Friday, January 29, 2016

Wandering the Web: have a sunny weekend

Barbie's new diversity, edible cookie dough, and small things to do for yourself this year.

Hey hey, it's Friday! I'll be honest, this Friday feels pretty lame compared to last week when I was heading to New York, but it's still the first day of the weekend, so I can't complain too much ;) I promise to get back to regular posting around here soon. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but I'm so ready to get back on a normal schedule (both in the blog world and the real world!). And, next week I will be sharing part of my weekend in NY, so stay tuned!

I hope you all have a great weekend (and a warm one if you're in Iowa!), and here are some links I liked this week...

1. Next up on my travel bucket list: Chicago. (Nany's Klozet)

2. Barbie just found out what diversity looks like. (Forbes)

3. Edible cookie dough, party of one. Yes please. (Carrie This Home)

4. Major hair envy right here. (Pinterest)

5. Interesting, little-known facts about Central Park. (Food and Wine)

6. Just bought this book and I can't wait to start reading it. (Amazon)

7. I love this little pin. (More Than Ideas)

8. Finally, 57 small things to do for yourself — in lieu of resolutions. (Food 52)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

favorite winter nail colors Vol. 2

Glitter, pastels and stylish blacks for winter nails.

Glitter, pastels and stylish blacks for winter nails.

Glitter, pastels and stylish blacks for winter nails.

Glitter, pastels and stylish blacks for winter nails.

Time again to share a roundup of some of my favorite winter nail colors. This year's favorites include lots of glitter, because winter needs a little shine while we wait for the days to get longer, in my opinion. I tried a few new polishes for this group, and some left me much happier than others. Spoiler alert: you do, in fact, get what you pay for.

Essie in "Summit of Style" – You gotta love when your friends and family supply you with all the glitter nail polish for Christmas. You just can't go wrong with a chunky gold glitter to top off your manicures, and this one has great staying power. It acts as a top coat to protect the bottom color, and the glitter spreads out so much better than other glitter polishes I've tried. I feel like Essie has really outdone itself in the glitter department (and if there's such a thing as an actual glitter department, how can I get a job there?)

Deborah Lippmann in "Modern Love" – This Deborah Lippmann set was another gift, and I couldn't be happier with it. Deborah Lippmann is a celebrity manicurist and created her own line of polishes that are absolutely amazing. You can immediately tell these are not your average drugstore nail colors. This blush pink is the perfect cross between a rosey pink and nude, for when you want just the slightest bit of color. 

Deborah Lippmann in "Some Enchanted Evening" – Add this rose-colored glitter on top and you've got yourself a match made in manicure heaven. I'm really not much of a pink person, but I love this duo. It's so fresh for winter, and it'll transition perfectly into spring. They are a little on the pricey side, but oh so worth it. 

Essie in "Ignite the Night" – This one was on my Christmas wish list, and I was so happy to see it in one of my presents! (Thanks mom! ;) It's such a beautiful glitter nail polish, and it's perfect for fun nail art and layering. I wore it over a nude polish for a classy but fun New Year's Eve look and got major compliments. This one will definitely move into my favorites pile!

Maybelline Color Show in "Black Matte" – I've been wanting to try a matte nail polish for a long time, and I was in love with the look of this black matte polish as soon as I put it on. The drying effects were pretty cool too, as it turned from glossy to matte almost immediately after applying. But (and this is a big but) the quality is terrible. I guess that's what I get for paying $2, right? It chipped within a few hours and looked terrible by the next day. I put two coats on and didn't use a top coat, so that might have had an impact on it. Word to the wise: try black matte polish, but make sure you buy a good brand. 

Which colors are your favorites? What are your favorite nail colors to wear in the winter? 

P.S. Favorite Winter Nail Colors Vol. 1, Fall Nail Colors Vol. 1 and Summer Nail Colors Vol. 1

Thursday, January 21, 2016

here's to new adventures

taking adventures in New York City

Tomorrow I'm heading out on my first adventure of 2016, and my feelings are a mixture of excitement, nerves and anticipation. I've wanted to go to New York since I can remember, and for a long time I thought I would move out there after college and start my life in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Flash forward to present day and I honestly can't see myself living in NYC anymore. (Although that might just change after I see it all in person this weekend!) I love Des Moines and the Midwest, and the idea of settling here but traveling everywhere, starting now.

If I'm being completely honest, I'm slightly terrified. I have never flown by myself before, and the last time I was even on a plane was my freshman year of college, which feels like forever ago. But I'm 23 now and I feel like it's time to start doing more things that scare me. (I know that's super cliche, but bear with me — I'm on that "new adventures" kick!)

But for the most part, I am crazy excited to see the city I've been dreaming about my whole life. Adam and I have booked our weekend solid with sight-seeing. A few things on my list: The Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, the 9/11 memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Met. It's supposed to snow up to two feet while I'm there, so hopefully everything looks beautiful and snow-covered. And the forecast is predicting warmer temps than we've had here in Des Moines, so no complaints there!

