Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Girl's Day Out

So last Friday I got to spend the whole day with some of my great girl friends. It was our last hoorah of the summer, and the last time for us all to hang out together before one of my friends runs off to Paris with her hubby for the year (yes, I'm way beyond jealous!). We had a great day that started out with a yummy lunch, followed by tons of shopping, and finishing up with a night out on the town. I definitely needed this break as well as the getting to spend time with these awesome ladies!

 Dress: Love . . . ady 
Sandals: Sam Edelman

So the day was supposed to start with brunch, but let's get real; with five women and a baby there was no way we were going to get there on time. So we ended up getting to the 1Kept Charleston in time for lunch. And it was just as yummy! And we got to spend the rainy part of the day inside! 

Burger with super yummy fries 

Special milkshake and cookie dessert 

The beautiful dining room 

The gang 

So I was entirely remiss of taking pictures of our evening adventures! We started out at Eleve for appetizers (their cheese board is fabulous), went to Le Farfalle for dinner (the Ceci In Umido is out of this world), and Carmella's for dessert (all of their cakes are amazing)! If you're looking for a good place to eat, any of those options will set your mouth awhirl! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eyebrow Emergency

My eyebrows have always been a huge mystery to me. Being Scottish, my eyebrows do exactly what they want to regardless of what I tell them to do. So finding someone to shape them for me has always been a challenge. I started out getting my eyebrows waxed when I was about fourteen at a salon down the street. I loved the lady there who did them, and we ended up becoming friends. However she soon stopped working at the salon because she had a cute little munchkin. That seems to be the way those things always go. After that I went to her house for a while, and then I just resorted to trying to pluck them on my own. That kinda sorta worked throughout college and for a little while afterward until I couldn't take it anymore. Not only did they not match each other, but they looked like two wooly-bear caterpillars decided to take up residence on my face. Not really the look I was going for. About the time I was about to give up in frustration, I discovered that my nail salon had ladies who waxed eyebrows. I thought, "This is perfect! I can do everything in one place!" So for a while I went and had them do my brows for me. I was impressed that it actually looked pretty good. And then I moved. So along with all the other self-care things that got neglected, my eyebrows were at the top of the list. And I went back to trying to pluck them. Such a bad idea. Well when I finally moved back I was so excited that I could go back to my nail salon and get my favorite girl to do my eyebrows again. However, she wasn't doing it anymore and another girl was. And she, bless her heart, couldn't get them right to save her life! They never matched each other in shape, they never started in the same place on either side of my nose, and they were too far apart.

As you can see, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't good. And being the beauty perfectionist that I am it looked terrible to me. So I decided I needed a new option. I really didn't want to just pick a random salon without knowing what I was getting into, and most salons that did eyebrows were just way too expensive for me. And then I discovered the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta and all my problems went away. Man! Those girls know what they are doing! I told her all of my woes about my eyebrows and how poorly they had been treated and she just whipped them right up. Actually it was a slightly longer process than that. They do this really cool thing called brow mapping where they measure your brows and mark where they are supposed to start and end and where the arch is supposed to be. It was really cool to see they way they were supposed to look. And she sympathized with my woe over the fact that they were too far apart and not the same distance from my nose, and so she explained how she was going to camouflage that so they could grow back. Anyway, all that to say she did a fabulous job! They were shaped a little bit differently from what I was used to, so I'm still getting used to filling them in correctly, but they look immensely better! I'm super excited to see what they will look like after a few more visits to the brow bar. And the best part, it's only about $20! It was slightly more than the nail salon, but totally worth every penny. 

Haha so maybe not the most flattering pictures of me ever, but look at those brows! Such an improvement. There still are a couple areas I want to work on, but it really is like night and day. 
They definitely look even better with my makeup completely done. So the moral of the story? If you're frustrated with your brows, look up the Benefit Brow Bar! They hang in the middle of Ulta, and maybe some other stores, I'm not entirely sure. But look it up and don't stay frustrated with your face fur! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

White teeth without the misery

Yellow teeth. So who doesn't want to vanquish that demon? I've had an arch expander, braces four times, and a jaw surgery to fix my teeth and my bite. And yet somehow I am never happy with my smile because I can't ever seem to get my teeth to be white enough. And the biggest culprit in this frustration is the fact that because of all the work that I've had done in my mouth my teeth are extremely sensitive. I tried whitening gel, and I've tried all different combinations of the Crest whitening system and I've never been able to do it more than a couple times because my teeth becomes unbearably sensitive. Frankly I don't have enough vanity to stick with a whitening regime that makes it hard to eat ice cream and drink hot coffee and eat chocolate. But on the flip side, I drink coffee. And I love coffee. And I also love cranberry juice. And other things that stain teeth. So we've come back around the vicious circle to square one.

