Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday Sales Roundup

"Bliss" sweater / Heartbeat button down / fringe leather gloves / polka dot satchel / radio clutch / unicorn bag / dolly bow dress 

It's Black Friday! Skip the pandemonium in the stores and shop online. That's what I'm doing! I've been keeping track of sales, and here are some that top my list. Please leave sales tips in the comments, if you have any to share!

40% off everything at C Wonder (I just bought some ear muffs and long leather gloves!)

ModCloth - 50% off hundreds of new arrivals

25% off everything on Emerging Thoughts with code GOBBLEGOBBLE

25% off everything at

J.Crew - 30% full price, extra 40% off sale with code HOLIDAY

ASOS - 30% off with code TGIBF

Up to 50% off Sugarpill makeup

40% off at Helmut Lang

30% off everything at Threadsence with code BLACK30

Buy 2 get 1 lipstick free at Melt Cosmetics with code blackfriday

$10 deals at Sephora

Shopbop - 15% off $250 purchases, 20% off of $500, and 25% off $1,000 with code GOBIG14

Up to 80% off Revolve

25% off at Piperlime with code THANKFUL25

25% off at Madewell with code GIFTON

30% off at Kate Spade Saturday with code DEALME

Kate Spade Surprise Sale - up to 75% off

25% off and free shipping site wide, at Alice + Olivia

Give Thanks!

It may not be the end of the year, quite yet, but I’m already gearing up for 2015. I know that every year - probably since I started this blog - I say, “This is going to be my year!” And every year, when things go awry, I inevitably end up thinking, “Okay, next year will be my year.”

 This time is different; I’m leaving the proclamations in the back of the drawer. I’m going to roll with the punches and take the inescapable bad times with the good, and do my best to make the latter just that much better. Because you know what? Even with all of the awful events that happened this year — and let me tell you, it was a doozy — this year was my year. Every year is my year. I’m one resilient son of a gun, and the amount of incredible opportunities and steadfast relationships I have in my life make me feel like the luckiest gal in the world, even when I’m feeling lost or perpetually stuck in a turbulent moment.

There are no perfect years. Even those who win the lottery, are born into royalty, or skyrocket to international fame are not immune to pitfalls and heartache, so why should I expect to be any different? I’m a work in progress, but I’m proud of myself for taking everything in stride and finding the bright spots in the bleakest moments — because when I look back on 2014, I don’t focus on anything other than the memories I want to keep. And goodness gracious, I have some great ones to look back on. Here are some highlights from my year, for which I’m forever grateful:


 1. Taking a spontaneous trip to Madonna Inn with my best friend, Kimbly, who dropped everything when I needed her, no questions asked. I love you, Kim! 

 2. My first trip to Paris, courtesy of the lovely team at Comptoir des Cotonniers. And then my second one, with my motley crew: Eliot, Angie, and Helena. Remember how a trip to Paris was my dream? I went twice, this year! Insane. 

3. Starting my Invisalign treatment (I'm currently receiving complimentary Invisalign® treatment in exchange for sharing my experience). I waited forever to take the plunge, because I have a tendency to procrastinate — especially when it comes to unfamiliar territory. I really should be thanking you all, for this and for the first part of #2 (and probably half of this list) because I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to receive complimentary treatment, if I didn’t have you guys as my audience. The other day, I was looking at old pictures and comparing them to my smile-in-progress, and I got so excited. I had to call Bobby in the room to show him how much wider my smile has gotten, and how less of my gums show. During my second trip to Paris, I was just getting used to my first Invisalign clear aligners. Now, I’m about halfway through. Time flies! If you would like more information on Invisalign treatment, click here


4. All of my visitors (and there were a lot). I’m so close to my family and friends, and moving to another state made me nervous about not being with them, enough. Luckily, I have a flexible schedule that allows me to travel, but I’m especially grateful to live in a place that people want to visit. My guest room is rarely empty, and I’m closer than ever to my family and friends. 


5. My trip to Japan. It seems completely surreal to think that as of last year, I had never been outside of the US. I didn’t even get my passport, until this year! For my 30th, Bobby took me to Japan. My dad was born there, and his dad lived there, when he was a kid. It was such a special trip for both of us. 


6. Designing my “Keiko” Bonlook glasses. And naming the colors after my favorite girls, no less! 


7. Collaborating with some of my favorite brands. I'm grateful for all of them, but I’d have to say that any time I get to work with Urban Decay, I get extremely excited! They’re a longtime favorite of mine, and working with animal loving beauty addicts is basically a dream come true.  


8. Getting my Miku tattoo. Miku has been my constant, faithful companion and best friend for the last ten years, so getting her tattooed on my leg was the least I could do to prove my love to her. It makes me so happy, every time I see her little smiling face on my leg! 


