Events

Forever Fierce: Finding Ourselves at Midlife

Hello friend! Today I am discussing an important topic with you. Some of you have even inspired this post! Today I am discussing what it means to be fierce at midlife. And I’m not alone in this discussion. For today is Forever Fierce Day. That’s the day that women (and men) at midlife unite our voices to raise awareness of our mission: to remind everyone that life doesn’t end at middle age! (more…)

My NYFW Experience

My NYFW experience: meeting and seeing friends and other bloggersHello friend! With New York Fashion Week (NYFW) here again, I thought I would write about my experience attending it last September. I meant to do a recap right after the week, but as soon as I got back home, I was inundated with life and work. You see that was the week I had also moved (I know, I was crazy to take a trip during my move)! Let me tell you all about my NYFW experience.

Shop my outfits below (click image)

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Bridging the Gap with Helen of Haute Business

Hello friend! Today’s post is pretty different than my usual ones. That’s because today I am participating in the Bridging the Gap campaign.

What is Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap is a campaign aimed at bringing together bloggers of different ages. The intent is for “millennial” and “baby boomer” women to connect and learn from one another. In the end, the hope is that we all see that we are essentially the same, thus bridging the gap between our generations!

Meet my Bridging the Gap Partner

My partner for the Bridging the Gap campaign is Helen of Haute Business. Helen was not my original partner for the campaign, but fate brought us together in the end. You see Helen and I are both part of the older group of women. However, both of our millennial partners had to bow out of the campaign. Instead of scrambling to find new bloggers, we decided to partner up!

Bridging the gap with Helen of Haute Business

While we do not have that many years in between us, I still got to learn a lot from Helen. In fact, in recent months, I have been blessed with making good friends with three women in their 50’s. These women, Helen among them, have given me such inspiration and hope.

Bridging the gap with Helen of Haute Business

The partnership worked out seamlessly. Getting to know Helen has been easy and natural. Helen is helpful, non-judgmental and insightful. We have easily texted back and forth for hours. I truly couldn’t have imagined a better partner.

Bridging the gap with Helen of Haute Business

Helen’s blog brings together her love for fashion with her knack for finance. As a CPA and certified financial planner, Helen knows all the ins and outs of the business world. It’s fun to get a mix of fashion and finance advice all in one place. I love it when bloggers share their other areas of expertise with us readers. So, thank you Helen for informing us all about mortgages, investing and social security. It’s so much fun to learn about that while looking at your cute outfits!

Bridging the gap with Helen of Haute Business

Speaking of clothes, Helen’s style is impeccable. Because of her sense of style, professional women have always asked her for fashion advice. This spurred her to start her blog. Helen certainly makes looking stylish seem easy. She is constantly styling some fierce outfits, complete with amazing shoes. But what I love most is how her personality comes through in the photos. Helen is a blogger you want to know!

Bridging the gap with Helen of Haute Business

Helen has also taught me multiple things. From blogging to just plain old life, women of different ages can help each other with their struggles. Recently, I turned to Helen for some technical issues. She explained the situation right away. It’s surprising to learn that we struggle with similar stresses. It’s also comforting to find helpful hands along the way. So thank you Helen!

Bridging the gap with Helen of Haute Business

My Thoughts on Bridging the Gap

I have to be honest: I am embarrassed about how I regarded older women when I was in my twenties. I remember a specific time I was working on a psychology project where we had to do a study using “attractive” magazine ads and “neutral” magazine ads. When I collected my study photos, I had included an ad for St. John in the “neutral” category. The model was likely in her 40’s and in my 20-year-old mind obviously too old to be considered attractive (trust me I am cringing as I type this).

Well my professor was looking over my materials and commented that he didn’t think that ad was neutral. I must have stared at him dumbfounded because he clarified that other people would find this woman very attractive. It was a very eye-opening experience, one that I still clearly remember today.

