daily outfit, dress

Meet the Trudy by Karina Dresses

June 30, 2015
I was provided this dress by Karina in order to give my honest opinion as one of the Karina Dresses Frockstar™ event bloggers. All opinions are my own, obviously. #frockstar

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Dress: Trudy by Karina Dresses
Shoes: Steve Madden
Scarf: H&M
Earrings: Claire’s
Watch: Kohls

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This time around, I branched out again and decided to try a new style of dress from Karina Dresses! This one is the Trudy. It has a sweet-heart neckline, a little puff to the sleeves, and the classic flowing skirt of all the Karina styles. Plus, of course it has the wrinkle-free, uber-comfortable material that makes up the entire line of dresses.

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Honestly, I’ve never owned a sweetheart neckline before. Usually they go a little lower than I would feel comfortable wearing. Plus they tend to over-emphasis the bust area. But this one, at least on me, is perfect. It still have the classic sweetheart look but doesn’t go low enough to make me fidget. Admittedly, I did use a little double-sided tape to hold it in place and keep it from gaping open when I move. Then again, I use double-sided tape a lot to keep things exactly where they belong.

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I’m loving this material, especially with the approaching Fourth of July holiday. While I paired it with a patterned scarf this time around, on the 4th I’ll likely put it with a pair of white sandals and a red sweater. Perfect! Actually Karina Dresses has a lot of dresses that would be perfect for the patriotic holiday – and the rest of the summer too. That’s what I love about these dresses, that while they are all patterned they are also versatile enough to wear in a variety of ways.

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life

How To Beat the Monday Blues

June 26, 2015

Why is it that people dread Mondays so much? Every start of the week, my twitter feed is filled with longing for the weekend and dread for the week ahead. I know I might be in the minority, but I look forward to Mondays. Yes, I know I’m on summer vacation now so I shouldn’t be talking much about the working world these months, but I look forward to Mondays even during the school year.

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Mondays are great because they’re so busy. During the school year, Mondays are full of potential for the week ahead, excitement for the lessons ahead, the subject matter I’ll be teaching. Busy days mean they fly by and are over with faster. Dragging through a work day is the worst. It’s much better when you look up at 5 o’clock and realize it’s time to go home. Heading into the week with this mindset makes it so much easier to face the alarm after a wonderful two-day break.

If you don’t share this mindset and facing Monday is a bit tougher for you, there are ways to turn it into a good day. Of course, nothing beats a Saturday night of fun and a Sunday morning of sleeping in, but Monday doesn’t have to be the worst thing.

How To Beat the Monday Blues:

Schedule something fun. Why do Saturday and Sunday get all the fun? Mondays can be fun too. Whether it’s a nice lunch date or a yoga class with friends after work, planning something to look forward to makes the day so much better. Make your whole week fun with little treats here and there. Add a delicious creamer to your coffee. Use your lunch break to read a good book. See a movie – some theaters offer discounts on certain weekdays. Even the smallest things make a big difference when you’re facing a long week ahead.

Speaking of treats, reward yourself with something nice. If you’ve just completed a big project or deadline, celebrate your wins with something nice. Plan a wine night out or a little bit of pampering like a pedicure or a facial. Another nice idea is to buy yourself some jewelry online, or better yet order it the week before so that it arrives on Monday, if you’re the planning type. There’s nothing like checking the mail and seeing something sparkly! Much better than boring bills or junk ads that’s typical for a Monday, right? Consider getting a monthly subscription box to come home to every once in a while. Sometimes you can choose when you want them to be delivered, so choose Mondays as your day!

Host a dinner. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but instead a time to get your girlfriends together to watch reality TV or a rom-com and eat a nice, home-cooked meal. Spaghetti or tacos are a hit among everyone and are so easy to make. A potluck means that everyone can bring a dish and share it buffet-style. Wanna make it completely stress-free? Order a pizza.

Hit the gym! Heading to the gym often gets met with groans, but getting your workouts in at the beginning of the week will make you feel better. You’ll feel more energized, better rested, and accomplished. If you’re tired of the same routine, shake it up with a spin class, join a running club, or gather up a few friends for a long walk after work. Doing the same thing over and over can make it seem boring, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

Relax. If you’re anything like me, sometimes the weekend is filled with all the things you weren’t able to do during the week. You’re busy running errands, doing laundry, and cleaning the house when really you just need some time to relax. Draw yourself a hot bath on Monday evening and indulge in a glass of wine. Put on some soothing music and catch up on your personal emails or reading through your fashion magazines. Watch your favorite television show and hit the hay early.

