Blog Archives

Fresh Friday: Light Blue.

Look at his eyes! Helllooo.

Look at his eyes! Helllooo.

Another Friday is among us, and I can’t say I’m complaining! I’m still in the need for a hot guy, so per usual, I’ll turn to the ads of another classic fragrance — I know you know this one — Light Blue by Dolce & Gabanna.

Truthfully, I’d never worn this perfume until this week (anything for the blog). I knew it was a popular fragrance (one of the bestsellers), but I never really understood what the big deal was. I will say, though, that an ex of mine wore Light Blue for men, and it smelled fantastic.

I honestly wasn’t as impressed with the women’s version.

As described by Sephora, “A stunning perfume, overwhelming and irresistible like the joy of living. The scent is surprisingly colored with the liveliness of Sicilian citron, the happiness of Granny Smith apple, and the spontaneity of bluebells. Feminine and resolute notes are expressed with the intensity of jasmine, the freshness of bamboo, and the charm of white rose. The deep and true base embodies the character of cedarwood, the fullness of amber, and the embrace of musk.”

While you know I love a musk, I’m finding that fruity isn’t really my thing, and I definitely smelled more fruit than floral. It’s not a bad fragrance, and I can see why it’s popular: it’s light, not overbearing, and it’s a pretty generic scent.

The real downside? It doesn’t last long, at all.

I hope you’ve got a fantastic weekend in-store! I’ve got all kinds of new stories and adventures to share with you next week. As always, thank you for reading.

Accepting my Dating Past.

Hoping I won't get judged for the things in my past.

Hoping I won’t get judged for the things in my past.

Every couple of years, I meet someone that makes me wish I could change a few things about myself. Often these things are impossible to change, things in my past.

About three years ago, I had a giant crush on my neighbor, John. He was incredibly sexy, even when wearing sweatpants. We bonded over our Midwest backgrounds, our love for orange cats, and one night, we stayed up through the next morning — he even played songs on his guitar.

I wished that I was his type. You know the kind: a woman who’s gorgeous at all hours, but not without makeup, impossibly thin, and always happy.

Or at least, those were the girls I always saw him with at the wine bar beside our apartment complex.

I’m not that.

I skip makeup whenever possible, and no amount of hours at the gym will ever slim my thighs. And my happiness has wavered over the years.

A few weeks ago, I met someone that got me thinking about some decisions I’ve made in the past.

On these pages, I’ve openly discussed that I was involved in an affair, and I also slept with an engaged man for almost a year.

The guy I met, he appears smart, kind, has similar interests as me, and he even plays the guitar (swoon).

The problem is, I met him at one of my regular spots — a place I go several times a week. Despite the numbers, Baton Rouge is a small town.

I teeter from not wanting to regret my past actions, to knowing that people talk. And my actions don’t speak the best of me.

If my past were different, I’d be my usual bold self, and approach him, talk to him, and maybe even text him. But whenever I see him, I fear the Scarlet Letter syndrome and hang back.

If he already thinks I’m a home-wrecking whore, then I certainly don’t want to put the nail in the coffin.

The only thing I can honestly say about my past is that I wasn’t in a good place when those decisions were made. I was leaving my happiness up to someone else, instead of myself. And the result was incredibly hurtful.

I know that everyone has a past, and it’s all about how you overcome it and make things better in the present. I know I’m in a much better place today; a happier place.

Truthfully, I’m not sure the guy in question even knows I exist. If he does, I hope he won’t judge me for my past. After all, a guy worth my time will accept me for me, mistakes and all (right?).

As a single person, it’s easy to fall into the mind trap of feeling like there must be something wrong in order to end up single.

Despite my past, I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with me, I’m just a woman wishing to be accepted and loved.

Fresh Friday: 8.

I wanna get in them jeans.

I wanna get in them jeans.

It’s Friday, and I don’t know about you, but I could use a little dose of HOT GUY. Thank you, Abercrombie old school ads. Actually, the other day, I spritzed on a little 8 by Abercrombie and Fitch just for old time’s sake, and I was surprised at how wonderful it was.