I won't be posting tomorrow due to my early flight, but I'll be back next week with a recap of my trip! Wish me luck that I don't get lost at any of the airports!

Have you been to New York? What are your recommendations? We want to try them all! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

affordable workout gear

cute and affordable workout gear

There’s nothing better to motivate you to work out like the opportunity to buy cute new gear, am I right?

As you may know, getting into a workout regimen that I can stick with was one of my big goals for 2016. I've been doing really well with consistent workouts over the last two weeks, and I'm feeling more motivated than ever to keep going. The hard part now is just keeping my diet in check because I feel like I want to eat everything in my fridge after every workout... Oops! 

These are some of my favorite gym items right now because I love looking good while I'm sweating. That may sound weird, but I feel like it motivates me to work harder toward my end goal, which is looking good! (And feeling good, of course!) Colorful patterned tights are on heavy rotation in my wardrobe lately (just bought these and love them!), and I really want one of these wrist wallets for running this spring. And how can you resist this adorable criss-cross sports bra?! 

On another note, this weekend I'm heading to (drumroll please...) New York! I'm going out for a few days to visit Adam while he's there for work, and I've never been before! I've always wanted to go to NYC, so this is probably the most exciting trip I've ever taken to date! Have you ever been there before? What are your food/drink/sight-seeing recommendations? 

Friday, January 15, 2016

wandering the web: have a warm weekend

A travel bucket list, chic wine glasses and what your sleeping habits mean for your productivity.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all had a great week! The last few days have been really nice here in Iowa, but the weekend is supposed to be close to 0 degrees again, which I am not looking forward to... On the bright side, Adam is coming home from New York for the first time in two weeks! We are planning to cook a few meals together, work out and maybe even see a movie. (What movies are good right now??)

Have a great weekend, and here are some links I liked this week...

1. Fifty-two places to visit in 2016. (NY Times)

2. This detox drink made with pink salt sounds interesting. (

3. What your sleeping habits say about your productivity. (Refinery 29)

4. In love with every piece of this outfit. (Cupcakes and Cashmere)

5. How sweet are these wine glasses? (Shopstyle)

6. I'd love to try making these beautiful candle votives. (This Heart of Mine)

7. Now that I'm getting back into the workout cute is this sports bra?? (Aerie)

8. My heart breaks for Professor Snape this week. (The Atlantic)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

tasty taco soup recipe

Not that I do a lot of cooking, but I do know that soup is the perfect (and easiest) dish to make when serving a large group of people. I made this extremely simple recipe one on a Sunday afternoon in the fall and, after sharing it with Adam and my mom, I still had a huge container of it left in my freezer. It's basically a never-ending soup supply. The best part? All I had to do was buy the ingredients and throw them in the pot. That's literally all it takes! This taco soup recipe is delicious, with just a little bit of spice, and perfect for the chilly winter days between now and spring.

1.5 lbs extra lean ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 package Ranch dressing mix (dry)
1.5 package taco seasoning mix (dry)
1 cup water
8 oz salsa
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can regular diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can cream style corn

Brown the ground beef with onion and drain any fat. Mix everything together in a large pot, and simmer until hot. Serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

It's almost too easy, right? I hope you enjoy! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

from the office to happy hour: 3 easy outfits

Gearing up to head into work is a task and artform all of its own. There is a delicate line between what is appropriate and what is not. Especially in an office (or similar) setting, you’ve got to be careful about showing too much skin or dressing too casually. All of these “rules,” though, actually provide the perfect opportunity to get creative with what you wear — finding “loopholes,” if you will! Boundaries simply inspire creativity. Also, you’ve probably got more plans than "wake up, go to work, and come home." Instead, you’ve got happy hour catch-ups penciled in and quick dinner dates with friends or a significant other. And in a lot of instances, there’s just not enough time to speed home and change your outfit from work to play. That’s where creativity (and thoughtful planning) comes into play when you gear up to head to work on one of these busy days. There are plenty of ensembles that are work appropriate and can also be easily transformed into cocktail hour-friendly styles. Here are three simple outfit examples and quick tips for stylish outfits to take you from the office to happy hour with no pit stops in between:

1. The Pencil Skirt

This work wardrobe staple is likely to be part of your everyday ensemble. But when the clock strikes 5 p.m. and you’ve got a margarita special to catch, you’ll need to jazz up your pencil skirt with a couple quick switch-outs. As Cosmo’s associate accessories editor explains here, “A bright clutch and crop top (hide them in your work bag) make a pencil skirt party-ready.” As shown in her photos, she even kept the daytime blazer to add smartness to the look, draping it over her shoulders for chic lines and an easy on/off situation.

