Sunday, October 28, 2012

little loves

Hey Lovelies!!
Hope you are all having a wonderful week! Despite the beautiful fall weather here in Ohio, I've been in a bit of a fall funk and super slacked on my Zumba and Kickboxing lately. I'm making it a point to get back on the band wagon this week! 

Overall it's been a pretty laid back week for me, just the usual working and date nights. I did start and finish a CRAZY book this week called Gone Girl. Have any of you ever read it? WOW. I won't say anything else because I don't want to spoil anything, but it was crazy!

 I gave into my inner teeny-bopper and had to get the new Taylor Swift cd on Monday. I an original T. Swift fan, like "When you think Tim McGraw" so I am of course slightly underwhelmed with this poppy unoriginal Taylor Swift stuff. However I do hear some of the old Taylor here and there. I love the track "Treacherous" especially the demo version. Oh if only old country simple songwriter Taylor would come back for good. 

 Of course I treated myself to #maskmonday with my favorite Amika hair mask and this new Karuna mask that was in my recent Birchbox. The face mask was really unique and initially I did like it but I woke up Wednesday with a major breakout where I don't usually breakout. I'm not sure if it was the mask or not, or if it brought the acne to surface but it was the only thing different about my routine.

 I am sure if you read my blog you know by now Thursdays and Sundays are date night for me and the boy. Our schedules ALWAYS conflict so these are literally the only two days a week we can guarantee time with each other. We call them date nights but sometimes its just a night in on the couch with some carry out and Tosh, John Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. Thursday was one of those nights in. I threw on some comfy leggings, a vneck tee, and this vest tunic. Felt like I was in my pj's but acceptable enough to make a few errands. 

 Last week I got together with my three best friends and we took our fourth bi-annual picture. Our lovely friend Heidi took it for us (check out her stuff HERE).

We took the first picture in 2006, our graduating year for no reason other than wanting a picture. It was taken with a disposable camera, one shot and we just loved it. 

After that we decided we should reenact the shot every other year, so the next two pictures in 2008 and 2010 were taken at the same spot as the first by our dear friend Michael. 

This years was much harder to accomplish with two out of four of us living in NYC. This one ended up being pretty last minute, and at a new location but we are happy to get one in before 2012 comes to a close.

I love looking at these pictures and seeing us grow and change from carefree teenagers into young women. I love my best friends, they are smart, beautiful, funny, and lovely in every way.

I am so happy I scored this gorgeous red dress from Dorothy Perkins for mine and the boy's four year dating anniversary this year. Our first official date was Christmas day four years ago, where we got chinese at some run down hole in the wall place. Every year since we have gotten Chinese (or something similar) on Christmas day or Eve to celebrate. This year we are going out somewhere a little nicer on Christmas Eve and dressing up. I was dead set on a red dress because I don't own one, and it would be so perfect for the time of year. I LOVE this dress in every way! Bodycon styles really flatter my body type and I am excited to add some great gold jewelry like a statement necklace. It's so elegant but sexy. Perfect four year dress ;)

I hope you lovelies had a wonderful week and great Sunday! 

As always thank for reading and commenting!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

beauty basics no. 1


Hey there all you Lovelies!

  Last year I had the opportunity to regularly guest post on another blog, and I put together a little series I called "Beauty Basics".  I only ended up doing a total of three, because I was so busy with my own blog, but I felt then (and still do) it was some of my best stuff! The blog I guest posted on is no longer around so I thought why not transfer the first three posts back here, and continue with the series? I've gotten so many requests for information like this so I hope you all really enjoy and learn from it! Of course I have tweaked them a little and updated some of the info.

First, for those of you who don't know my blog all too well, a little info about me:
You may be wondering what I know about beauty, am I an esthetician or a make-up artist? No, I am just your girlfriend who you can trust to have tried every product out there (or at least be able to quote you the reviews of those I haven't gotten to yet). Need more of a qualification? I am a member of Beautylish, International Fashion and Beauty Bloggers Organization, an official Beauty Ambassador, have my own YouTube channel, am a Mark representative, and regularly review drugstore beauty products with my lovely blogger friend Charlotte. 

Each Beauty Basics post will focus on one step in your beauty routine. We will talk cleansers, primers, shadows, serums, hairsprays, night creams, brushes, and more. While it is very appealing to jump right into the first beauty basics post with the fun stuff, MAKE-UP, we cant get ahead of ourselves. We have to start at the core, cleansing and moisturizing. 