As described by Fragrantica, “8 by Abercrombie & Fitch is a Floral Fruity fragrance for women. Top notes are clementine, mandarin orange and grapefruit; middle notes are lily, melon, amaryllis, violet and freesia; base notes are amber, musk, bourbon vanilla and vetiver.”

Believe it or not, you can still purchase a bottle of 8 in-store. As described by the Abercrombie & Fitch website, “Provocative and sexy, Perfume 8’s spicy, invigorating floral scent is always exciting. Ginger and rich peach nectar combine with subtle hints of jasmine petal for a naturally pretty fragrance that is warm, inviting and perfect for day or night.”

With that, I’m going to spritz on a little 8 and hope the men in my presence rip off their clothes.

Celebrating John Hughes.

John Hughes chats with Ferris Bueller's Day Off star, Matthew Broderick.

John Hughes chats with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off star, Matthew Broderick.

Today, I wanted to celebrate my favorite screenwriter, John Hughes, as today would’ve been his 65th birthday! Hughes wrote two of my favorite movies — Home Alone and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — among many others, including The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Uncle Buck, and National Lampoon’s Vacation.

He went to high school in Illinois (fellow Midwesterner!), and his high school would become the inspiration for several of his films. But before his movie career, he wrote jokes for comedians, including Joan Rivers, and also served as ad copywriter.

I’m going to do all my movies here in Chicago. The ‘Tribune’ referred to me as a ‘former Chicagoan.’ As if, to do anything, I had to leave Chicago. I never left. I worked until I was 29 at the Leo Burnett advertising agency, and then I quit to do this. This is a working city, where people go to their jobs and raise their kids and live their lives. 

—John Hughes

Vacation was his first success in written film, and Sixteen Candles was his first success as a director — it kicked off his string of movies geared around high schoolers. His biggest commercial success was Home Alone.

I’ve always loved Home Alone and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and it took me years to discover they were both written by Hughes, despite obvious similarities — both are set in Chicago suburbia, both focus around a character that wants to suspend his normal life, get away from his family, only to get what he wants, and realize that what he has is ultimately good. Both movies utilize intense monologues. And both movies are, of course, hilarious.

Aside from being the writer for some of my favorite movies, I look up to Hughes for writing more than 30 screenplays — I’ve wanted to get into screenwriting for a long time. I can appreciate any writer who takes what they know, even if it’s something as simple as life in high school, and turn it into a great piece of work, let alone a pop culture phenomenon.

I’d rather stir controversy than just… fade away.

—John Hughes, 1950-2009

The Oscars did a beautiful tribute to John in 2010, featuring several of the lead actors and actresses in his iconic films:

To learn more about John Hughes’ timeless films, check out Entertainment Weekly’s article, “John Hughes’ 12 Essential Films.”

Popping the question.

Puppy love.

Puppy love.

Every year around the holidays, it seems like everyone I know — who’s not already married — is getting engaged. Of course, if it wasn’t for social media, I probably wouldn’t know about 85% of these said proposals, but it’s 2015 and I guess I’ve got reality to deal with.

The thing is, I’m not quite sure which came first: social media or the extravagant proposals? It’s the tree in the forest question — if there’s not 1,000+ people around to see him pop the question, did it actually happen? And my other question: what’s with everyone’s perfect outfits and freshly-mani’d nails? Do you always dress like that or did you have a hunch something special was coming? Because, as I type this, my nails are chipped and my hair is still sweaty from the gym. Not cute.

I will say, that of all these crazy-cool big production proposals, one stands out from a few years ago:

No, seriously, I cry every time I watch it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m just a sap, or what — I really think knowing how much work and time that took on everyone’s part is just incredible and very, very sweet.

My views on proper proposals have changed over the years; much like my views on relationships and marriage have changed. At a young age — when I thought I’d be married by 25 — I dreamed that a guy would totally embarrass himself in order to pop the question. As in, do it in front of some monumental crowd and recite a speech about how amazing I was.

