Fall Needs (Yes, NEEDS)

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Fall is without a doubt my favorite season. The weather, the fashion, the football, the snacks that come with watching football, etc. For some odd reason, whenever I think about Fall fashion, I think about what I would want to wear as I scarf down a dozen doughnuts at the Cider Mill (I need therapy). My excitement for the season is building, so I’ve already picked out some pieces I feel I need to complete the vision of drowning myself in fresh cider:

 

1) Rebecca Minkoff ” Mini 5- Zip” Convertible Crossbody Bag: $129 ( special Nordstrom Anniversary sale price!)

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Optimal for free hands to carry more doughnuts. Plus this beautiful grey sleet color will go with everything.

 

2) TopShop for Nordstrom “Mine” Ankle Boot: $130.00 

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I’ve been looking for a brown ankle bootie that doesn’t cut me off at a place that makes me look like i have cankles, this may be them.

 

3) Laundry by Shelli Segal Tweed Single Breasted Reefer Coat: $100 (Another Nordstrom Anniversary sale item!)

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I love experimenting with menswear in the fall, this coat is the perfect piece to play around with.

 

4) J. Crew Merino Asymmetrical Zip Sweater: $89.50

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Love this heather color, would be great unzipped with a silk tee underneath and boyfriend jeans.

 

5) Club Monaco Bria Belt: $69.50

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A little expensive for a belt (hello student discount!), but I think I would get a lot of mileage out of this one!

 

6) Zara Faux Leather Dress: $79.90

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The perfect leather dress to transition from Fall to Winter (A single tear streamed down my face as I typed that word).

 

 Total amount (with student discounts, sale prices that may not be listed): around $500. I’ve recently purged my closet (quality over quantity people!), and I gave myself a budget of $450 for new Fall staples. A litttlleee over budget, so I sold a Kate Spade handbag on ebay that I love, but rarely ever use for the extra dough.

Great rule of thumb to follow: when you gain a piece, give away or sell a piece. Keeps you from hoarding and cluttering your space with things you don’t wear! Except for my haven’t worn since ’99 “Limited Too” *Nsync Shirt. That beauty is here to stay.

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How To Be A Morning Person (or at least how to fake it).

Anyone that knows me knows that a bomb could go off, a tornado could rip through my house and Karl Lagerfeld could be splashing me with water and I STILL probably wouldn’t wake up. What can I say? I LOVE SLEEP. I love it so much that I commit to long hours of it and frequently (naps are gifts from God). This makes it extremely difficult for me to get up in the morning to get ready for work. “But Alex! You’re an adult, you should be able to get up on your own!” You don’t get it, I.LOVE.SLEEP.

Over time, I’ve had to come up with fool-proof ways to get me out of bed and to be happy about it. Hopefully, some of these tips and tricks can actually turn you into a morning person, or at least fake it long enough to get you to work on time and looking refreshed.

 

 

Actual Morning Person:

1) I used to keep my phone next to my bed and use it as my alarm. The second it went off, I turned off the volume button and returned to my cruel mistress, sleep. Needless to say, that wasn’t working for me. Even putting my phone across the room didn’t work. So I invested in an ACTUAL alarm clock. Yes, they still make them. I got this one at Anthropologie. It looks adorable on my dresser and there is no way I am sleeping through that thing. I also tried waking up to the radio on my iHome. It worked some days, but other days I fell back asleep listening to the “blah blah.. Kim Kardashian..blah…cat befriends walrus..blah blah..”.

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$38.00

Anthropologie, http://www.anthropologie.com

2) Put a speaker in your bathroom. If you’re like me, I shower every morning before work. I use this simple one from C. Wonder. I just put my iPhone in it and blast some serious jams while I’m in the shower. No batteries, no cords, simple yet effective. There is no way in hell I’m not having a good day when I’m blaring 112’s “Peaches & Cream”.

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$7.99- on sale for another 50% off right now!

C.Wonder, http://www.cwonder.com

3) I know this is a weird tip, but my mom told me to do it and it works. When you’re in the shower, or after washing your face, try smiling. Just smile a big, cheesy, borderline-creepy grin. Most of us have the same, “oh my God I can’t believe I have to work” frown on our face all morning. Just smiling a few times relieves the stress of the morning hustle and makes you just a bit happier. It works and my mom was right, PER USUAL.

 

How to Fake It:

There are just some mornings that not even coffee or funny cat videos can fix. For that, I have to cheat a little.