So without further ado let us begin!

From personal experience I have had a hard time with my skin. I suffered from acne in high-school, and even still now. While it has cleared up dramatically it is still something I have to take into consideration when choosing a product. The slightest little ingredient will make my overly sensitive skin go into full on freak out mode. There are definitely some really great products out there that your skin might benefit from that I can't recommend simply because they are too harsh for me. So we will focus on what works for me, and you can chose to adapt it from there.

Cleansing: This is a MAJOR step in your routine. Even if you have flawless skin this should be something you are doing twice daily. This will effect how your skin ages. 

I have tried numerous cleansers out there. Everything from drugstore, department store, to prescription. There are a few things I have found to do wonders for my skin. The Clarisonic MIA, is the best thing you could ever do for your skin. I know it has a steep price tag, but if you are anything like me, you would pay $119 three times over to have clear skin. It is definitely an investment BUT you can use it for 90 DAYS and return it if you decide it wasn't worth it. So what do you have to lose? When I FINALLY gave in and bought mine I used it for a mere WEEK before knowing it would change the way I took care of skin for the rest of my life (and I even have my boyfriend hooked too). 

I use the MIA in conjunction with 2 cleansers; Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel. I have used Cetaphil for years and found it to be the only thing I can use daily to clean my skin and be gentle on it. I was sold on Simple once it launched here in the US and love this cleanser so much. It's a little stronger than the Cetaphil but not overly harsh. I switch between the two about every other day, or depending on how my skin is feeling.  
(p.s. if your skin is very tight after cleansing, it was too harsh of a cleanser).

TIP: What is important for me and my skin is that both of these products are super sensitive, hypo-allergenic, and non-comedognic. If you have skin issues always look for products like this. 

Of course there are nights when we stumble in at 1AM and the LAST thing we want to do is take off our make-up and splash water on our face. If you happen upon one of these nights at least do a quick swipe with one of these towelettes; Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths (my favorite) or Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes.

Moisturizing: As if I even need to mention how crucial this step is. Every magazine you have read in the past 5 years has been screaming this at us. Don't forget to use one with SPF. If it doesn't have SPF do not even consider it. I love some color as much as the next girl, but I mean it. No SPF, no BUY!

When you cleanse your skin you lose a lot of moisture (a lot), so it is crucial to have your moisturizer right there as soon as you step out of the shower. For my daily moisturizer I rotate between 2, depending on what my skin is telling me (yes it does talk, you have to listen!). Either Mark's For Goodness Face (SPF 30) or Simple's Vital Vitamin Day Cream (SPF 15). Both are extremely gentle on my skin and protect it from the sun. There are some days when my skin is saying it just CAN'T take anything on it at all, on those days I spritz it with my beloved Mac Fix+,  a sweet little water spray packed with vitamins (or some of my Skin Savior balm, mentioned below). I use this all the time, and especially when my skin is being ultra sensitive. Although it should not be substituted for a moisturizer.

At night I also use 2 cremes; Loreal Revitalift to combat the fine lines and wrinkles and One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm. I tried many before settling on these two winners. Even Olay made my skin have a fit. You may be thinking, but she's is in her early 20's why is she using anti-wrinkle creams? Didn't you know that in your early 20's is the most crucial time to start using these type of cremes, especially around the eye area. One Love Organics is a brand most of you have probably never heard of, and it comes with a larger price tag but I promise, you can not go wrong with this line. The Skin Savior, is exactly that (yes a SAVIOR OF SKIN) and totally de-stresses my skin. I use the Skin Savior first then the Loreal.

That is all for now in our first Beauty Basics, and I hope you lovelies learned a lot!

 I am ALWAYS open for questions so just tweet me, Facebook me, comment below, email me, or whatever! If I don't get back to you within a few days, don't be afraid to ask again (sometimes things slip through the cracks). Or if you want me to focus on something special during this series, let me know that too.

Next Beauty Basics we are going to focus on Acne and few extra steps in your routine for this of you (and me) who struggle with breakout issues.

**By no means, is the advice and suggestions I give here to be taken as solid fact. These are my own personal opinions. I would NEVER recommend a product to you that I haven't tried and loved myself.**

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

glossybox unboxing vlog

If you read my blog, then you know I love beauty products and I LOVE beauty samples! I am always on the lookout to snag some great samples, and even have a great use for them, read HERE

I have heard so much about Glossybox even before it was available here in the US. And now since it launched here I have seen and heard about it all over the blog-esphere. Beauty bloggers sing it's praises and I have been really interested in trying it for a while now. 