Meh. These days, I try not to think about a proposal in my life. Truthfully, I’m beginning to think I’ll never be quite that lucky — and at some point, I’ll come to terms with that.

But, if I had my way, I’d really want a proposal that reflected our relationship. Perhaps he’d ask me over our morning coffee (I’d be in my sparkly, plaid slippers), or maybe he’d get down on one knee during an evening walk. Maybe, he’d ask me over delivered pizza — as we sat on the floor of our first home, just before moving in.

It’s such an intimate moment, and a very big question, that I’m not sure I’d want many people (if anyone) around. But hey, I probably need to focus on a different kind of question from a guy before I think about a proposal… like, “Wanna grab dinner Friday?”

Tsk.

Workout playlist.

Fit-speration.

Fit-speration.

If you had a New Year’s resolution to workout more, get fit, lose weight, etc., now’s probably the time you’re losing a little steam on the motivation front, right? Because of my career-change, my schedule changed with it, and I took a solid month (okay, more like five weeks) off in order to adjust.

But, for the last month, I’ve been back at it, hitting the gym 3-4 times a week. Most of the time, I’m able to take a kickboxing class, but sometimes I just have to snag a bike or a treadmill and get some movement in.

A lot of people tell me they wish they were as motivated as I am. I’ll tell you this: I don’t think I’m more motivated than the next. I still have to convince myself to go to the gym. But you know what? The gym only takes an hour or so out of my day (3-4 hours out of my whole week), and it helps me perform better in other areas of my life — I can actually stand on my feet for an 8-hour shift at work, and I sleep better when I’m on a regular workout regimen. And working out helps me make healthier food choices: I don’t want to ruin the hours I put in at the gym just for a greasy meal.

On the days when I’ve got to come up with my own workout, I can say that music helps me push through it when I don’t have a trainer motivating me. I pick songs that make me want to dance, and sometimes, dancing in my living room IS my workout! I really like to get into the singing part, too, so sorry neighbors. Here are some songs I’ve been burning calories to lately, and who knows, maybe they’ll help you, too! Got any good songs I should add to my list? Let me know!

Confident by Justin Bieber

Don’t hate! Everyone knows I’ve got a super crush on The Biebs, and just about ANY one of his songs gets my blood pumpin’, but this one has a fantastic beat. If I could properly pop-n-lock, I would. Instead I just pedal really fast.

Crazy by Kat Dahlia 

This is the first I’ve heard from Kat Dahlia, and I’m loving it! This song has great lyrics (“Is it crazy that I keep your shirt right here, just to smell your cologne?”), and a mix of hip-hop and pop. I love her raspy voice, too!

High Society by Betty Who

This one’s a little slower, so it might be good for a cool-down, however it’s still hella fun! It reminds me of an 80’s song — and I love 80’s dance music. If you like this song, check out her entire collection; it’s all fantastic!

2 On by Tinashe

This one never gets old. I’ve pretty much got no idea what it means (something drug related), but I love the beat and how it changes up throughout the song. It makes me want to wear red lipstick — while I’m working out!

This is How We Do by Katy Perry 

This one’s a tad cheesy, but it reminds me of being in college, and in college… I danced a lot at Fred’s (NO shame!). Which means, I’ve got no problem getting my dance on to this one!

Love More by Chris Brown, feat. Nicki Manaj

Chris Brown — my guilty pleasure! I know he’s a bad boy, but I just love his music — dance worthy, for sure. This one also has an awesome breakdown with Nicki, and once you see the video, you won’t be able to get these dance moves out of your head.

Lip Are Movin by Meghan Trainor 

Everyone dogs on Meghan Trainor, but her songs are fun, flirty, and they get stuck in my head. I definitely love the beat of this one; perfect for dancing in the kitchen and/or running on the treadmill.

A Milli by Lil Wayne 

An oldie but a goodie! This is one of my favorite Weezy songs (Go DJ is my favorite) because I love the cocky lyrics, plus it has a fantastic beat with heavy bass that I love cranking up in my car (CATCH me at a red light when this is on). It’s a good one to listen to pre-workout — there’s just no way you can sit still to this one.