As I have aged, I am so embarrassed at how I viewed “older” women when I was in my twenties. I viewed them as unfashionable, unattractive, and almost dismissible. Well now I am the older woman, and boy did those years fly by. But I feel nothing like I had assumed women my age would be. I am fashionable; I am attractive; and I am most definitely not dismissible. Neither is Helen. Nor are any of the women in this campaign.

But this goes beyond me. Bridging the Gap is bringing together women (and men!) of every age. We are all struggling with similar things, maybe at different times, but still similar. Let’s stand together and raise each other up. I hope the Bridging the Gap campaign teaches that lesson not only to the campaign partners, but also to the world!

Happy First Blog-i-versary: Why I Blog

Hello friend! Well I can’t believe it, but it’s been a full year since I first started blogging. I am so proud of myself for starting this venture. It has given me the chance to learn and grow. While I may discuss the ugly side of blogging in some posts, I’d like to take a minute to discuss the positives of blogging and why I blog.

Why I blog

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Why I Blog: Learning the Technical Side

I am so proud of myself for starting this blog on my own, with no professional help. Of course I asked for (and received) plenty of opinions and support, but I launched the blog completely on my own. Before this, I had never really designed or maintained a true website.

Why I blog

Why I Blog: Learning to Self Promote

Ugh! This has been the hardest part for me. As a healthcare professional for over ten years, I have never really had to do this before. If I want a job or a project, I don’t usually have to compete with hundreds of equally talented people. Furthermore, my CV speaks for itself. But in the blogging world, you have to constantly talk yourself up. I was certainly not used to that. Truth be told, I am still getting used to it!

Why I blog

Why I Blog: Being Comfortable in My Own Skin

Because I have to show my bare face in makeup tutorials and posts, I have gotten very comfortable going places with no makeup on. This is very significant for me because I suffer from rosacea and feel quite insecure without foundation. But now, after countless insta stories without any makeup, I feel comfortable in my own skin. It’s quite liberating! And it’s one of my favorite positives about why I blog!

Why I blog

Why I Blog: Making Friends

Another fantastic positive aspect about blogging is making friends with similar interests. Because of Instagram I have made true friends out of people I otherwise would have never met. I have even met some of these girls in real life and I truly adore them! One of my closest blogger friends is Kristen, of KLeighStyles. While we’ve never met in person, we text and chat regularly. Her support and encouragement is invaluable.

Why I blog

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Why I Blog: Being in the Fashion World

Now, I know I am a small blogger, but even so, I am so happy to find myself in the fashion world, even if it’s in the very periphery. It has been a dream of mine to attend runway fashion shows. I hoped I’d find some connection through friends of family to get me in. But lo and behold, because of my blog, I was invited to Los Angeles Fashion Week! It was so satisfying to know I got there through my own hard work!

Why I Blog: To Maintain my Sense of “Me”

Sometimes life events happen that shake you to your core. Maybe your life roles change and you are at a loss for who you are. Well as I have faced a few of these changes recently, it has been comforting for me to have my blog. Not because it truly defines me. But because it reminds me of who I still am. My blog has been a calming and constant item in my life during this upheaval and turmoil.

Why I blog

So thank you for joining me in my little creative spot. I love having a hobby where I can indulge my inner fashionista/stylist/creator/model. But what I love most is that all of my effort here resonates with you. Here’s to another year!

 

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Hello friend! Do you feel it in the air? The sale of the year is here. Therefore we need to get cracking at our game plan! We must seek out the best pieces and bring them to our closet! Do not get overwhelmed or stress! I am your friend here, an avid shopper and quite experienced with this sale. Let me show you my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks.

2017 Nordstrom anniversary sale picks: categorized by fall trends

As I have done in previous sale posts, I will help you strategize which items to purchase. I spent hours going through the entire sale. Therefore I am familiar with all that is available. After looking through everything, I did notice some trends. Let me share with you what items are going to be hot, not just for the sale, but for the entire season.

