10/15/18

A Jacket Perfect For the "In-Between" Weather + My Recent Book Reviews






Jacket - Cupcakes & Cashmere (more sizes here and here) | Turtleneck - Club Monaco | Jeans - 7FAM | Boots - Stuart Weitzman (budget option here and here, and love these!) | Bag - Gucci | Sunglasses - Le Specs (love these for under $70!)

I like to call these type of jackets - the "in-between" weather jackets. When it's too cold for a long cardigan but not yet full blown coat weather. I personally can't stand the cold weather so I love jackets like these because I feel bundled up and cozy but not strangled or unable to move because of the vast layers of clothing I am wearing. Ha! 

I thought I would make this a 2 for 1 post since I have finished 10 books (I know, I have been an audiobook listening machine!) in the past few weeks so I thought I would review them today. Sadly there weren't as many fantastic books in this bunch as in preview book review posts, but there were still some great ones worth reading that I wanted to share. Below are my thoughts on each one:

1. The Twilight Wife - This was a like but not a love. Kyra was in an accident and doesn't remember much of her life before. As she tries to put the pieces back together and get her memory back, she suspects something in her current life is not right. I kept waiting for this book to get very exciting but sadly it stayed pretty lukewarm the entire time.

2. The Names of Dead Girls - The prequel to this book was The Silent Girls and was SO good! I was anxiously awaiting the sequel but this one fell a bit flat for me. However, I think that if I had not read the first book, I may have liked this thriller mystery a bit more. Frank Rath is a detective following the release of a serial killer, Ned Preacher who killed his sister decades earlier. When more girls go missing in the area, he assumes Ned has something to do with it. It's a quick and entertaining read but I did prefer the first book more.

3. Ugly Love - I am quickly becoming a Colleen Hoover fan after reading It Ends With Us and loved this book just as much. I'm sensing a similar theme in them but I love it. Tate moves to San Fransisco to live with her brother for a few months and meets the next door neighbor passed out drunk in front of his door upon her arrival. His name is Miles Archer and is a friend of her brother with a pretty complicated past. Their paths keep crossing since he lives right across the hall and soon they began to have a "no strings attached" relationship. Things get difficult and messy because they both begin to have feelings for one another but Miles' past keeps him at a distance from her. Though the ending was predictable, I truly loved this book.

4. A Gentleman in Moscow - I had very high hopes for this book as it seemed like one I would enjoy and was a change from my typical thrillers and mysteries. However, I really struggled to get through it. Ugh. Alexander Rostov lives at a popular Moscow hotel as he was sentenced to house arrest by the Russian government after writing a political poem. The book is about all the people he meets living there and the story follows him throughout his life. I know many people loved this novel so you must make the decision for yourself, but it was not a hit for me.

5. The Alice Network - Thank goodness I read this after A Gentleman in Moscow but it got my reading mojo back! I LOVED this book and could not put it down. It is about the women-led spy network during the first World War. Though it is fiction, I am sure that many parts of it are parallel to what really happened. It's wonderful and worth a read!

6. Social Creature - Ugh, where to begin. This book is weird. So weird. Many of you messaged me that you loved it so this is another one to research for yourself to determine if you want to read it. Louise is a struggling writer in NYC and befriends a wealthy and extroverted girl named Lavinia. Lavinia is a strange character and her over the top personality bugged me to no end. Lavinia ends up dead (I won't tell you how), but how Louise deals with her death is strange. I don't mind odd, upsetting or strange subject matter in books, but this was a flop for me.

7. The Wife - This book wasn't very fast moving but it kept my attention. I also did not see the ending coming which is always a nice surprise. Jason Powell is a well-known economics professor that is accused of multiple sexual assaults and his wife Angela struggles to figure out is she should believe him and stay, or trust her gut and leave. I really disliked Jason and thought I had him figured out, but I was continually surprised as the story went on.

8. The Last Time I Lied - I wanted this book to live up to my expectations of it being a gripping thriller that I wouldn't be able to put down. It was ok and left me quite deflated when it was over. Womp, womp. Emma went to sleep away camp as a young teenager and her bunk mates disappeared and never came back. More than a decade later, the camp reopens and they want Emma to come back and teach the new campers. She decides to go against her better judgment and strange things begin to happen all over again. Though this book moved a bit too slow for me, the ending truly shocked me. I did not see if coming and it left me dumbfounded.

9. The Rules of Magic - As I said earlier, this group of books I read over the past month had quite a few duds and sadly this was one as well. I could not get through it. It became painful at some point and I would just listen to it as background noise to finish the book. I believe this is a multi book series, but I will not be reading anymore of them. So many great reviews for it but I just don't get it.

