5 end of the year questions 2014

A year nearly finished. Before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, 2014, I wanted to make a post about this year. Accomplishments. Set backs. Joys. Sorrows. As I reflect on what happened and what did not this past year I hope you can do the same! I believe in starting each day with new goals in mind and I want to set my own for the new year. 2014 taught me some lessons. I learned how vital it is to keep moving forward even when all seems lost and unorganized and just flat out impossible to handle. I learned that picking up the pieces when you fall can seem so difficult to do. When you trust the right people you can fight your battles with a strong army to back you up and conquer your troubles. I look forward to a new start every time I clink glasses with loved ones on Decemeber 31st. This is a long post but I very heartfelt one. I wrote a few reflection questions that can summarize some specific details from this year. Cheers to the end of 2014 & see you real soon

5 End of the Year Questions for 2014?

1. Pick three words to describe 2014?
My three words would be... self-awareness (I focused on being less self-conscious about certain things and practice being more self-aware; to see how my thoughts and emotions were , courage (I faced a lot of moments where I needed to have courage. I needed to be brave. My Grandma passed away this past April. She and I were extremely close. I needed to have the courage to allow myself to process my emotions and talk to my friends and family about how I felt), and friendship (I truly have met some of the best people this year and have strengthened those relationships. I am proud of myself for moving out of my comfort zone to find amazing friends this year). 

2.  What is your biggest accomplishment this year?
This year was very busy for me in terms of school and writing for my school's fashion magazine. I'd say a huge accomplishment would be that one of my articles was published in the fall edition of the magazine! It is a very selective process and I was overjoyed when my article was chosen. Definitely a highlight of 2014. (& also keeping up with my blog for longer than any previous attempt! Woo!)

3. Favorite memories from 2014?
A few memories come to mind with this question...I loved seeing my cousin get married in June. It was my first time attending a wedding! It was magical and romantic and beautiful. Another memory would be my when my best friends celebrated my 20th birthday. They did a terrific job keeping everything a secret and they truly made my 'birthday week' one of the best weeks of my life. I had never felt more loved than I did during that week! They bought me cupcakes, arranged a spa day, and threw me a Frozen themed birthday party. They are some extremely special people.

4. Best piece of advice from this year?
Only a week ago I was told something that really stuck with me. So much so that I need to jot it down somewhere before it escapes me. My Dad told me over dinner, "Relationships have their ups and their downs. The highs are really high and the lows are really low. But it's better to be in and out of them than to be in none at all. " I hope this tidbit makes sense because I understood what he was saying and how it's important to play the game than sit on the sidelines. 

5. What do you want more of in 2015?
I would like more time with my family, more travels, more spontaneous moments, more tea flavors to drink (!!), more blog opportunities, more peace in the world, more laughter, more healthy food to eat, and to talk to more people who inspire me! 

My next post will come to you in the new year. 2015!!
Feel free to write up your own version of the end of the year questions or answer these! 
 Oh 2015, let's start things out right!! Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year. 


what i got for christmas 2014

Christmas in Florida means hanging seashells, sand dollars, and starfish on the tree! I thought I would share how our tree was decorated this year. It truly was a wonderful Christmas for my family and I. Our close friends invited us over for a delicious Christmas Eve dinner and my sister and I opened presents on Christmas Day. I wanted to share some of the gifts I received this year on my blog. Please note I am not trying to brag or show-off, I merely want to make a blog post because I am so thankful for my loving friends and family and the gifts they gave me this year! I am incredibly blessed with such thoughtful presents and wanted to share them and where you can pick up a similar items!

Path of Life Alex & Ani Bracelet // Kate Spade Gold Earrings

A quick overview-----The Kate Spade purses were from my local outlet mall! The purses were an additional 50% and then take an additional 20% off that price. Each roughly cost about $70.00 but retail for over $200! The crossbody style is my favorite--it makes carrying around a wallet, keys, & phone so much more compact and easy to get to. The Alex & Ani bracelets were family gifts! The gold Kate Spade earrings were from Macy's. These are similar from Amazon! The olive green J.Crew long-sleeve is a great layering piece and also from the clearance section! The American Eagle pants {on sale for only $15!} are very bohemian and will be great with a wide-brim hat and flats.  I've wanted this specific Flowerbomb perfume for ages. I always get samples made up and I finally have the rollerball version to wear. 


holiday spirit

Happy Holidays!
It's almost Christmas! Only two more days until Christmas Day. I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season. Spend time with your friends and family and eat a lot of sweets this week! Here are some my favorite holiday traditions below! 