My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale General Strategy

Now if you’re reading my blog, it’s safe to assume that we both like to shop. But, we can’t truly buy everything we like (and girl, there is a lot to like in this sale)! We can however, strategize and shop smart!

  1. Think about the season ahead. The anniversary sale is a pre-season sale. That means most of the items are for fall. Therefore get your mind thinking about the next season and what you want and/or need.
  2. Look through your fall and winter items. Are there things you were planning on replacing this year? If yes, this is the time!
  3. Shop early. Believe it or not, items sell out! This is a big sale that a lot of people are shopping. Last year I missed out on the Rebecca Minkoff jumbo love bag… It’s still a sore subject!

Nordstrom anniversary sale picks

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Denim

Similar to past years, my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks have a few pairs of jeans. Denim is always hot. It also is important to update your denim seasonally. Because I wear jeans so much, I tend to buy at least one new pair each season. Therefore I perused the denim section carefully. One thing is for sure: the season’s it jean is going to be the diagonal hem jeans. But raw hem and distressed are also still in style and good options!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Leather Leggings

After my ode to leather leggings post, you’re probably not surprised that I am including them in my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks. Since I saw how fun and versatile they were last year, I will definitely be stocking up on another pair or two this year. I also encourage you to do the same. Really there are so many ways to wear them!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Tweed

If you have read my white jeans post, then you know I love a good tweed jacket in the cooler months. I think it makes for a good layering piece for work and play. I also wore it in my NYC trip. Because it is such a versatile piece, I will be looking for another one this fall. I recommend you check out the cute tweed jackets too!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Velvet

Another thing is certain: velvet is staying strong for the fall. There were quite a few pieces on the runways for this upcoming season. Therefore it’s no surprise to see more velvet in stores. If you don’t have some cute velvet pieces, get some now! There’s even a velvet pleated skirt like I wore in my velvet crush post.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Leather Jacket

If we are thinking ahead to cooler weather, we will start pining for a buttery leather jacket. This year I am planning on getting a butterscotch color jacket. But whatever the color you prefer, Nordstrom has a ton waiting for you.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Pleated Skirts

I am predicting pleated skirts are going to be big for fall. I am all for that as I adore a pleated skirt. In fact, put these last two categories together and you have a fantastic look: a leather jacket with a pleated skirt, just like I’ve worn here.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Layers

Now is also the time to add some layering pieces to your wardrobe. Some of these will work as a light layering piece now (poncho for the beach, vest for the office) as well as over more substantial items of clothing in the fall and winter. Also military pieces are big for fall, there are quite a few cute military style jackets. Therefore if you’re on the lookout for a cute fall jacket, take a look at one of those!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks:Leather Skirt

I have been craving a brown leather skirt for a few years now. This is going to be the year I bring one into my life! Luckily there are many options!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Shoes

Every year at this time, I tend to buy some shoes at this sale. It’s the perfect time to stock up some basics (leopard print flats) or try a new trend (mules). There are a few pairs of shoes I am considering. I have already ordered these cute giraffe print flats. And I will try out the mules in the store this weekend.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Boots

Since boots are the cornerstone of fall footwear, I must look at the new season’s assortment of boots. I have a good collection already, so I’m not in need of much other than a good brown boot. I am eyeing the Bolina over the knee boot. The corseting detail is right up my alley!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Splurge

Finally this may be the time to splurge on a fancy name brand, especially if you’re not buying much else. Brands that are typically out of your reach, may have a more reasonable price point now. It’s worth the time to take a look.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: The Damage So Far

Nordstrom anniversary sale picks

So far, out of my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks, I have purchased the diagonal hem jeans, the giraffe print flats, leather leggings, and the DVF dress. I am hoping to see the boots and other shoes at the store to finalize my purchases. I also purchased a few bras and panties, but I’m not gonna bore you with that. It was just good to get some of the fancier lingerie brands at a discount! So what are you guys getting? Let me know!

