My #ITGTOPSHELFIE

Into the Gloss, one of my favorite blogs created by the genius Emily Weiss, and College Fashionista (another blog I check religiously and one day hope to be a part of) have asked their readers to share their #ITGTOPSHELFIE. Now you may be wondering what can all those letters possibly mean!?! Well its very simple actually: ITG (Into the Gloss) has asked their readers to share their Top Shelves’ or “their beauty line-up” for a chance to be featured on ITG. So today, I am going to share my beauty line-up with all of you as if I was being featured on ITG myself.

Skincare: I like to pretend that I am very into skincare. I really do think I am, but I sometimes don’t always follow the lovely skincare regimen I set up for myself. One product that I try to use every morning is Clean & Clear’s “morning burst hydrating gel moisturizer.”  If I forget everything else for the rest of the day, I’m okay in my mind be

FullSizeRendercause I used this. Its so light and fresh which is what makes me love it because it wakes me up and helps me feel ready to start my day. Also in the morning, I try my hardest to get myself to use my clean and clear morning burst facial cleanser and deep cleaning toner. These 3 products used together work really well. I find that they give a similar effect to a Clinique set, but at less cost. In the shower, every other day I use my St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It is such an amazing exfoliator and it smells so so good (which is very important when purchasing products)! Occasionally, I like to step up my game (on the weekends) and I will use the Arcona Cranberry Morning Exfoliator to get a different product on my skin. And finally if I am not too lazy at night after wiping off all my makeup I will apply the Neutrogena naturals nourishing night cream all over my face for max moisturization (thats probably not a word) and even though it isn’t an eye cream, I use the Clinque skin hydrating cream under my eyes for even more moisturization! I have been very fortunate not to get many pimples, but when I do i use my Clean and Clear acne spot treatment. It works so so well. I highly recommend it!  Although this may sounds conceited, the one thing I almost always get compliments on is my skin. So maybe I am doing something right with my skincare?

Haircare: My hair is probably one of my favorite things about myself. Almost a year ago, I got it dyed ombre and I love it! I’m thinking about redying it soon actually. But to take care of my hair, I switch off with a number of products. Once a week, before I wash my hair with Organix coconut milk shampoo, I use the Organix moroccan argan oil intense moisturizing treatment. It makes my hair FullSizeRender-1so soft and it always looks so good the day after I use it. After I wash my hair, I have a few products that I like to switch around using a few different products – sometimes alone, sometimes mixing and sometimes all together (*insert monkey covering it’s eyes emoji here*). The product I have been using for the longest is Bed Head Control Freak. It really works well at defrizzing and taming hair. It can even be used on dry hair, which I do do from time to time. I also like to use Its a 10 because it just really is a miracle product. I have no other words to explain it. And lastly, I use Organix argan oil spray for shine. Every once and while I also use the Living Proof PHD, but usually only when I am planning to use heat on my hair. Speaking of heat, I use the CHI protectant spray to save my hair from the dangerous high high heat that comes with blowdrying and ironing. And finally, one of my favorite products of all is the Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. For those days that I decide not to wash my hair, it gives my hair a fresh feeling and makes it smell really good too!

There you have it, my #IGTOPSHELFIE. I know its a lot, but I just love all these products so much and am so happy that Into the Gloss and College Fashionista gave me the opportunity to do so!

*Dislaimer: most of my products are from the drug store – which is not a bad thing at all! I don’t think it is always necessary to spend an exorbitant amount of money on products when there are so many at the drug store that work really well!

Not the Skinny One

This is a sensitive topic for me, and as I write this, I am not sure if I even want to post it, but here we go…

Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew I wasn’t the skinny one. I wore tankinis and one pieces while everyone else wore bikinis. I worried more about what we were going to be eating next. I was the one who always wanted more. I was the one who got in trouble not for being disrespectful, but for hiding candy wrappers around my house. I was the one who searched the kitchen for the secret hiding spots for candy and cookies.

And being a little girl, I didn’t notice that I was the outcast. The one that was different from everyone else. Because little kids don’t have judgements and they don’t know any different to think badly about themselves. But as I got older I learned the truth: people see you differently if you’re not skinny.

This was never that hard of a concept for me to grasp. Although, I luckily was never was treated badly for not being skinny. I’ve always had the best friends, a supportive family and even now an amazing boyfriend. I’m in tons of clubs in school, have an active social life, and get good grades. But for me, this is not enough.

I’ve struggled my entire tween and young adult life with my weight. I can’t remember the last time that I went more than an hour without thinking about how I look and how I don’t like the way I look. Literally I have tried so many things and programs to lose weight you wouldn’t even imagine. Weight Watchers multiple times, Jenny Craig, nutritionists, personal trainers, therapists and yet here I am, at the highest weight of my life and unhappy as ever.