1) I put my face primer in the fridge. If you’re not using face primer before you put on your makeup, SHAME ON YOU. It makes your makeup go on so smooth and gives you a great base. Putting it in the fridge makes it nice and chilly, so when I put it on my face it really wakes me up. My all time favorite is Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer.

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$24.00

Bare Escentuals, http://www.bareescentuals.com

2) I like to shower everyday, but sometimes I wake up, turn on the shower, laugh, and turn it back off. No time to shower, but plenty of time to still look good! I recently Discovered Oribe Texturizing Spray. It’s great on clean hair too to add some oomph, but I also use it as a dry shampoo on second-day hair. I spray it on my roots and wherever I want volume, throw it up in a messy ballerina bun (steps below work perfect for me) and I’m done. (ballerina buns usually take me a few tries, I  blame taking Jazz/HipHop instead of Ballet when I was 7).

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                              $42.00

Blue Mercury, http://www.bluemercury.com

3) Brighten your peepers. I use Benefits Watts Up! Highlighter on the inside corner of my eyes. It instantly brightens them up and hides the fact that I stayed up until 2 a.m. watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (still can’t cope with Lexi dying..Shonda Rhimes is a BETCH).

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$30

Sephora, http://www.benefitcosmetics.com

 

4) You didn’t shower, so you probably smell just a little. No need to take an Irish Shower and douse yourself in perfume (note, co-workers WILL NOTICE and no-one likes Flowerbomb THAT much) .Body wipes make you feel fresh and clean when you don’t have time for the real thing.

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5) My new favorite trick that I swear by: blow dry your eye-lash curler (Thanks LC). I blast my lash-curler (I live by Tweezerman Procurl) for a few seconds, then wait about 20 more seconds to curl. I promise you, your lashes will curl and look SO.MUCH.BETTER. Eyes will look instantly more alive. Just add a few coats of mascara (Covergirls’ Lash Blast is bomb.com) and you look like you just got back from 6 weeks at Promises Resort (for a shopping addition…not boxed wine…).

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                                 $20                                                                                                       $6.99

                               Sephora, http://www.Sephora.com                                                       Drugstores

 

Just try ONE of these things this week and I guarantee you’ll have a little more pep in your step in the morning. At the very least listen to 112’s Peaches &Cream. It will change your morning and possibly your entire outlook on life.

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Equality for Taco Waffles.. and Michael Sam.

 

These past few weeks, I’ve been truly saddened and angered by the people in this country. Of course I’ve always known that there are people out there that are “against gay people” (really though, how is that even a thing), but recent events have really brought to light the horrible amount of hate that is projected not just onto fellow Americans, but fellow humans.

Obviously, the recent event that I’m referring to is the Michael Sam kiss seen around the world. Comments on every news article include “GROSS!” “I DIDN’T WANT TO SEE THAT” “THAT IS A SIN!”. You wanna know what? I’m not even mad at those people. You can have your beliefs, I can have mine. It’s the people that say “Nothing against gays… but I didn’t want my kids to see that! How am I supposed to explain that to them!?” that really make me angrier than Solange in an elevator. Or Michelle Williams. She has a lot to be angry about.

1) You do have something against “the gays”. Stop lying to make yourself feel like a better person.

2) DON’T BE A LAZY PARENT. It is your job to explain things to your children. If they ask about Michael Sam, chances are you won’t have to explain anything even related to sex or even this kiss itself- just that a man loves a man. Kids are extremely accepting- if you teach them to be. No kid is born a homophobe or a racist. Those behaviors are taught. The whole “my kids shouldn’t have to see that” is an excuse to make your children as intolerant as you are.

Now I’m not for gay rights or gay marriage because I have gay friends- but because I am a human being that thinks everyone should be treated equally. It truly blows my mind that people care so much about something that has nothing to do with them. It blows my mind even more that as a free country, we even have to VOTE on whether a group of HUMANS get the same right as everyone else.

You don’t like gay marriage? Don’t marry a gay person. You don’t think gay people should adopt kids? Don’t adopt a kid with a gay person. You don’t like to watch Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend? Change the channel. You don’t want your kids to see that? Stop worrying about what they might see and use this as an opportunity to teach compassion and kindness. I won’t say tolerance, because we shouldn’t have be taught to “tolerate” any one group of people. Except Nickleback/Creed fans.

