Friday Favorites

November 21, 2014

They are promising a really cold weekend here in Boston so I found the photo below to be very appropriate!! I'm really excited to get this weekend started a day earlier because I'm off today!! :) I'm linking up with Amanda and Christina today for some favorites!! 

Favorite Song - Take Me To Church

So this song is everywhere right now, but apparently was released back in's amazing, but my favorites are the covers. Ed Sheeran does a really impressive one and of course if you watch The Voice then you heard Matt McAndrew preform it

Favorite Recipe - Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

I have pinned a ton of recipes this week for Thanksgiving, but this one has nothing to do with that, but looks so incredibly delicious!! Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls - I'm drooling thinking about it! 

Favorite Purchase - Ann Taylor

It might be boring to some, but I really needed new black pants for work and when a friend of mine found these at Ann Taylor and they were having an extra 60% off sale items, it was a no-brainer!! It even has the leather detail that I've been loving! 

Favorite Look

I saw this wrap coat on ChicWish  a few months back and haven't been able to get my mind off of it!! I was perusing Krystin's blog and she styled it so perfectly!! 

Favorite Links

+ I can use all the help I can get with these photography tips
+This guy went to a Barre class and his recount of the workout is all sorts of hilarious!! 
+ A flawless rendition of "baby it's cold outside" featuring two of the cutest kids
+ This super cute Kate Spade inspired wedding 

BONUS: Favorite Giveaway

Thank you to those of you who entered my one year blogging anniversary giveaway!! The winner is Meghan from Champagne and Suburbs and I'll be contacting you about where you want to spend it!!

Hope you all have a wonderful and warm weekend!! See you Monday for some Weekending fun!!  
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My First Vlog!!!

November 20, 2014

My first thought when I see a girl with perfect curls is "seriously why can't my hair curl like that?!" My second is, " I have to keep practicing my curling skills!" I have mentioned my love for hot curlers and the wand before and trust me, I get great curls with those products, but my problem was never the curls, it was getting the curls to stay!!! Enter in the KISS Instawave!! 
I was really nervous to try the automatic curler because of the possibility of my hair getting caught, but I couldn't have been more wrong! The product boasts the following:
  • automatic and tangle -free curler
  • easy for anyone to use from any angle and with any hand
  • left and right curl directions
  • automatically shuts off after 90 minutes
  • two heat settings with a maximum temperature of 420
I think it's really best to show how the product works and the best way to do that is with a video! So without further adieu, here is my first vlog using the Instawave!! It's pretty funny so I hope you enjoy!! I'm sorry the quality is not 100% but filming at night is hard...actually filming period is hard! There's also music if that's at all enticing...
You can also view the video here
Left: Straight hair before curling
Middle: Right after curling
Right: Second day curls

I can't get over how the curls hold up on the second day - that's probably my favorite part, aside from not having to worry about burning myself!! 

Kiss Instawave is available for purchase from the following retailers: Target, Ulta & Amazon.

What's your favorite way to curl your hair? Would you ever consider an automatic curler?

And created a gif just for fun!! 

This product was sent to me by Brand Backer in exchange for my honest feedback, all opinions are 100% my own!

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B~Inspired | YOU!

November 19, 2014

I decided to do this month's B~Inspired post a little differently and base it around two books that have inspired me in different ways and one that really tops the list! After I mentioned a few weeks ago I had picked up a copy of Sophia Amoruso's book #GIRLBOSS, a lot of you had asked for a review and I thought - why not take a book that's supposed to be inspiring and stack it up against the empowering book from last year, Lean In.

The good...

  • Sophia writes how I imagine she speaks, straight to the point and not really striving to be eloquent, which I think is helpful in devouring a book! 
  • Her customers and clients come first! I found this to be one of the only pieces of advice that I could relate back to my blog - always responding to comments and interaction with all of you is what makes blogging work! 
  • I really loved that she built her business from literally nothing and did it with zero debt!! She found a niche market and it's worked for her, but what was really interesting was how she "fell" into the fashion world. 

The Not So Good...

  • There were some chapters I could 100% relate to and other's I felt were more suited for girls that are either fresh out of college or about to graduate. Maybe that's why it's called #GIRLboss...
  • I was really looking forward to the book being about how to start your own business and how to grow your personal business, but it was more about her incredible success and how she built her brand. There is a chapterin which she discusses meeting with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley that want to invest in Nasty Gal and she was sitting in boardrooms discussing things and she didn't really understand what they meant by "IPOs" or the "Financials" as she called it and it didn't make sense to me because the entire time she stresses to be prepared and know your stuff, yet here she was not really all that prepared because she felt like they needed her more than she needed them.  
  • It was more of an autobiography of her early life - rather than a ton of focus on her success as this powerhouse CEO - there is a very long chapter about her days dumpster diving, stealing & hitchhiking...
Overall - it was an OK read that I wish I had borrowed from the library rather than buying it from Amazon. After it being recommended by so many people, including a few business women, I'm surprised it wasn't full of more business advice. Did it empower me as a woman, a little, but then again so did Lean In!
I wasn't planning on reading Lean In, but when my sister highly recommended it - I had to start reading! 

The Good...

  • Sheryl Sandberg knows her stuff - there is no doubt about it and she's so smart!! 
  • This book seriously empowers you to speak up for yourself regardless of what point of your career that you're in. 
  • She empowered me - plain and simple I wanted to do better at work and in life and feel like I was an active participant rather than just wasting time. 