No, I have never turned to anorexia or bulimia, but I have come close. I think there is something in my head that will not allow me to lose weight because I feel like all I think about is how happy I will be once I am skinny and healthy and how I will be able to wear all the clothes I want and just feel like a better person – but then I see food. And it’s like my mind goes “well screw it, you’ve gotta eat this!!!!” but in reality I don’t have to eat this. I know I don’t, but I do anyway.

I’m able to make jokes about my weight and be silly with it, but that isn’t what I really want. I want to be able to wear a bikini and feel confident in it. I want to not go to stores and try on things that aren’t supposed to be tight, but are. I want to be able to wear a sports bra to the gym if it is really hot out! I want to feel comfortable in my own skin and I want to be able to be happy with myself.

I know something needs to change. I can’t keep living life this way. It not only is causing me emotional harm, but it is just not healthy. I am so thankful that I am not judged, out in the open at least, for my weight. But I can’t go on like this anymore. Something has to change. So I’m putting this in writing because I think that is makes it more real for me. It makes me accountable for my actions, even though I am still doing this for me.

Today is the day! March 4, 2015: I pledge to do right my by body and myself. I will not let food control my life anymore. I’m going to make smart decisions and I am going to stay on track with Weight Watchers because I know that this will result in my overall happiness in the future. I’m going to exercise as much as I can and I am going to congratulate  myself for the little goals and try to be happy with myself as I go on this journey. 

I can’t credit myself for this decision though because honestly I probably would have kept going down this path of idleness which would have just made me even more unhappy and who knows where that would lead to. My best friend reached out to me randomly when she didn’t even know how much I needed her encouragement. She has inspired me and helped me realize that I need to do this for me and I will be so happy with my final results. So I just wanted to say thank you and tell you how much you mean to me, Perri. Thank you.

So as I go further along this journey, I will share my progress with you and check in here because I think for me at least that gives me the motivation to keep going. So stay tuned for the new and improved me.

NOLA

It is hard to really appreciate what you have when you have never known any life any different from your own. I always am so thankful for everything I have and all the amazing opportunities available to me, but I never really understood how lucky I was until recently when I traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana for a community service trip that I didn’t expect to have the impact on me that it did.

Although I wasn’t actually doing community service here, we were enjoying our time at a Mardi Gras day parade!

 

I traveled to NOLA with 2 of my close friends and a group of strangers as part of a community service trip for teenagers in my area. Although before I left I was very excited and knew that we would be making an impact, I didn’t fully comprehend how much of a difference we would be making in just a short few days. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005, 10 years ago, so I kind of thought that it would not have so much destruction left because it was such a long time ago. I was wrong. Besides the main parts of the city that were rebuilt, New Orleans and it’s suburbs looked almost as if it had just been hit by a hurricane. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of rebuilt buildings and homes, but it seemed almost as if that number was equal to the homes in shambles.

10404394_836114299784852_215615009071126057_n

After sorting hundreds of pairs of jeans, my friends and I took advantage of the very cool background across the street from the food pantry for a quick photo op!

When we first arrived, we went to a food pantry called Love in Action Outreach, which provides food and clothing and some other items to the community around them all through the help of volunteers. It was founded by Gail Womack-Murray, who herself was impacted by Hurricane Katrina and through the goodness of her heart, while she was even struggling to get back on her feet, helped the community around her. Gail and her staff were very happy to have us help. While we were at the pantry, we did many different things: we helped people find the food they were looking for, we helped Gail in her office, and we sorted hundreds of pairs of jeans by size in a matter of hours (The Love in Action Outreach members had been trying to organize these jeans for over a year). It was really touching to see the difference we were able to make for Gail and the entire food pantry in a matter of hours.

10991159_655066457933291_4573331894557916373_n

This was in the kid garden at NOLA Green Roots. We helped them get the soil ready in each one of these colorful boxes for planting.

 

Another organization we volunteered with was NOLA Green Roots. Despite the unusually cold weather for Louisiana that we encountered that day, we had a lot of fun working in the garden helping plant new vegetables and picking lettuce for people to eat. What I thought was very interesting was that because of the high poverty rate in New Orleans, the people who live there are consuming a lot of unhealthy food because it comes at a lower price. There aren’t that many grocery stores easily accessible to the people that live in the city and the surrounding suburbs. NOLA Green Roots is trying to help the community by providing more fruits and vegetables in a place where they’re aren’t many.

This is me and only a portion of the wood that we helped sort into piles to help rebuild the house.

