A Hilarious Book

Books have an awesome way of taking us away from our stressful day and transporting us to a different world. I usually gravitate towards crime and drama novels, but right now I’m reading Mindy Kaling’s book “Why Not Me?” and LOVING it. I feel like I am listening to my best friend who is hilarious and so down-to-earth as I read it.

First of all, let’s state the obvious – Mindy Kaling is awesome and hilarious. But what I love most about her is she has remained true to herself throughout her career. You can tell as you read her book that she has a strong sense of who she is. She also maintains this careful balance of self-deprication and confidence.


Now enough of about my girl-crush, let’s get back to the book. “Why Not Me?” is a great, easy read for vacation or if you’d like to pretend you are on vacation, like me! Kaling talks about everything from her show The Mind Project, which has a new season airing soon on Hulu, to her thoughts on sororities and sharing a list of things she can no longer do since she became famous.

I found Kaling’s writing style really refreshing. It seems like her personality really shines through the words. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Mindy Kaling.

“The best kind of laughter is laughter born of a shared memory.”

“Remember the kid who showed up forty-five minutes early to the SATs with eleven pencils and a huge black coffee? That was me.”

“Hell is Whole Foods on a Sunday. It’s hordes of moms in lightweight fleeces pushing one another away to get to bins of dry lentils.”

“This was the kind of place that a girl could leave her glass slipper with the reasonable hope that a prince might track her down. Or, in my case, my Jimmy Choo size 39s with orthotic inserts.”

“I tip great, I try not to swear to much, and I remember to thank people and be grateful. And all that stuff I do to “appear” better has actually made me a better person. I wish I had always acted like I was a little bit famous.”

Let me know if you have read any hilarious books recently too.

Cheers to the week being over halfway complete!

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The Scoop: L’Oréal’s Magic Skin BB Cream

I’ve dished out the details on why I’ll always love Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer, but I will also always love trying out new products. In particular, drugstore BB Creams have been particularly fun for me to try out.

I love BB Creams because they tend to be more moisturizing and less heavy than a normal foundation (and even many tinted moisturizers). BB Creams work especially well on skin like mine that tends to be sensitive and dry out easily. If you are looking for a light coverage makeup option that evens out your skin tone and can give you a nice glow, I’d definitely try out a BB Cream.

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Over the past year, I have tried a few different ones and worn them primarily to work, where I often don’t feel the need to have much makeup on. Most recently, I decided to try L’Oréal’s Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. I was hopeful this BB Cream would be similar to their Youth Code one that was discontinued.

L’Oréal’s Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream comes out of the tube white, and as you apply it it gets darker to match your skin tone. It feels moisturizing as you apply it. But, by the end of the day, the moisturizing effect has diminished and my skin looks matte. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your skin type. I could see this working great for someone with an oily complexion.

After wearing this for a couple 9 to 5 days, I can tell this product has great staying power. I would consider this BB Cream light coverage, like I would all BB Creams, but this one has better (heavier) coverage than most BB Creams I have used. If you have dark circles or red spots to cover up, this BB Cream would be a great one to try out.

Another great thing about this product is the price! You can’t really beat $8 for a BB Cream. That said, the Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream does not have sun protection and I could only find it in three colors – fair, light & medium. I would also not recommend this BB Cream if you are looking for one that acts as a good moisturizer and/or have dry skin. This BB Cream is perfect if you are looking for a matte finish.

Hopefully this steers you in the right direction. Let me know if you have a favorite drugstore BB Cream, too.

Happy Tuesday!

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Get the Look: Business Casual

These days business casual attire leans more towards casual and less towards business, if you know what I mean. In general, it seems like dress codes at work are becoming increasingly casual.

Jeans are especially becoming more popular and acceptable at work. While I am a jean-lover, I don’t think wearing jeans to work should be an excuse to look unkept. Personal presence is important. On top of that, looking put together and presentable has a direct correlation to how seriously people take us in the office place, and outside of it.

