Comfy and Chic in Black & White

Friday, March 31, 2017

Birdrock, La Jolla

T-shirt: Target // Leggings: Lululemon // Flannel: Abercrombie // Boots: Ugg
I see so many gorgeous outfits posted by other bloggers and influencers on Instagram, their blogs and on Pinterest. The thing is, all of these outfits are stunning yet for the most part, not applicable to most viewer's daily wardrobe. Don't get me wrong I LOVE a gorgeous dressy or designer outfit but the majority of my days (and I'm sure many other reader's days) are spent in more casual or comfy outfits. That's why I wanted to share one of my go-to outfits for a day out and about!

I'm a huge fan of wearing leggings (my favorite are these high waisted Lululemon pair) but if I'm going to be wearing them out and about, I like to pair it with a piece that will spice up the outfit a bit so what I'm wearing won't look so much like gym wear. My favorite way to achieve this is by tying a cute flannel around my waist! This is also a little "hack" I like to use if I want to wear a shorter shirt with leggings, the flannel can cover a a bit more area in the front and back. And of course I love throwing on my favorite little chukka boots from Ugg to finish off the look!

Current Beauty Product Obsessions

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When I discover a new product that I truly love, I want to share it with others because in the vast array of beauty products, it can be difficult to find what works for you. Today I'm sharing a face mask, face primer and perfume that I have fallen in love with. I've tested each of these products over at least a few weeks time and they have proven to keep me hooked!

I first tried the Fresh Rose Face Mask back in September when it was the birthday gift at Sephora and I used it every night, noticing quite a difference in my skin once I had finished the jar. I have extremely sensitive skin that is acne prone and can also get dry from using acne spot treatments. This mask not only completely hydrated my skin, it made me face feel incredibly smooth and evened out my redness! FYI: This mask is included in the Sephora 500 pt reward right now along with a few other products from their line!

I've heard great things about Milk's Blur Stick and had to give it a try for myself. I honestly have not once found a primer that I liked. They either make my makeup cakey, make me break out or don't really do much at all. I'm a tough critic when it comes to primers but I can honestly say the blur stick is a wonderful face primer! It has only natural ingredients, completely blurs out my pores, fine lines and helps even any redness or discoloration and my makeup seriously stays flawless all day! 

Lastly, I wanted to share one of my favorite perfumes Noble Carnation from Royal Apothic. My sister and I both love this scent that we discovered a few years ago at Anthropologie. I'm very picky when it comes to perfumes, I like a vanilla-y scent and if it has any floral notes I don't like them to be too overpowering. I also don't like smelling overly perfumed. This perfume combines it's notes just right to create a unique and intoxicating scent! It's made up of classic Carnation and Black Currant, and has middle notes of Spicy Marigold, Clove and Violet Leaf over a base of Sandalwood, Cedarwood and a hint of Oriental Musk.

Winter to Spring: Outfit Transition

Friday, March 24, 2017

La Jolla, CA

Dress: Old but similar here // Boots: Steve Madden
It's officially spring which in San Diego means sunnier, longer days and less winter coats and scarves. The weather has been in the 70s during the day but still drops into the 50s at night which can be pretty difficult to dress for! I want to share some of my favorite ways to accommodate the changing spring weather into your daily outfits. My favorite outfit combo to wear for this weather is a short or mid sleeve dress with tall boots. You're able to stay cool during the day with the airy dress but throw a sweater over the ensemble at night and you're sure to keep warm in combination with wearing tall boots. I also like to opt for a dress that has a double lining or a slightly thicker material (not as thick as a sweater dress yet a bit heavier than a sundress) I've linked some dress options below that would work great along with some tall boots to pair them with.