Work Bitch by Britney Spears 

Is there a workout playlist that DOESN’T feature Britney? Okay, probably, but she’s fun, plus, listening to this gets me thinking about the killer shape she’s in… and I want abs like Britney has!

Beautiful by Mali Music

This is definitely a slower song, but I am obsessed! I love sweet songs, and this one is like a love ballad put to a beat. I heard this one at work about a month ago, and I always get so amped when it comes on. Get a few vinyasas in with this one!

2311_10003060

The heart at home.

Photo from Columbus North High School Student Body President @Vince_Grana

Photo from Columbus North High School Student Body President @Vince_Grana

One of the best parts about my job as a journalist is being able to meet all kinds of different people; hear their stories; their struggles and triumphs. In the mix, I often end up in spots I wouldn’t normally be.

A few weeks ago, I was in a flower shop, talking to a man as he made corsages. He had a stack of “about 50″ corsages and boutonnieres to make for a local school’s winter formal the following day. As I watched, I remembered my high school dances, my dates (very rare), and that oh-so-awkward moment of exchanging corsages and boutonnieres — I always made my mom pin it on the guy.

“I’ve kept all of my corsages,” I admitted. He gave me the one-eyebrow.

“Seriously?” he asked.

Yes, of course I had. Those were moments I treasured. Sometimes, thinking about the past really gets in my way. When I find myself drifting back, I attempt to put the thoughts away, and focus on the present. Don’t keep living in the past, right?

What’s interesting about my bouts of reminiscing, is that of course, I hated everything when it was happening. Growing up in Columbus, Indiana was so lame at the time — though I did enjoy cruising on country roads.

To me, to us, Columbus didn’t have a clue. There was a bigger world outside of “The Bus” and I was going to find it, conquer it, and never look at Columbus again. But when I moved to Louisiana, I quickly realized the things I took for granted.

At Columbus North High School, I got a fantastic education. One that would cost a Baton Rougean thousands of dollars (seriously). At a school where I felt like I didn’t really fit in, I got plenty of opportunities to express myself — through dance, through the school newspaper, and through freedom of dress.

When I moved, I quickly missed the comforts of Columbus’ chain restaurant diet — Steak n’ Shake and Red Lobster were top on my list. And did you know that more people cram themselves into the Columbus North gym to see the Bulldogs play ball than at Louisiana State University?

I wasn’t sure if it was just the corsages that brought on my memories; after all, I’ve thought a lot about what it was like to be “young” lately, perhaps it’s just my looming 30th birthday. But then I caught a glance of #JoshStrong on my Twitter feed.

From my trail of research, I gathered that one of our own, a Columbus North High School senior, Josh Speidel, was severely injured in a car crash. At the time of this writing, Speidel has been in the hospital for five days, asleep, as the doctors attempt to keep his brain from swelling.

Though there haven’t been many details released about the crash, or his injuries, I know that scenario all too well. As a Columbus North High School student, I got phone calls with bad news too many times.

During those times of loss or stress, pre-social media, we did anything possible to deal with our grief. We wrote on tree stumps and sidewalks. We wore matching t-shirts at the big game. We asked the announcer for moments of silence.

Facebook appeared when I was a freshman in college, and it changed my college experience. I have always wondered what it’s been like for youth in this social-media age. High school was tough enough without crafting status updates and posting Friday night photo albums.

But when I see #JoshStrong, a hashtag I’ve been obsessively following, I see my hometown rising up, rallying behind Speidel and his family. It’s a sight that — even from afar — gives me chills. Naturally, Speidel’s friends and family have taken to social media to post their thoughts, and any medical updates on his current state.

But it’s more than that.

From what I’ve read, Speidel is that guy. You know the one. The basketball star (he currently holds the record for scoring), good in school, all-around good guy. He’s the kind of guy I totally would have crushed on in high school, just hoping for a wave in the hallway that I’d dream about for weeks.