We also volunteered with YRNO, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans. Personally I enjoyed this day the most because it was the most hands on experience. We helped demolish a house that hadn’t been lived in since the hurricane 10 years ago so that it could be rebuilt by the help of another group of volunteers. This was a lot of fun because it was something I never had the opportunity to do before. I never had used a crowbar and hammer to pull down a house! It was very exciting. YRNO really does a great thing for the community. It was founded by a group of teenagers at the time of Hurricane Katrina who were looking to make a difference in their community, but we’re too young to help. They want to help improve the education system in New Orleans so they buy up these houses that need to be revitalized in favorable neighborhoods and they fix them up and resell them to teachers at 20% below market value. Because of the help of groups like YRNO, New Orleans is almost back to the condition it was before the hurricane.

10612823_656241874482416_1067865357212306047_n

And I couldn’t resist including these yummy beignets and coffee from the classic Café Du Monde! Ugh so good!

 

I really just went on this trip to have fun, and I did have a lot of fun. We were in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and we went to a parade, and we went on a haunted walking tour and got to eat great food and even took a creole style cooking class. But I didn’t need community service hours for any club or anything, and even if I did I could have gotten those in my own community. I never expected to take so much away from it and to have it impact my life so much. I have never seen as much poverty and destruction in my short 16 years (almost 17) as I saw in NOLA. Going on this trip really has allowed me to reflect on everything I have and be a lot more grateful for all the opportunities given to me.

 

Is the High Fashion World Really for Me?

I’ve always wanted to go into the “High Fashion World.” For me, this seemed like such an exciting career path to follow and of course I still think it is. But this fashion week has made me realize something, while I have good style and know what looks good together, high fashion is a completely different thing.

It is hard to take the runway looks and make them more accessible for people who don’t need such fancy outfits in their lives. People don’t always have all the money they want to spend on such luxurious clothing items. So it makes me think, is the high fashion world somewhere I could see my self in? Supposedly starving models? High prices and strange looks that I don’t understand, but yet are still fashion?

Byblos_Milano_spring_summer_2015_collection_Milan_Fashion_Week1

Don’t get me wrong, I think all of these looks are gorgeous, but if I tried to put this on and style it like this, I would look ridiculous! Where is anyone supposed to wear the outside 2? The middle outfit is more accessible to the everyday person.

Yes, I still could see myself in this world. Not necessarily the fashion part, per say. So much more goes into making a brand and a clothing line than just the designer. Of course every little girl at some point in her life wanted to grow up to be a glamorous fashion designer, but as soon as the reality set in that I couldn’t draw the designing thing went out the window.

Then I turned to magazines. I literally read every fashion magazine out there – Vogue, Allure, Bazaar, Lucky, Marie Clair, Elle, Glamour – the list goes on forever. I think it would be so amazing to work at a magazine like this getting to write everyday and be a part of this spectacular publication that is all about fashion, but with the growing technology will fashion magazines be able to live with the changing way that their readers are obtaining their information?

PR then started to interest me. What if I could be a part of the fashion world, not have to draw, organize fashion shows, have close relationships with designers, be a part of so many companies that have such amazing products and get to actually enjoy my job? It almost sounds like it could be too good to be true. While I could be considered too young to already know what I actually want to do, for me I don’t think my interests will stray too far away from public relations and communications. This allows me to make better decisions for myself because I have a direction that I see myself going in.

The Unwritten Rules of Social Media

I hope I’m not the only one who is tired of their mom asking “When can i post this?” or “Am I allowed to like that?” I feel like there are tacit rules for social media that no one ever says, they are just known by all.  My main 3 social media sites are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and each social media has different rules that people abide to, and today I am going to share what I consider essential rules with you.

1. Instagram

Just because Kylie can post 4 times in one day, doesn't mean you should

Just because Kylie can post 4 times in one day, doesn’t mean you should

  • Only post once a day. While it is okay to occasionally post 2 times in one day, don’t do it often. The only people who can pull this off are celebrities, food instragrams, or people who have like a ridiculous number of followers. Not only is it annoying to see multiple posts from one person, but traditionally you won’t get as many likes.
  • Don’t post blurry or poorly edited pictures. No one wants to scroll down their feed and see a blurry shot of the pool your currently lounging by or a picture of you with orange skin. It’s amateur and honestly poor use of the amazing apps that can fix your photos. (I recommend Afterlight – it is so worth the $0.99)
  • Don’t tag a million people in your pictures. I don’t want to be tagged in a picture of flowers because I am not a flower.
  • Like pictures that you like and even ones that you don’t. On Instagram it is okay to like everyones picture (Facebook is a different story) even if its your mom’s best friend or vice versa. Everyone likes to get likes.
  • Don’t like posts from over 3 days ago. Then it looks like you were stalking the person – Insta stalking is 100% okay and actually welcomed, but don’t let anyone know that it is happening. If you accidentally like an old picture, unlike it ASAP and pretend that it never happened.
  • Follow someone to follow them, not to get the follow back. When people are constantly following and unfollowing you it gets annoying. Like just pick one, because if I haven’t followed you back by now, chances are it’s not happening.