So, I’m sharing a business casual look you can rock at work. The concept is pretty simple and can be easily recreated with different items. Just pair your work jeans with a silk top and blazer. To accessorize, I reccomend a long necklace and pointy flats or heels.

My jeans are from Rag + Bone. They are one of my favorite pairs of jeans, especially during the fall because of the green color. Both my blazer and top are from J. Crew as well. My navy shoes are Cole Haan. Below are some similar items to put together this look.

Loft Willow Peplum Tee     J. Crew Margot Top     Madewell Silk Lace-Up Shirt

Kendra Scott Tassel Necklace    Cole Haan Alice Skimmer   Kate Spade Crystal Bangle

Rag + Bone Velvet Skinny Jeans    J. Crew Rhodes Blazer     Rag + Bone Skinny Jeans

J. Crew is also having a sale today if you need to stock up on any work wear. Their blazers have always fit me well and lasted a long time. I’d reccomend trying one, especially if you can get a discount!

Do you have any go-to items for your business casual days in the office or any favorite items that you wear to work?

Have a fabulous weekend friends!

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Update: SmileDirectClub

I have two months down and two more to go with my invisible aligners from SmileDirectClub (SDC). I haven’t talked about SDC since I started at the end of July. So, here’s an update on how it’s going.

The good news is the aligners are working well. I can tell a big difference with the crowding around my lower teeth from when I began this process. They continue to be easy to put on and take off. A couple times the aligners have been tighter than usual at the beginning of the week but within a day or so that goes away as my teeth begin to shift. SDC has done a great job mailing new aligners to me. I have gotten everything I need at least two weeks before I need it, which is perfect.

The process is going by pretty fast, but the constant taking them off to eat, washing them, brushing your teeth and putting them back on is getting kind of old. It’s most inconvenient when eating out or with friends. I try to wear mine at least 17 hours a day, per SDC’s recommendation on their website. However, that complaint is really the worst of it. While I am ready for this to be done, I know the sacrifice is so minimal when I think about the confidence I’ll have with my smile afterwards and the fact that this only takes four months total.

If anyone has questions about SDC, please ask. I hope the rest of the week brings you lots of smiles! 😀

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Fall Cleaning with ThredUp

Let’s be honest, spring cleaning is that deep-clean we do once a year, and when we do it we say, “Wow! Look at all this junk. Hmm… I should probably do this more often.” Then, of course, we do nothing. Fast forward one year, and we repeat this thought process. It’s a vicious cycle, or not-so-vicious cycle for those of us who despise cleaning.  😉

Since fall is a couple days away, I had a lightbulb moment this weekend as I thought about getting out my clothes for cooler weather. What if I did an annual fall cleaning?! I change out my closet from summer to winter clothes in the fall, so it is the perfect time to purge things I didn’t wear over the summer or know I won’t wear during the winter (because I haven’t worn them for the past three years).

If this sounds like something you want to try and you are looking for some extra motivation to clean out your closet, I reccomend checking out thredUP. ThredUp is an online consignment and thrift store that will sell your gently used clothes for you.

Here’s how it works: you order a free Clean Out Kit online, it is shipped to you, you clean out your closet, place your gently used clothes in the bag and mail it back to thredUp. Then, thredUp will sell your clothes (you don’t have to do anything) to it’s online shoppers. When someone buys your clothing, you get a portion of the sales in your bank account.

The best thing about thredUp is that if your clothing is deemed to old or worn to sell, thredUp gives it to charity. You can opt to have clothing sent back to you, but I personally love how low maintenance the whole process is.

You can also use the money you earn from selling your clothes to buy gently used clothes through their online thrift store. ThredUP has everything from handbags and designer clothes and shoes to children’s clothing.

If you use the code below, you will get a $10 credit to use on your thredUp order.

http://www.thredup.com/r/VBYRIB

Have you ever done fall cleaning or tried thredUP? If you do try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes. Hope everyone has a happy happy week!

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Fall Fashion Finds

Hooray it is FRIDAY and the weekend forecast is looking perfect for a little fall shopping! Here are a few things that have caught my eye for the upcoming fall season. We have just six days until it is officially fall, so maybe these items will inspire you to get ready for the cooler weather.