A verbal-commit for Vermont, his future team and coach sent him a get well message that went viral. Then, Columbus North students put together a pasta dinner in the school cafeteria to raise money for his medical bills — raising more than $8,000.

Then there was the game against Hamilton Southeastern — the first game the Bulldogs would play without their star. And Hamilton Southeastern showed up wearing Speidel’s number. Even the hometown rival, Columbus East, wore blue (Bulldog colors) in support of North. The cheerleaders got the whole gym in a “Josh Strong” chant.

It’s not a moment I’ve seen at a college game.

It’s made me think a lot about my hometown; a place that’s somehow risen above a significant amount of loss over the years. I sure would trade a lot to spend another Friday night in that gym, for the big game against East.

To CNHS, if you’re reading this, I know everyone is telling you not to grow up quite so fast. And maybe, you’re thinking of leaving and never looking back. Getting out there is good, but I know you’ll miss something about it once you’ve jumped on 65, or hit the hills for Bloomington.

So before you go, get one more pineapple-Sprite from Zaharako’s. Sink your heals into the midnight sand at the Marina. Cruise Washington, windows down, at sunset. Tell me you don’t fall in love.

Columbus ain’t bad. But I realized it ten years too late. I’m really hoping Speidel makes it out okay. I want to know what it’s like when he sees how he’s affected his town for the better. #JoshStrong is what happens when hearts of children rally for one of their own.

That is love.

Contribute to the Speidel family here

Fresh Friday: (BR) Classic.

Take me there.

Take me there.

It’s about time we go back to the basics and remember a classic scent — literally, Classic by Banana Republic. I bought a bottle of this perfume YEARS ago, and it’s still a go-to for me when I need a light, lasting, and fresh scent. It’s perfection!

As described by Fragrantic, “Banana Republic Classic is an unisex fragrance created by Jean-Claude Delville in 1995. This refreshing and light composition opens with herbal notes, bergamot, pink grapefruit and clementine. The heart is a floral bouquet with a sering and honeysuckle, placed on the base of ginger, white musk and woody notes.”

The citrus notes are the most noticeable, which is why the scent smells so light and fresh, and almost summery. However, the floral notes are definitely there, which balances the entire scent.

What I love about this scent is that it lasts all day, and it’s very clean. I often wear it when I’m meeting someone new or going to work, when I don’t want anything over-powering.

On the rebound.

Hoop it up on the court, not in dating.

Hoop it up on the court, not in dating.

A few years ago, I came to an ugly realization: most of my relationships have been rebounds from the previous one. There’s even been rebounds for rebounds. It’s not a fun thing to admit, but hell, admitting it is the first step, right?

A “rebound” is a relationship that comes right after another has ended. It doesn’t necessarily mean EVERY relationship that closely follows another is a rebound (at least that’s what I think), but the rebound relationship is created purely to get over the heartbreak of the previous.

Think about it, you go through a break up and the last thing you want to be is alone and sad. So, you find someone to fill that void. In my experience, I was just avoiding dealing with those feelings of loss.

In a way, it’s good to get right back out there, meet new people and remind yourself that there’s plenty of fish in the sea. But on the other hand, it often leads to settling for less than what you deserve. Bad. Bad idea!

The shitty thing about rebounds is that YOU can say, sure I’m not going to date anyone while I’m on the rebound. But, what if you are dating someone who is? I found this nifty little quiz to help us all figure it out — are we dating someone on the rebound?

  • Is your significant other bitter (don’t mind me)? It could be anger toward an ex or generalizations, i.e “All men are shit.”
  • Is your date happy to just be dating… anyone? If they don’t seem to care about YOU. It’s time to grab a taxi.
  • He/she can’t shut up about the ex. That’s just bad.
  • Are things more physical than emotional? Chances are, you’re just filling a space.
  • His/her friends, family, coworkers are all shocked this “relationship” has happened so quick.
  • He/she is scared of commitment. Won’t commit to something in the future, or even a date Friday night? Bye Felicia.

