Wednesday, August 22, 2012

bubble necklace giveaway winner

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to give away one of these gorgeous bubble necklaces from Blue Bird. I had a great response and wished I could give one to every single one of you but unfortunately there can only be one winner. 

So congratulations to the lovely...

Amy Marie
(who had 4 entries total)


Please email me at to claim your prize by August 28th at Midnight. 
If I don't not hear back by midnight EST on 8.28, a new winner will be chosen and your prize will be forfeited. 

Thank you to all you lovelies who entered! I have some other fun ones coming up soon so stay tuned!! 

And don't forget that Blue Bird is offering ALL OF YOU 15% OFF + FREE US shipping on everything in her shop!

AND RIGHT NOW she is running a buy one, GET ONE FREE on bubble necklaces sale in the shop!! UM no I am not kidding you! Get two of these gorgeous necklaces for $29!

Just use the code LOVELY15 at checkout, shop HERE.

quick question

I get a lot of emails, messages, texts, tweets, and everything in between asking for my help on everything from a unique shower gift to how to utilize mason jars. While I try and get back to as many people as possible, some slip through the cracks (so please, if you ask me a question and I don't reply try again). Sometimes I can write a quick reply, others take a little time, and sometimes I get a question that I think would really interest and benefit my readers too.

Last week a reader of mine Katie sent me this short and sweet email...
"Hi There! I am a huge follower of your blog and Facebook page and I noticed you have talked about your Clarisonic MIA (which I just recently bought, thanks to you). I don't want to have to keep buying the Clarisonic cleanser and figured you'd be my go to girl to ask. So what is your daily cleansing routine, what products do you use, and what cleanser would you recommend with my MIA? Thanks!"

I bought my MIA around December and have used it every day since, and I love it. I feel like it really gets off so much I was leaving behind on my skin before. Because I wear a full face of make-up almost every day I like to use something before I cleanse with my MIA so the brush head lasts longer and isn't full of make-up. 

So typically on a normal day...
I cleanse with my favorite Olay (sensitive) face wipes in the morning, just to rid of any oil, dirt, etc my skin might have picked up over night. 

Then I do my make-up for work.

After work I come home and take a shower. This is when I use my newest favorite find, the St. Ives Green Tea Scrub. I picked this scrub up when my skin was having a bad breakout and it cleared up within 2 days. It's gentle enough to use everyday, and the green tea really does help calm redness. This scrub also takes off most of my make-up so it won't get all over my MIA.

I usually start on my hair right after the green tea scrub so my face can have a breather for a second before I start cleansing again. Once I have my conditioner in and soaking into my hair, I break out the MIA. I go with a gentle, simple cleanser for the second round since the green tea is a bit more harsh. I have found a few cleansers I really enjoy with the MIA but these are my favorite 2 thus far.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser + Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel

Both feel gentle on my skin but strong enough to get off all the extra, left behind stuff. My skin feels clean but not tight which is a good sign (too tight skin means you stopped it of the good oils). 

After this I usually do one of two things: get ready to go out somewhere, or stay in for the rest of the day. 

If I go back out, when I get home later I will take off my make-up with either the Olay wipes, the MIA, or both. Just depends on how much make-up I had on and how tired I am frankly.

If I stay in for the night I usually just throw on my night creams and call it a night. 

Olay face wipes in the morning again, rinse and repeat ;)

I hope this helps Katie with her daily cleaning routine, and with some MIA cleanser suggestions. Hopefully it helped one or two of you as well!

Do any of you have a daily cleanser you love? 
What do you lovelies use with your MIA's if ou have one?

Monday, August 20, 2012

little loves

Hope you lovelies had a wonderful week, I know I did! Of course I had the usual work, kickboxing, date nights, and blogging but it was also the Ulta grand opening this weekend which was so fun. 

I am a HUGE fan of One Love Organics, ever since I had the pleasure of reviewing some of their amazing products (post HERE). One of my favorite sites Open Sky ran an awesome special on their Deluxe Essentials Kit normally $67 for $45. Obviously I snatched that up right away. Can't wait to get it, and how cute is the little bag too?!

