Friday, March 30, 2012

Ruche Wedding

Attention engaged or soon-to-be engaged ladies: Ruche just added a wedding collection to their existing line of adorable clothing and accessories. I'm in love with many of the dresses already--if only this had been around a few years ago when I was wedding dress shopping! The prices are perfect, the sillouettes are stunning. Yes, it's nice being able to try on gowns before purchase, but if you know the silouette you want but are unable to find the style you love, you might want to check these out! If anything, Ruche also has gorgeous bridesmaids dresses that your besties really CAN wear again. They will thank you for that. xo.

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*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

leave-in conditioner review

Although I limit my heat styling, get frequent hair trims, and shampoo my hair every other day, it seems like my hair is perpetually on the dry side, especially the ends. I've tried many many hair treatments to correct this problem but to no avail.

Enter John Frieda Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioner.


I used this several months ago and remember having success, but after it was gone I never bought a replacement. I guess I wanted to try out other products to compare it to. Well, I recently bought another bottle at ULTA and after one use, my hair was noticeably softer. I can't stop touching it!

The scent is fabulous, too. Just spritz liberally on clean, damp hair and once your hair dries it will be good as new. I can't say enough good things about this product and wish I hadn't wasted the past few months exploring other products. This is definitely going to be a staple in my haircare routine.

Have you tried John Frieda Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioner? Do you have another favorite hair product that keeps your hair healthy and soft? Let me know! xo.

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter brunch

Easter is such a joyful time of year. Usually occurring at the end of March or early April, it's the sweet spot of spring when the weather is quite enjoyable, flowers are blooming, and birds are singing. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, consider making the most of a beautiful spring weekend by hosting a brunch! Check out some of the delicious-looking recipes I found on Pinterest and give one (or two, or three...) a try. If you have the budget for it, pick up some cute serveware to make the occasion extra special. xo.

Mini Carrot Cupcakes via Martha Stewart
Sausage Brunch Braid via Taste of Home
Sticky Pecan Mini-Buns via The Pioneer Woman
Greens, Tomatoes, & Goat Cheese Tart via Tartlette
Yogurt Parfait via Martha Stewart

Friday, March 23, 2012

happy friday

Things I'm looking forward to this weekend:
a. playdate at the park with the hubs and our pups
b. bowling with friends
c. church and brunch
d. my first engagement photoshoot
e. Mad Men premiere

boutique hotel chic

I was browsing and came across this gorgeous bedroom and just had to do a room inspiration post! I love the mix of cool taupe-y gray hues with accents of warm camel and gold. This room seems like a boutique hotel and has luxury written all over it. I've rounded up some beautiful fabrics, furniture, and accent pieces that can help you achieve the same look for a fraction of what it probably costs! What do you think of this neutral retreat? xo.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

mad men party

The Mad Men season 5 premiere is this Sunday. I. Am. So. Excited.

You have no idea! Or maybe you do, if you like Mad Men, too.

I had never seen the show until a few months ago when the hubs signed us up for Netflix. We watched the pilot episode, got hooked, watched 2-3 episodes a night and finished season 4 before we knew it! Now we are all caught up and ready for season 5. I'm so enamored with Mad Men style, the New York City setting, and really just everything about the show. It inspired me to come up with two Mad Men party theme ideas based on two of the main characters: Betty and Joan. These ideas could be excellent premiere party ideas or really themes to use at any time. xo.

Betty is the quintessential  housewife. Inspired by her love of Italy [she had a short-lived modeling career there during college and returned with Don in season three to acompany him on a business trip] a menu consisting of Italian hors douerves is perfect for a Betty-esque soiree. Don't forget the sweet A-line dress channel your inner Betty.

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Both at the office and at home, Joan excels at coordinating meetings and social gatherings with ease. She possesses a sophisticated and somewhat exotic aura, which inspired this menu of asian cuisine. Rock a figure-hugging frock [Joan is notorious for wearing these] to mimic the red head siren.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

sangria recipe

There are so many sangria recipes floating around the Internet and endless possibilities for concocting this delicious beverage. I've been meaning to try it forever and finally did when I visited my friend in Austin recently. I think it's a little different than many recipes out there and it may not be defined as a true sangria, but it was delicious nonetheless and we call it sangria anyway!

Here's the recipe we used:

1 bottle white wine [we used pinot grigio]
1/2 bottle inexpensive champagne [we used Andre]
1 pear
1 nectarine or peach
1 bunch of white [green] grapes


1. In a large glass pitcher, mix the bottle of white wine and 1/2 a bottle of champagne. The champagne adds a lovely effervescence.

2. Slice the pear into small, bite-sized chunks. Do the same with the nectarine/peach. Slice grapes in half length-wise. Slice strawberries into 3-4 slices length-wise as well.

3. Toss all the fruit into the wine/champagne mixture. You can really add as much fruit as you want. If you need more, add more! There's no science to it. We like fruit so we added a lot!

4. Serve and enjoy!

*Some recipes say you need to let the fruit soak the wine overnight, but we didn't really feel like waiting 24 hours. I say: drink up! Cheers!