The one thing people ALWAYS say about rebound relationships is that they won’t last. And while none of my relationships — rebound or not — have lasted, I don’t necessarily think that’s the case.

According to an article in Psychology Today, evidence suggests that rebound relationships can be just as stable as any other:

Further, evidence on the stability of marriages which occur after the dissolution of a previous marriage showed no evidence of a “rebound effect” (Wolfinger, 2007). That’s right: Subsequent relationship success (i.e., does your rebound relationship last?) was not a function of whether the relationship was formed as a rebound or not.

For me, I like to take a break between relationships. However, every relationship I’ve had is different, and often the nature of the relationship (and the breakup) is what determines the length of my “dating vacation.”

What are your experiences with rebound relationships?

2956-157203

The dating age.

Say gurl.

Say gurl.

I work part-time at a shoe store in the mall. It’s not my dream job, but it provides cash, plus I get to meet all kinds of different people.

About ¼ of the customers I meet are hot guys. When a hottie comes into the store, I think, “Yes! A hot guy!” And then I remind myself that I’m selling shoes and stick to the script, “Can I get a size for you?” Insert obligatory comment about being on my knees here.

Working in retail at 29 is a harsh reality at times — I’ve pushed aside my degree, work odd hours, and most of my coworkers are 19.

At the risk of sounding like a pervert, one of my coworkers caught my eye. He works in the stockroom, has this silky blond hair, and a nickname I still haven’t figured out.

He reminded me of a guy I dated in high school, whom had a punk-rock flair. Enter: my lifelong crush on Something Corporate’s Andrew McMahon.

I knew my coworker had to be young, but I just wasn’t sure how young. That is, until a customer asked him how old he was and he replied coolly, “20.”

Twenty. My heart nearly stopped. At 20, I barely knew who I was, had just lost my virginity, and made terrible decisions.

At 29, I have a crush on a guy nearly 10 years younger than me. I felt slightly guilty for the fantasy I’d drawn up during the shifts we worked together: that he’d throw me up against the rolling racks in the stockroom and really go at it (while on the clock, of course).

Afterward, we’d smoke from his vaporizer pen, because that’s what all the cool kids do.

At times, the words coming out of his mouth form themselves into sentences I want to hear: “Let’s get naked.”

I felt like Stifler’s mom, complete with Al Bundy’s job, and minus the botox.

I’d be lying if I said I’m not attracted to youth — in some way, we all are. Photoshop or not, I’d still pull out my best moves on Justin Bieber.

Although sexing a 20-year-old is totally legal, women are taught to date older. It’s men that can date younger without the stigma (hi, Edwin Edwards).

Nonetheless, I’ve kept my clothes on. In reality, I don’t know how I’d feel sexually attacking someone 10 years younger than me. Plus, I’ve never been a fan of mixing business and pleasure.

I’m not sure what’s brought on my cougar mentality, whether it’s the fact that I haven’t had sex in awhile, that my latest dating attempt went to shit, or that this 20-year-old is just sexy.

When I finally mustered up the courage to tell my coworker about my crush, he was “chill” on the subject.

“But I’m, like, way older than you,” I said.

“So,” he said. “It happens.”

The Column: Sweaty is the New Sexy.

That guy...is FINE.

That guy…is FINE.

The shiny sweat, a shortness of breath, muscles tightening… it’s your workout routine, and it’s (apparently) sexy as hell.

Pickup any magazine, ask any fitness professional, and they’re going to tell you that couples who sweat together, stay together.

A lot of things that happen to the body — the aforementioned sweat, short breaths, muscle exposure — during an intense workout also happen during sex (insert gym grunting), and that gets things going.

A couple working out together is also one that faces and accomplishes challenges together. They’re encouraging each other, and because of it, they’re getting an efficient workout while improving their relationship.

2311_10003091Truthfully, when I see couples at the gym or walking the lakes, I think, “Ugh, can’t you do anything by yourself?”

But I know that’s just because I’m single and not having sex.

I’ve never even dated someone who would consider hitting the gym with me. I have however, slept with my trainer(s). It was completely wrong, but incredibly motivating all at once.