I had the amazing opportunity to get a Glossybox to review through the company OpenSky who has partnered with them. I was so FREAKING excited (yes that was necessary) when I got home from work and it was on my porch. So please excuse the hot mess of a blogger I am in this video because I couldn't even so much as wait to take a shower first before opening it.

Let me know what you think of the contents, if you subscribe to Glossybox, if you want to, or anything else!

Check out the great OpenSky and Glossybox page HERE.

Can't wait to hear what you lovelies think!

Monday, October 22, 2012

little loves

Hey Lovelies!

Another MIA week for me, hope you all didn't miss me too much! I have a lot of things in the works, behind the scenes so that is what I focused on last week (get excited cause there is amazing-ness coming). I did guest post over on my friend Ashley's blog, Souther (California) Belle, check the post out HERE! I filmed TWO new vlogs this past week, and have two more planned this week, as well as a NEW POST series that you will love!

Other than all the behind the scenes blogger stuff, its been the usual work, date nights, workout, etc.

 Last Sunday for date night, the boyfriend and me hit up one of Akron's best spots, Luigi's. Our good friends Jon + Britny got us a gift card there for our birthdays so it was so nice to enjoy a free and delicious dinner (thanks J+B). I LOVE my new Aldo boots, so much! They are great with skinnies. 

Got this AMAZING kit from Macadamia Natural Oil to try out and review, and then GIVE ONE AWAY! I LOVE this brand, so I knew this would be an easy product to review (review VLOG /giveaway coming soon). I'm really loving the oil infused comb and the leave-in cream.

 Me and the boyfriend get stares like crazy. Seriously you wouldn't believe the amount of people who just STARE at us. We have no idea why and it's really annoying! When I stumbled upon this quote, it just spoke to me. Hopefully we can at least be a source of entertainment to them?

I LOVE this little baking company called Red Bird Baking Co. and was SO HAPPY to order some of my all time favorite cookies, Lemon-Elderberry Thumbprints. I also ordered some of the Salted-Carmel and Cashew Brownies for my mom. I had no shame and ate all 10 of my thumbprint cookies in TWO days. 

Last weekend I went shopping with my mom and scored the awesome suitcase above, from Gabriel Borhters in Kent. It is so sweet and a perfect little statement piece for a room. After Gabe's we went to Figleaf in Kent and I got the 4 tops above. The two in the middle are the same, and it took all my will-power not to buy more colors in it. LOVE the style of that shirt. The furthest top is a really soft sweater that has some draping in front, and the closest top is a beautiful fall orange lace top with a pocket. 

For last week's Mask Monday I went with my new Macadamia Natural Oil "Deep Repair Mask" and one of my favorite face masks, Formula 10.0.6's "Deep Down Detox" mud mask. I would love for you lovelies to share your favorites with me! Tweet me, or visit me on Facebook and use the hashtag #maskmonday.

Got my October Goop Birchbox last week. I rated this box an overall 3.5/5. I LOVED the face mask, and have set it aside to use for #maskmonday tonight, and the lipgloss and Luna bar were nice! As much as I liked the dry shampoo, I am bummed its not better packaging so I can carry it with me or seal it to reuse. I'm indifferent about he face cream samples. Do you get BB, what did you think of your box?

EEP! Ordred the new Lauren Conrad Beauty book when it came out and got it two days later! I found it HERE, for only $15 and used the code YOYO30 to get 30% off, which practically knocked off shipping. I've already read most of it, and LOVE her tips and tricks. 

On Saturday night this weekend I went to see my bf play with his band and I wore this adorable piano pencil skirt (the bf plays the piano, duh!). Everyone loved it, especially him! I've already gotten lots of questions about my hair in this picture so don't worry I have a tutorial coming soon! But until then I used the Amika 4P iron using the 1.25 inch barrel. i ADORE that iron, four irons in one!

Hope all you lovelies had a great couple weeks! Get ready for lots of new vlogs, posts, giveaways, and more! And of course follow me on Facebook, cause I am constantly posting fun stuff for you lovelies. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

handpicked bridal event + giveaway

UPDATE: This event has been temporarily postponed, due to a scheduling conflict. I will re-post when new date has been picked. 

