Faking It by Elisa Lorello

61CIzbeHSrL._SL1500_

I have been reading this book for what seems like months! As much as I love to read it can be hard for me to make the time to do it unless I am REALLY into a book. This book was a really easy read and I was able to fly through most of the chapters.

The main character is Andi Cutrone who is a writing professor at a college in Long Island.  She has recently broken off her engagement to with her fiancé, Andrew. She’s the type of woman who has never felt good about herself and needs some help with loving herself.  In steps Devin, an escort she meets at a work cocktail party who she gets the guts to call up and give a proposition to, he will teach her to be a better lover and in return, she will give him writing lessons. They meet once a week and test each others boundaries all while learning more about their authentic selves. Things get pretty hot, steamy and of course complicated. Why wouldn’t they when you mix business and pleasure?

Fools Gold

Spring has finally arrived and that means getting ready for shorts, tanks, and flip flops! This is the start of one of my favorite seasons and that means that I needed to find some amazing products to prepare for it! I worked as a manager at a tanning salon for 2 years while I was in college and as much I loved having a perfectly even tan all year long I realized that it wasn’t the best decision for my skin. So to kick off my first favorite thing of April, the spray tan.

Spray Tans

I got a mystic tan the beginning of April and I loved it! All of my friends had been tanning or getting sprays since the weather was getting warmer and we were all breaking out our cute tanks and skirts that showed off a lot more skin and adorable wedges to complete the looks. I do recommend that you don’t get one when you are hungover because it caused me to freak out a little bit about not getting enough air but I got over it.  Also, make sure you listen to what the person says that gives you instructions on what to do.  They tell you to use a baby wipe and wipe your hands off REALLY well (I also recommend standing on it to get the color off the bottom of your feet) My mystic tan lasted about a week and a half which wasn’t bad for only costing around $9.00. The Tan Co. was running a special where your first mystic was $5.00 and all the add-ons were half off. I now go to Shine which is only $10.00 per spray and not quite as traumatic as the mystic booth is.

Naked Basic Palette

With the summer months quickly approaching I tend to wear less makeup for a few reasons: 1. The heat makes you sweat which makes your makeup run, that is not attractive.  2. Beinpaletteg tan I don’t really need to wear any makeup because my skin is clearer from the sun and chlorine from the pools. and 3. I don’t want to take the time to do my makeup after spending the day drinking at the pool, it’s already a miracle that I actually straightened my hair after taking shower instead of just letting it be wild and curly. So the Naked Basics Palette has become my new best friend.  It has lighter shades without the shimmer so I can still do my smokey eye without being so intense! They also work great for being a base or highlight on your eye before you use your statement eyeshadows. 

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

I have been using this amazing spray for a few years now but since the sun and chlorine from the pools and lake water tend to dry hair out I thought it was the pealb-904_1zrfect time to share this product.  I usually spray it in my hands and run it through my locks after styling with a flatiron or curler.  If I feel like my hair needs a little more moisture then I will put it in while my hair is damp.  It smells amazing and helps keep frizz down! They have expanded this product to include keratin and special ingredients for blondes and a lite version as to not weigh thin hair down.  I personally think this adds fullness to my hair but I can see if you use too much that it tends to thin it out.  This is not an inexpensive product but I honestly think it is worth the money and it lasts for a long time! I only use a squirt or two when styling.

Life’s Tough, Get a Helmet

If you’re anything like I was in high school, which was 2005-2009, when MTV still had music shows like Total Request Live, which I watched everyday after school when I didn’t have sports practice, and showed music videos from 4am to 9am or something like that. But back to the teenage girl addiction of my favorite reality show ever, The Hills. Not only did I think Lauren Conrad, Lo Bosworth, Whitney Port, and Audrina Patridge were absolutely gorgeous and super envious of their lives living in LA, working at magazines, a record company and whatever Lo did…but Lauren and her friends had the best advice.

Life can be tough at times, I know I’ve gone through my fair share of rough patches and thought the world was ending (dramatic, yes) but if I have learned one thing in my twelve years of dealing with issues, because really what is there to fret about when your 11 years old other then figuring out how to ride your bike without training wheels, life goes on. Those three simple words have helped me get through some of more difficult things I’ve had to go through.

