1.17.2018

One-Year Blog-Anniversary

Hi friends! Can you believe that I've officially been blogging for one year now?! Me either... Feels just like yesterday that I was planning everything out, choosing my logo, and going on my very first photoshoot. So much time and effort goes into blogging, and I just wanted to recap my first year and also give some advice to anyone out there who is thinking of starting their own blog. 

To start us off, I wanted to share some photos from my very first photoshoot that I did with Hanna. If you don't know who Hanna is, she is the one that photographed my wedding and we have done a few different photoshoots together. She is amazing and I highly recommend her for any of your photography needs. You can find her website here and see her Instagram here. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I haven't worked with Hanna in a while, and that has nothing to do with Hanna. It's just that I can't afford to use her all the time and I also have this strong urge to learn photography myself. It means a lot to me to be self sufficient and to not have to rely on a photographer whenever I want a good photo for my blog. I want to be able to shoot an outfit whenever I want and to be able to take good photos where ever I travel. So for now, I've been having my husband help take my photos and I am fully aware that they do not look as good as Hanna's photos, but I am trying my best : ) Photography is a huge learning process for myself and husband and obviously, we are still learning... All of these photos were taken on the same day, and were taken in the beginning of January, 2017 in Ventura, California. 













I know I'm biased, but I just really love these photos and think they are amazing! Once I polish my photography skills and find a camera I want to upgrade to, I really want to go back to these locations and take some new photos : ) I mean, that pink wall is just too good to pass up if you ask me! 

Okay back to blogging.. 

If you are thinking of starting your own blog one day, the first thing I would recommend to do is to think about what you want to name your blog and your Instagram handle. Make sure you research the name to make sure no one else has taken it. Once you decide on a name and URL, I recommend buying your domain name even if you have no idea how you are going to design your blog. I did that before I even knew what my next step was going to be because I wanted to make sure no one else was going to take it. I currently run my blog through Blogger, but I highly recommend going through WordPress. I hear from so many other bloggers that WordPress is the way to go and I do plan on making the WordPress transition eventually. 

Another tip I recommend is to just go for it! Don't wait until you are "ready" because you will never think that you are ready. I also recommend not hiding it. When I first started my blog, I didn't tell anyone! I was so afraid to get judged or made fun of by even my own family and friends. Now, I'm pretty open about it, plus Instagram always recommends my blogging IG as "People You May Know" to my current personal friend list, so every now and then I will have a new friend from High School or work follow my blog or even watch my Insta-Stories but not follow me haha and that's okay... I do have a personal Instagram but I have never posted about my blog on there because I don't want to make people feel obligated to follow me if they are not into fashion or stuff like that. 

The rest of my tips you will probably see every blogger post about: be consistent and post quality over quantity! Also, try to invest in a nice camera. I do hear some bloggers say that they only use their IPhone but I just can't seem to make my iPhone pics look good enough so majority of my pics are taken on a DSLR camera. If you know nothing about photography but want to learn, I highly recommend checking out this post by Jenna Colgrove. It's actually written by her husband, Matt and he gives some great advice on what settings you should set your camera at when you are learning as well as what equipment they use. I've read tons of articles and watched so many YouTube videos on photography but none of them resonated  with me more than that post. 

Well, I think I'm going to end here. If you have any questions on blogging or anything else, feel free to ask me! Thank you so much for reading and following along on my blogging journey! I had goals for 2017, but my 2018 goals are even bigger : ) 

12.30.2017

Holiday Lip Faves


Today I wanted to share some of my current, favorite lip colors that would be perfect for this upcoming New Year's Eve festivities (& even after that). I have to be honest and say that I really don't do much experimenting with new or bold lip colors, but every once in a while it is fun to rock a bright red lip : ) I also don't judge my lip products based on just color, but also on how long they last, and how they feel on my lips. My lips are actually pretty sensitive and peel a lot. I know it's best to exfoliate your lips before you apply any lip product, but I haven't discovered a good lip exfoliated yet. Therefore, if you have a great lip exfoliater that you swear by, please share! 


From Left to Right: Mac "Lady Be Good", Sephora Collection "Pink Tea", NYX "Stockholm", Urban Decay "F-Bomb", and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil "Dolce Vita"

I do like these products for different reasons. A lip pen, rather than a lipstick will always be more functional for me for it's easy application. I also always love a cream lip product over a lipstick just because it is easy to apply for me. Out of the liquid lipsticks that I have, the wand I like the most is by Mac. The Mac product is also extremely long lasting and doesn't make my lips peel. Another product that I love and will be re-purchasing is the Benefit Cosmetics Double the Lip Lipstick & Liner in One in the shade Nude Scandal. I didn't do a shade swatch of this because I have had it for a few months now and use it very frequently. Therefore it is now extremely fragile and I didn't want it to break! But it truly is my favorite and I definitely want to try it in more shades. Another product that I love and did not shade swatch is the Bobbi Brown's Extra Lip Tint. This is more like a chapstick and is colorless, yet it enhances your natural lip color. It is amazing and I highly recommend it! 

That's all for today! As always, let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day : )





12.02.2017

J Crew Factory Vest


Today I wanted to share this vest from J Crew Factory that I love so much. Sure, you might have already seen it before or even own it yourself, but believe me when I say that it is a true closet staple! It's cozy, versatile, and can be worn with so many different kinds of Fall or Winter outfits. Plus, it is currently on sale for under $35 and worth every penny! I heard that it runs a little big, so I decided to go with an x-small and think that it fits me perfectly. I'm not really into mixing different patterns, so I decided to go with neutrals for the rest of this outfit. I paired it with this long sleeve top from Nordstrom (runs large, order one size down) and with my favorite pair of denim from 1822 Denim. I also wore my favorite neutral pair of booties from Blondo



As always, let me know if you guys have questions! Happy weekend!