I thought I had finally found the holy grail when Crest came out with the sensitive whitening line. And then just as quickly they cancelled it. So I was left to languish in my frustration. Until my friend starting selling this incredible toothpaste called AP24 by NuSkin. She had just started selling it, so when I saw her post on Facebook I decided to try it. I couldn't dislike it any more than I disliked what I was already using, and I like supporting my friends when I can. So I bought it. And I loved it!!!!!! I could tell a huge difference in my teeth after just one week of using it twice a day.


After 1 week 

So as you can see from my slightly less than lovely pictures, this stuff works! And it just keeps on working. It removes stains from the gum lines and whitens the entire tooth. The longer you use it the better it just keeps on looking. And the best part is that I have absolutely no pain! My teeth haven't gotten more sensitive, but actually have in fact gotten less sensitive. I can now eat and drink all my favorite things without worry of what it's going to look like or feel like. I feel like I've finally conquered the beast! So if you're interested in trying this magic product leave a comment on the blog my Facebook page or message Ashley Greiwe on Facebook! You definitely have to try it and give your selfie that extra boost! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Where to shop to find the perfect thing

We are about to head into a new season and if you're anything like me, you're looking to either replace your fall wardrobe or spice up the one you already have. But where in the world should you even start? Spoilers - it's not Forever21 or even Gap or Old Navy. If you have a very individualistic style then most likely you're thinking to start with a boutique.

Growing up I always thought of boutiques as the mecca of well-made clothes. Most of my childhood I shopped at children's boutiques and my mom shopped at similar stores. When I finally got to the point where I was wearing ladies clothes I looked forward to being able to shop at what I considered exclusive high-fashion stores. And then I went into my first boutique as a teenager and I was sorely disappointed. Nothing I tried on fit. Everything ran too long on my very petite torso, and none of the bottoms fit my curves: everything was super long and straight. I began to wonder who on earth these clothes were tailored for! And then the fabric was a whole other story. Everything was made from super gauzy, recycled, stretchy fabrics - gone were the real, beautiful fabrics that I remembered. And literally everything in every boutique looked exactly the same.

So it begs the question, what happened to our boutiques? And why would you even want to shop in one? The first question I really can't answer. I'm not sure why they're all the same and why their clothes are tailored for giant, genderless humans, and why they don't use real fabric anymore. But the second question I can answer. I don't want to pay exorbitant prices for what I consider a piece of junk. And maybe its just a regional thing, who knows. I have a friend in Indiana who buys all her clothes from the boutiques around the city and her clothes are beautiful and fit her wonderfully. But I definitely wouldn't shop any boutique that I'm familiar with.

My exception to that would be that I have discovered that boutiques are fabulous hidden gems when you're searching for some jewelry that is like nothing any of your friends have. I have gotten some of my favorite pieces of jewelry from boutiques from which I wouldn't buy any of their clothes. Somehow the lack of quality pieces doesn't extend to accessories. You can also find great belts and oftentimes interesting shoes.

Personally I would rather shop a chain store. Ok, so maybe there are a hundred of those stores across the nation, and so maybe there are four or five hundred people wearing that skirt that you love so much. But really, what are the odds that you will know any of them? Or even run into any of them? And I can guarantee you that they won't have styled that skirt the way that you have! So don't be scared that chain stores with somehow squelch your individuality. And because the garments are mass made (which, granted, can sometimes cause weird sizing issues) they are slightly cheaper and the stores can afford to do deeper cuts on sales. And for me its great because I have learned with sizes and cuts I can wear for my figure at all my favorite stores. For instance, I can only wear jeans and shorts from Ann Taylor Loft (with the rare exception) but I know I can go in and pick up a pair and not even bother to try them on because I know how they will fit me. Because let's be honest, I have six pairs in every other color. That peace of mind is very important to me.

