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Let me introduce you to my personal stylist…

A few weeks ago, I posted about my major closet clean out. Since, I’ve been trying to avoid shopping and instead, have been finding NEW ways to wear the clothes and accessories that I already have. To get inspired, I’ve turned to none other than the black hole of the internet, Pinterest.

I don’t know if others utilize Pinterest this way [below], but I’m so mad I didn’t turn to it sooner!

Here’s how it goes: I choose an article of clothing that I have hanging in my closet – example: black maxi skirt. I make my way to the Pinterest search bar & type “black maxi skirt outfit ideas” and low & behold – 8 million different ways to wear a black maxi. Many of which would have never crossed my mind.

black maxi skirt

T-shirts, denim button downs, bandeaus, BELTS, jackets, scarves – SOMANYIDEAS! Not that I couldn’t have come up with these ideas on my own- but SEEING these pre-styled outfits & new color-combinations laid out in front of you allows you to envision yourself in them & help you realize what you COULD actually put together

with items that you already own.

Okay, one more for fun…who doesn’t have a pair of colored skinny jeans?

yellow skinny jeans

Honestly, a baggy grey sweatshirt would NOT have been the first pairing that came to mind, but it’s SO cute & totally something I could put together at home!

Guys, feel free to laugh at me if this is something that’s completely un-original or not new to you – but honestly, it has become a refreshing new way for me to utilize the site & is currently my favorite thing to do! I’ve told friends & co-workers about my Pinterest-styling obsession & have turned a few over to the dark side.

Don’t waste your money buying new clothes because you feel like you have nothing to wear – I highly suggest you give this a try. I challenge you to pick an article of clothing that has potential and throw it into the search bar! …I think you’ll be surprised to find that you’ve got way more options than you think 🙂

How do you use Pinterest?  Have you used it to style clothes that you already own?

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Magic Hot Tool

I have the most pathetic hair. Luckily, I’m cool with it [I’m more of a nail girl]. Most days I throw it on top of my head & just rock with it. Other days I feel like putting in a little effort. I’ve been avoiding hot tools & hair products for about week now – I’m trying to go “no-poo” …but that’s a whole other blog post [you can Google it in the mean time]!

Anyways, this weekend I decided to do SOMETHING with my hair. I was going to be seeing people that I hadn’t in a while…in public, and didn’t feel like looking like a total frump. In an effort to follow as many “no-poo” rules as possible, I decided to keep it simple. Using only a heat protectant spray on the ends of my hair & my secret ceramic weapon of a hot tool [keep reading], I was able to bring my limp & lame locks to life!

I’ve used this tool quite a few times before … & every-single, no seriously, literally, every-single-time I get SO many compliments on my hair. After receiving so much love in person & on social media this weekend, I decided I needed to share!

Insert secret weapon…

Revlon Perfect Heat 3 Barrel Deep Waver Styling Curling Iron
Revlon Perfect Heat 3 Barrel Deep Waver Styling Curling Iron – can be purchased at a Wal-mart near you 🙂

 

Photo on 2014-07-26 at 23.34
My cousin, who has thick & fabulous hair purchased this iron & it wasn’t for her. Being her younger, beauty-product-junkie of a cousin, she passed it off to me [thank you, Dawn]!
This is honestly the perfect tool for anyone who has thin & flat hair [like I do :(]. It creates a clean, beachy-wave style that lasts!

HOW-TO: …Apologies for my photobooth pics below – I didn’t have time to properly photograph. Hopefully they are still  helpful!

1) Clip up your hair & leave a small section out to clamp. The more sections you have, the better…more volume!

 

Photo on 2014-07-26 at 23.45 #2

2) Starting from the root of that piece of hair, clamp the tool on top of the hair [with the double barrel side UNDER the hair – you want the styler to create an “n” or a “c” curve, not a “u” curve.

Photo on 2014-07-26 at 23.45 #3

3) Hold in place for about 20 seconds, unclamp, move down the piece of hair & repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end. My hair length takes about 3 clamps per piece.

Photo on 2014-07-26 at 23.45 #4

4) Take down a new section of hair & repeat until your entire head is done!

 

…and TA-DA! SO easy, no!?

I really was that happy haha
I really was that happy about it! haha

So much volume, so much curl! Such an easy way to completely transform lame hair! I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking to give their thin & flat hair an all-natural looking boost!  🙂

Have you tried this styling tool before?

Any other tips for thin, flat hair? I’d love to hear them! 

 

XOX

Complete Closet Overhaul

I’m not sure what it is about the past few weeks [maybe the fact that I’ll be 26 next week (OMG)]…but I have been oddly obsessed with simplifying my life & giving it a little refresh. Starting with my wardrobe.

This simplification process began with a book. I stumbled upon Lauren Conrad’s book, STYLE last week. While flipping through the pages, I was immediately drawn to her chapter about overhauling your closet.

Lauren Conrand STYLE

Needless to say, I bought the book, and the moment I got home I spent the entire night parting with items I was unable to let go of for YEARS! Honestly, 8, 9, 10 years…

Maybe it’s because I adore her style, or because her book actually made a ton of sense, but I was finally able to understand that were was no reason to keep things because they could work, I might wear them, they haven’t completely fallen apart or they’re practically brand new – if it hasn’t been worn, it’ll probably never be worn, and if it has been worn so much that it’s actually become damaged – it’s just not a good look. That should have clicked forever ago.

The beginning of it all.
The beginning of it all.

I spent the evening trying on everything I owned & with the help of my roommate we were able to yay & nay our way through my closet in a few hours.