 

Loft – Tulip Shirtdress    Kendra Scott – Elisa Pendant Necklace    Loft – Fireworks Fluid Tee

Kork-Ease -Castaneda Boot         Abercrombie & Fitch – Patterned Blanket Poncho

I’d love to hear what you are eyeing to add to your fall wardrobe or if you’ve made any recent purchases that you’re loving. I think the Kendra Scott pendant necklace with the opal and rose gold combination is particularly pretty and perfect for fall. I’m also loving all kinds of suede and fringe booties. It’s probably a problem that I haven’t met a bootie I don’t like, but of course, a girl can never have too many shoes!

I hope everyone has a relaxing and wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to spend some time outside enjoying the beautiful weather.

Cheers!

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The Cheapest Date

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. This one is especially for those of you who are looking for a fun, affordable time with a special someone. It’s the cheapest date I know, and one of my favorites. It’s going to the park with your boo. I know. It’s completely revoluntionary.

But in all honesty, going to a park to walk around, explore and talk to your loved one can be a simply amazing time. So often I think the simple things in life can be underated, overlooked or taken for granted. People are so quick to talk about the amazing things they do on their social media platforms, but I think it’s just as important to share the simple, day-to-day things we do with the people we love.


I had this realization last weekend as I walked for miles around Fort Washington park with Will and Maddie (my doggie). We decided to do something outside that afternoon. Fort Washington seemed like a fun place to check out, since neither of has have been there, despite it’s close proximity to D.C.

Well it was such a good idea. It was absolutely beautfiul, and the hours we spent there flew by. Moments like that are my favorite. There is something about being outside that is so good for our souls.

I had this moment of realization as we walked around. I now it’s a cliche that is passed around so often — the tangible things in our lives are not important. It’s the special people we share our lives with and the moments with them that give our life value. The fact that, we can go and have that experience with someone special and it doesn’t cost anything, is what makes it invaluable.

So yes, it was the cheapest date. And it is something I’d reccomend everyone do on a regular basis. Pack a lunch. Have a picnic. Bring your dog. Do it your way, but just spend sometime outside with someone you love.

Cheers!

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Get the Look: Initials, Monograms & All Things Personalized

Personalized jewelry and accessories, in the form of monograms and initials, have continued to be a popular trend this year, and it doesn’t show any changing in the year to come. In fact, supermodel Gigi Hadid is putting her name and initials on practically everything she wears. This new look of custom, branded clothing shows how the monogramming trend has grown in popularity. Literally adding your name to your outfit of the day can further brand your personal style.

If this is a trend you have been eyeing and wanting to try, I’d suggest starting with jewelry and accessories before following Gigi’s footsteps and embroidering your name on all your clothes. Or you can just go BIG right from the start! 😉

One of my favorite monogrammed pieces is this acrylic block monogram necklace from Bauble Bar. I got the medium sized monogram in antique gold with the 18″ chain. I’ve had this piece for over a year and it has held up very well. I have experienced lots of cheap jewlrey, especially in gold, becoming tarnished over time. This necklace, however, has not had that issue. So, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.


I also decided to be slightly unconventional and just include my first and middle initials in my monogram. So don’t feel like you need to go the traditional route if you are getting soemthing monogrammed — you do you! And if an acrylic block necklace is not your style, here are some other mongrammed jewelry pieces you may like.

Turquoise Evil Eye Initial Bracelet            Monogrammed Keychain

Asymmetrical Initial Necklace     Monogrammed Ring     Pave Initial Earrings

 

I’d love to know if you have any other stylish finds that can be personalized.

Happy Monday & have a great work week!

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Trip Tips: Portland, San Francisco & in between

Yesterday I shared an overview and photos of my road trip from Portland to San Francisco. There were a few things and places that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to anyone planning a similar trip. Here are those details.