Monday, March 19, 2012

perfect picnic

Spring weather is officially here [at least in Texas.] I'm beyond excited about this! I plan to enjoy our short spring fully before the sizzling summer heat arrives. At the top of my to-do list is picnic-ing at the the park! I've got my basket but there are a few other essentials I will need to complete a picturesque afternoon under the trees and sunshine. What is your favorite spring activity? xo.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

sssnakesin cinchers

My most recent favorite accessory has to be my snakeskin belt! [faux, of course.] I've found that it goes with nearly everything and is a perfect way to accentuate my waist when I wear cardigans or dresses. I purchased my belt from Plato's Closet a while back for about $3, which was a steal considering how much I've worn it. I've found three similar styles that are sure to add some spice to your spring/summer wardrobe. I love that they all include black, cream, and brown, which guarantees they will match perfectly with any outfit! xo. 

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

feelin' green

St. Patty's is right around the corner, and if you are a holiday fanatic like I am, here's list of lovely green things for you to try to get into the Leprechaun spirit [or spring mode if you don't like St. Patty's Day.] Why not try a yummy green smoothie? Or deck yourself in some emerald-hued baubles? Nothing says "spring" like fresh grassy green colors! PS: Having a St. Patty's party this weekend? Give these adorable Irish-inspired cupcakes a shot! xo.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

austin in photos

I'm back from girl's weekend in Austin, Texas with a photo collage of our various adventures around the city. Though it rained virtually all weekend, some rain boots and umbrellas did the trick. From brunch to vintage shopping to a game of chess at  a charming coffee shop on the lake, the weekend was the perfect respite from a crazy work week. Cheers to Monday. xo.

Friday, March 9, 2012

off to austin

Well, friends, I'm heading to A-town for the weekend. Seems like I was just there, but I'm going back for a girls' weekend with some friends. We are hoping to experience some SXSW [if we can navigate the schedule.] I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and share with you next week.

On a final note, here's a few things I plan to pack and bring along with me. Since rain is in the forecast, I can't forget my rainy day uniform since we will probably be outside walking around a lot. xo.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

elements of an entryway

Entryways come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is same: an entryway is usually the first impression for guests. To create an eye-pleasing entryway, you'll need a pretty yet functional console table to set your keys on or display pictures, some type of wall decor to anchor the space, some cute accessories, and a rug to tie it all together.

I've styled two entryways that will hopefully inspire you, whether yours is bare and needs head-to-toe decorating help or just needs a few fresh swaps for spring. Let me know what you think and if you plan to try any of these ideas! xo.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Mint, sea foam, aqua, cucumber. Whatever you call it, this pastel shade of blue-green is a gorgeously understated spring hue. The blue/green color family is my all-time favorite, so I'm ecstatic that it's making a huge splash in fashion and home decor these days. Will you be incorporating aquatic hues into your spring and summer wardrobe? I know I will! xo.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

bare eyes + bold lips

My latest beauty obsession is bare eyes and bold lips. Sure, I love playing up my eyes. But when time is of the essence [which, let's face it, it usually is], I love a quick swipe of eye liner on my top lids, some mascara, and pretty pink lips. Lately, my color of choice is Revlon's Raspberry Pie Lip Butter. So what are you waiting for? Bust out your favorite rouge and give this beauty trend a whirl! xo.

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What do you think of this trend? Will you try it out? Let me know!

Friday, March 2, 2012

dirty hair bun

I wash my hair every other day, so on the "dirty hair" days, I try to come up with cute styles that keep my hair up and out of my face. Washing hair too frequently can strip off its natural oils and cause it to be dry and dull, so give your hair a break and try out this cute 'do. No one will be able to tell you didn't wash! xo.

You will need a hair tie and some bobby pins. If you need extra volume like I do, you can use a teaser comb or brush to tease your roots. I also tease the rest of my hair just a little for extra volume all around so my bun looks bigger.

Before styling, you can apply dry shampoo or baby powder in your roots to eliminate some of the oil in your hair and give it some extra texture.

To style:

1. Gather your hair loosely in a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Lightly smooth out any weird bumps with your comb or fingers, then start twisting your ponytail around itself into a bun and secure with a hair tie.

2. Massage the roots at the crown of your head, pulling the hair up gently so you get some extra volume at the top. You can also massage your bun a little to loosen it up and make it look more messy.

3. Using your bobby pins, pin some of the hair on the part of the bun closest to your scalp to the rest of your hair to close the gap and hide the hair tie.

4. If you have bangs or shorter face-framing layers like I do, twist or braid them and pin them back behind your ear. Lightly brush out some "wispies" around your face to soften the look.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

what I'm loving

blouse 1 / blouse 2 / blouse 3 / earrings 1 / earrings 2 / earrings 3

I adore the juxtaposition of unstructured, flowy tops and big, geometric earrings. Pastels and polka dots add fresh femininity to this look and I can't wait to stock up on these pieces this spring! What do you think of this combination? xo.
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