Outfit details from my shopping trip:

Come With Me: The Body Shop Opening

Hello friend! Recently I was invited to attend the grand opening of the Santa Monica location of The Body Shop. Because the event fortuitously fell on a morning that I had off, I happily accepted. I enjoy beauty products and fun events, so the two combined sounded like a great idea. I attended the event and learned a lot about their products. Therefore I wanted to share it with you here.

The grand opening of The Body Shop in Santa Monica
The grand opening of the Santa Monica store

The Location

The new location of the store is right on the 3rd Street Promenade, a large stretch of beautiful stores and eateries in Santa Monica, CA. Because it is closed to cars, the promenade is a perfect place to shop and hang out. It is a very popular and fun part of Santa Monica and The Body Shop has a prime spot right on 3rd Street.

The Store

With its large windows, the store is bright and welcoming. Also, the layout is very organized and easy to maneuver. I got a tour of the entire store as well as a crash course in all of their products.

The grand opening of The Body Shop Santa Monica on 3rd Street promenade

One characteristic that is unique to the Santa Monica store is the mural created on the back wall. Painted right over the brick, it is a fun and beautiful piece of art that works with the store aesthetic.

The Body Shop in Santa Monica

The Products

Because this was my first visit to The Body Shop in a few years, I was excited to learn all about their new products. I will share with you my favorite ones here. If you’d like, I can do a full review once I have been using them long term. Let me know in the comments if that is something you’d like to see!

The Body Butters

The Body Shop is well known for their decadent body butters. They come in a variety of scents, from nutty and warm to fruity and floral. My personal favorites are the Coconut, the British Rose and the Fuji Green Tea.

The body butters from The Body Shop
Body butters in a variety of scents

Drops of Youth

Among the many ranges of products, I was most interested in the Drops of Youth line. These products have 3 types of plant stem cells to bring out fresh and youthful skin. I am currently obsessing over the concentrated drops, the sleeping mask and of course the famous youth liquid peel. You can see the dead skin on my hand the peel sloughed off below, all without any stinging or burning!

Dead skin exfoliated by The Body Shop's Youth Liquid Peel
Dead skin exfoliated by The Body Shop’s Youth Liquid Peel

Facial Masks

Another range I was interested in were the facial masks. If you have seen my skin care routine, you know that I am good with daily cleaning and preventative care. However, I am lacking in skin treatments. Therefore I have been meaning to get into facial masks. Luckily, I found quite a few masks at The Body Shop.

The facial masks of The Body Shop
Facial masks

They each have different skin care benefits, with specific active ingredients and textures. I have ordered the Chinese ginseng and the Ethiopian honey masks. However I am also fascinated with the Amazonian acai energizing radiance mask (pictured below). The texture is so interesting that I think I will have to try that one next!

The Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask from The Body Shop
The Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask

Makeup Removers

Just as important as fun makeup is proper makeup remover. Luckily The Body Shop has me covered there as well. I tried out the Chamomile Cleansing Butter and am in love. While I have seen this type of product before, it has always been with a hefty price tag. But The Body Shop has it for a fraction of the cost!

Another one of the items I hope to purchase soon is the Chamomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (it was sold out that day, but the tester felt lovely)! This item, along with a few other items that are intriguing me are linked below:

I learned so much from my visit at The Body Shop in Santa Monica. Moreover, I am truly impressed with the sophisticated products offered. I intend to enjoy my products for a long time to come. If you haven’t visited The Body Shop recently, I highly recommend to pop on in to a store or to visit the website. I am sure you will also be impressed.

Los Angeles Fashion Week SS17 Shows

Hello Friend!

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If you follow me on any social media platform, you will likely already know that I attended the Los Angeles Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 shows. I was a guest of CND and Ulta. They had a nail bar set up where attendees were able to get polish changes.

Upon my arrival at around 5:30 PM, I first went around exploring the venue. Because I went directly after work, I was there ahead of the major crowd. I didn’t mind this as I was able to get acclimated to the floor plan and soak in the excitement before the shows. I had never been to the Hollywood Athletic Club before and I wanted to see the layout. Downstairs were two large waiting rooms with bars and sponsor booths. On the north side of the building was the room with the runway, all set for the shows.