So this weekend was the Ulta grand opening near me (read THIS POST if you want more info) and of course I went all three days. On Friday I arrived about 30 minutes early (was about 60th in line) and pulled a $25 gift certificate! I was so excited and used the $25 to buy the Juice Beauty Serum. The only other thing I bought this day was the Seche Vite top coat (which is the best top coat ever), the rest of the items were FREE (some form the Ulta goodie bag, some from my rewards points, and some from the Allure special issue). I spent a total of like $6 this day.

Saturday I went really early thinking it would be busier since more people would have off, but actually less people were there. I was probably about 10th in line and pulled a $5 gift certificate. I decided not to purchase anything this day.

Sunday I went 30 minutes early again and was like the second person there. However I decided I was going to wait until a bunch of people went ahead of me (my theory was that since the majority of the certificates were for $5 and $10, that the people ahead of me would weed a lot of them out and better my chances of pulling something better). I ended up going in around the 60th person again and I pulled a FREE salon service, which was great since on Friday I had just scheduled my first Dermalogica appointment for Wednesday and now it would be FREE! 

I ended up buying both my Cetaphil cleanser + Simple cleanser I use with my MIA and two small sample size products at checkout. I used my $5 from the day before and a $5 off $15 coupon I had. they sell had goodie bags left from Friday so I got another of those too! 

I hope another Ulta opens somewhere close again soon because it was really fun!

I'll let you lovelies know how my free facial goes on Wednesday.

Saturday I had a friends wedding to attend, and I went with two of my other lovely friends. I borrowed my dear friend Sadie's dress from Dorothy Perkins and loved it! I got a ton of compliments on it too.

My dear and talented friend Michael who helped me write and compose a song my senior year has finally posted his first video. He wrote and composed this song, and I am so proud of him! Check him out, LIKE his Facebook page, share with friends!

Got my free birthday drink card from Starbucks in the mail this week. This really kicked off the feeling of birthday approaching next week. YAY!

Today (since it's Monday) I did my weekly ritual of Monday Mask night and tried out these two new samples I got from Ulta over the weekend. On Friday I tried the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (pictured above) and love, love, loved it! Tonight I did the Macadamia hair mask and this Murad Radiance Face Peel. Loved both of them of course!

I also booked mine + the bf's hotel for our little weekend trip to Detroit for the jazz festival one Labor Day weekend. We are both really excited to get away together, see some great artists, and see Detroit! I've never been but I have heard so much about it! Have you ever been, have any recommendations? 

Anyway back to the hotel, I was super excited to snag an executive king room at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown. It's within walking distance to the festival, has gorgeous rooms, a fitness center and pool, room service, valet, and its connected to the GM center that has shops, a movie theatre, and so much more (seriously that is my kind of hotel! Not to mention the bf will be in full on music mode so it's nice if I need to escape now and then). Thanks to the wonderful people at the Courtyard by Marriott for offering me such great accommodations! I'll definitely be posting all about our trip when we get back!

Don't forget to ENTER TO WIN a gorgeous bubble necklace HERE. You only have until Tuesday at midnight to enter :) Good Luck!

Hope you lovelies had a great week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

lovely little find + giveaway

A good statement necklace isn't an easy thing to find when you're working with a budget. They can come off extremely tacky when they aren't made right. I'm sure all of you lovelies have seen this gorgeous style of statement necklaces popping up all over internet shopping sites. The one below in particular is a JCrew bubble necklace that comes with a hefty $150 price tag. Yikes! I don't know about you but I definitely don't have $150 to spend on a trendy necklace, even as much as I love it. 

So I was extremely excited when I found this gorgeous bubble necklace below from
Blue Bird Shop on ETSY, with a much more reasonable price tag of $34.

I mean come on, the necklace is stunning and you can tell it is made with high quality pieces, not that cheap shiny plastic stuff. I'm not even sure if I saw them side by side I would be able to pick which was which. Not to mention you could pick out almost 5 different color necklaces from Blue Bird for the price of the JCrew one above. 