1. Looking at Christmas lights!
I always love seeing all of my neighbor's decorations each year. They are some of my best memories. Driving around town is so much fun, blasting Micheal Buble and taking pictures of lawn ornaments. 

2.  Watching Eloise!
 This movie is a classic. I love everything New York and this movie is a great way to celebrate the city through the eyes of a young girl at Christmastime. I have been to the Plaza Hotel where Eloise lives and they have the most adorable area dedicated to her. I also have pink hot chocolate & the cutest mug from there!

3. Making holiday cards
My family & I send out Christmas cards every year to our friends and family. I enjoy making them unique and festive. I include nice photos of my sister and I from throughout the year that documents some of our favorite memories. 

4. Christmas Eve service
Since I was a little girl my family and I have attended our local church's Christmas Eve service. We sing holiday songs and remember what Christmas is really about--celebrating Christ and spending time together as a community. I dress up for this event and look forward to seeing everyone from my town this time of year. 

5. Dressing up for the holiday season
Since I love fashion so much, I always enjoy finding cute outfits to wear this season. From red dresses, to black tights, to high heels, I use this time of the year to go all out. Pictured above I am in a Christmas sweater and leather skirt (this one is so cute!! & cheap from F21 for only $17.80) for a holiday party I went to. You have to add a bold red lip once in a while for this season, and I am wearing this one from Milani above. 

What are some of YOUR holiday traditions !?
Let me know!

two tone heels & stripes

 Top: Loft (similar) // Jeans: Target //
 Necklace: Forever 21 (similar) // Shoes: American Eagle

These heels are from American Eagle. They were on sale for only $8.00! The store carried a variety of sizes and I only bought them this past weekend so I am nearly certain they should still have some in your local AE! Here are the exact AEO Two Tone Sandals sold online for $49 but in the store they are an extra 60% off of $19!

I am in love with this outfit! From the chic caramel/black colored chunky heels to the striped top, I think this outfit is versatile and perfect for a trendy daytime look. I found this top at my local Ann Taylor Loft. It was in my favorite section of the store, the clearance rack! The items that go on this rack rotate so often. This top was an astonishing $4.88. It has a cool added feature to it--the bottom is a faux denim shirt! I never owned anything like this top so I wanted to find the perfect complimentary daytime pieces. My necklace (last seen in this post from August!) added some metallic shimmer. My jeans are my Target ones that I wore in my last post. They are stretchy jeggings from a few seasons ago and extremely comfortable. The hat I am donning in the last pics is a recent buy from Body Central. It was $5.00. I like the light brown color to this hat! I have a black felt hat already but this color is another great neutral pick. I think this felt hat from Nordstrom is a great similar buy!

Outfit Total: $32.88
Top: Originally $40, bought for $4.88
Jeans: $15.00
Shoes: Originally: $60, bought for $8.00
Hat: Originally $18, bought for $5.00


gifts for under $50

cozy cardigan & gold headband

Cardigan: Burlington Coat Factory (similar) // Top: American Eagle // Jeans: Target // Boots: Target // Headband: NY&Company (similar) // Earrings: Target

I apologize for the gap in posts! I finished up my final exams and now I am back home for the holidays. I will be uploading in between my work schedule and my late night shopping adventures. I love to post on my Instagram account! Follow me on Instagram for daily updates! This look is my version of a comfy casual outfit for this time of year. Florida is mostly sunny right now so I can't break out my big coats that I recently purchased just yet...

My cozy black cardigan has some wool in it that makes it easy to keep warm. I recently bought it at Burlington Coat Factory for $10.00. This one from Charlotte Russe is similar and really inexpensive at $7.50! My jeans are a favorite from Target and my boots are another favorite of mine. You can read more about my top black boots for under $50 in this blog post! This tank top is an old one from American Eagle. The headband I have on is from NY&Company. I love the gold and black pattern and how it makes a cool shape on my head. This one is very similar from Nasty Gal. My earrings are so different than my usual studs! These are pretty drop earrings in a festive green color. They add another level of boho to this look. 

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a stress-free next few days with the approaching holidays. Look out for a gift guide to come to the blog soon! Ideas for gifts under $50 or $25!


beauty faves for under $15

beauty faves for under $15

Recently I have purchased a few new beauty items. After visits to Target, CVS, Sephora, Ulta, and Aveda, I have accumulated a lot of products to discuss! All of these products are at an affordable cost of less than $15.00, too. Read more about these products below...

The Revlon Color Stay Foundation is one that I have wanted to test out before..