9. So many Disney trips! Actually, so many trips, period. Nashville, NOLA, LA, Paris, Tokyo, Florida, North Carolina…I stayed pretty busy.  The Disney trips are a good way to get the whole family together, and keep the kids entertained. This year, we took our very first family trip - complete with grandparents, parents, kids, and grandkids. We're planning on making it an annual event, because family is number one.


10. And last, but certainly not least: seeing Tessa (my little sister) graduate high school. She’s the most special person in the world. I cried my eyes out when she walked across the stage. Of course, I also cried when she first went to kindergarten, so she’s used to it. Monchichi is all grown up!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kate Spade Saturday Holiday Gift Guide

Outfit Details:
vintage blouse
Kate Spade Saturday Baroque Trapeze Dress (c/o)
Kate Spade Saturday Lots Of Dots Pouch in metallic dot/black (c/o)
Alberto Fermani boots

As mentioned in my last outfit post, I teamed up with Kate Spade Saturday to bring you some holiday party-ready outfits -- and now, a gift guide! For my second outfit, I went with the mod-inspired (surprise, surprise) trapeze dress, which I paired with a vintage ruffled blouse and my trusty over-the-knee boots. I used the Lots Of Dots Pouch as a clutch, and I liked it so much, I put it in my gift guide. Check out some of my favorite Kate Spade Saturday gifts, below!

1. Bags and accessories are my favorite gifts to give all my girls, because they're one size fits all! In addition to the Lots Of Dots Pouch (shown in black and teal), the Saturday is Dance Parties pouch and Passport Case are some of my favorites. Can you tell I have a thing for the metallic dots?

2. Perhaps my favorite gift in the bunch is The Eureka Book!, because it's like getting a ton of gifts in one package. It's full of frame-able prints, DIY projects, wrapping paper, and more. Also shown: the mini hipline cross body and travel slippers, which fold into a compact, zippered pouch.

3. and 4. Gold Dot beanie and crew neck tee.

5. A peek at the inside of The Eureka Book. It has perforated pages, for easy removal.

6. Zipline Tote, which has functional side zippers and can be monogrammed! It comes in cherry (shown), teal, and black.

Which gifts would you give your girls? Start making your list, because they're having an amazing giveaway. I want one of my readers to be the lucky winner, who will receive a $1,000 gift card to Kate Spade Saturday and four more (yes, FOUR!) for their girlfriends. Enter, here!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Makeup Monday: Flawless Skin Tutorial

You all are always asking how I have such perfect skin, and now you know the truth: I don't! But you guys have seen me without makeup many times, if you've seen past tutorials (and the occasional instagram), so I guess it was never a secret. I'm usually a BB Cream kind of girl (I alternate between Too Faced and Dr. Jart), but sometimes - like right now - my skin needs a little extra help. It's a combination of allergies, cold weather, hormones, and just having pale, sensitive skin that shows every imperfection. Though I need a little more coverage, it doesn't mean I'm going to cake on the makeup.  I love my freckles and beauty marks, and want them to show through. The trick is to use as little foundation as possible - and a little bit can go such a long way, if you do it properly. Here's a step by step tutorial on how to fake your way to perfect skin, when the beauty balm isn't enough: 

1. Start with a moisturized face, and prep with primer. I used Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.

2. Conceal any under eye circles. I use a different concealer for dark circles than blemishes - you need something with an orangey tint, to combat the grayish blue tones. I used bareMinerals concealer. I like to use my ring finger to pat and roll the concealer; imagine inking a fingerprint. This warms up the concealer and helps it sink in, and the pat/roll doesn't wipe it away, like rubbing does.

3. Apply your foundation (I used Urban Decay Naked Skin). This can be done with your finger, a foundation brush, sponge, etc. My applicator of choice is the Beauty Blender. I soak it in water, squeeze out the excess, and apply in a bouncing motion. This gives the foundation a sheer, flawless finish.

4. Now, use the pointed end to get any smaller details: around the nose, under and at the corners of your eyes. This will also help blend the eye concealer seamlessly - but make sure to lightly tap the blender, not rub, or you'll wipe away the concealer.

5. Conceal any blemishes. You might be wondering why I save this for after foundation -- it's because normally, blemishes require a little more love, and you don't want to wipe away all that work. That will lead to more layering, and eventually you'll have a mound of caked on concealer. I generally use a concealer brush (both the brush and concealer are from Anastasia Beverly Hills), because it's a little more precise. Just dab the tiniest bit of concealer and tap, tap, tap. If I need extra blending, I lightly dab it with the larger end of the beauty blender (no extra product added).

6. Dot highlighter along your cheekbones and blend with your fingers. I used Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer in Rose Gold.

7. Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks (I used NARS Orgasm). When I want a natural, diffused flush, I use the MAC 187, and swirl in small, circular motions.