After I got a drink, I sauntered upstairs to explore some more. Well lo and behold, upstairs was the model prep area. I watched as the models got their hair, nails and makeup done. Then I also witnessed them practicing their sashay for the catwalk. The room was buzzing with excitement as a gaggle of gorgeous ladies were getting primped for the big show.

After that, I went back to the waiting areas and found the CND booth. CND and Ulta were at Los Angeles fashion week to promote the new vinylux line from CND. This is a long wearing (they claim 7 days!) formula. It performs best when paired with its topcoat. They had a great set-up with all of the nail polishes staged, as well as a little station for the polish changes.

Ulta CND booth at los Angeles fashion weekulta-cnd-lafw-polish-changes

For my nails, I chose “tinted love.” It is a beautiful burgundy, perfect for fall. The formula was very pigmented. It dried quickly and had a nice shine. Shirlee was my talented nail professional. She did a great job on the nails and informed me about the CND nail care line. The most important details to me are that it is 7 free (they have avoided a lot of toxins!), doesn’t require a base coat (wow!), long-wearing and fast-drying. It was a pleasure to speak to such a professional about the products and her years of experience in the beauty industry.

Another exciting event Ulta and CND is offering is a chance to win a trip to New York fashion week. It is easy to enter, simply follow the rules here. I know I will be trying my luck! Now that I’ve seen how fun the shows are first hand, I will try to attend as many as I can!

After my nails had dried (a mere 8 minutes), I went in to grab a seat for my first show. I watched a beautiful and artistic presentation by Blond & Bieber. There seemed to be a lot of social subtext to the show, with models exchanging shoes and standing in small pools of dark colored water. It was a serious show with beautiful clothes. The color scheme centered around neutrals with some pretty orchid thrown in. The designers concentrated on details such as elegant draping, airy textures and feminine silhouettes.

Blond & Bieber at los angeles fashion week
Blond & Bieber

The next show was LAISON by Aurelia Santoso. For this show I saw a lot of separates presented. The designer also showcased geometric panels and bodices, neutral florals, intricate ties and some back cutouts. The color scheme was darker than I expected for a spring/summer collection: there were a lot of shades of green, including sage and forest green.

The third show I watched was Datari Austin. By this time, the place was getting packed. In fact, by the time I made it into the show room, there were no seats. Luckily I was one person and was able to nab a spot when some of the VIPs didn’t show up.

The finale of the evening was the Rinda Salmun show. Because I had worked all day, and had spent quite a bit of time standing around and waiting in between shows (in stilettos), my feet were killing me. So, I was seriously considering leaving. But then, I glanced at Rinda Salmun Instagram page and I knew I had to stay. With her use of color and pattern, Rinda Sulman’s show was definitely one I could not miss.

Now I chose to stay, but again there were no seats. One of the ushers let me stand behind the VIP section to watch. At this point, I considered leaving again. My toes were going numb and I did not think I had the strength left to wait. But, I urged myself to hang on.  As luck would have it, I found an empty seat and was able to watch the show sitting down.

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This show was without a doubt my favorite. The colors, textures and patterns were gorgeous. I also loved the bold color blocking. At this point I was sitting in awe, surely with my mouth gaping open. It did occur to me that perhaps I should act cool and pretend like I belonged there. But I immediately dismissed it. I wanted to enjoy myself and express my joy. I figured many people there had worked hundreds of hours to make this show possible. Let them see that the final product was mesmerizing! So I spent the entire show gawking like a huge fangirl and grinning from ear to ear!

When I left, I felt like I was walking on air. It truly had been one of the best experiences of my life. Attending a fashion show has always been on my bucket list. So THANK YOU to CND and Ulta for making that happen for me!

What did you think about of the designers I saw at Los Angeles fashion week? Which one was your favorite? Also make sure to give the CND vinylux polish a try!