Sunday, September 28, 2014

The trouble with allergies

So today was going to be my very first video blog. I've been wanting to do video blogging for about a year but right when I was getting ready to take my blog from writing to video last year, my laptop decided to die. I am immensely grateful that for my birthday 2 weeks ago I received a beautiful brand new laptop with a built-in camera. So I'm doing my makeup about an hour and a half ago and I get hit with an lovely intense allergy headache. It came on so fast that the pressure that magically popped up behind my eyes actually made me start crying and I had to stop with my makeup. An hour and a half later after taking painkiller, I am still nowhere near able to make a video. It hurts a lot to look at the screen to type, but it hurts a lot more to talk because that's moving my jaw which is messing with my head. 

 Hopefully I'll be able to make my video Wednesday. Time to curl up with some hot tea with local honey and lemon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mid-Week Inspiration: Street Style

I love all the fashion weeks - there's something so exciting about seeing the pictures from the runways and the way the designers envision next season's trends. There is something I love even more than the runways though, and that's the street style that comes with each fashion week. Seeing how people wear these amazing couture creations in real life is so inspiring. Real people in their work week, walking to these shows, talking to their bosses - that's what drives me to step outside of my comfort zone. These are some of my favorite street style shots I've found from websites covering fashion weeks from this year.


(I hope to be that fabulous as the woman on the left someday)

(Susie Bubble can do no wrong in my book)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Visual Merchandiser - The Truth behind the mannequins

Doesn't my title sound so serious today? It sounds like the beginning of a Lifetime documentary, or a really weird reality show. No, don't worry, I'm not starting a reality show. It would be kind of funny though to see people getting into fights with mannequins though. Just a thought. :-P

My job in the fashion industry is one that's very behind-the-scenes, to customers and to other coworkers alike. In fact, I've been in the fashion industry for 10 years and I didn't even realize what this job entirely entailed until I took on the role full-time.

I am a Visual Merchandiser for a major department store. When I tell people this, the most common reaction I get is "Oh, you dress mannequins for a living.", and yes, that is part of what I do. However, contrary to the 1987 movie "Mannequin", that's not all that I do. Unless you work as a Visual Merchandiser, or very closely with one, you might not realize how much a Visual Merchandiser actually does day to day.

I had originally written a big, long piece about how much I do, how important my role is to a brick-and-mortar store, but ultimately at the end of the day I sounded quite conceited when I had re-read what I had written for this post. It really sounded like I was taking myself waaaaaaaaay too seriously, and that is the last thing I do. Trust me.

I love my job with every fiber of my being. It really is an amazing, ever-changing environment where every day is unique and different. I'm constantly being challenged and learning. I'm also constantly getting an amazing workout with building and tearing down walls and constructing displays/visuals. I had done visual projects here with other jobs, but never anything 24/7, full-time. I am essentially middle-management. I run my own stockroom, take care of all shipping and receiving for visuals, and I am the go-to for department heads, as well as for upper management. I am also the go-between for department heads and upper management. It's a never-ending job, but somebody's got to do it.

The somebody that does it is me, and I am forever grateful every day that I wake up and love the job I go to. It's not my favorite time to wake up or to go to bed, but the silence in the wee hours of the morning before the store opens when not a soul is on the floor, I find a strange peace. Retail and peace don't normally go hand in hand, especially when you have 6 bosses and you need to answer to every single one when something goes wrong, but at the end of the day there are far worse positions to be in.

I appreciate the peace I've found behind the racks and mannequins, but I don't expect anyone else to share in it. When I ask coworkers why they didn't want my job before I applied, they would give me a funny look and keep working. Nobody else wanted my position, and that's just fine by me <.3

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Gold Rush of Nail Polish

One of my obsessions started back in high school when I began to dip my toe into the girly-girl pool freshman year: painting my nails. Each week was an exciting moment to choose how I wanted to express my personality and mood, on my nails that is. I wouldn't just change the color though, I would go all out and paint different shapes on each nail. One nail would be fireworks, the next fish, and the next a balloon. I blame it all on my mother when she got me a nail art design kit for my birthday one year.

My obsession has spiraled from there, and now I feel naked without my nails colored. I always try to keep it interesting, even if it's a clear base with a splatter paint effect. I love to make my nails pop. However, I don't love paying full price for nail polish. Nail polish prices can add up very quickly if you're not careful, which is why I'm always on the hunt for great deals and ways to get brands like Deborah Lippmann, Butter London, Julep and Zoya for a fraction of the cost. I've been very lucky over the years; walking into beauty stores on just the right day, having friends and family who tried the color once and didn't like it, and by scanning websites and emails religiously for that magical word "sale". 

[My collection of colors]

While I knew that beauty stores were great places to look, I would pass over stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall's because to me they were only purses, shoes and clothes. I was colored surprised last week though when I walked into Marshalls and found an entire stand dedicated to Julep nail polishes. Yep, those sparkling little beauties that normally retail for $14.00 I found at Marshall's, and guess how much they were. 