I finally made a purchase because right now CVS is having an additional 40% off Revlon products! That made this once $13 foundation turn into an $8 steal! I know a lot of people wear this foundation but since I have slowly warmed up to liquid foundation (I used to only ever wear Bare Minerals mineral foundation!) I wanted to give this one a try. The color I have is "Ivory". It is so hard to find colors that match my skin color because I am so pale! A lot of products are still too dark for me but this Ivory works well with my coloring. I like the smooth application and the coverage is build-able. I wore this out at night and it was long-lasting. 

I added the Mint & Lemon Clay Mask by Freeman's to my face mask collection...

The Freeman's face masks are truly the best bargain face masks! My roommate Jessica showed me the Charcoal & Black Sugar one and I have used it to exfoliate ever since. I picked up this Mint & Lemon Clay Mask because it claims to "calm irritated skin" and help with "absorbing shine and minimizing pores". At Ulta, this line was also buy one, get one free! So I picked up another face mask. Sounded like a great to me! $3.99 for 2 products. I actually have it on while writing this post...it definitely tightens on your face but I do like how it dries up and it makes my skin feel super smooth. The smell is nice, too. The fragrant mint and lemon make face masks so relaxing. 

As you may know I love a good ELF product and this Cheeky Kit is amazing...

While browsing TJ Maxx Christmas shopping for my friends I discovered this product that caught my attention. I have never seen a palette like this one before! A bronzer, peachy blush, and highlighter all in one? It was so compact and cheap that I had to try it out! At only $5.00, this kit also came with a brush. The colors are very pigmented and look great all together or used alone for added color. I couldn't find an exact match online, but check out your local TJ Maxx! 

While out getting pedicures before finals week, I used a SpaRitual nail polish....

I wanted to get a festive pedicure so I layered the color "Too Hot to Handle" with another color called "Golden Rule". The result was a beautiful shiny candy apple red dazzled with gold flecks all over. It screamed perfect holiday combination. The polish is $12 and is 100% vegan. I loved the results so much and was very happy with my pedicure before studying for finals..I recommend checking out my finals survival guide post here if you have finals soon. 

Lip balms are essential for the winter which is why I am loving this EOS one...

The mint flavor is one of my favorites and this lip balm has the tingly sensation that peppermint has. Keeping your lips hydrated is very important but so difficult to do when the cold hits. This pocket sized lip balm is great to carry around and I keep a few in my backpack and purses. At $2.99, these lip balms are worth the price and are sold in many drugstores. 

Lastly, my newest obsession would have to be this Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser...

Hands down this was the best purchase I made on Black Friday. I wanted to save this purchase and not talk about it in my Black Friday purchases to make sure I liked it enough to post about it. It was a great deal at $10.00 (get it here) for a full sized bottle. I wanted to buy more the next day but Sephora ran out! The popularity of this item is was I was first drawn to. I tried this product out and the fist week was very pleasant. The facial cleanser thickens up a bit and definitely removes tough makeup residue. I like using a face wipe and then following up with this cleanser for added makeup removal. It makes a great daily face cleanser and also apparently balances out your skins natural oils. 


finals survival gear

finals survival gear

The few weeks leading up to Christmas break are usually filled with FINALS for college students everywhere, including myself. I have compiled a helpful list of important things you should use to get through the stress that comes with finals/exams! Check out these items in the widget below! All the pictures have links to sites where you can purchase the items. 

Finals Essentials Include:
Hoodies, t-shirts (Old Navy $4), hair ties (these Emi-Jay ones are only $5!), socks (check out these Forever 21 ones for less than $5), mugs (Kate Spade $15), headphones (these copper ones are so cool), watches, sneakers, candles (Yankee Candle favorite), chap-stick (all natural Burt's Bees), yoga pants (I personally love these Aerie ones! or these F21 ones less than $10), backpacks.

Happy studying!!

holiday lipglosses for under $10

holiday lipglosses for under $10

 affordablebyamanda on Polyvore

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss......
This is a soft pink color that fits into a casual daily look for the holiday season. Revlon makes some of the best affordable lipsticks/lipglosses! A lot of stores carry Revlon so it makes purchasing this brand really easy. This one specific lip gloss type is very moisturizing and does not leave your lips sticky whatsoever. The color I own is 210 "Pinkissimo". It has a sheer pink shine and has good lasting power. I would say I have to re-apply it every few hours.

 Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss....... 
this is honestly my new go-to red lip-gloss! My roommates and I each picked up this lip-gloss from our local CVS this week when they continued their additional 50-70% sale. This lip-gloss cost each of us only $1.48! That is some crazy savings because this lip gloss sells for $6-8. The color looks great in photos. I am always afraid of dark red lip-glosses rubbing onto my teeth but this one keeps the color on your lips! The sponge applicator makes applying this gloss really simple and accurate. The staying power of this Milani lipgloss is super impressive! I was very happy with the results. 

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain...... 
this lip stain is actually from my roommates collection of dark lip-gloss colors. She is obsessed with dark, plum and red tones and she picked up this Revlon moisture stain in the color "Parisian Passion". It cost around $8.00 and has great color payoff. The dark rich plums are super popular right now and make a great nighttime lip color choice. These colors look great with darker outfits and adds an eye-catching shine to your lips for the night.

NYC Liquid Lip Shine......
this is the cheapest lip gloss in this post! At only $1.77, this NYC lip-gloss is a steal. The pigments on this lip gloss are amazing and will add a nice amount of shine. On Target's website, this lip gloss also got a 5.0 rating. I bought this lip-gloss in a pinch one day and now I love keeping it in my purse for emergencies or layering it over my favorite lipsticks for an added pink shine. 


are we out of the woods yet?

The weather where I live is super hot right now. I actually got a small sunburn on my arms the other day! I wore this lovely knee-length teal dress today. It is originally from Urban Outfitters. This dress is very similar and from H&M for only $24.00!I love the small details on the shoulders of the dress and the billowy sleeves. I accented it with some gold bangles and tassel necklace (I love this one from Neiman Marcus for $26) that I made the other day! If you check out my Instagram post you can see a closer look. I made a few in different shapes and colors so far. I am going to post a D.I.Y soon about how to make them. My bag is from Kate Spade. It was $30.00 at the outlet mall I went to in New York because they were having a great additional 50% and 20% off deal over the summer. 

Dress: Kimchi Blue Alabama Dress (old, similar $24) 
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar) // Sandals: J.Crew 
Bag: Kate Spade 

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november favorites

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday! I enjoyed spending time with my family and catching up with old friends. The past few weeks had some crazy events that really made me put life in perspective and realize how important it is to do the best you can each day. Giving thanks to all of the people who are there for me is something that I look forward to doing during the holiday season. 

Back to this post--these products are ones that I used for the month of November. I also used all of them for the Thanksgiving holiday! If you want to see how I wore them keep scrolling for pictures below. I am also going to list all of the products, a few reasons why I love them, places to buy them, and how much they cost.

1. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
2. E.L.F. Blush 
3. L'Oreal Brow Stylist
4. Maybelline Baby Skin 
5. Benefit 'Watt's Up' Highlight
6. Revlon Lip Butter in "Raspberry Pie"
7. NARS Concealer in "Vanilla"

These products are some of my favorites that I used throughout November. This month I purchased the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster which actually came in a three part kit for $22.00. It was a little pricey for me, but I like to spend a little more money on skin care related items because I enjoy testing out new ones that can help me get my skin feeling great. The Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster is sold by itself for around $48, but I wanted to test it out before I made a larger purchase! I love the smell of this serum. It is a smooth liquid and glides on my skin very nicely. I use it during the day before my moisturizer. The E.L.F. blush here is a new favorite of mine. At only $3.00, this blush is such a steal. It is a light pink and looks great on my fair skin tone. The L'Oreal eyebrow pencil (around $7-$9) is not a new favorite, but it something I keep going back to so I considered talking about it again! I think the color matches my brows perfectly which is why I always use it...I hate when I find an eyebrow pencil that is way too dark. Another product I keep using is the (around $5-$7Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. It just hides your pores so nicely for the entire day and works well as a base for foundation. The Benefit 'Watt's Up' Highlight is a product I received when I redeemed my 100 points at Sephora. I put this product on the top of my cheekbones for an extra glow. The lipstick I have loved this month is Revlon's Lip Butter in "Raspberry Pie". This lipstick was on sale at Walgreens for around $4.00. I wore it for Thanksgiving (pictures below!) and it had fantastic staying power. It is a great dark pink/red. My last product that I have been loving this month is my NARS Creamy Concealer in "Vanilla". This concealer is great for hiding virtually any problem area you have! I am obsessed with how well this concealer can cover blemishes, dark spots, under eye circles, scars...it is a miracle product! At Sephora I bought this product for $29.00. I know that is pretty pricey but I definitely suggest this product if you are not satisfied with your current concealer and want to find something that can actually conceal really well. I saved up some extra cash and made the splurge one weekend, and I am very happy I did. 

What have you been loving this month? Are you ready December!? Let me know!