You are Beautiful

Hi lovelies. I’ve been putting off writing another post this week because it feels frivolous to talk about something else when so many are suffering. I think that after a few days the news cycles tend to move on, people start talking about other things and our focus is shifted elsewhere. That’s normal and not necessarily a bad thing- we all need to live our lives to the best of our ability. But I would be amiss not to acknowledge that when the cameras go away is when the real work begins, when it sets in for all those affected just how hard this journey is going to be. So let’s pray for them as they move forward and undergo a new set of struggles.

Since it doesn’t seem right to post about Online Shopping tips like I was planning, I wanted to post something else that would fit this somber mood. As you might know, Dove does wonderful campaigns that celebrate real women’s bodies. I actually had the pleasure in college of hearing one of their models from the underwear campaign they did a few years back and it was so enlightening and inspiring. Since then, I’ve been a huge fan of the message they work to promote. They’ve done  some fantastic videos through the years, but the one they just released is one of my favorites.

The premise is this: when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Dove asked real women to come to a studio in San Francisco and behind a sheet describe their appearance to someone. They were honest and forthcoming with their feelings and a police sketch artist drew what he heard. Then, they asked a stranger to look at the person and after the subject had left, the stranger described what they saw. The differences were astounding.

First and foremost, I have to applaud these women for taking part in this campaign. It must have been a scary experience to be so raw and honest but I think it will truly help so many people. When watching this, of course I wondered about what differences I would see in the sketches. How I view myself versus how others view me. I think that most women nitpick things in the mirror that they would like to change about themselves. In fact, according to Dove, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. What a complete and utter travesty. I know so many beautiful women, both inside and out and yet how have we gotten to a place where so few women see it? One of the things that really struck me about the video was the reflection that the stranger’s interpretation looked much happier and more open. Not only do we not see our beauty but we also are presenting a more closed off view of ourselves. It makes sense too that when you are describing all of your faults, it’s pretty hard to see anything good or happy.

I hope that this project changes the way people perceive themselves, even if only a little. We all find ourselves looking in the mirror daily, so I challenge you to focus on all of the things you love about yourself rather than those you don’t. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. You know what I’m thinking about all of you?

You are beautiful.

What to Wear Wednesday: Colored Denim & Sock Buns

Hi lovelies! I hope that you are all having a wonderful week and are enjoying all the Olympics coverage! It’s resulted in a few too many late nights for me, but it’s so amazing to see what these athletes are capable of and I am constantly in a state of awe. I also admire all the hard work and years of training that they put into their sports. Something else that I’ve been noticing in addition to their skills are the different hairstyles the athletes have been sporting. For example, although I’m pretty much obsessed with Team USA’s gymnasts, they all wear these messy ponytails turned into buns. I may not be able to teach them anything about their sport, but I could certainly teach them about the art of the sock bun.

Shirt: LOFT, Jeans: Topshop, Bangle: Forever 21, Shoes: Target

I for one, am all about the sock bun. They help make any look a little classier and put-together and they allow you to sleep in a few extra precious minutes- all wins in my book! Oh and back to the outfit. Although I sport sock buns on a semi-regular basis, I chose to style my hair this way because of this shirt. Since the shirt has so much volume and detail, I didn’t want my long hair detracting from the shirt. I then decided to make it a little more fun by pairing it with my favorite colored jeans. For more conservative work environments colored denim might be pushing the envelope a bit, but if you pair them with other classic elements and perhaps add a blazer it helps keep it more professional. Also, if colored jeans aren’t the norm at your office, stick with more classic colors and save your highlighter pink jeans for the weekends.

Questions:

-Do you wear sock buns?

-Do you like colored denim? Would you wear it to work?

 

Blow Dry Bar and the “World’s Best Chicken”?

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend! This weekend was a very special one as we had a fun family event celebration- but more on that in another post. In prepping for the event, my mom and I decided to visit the new blow-out bar in Walnut Creek- BDB.  If you’ve never been to a blow-out bar, basically the premise is this: for a set amount of money (usually around $35) stylists will wash your hair and blow dry/curl/straighten it in a desired style! They have been popping up all over the country and I was excited to give it a try. Side note: This particular blow dry bar was started by two 22 and 23 year-old girls in the bay area… Jeez, do I feel like I’m behind here!