[The pearlescent color was just too pretty to pass up!]

I did backflips and cartwheels (In my mind) and swiped a color I didn't already own (something that's getting harder and harder to find). After checking out, I felt like I had robbed a bank and gotten away scot-free. I skipped all the way across the parking lot in a dress and heels. Yep, a 26 year-old skipped because of nail polish, in heels no less.

I have no shame, and mad skipping skills.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Winning the Liebster Award

This is my first time getting the Liebster award. I've never received an award for my blog before, so I'm really excited to nominate others now.

I was nominated by the beautiful Carol Wang [Intrice]

The Liebster award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers by other bloggers to help each other gain more recognition. I had heard about it, but I didn't really know how it worked until I got nominated today. When you're nominated, there are a few steps you have to take:

Steps for Liebster Nominees
1.) Link back the person who nominated you
2.) Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you
3.) Choose between 5-11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
4.) Provide questions for them to answer

These are my questions to answer from Carol:

1.) Why did you decide to start your own blog?

The idea for my blog came about because I kept seeing articles entitled "Looks for $100" or "Only $200 - it won't break the bank!" and I just couldn't relate. I was a stereotypically broke college student and I really wanted to create a lifestyle blog where everything was $50 or less to make style more realistic. Working parents, struggling graduates, people still in college - I wanted to make affordable style and decorating ideas accessible to anyone with any budget. A lot of us don't have $100 to spend on an outfit, let alone a single item. I also really love to write, so I decided to combine both loves and see what happened.

2.) Who is your favorite character from a tv show/movie and why?

Oooo, hard question! For a tv show, I'd have to say Jane from Drop Dead Diva. She's really smart, always looks so put together, loves fashion and is really bubbly and outgoing. From a movie, I would have to say Claire from "Elizabethtown". She has a really unique, laid back style, is really outgoing, loved to travel and is very fun. She's the kind of girl you'd want in your circle of friends.

3.) What are your favorite things to wear in the fall season?

Boots, gloves and tights <.3

4.)  What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food and why?

Fried green tomatoes because they're sooooo good, and a big, thick slice of fresh homemade bread with fruit preserves on top because nothing is better than fresh, warm bread.

5.) What is your dream job?

Working at a fashion publication or in the corporate office of one of my favorite companies. I want to be a part of shaping the image and direction of a company <.3

6.) What is your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they're going to call you back or do something and they don't, and they never give you a reason as to why.

7.) Favorite beauty/fashion item you can't live without?

For beauty I would have to say any type of product for the lips - chapstick, lipstick, lip gloss, etc. Something has to be on my lips at all times. The fashion item I can't live without would be a purse. I love a good crossbody - I own a few more than I really should.

8.) If you could name your own country, what would you call it?

Vogue. Everyone who lives there would be required to do the dance during a 10-minute morning break. It's important you start your day off right, and what better way than by vogue-ing?

9.) What is your morning ritual?

Warm-up stretches, a big glass of cold water and a healthy breakfast.

10.) What advice would you give to your future self in 5 years?

"Never forget to make your happiness a priority."

Here are my nominees:

I know I'm supposed to nominate at least 5 people, but I can't seem to find many bloggers with less than 200 followers! After a solid hour of searching, either I'm looking in the wrong places or you guys are just that awesome. I think all of you are just that awesome; great job guys!

My questions to you are:
1) Why did you start this blog?
2) What makes you smile?
3) What is one of your talents?
4) Who is a hero in your life and why?
5) What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
6) If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
8) What is a piece of advise you would like to share?
9) If you have some spare time, what do you do?
10) Do you prefer a home-cooked meal, or to go out to a restaurant?
11) Are you a planner? Or are you spontaneous?

1. Why did you decide to start your own blog?
2. Who is your favorite character from a TV show/movie and why?
3. What are your favorite things to wear in the Fall season?
4. What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food and why?
6. What is your dream job?
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
8. Favorite beauty/fashion item you can't live without?
9. If you could name your own country, what would you call it?
10. What is your morning ritual?
11. What advice would you give to your future self in 5 years?
- See more at:

My questions to you guys are:
1. Why did you decide to start your own blog?
2. Who is your favorite character from a TV show/movie and why?
3. What are your favorite things to wear in the Fall season?
4. What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food and why?
6. What is your dream job?
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
8. Favorite beauty/fashion item you can't live without?
9. If you could name your own country, what would you call it?
10. What is your morning ritual?
11. What advice would you give to your future self in 5 years?
- See more at:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NYFW 2015 - The highlights

I'm sure as you already realized, this past week was New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.

At this point, most of the popular bloggers and major online publications have already written posts and articles about the trends seen on the runways. I wasn't front row, so I can't provide any more new trends that others might have overlooked.  Instead I've decided to make a quick highlighted list of my favorite trends and moments from the runway videos and recaps, cause watching every single recap video? Ain't nobody got time for that.