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11.23.2017

Holiday Gift Guide

Hi, friends! Happy Thanksgiving to you! With the holidays right around the corner (literally), I thought it would be a great idea to come on here and give you guys my guide to gift giving at different price points. This is definitely more geared towards all the wonderful ladies in your life, but if you are interested in a gift guide for men, just let me know : ) 


For the Cozy Lover



Travel Necessities


It's 5' O'clock Somewhere!


For the Beauty Lover


Accessories


Coffee Lovers Unite


11.15.2017

H&M Pearl Sweater


The pearl embellishment trend is slowly taking over my wardrobe and I'm not mad about it at all! I first discovered this sweater (made by H&M) by Daryl-Ann Denner (If you're not following her, you should definitely check her out!). I knew right away that I just had to have it. Not only is it perfect for the upcoming holiday season, but it's also extremely soft and so cozy to wear! I can also almost guarantee that you will receive tons of compliments when you wear it ; ) I'm wearing a size small but also think I could have gone with a medium for more over-sized fit. I paired this sweater with jeans for this casual outfit, but it can definitely be dressed up by wearing a pair of black pants with some nice boots. I also wore a pair of slides that I've been eyeing for months and finally made the purchase. But I'm not going to lie, when I first saw this pair of shoes, I did not like them because they reminded too much of Alaadin lol. Now, I'm obsessed with them! 




As always, let me know if you have any questions! 



11.09.2017

Sephora VIB Sale


Today I wanted to bring you my picks for the Sephora VIB sale that starts this Friday, November 10th (Tomorrow!) through the following Wednesday, November 15th. If you're unfamiliar with the reward system at Sephora, here's how it works: If you are new to Sephora, or have never signed up for their reward system (don't worry, it's free!), you will start out with what's known as a "Beauty Insider". This means that the sale will also run from 11/10-11/15 for you, but you will only receive a 15% off discount (which is better than nothing, right?!). Once you spend some money, you will eventually get bumped up to the "VIB" status which will get you 20% during sales events. There is one more step above the VIB which is called VIB Rouge, but that's for people who spend ridiculous amounts of money at Sephora (trust me, I do wish I had that status!). Anyways, let's move on to what my picks are. 

These products are both items that I have used in the past, or that I currently have, and also some products that have been on my wish list. I'm first going to start with hair.

Hair
Bumble & Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer is a product that I have used in the past and desperately need to re-stock! First of all, if a hair product comes in spray form, you best believe that I'm going to buy it over any other form it comes in. It just tends to be less of a mess which is why I love spray forms so much. This product also smells amazing and has a built in UV and heat protectant for your hair, which is great when using any kind of heating tools (hair dryer, curling iron, etc.). 

Another hair product that I have used in the past and love is Moroccanoil's Luminous Hairspray. I have tried a number of hairspray's after using Moroccanoil's hairspray, but I always go back to this amazing hairspray. It smells great, and has a flexible hold, which means it doesn't leave your hair "crusty" after you use it. 

A curling iron that's been on my wish-list is this ghd 1.25 curling iron. Since cutting 5 inches of my hair off, my current 3-inch curling iron just isn't making the cut. This one is on the pricey side, but knowing that I have a 20% discount makes it a lot better.





Makeup
Next up is all about makeup. Since I've been using a new lash enhancing serum, I've noticed a great improvement with my lashes so I'm excited to experiment with some mascaras. The lash serum that I use is not sold at Sephora (I got it at Nordstrom), but if you are interested, find it here. A mascara duo that I've used in the past is the DiorShow Plumping Lash Primer and Blinc Amplified mascara. What's different about this mascara is that is creates "tubes" around your lashes, rather than painting them. So when you go to take your makeup off at night, their is no smudging or "raccoon eyes" because it comes off as tiny strings. I've also been wanting to try Benefit's roller lash just because I've heard so many good things about it. Let me know if you've tried it before and what you think of it : )

I'm also low on my Tarte Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector so I will pick up another one of that. I use this before I put my undereye concealer on (I use Tarte's ShapeTape but this is only available at Ulta). 

If you're more of a cheek palette person like me (rather than an eye palette, etc.), then you will love this cheek palette from Benefit. I also talked about this palette in my makeup routine post (find it here). I recently got a sample of Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner and loved it so I will also pick up a full size of this. 




Skincare 
I'm going to be honest with you guys and say that I have never tried this product, but I've been wanting to try it since forever! It's the Sunday Riley Power Couple Duo: Total Transformation Kit. I've heard a lot of good things about it, so I've always wanted to try it, but the price has always held me back. Have you guys tried it? If so, please let me know what you think! 




This concludes my post for my Sephora VIB picks! Hope you guys enjoyed it and please let me know if you have any questions. Also wanted to let you know that this post is NOT sponsored, just my own beauty thoughts : ) What are your Sephora VIB picks? I'd love to know!
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11.05.2017

Cozy Fall Layers


Today I wanted to bring you guys some of my current, cozy Fall layers.  It may not be as cold where I live compared to other parts of the world, but every once in a while, the temperatures will take a dip : ) This cardi is so warm and cozy, it's perfect for Fall. Plus, it has pockets, has the perfect amount of stretch to it, and is under $50. The scarf is also a great Fall/Winter piece, especially with it being at $30. The white textured sweater that I'm wearing is from Loft and has the cutest button details at the top. I've also been wearing these booties on repeat lately. I love the color of them plus they are water proof. Details below.

Cozy Fall Layers