make-up-less in this! It may be the very first time I've appeared in public without anything on my face. (Ok, well, not since middle school.)

Today's beauty review is for the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. A big thanks to my fellow blogger, Beauty Frosting, for passing this little treasure along. Benefits aside, it's a peel-off mask! So, that, in and of itself, sounds like a one-man party to me. Who doesn't love peeling things off of other things...especially your face!

So, buckle up and get ready for some interesting footage. I'm going to apologize in advance. My lighting isn't that great in the second half (it got dark out) and I haven't gotten a good lighting set-up yet, but you still get to see me "take it all off," so to speak. Here we go:



And that's that. This peel-off mask is not only fun (to peel and probably to scare your friends with - I kinda wished Charlesband had come home in the middle of the video), but also incredibly effective. My skin felt like silk afterwards which isn't what I was expecting.

For someone who's skin wicks moisture like a paper towel in the desert, I was shocked to find my skin plump and glowing right after I took it off. Utter smoothness, brightness, and smaller pores. I'm a believer and this mask has now earned a place in my weekly facial treatments.

With all the traveling I've been doing (and will be doing - I head to NYC on Sunday), I'm going to need as much skin-love as I can muster. Airplane air is the worst.

So, thanks for making an amazing product, Boscia! And a fun one at that. I love, love, LOOOOOVE it! If you're interested, you can find it here.

Hope everyone gets to try it out. Definitely worth the investment! xo!

7.24.2013

Turban Legend


It's summer. I'm sure you've noticed that by now...if not by the baking sun, then surely from the 100% humidity (if you're one of those lucky folks that are living anywhere but the southwest.)

I just got back from Miami on Sunday and, I've gotta say, it's been a hot (PUN!) minute since I've been in those types of conditions. It was practically monsooning when I landed. Streets were flooded and my car basically floated to the hotel. This followed up by unadulterated heat. It was like a sauna...or a fish tank. Miami was a blingy, neon fish tank and though I've never lived in an actual fish tank, I'm almost positive that those kinds of conditions are not ideal for one's hair.

To be sure, my pores were ridiculously happy. Despite looking like an oil spill most of the time (shout out to my Tatcha oil blotting sheets for saving me from setting people on fire from the intense laser-like glare off of my nose!), my skin was plump with moisture. Human beef jerky, I was not...which is the general state of things when I'm back in LA. Nope, I had reconstituted myself in the balmy, beachiness of Florida...but my poor hair.

Considering I was at Miami Swim and was also representing a hair brand, my locks were looking less-than-stellar. I opted for "sleek" (code word for "my hair won't listen, so I'm going to plaster it to my head and hope no one was expecting volume & perfect beachy waves" or "look at my cheekbones - not my head") most of the time and up in braids the other part of the time. Luckily, braids are totally a thing. We all know this. People love braids, so I was able to get away with it.

But what do you do when you need to look fashionable, but have only a few minutes to get ready? (Which was the case 99% of the time I was down there - social media never sleeps, people. There is always something that needs to be covered somewhere by some means of internet transmission.)

Enter: The Turban!


A few weeks ago, my Instagram friend, Brooke, owner of Filthy Mouth Clothing, sent me an array of grossly affordable and unbearable sassy turbans to try and, thank goodness for them, they've become part of my go-to arsenal in times of "OMG, I need to get to the office and I look like I got run over!" (I really need to stop going to sleep with wet hair...also, that was the longest run-on sentence ever.)

And to prove to you that turbans are not just for eccentric old ladies (of which I hope to become one day - I'm being serious), here are three ways you can wear a turban in times of need. (Or in times where you need a little pick-me-up. They definitely seem to help my mood.)

Added bonus, keep your hair outta your face! It's better than a headband because you won't get that weird pressure behind your ears. (Headbands should just be called "cranium clamps" as far as I'm concerned.)


Really, the possibilities are endless here. I always opt to wear my turbans and head wraps with a little bit of fringe showing, but that's doesn't mean you have to! Play around and have some fun. These particular turbans have a lot of stretch too, so it doesn't matter how much hair you have or how big you think your head is, it'll fit and it'll look fantastic!

Pair patterned turbans with basics to make it the star of the show! Get your Filthy Mouth Clothing "filthy turbans" here (for coral hawaiian), here (for black & white stripes), and here (for black with polka dots)! You can find more patterns here!

Hope they make the rest of your summer bearable and, more importantly, fashionable! xo!

7.22.2013

Sunday Styles no. 35


On a Monday...I know. Misnomer. I'm sorry.