The Not So Good...

  • There were far too many stats in the book that made it read more like a text book rather than a book for leisure - which is why it took me almost a month to finish! 
  • I felt like this book was pointed more towards women further along in their careers only because there were a lot of chapters focused on balancing work and motherhood, a point that I couldn't yet relate to. 
  • It was a little dry - as I mentioned lots of stats, lots of quotes and lots of big words...when you have to Google what a word means every other page, you're learning but you're also getting frustrated!
When I finished the book I was more so relieved than anything else. She had a ton of great mentors from early on in her career which reiterated how important that is for anyone in any career. Would I recommend this book - absolutely!! I think it was a good read and added a lot of value to how I think about my career now! My former boss and to this day a wonderful mentor to me would always say - "The squeaky wheel gets the oil" and since then I always strive to make sure I'm the squeaky wheel!! You can't get what you don't ask for and you can't hear "no" unless you ask!! Sheryl Sandberg reiterated this fact at least 10 times in her book!
One book I will highly recommend is The Trump Card. I read this book about two years out of college and loved it!! Sure, Ivanka Trump had beyond a privileged upbringing, but she gives phenomenal advice on how to make yourself stand out and reiterates some of the valuable life lessons her dad taught her. I actually think I could relate more to her book now than I did a few years ago because I am further along in my career! I pretty much just convinced myself to reread the book!

Next on my reading list is Diane Von Furstenburg's, The Woman I Wanted to Be

Have you read any of these books? Do you suggest any other great inspirational books?

If books aren't your thing, I'm also over at Playdates & Pearls sharing  how to Winterize your make-up routine! 

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Recent Beauty Buys

November 18, 2014

I haven't done a post like this in a few months and that's because I was waiting until after a really great haul from the Sephora sale and Target to highlight some great items!! I really wanted to do a video of these, but the lighting, the camera and everything else was not cooperating - so I'll do what I do best and write about it! 

The first two items are Target purchases. 

VitaFusion Extra Strength Biotin
I bought these Biotin gummies last month to see if I could get a little extra help with my nails. They were a little brittle from years of wearing acrylics - yes I had fake nails!! I have to say I am extremely happy with this purchase!!! It has worked wonders and my nails have been growing steadily and are much stronger. I'm only using it for this purpose so haven't really been paying attention to my hair or skin...but it's a gummy form so taking them is like eating candy which is a win for me!! 

This L'Oreal hairspray is no joke!! It totally lives up to it's name and definitely locks hair in place. I will say that it get's really stiff when you first spray your hair and then sort of loosens out after about a half hour so it's not as hard. I really only use hairspray when I curl my hair and for the last week or so I've been curling it ever other day, more on that later this week, but this has been my go-to hairspray! I think the smell isn't bad either! 

I was in the market for a new bronzer, but couldn't really decide on which one to get! I noticed this set of four near checkout! The colors are Sun Bunny, Endless Summer, Milk Chocolate Soleil and Chocolate Soleil! I'm obsessed!!! Not only do they smell good, like all too faced products, but even though some of the colors appear really dark, they aren't actually that dark once applied! For $22 it was a really great purchase and I'm set with bronzers for a while! I still love my current bronzer, Benefit's Hoolah, but it's a little bulky to take on vacations and to the gym, so these are perfect!! 

I really wasn't planning on buying another lipstick or lip gloss, but the checkout aisle strikes again and these Bite Beauty minis ($12) were just too cute to pass up! I really didn't need another gloss, but I love their Lip Crayon's so much I thought I'd get another color to add to my current collection!! I have pomegranate as well! It's super pigmented, incredibly moisturizing, and much better suited for every day use unlike the red I have. 

I had really high hopes for this mask!! I purchased the small trial size ($19) and wont scare you all with a picture of me in the mask!! I read reviews that it would tingle when it started to dry but I really had no idea how much - I felt like my face was burning off...a tad dramatic, but I waited it out and about two minutes in the mask was fully dry!! You could instantly feel it tightening and I could see all my pores which was pretty cool! After 10 minutes I took the mask off and really had to scrub the "mud" off to get a clean face again. I do like it, but I'm happy I didn't buy the full size!! I like the Ren  Renewal Mask sample I tried more! 

I went back and forth between this foundation and the Bare Minerals Bare Skin foundation and finally decided that I didn't want to get the brush that went along with the Bare Skin so went for Urban Decay's Naked Skin. I don't wear foundation every day, but I've used it a few times and I'm in love. It's so lightweight that I seriously don't feel like I'm wearing anything!! What sold me was that the finish was neither matte nor dewy, but in between and it has buildable coverage. 

Ladies - lash primer is my secret weapon to really long and full lashes! They say it works best with Clinique mascaras, but I use it with my L'Oreal drugstore mascara and it's perfect!! I need a new one after finishing off the Origins Lash Primer and it works just as well!! 

I'm going to be 100% honest here and say I'm still on the fence with the Beauty Blender! I have tried it for full face application of foundation and don't like it at all - I prefer to use my hands and really get all over coverage. My original reason for purchasing was for the under eye area and using it with concealer and for this reason alone I'm keeping it!! I get really smooth coverage under my eyes and it just gets into the nooks and crannies that my brushes don't. 

Did you have any great scores from the Sephora sale? Do you use any of these products?

P.S. Huge thank you to all of you that left your sweet words and on my post yesterday...hope you entered the giveaway!! 
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