Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Mint Julep Boutique

I'm always on the lookout for well priced, fun dresses that are perfect for a night out, so when The Mint Julep Boutique contacted me last month, I was thrilled to find a totally new to me resource for little printed dresses (my version of the LBD.)

There are literally hundreds of adorable dresses, rompers, skirts, and more that are ideal when you need an easy, affordable pick me up. After much deliberation, I decided on the Zip It Dress. I always love a dress with sleeves, and the gem tones in this dress are just so flattering. Paired with gorgeous Kendra Scott earrings, a monogrammed clutch, and neutral heels, it's an easy summer to fall look.

Sign up for The Mint Julep Boutique's email list here (you'll get $10 off your first order!)

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Isn't the earring and dress combo absolutely perfect? I'm not usually one to go the matchy matchy route, but I love it here. 

Shop the items in this post using the links below!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Sales

Labor Day means more than just a Monday off work. In the retail world, it means sales galore. Time to get online and stock up on all those summer items you had passed on earlier in the season and get a head start on your new fall wardrobe. I've rounded up some of my favorite online retailers and their Labor Day Sales below.

J.Crew (they always do fall so right) - extra 40% off sale and free shipping over $100

Waiting on Martha (adorable jewelry, home accessories, and gifts!) - 25% off everything with code SO LONGSUMMER

C. Wonder (my absolute favorite for jewelry and gifts) - 30% off full price and extra 50% off sale

Sephora (because every girl needs more makeup) - sale markdowns up to 75% (plus get 10% back if you shop through ebates!)

Kendra Scott (amazing costume jewelry!) - 15% off site wide AND free shipping with code 2014LDW

Birchbox (time to finally get that subscription box!) - 50 extra Birchbox Points with $35+ purchase with code WEEKEND50

Anthropologie (who doesn't need a few new Anthro candles or a fabulous dress that you can wear into fall) - extra 20% off sale

Banana Republic (you need the Gemma dress) - 40% off with code BRLABOR

Lulu & Georgia (home shop with the perfect blend of bohemian glamour) - 25% off with code laborday25

Happy sale shopping and safe travels wherever this weekend may take you!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Fall Clothing Post

(I have been totally fighting the arrival of fall, but these vests were too cute not to share.)

I've been known to steal styles from kids clothing on occasion. Lilly shift dresses (before they stopped making sizes 14 and 16) and J.Crew boys' button down shirts (FYI, they run BIG! A 0 would wear a size 12. They go up to 16.) are two of my favorites. Kids clothing is a great way to get a slightly shrunken fit if you have a petite frame, plus it's a whole lot cheaper.

This fall, I may have to venture into girls sizing once again. How adorable are these puffer vests from J.Crew Factory? I just love the contrast piping, especially on the tweed vest. The women's version has black piping, but the pink is just so fun! The gold buttons are another great touch. Not to mention, these are $30 less than the women's vest.

For reference, I'm 5'5" and I wear a size 14 in this vest, so you do not have to be teeny tiny to fit into girls sizing! It fits like any normal puffer vest and I could absolutely layer a sweater underneath.

Okay, now that I've officially taken that first step into accepting fall into my life, maybe it's not so bad, but I'm still not posting any more fall items until after Labor Day and that's that. 

Shop the vests and items mentioned in this post using the links below!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Influenster VoxBox Favorites

This summer's Influenster Vitality Vox Box had quite the array of products to try out (a delicious iced tea, gummy energy bites that weren't so delicious, and a cream for summer burns), but I'm just going to share my two favorite products with you.

The first is the new Softlips Cube. I'm a huge fan of eos's lip balms for their rounded shape, but have always wished that they had an SPF. This lip balm is the answer. With SPF 15 and antioxidants, it's a more moisturizing everyday lip balm. Plus, I prefer the clear packaging. It has a more modern edge.

The second product that I really enjoyed trying was Elizabeth Arden's Flawless Future Serum. Serums are part of my skincare routine that I love switching up. There are so many out there to try and this one definitely joined the ranks of my favorites. It's a liquid but it is filled with tiny caplets burst as you dispense the serum. It's super lightweight and dries quickly, so it's perfect for using under moisturizer.

While I didn't love every product in the Influenster Vitality VoxBox, these two are definitely worth checking out, especially the Softlips Cube. It is seriously going to become a staple in my purse, and that is saying a lot coming from a girl that never is without at least two or three different lip balms at any one time. 

Shop the post using the links below!