I’m about to reach the big 2-5 and have realized that life decisions don’t get any easier. These decisions are different then the ones I made when I was 16, 18, 20, 21, even 23. In high school, you make the choices that you are probably really stupid but you learn from them. I know that I didn’t believe in curfews, my parents did and of course they set them for me but it was pretty rare that I would be home at that time or at all…. I was quite the rebel in high school and probably gave my parents multiple heart attacks.  I was a good student and played sports so it’s not like I was out getting into really bad mischief and I never got into trouble with the law or anything. Moving onto college when I was actually homesick!! This was when I really started appreciating my parents again. They were so supportive of everything I did, especially when I joined a sorority. I definitely think that you learn and grow the most in college, your first time away from home and your parents. The opportunity to really make those mistakes that you hopefully learn from the first time you make them but it might take a couple more tries.  And that’s okay… I’ve always been a pretty laid back person, my first year of college I didn’t study near as much as I should’ve and I learned a couple years later that’s actually something I should do more of so I don’t have to take that math or economics classes again (seriously devil courses). I also learned that I shouldn’t go to that St. Patrick’s Day party at Zan the night before a test. That one took a couple more tries to figure out. Friends come and go, if you’re a social butterfly like I am then you probably meet people on a daily basis.  I had and still have a great loop of friends that I have met in college and am truly blessed for many of them to be there for me through anything. They help me through many of the things I have to choose between. We make choices everyday and even though they may be small they impact your life.

Life’s tough and sometimes that helmet may not be big enough for some of the decisions that need to be made. I’ve been hurt numerous times and the pain doesn’t get any easier the older I get, probably because we love deeper and dream bigger.   As I’ve gotten older the stress has started to grow which I didn’t think was possible, especially since I don’t have tests to study days/hours for or grades to maintain or part-time jobs that pay less than half of what I make now (seriously, how did I live through college on that! Oh yeah, my wonderful parents helped me. I seriously can never thank them enough). I guess that’s what happens as years go by.  Different day, new opportunity, unfamiliar things to blossom your future.  I’m excited for the opportunities in my life and have learned to not be afraid because everything happens for a reason.

Four Leaf Clovers

Who could hate favorite things? I mean, Oprah (when she still had her show) had an ENTIRE episode dedicated to her favorite things AND she gave them away to everyone in the audience! Talk about AWESOME. I thought this show was the greatest thing on midday television and would record it every year (and write it in my planner and stalk the newstands for the O magazine that featured these fabulous things and jump up and down squealing when a commercial ran giving sneak peeks). Fast forward to now when I record one talk show every single day, The Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen has topped Oprah! Who would’ve thought we’d see the day. She has 12 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS! That’s so much better then just one day.

So like I said, who could hate favorite things. The amazing thing about Ellen is that it doesn’t have to be a holiday season for her to give things away every day on her show.  She has those fun contests where audience members can win awesome prizes or if she is chatting with a music artist or actor that day she will give away their newest CD or movie tickets but what makes Ellen super special is she gives things to people in need. A family that needs a new car, or a check to help with a child’s medical bills, or a vacation to Disneyland for a family that wouldn’t be able to afford it on their own. She is truly a remarkable person and HILARIOUS! I die laughing watching her show when I get home from work everyday.  (TG for DVR)

So at the end of every month I will write about my favorite things that I found during those 28, 30, or 31 days.  If you ever have any questions about the products feel free to leave a comment! Now onto my favorite things that I found in March!

I have been playing “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town over and over again on my Spotify (I’m trying to figure out how to link my Spotify to my blog so you can see my recent songs, work in progress).

Target dollar Spot Pens and Pencils are my new desk ornaments! They come in sotarget pens and pencils many different colors and patterns every month. The patterns and colors change based on seasons/months. They may not be the best writing instruments but they sure are cute. They also have matching notepads, stationary, thank you cards, sticky tabs, and so much more! These are great to stock up on to add to gift baskets for bridal showers, birthdays, or stocking stuffers. I bought a ton to give to my friends because who could say no to cute pens!