I finished by filling in my brows (check out my brow tutorial) and adding lip gloss (Urban Decay's "Sesso" from the new Naked On The Run palette) - I even skipped mascara. All done!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Link Roundup

(photo from my instagram)

Bobby, Miku, and I escaped the city for a long weekend in the Catskills, and though we're freezing our toes off (and I witnessed several accidents, due to icy roads), it has been nice to unwind and recharge. I think Miku is especially happy to be in the country, as you can tell by this picture. I'm going to shut my computer down and unplug for a bit, but I didn't want to leave you without some links to check out:

- All of The Cut's Pretty Hurts articles, in one place.

- A reminder to be present. That may sound funny, coming from someone who is active on all social platforms. But it's important to know when to disconnect, sit your phone down, and live in the moment. Make memories - don't just curate them on instagram. It's all about balance.

- This brought tears to my eyes. Bravo, bro!

- These mouse loafers by Minna Parikka are a Disney lover's dream.

- 4 DIY Skin Solutions that I love.

- Thanksgiving recipes from all 50 states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico).

- Hairstyles to try: A volumized ponytail for short hair, or the 90s hair flip.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kate Spade Saturday

Outfit Details:
Kate Spade Saturday Gold Dot Perfect Crew Sweatshirt in Lots of Dots Black
Kate Spade Saturday Deep Pleat Mini Skirt in Gold
Miista Alexia platforms in Black/Gold
Kate Spade Saturday Mini A Satchel in Hyper Pink
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore
Lookmatic Payton frames

It's not everyday that you walk into a store and could imagine its entire contents in your closet - at least, not for me. When Kate Spade Saturday opened, I felt as though they tailor-made it for me: it's graphic, bright, and all about having fun - everything I look for in clothing. It is named after the best day of the week, so I wouldn't expect anything less. I live in their slip neck tees (I recently wore them back to back) and favor their bright, poppy handbags and accessories, so when they asked me to share some of my favorite holiday looks and gift ideas, I did a little dance and threw some confetti in the air (or just said "yes," depending on whose story you believe). For the first look, I went with some golden holiday glitz with their Gold Dot Perfect Crew Sweatshirt and Kate Spade Saturday Deep Pleat Mini Skirt. The golden polka dots are a recurring theme in their holiday collection: hats, gloves, tops, dresses, bags - I love it!

I'll be sharing my gift guide and second holiday look with you, soon, but in the meantime, check out this amazing giveaway they're hosting. One lucky winner will receive a $1,000 gift card to Kate Spade Saturday and four more (yes, FOUR!) for their girlfriends. I would love for that winner to be one of my readers, so make sure you go and enter, here!

p.s. Happy, happy birthday to my little sister, Tessa Marie! I love you, Chichi!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Makeup Monday: Urban Decay Naked On The Run

I just got back from a weekend trip to New Orleans, with Urban Decay! As you might know from my previous trips to NOLA, I love this city. And unless you are new to reading this blog, you know how big of an Urban Decay fangirl I am. I live and swear by so many of their products, I'm practically an unofficial spokesperson. A very unofficial one, but maybe if I stand outside their window with "In Your Eyes" playing on a boombox, they'll put a ring on it. Until then, I'm more than happy to gallivant around the streets of New Orleans with them, because the ladies behind the brand are just as fun as the products they represent.

I (along with Teni, Sona, and Elshane) was generously invited to New Orleans for the upcoming launch of Naked On The Run. What better way is there to celebrate an all-in-one, travel friendly palette than to test-drive it on an actual trip? I usually pare down my products for travel, but even still, I end up with quite an arsenal (I could say the same for my overstuffed suitcase full of shoes I'm probably not going to wear). The Naked On The Run palette includes five shadows, eyeliner, blush, bronzer, highlighter, lipgloss, and mascara, so I was able to leave most of my makeup at home. To give you an idea, that last look is completely done with the palette, save for my brows, liquid liner, and lip liner under the gloss. I'm normally not much of a gloss girl and expected to neglect that particular product, but I've been wearing it a lot. It comes out on November 20th, but I have a feeling it will sell very quickly, so you might want to mark your calendar. I'm pretty excited about having such a convenient makeup kit, since I travel so much. Speaking of traveling: this trip went by so quickly, but we managed to pack so much in.

Urban Decay went all out, when it came to planning our trip, and we had such a wonderful time. We stayed at The Ritz Carlton (dream bed included), ate incredible meals, learned a lot about the rich history of New Orleans, made friends with our tour guide and hotel staff (Hi, Scully and Scott!), and of course, made time for music (dueling pianos at Pat O'Briens and jazz at Preservation Hall). I even had time to catch up with two of my friends, Erin and Andi! It was quite an action-packed couple of days, and I would relive them, in a heartbeat. Urban Decay, I'll go back on the run with you, anytime. Thank you for having me!