Fitness is pretty important to me. I try to maintain a healthy diet, and I aim for three workouts a week. It feels good to sweat, and at the very least, it relieves stress and helps me sleep.

The last guy I dated was anti-fitness, if you can believe that. He insisted on eating fried, greasy foods for every meal, and got mad when I went to the gym.

I tried to maintain my waistline by cooking us healthier options — baked chicken wings instead of fried and buttered — and he refused to admit they were delicious.

It seems small, but it was detrimental to our relationship. He was close-minded, jealous, and unsupportive.

Having a boyfriend to workout with suddenly sounds attractive and efficient. If I take the hours I spend at the gym, and the hours I spend getting ready for and going on dates, then cut that in half by technically dating while working out, I could have more time to… sleep.

In a perfect world, couples who workout together are also having sex together — burning double the calories. This whole plan just gets better and better.

When you think about it, all of this makes biological sense. We were made to reproduce, which is why we’re so attracted to fit bodies — they’ll thrive and make babies — and in return, we’re all turned on by those who workout and get sweaty.

But what does that mean for the singletons? Don’t succumb to the bon-bons, get a workout partner. A lot of my friends go to the gym; we encourage each other and we chat between sets. It’s efficient, but more importantly, it makes the workout fun.

The thing to avoid, as I’ve learned, is dating someone at the gym (doesn’t mean I don’t look). If things go awry, then your entire workout is ruined. It’s not a good combination.

So, grab your protein shake and meet me at the gym. I’ll be the sweaty singleton on the thigh machine.

40084_14

Fresh Friday: Florabotanica.

Is that K-Stew?

Is that K-Stew?

How did I miss the fact that K-Stew was the Face of Balenciaga’s Florabotanica? Hmm. Regardless, I’ve been rocking this scent all week and I smell like spring.

As described by Sephora: “Florabotanica evokes ambivalent bewitching beauty. Velvety and thorny, flirting with hemp and vetiver roots. The scent is flowery, developed on a rose note with a narcotic hemp twist. The wearer is beautiful but dangerous, like some rare botanical species.

Florabotanica is the fragrance of the Balenciaga botanic garden. It instills the brand with modernity and colors. While Balenciaga Paris paid tribute to the genius of Cristobal, this scent celebrates Nicolas’s futuristic perspective. The various facets of Nicolas’s inspiration are reflected in the bottle and outer box. The rich and surprising mix match of architectural lines, vivid colors, and venomous floral prints recurrent in Balenciaga’s fashion are translated into Florabotanica’s unique packaging.”

I was surprised to see the top notes of this fragrance were carnation and mint — two scents you don’t often find in a perfume. The only thing I don’t like? The bottle I got is just a bottle, no roller ball or spritzer, and I feel like it would have more of an effect if I could apply it liberally.

39104_44

5/50 Shades: Tulip.

Covergirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm.

Covergirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm.

I’m still on the hunt for a great (or a few great) shades of pink to add to my makeup collection — and I recently tried CoverGirl’s Natureluxe Gloss Balm #205 in Tulip. I feel like a majority of the “shades” I’ve tried have been glosses/balms, and I think that’s just proof of my fear to go bold (though recently I’ve rocked a red lip a few times).

Let’s face it, great lipstick is difficult to find, given there’s so many factors involved. I also like gloss/balm because I can layer it with other colors or thicker textures.

While the feeling of the CoverGirl Tulip is good (though not as good as the tinted Carmex), the color is very sheer, and again, there is no flavor! The upside is that the “flavor” isn’t like lipstick (it’s just nothing, really), and you don’t need a mirror to apply it.

Given that it’s still winter, I think a balm is smart — it ads color, while moisturizing your lips and protecting them from cold weather.

In the case of a balm/gloss, I say go for the bolder color, because it’s going to appear sheer on the lip. While “Tulip” is a moderate pink, I think I’ll go for something darker next time so it makes more of a difference.

39724_48

Minted love.

July - Ruby, Limited edition print by Naomi Ernest.