The other day, while in my local Starbucks something pretty caught my attention on the bulletin board. I immediately went over to find out more about this lovely poster hanging on the board and was so very excited when I started reading it. 

Not only do I have a big place in my heart for weddings (did you know I worked with one of the best Cleveland wedding planners for years), but it was also being co-hosted by and held at Studio MC in Cuyahoga Falls, which I love. I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend multiple events at Studio MC (as well as host the 330 Swap'N'Shop there), and trust me when I say those girls know how to put on an event. 

So I immediately knew this was going to be a great event, not only because of Studio MC but because of the beautifully designed poster. Seriously, it was chic and classy, and spot on trend. 

Handpicked | A Different Kind of Bridal Event
- A Collaborative Creation by -

Join us for a completely unique bridal show experience bringing the Coastal Wedding Trends we all adore right to you, here in the Midwest!  We've handpicked the best vendors in the area and brought them together for one night of Styled Bridal Goodness.  So put on your cutest pair of heels and grab your best girls to witness this Exclusive Vendor Collection and begin planning your truly fabulous event!

What to Expect:
- Unbelievably Gorgeous and Inspirational Details -
- Signature Cocktails, Delish Appetizers and a To-die-for Dessert Bar -
- A Packed Dance Floor -
- Some of the Nicest and Most Talented Local Vendors  -
(You'll wish they were your friends!)
- To Not Want to Leave -
- A great gift to take home with you at the end of the night! -

The Details:
Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM
                                 Studio MC - 940 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221
              :: $20 Advance Purchase Tickets :: $25 Tickets at the Door the Day of the Event ::
Purchase your tickets for this amazing event here!

Still have questions?  Shoot us an email {}!

As soon as I left Starbucks that day I ran into work and told two of my recently engaged girlfriends there about it. 
I didn't waste anytime emailing the ladies behind the Handpicked event to see if they wanted to work with my 
blog, and they were thrilled to! They have been generous enough to offer up a pair of tickets to the event for 
one of you local lovelies to win!
ps. they gave me one too, I wouldn't miss a good party with promised dessert.

I love the whole concept behind this event and am glad to see something like this happening in Akron. 
Think of this as the boutique version of your bridal shows. 
If you're anything like me (and I'm sure you are) you love the new, unique, chic, blog-worthy, and all around lovely weddings. And not so much your typical, expected, run of the mill, weddings. Well this is the event to get inspiration, mingle with vendors, see their work, taste their work, and just have a great time. Just grab your mom, MOH, or even fiancé and enjoy a night out with drinks and fun.

The girls behind the Handpicked event; Studio MC, Baci Designer, and Arielle Doneson Photography put together an lovely little photo shoot to share some of their inspiration with us, and it is to die for! I pulled some of my favorite below but be sure to check it out for yourself!

To ENTER this giveaway you MUST compete the first 5 tasks using the rafflecopter widget below:
1. Have a local mailing address.
2. Provide a projected wedding date
3. LIKE Handpicked Event 
4. LIKE A Lovely Little Blog
5. Leave a blog post comment below

I am asking for 1+2 so I can ensure the tickets will actually go to a deserving bride-to-be, 
and to ensure tickets will be used. 
The other options are additional entries and are not mandatory for entry. Please read the official rules and conditions. If you have any questions please email me at

Best of luck lovelies!

For those of you who don't win, I hope to still see you there! Trust me when I say this will be a one-of-a-kind event, and will put any of the other typical local bridal shows to shame.

UPDATE: This event has been temporarily postponed, due to a scheduling conflict. I will re-post when new date has been picked. 

ps. the lovely Lauren from Noto is giving away two tickets too, so if you want to up your chances of winning enter HERE.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

lovely little obsession + giveaway

Sometimes when you emerse yourself in the blog world, whether you're a reader or blogger yourself there are certain products, companies, people, etc that are as well known in blog world as say Starbucks is to the general public. Some things are so common to us that we often forget outside of our little blog bubble that others might have never even heard of it. 

The perfect example of one of those companies is Shabby Apple, a ridiculously amazing clothing and accessory site that specializes in vintage flair. I can't tell you how many times I've recommended a co-worker or friend to Shabby Apple, who had never even heard of it before. But mention that name in a group of bloggers, and you'll instantly hear them listing off their favorite pieces from the site.

I personally love vintage and retro style. I love how Shabby Apple takes those aspects and updates them so they don't look silly or costume-like in everyday, but you still have that understated sexy pin-up vibe. Every girl should embrace a little pin-up in themselves.
Oh and they even have some amazing maternity clothes too!