10. Bring Me Back - I love B.A. Paris and enjoyed this book, though it was not quite as gripping as the reviews suggest. Finn's girlfriend Layla goes missing after they have a fight on vacation and is never heard from again. Finn finally moves on and ends up falling in love with Layla's sister, Ellen and proposes to her. Right after he proposes, messages and emails begin coming that indicate Layla may still be alive. Towards the end of the book, things began to get predictable but I still enjoyed it overall.

To read all my past book reviews, click here.

I just updated The Fall Shop so be sure to head there and see all the new finds!

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10/13/18

5 of My Fall/Winter Wardrobe Staples

Camel coat - read the original blog post here
I find myself reaching for the same pieces each fall and winter and thought I would pull together 5 of my most worn items that I feel are wardrobe staples. First is the camel coat. Whether it is a long or short style, belted or not, a camel coat is something I wear continuously from October - March.




Fringe scarf - read the original blog post here
A solid statement scarf can definitely make an outfit as my above picture shows. I have a camel, gray and black in my closet and think it's best to start there first and then move to bold or fun colors to add something to a monochrome outfit.




Wool hat - read the original blog post here
It's no surprise that a wool fedora or floppy hat is a fall and winter staple for me. I love wearing hats not only for the fashion aspect, but they keep my head warm! Ha! And they help when I need to stretch one more day with dry shampoo. There are so many great styles out now and I linked many of my favorites below.


Cable knit sweater (old but similar here) - read the original blog post here
Cable knit sweaters go with fall like pumpkins and apple cider do. I love to stock up on a classic beige or white one for fall and winter, but there are other styles and colors that I want to add to my cart as well. When wearing a chunkier style, I like to pair it with skinny jeans or leggings to balance out the weight of the sweater. 



Over the knee boots (currently 25% off!!) - read the original blog post here
I initially splurged on the flat version of these boots years ago and wore them so much that I decided to invest in the high heel style. Not only do I love the look of them and find them to be surprisingly comfortable, they keep my legs warm during the winter. That extra layer makes such a difference on very cold days. I linked up a variety of price points for over the knee boots in the widget below.


10/12/18

Brand Review: Sunday Riley

Talking about one of my most used skincare brands in today's video. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe!

The products mentioned in the video:

This set is perfect to try some of Sunday Riley's top products!
MDNA Face Roller (from Madonna's skincare line)
Here is the jade roller I have (only $22)
Shop the entire Sunday Riley line here

10/11/18

Alternatives to Wearing Jeans + A New Gentle Gel Nail Polish I've Been Wearing


 Top - Madewell | Pants - Mango | Shoes - Steve Madden | Bag - Gucci | Sunglasses - Amazon (under $10!) | Bracelet - Vita Fede | Ring - Kendra Scott, Stone & Strand (c/o) | Lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury "Tell Laura"

I love wearing jeans but if I'm being honest, trousers are often a ton more comfortable. Especially a style like these that are fitted in the waist but have a slighter looser fit in the legs. Most of my jeans are a super skinny fit so these pants feel like pajamas in comparison. Ha! And the super high waist style makes my short legs look a mile long which is a major bonus! If you are not a fan of wearing jeans, there are so many great styles of trousers out now. Mine are a bit dressier, but a slim cropped style (these are so cute as well) is great for a more casual look.

I have also had quite a few questions about my nails recently because I shared on Instagram that I tried a more gentle form of Shellac recently and LOVED it! I have never had gel because I know it can be hard on the nails, but my manicurist suggested the new Shellac Luxe because it was not as harsh and was very easy to remove. Sure enough she was right! It only takes 60 seconds to remove and lasts 2.5-3 weeks with little to no chipping. I highly recommend trying it.

What nail polish do you prefer? Does gel work for you?

See all my favorite fall fashion picks in The Fall Shop.

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10/9/18

All the Sweaters From H&M I'm Loving Right Now



Sweater - H&M | Jeans - Madewell | Bag - Chloe | Shoes - J.Crew (old but similar here and here) | Necklace - Nashelle | Rings - Stone & Strand (c/o), Kendra Scott | Lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury "Tell Laura"

H&M is one of my go-to places to get fall and winter sweaters each year. I love to splurge from time to time, but H&M is great for basics and grabbing a simple sweater in a few different colors. Of course you probably know what drew me to this particular sweater - the color! I love all clothing that exactly matches my favorite shade of red lipstick. It's an oversized fit that's so comfortable and long enough for leggings. In addition to this v-neck, there were a few more styles on the site that come in this vibrant red color (for those that love it as much as I do): this chunky turtleneck, this simple crewneck style that would be great for the office (and it's $10!) and an off the shoulder style.  My only gripe about H&M is that things sell out SO quickly which can be so frustrating. I've learned to just put whatever I like in my cart and check out immediately and then return it if it doesn't work.