Diane is the woman behind Blue Bird and she was kind enough to tell me a little about herself and Blue Bird.

"Hey everyone! My name is Diane. I’m a native New Yorker and here inspiration is EVERYWHERE! Truthfully though, my biggest source of inspiration comes from a tiny little package… My daughter Samantha. As much as I love what I do here at Blue Bird, being “Mama” is really the most amazing job in the whole world!"

"While taking courses in ceramics, jewelry design, textile, and studio arts… I found a love for creating just about anything with my hands. Translating my ideas and style into something unexpected and beautiful really gets me going! I create all my pieces from the notion that every woman should be able to afford beautiful things and this gives me a fulfillment that goes beyond words! Hope you love my items!"

I fell in love with practically every single item in Diane's shop and love her motto about creating beautiful items that every woman can afford. She was such a pleasure to work with and is even offering up one of her stunning bauble necklaces for one of you to win.

As for the rest of you lovelies who don't win this giveaway, Diane has also extended an exclusive discount just for you! With the code LOVELY15 you'll receive 15% off and FREE US shipping. 

A Bubble Necklace of Your Choice from Blue Bird

Contest Rules:
- Head on over to Blue Bird Shop and let me know what piece is your favorite.
- Leave a comment below and tell me your choice.
- Contest ends at August 21, 2012 at 11.59 PM EST.
- Winner will be chosen by random and announced on August 22, 2012 on this blog (NOT BY EMAIL).
- New winner will be chosen if I do not hear back from original winner by August 28.
- One entry per person please

One additional entry for each of the following:

- LIKING Blue Bird on Facebook
Make sure to include your FB name in your comment below

- Following a lovely little blog on Twitter
Make sure to include your Twitter handle in your comment below

- LIKING a lovely little blog on Facebook
Make sure to include your FB name in your comment below

- Following a lovely little blog on Pinterest
Make sure to include your Pinterest name in your comment below

Subscribe to me on YouTube
Make sure to include your YouTube name in your comment below

Be sure to set a reminder and check back to see if you won! And don't forget to use the code LOVELY15 to score a $34 necklace for only $29! Or snatch up one of her other stunning pieces. Shop HERE.

Monday, August 13, 2012

little loves

So two weeks to catch up on again. I missed putting up the last "little loves" because I usually compose it Friday or Saturday night but I had a busy weekend. I went to Ikea with my mom, worked, kick boxed, squeezed in some date nights, some friend dates, the Noto Big Blue Couch sale, and of course slept. 

Last week I got this lovely little package from Adore Me (a lingerie subscription service). I will e filming a video review of it soon so stay tuned! 

Last week I was having one of those "I don't like ANYTHING I own" moments but then I remembered these new black dressy Loft shorts. I paired it with a simple cream pocket tee (but with a see through lace back), my go to gold jewelry, and one of my favorite vintage necklaces. I need to wear shorts more often, I really ended up liking this look.

Last weekend we were having some house guests over so I had to clean my bathroom. My beauty products tend to take over the bathroom, and spill out into the hallway (since that is where I keep my Helmer). The hallway floor did not really look like this but that was how I started organizing. I rearranged my Helmer a little bit too.

Top Drawer: Brushes, cleaner, tools, eyelashes, and lash glue.
2nd: Foundations, primers, highlighters, powders, and concealers.
3rd: Shadow, liners, eye primers, mascara.
4th: Lip + cheek color

5th: Whole face palettes and extra make-up bags.
6th: Polish, strips, files, clippers, + other nail needs.
And my everyday make-up bag with my favorite products.

It felt really good to get re-orgianzed.

I had two of these single use Bamboo UV+ hair masks, and got this Ahava mud face mask in my July Birchbox (with Glamour) box. I've used these two products two weeks in a row now for Mask Monday and they are really giving my usual favorites a run for their money.