So obviously when Shabby Apple reached out to me to offer up a $50 gift card for my lovely readers I jumped at the chance. I personally have my eye on this maxi below because I love a good maxi, and a wrap dress does wonders for my figure. So don't be surprised if I start snapping pics of me wearing it soon!

To ENTER this giveaway you MUST complete the first 3 tasks:
1. LIKE Shabby Apple 
2. LIKE A Lovely Little Blog  
3. Leave a comment below 
The other options are additional entries and are not mandatory for entry. Please read the official rules and conditions. If you have any questions please email me at


Not only do you have a chance to win but Shabby Apple was also generous enough to offer up a 10% off code just for my readers, good for one month! Just use the code alovelylittleblog10off at checkout.

I can't wait to see what you lovelies pick as your favorite item! 

Do you think I should get the maxi I'm lusting after?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

little loves

Hey Lovelies!

Hope your week was lovely, just like mine! I had a pretty hectic week and skipped both my kickboxing and my zumba classes (so bad I know!), but I'm ready to get back on the bandwagon this week. Other than slacking there I was busy with work, blogging, and of course made some time for a great double date night, movie night with some friends, and today I'm walking the Akron Making Strides for Breast Cancer event with my grandmother (who is a survivor).

I wore this last Sunday for a casual date night. After looking everywhere for a chambray top I finally found one at Target and I love it. I am thinking I might need to go back and grab another in a different style because I have been wearing the heck out of this thing. 

I am on the hunt for a longer tunic style chambray top that would be good over leggings, has anyone seen one?

Oh how I adore Mask Monday. This week I went with Murad's Intensive-C Radiance Peel for my face, and Skyn Iceland's Eye Gels for some under eye care (c/o, and then used one of my all time favorite products One Love Organic's Skin Savior on my hair. A few weeks ago OLO posted a tutorial on their blog on how to do a hair treatment with Skin Savior and a straightening iron. I was really happy with the results.

Have any of you ever tried One Love Organics? Though the price tag might shock some of you at first, I promise this is hands down the BEST of the best stuff you can put on your skin. They have this awesome sample pack for under $4 with free shipping.

As soon as I saw my favorite little boutique post a photo of this on their Facebook page I just had to have it. It is the perfect size for my girly emergency kit, that is always coming in handy. 

I tried out the idea I had to adapt this recipe HERE for a banana cream pie. It turned out alright but I would change a few things next time. Not to mention it didn't set that well, so I was thinking it might be better in a pretty desert bowl, as a layered desert you serve with a spoon. Either way it was yummy and a huge hit with the boys on date night. I will let you know once I get the recipe nailed down. Or email me if you have questions.

Once I started really getting into beauty I realized what a difference filling in your eyebrows makes, and I have never looked back. It totally changes the way I look and feel. I look awake, bright, complete, and I always get tons of compliments on my eyes when my brows are colored in. I was lucky enough to get the new Stila In The Know palette in my September ambassador box and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this palette. It actually reminds me a lot of UD's Naked palette but it's matte shadows (which I am huge huge fan of).

If you're new to filling in your brows I recommend using a powder, or matte shadow like I used here. I still swear by this method but pencils are great too, though more advanced. Just get an angled brush and use a shadow similar to your brow color but a little lighter, I used Driftwood from this palette. You want to make small light strokes, mimicking eyebrow hairs. Use a Q-tip to blend if need be.

In all fairness I did warm you I have been wearing the heck out of this top. It just looks SO GOOD with colored and printed denim! I wore this out on Friday with my friends to see the movie Pitch Perfect (yes I was that show choir girl in high school). These black flats are getting worn out and it makes me incredibly sad. These were actually a replacement pair from the pair I had originally. Hands downy he cutest, most comfortable black flats I have ever owned. Whatever will I do when they die?

As much as I do hate the cold, I do love outerwear. Paired this outfit with my black leather moto jacket and this cream ombre style infinity scarf from H+M.

Also in case you haven't noticed I did announce the winner for this lovely cuff from Oceanne. See if it was you HERE. And don't you worry your lovely lithe head if you didn't win because first Oceanne is offering 25% OFF just for my readers for a limited time. So hurry and snatch of something amazing (holiday's are just around the corner too) with code LOVELY25.


Also my current Glam Grab giveaway for this killer statement necklace is almost up! 
Hurry and enter HERE.