Being the girl that I am I tend to spend a ridiculous sum of money on my hair every year BUT I always feel better when my hair looks fabulous! So I open my wallet and just say “take my money!!” My mom is the same way and tends to buy shampoo andwen-by-chaz-dean_sidebar conditioners and other hair products that I have never heard of from Ulta (our go to beauty store, my dad swears we can never walk out without spending at least $100 but whatever). A couple times a month I go rummage through her bathroom cabinet and find a new product to try. This months favorite is Wen by Chaz Dean. (you order it through a TV ad or online and now it is available at Sephora!). This 5-in-1 formula doesn’t lather so it won’t strip your hair of the natural oils it needs. It increases strength, color, and manageability. I personally use the sweet almond mint conditioner once a week and my hair looks shiner and feels softer!

I wrote an entire post about my new favorite jewelry designer and so that will be my final March favorite. Chloe and Isabel has the most stunning, elegant, beautiful jewelry I’ve ever purchased! There are designs that will appeal to everyones taste and style so I high recommend you check out there site and shop with my classmate from high school at alexjordan.chloeandisabel.com. Here’s a few more of my favorite pieces I hope to add to my collection soon:

N292R070E250

Hope you enjoyed my first favorites post! Keep checking back to find out more about the fabulous finds I come across and fall in love with. Until then, live life happily.

Blogged While Sitting Outside in this Spring Sunshine

I have received my first BirchBox for March!! I was practically squealing when I saw it! The box detail was even prettier and cuter in person and I can’t wait to continue collecting them.

In my box I received:

  • Vansanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
  • Davines OI/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion
  • Davines OI/Shampoo
  • Davines OI/Conditioner
  • Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia
  • Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter
  • Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm

(All are pictured above)

The Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator is a basically a light scrub,  I really liked how it could be used more than once a week and was abrasive enough to really scrub the dead skin/old makeup off.  I use a Clarisonic Mia brush with all of my face washes to really get deep into my pores.  The fragrance of it was nice and clean too.

Davines OI/ Shampoo and Conditioner are my new FAVORITES! I wasn’t a fan of the scents at first while washing my hair with them but then after drying and straightening my hair I loved it! The scent stayed the entire next day and it made my hair so silky soft, lightweight and felt so so clean! Using the Davines OI/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion probably helped boost these results.  This potion feels light to the touch and not oily at all like you would expect from the name.  You apply a few pumps to wet or dry hair to tackle frizz. I will definitely be buying this system with my Birch Box points!

I have my favorite perfumes that I tend to stick to but like trying something new once and a while.  The Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia will not be something that I will buy. This perfume smelled like someone shoved an ENTIRE flower shop into this tiny bottle.  It was way too potent for me and it stuck around FOREVER.

The Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm will also not be a product that I will purchase.  It was a little too thick for a face lotion.  However, I will probably keep this in my purse in case I need it for an emergency dry skin touch-up.

I have not tried the Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter yet.  Probably because the shimmer of it is a little intimidating and I don’t want to look like a drag queen at work (especially since we have large windows with a lot of natural light that would make my face light up like a christmas tree with this stuff on).  From some of the reviews I have read, this product seems to be rather sticky and you have to act fast once you apply it so it doesn’t dry weird. Maybe I will be brave enough to try it this weekend…..but probably not since I have a date with a bottle of wine and Netflix. It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

Overall, I think the products in my first box were great! They all complimented each other scent-wise.  I used 5 of these products all at once and they were all around the same fragrance pallet so they didn’t overpower each other.  I was really excited that I got to try the entire OI Shampoo/Conditioner/beautifying potion together since it sold me on the entire system!

Would any of you be interested in trying these products? I highly recommend BirchBox if you are looking to try something new!

Blogged While Watching March Madness

Spring is finally here!! We all know that means updating our wardrobes with new fashion items to ring in the warmer weather and longer days.  One of my favorite purchases during this season is jewelry.  You can still wear your favorite sweaters and jeans from the chillier months but add that spring touch with new warmer pastels or vibrant, bright hues that come with these statement pieces. Some of my favorite places to get jewelry is Stella & Dot, J Crew outlet, Modern Society (along with everything else for my wardrobe) and now Chloe and Isabel.  This last company has the most AMAZING jewelry.  One of my high school classmates sells these gorgeous pieces and even though she posted beautiful pieces on her Instagram all the time I hadn’t got around to checking out the site until I “liked” one of her pictures about a contest she was doing and WON!! I told my mom about the company and we both decided that this was exactly the type of jewelry that was the perfect way to accessorize our sandal-wearing outfits for spring!