Favorite Comfy T-shirt

Friday, March 17, 2017

Having good basics is key in creating any outfit. Today I wanted to share a basic that everyone needs in their closet, a comfy t-shirt! Having a good tee is like having a good pair of jeans, it's your go-to and can be paired with so many different pieces. I'm very picky when it comes to finding the right t-shirt. I like it to be comfortable, available in a variety of shades that go with my style, not be see-through (this seems obvious but finding an opaque white t-shirt seems almost impossible) and lastly it has to have a flattering fit. 
 Blush T-shirt: Topshop // Blue T-shirt: Topshop
When buying a t-shirt I either go for one of two types, loose and somewhat short (either right to the hip or slightly above if I want to wear it with high-waisted bottoms) or slightly below the hip and fitted. For jeans, shorts and high waisted skirts I opt for the loose fitting, shorter tee. This style has been increasingly difficult to find because most t-shirts that are loose fitting are either a crop-top length or quite long. However, a couple of months ago I came across a t-shirt that met all my requirements and I just had to let you guys in on the secret.

This tee is from Topshop. I of course picked up the blush one, but it also comes in a variety of unique shades like the blue/grey one my sister is wearing here that has the phrase "femme liberty" written on it! What I love about these tees are that they are never see through (even the white shade) and have very subtle distressing and a raw hem at the bottom! They are SUPER comfy and also affordable! If you're looking for your new go-to tee check these out!

Bloom Bath Bombs

Monday, March 13, 2017

I'm always excited to support small businesses here in San Diego so I when I heard of the local bath bomb company, Bloom Bath Products, I couldn't be more excited to get my hands on one of their bath bomb sets! First off, I have to talk about how cute the packaging is for this bath bomb set. The white box with rose trim and a pink bow to tie it close is so my style! This set includes 6 bath bombs, which are a mix of rose, gardenia and jasmine scents, and a sachet of rose petals to make the bath just that much more magical. What I love about these bath bombs is that they are made with natural scents and moisturizing ingredients such as Kokum Butter, White Kaolin Clay and Jojoba Oil. They're bath bombs are also cruelty-free, vegan and free of GMOs, Sulfates, Phthalates, Parabens, & Gluten. 
Bloom Bath bombs can be bought here
After dropping one of these bath bombs into the water, the most heavenly scents of rose, jasmine and gardenia literally fill the room and the water turns a soft pink. After finishing the bath, I was perfectly relaxed and my skin was left so moisturized and the wonderful scent stayed on my skin for hours! If you're looking a truly all-natural bath bomb for you or as a gift I highly recommend checking out Bloom Bath Products!

Blush Cordoroy

Friday, March 10, 2017

T-shirt: Cotton On // Blush Corduroy Shorts: Forever 21 // Sneakers: Adidas // Sunnies: Quay Australia
It's been warming up here in San Diego and was actually 80 degrees yesterday! This means I could finally pull out these blush corduroy shorts I've been dying to wear! If you follow my blog you're sure to notice I love everything and anything blush. I've actually been looking for a pair of blush shorts for the last couple of years and have had no success until I came across this corduroy pair from forever 21! They're super comfy and not too short or too long (which can be a real challenge to find). 

My favorite color to pair with blush is white, so I picked up this super comfy raw hem white tee from cotton on (which I love because it's thick enough that it's not translucent) and threw on my go-to shoes, white superstar adidas. And of course I paired them with my blush tinted sunnies from Quay Australia. 

My 3 Favorite Hair Products of All Time

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

There are so many hair products on the market right now and it can be tough to know which products are not only going to be worth purchasing, but are also going to do what they promise. I first and foremost want to say that I am not being paid in any way to promote these products. I chose these products after trying and testing so many over the years and finally settling on my favorites. 

I have very fine hair that is extremely prone to damage and gets very dry and brittle easily. So if these hair products work wonders on even the most fragile, fine and damage-prone hair, than you know they're going to be nothing but wonderful for all hair types! 