PORTLAND – If you can travel around the city by bike, do it! It’s such an easy way to see the city and the traffic/cars were not overwhelming like it can be in some cities. We lucked out in booking a hotel that had bikes for their guests to use for free, but Cycle Portland has great reviews on their rentals and tours if you are looking for a recommendation. One of my favorite meals on our whole road trip was brunch at Tasty n Alder. It WOW’d all of us! The family style food was delicious and every dish we tried had such a lovely combination flavors. It’s obvious the chefs really care about the food they serve. On top of that, the prices were not bad and the restaurant had a great Portland vibe!


OREGON WINERIES – The Stoller winery was easily my favorite of the two we visited in Oregon. One thing to keep in mind — some wineries in Oregon and California cater more towards their wine club members. The first winery we went to, Bergstrom, was like this. At that winery only members could bring food, and what was available to visitors was limited. I was not expecting some wineries to be like that, but thankfully the second winery we went to, Stoller, was not like this. It was a stunning haven for travelers and visitors. Their wine tasting was great quality and included several wines that have high ratings. They also had a assortment of cheese and meats which helped hold us over until dinner.


CALIFORNIA WINERIES – Hands down, my favorite winery of the whole trip was Chateau Montelena. We had a fabulous time from the moment we got there and our wine tasting was everything I hoped a wine tasting would be (seriously)! The staff was very knowledgable and told us the story of how the winery’s Chardonnay beat out French wines in a historic blind tasting that changed how the world viewed California’s wine.

SAN FRANCISCO – This city has a lot to offer and so much to take in. Our dinner at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar was my favorite of our road trip. Everything we ordered at this French restaurant was fabulous. They also served absinthe and several creative cocktails, which were both pretty and delicious. San Francisco has tons of our tours to choose from as well, but I’d reccomend booking those in advance. Some of the bay cruises and popular Alcatraz tours were selling tickets two weeks out. We ended up doing a bay cruise that was nice, but not something I’d recommend as a must-do. The best tour we had on this trip was the San Francisco Love Tour. This tour took us all over the city in a decked out VW van that played 60s music the whole time. One thing that made this tour so nice was that it was a more personal experience than a tour in a giant bus with 70 people. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable of the city as well–none of our questions were left unanswered!

In addition to these places, the Oregon coastline and Redwood forests should be must-dos on your list if you are visiting the Pacific Northwest. The scenery was truly stunning, so get outside and explore if you are visiting the area.

I’d love to hear about your experiences traveling to the same area. Do you have additional recommendations or tips?

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Road Trip Recap: Portland to San Francisco 

For a fun five-day Labor Day weekend, I went on a west coast road trip with my mom and brother. We traveled from Portland to San Francsico with several stops along the way. Here’s an overview of our whirlwind trip.


Day 1: wake up in Portland; run through the city and bike to brunch; drive to two wineries in Williamette Valley and continue on to Bandon, OR for dinner and rest.

Day 2: wake up in Bandon, OR and enjoy beautiful views of the Oregon coast; drive along coast to Redwood forest, picking up lunch for a picnic; explore California’s Redwoods and continue south to Willits, CA for dinner and rest.

Day 3: wake up in Willits, CA and continue on to Napa, go to Chateau Montelena for wine tasting; lunch at Culinary Institute of America; tour and tasting at Inglenook; continue on to Napa for dinner and relaxing at the hotel.

Day 4: wake up in Napa and have breakfast in town; head to one last winery before continuing on to San Francisco; drive over Golden Gate Bridge; walk around the Fisherman’s Warf and enjoy a cruise around the bay; stop by Ghiradelli for a sweet snack; enjoy dinner in the city before hitting the hay.

Day 5: wake up in San Francisco and enjoy the San Francisco Love Tour, traveling around the city in an old VW van; explore Boudin’s sourdough factory; lunch in little Italy; walk to Coit Tower for views of the city; enjoy the cable car museum before leaving the city for the airport.

It was a great trip overall that went by super fast. I’m so glad I was able to have the time making such great memories with my family. Tomorrow I’ll share my favorite places and recommendations for this trip.

Happy Wednesday friends!

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