I decided that I wanted an elegant, long necklace to spice up some necklaceof my simpler dresses and flowy tanks.  This Sand + Sky  Long Pendant necklace with turquoise stones and a sparkly light pink jewel was exactly what I was looking for. It is approximately 30″ in length with a 2″ extender so it hangs just under the bust line.  The pastel colors go with much more than just plain colors.  Just last night I wore this piece with a brown and black leopard print sleeveless shift dress, a turquoise sweater, and brown aztec heeled sandals.  It completed my look perfectly and got so many compliments at the wedding  reception I was attending.  I also wore this the night before with a multi-colored and multi-pattern chiffon top from Marta’s boutique, jeans, and brown booties.  It is a very universal piece that I know will get lots of wear!

Of course, every great necklace needs a pair of earrings to complete the look. I went with these adorable matching studs that compliment my style. earrings(I’m not much of a bracelet wearer since I have such tiny wrists and it is hard to find one that fits properly, I do wear watches though and love my Tag silver and gold watch that was my moms and my lovely rose gold Citizen watch my boyfriend got me for our one year anniversary. However, the bracelets on this site are BEAUTIFUL!) One thing I love about this company is that each of their collections use the same jewels and colors so it is easy to pick pieces that fit your style.  If you like studs more than drop or chandelier earrings then you will have no problem finding the right ones to match the necklace or bracelet you like from the same collection.  Another cool feature they offer are convertible necklaces so you get 2 or 3 necklaces in one!

Here are some other pieces that my mom and I purchased.  I have been looking for a tortoiseshell necklace for so long and I finally found one!  My mom wanted a pretty statement necklace for herself so that she won’t have to borrow mine all the time.  I thought this was the perfect piece for her since she is always looking to incorporate more color into her wardrobe (she tends to gravitate towards simpler colors).  She also found the perfect set of drop earrings to match this brilliant necklace.

N300statement necklaceE253

I strongly encourage you to go check out their site using this link so you can shop with my friend Alex Jordan! Not only is this jewelry beautiful but it is also VERY well made.  You are definitely getting a high quality piece for the price you are paying.  These items are definitely going to last for a very long time! Also, I know that some people may worry that the statement or large pendant necklaces or larger drop earrings may be a little too heavy but I can assure you that they are not! The metals that they use are light and elegant but durable.  There are so many collections that go with any style so I know you will find the perfect one for you!

Happy spring and happy shopping! I would love to hear about your great finds, comment and let me know!

March Madness update: my bracket is not outstanding this year so this post took me twice as long since I was typing in between yelling at the TV. Yay Michigan State for winning and not busting my bracket!!

Blogged While Booking Plane Tickets

As I have stated in my “About” page, I love Cosmopolitans.  I may have got the idea to order them from watching every episode of Sex and the City three times but that’s besides the point. They are delicious! The perfect mix of citrus vodka combined with a splash of sweet cranberry juice, topped off with a few drops of triple sec and garnished with a twisted lemon peel. So very refreshing and the perfect drink to go with a nice dinner out. That is when they are made correctly.  I don’t know how many times I have ordered a Cosmo and that perfect mixture is completely wrong and I end up with a sour look on my face.  My boyfriend is a bartender and maybe I’m biased but he makes THE BEST Cosmos.  This may be because he actually measures out the ingredients! A good bartender should always measure specialty drinks especially since the customer ordering them is expecting it to taste about the same at every bar/restaurant they go to.  Of course, I’m not one to waste alcohol so I still drink the $10.00 Cosmo and walk away tipsy making a mental note that I will most likely forget.

Have you ever had a bar botch your favorite drink?

Wine, what could go wrong with a glass of crisp, chilled white wine or a glass of hearty, dry red wine with a hint of hickory that sits on the back of your tongue. Nothing. Wine is one of those non-fussy drinks that goes with just about any food pairing.  I would consider myself a wino.  I go to the grocery store and buy a different bottle every time.

Wine Recommendations:

White: Coopers Hawk Pinot Gris – $16.99: to go bottle or $24.99: restaurant bottle

Red: Gascon Malbec – 2013: $12.99. 2011: $21.99

If you have sampled these wines, comment and tell me what you thought! Or let me know what some of your favorites are!