These were my two Ikea purchases. One is this kitchen cart (really wanted in teal but my store only had gray), I'm using as a bathroom/ beauty product cart. I really love it a lot, and it can be good for so many other things to if I ever want to use it for something else. I also got this really simple white clothing rack for $10 (!!!). I've wanted a clothing rack for a long time to store my "recent purchases" and to use for filming video hauls but they were always either too chincy or too bulky and industrial. This isn't the sturdiest of racks but it's definitely not chincy either. Seriosuly love how slim line it is (and yes those might be 2 out of 3 of my new NOTO purchases).

Got my August "beauty school" Birchbox and am very happy with the contents! I LOVE this razor so I was really excited to get another. Really loving the Stila mascara too (the wand is nice and skinny). I haven't tried much else out yet but I'm also excited about the Shu Uemura hair oil too!

My last Noto purchase was this maroon hi-lo skirt. This is my first hi-lo hemline piece and I love it! I stole this shirt from my moms closet and paired it with a brown belt and sandals, this adorable leopard print bag from Dorothy Perkins, and of course my go to gold jewelry. This outfit got a lot of compliments too which always make a girl feel good. I wore this out for date night Sunday, followed by a small gathering of friends at a wine bar in Kent. 

Hope you lovelies had a great week! 
As always love to hear your comments and feedback ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

collective fashion + home haul

A collective video on some recent fashion + home buys. Items from Loft, Macy's, 
TJ Maxx, Dina's Days, + Thirty-One. Hope you lovelies enjoy!

And yes I did just say "...silly good priced". Oh the things you say on camera ;)

new Deux Lux bag

new Loft dress

new Loft shorts

ps. I just found out that Thirty-one is discontinuing the amazing jewelry roll :( But you can shop it while it lasts HERE. And contact my lovely friend Jessalyn if you want to host a party!

Do any of you lovelies own any of these items?
What item is your favorite?
As always love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

lovely little obsession + giveaway

Sometimes you stumble upon something that is just too good to keep to yourself. That is how this "lovely little obsession" series came to be. If you're anything like me you love a good soiree, dinner party, cook-out, picnic, cocktail hour, or any reason to have a party! 

About a month ago I was helping a local business plan an event for bloggers in the area and wanted to send a virtual invitation. I did a quick google search and pulled up some of the well known sites, and began browsing thier designs, but nothing really stuck out to me. 

Then I clicked on a site I had never heard of before called Punchbowl. Not only did my amount of options for design increase greatly, but Punchbowl has customization and cuteness down to a science! Unlike the other sites I was used to, Punchbowl invitees actually receive a virtual envelope complete with a liner and postage (yep you can customize those too)! Upon further exploration of the site I found Punchbowl also has features that allow you to add polls (what cocktails should be served?), potluck lists, gift registries, and so much more!

The first invites I made using Punchbowl for an Olive Oil Tasting Event.

After I made that invite I kept going back to Punchbowl over and over to make all kinds of invitations, they were so fun and cute to make! I just had to share with all of you what a wonderful site Punchbowl is and how often it can come in handy. For example, while I did send out paper invites for a Stella + Dot brunch I am hosting, I also sent a Punchbowl save-the-date too. I also made invites for 3 special birthday events for myself and the boyfriend. 

The save-the-date I sent for my Stella + Dot doughnut brunch. Love this invite and liner! 
Notice you can customize your postage and envelope message too!

A close friends only invite for a tour, tasting, and birthday dinner for myself + the boyfriend. 
This was a fun one to design as well. The liner says things like beer, alcohol. yeast, drink, etc.

The big party celebration invite for myself + the boyfriend at our favorite local spot. 
Since the party will be on the roof and there are string lights, I chose this design. 

Punchbowl would be perfect to use for birthdays, some of the low-key wedding festivities (bachlorette party + brunches), cookouts, housewarming parties, and would even be awesome for a consultant (Mark, Stella + Dot, Thirtyone, Pampered Chef, Etc.) to make save-the-date or invites for thier host or hostess.