I do love this country. I love being able to order a grilled cheese to my house at 4 a.m. and I love that I can get a taco waffle when I wake up (U.S.A! U.S.A!), and I know the good will always, ALWAYS, outweigh the bad. But this country could be a lot more awesome if we could just accept one another, regardless of who they are designed to love. Then maybe, JUST MAYBE, when your kid sees a woman sharing one of those taco waffles with another woman, they won’t bat an eye.

 

Social Bul-media.

Social-Media-Addiction

My day usually goes something like this: wake up, refresh Twitter, shower, refresh Facebook, go to work, refresh, refresh, send an email, refresh, REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH- until I am completely burnt out on what all my friends, strangers and celebrities are up to.  I used to enjoy seeing photos of that kid from high school’s cool dinner, or what my favorite blogger wore that day. However, I’ve noticed recently that social media no longer makes me happy, it’s making me feel inadequate.

As women (and men!), we are under enough pressure as is. Pressure to have the perfect hair, a great outfit, perfect make-up, a toned body, and the list goes on and on. Now, I’ve never held myself to the standard of being perfect- because I know that’s unattainable. I just do my thing and hold enough confidence to be myself and work with what I’ve got.

However, that confidence diminishes when I go on Instagram and I see my favorite bloggers perfectly polished outfit,  frizz-free hairdo and pore-less face. The outfit that I loved when I got dressed in the morning becomes suddenly not trendy enough, my new haircut is deemed as lame and I start researching the latest craze in skin care (FYI, it’s rubbing coffee on your nose with lemon- DOESN’T WORK…says a friend).

Then I go on Twitter and see my friend started her day with an egg white scramble and a protein shake. Great, now I feel fat because I had a bagel for breakfast. She’s got abs and I’ve got cream cheese on my shirt. So I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work and never eat Einstein’s again.

Then I get on Facebook and see that annoying couple post a PERFECT photo of them in a field or some sh$# and I think, “why don’t I have cute pictures like that?” “Why am I not having a picnic in an old industrial building with perfect lighting?”(But then I usually go back to gagging at the making-out photos and feel thankful that my relationship is a blast- with or without photos with lyrics underneath).

Every single time I refresh the page, my confidence decays just a little bit and I wish I could be more like anyone but me. I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there that don’t feel this way, but for the millions of us that hold some insecurities, enough is enough.

This morning, I had an Epiphany mid Instagram binge. All these social media sites are for the HIGHLIGHTS of our life. No-one is posting pictures of themselves popping a pimple or looking like a wet rat when they get out of the shower or fighting with their BAE<3. We will never get to see those things that inevitably, everyone goes through- so we forget that they exist for everyone. We see ourselves look less that perfect and doing less than awesome things everyday. It’s truly destructive to always be comparing our lows to someone’s highs.

So many people portray their lives to be perfect online- they made the perfect meal, had the perfect workout, wore the perfect outfit. I’m happy for you really, I am! We should all be proud of the cool stuff we do and accomplish. But I’ll no longer make myself believe that’s how your life is all the time. You’re showing me your highs, and you deserve the right to keep your lows private.

I’m guilty of this too, I know. I’ll post pictures of the great sweater I wore and how good my hair looked that day, but there’s no way you’re going to see me in my 2007 Paul Frank Jammies with a seaweed mask on eating cookie dough by the roll- but know that that does happen 1-2x a week. But now when I refresh the page and see that bloggers stellar “just-woke-up-perfectly-curled!” hair, I’ll know that she probably slept with her mouth open and drooled everywhere, just like the rest of us.

Photo by Sathish Issac

Nars-issistic V-Day

I’m officially back from the dead. Seriously people- I was non-existent from all life in the past week. BUT I’M BACK and brighter than ever- mostly in part to these amazing new products. Nars has always been my go-to makeup brand, and while I was sick and feeling sorry for myself I found an excuse to buy myself something new from them (I had a gift card so that doesn’t really count towards my February-no shopping rule..or so I told myself).

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These products are perfect for Valentine’s day and just about every day- I love the pops of pink that make me look  fresh and alive- which is something my Valentine (my cat…jk it’s my boyfriend..and cat) hasn’t seen me look like in over a week now. Both of these are from Nars Limited Edition “Final Cut” Collection available at Nordstrom, so I highly suggest grabbing them up A.S.A.P before they’re gone!

|NARS “Adelaide” Illuminator: $30|

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I apply this on the top of my cheekbones BEFORE my powder/concealer and rub it in good- so it’s not too glittery. I put a bit of Nars Orgasm blush over it after applying powder to really make it have some depth.

|NARS “Villa Lante” Satin Lip Pencil: $25|

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I LOVE this shade. It glides on so easily and even after a few hours it leaves you with a nice pink-flushed look.

