Monday, June 30, 2014

Come Sale Away...

You can't always get what you want, unless of course, it's on sale.

Now that summertime is officially here, there's a chance your wardrobe needs a revamp. I'm in desperate need of shirts and shorts, plus a good pair of white jeans, but I keep getting distracted from my "needs" by all these awesome wants! What do you "need" this summer?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Iced Coffee

I don't really care for summer.

There, I said it.

Summer in the city? No, thank you. 100-degree days with no end in sight? Nope, not interested. Pools the temperature of bathwater? Ugh.

Every year I plot a move to the coast. I tell my husband that I'm going to just shove everything we own in our suite of suitcases and ship off to San Francisco. Just us and the dog in our favorite city. And one of these days, I swear Texas temperatures are going to send me packing, but that day is not today.

Today, I'm making iced coffee.

There isn't a better option for keeping cool and caffeinated in the summer. Yeah, I'm on board with iced tea, but coffee is what makes the world go 'round.

You only need a few ingredients to pull this off: sugar/syrup (if you want), ice, coffee concentrate and your choice of milk. I'm a full-out dairy eater, but I have to tell you that Vanilla Almond Milk makes this. Dairy milk just doesn't blend as well/taste the same/have the same consistency/have the same lasting power in my fridge.

Also, the measurements on the actual brew you put in your glass are kind of fluid. I need coffee like I need air, so I make mine with a definite bite of coffee flavor. If you're not a "coffee person," I don't understand you, but I understand your need for more milk/flavoring, although just barely. Adjust my steps to your liking.

Jessica's Iced Coffee:
1 TBS Vanilla syrup (find it on the coffee aisle at Target)
Small handful of ice
Coffee concentrate (recipe below)
Silk Vanilla Almond Milk

Directions: Flavoring first into your glass du jour. Add a small handful of ice (bonus points if you made coffee ice cubes), then pour your concentrate over the ice and fill the cup about halfway. Then, shake up your almond milk and add that to the mixture, filling up almost the rest of the way. Stir, adjust to taste. I almost always add a little coffee "floater" on top, because I crave the cold brew flavor. You do you.

How to make the concentrate:
1 cup coffee grounds (whatever you have on hand works, but I like using hazelnut)
3 1/2 cups of cold water

Mix grounds and water together in a large pitcher, and set in the fridge overnight, or until you remember that you set a pitcher of iced coffee in there.

Strain the contents through a mesh strainer into another pitcher. Do this as many times as you want to/as many times as you have time for.

Viola! Iced coffee concentrate. You can multiply the recipe and keep in the fridge for about a week.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dark Lips, Light Tips... Can't Lose.

Can we talk for a second about how much I absolutely Lisa Eldridge and her makeup tutorials? You name the makeup trend, she's tackled it, done a magazine cover featuring it, and then come up with a handy video to show you how to recreate it on your own. I've sung her praises before when I talked about rocking red lipstick, and if you haven't installed her wisdom as your go-to makeup-guru-fictional-bff, well, you're missing out.

The trend this winter/spring/summer has been all about lips. Maybe it's because I'm getting older (and more confident, heyo), but I'm obsessed with the bold lip trends. Orangey, red, super-dark... bring. it. on.

Nervous about trying dark lips? You have every reason to be nervous, but there's also absolutely no reason why you shouldn't try this at least once. Lisa's video below shows you how to create the look and pull it off.

I think there are two main tips to making dark lipstick work (which Lisa talks about in her video, but I'm going to emphasize here anyway), and really, these rules work for any lipstick. 

1. When doing your makeup for statement lips, do your foundation & concealer first, then your lips. Then, follow with blush/bronzer and eye makeup. 

Why do it this way? Lipstick can be weird. Some shades make you look naturally flushed, while some wash you out completely. Some shades look great with a bold eye, some shades look best with a single coat of mascara. When you're wearing a statement lip, it's best to center your look around it, instead of applying it at the end like an afterthought. 

2. Make sure to eliminate all redness from your face and around your lips. 

Tricky places this shows up? Around your nostrils, in the corners of your eyes. Statement lips will sometimes cause blemishes to look redder, scars to seem more prominent... get friendly with your concealer, and blend, blend, blend. 

Now that you've got the dark lips down, what do you put on your fingertips? Amp up the contrast with a pale, summery hue on your nails.

I recently tried Essie's "Nice is Nice," and I have to tell you - I'm obsessed! I've gotten so many compliments on the color. Who knew that purple would become a manicure staple? 

Essie in "Nice is Nice"
What's your go-to mani shade for summer? Are you going to try the dark lip trend?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Having a Uniform

This past weekend I texted a friend, "So, if you see me on a Saturday, I will be wearing those baggy boyfriend jeans, brown sandals and a white muscle tank top. I can't help it."

My entire high school career, I managed to avoid "the uniform." No plaid skirts, no white button-downs, no khakis, no polo shirts. I got to wear whatever I wanted, except for when I tried to pull off a Blink-182 concert t-shirt. I was told to go home and change. 

I guess that's why I resisted the idea of having a go-to, a style uniform, for so long. I didn't want to be pigeonholed. I am woman, I can't be tamed, I can't be limited. I will wear what I want, when I want, where I want. I don't need no stinkin' uniform.

Except that we create our uniform styles without trying. It happens as naturally as breathing. We like grey t-shirts, we end up with a wardrobe full of them. We're drawn toward shiny objects, and poof - all of our jackets have embellishments on them. We like skinny jeans of a particular wash, we can't get away from Nike Runs, we favor long necklaces with charms, or collarbone-grazing pendants. And suddenly, a uniform is born. 

A white t-shirt. Baggy jeans. Brown sandals. Layered necklaces. This is what I look like on Saturdays.

What does your go-to outfit look like?  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Shopping My Closet: The Long Week

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain whipping at the window, flashes of lightning illuminating every corner of my bedroom and the bone-shaking sound of thunder rattling the windows.

When you were a kid, did you ever see the lightning flash, then count the seconds (Mississippi-style) to see how many miles away the storm was? Because I do that as an adult...


It's raining, it's 60 degrees, and I'm wearing a sweatshirt. What are you up to today?

Long Day, Short Week

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Manicure of the Moment: Covergirl

While playing cards with a friend a few weeks ago, I was losing because I couldn't stop staring at her fingertips. Her nails were the perfect, almost-orangey shade of bright red, kept chic and short, with a glossy finish. I put everything on pause to ask her what polish she was wearing.

"You won't believe me, but it's Covergirl. And it's almost a week old!" 

She couldn't remember the exact shade, but I was on a mission. This florist friend of mine whose manicures are always jealousy-inducing, had found an amazing shade of summer red, with the staying power of  a salon manicure.

Here's the catch. Maybe my nails reject the concept of nail polish entirely, maybe my cuticles need some extra TLC (or a better base coat), or maybe I need to stop messing with a perfectly good manicure, but for some reason the Covergirl polish on its own wouldn't commit to my fingertips. I loved everything about it, including how fast the formula dried (two coats, five minutes), but I needed a way to make it hang around longer.

Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant in Ever Reddy

Enter Revlon's Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond top coat. Part of a newly-released gel set from Revlon, this top coat doesn't require a light to set. Obviously, the gel formula is meant to work in coordination with the other gel-themed items in their collection, but I noticed a significantly longer wear time when the color was coated with this baby.

Rose Gold Crystal Wrap-Around Ring Via Wanderlust + Co.
 And there you have it! Happy manicuring!