Myself, my mom, aunt, and grandmother do this twice a year for mine and my mom's birthdays. We get sushi and go shoe shopping at DSW. So this one was only sent to 3 other people, but like I said it becomes addicting, and how cute is this anyway? Of course I love the hearts on the envelope!

Punchbowl has multiple membership options, including a FREE membership that I used to design and create all of the invites seen here. Depending on what you might need Punchbowl for (could be a great tool for certain businesses) they offer the free, plus, premium, and platinum memberships. 

Punchbowl was kind enough to offer TWO of you lovelies, 
one year PLATINUM memberships (to say I am jealous is an understatement).


One of Two - 1 Year Platinum Memberships to Punchbowl
Valued at $99 Each

Contest Rules:
- Like Punchbowl on Facebook.
Make sure to include your FB name in your comment below.

- Leave a comment below telling me what you'd use your 
Punchbowl platinum membership to make + don't forget your email!
- Contest ends August 13, 2012 at 11.59 PM EST.
- Winner will emailed on or around August 14th, 2012.
- One entry per person please.

One additional entry for each of the following:

- Following Punchbowl on Pinterest
Make sure to include your Pinterest name in your comment below

- Following a lovely little blog on Twitter
Make sure to include your Twitter handle in your comment below

- LIKING a lovely little blog on Facebook
Make sure to include your FB name in your comment below

- Following a lovely little blog on Pinterest
Make sure to include your Pinterest name in your comment below

Subscribe to me on YouTube
Make sure to include your YouTube name in your comment below

Friday, August 3, 2012

mark lust list + preview

As many of you lovelies already know, I am a MARK rep. I love working for MARK for so many reasons! 
Check out my post HERE or watch a video on my favorite MARK products HERE

By far my favorite Mark fashion items come out in the fall, and I must say they did not disappoint this year. 
I'm giving all you lovelies a little insider sneak peek at what's coming over the next few magalogs. 

First off how ah-mazing is the whole entire outfit above?! I want everything from the cigarette pants (very Audrey Hepburn), to the spot on trend pussybow blouse, to the gorgeous dark teal blazer (perfect darker shade for fall), 
to the killer bag (will look awesome as a clutch too).
ps. the classic black pumps are Mark too

Love this tablet case that fits iPad, Nook, and Kindle! Though I think I might just get it for a clutch!

All of the above items, except the cigarette pants will be available to purchase online on October 5th in Magalog 11 (however I can order them for you on September 7th, and ship them to you). The pants will be available on August 10th. Email me at if you'd like for me to send you an email reminder when a certain item becomes available. 

Really interested in this dress, could be really amazing or kinda not. I'll have to see it once more photos of it are released to us, or on someone. However I'm love, love, loving the hat. I could totally see my friend Jessica from Midwest Muse wearing it. 

Who doesn't need skinny belts? These comes together in a set of three! The snake skin is a great detail for fall.

Not loving how this cardigan is styled here but I do love it! I would like to see it paired with some leggings and flats. It looks so comfy and cozy for the fall too. Definitely on my wish list.
ps. the boots, bag, and necklace are all Mark too.

All of these items will be available for purchase online on September 7th on Magalog 10. I can however order them for you on August 10th and have them shipped to you. Email me at

Adore these vintage inspired earrings. 

Both of the above pictures are sets of three! 
Bows are so in right now, and those love knot earrings are almost identical to a pair of Kate Spade ones.

All the items above, including the cigarette pants (top photo) will be available for purchase on August 10th in Magalog 9. Email me at if you'd like me to send you an email reminder when a certain item becomes available. 

And last but not least is this amazing summer to fall transition dress. I just ordered one for me and my mom. I've already seen it styled so many ways; with boots, bare legs, and a jean jacket, to tights and heels, to a striped shirt underneath it! I'll be posting a picture as soon as I get mine on and styled too!

This dress (and accessories) are available now. Shop the dress HERE and make sure you use the code WELCOME for FREE SHIPPING on your first order.

Email me with any questions or to be alerted when an item becomes available, at