 

Hope everyone has a great V-day! Single, taken, whatever, it’s a great day to celebrate love in all shapes and forms. Plus it’s the perfect excuse to go get a dozen heart-shaped doughnuts and share with NO ONE.

Disclaimer: I lied about having a cat. Wishful thinking since my dear Mr. Pepper went to the litter box in the sky.

 

 

NYFW Fall/ Winter 2014

Happy New York Fashion Week! Apologies for being a tad behind.. I’ve been very busy this week blowing my nose and spending some quality time at the hospital sicker than a dog SO I’m just catching up on the shows. Overall, GREAT start. A few dark horses really grabbed my attention. Cue Katy Perry’s annoyingly addictive Juicy J jam…

TOME

– By far my favorite. It was the label’s runway debut and they killed it. These are clothes for a woman who knows what she wants, not a little girl trying to play dress up. These clothes actually work. Seriously, they WERQ.

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VERONICA BEARD

– Pleasantly surprised with The Veronicas. Nothing too terribly special, but these are clothes I would skip Summer for just to wear in Fall (and that’s saying a lot since the snow is up to the waistline of my leggings…which are actually pulled up to my bra).

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BCBG MAX AZRIA

meh. I expected more on their 25th anniversary. A little too American Hustle for me, which I think has been played out already. HOWEVER, those Muff Purses are everything. I’ve been trying to bring muffs back since 1997. My time is now.

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COACH

Bravo Stuart Vevers. If someone were to show me this collection and ask me to guess the designer, I would have NEVER guessed Coach, which is a great thing. It’s completely different from the brand’s usual aesthetic, and I love it. There is about to be a whole new Coach customer- and it may be me. I haven’t owned a coach bag since I had one of those baguette ones with 2347023 C’s on it in the early 00’s. I used to carry it around in middle school with the lip gloss and feminine products I didn’t need yet.

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DION LEE

I really enjoyed the mix of perfectly tailored work-wear and sexy, unconventional body-con dresses. Soft and Sexy- like Ryan Gosling holding a kitten.

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CREATURES OF THE WIND

– This one might be a tie for my favorite. Effortless, easy, fun, great lines. Enough said.

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RICHARD CHAI LOVE

– I was really looking forward to this collection and I found myself a bit disappointed. Great collections tell a story and take you somewhere. This collection just felt messy and chaotic. The textures and colors were beautiful, but I feel unfulfilled and confused as to what the inspiration was.

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Well, it’s about that time to go rub Vic’s over every crevice of my body! Stay tuned for more snot and shows.

(This sickness is making me very vulgar, I apologize for nothing)

Style.com for Photos

H.L.A.A (Haute Look Addicts Anonymous)

A few years ago when fashion “flash sales” became a thing, I dabbled in them a bit but never really bought into the hype. Nothing was returnable….brand names weren’t that big…I had no money…..

However, in recent weeks I have rediscovered Haute Look. Haute Look was acquired by Nordstrom in 2011 and let me tell you, SO.MUCH.BETTER. Seriously people- the brands are spectacular, the sales are huge and best of all, just about everything is returnable to Nordstrom Rack. How easy is that?!

My wallet has felt the wrath of Haute Look. As much as I try to stay away, some of the sales are just too good to pass up. It would be rude of me not to take advantage of these God- given opportunities. Here’s some of my haul:

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Retail:$50 | Haute Look : $22

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Retail : $50 | Haute Look : $22

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Retail:$70 (set) | Haute Look:$30 (set)

(It’s becoming apparent to me I may have a pajama fetish….)

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Retail: $158 | Haute Look: $59

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Retail: $275 | Haute Look: $65

And finally, the dress and the price that brought me to my knees:

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Retail: $625 | Haute Look: $65

SIXTY.FIVE.DOLLARS.

Although I can’t stand that “gym, coffee, Haute Look” commercial (hello, we have jobs), I can’t help but find myself being THAT GIRL.

I’ve made a vow not the shop in the month of February (LAWD HELP ME), although there is nothing wrong with browsing Haute Look, viscously adding everything in to my cart then exiting out of the browser in between sobs.

Pray for my soul. February is going to be a LONG month.

hautelook.com