1.) Betsey Johnson's hilarious and perfect ode to 1950's hollywood glamour weddings:

2.) The "Normcore" hair trend has made getting ready in the morning a whole lot faster:


3.) Don't donate your designer sportswear just yet:

4.) If you're planning on wearing a skirt this season, it should have a high-slit:

5.) Ralph Lauren's 4D water projection runway show wins for this year's coolest runway presentation:

6.) Opening Ceremony put on a play instead of a traditional runway show, and it was really awesome.

7.) Platforms are huge. Literally.

8.) When I was watching the Yahoo Live stream of NYFW, Joe Zee and his guest were talking about how designers give birth to trends on their runways. Obviously designers don't all get together in one big group months before and decide on what's hot for that season, but these trends still emerge as you're watching the shows. The themes for each show can be completely different, but ultimately trends are born from various designers showing similar elements.

At one point when they were showing Oscar De La Renta's models on the runway and a gingham ensemble came waltzing down, Joe delcared "Gingham doesn't just happen!". I laughed so hard I almost snorted pizza through my nose.

It's true though: trends, and gingham, just don't happen lovelies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The day before my birthday

Hey lovelies, tomorrow is my birthday! I'm turning 26, and I will be working. No sleeping in for this lady.

I might or might not have the energy to post tomorrow after work as the next two days are going to be me putting the pedal to the metal with some seriously huge projects at work, so I'm posting today. Also, I normally post on Wednesdays and Sundays, so I'll stick to my regularly scheduled program, haha. 

As I'm now a full year past a quarter of a century old, I've been reflecting on some life lessons I've learned thus far:

 Important Mid-20's Life Lessons

1.) Counterfeit makeup is very real, and VERY convincing sometimes until you get it home, put it next to the real makeup and realize you've been duped. Again.

2.) I'm not 20 anymore, anything heavy eaten late at night is not my friend, especially the next morning. (I'm looking at you, Cajun cuisine)

3.) Adult acne is far more awkward than teenage acne. As a teenager, it's expected and understood. As an adult, it's just stared at and giggled at behind closed doors. I hear you giggling. STOP IT.

4.) I can no longer pull all-nighters and still be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next day. I instead look like a raccoon that had one too many shots of tequila, even if I was only doing paperwork the whole night.

5.) It's not about quantity, it's about quality. I don't need 20 skirts, I just need 4 or 5 that are worth every penny.

6.) Last, but not least - People are going to come and go, but friendship that has grown through the years is beautiful. Cherish it like the precious and rare gem that it is <.3

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dior It-Lash Mascara Winner

Exactly one week ago I put up my first giveaway in over 3 years, and today it ended. I am very happy to announce I have chosen a winner.

Congratulations to:

Caitlin Audrey Tieu

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this giveaway. I didn't know if anyone was going to enter, so it made me really happy to see it end with so many people participating. 

Now I'm asking a major favor - since this was my first giveaway in such a long time, I would love some feedback. You don't have to leave me a comment if you don't want to of course, but I would really love it if you guys would sound off below and let me know what you thought about this giveaway. 

  I would really love to hear what you, my readers, think. I'm planning another giveaway for the beginning of October, so I really want to make sure my next one is more awesome!

Thank you again! :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

$5 Jewelry Hack

When we moved into our apartment back in January, all of my jewelry was neatly sorted and hidden away in our closet to save space in our small room. Since I can't wear jewelry at my job, which is 5 days a week, I didn't need to worry about accessorizing my outfits. Even though during the week I can't wear jewelry, on the weekends I like to pile it on. However, I found the longer my baubles stayed stashed away from the work week, the less and less they began to see sunlight. Like that old saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind" and soon my collection was sadly out of mind. While one would think that would be less to worry about, it made me unhappy that a major part of my wardrobe was collecting dust. 

At the time our walls were barren, and we didn't have the space to lay out all of my pieces horizontally like at our old apartment. I wanted to find a way to hang multiple necklaces and showcase other pieces all while using the same item. The search went on for good month until one Saturday a roommate and I decided to go thrifting at one of our favorite places for some unusual duds, but also to see if I could find something interesting that fit my needs.

About 20 minutes after walking in, I struck gold. It was $2 and very different - it caught my eye the moment I walked into the home section. Bare wood with an fun pattern and depth, it could easily house multiple rings. It could also be hung on a wall, and when I saw it, I immediately envisioned putting screws in the bottom to hang necklaces from.

The screws were $3 at Walmart, and they screwed in easily to the corners on the bottom. 

With a little imagination and $3, I turned a small wooden shelf into the perfect accessory holder. 

Now my accessories are showcased in style.

P.S. - Don't forget to check out my giveaway for a brand-new Dior It-Lash mascara going on until Sunday. Good luck everyone!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day

May your Labor Day be sweet and exciting with these delicious sales <.3

Flashxhype: Use code SUMMER25 to receive 25% off your next order

Twice: Use code FINAL40 at checkout for an extra 40% off your order.

Macys: Use code DEALS to get 20% off your order.

Rodale's:  Free shipping on any order

Groupon: Use code LABOR10 for 10% off any one deal.

Stylemint: Last day for 50% off any item.