2. Twitter

Which one do I keep following? Like please be original.

Which one do I keep following? Like please be original.

  • Tweet as much as you want. I feel like twitter is kind of a diary, but like for everyone to see. So while you can share your thoughts and feelings, don’t get too personal.
  • Don’t tweet at celebrities over and over again because chances are, there’s a million (literally a million) other people doing the same exact thing and not only is it a waste of your time, but it’s annoying to the people who follow you.
  • Live tweeting TV shows is welcomed and if you don’t want to ruin the episode, then don’t go on twitter. Live tweeting episodes make the experience much more enjoyable because you can interact with other people and even the cast of the show to see their reactions and opinions on the particular episode right when it is happening.
  • Unfollow accounts that post the same thing. I once was scrolling down my timeline and saw “AP Netflix” 3 times in a row. Please be original – if you think something is funny, then retweet it instead!

-Just a side note: Twitter is definitely the most lenient of social media. People don’t really care so much about what people tweet, as long as it abides by these rules above.

3. Facebook MjAxMy03MDVjNThiYTBjNjNjNzg5

  • Changing your profile picture all the time is not okay. I’m sorry but no one wants to see every single week that you updated your profile picture. Find one you like give it a few months then change it. (Although, don’t keep the same picture for like over a year because chances are you don’t look the same.)
  • Don’t give status updates about your life. Big events are okay and welcomed, but just tell your friends in your group chat that you loved the new Spiderman movie. Maybe I wanted to decide that for myself.
  • STOP INVITING ME TO PLAY CANDY CRUSH 
  • Don’t worry that much about likes on your profile picture anymore – people only go on Facebook to stalk other peoples pictures so if they don’t like your prof, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you.
  • Facebook stalking is also okay. I mean if someone says do you know so and so, you don’t want to say no so do a quick fb check or you want to see your friends new boyfriend from another town, look him up on Facebook and everything is all good. (Again, do not like old pics!)

There you have it, the basic and essential rules of social media. If you follow these rules you will be a social media pro and everyone will be like “omg why are you so good at this?!” and you can be like “Because i’m flawless.”

Sunglass Season

My favorite accessory of all time: Sunglasses. I love them so much because there are an endless amount of styles and even though the warm months are prime time for sunglasses, they can be worn all year! While I love my designer glasses, I also am obsessed with fun ones too.

Spring Fashion Essentials

Spring is finally here and that means it’s time to break out the jean shorts and sunglasses and put away those chunky boots and sweaters! It can get a little crazy with all the different fashion choices so let me give you my spring fashion essentials breakdown.

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 5.30.31 PM

First up, you need a solid pair of light wash ripped jeans. Not jean shorts, but jeans. They are my number one piece of clothing right now because they can be dressed up or dressed down and they are perfect for any occasion. I usually roll them up on the bottom – since I’m only 5 foot! They look great with t- shirts, light sweaters, layers and basically everything else.

40140.4.detailFashion sneakers are next (well that’s what I call them anyway). They’re the sneakers that ash and Steve Madden are making right now in all different colors. They are my favorite pair of shoes I have ever bought because they are comfortable and they look good with everything. Never before have I worn any kind of flat or sneaker with leggings, but these look great and they come in so many colors and variations it’s almost impossible to pick one!

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 5.41.09 PM

Next, we have white t-shirts! My holy grail piece of clothing. I own at least 20 of them and I wear them year round with millions of different combinations. In my opinion, Spring is the optimal time to wear them because they can be worn alone, with colored shorts, skirts, jeans, to the beach, to a party (you get the idea). I usually like them to be plain, but sometimes it’s good to switch it up with a design or something. The possibilities are endless and that is what makes them so great.

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 5.43.51 PM

Sunglasses. I don’t really think it’s possible for me to live without them. Everyone should have at least one nice pair of sunglasses because they are the perfect addition to any warm-weather outfit. There’s so many variations so it is important that you get the pair that is right for your face. Spring is the perfect time to experiment with fun sunglasses – but more on that in a later post 😀

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 5.45.27 PM

Finally, plaid shirts. These are probably my second most worn item. I feel like they can be worn so many ways and because they come in so many colors they can be worn all of the time! They are perfect for Spring because they are light, but still keep you warm when the weather is unpredictable.

plaid-shirt-jeans

Not only are these items perfect alone, but together they work really well too. White tee, ripped jeans, plaid shirt tied around the waist, fashion sneakers and sunglasses on your head make a perfect casual outfit that will look great all of the time. Urban Outfitters is having an amazing sale right now and you can get all of these essentials and more (yay online shopping woohooo!) on sale with the code SALE20! Check it out before it’s too late!!