Upon arrival we were greeted with mimosas which are a fantastic first step in my book. We were then were instructed to fill out a card with what we were looking for, and our hair type and texture. Here’s the weird thing about my hair: it is very curly and I straighten it every day which works fine but on the odd occasion that I want to curl it with a curling iron- the curl does not stay! Unfortunately, that very thing happened this weekend after my blow-out. But at least it looked like this for a little while…

All in all, it was a great experience at BDB and I will definitely be back. The stylists are able to complete blowouts super quickly and for only $35, it would be fun to do before a night out. My only suggestion would be to really know what you want going in to your appointment as they don’t have a hair menu as some other blow dry bars do and it can be difficult to describe your vision to your stylist without images.

And on a completely unrelated note, last night I made dinner using a Pinterest find. I’ve mentioned before that I usually cook only vegetarian foods. You see, my lovely best friend scared me in college because she never trusted the chicken from restaurants, fearing it was undercooked. As it turns out, this rubbed off on me when it came to cooking meat and I was always too nervous to give it a try. But last night that all changed. Finding chicken breast in the fridge, I knew it was time to give it a go. The other day I saw a recipe on Pinterest claiming to be “The World’s Best Chicken” which I thought boded well for my first chicken cooking attempt. The ingredients are super simple (dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt & pepper and red wine vinegar, though I used white since it was what I had on hand.)

After pouring the mixture over the chicken breasts, I put it in the oven and got to work on the rest of dinner. To avoid my usual uncooked fear, I decided to use a meat thermometer, which might be my new favorite tool. For once, I was able to see clearly when it got to 165 degrees, without even having to prematurely cut into it. When it came out, it looked a little like this…

“World’s best chicken”, tri-color quinoa, and roasted veggies

I think it’s because I used whole grain dijon mustard, but my chicken definitely didn’t look like Rachel’s finished product. But despite that fact, I thought the chicken was delicious. It was super quick and easy to make and the chicken was moist and flavorful. It does taste sweet with a fairly strong mustard flavor though, so it might not be for everyone. I’ll definitely make it again and it’s a great recipe to have on hand. I wouldn’t say it was the world’s best (that award goes to the amazing chicken marsala from Carmines in NYC) but it was a great dinner and the perfect way to end a fun weekend.

Questions:

-Have you been to a blow-dry bar?

-If you started your own business, what would it be?

-Do you make any Pinterest recipes?

 

Best of Beauty

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a wonderful week so far- we are halfway to the weekend! But before I set my sights on this coming weekend, I have to catch you up on the fun things that I did this past weekend.

Last week I was invited to attend Saks Fifth Avenue “Best of Beauty” event in San Francisco, hosted by San Francisco magazine. Always up for a fun event, I knew it would be the perfect way to spend my Saturday afternoon. As I browsed the make-up counters I enjoyed a glass of Rutherford Hill Chardonnay which was crisp and cool- the perfect reprieve from the heat outside!

With a glass of wine and issue of San Francisco magazine in hand, I made my way over to the Chanel beauty presentation. I’ve never really used Chanel products before and was excited to hear more about them. The amazing Cathy G. and Ali took us through Chanel’s newest products- some of which took 10 years to develop! Chanel is really committed to creating top-quality products that are free of any added fragrance and feel extremely luxurious on the skin. My skin tends to be extremely dry (ironic considering how much water I drink!) so I’m always looking for new products to help restore moisture. I’ve tried many that feel hydrating for the first 10 minutes, but the below Chanel products actually kept my skin feeling fresh and vibrant the whole day.

Then it was time for make-up! We first watched Cathy do a demonstration on Ali of some of the newest products for summer. I think in summer we all crave effortless make-up routines so we can get out and start enjoying the sun, which is precisely what Chanel offered. Besides getting to see the products in action, I learned a few new things! First, I learned a new technique of applying eye liner so it smudges more against your eyelashes, rather than creating a fine line, which makes your lashes look thicker. Then, I heard that your ideal color of blush is the color of your fingertips. This was groundbreaking to me! As a girl who wore red blush for every dance performance growing up, I’ve always been a little scared of it and tend to only wear bronzer. However, after seeing how much the bronzer-coral blush combination brightened up my complexion, I may be a convert! Getting to try the new products was so much fun and I loved my new look!

Our make-up stations!

The event was fantastic and I feel so honored to be involved! A huge thank you to Saks and Ali for inviting me! I went out on Saturday night rocking my new look and got lots of compliments, so now I will be going back to Saks soon to purchase some of these new products!

Questions:

-What’s your make-up routine like?

-What are your favorite make-up brands? Drugstore/Department store?

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