I tried my darnedest yesterday to post, but I got back from Miami Swim too late and I was a hot mess...hence me posting this today. Forgive this poor blogger. Her flight was less than ideal (Oh, you overbooked your flight and might not be able to get me on this flight even though I booked a month ahead of time, American Airlines? REALLY? - needless to say, I had do deal with a whole lotta rage which makes me even more tired.)

So, here we are on a Monday, wishing it was a Sunday and so I give you this week's Sunday Styles!

As promised, this is what I wore to my dear friends' wedding. A very random sojourn (yes, I really used that word just now) into a downtown LA pop-up shop one sunny afternoon a few weeks ago brought me to this purchase. A big thanks to Guerilla Atelier and their helpful staff for convincing me to try this number on. Persimmon (Charlesband wins the prize for correctly naming the color - I was shocked he pulled that one out) is not a color I would have ever attempted, but the intricate beading stopped me in my tracks. That and Charlesband walking over to me and telling me, straight-faced, that I looked stunning. (Note: He rarely compliments me flat-out...when he does, it's usually in a cartoon voice to hide his shyness. It's really cute, but unconvincing at times. I should probably just accept compliments, cartoon-voice or not.)

Anyway, yes! This dress was perfect for a garden wedding. It was an exceptionally flattering cut for this less-than-robustly-chested lady. And beading...I've never worn anything with such beautiful beading. I kept saying I looked like a fancy sherpa...in the best possible way, obviously. I've always been attracted to their beautiful fabrics, colors, and patterns.

And after some serious stress about shoes, I came across these super comfy wedges (no one wants to walk on grass in stilettos...I did it at my own wedding and my calves felt like they were made of lava by the end of the night.) Green! My shoes were green! I mean, this was color overload for me, but it was worth it. Who would have ever thought I could wear this much color and get away with it?

Not I. Not I.

So, there ya have it. My wedding outfit long overdue. And for those of you who aren't anywhere near downtown LA, the link to the dress is below, so no panicking. You can get it and I bet you'll look stunning in it. (By the way, I said that without using cartoon-voice.)

Happy weddings & parties to you all! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Beckley by Melissa Square Neck Embroidered Dress, Nine West ShowNTell Wedge (Green), Roberto Coin 18K Gold Drop Earrings (a gift from Charlesband - so, shout-out to a gorgeous "just cuz" gift from my husband with wonderful taste.)

7.16.2013

My Night Time Facial Skin Routine!

HEY! Remember how I promised I would give you a video on my night time facial skin routine? Well, I got it done. Phew! (I would hate to disappoint you guys.)

So, without further ado, here it is:


Can you tell I love the Tatcha products? And in case you wanted more info, here are some handy-dandy links for you to check out...

For the Night...

And for more info on the eye cream, you can check out my post here.

And if you missed my skin routine for day time, you can catch it here.

Enough links for ya? Yeah, I thought so.

Hopefully, you found this helpful! Any questions, just shoot 'em my way! xo!

7.14.2013

Sunday Styles no. 34


So, last weekend I was in Santa Barbara & Montecito for, not only a mini-vaca with Charlesband, but also the most magical rehearsal dinner and wedding. My dear friends, Kevin & Kara, got married and had, quite possibly, the most gorgeous event I've ever attended.

We're talkin' garden estates, croquet fields, pathways full of hors d'oeuvres, food made with love, dancing under the stars, and so many heartfelt speeches, I'm surprised my eye make-up stayed on. (Thanks, waterproof everything!)

And with these types of events come clothing choices, so I wanted to let you in on my rehearsal dinner outfit choice. (Wedding outfit will be next weekend, so don't go getting your knickers in a bunch.)

I decided it was time for me to infuse some more color into my life. No LBD's for these get-togethers. I went full-on color and though I felt uncomfortable at the beginning, I found myself very quickly loving this fresh, bright new look. Getting to see the wedding rehearsal at El Mirador and having an amazing, heartfelt dinner at Stella Mares helped. Color, color, everywhere!

And with that, it's off to enjoy the rest of my weekend. I'm heading to Miami Swim on Thursday, but promise to keep you in the loop about my wedding outfit next Sunday. I'll try to update from Miami as well, but can't promise anything. Work's insane-busy right now, but I'll do my best.

Hope this gives you some ideas for the next event you need to head to! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent High-Low Ikat Dress, Nine West TikiHut Sandal (Black Multi-Leather), Mac Lady Danger Lipstick

7.11.2013

My Daytime Facial Skin Routine!

One of my readers way back requested a rundown of my daily facial skin routine...and after having it hanging over my head and staring at a blank screen with a little blinking cursor for a few months, I realized the best way to do this would be to just shoot a video.