Monday, August 25, 2014

August Birchbox Recap

Not gonna lie, I was a little underwhelmed with this month's Birchbox. In comparison to June and July, these samples just seemed a little bit wimpy. Hopefully Birchbox ups their game a little bit in September.

This month's samples included:
  • Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: While I was in the market for a new travel size dry shampoo to keep in purse, I honestly haven't found that this one does much. It doesn't seem to add much texture to my hair and while the white residue that dry shampoos are known for isn't as bad with this particular product, I kind of think it's because it doesn't really work. It's certainly not worth the price tag. 
  • Stainiac in Beauty Queen: This stain is great! I love the reddish color that's perfect for a naturally flushed look. The gel consistency is great for cheeks or lips, and I love that it's a slightly more budget friendly product than Benetint, another favorite stain of mine. 
  • Harvey Prince Ageless Body Cream: I wanted to love this lotion because of it's delicious grapefruit scent, but it was just too difficult to rub in. I love a thick body cream, but this one sits on top of skin and does not absorb. 
  • Detox Purifying Cleanser: This is a gentle but effective cleanser. It had an almost shampoo like consistency, but it worked up to a nice lather that made my face feel like it was truly clean.
  • Noir Long Wear Eyeliner: I used this for the first time today and it's definitely an easy to apply, smooth eyeliner. I don't wear black eyeliner on a daily or even weekly basis, but this is something I'll reach for again when I need a little extra drama.
Shop the products in today's post using the links below!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Living Room from Idea to Installation

Remember the masculine and neutral living room on a very small budget mood board I put together last month? With just a few minor changes due to out of stock items and existing pieces that needed to stay, everything is in place (and, yes, I realize that print is hung way too high. It was beyond my control!) At some point, a leather chair and a bookcase will be added, but for now, I'm pretty satisfied with my first attempt at a room that isn't full of print and color.

The first thing I had to switch gears on was the blue lamps, which ended up being sold out at the time I was ordering online. When I couldn't track them down in the store either, I chalked it up as a sign to look at something else. In the end, I found these great cream colored ceramic lamps that are much more versatile, and the river birch and cream shades add a rich note to the color scheme. 

I also ended up opting for a slightly less graphic pillow than I had originally selected. The trellis pillows complement the basketweave pillows without overpowering - plus they were much less expensive! 

While I had wanted to do an area rug with a neutral fretwork motif, there already was a chunky sisal in the room that works with the taupe, espresso, and blue color scheme. It adds an element of organic texture that brings the entire palette together. 

A few accessorizing touches using what was already in the apartment (strange how non-design oriented people don't share a love of coffee table styling!), and the room is close to complete. 

Shop all the products mentioned above using the links below!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Birchbox Book Club

Birchbox started a Book Club earlier this summer and I was lucky enough to win a copy of the July book pick, The Bridesmaids: True Tales of Love, Loyalty, Envy... and Terrible Dresses by Eimear Lynch. I finally got around to reading it while traveling this past weekend. I started the book while waiting for my flight to board (I'm one of those people who always gets to the airport super early) and by the time the plane landed, I was almost finished. I absolutely did not expect this book to be such a quick and lighthearted read.

While there are certainly a few horror stories and bridezillas tucked among this book's roughly 60 bridesmaids tales, most are heartfelt stories of friendship with a dash of relatable humor. Each story is just a few pages long, so you before you know it, you've sped through twenty or thirty accounts of being a bridesmaid in everything from an ex-nun's wedding to a wedding in prison to a wedding displaced by a hurricane. 

The author actually wrote this book while serving as her sister's maid of honor, so it truly does portray the experience in a positive light. She makes it clear that she didn't seek out to write a book about terrible dresses and brides gone crazy, instead she wanted to compile stories that every woman who has lived through this period of her life can identify with. The Bridesmaids would be an adorable book to tuck in a bridesmaid's gift, and it makes for an excellent travel or beach read. Don't expect any literary genius, but you will absolutely crack a smile or two as you finish this book before you know it. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No Bake Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

I clicked through from Glitter Guide to a recipe for No Bake Energy Bites last week, and though I know I've shared a No Bake recipe with you before, this one beats all others hands down. In addition to incorporating chia seeds AND ground flaxseed, these are absolutely delicious and I found myself grabbing one or two every time I walked past the fridge, which may not actually be a good thing...

No Bake Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

1 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients. Stir in peanut butter, honey, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more of any of the wet ingredients (that's how I got these measurements after using the original recipe which called for less!) Chill in the fridge for an hour before rolling into balls. Enjoy!

Store in refrigerator.