2. The Versatile Dress

Another go-to office outfit of choice, a dress is a simple slip-on solution for those days when piecing together an entire ensemble seems impossible. When you wear a dress to work, make sure the cut is not too low in the front, and be mindful of hem length — right above the knee is fine. As for making it less stuffy and more sexy? This edit on Lyst suggests to browse “both casual and formal dresses for modern office style.” Shift dresses are always equal parts appropriate and flattering, and you can make yours ready for the bar by slipping on a pair of killer heels and a colorful clutch. It’s simple and classy but not too conservative.

3. The High-Waisted Slacks

With all the recent change in gender roles in our culture, the shift has made a fair impact on the fashion industry as well. Loose-fitting slacks are not just for men. In fact, they look super polished on women! The first photo in this article on The Zoe Report shows a woman wearing printed, high-waisted slacks that are belted mid-torso. Paired with patterned heels, a non-presumptuous blouse and a yellow clutch, the slacks give a formal yet fun vibe to the overall outfit. This is one getup you won’t have to change at all to crossover from office to happy hour, and that’s something to get on board with!

What are your favorite transitional wardrobe staples? How do you take your style from office to happy hour? I'd love to hear! 

P.S. How to make sequins office-appropriate

*This content was created by a guest author for miscelenious

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

best of the red carpet: Golden Globes

Best dressed of the 2016 Golden Globes

Happy Tuesday everyone! Did anyone else watch the Golden Globes on Sunday night? I love watching award shows, mainly because I love hearing and reading what everyone has to say about them during the week that follows — did J.Law trip again? could Ricky Gervais actually stick to a mostly-clean monologue? was that joke funny or just inappropriate? And of course, the best dressed lists. Today I'm going through some of my favorite looks from the Golden Globes red carpet, because I think most girls can agree red carpet gowns are the epitome of fashion.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Wandering the Web: Welcome to the new year

What's new on Netflix, a divorcee's letter to herself on her wedding day, and art made from everyday objects.

Happy Friday everyone! How was your first week of 2016? Anyone still sticking to their New Year's resolutions? So far so good over here, but I think the real test is week two! And speaking of next week, my first newsletter is coming out on Monday and you don't want to miss it! You can sign up right here.

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend and curling up with a good book. I'm currently reading this one and loving all the advice so far. I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are some great links from this week...

1. Everything new on Netflix this month. I'm stoked for season 4 of New Girl! (Racked)

2. Ass-kicking women from 2000s movies — who's ready for a movie marathon? (GQ)

3. Have you seen this hair tie bracelet? I'm digging it. (The Grommet)

4. This article is fascinating. (The Atlantic)

5. "A letter to myself on my wedding day." Beautiful. (The Huffington Post)

6. Very interested to try this whole grain strawberry breakfast cake. (A Cup of Jo)

7. Art made out of everyday objects is absolutely stunning. (My Modern Met)

8. Love this. (Pinterest)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

book review: 'Leave Your Mark'

For anyone looking to change career paths or just find success in work, this book is for you.

I’ve been really inspired by real-life success stories of women in different industries lately (which you can read more about here), and that is exactly the reason I ordered this book by PR maven Aliza Licht. I don’t remember where I first heard about it, but I do remember immediately thinking I had to have it.

My only regret is not picking up Leave Your Mark sooner. Aliza tells the whole story of her career, from the days she studied to be a plastic surgeon to her time organizing the shoe closet at a fashion magazine and how she ended up being a pioneer of social media in the fashion industry. Aliza’s story is truly inspiring, because she earned a well-known and very respected name in fashion PR all by working her way up the chain — no fashion/public relations/marketing degree necessary. She decided what she really wanted out of life and made it happen.

I loved this book for several reasons, the first being that it felt like I was having a coffee date and soaking up all this wisdom from a personal mentor. It’s a book of advice, but it’s written in a casual tone that makes it feel like it was personalized to me. Every time I had a question about something, it seemed Aliza answered it in the next chapter. She gave real insight into a somewhat mysterious industry and shared personal experiences that seemed both recognizable and unbelievable. On top of that, the woman is a great writer.

Leave Your Mark is a book for every person looking to move forward in their career but not completely sure how to do it. Her words made me think long and hard about my job, where I want to be in a year and how I can find my own success. Leave Your Mark is full of wisdom that you can’t get in college courses, and it’s something I would recommend to every single student or aspiring employee. No matter how great your education is, Aliza’s book is filled with advice you can’t learn from a regular old textbook, and it should be required reading for anyone looking for a new job.

Seriously, I can’t praise this book enough. It was everything I needed to hear right now and more. It’s going to maintain a permanent spot near my desk so I can always have a guide to look back to when I need it. If you haven’t read it yet, GO BUY IT. And follow Aliza on Twitter, because she really is awesome.

Have you read Leave Your Mark yet? What did you think of it? I'd love to hear!

Back to Top