July – Ruby, Limited edition print by Naomi Ernest.

I’ve always been a little obsessed with my birthday — not celebrating it — more about, what I’ve got in common with others born in July, or things only associated with July birthdays, like the lucky number seven or rubies.

Custom Valentine

Custom Valentine

I’ve got a few pieces of jewelry that feature rubies (or faux ones) and I’ve kind of been thinking about creating a fictional character named Ruby (my kids = fictional book characters). So, of course I fell in love with this piece I saw on Minted.com — artist Naomi Ernest made an entire collection on birthstones, and I’ll say the Opal is also a beauty.

But of course, Minted is home to several independent artists, and they make ALL kinds of cool stuff: prints, photographs, foil art, and even save-the-dates and invitations (now I need parties to plan and place cards to print). And, if you’re super sweet, they even have cute Valentine’s Day cards!

From Minted.com:

We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of independent artists that people do not have access to through traditional retailers. Minted uses technology to allow consumers to discover great creative talent, making Minted a place where artists can learn, gain exposure, and build their businesses.

The art is offered in several different sizes, with or without frames, and you can customize it — perfection! If you’re into DIY, Minted can help via their blog, Julep. Get it. Mint. Julep. I can’t.

Check out some of my favorites from Minted.com (as shown), Staredown by Amy Carroll, This Way That Way by Tim & Beck, Winged Heart by Eve Schultz, Louisiana Map by GeekInk Design, and Writer’s Block by Keen Peachy

Pic of the Week.

Hey, I got some new shoes on and suddenly everything's right.

Hey, I got some new shoes on and suddenly everything’s right.

I’ve been on The Hunt for comfortable flats to wear to work since I started in retail three months ago. At my previous job, I spent lots of time in a chair, so wearing incredibly high heels was pretty easy. I only had two pair of flats in my closet.

Truth be told, I don’t really like wearing flats — they aren’t flattering on my feet, nor my stumpy legs, and let’s face it: I could use a few extra inches in the height department. But it’s impossible to work comfortably for 6-9 hour shifts wearing wedges (trust me, I’ve been doing it for awhile now).

So I was on the lookout for cute, fashionable, versatile, and extremely comfortable shoes to wear to work. And yes, I know, I work AT a shoe store, so how was this a difficult task? Well, there aren’t many flats where I work — mainly heels. And the flats we do have… I’m not sure they can withstand the pressure. Plus, even with the discount, they’re out of my budget.

My other dilemma? I don’t have loads to time to find these said perfect shoes. But alas! Friday, I was off work at 2pm for the day, and I faced the rainy, cold weather to shoe hunt at a few more stores. At store #1, I found tons of cute ones to try on, but for some reason I couldn’t find the right fit.

Instead, I found a new iPad case, a few fun beauty products, and some clearance coffee (I couldn’t resist). On to the next!

Excuse me.

Excuse me.

The next stop was Burlington Coat Factory. If you’re not regularly shopping here, you really need to hop to it. I’ve gotten a few fabulous coats there for under $50, and they always have a great selection of shoes and accessories for great prices.

It was there I found not one, but two, TWO, pairs of shoes to fit all of my needs. The first pair is very similar to some styles we’ve got in the store — black, lace-up boots (by Skechers). They look cool, conveniently zip up the side, and are super comfy. And because…. Daria.

The second pair are little lace-up faux suede oxford-style flats (by XOXO), complete with tiny rhinestones on the stitching. I purchased BOTH pair for under $50. That’s what I’m talking about!

I wore my new boots for a 6.5-hour shift on Saturday, and the oxford shoes during my 8-hour Sunday shift, and my feet were extremely comfortable (I used my gel insoles both days, of course).

It’s amazing how much better work can be when you’re not trying to avoid being on your feet (I do that whole lean-back-on-your-heels-type-thing that doesn’t really work). Something else that’s helped my feet? An invigorating foot mask by Spa Life, and massaging a little lavender lotion on them before bed. You’re welcome, tootsies.

39516_12

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 789 other followers