So, behold(!), my very first non-interview video. As promised, keep your eyes open for more of these in the future. And if you have any requests, send 'em my way!
Note: This video only covers my daytime routine because I use WAAAY too many products and if I went over everything, it would take forever. My nighttime skin routine video will be up next week!


As promised, here are links to the various products I mentioned in the video:

For the Day...

Michael Todd True Organics:
For a more in-depth review of all the MTTO products I've tried, go here.

La Roche-Posay:
Dr. Jart+ (am I saying that correctly? I just felt like it sounded better with a "soft" J):
As said, if you're interested in anything else, let me know! I'd be happy to make more videos!
Stay tuned for my night time skincare routine next week! xo!

7.09.2013

Quote of the Week: Procrastination


I know. I KNOW. I'm the worst. You give me an inch and I take a mile. I go away for a vacation and it's like all of my blogging receptors just shut off. I really meant to update you guys last week while I was away...and I still owe you a Sunday Styles of my wedding & rehearsal dinner attire. I promise to get you that this weekend.

In the meantime, procrastination has stolen my time away. To be honest, I've been feeling a little under the weather while we were away. A bad choice of hotels and a holiday weekend with are-you-kidding-me prices, ended in us staying in a dank, dark "cottage" (translation: rundown apartment complex pretending it's peeling paint and dumpster-dive furniture & decor means it's rustic.) The bed was rock hard and we had one pillow each. I developed a neck cramp the day before we left and it just got worse while we were there...that and lack of sleep.

So, maybe it's not so much procrastination as feeling crumby...but fear not, dear readers! I've decided on two things recently:
  1. I will begin doing video reviews, more interviews, and all around on-camera fun. (I really hope you guys enjoy them. My first attempt will be posted on Thursday!)
  2. If anything, I'm going to try to post at least one photo a day on my blog...there will be days where I have a lot to say, but on days I don't, I want to make an effort to appreciate one visual something and share it with you all. Wish me luck on that!
So, no more procrastinating! And, with any luck, being back home, getting back to working out, and eating right (though I'm not, by any means, complaining about all the amazing food we ate while we were away...it was just really...er...rich) will get me in the swing of things.

I have a lot of things planned, everyone! Starting with a bit of blog design cleaning...followed by some video editing, article writing, interview question creating...lots to do. No more procrastination for this gal. I got too many things to do to let it steal anymore time from me!

Who's with me?! xo!

7.02.2013

What Do I Bring: Santa Barbara & Montecito

I know, I know. It's been a hot minute since I've been on here. The last few days have been a flurry of me trying to prepare for a this holiday weekend. Charlesband and I are heading to Montecito (it's in the Santa Barbara area) this weekend for a little vaca & a friend's wedding.

It's been a year or so since our last real getaway and Mr. Merlin isn't coming with us this time, so there were tons of preparations that had to be done. That coupled with the stresses of work in general has left both of us in real need of some serious unplugging and poolside lounging.

There's been a heatwave here in LA, but much to my chagrin, it seems the Santa Barbara area is going to be a cool 75 degrees during our entire stay. So much for that fantasy of sitting poolside with a book and bobbing around in the water every few minutes, but I'm hoping the pool is heated and, if nothing else, we'll be bummin' around in the hot tub at some point.

So, what am I bringing with me on this 4 day excursion? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here's the rundown...


I'm keeping things SUPER simple. Items that I don't mind getting wet at the beach, are easily cleanable, easily packable, and won't wrinkle like crazy. The bikini is just my wishful thinking...or, perhaps, what I'll be wearing while I live in the hot tub. I had to make sure I had enough things to layer with too since the evenings get chilly and I'm a wimp against the cold.

That and turbans. My new love. The perfect thing to make it look like I have fancy hair when, in fact, it's just bedhead in a pretty package. Nothing beats that. I'll write more on these little beauties later.

We'll be 84 steps from the beach (or so the inn claims.) It's exactly what I've been craving...to sit by the sea. A little time away without any responsibilities...aside from rehearsal dinners and a wedding. Charlesband got a pretty snazzy suit too. Speaking of the wedding, I've purposely removed my wedding & rehearsal dinner attire from my collage. That'll be for Sunday Styles! And maybe I'll be able to get Charlesband to get in on it too.

Hope you're all getting ready for a wonderful, relaxing weekend full of nothing or everything or something in between. Whatever it is, I hope it's covered in BBQ sauce. Alright. Off to finish some last minute errands...just need to get through my work day tomorrow and then I'm home freeeeeee!

Have a great holiday! xo!