But what about those brands and designer labels you love but can't afford? There's always the outlets, right? Well frankly, I think that most outlets have gone the way of the boutique. I have noticed that many outlets carry completely different merchandise than the original store and the merchandise is far inferior in quality. And in deceptive twist some outlets have the exact same prices as the main store. However there are some exceptions that do exactly what an outlet is supposed to; they have the normal merchandise at lower prices. The ones that I can think of as an example are Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and sometimes Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. Also Saks Off Fifth can be this way if you find a good one: sometimes they are hit or miss, which is just weird to me. But its always worth checking!

Checked the outlets but couldn't find anything you liked? Start looking around for local consignments stores. They are oft-times overlooked superstore for designer labels at affordable prices. Most true consignment stores have specific requirements for the brands they accept and the condition in which they accept them. That guarantee that you get things in good condition, you just don't have to pay as much! They're a great place to look for clothes, shoes, and accessories! It's my favorite secret shopping spot. And, the greatest part is that when you finish with nice, gently loved things you can take them and sell them and get some cash to spend on your new wardrobe! It's hard to beat that!

So, hopefully this "store map" will help you as you shop for that perfect garment or shoe to add to your fall collection! Happy shopping fashionistas!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Nsale Favorites -- Part Two

I'm back again with the rest of my favorites from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! It's the last day to shop this amazing sale before the prices go back up tomorrow! Make you sure get in on the deals while they still last. I'm in love with all the pieces that I got on the sale: though it does slightly look like someone stole my debit card! I haven't updated my fall wardrobe in several years (when I find something I love I wear it foreeeeever) so it was totally worth it to get a whole new fall wardrobe for such low prices! 

in Just Pine -- Size S

Hinge Shrunken Leather Bomber Jacket $199.90 (after sale $299.00)
in Beige Morn -- Size XS
Sam Edelman Rafaella Ballet Flat $99.90 (after sale $149.95)
in Navy Multi 

Chelsea 28 Bell Sleeve Sweater $58.90 (after sale $89.00) 
in Red Syrah -- Size XS

Gibson Bell Sleeve Cozy Fleece Pullover $39.90 (after sale $59.00)
in Navy -- Size XS
Sam Edelman Rafaella Ballet Flat $99.90 (after sale $149.95)
in Navy Multi 

in Red Baroque -- Size S 

TopShop Lattice Back Sweater $42.90 (after sale $65.00)
in Yellow -- Size 2 

Halogen V-neck Merino Wool Cardigan $49.90 (after sale $79.00)
in Black -- Size XSP

Can I say that I'm just obsessed with this cardigan? I've never been a huge fan of cardigans, but they're nice to have to go over a dress if its cold. I've been needing a black one for a while, so I jumped on this one. Amazing!! It fits like a dream, isn't matronly at all, and I love the material. 

I found so many great things on this sale and I'm so excited to find different ways to style these pieces. The fabrics are so cozy and happy and everything fit perfectly. Can't wait to show you all the different ways I find to put these pieces together. Feel free to leave pictures in the comments of how you've styled your #nsale pieces! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July Outfit Round-up

Blouse: Karen Kane (similar blouse)
Jeans: White House Black Market (similar jeans)
Shoes: Ivanka Trump (similar flats)
Purse: Michael Kors (similar MK purse)
Watch: Michael Kors (similar MK watch)

Dress: Nine West (shop exact dress here)
Shoes: Michael Kors (shop exact shoes here)
Sunglasses: vintage Anne Klein (similar sunglasses)

T-shirt: Michael Kors (similar shirt)
Vest: White House Black Market (similar vest)
Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft (similar jeans)
Shoes: Sperry (shop exact shoes here)

Shirt: Enro (Men)  (shop exact shirt here)
Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft (similar jeans
Belt: Copper Penny Boutique (similar belt)
Shoes: Michael Kors (shop exact shoes here)

Shirt: Boutique in Indiana (similar top)
Belt: Francesca's (similar belt)
Capris: Stein Mart (similar capris)
Shoes: Steve Madden (similar shoes)

Top: Cynthia Rowley (shop similar top)
Watch: Michael Kors (shop similar MK watch)
Sunglasses: Versona 

T-Shirt: Aerie (limited edition)
Skirt: New York and Company (shop similar skirt)
Purse: Michael Kors (similar MK purse)

Dress: Donna Morgan (shop similar dress)
Shoes: Michael Kors (shop similar MK shoes)

Dress: Moulinette Soeurs - worn by Kaitlyn Black on Hart of Dixie  (shop similar dress)  
Shoes: Sam Edelman (shop similar shoes