My 3 Favorite Hair Products:

  1. Davines This is a Curl Moisturizing Mouse - My wonderful hair stylist turned me onto this product when I asked for loose curls at the salon. My hair normally cannot handle any type of shape-holding mouse because most are very drying and make my hair crunchy and brittle. However, the Davines Curl Mousse is incredibly moisturizing and helps your hair hold curls and waves while still being soft and silky to the touch! Davines is in Italian haircare brand whose products are made sustainably.
  2. Kisten Ess The One Signature Shampoo - I've followed the celebrity hair stylist Kristen Ess for quite a while on Instagram and her work has always been some of my favorite out there! She recently released a hair care line with Target which I couldn't have been more excited to try! What I love about this shampoo is that it has no harsh ingredients, is great for colored hair, and has zip-up technology, which I think is the best part of this product. The zip-up technology helps to sort of seal split ends and it honestly does just that!
  3. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5 in 1 Styling Treatment - This product is my favorite hair product of all time! I have recommended and gifted this product to so many friends and family members (with all different hair types and textures) because it's seriously the main hair product you need! This product does exactly what my hair needs, it smoothes, volumizes, conditions, strengthens and polishes. I've tried SO many leave in conditioners and nothing comes close to this one! 

Mastering the French Macaron

Friday, March 3, 2017

Double Layer Raspberry Macarons

I've always had a special love for French macarons. I love how delicate and beautifully crafted they are. I also love how they are made in unique and avant grade flavors. I recently took a class at Sur La Table aimed at mastering the French macaron. Out of everything I've attempted baking myself at home, macarons are the one thing I wanted to take a class for before trying to make them myself. I had never attempted to make macarons and knew that this class was the perfect way to learn.
The macarons I made in the class turned out wonderfully so I figured I was ready to make my own batch at home a few days after the class, while it was still fresh in my memory. I followed the recipe for the shells to-the-t (If you follow me on snapchat you probably saw me documenting the whole process). However, when the macarons came out of the oven lets just say they didn't even resemble a macaron. They were porous, lumpy, overly browned, domed and had no feet! This was after 5 1/2 hours of baking! You can see what they looked like in my macaron progress picture below. 

Macaron Progress
I was quite discouraged to say the least but this morning (the day after my macaron failure) I decided to give it another go. I went with a shell recipe online that had many good reviews and also had a video to accompany it. Saying this, I still had to rely on the knowledge from my class when it came to knowing when the batter had been folded enough, the technique involved in piping the macarons and telling when the skin had formed on the shells. I made a basic macaron shell (colored pink) and a double layer filling of vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam. 
After going through such a tumultuous process, I wanted to share the recipe I used with you guys (You can find the shell recipe here and the buttercream recipe here, for the jelly I used Bonne Maman Raspberry preserves). I also want to share my best tips on how I achieved a perfect French macaron so you all can have an easier time mastering these adorable little treats.

Tips to achieve a perfect French Macaron
  1. The first mistake I made during my first attempt was not using room temperature eggs. This is key in achieving a good meringue.
  2. My next tip is to be sure you sift the almond flour & powdered sugar mixture. This is important to achieve a smooth macaron shell.
  3. My most crucial tip is making sure that you fold the dry mixture into the meringue not too little and not too much. I really struggled with this but after trial and error I found that the perfect consistency is when the batter is able to ribbon off the spoon and the ribboning dissolves back into itself after 10 seconds. Over mixing leaves you at a point of no return so I suggest testing the batter (as I mentioned how to do so) often.
  4. Going off my previous tip, you want to be sure the batter is ready to be piped by testing piping one macaron. If the dollop left after you pull away dissolves back into itself after 10 seconds than it is ready.
  5. It is vital to let the macarons form a skin before putting them in the oven. This means that you can touch or brush your finger against the macaron and nothing comes off onto your finger. The first batch I made took 2 HOURS to form a skin. But the second recipe I used only took 20-30 minutes to form a skin and I could begin to see the skin was forming at about 15 minutes. 
  6. If you look at the second macaron shell in my progress photo you can see that it is browned. This is because I put the tray in the middle rack. I put the next tray on the bottom rack and the shells came out perfectly pink and not browned. I recommend always putting the tray on the bottom rack to avoid this issue.