A few other sweaters to take note now on their site: this chunky ribbed turtleneck style is currently in my cart, I love the simplicity of this turtleneck sweater, the shoulder detail on this one is so feminine, a tunic sweater is a must for fall (great for leggings!), this cable knit sweater is so perfect and this colorblocked style caught my eye immediately. Shop more in the widget below.

Where is your favorite place to shop for fall/winter sweaters?

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10/8/18

Review + Swatches: Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette and Collection

Urban Decay is back with a new Naked palette for fall. The Naked Cherry palette and collection just launched and for those that love warm, red tones - you will love it all! I anticipated this being much less wearable than it actually is and found many of the shades easy to wear. The key is not to use every shade of red or burgundy in the eye palette in one look, but rather balance it out with the browner and paler shades that are peppered throughout. 
In addition to the Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette, there is also a Naked Cherry Highlighter and Blush Palette, 3 lipsticks in shades Cherry, Juicy and Devilish, and a limited edition packaging of the All Nighter Spray. The cheek palette was not a hit for me sadly because the colors were not exceptionally flattering on my skin tone and the white highlight shade was too chunky to wear evenly. The lip colors were all beautiful and opaque with intense staying power. Two 24/7 eye pencils also launched with this collection and as always the formula is very creamy and easy to blend, though once the liner sets it does not budge.
Left to right: Highlighter and blush palette, Juicy Lipstick, Cherry Lipstick, Devilish Lipstick, Love Drug Pencil, Black Market Pencil
The eyeshadow palette has various textures including both matte and shimmer and all were very easy to apply and blend. The shimmer shades were the most buttery and only needed one swipe to give intense color payoff. The matte shades have a more dusty texture but still blend beautifully and can be built up to be very intense. Overall I was quite impressed with the Cherry eyeshadow palette and feel that it would work on almost any and every skin tone. I myself wouldn't wear this year round because I love a more cranberry/auburn makeup look in the fall and winter, but for many this could be a daily makeup palette every day of the year.
*pr samples included

Have you tried this palette yet? What did you think of it???

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10/5/18

My Thoughts On Wearing What You Love + Burgundy Totes For Fall At All Price Points





Vest - Anthropologie | Sweater - HM (similar here and here) | Leggings - Spanx | Bag - Saint Laurent | Hat - Rag & Bone (similar here) | Boots - Stuart Weitzman (similar here and here) | Ring - Kendra Scott

I absolutely ADORE this outfit and did from the minute I put it on. It felt like me and I loved every second I was wearing it. Don't you love outfits like that? The ones that speak to your personal style and make you happy the entire day you have them on. As soon as Stan saw me in this outfit, his first response was "That outfit is extra", to which I responded "Damn right it is". LOL I am a firm believer in wearing what makes you happy (even though Stan secretly did like the vest, he kept talking about it days later HA!). I have always liked to dress up and people have always commented about how "dressy I am" or how I "make them feel so underdressed". But I have noticed over the years that the more comfortable I am with what I am wearing, the more comfortable those around me are about it. In fact, I have a perfect example of this from the other day when wearing this exact outfit! Stan and I were visiting a neighboring city and went to get coffee when we arrived. There was a mom group meeting at the coffeehouse that morning (there were tons of strollers lined up outside), and everyone was dressed very casually and in workout clothes. As soon as I walked in, I felt a bunch of eyes on me (well I didn't feel it so much as actually see the stares and watch them look me over head to toe HA!) and rather than feel intimidated or uncomfortable, I gave everyone a warm, genuine smile. While waiting in line, one of the moms was behind me and tapped me on the shoulder to ask where I got my vest because she wanted one too! I told her and we chatted for a bit, and I was again reminded of the level of comfort you have with yourself often rubs off on those around you. 

Clothes are a fun expression of ourselves, but not who we are as people. So therefore I know that as soon as someone talks to me or gets to know me, they won't even notice the clothes anymore because we will be chatting about a million different things. And if someone can't seem to get past the clothes for whatever reason, we probably won't end up being friends which is ok because being friends with every single person is not possible. LOL 

What about you?!! Is there an outfit that makes you feel the most like yourself and that you love to wear? Do you ever feel uncomfortable wearing what you love? 


Shop burgundy totes under $150:



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