Once my wardrobe was wiped – I determined which items were sellable (is that a word?), which were returnable for a refund or store credit (never worn with tags still in tact), and which would be better off tossed. I put everything into bags and got rid of it! Such a relieving feeling. I actually feel like I have MORE clothes than I did before because I can actually see all of my pieces, and I know that they’re all pieces I will wear.

To keep the momentum & excitement going  – I’ve begun slowly refilling my closet with new items that will surely be worn for years to come. For example, I chucked a pair of brown cork wedges that I’ve had since 2004 – after 10 years it’s safe to say that they’d seen better days – but I was still wearing them all of the time. After parting, I knew I had to replace them. I was on a hunt for a few days before I found a new pair. They were definitely an upgrade, super comfortable & exactly what I was looking for. So I bought them 🙂

Building your wardrobe is like decorating a room – it takes time. You can’t just go out one day and expect to find everything you’re looking for. Plus, it makes the process more fun – it’s like a treasure hunt! What’s better than finally coming across the item you’ve been searching for?! Spreading out these purchases & taking the time to find the right item is an affordable way to freshen up your wardrobe, and ensure that you purchase only what you LOVE.

This is *not* my wardrobe, but its a realistic goal for me :)
This is *not* my closet, but its a fairly realistic goal for me 🙂

As for long term goals…

...a girl can dream, right?
…a girl can dream, right?

Anyways, back to reality. I’m so into this whole wardrobe thing right now, and have so many more fashion-related posts in store. 😉

 

…Stay  tuned!

 

XO

 

Recipe Testing: Cannoli Dip

Have you ever found a recipe that looked too good to be true? Welcome to my weekend.

Well, hello there beautiful. Could you really be so simple?
Why, hello there five ingredient masterpiece. Could you really be so simple?

I was going to be visiting family on Saturday and wanted to bring a fun dish [lucky | unlucky for them – they always serve as my recipe guinea pigs]. I’ve seen the infamous Cannoli Dip making its rounds on Facebook & Pinterest for a while now, and figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.

I mean, put 5 ingredients in a bowl, mix them together & serve?! Was right up my alley.

canolidipmix.jpg
Obviously, I was thinking this would be a breeze – I was still pretty gung-ho at this point. [8 oz. cream cheese, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 /1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 2 cups ricotta cheese, 1 cup mini chocolate chips]
To cut to the chase, the recipe wasn’t that simple [but keep reading, it has a some-what happy ending].

Initially, my dip was too runny, a little gritty, and not very creamy. I was so bummed, but dead set on not giving up on my Cannoli soup disaster. In the midst of the stressful 2 hours or so it took to get this “easy dip” to it’s ideal consistency & picturesque status, I opted not to photograph the struggle. I apologize to those who were interested in seeing my aftermath of a tornado kitchen during this process. You can see snapshot of the end result at the bottom though! 😉

To fix the mess, I decided to add some corn starch [one tablespoon at a time] until it thickened up a bit. I also added another 8oz. block of cream cheese, some heavy cream, and beat that dip with my hand mixer until my little fingers went numb!

All in all – it was not the best thing I’ve ever made, but it wasn’t god awful. After googling what could have possibly gone wrong and how I could have made it better, I got some very helpful tips! See below.

How to not make Crummy Cannoli Dip:

1) DRAIN YOUR RICOTTA. This was not in the directions, but I think it’s 100% necessary. I had actually read elsewhere that draining was recommended, so I did give it a try. In a cloth, I scooped the ricotta & rang it out for a minute or two. Newsflash, this is not how you drain ricotta. To properly drain, wrap the cheese in a cloth, place in a strainer, and set a heavy brick or something of the sort on top for about 2 hours.

2) Try Marscapone? I don’t know if this would make much of a difference, but I may give it a shot next time.

3) Mix everything before adding the chocolate chips.

4) Try this recipe! It requires a little more work [like using a stove top – ew, more dishes], but I think it’s the secret to the creamier consistency.

My finished product!
Behold – my finished product!

I served it with Pizzelles, Fresh Strawberries, and Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle.

It's all about the presentation, right? Who would ever think that this pretty little platter caused enough stress to probably take  3 years off of my life.
It’s all about the presentation, right? Who would ever think that this pretty little platter caused enough stress to probably take 3 years off of my life?

Honestly, I’m not much of a star in the kitchen, but I really love trying creative, new recipes when I have the time. Everything can’t be a hit the first time around [like my FAVORITE peanut butter cheesecake ], but you learn! I’m excited to give this dip another try.

Have you ever made a Cannoli Dip? How did it come out?

Jenny McCarthy’s Engagement Manicure!

Jenny McCarthy & Donnie Wahlberg announced their engagement yesterday – yay (!), and ever since, the details of her sweet proposal and gigantic rock are making headlines everywhere.

W-O-W
W-O-W

She recently displayed her huge 10-ct sparkler on a perfectly manicured hand, and a few people have asked me if I knew the name of metallic-pink polish she was wearing. So for all of you mani-crazies, like me, I did a little investigating …

rs_634x1024-140416092438-634.Jenny-McCarthy-Engagement-Ring-Nails.jl.041614

She must have been doing some Sally Hansen promo’s, because these pictures were popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a blog or website that disclosed the shade!

It was easy to see that she was using the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish (literally, the best polish line – in my opinion), so, I scouted out another picture with a better view of the brush.

bingo.
bingo.

Polish #836. I found a blog post that featured this new metallic line from Sally Hansen & we had our answer…

Source.
Leis-y Days. Source.

 Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure #836 – Leis-y Days!

Her nails look awesome, but I think I would have picked another color for my freshly engaged fingers! Do you agree? Or would you rock the hot pink? Answer in the poll! —>

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