No matter what day of the week it is, it’s important to make time for yourself. Whether that’s 30 minutes or a few hours, there should be always be time to take care of you. This will help you feel energized throughout the week and make facing a Monday morning that much easier.

The thing about a Monday is that no matter how much we resist, they’re going to happen anyway. The good news is that we can take control of how we handle it. A positive attitude and a little bit of perspective can get your week off to a fantastic start. And obviously, a fabulous new outfit always helps. Mondays will never take place of looking forward to a weekend, but you can still sneak in a little fun and make the day all about you!

beauty, product review, review

Live Radiantly – St. Ives Fresh Hydration Lotions Review

June 25, 2015

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I’m on vacation right now, which means afternoons at the beach, daily runs in the afternoon heat, reading in the sun, etc… All of that is great for the mind and soul, but it isn’t always so great for the skin. While I’m being careful about the amount of time my skin is exposed to the sun, I’ve noticed more and more that my skin is dry. My legs are especially dry after all the sun and salt water exposure. At the same time, I have to admit that I hate traveling with lotion and I hate applying it even more. Enter St. Ives Hydration Lotion.

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For the lazy lotion applier, like me, this stuff is amazing. No need to squeeze out a goopy mess and then attempt to spread it around evenly without leaving white streaks all over your legs/arms/etc…  You just spray it on and then run your hands over quickly to make sure the lotion is equally distributed. Spray and done. Yup. The St. Ives hydrating lotion spray is that simple. Sweet, right?!

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Even better, the lotion bottles are easy to transport. I took the apricot scent with me as I toured the historic Newport, RI mansions last week. It was easy to carry and even easier to apply on the go. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the bottle leaking or spraying everything in your bag, because you can close off the spray spout with a simple twist of the top.

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These St. Ives hydrating lotions come in a variety of scents. I likes the simple smell of the Coconut Milk and Orchid Extract. Not your style? The lotion also comes in Apricot, Citrus, Oatmeal and Shea Butter, etc… Each one does a little something different. The Apricot Spray is formulated to replenish moisture in the skin. To get that done it’s made with a number of natural moisturizers including apricot extract, vegetable glycerin and shea butter. On the other hand, the coconut milk and orchid extract is meant to leave skin feeling silky smooth; with hints of fragrances like guava, pineapple, Hawaiian jasmine, Lily of the Valley, etc…  The St. Ives hydrating lotion spray retails for $7.99 for 6.5 fl. oz.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of St.Ives. The opinions and text are all mine.

beauty, face, product review, review

Review: Monsia Advanced Skin Renewal System

June 24, 2015

As you know, from a couple of the other reviews I’ve done this year, I’m trying to be really good about taking care of my skin, especially my face. Being really pro-active about skincare is no easy thing. Monsia sent me its Advanced Skin Renewal system as a trial. The kit includes a daily facial cleanser, a daily protection and toner lotion, an intense moisturizing day cream and an intense night repair cream.

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To use the system properly, I began with the cleanser. It’s a light, non-gritty facial cleanser. It is nearly scent-less too, which surprised me but I liked that it the soap wasn’t focused on creating some fresh seeming scent. After using the cleanser my face felt fresh and neither tight nor oily.

Next comes the toner. A simple cotton pad and this swipes easily over my face. I really liked this too. It left me face feeling a little sticky right after use, but once it dried my face was fresh and felt soft too.

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Next, depending on the time of day, I used the day cream or the night cream. A little of this goes a long way so a small dab on the tips of my fingers, rubbed over the finger tips of both hands and then massaged into my skin. For me, the day cream was too oily. It left my face feeling oily and after a couple days I broke out a little along my jawline. (Although in fairness I have yet to find any kind of facial lotion or cream that works with my skin type.)
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On the other hand, the night cream was amazing. I used it before bed and never woke up feeling greasy. In fact, I woke up feeling refreshed even after a number of hours. So, for my own routine I neglected the day cream and went with the night cream each and every night.

Personally, I loved the Monsia Advanced Skin Renewal system. Even with the disagreeable day cream, the whole system did wonders for my face. The whole system sells for $259.53. Want more information on this company and its products? Check out Monsia’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

 

This is a product review post. I was provided with the Monsia Advanced Skin Renewal System in order to share my honest thoughts.
daily outfit, pants, yellow

Wide-Leg Pants for a Bridal Shower

June 23, 2015

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I know, I know. I have a post pending on the Meant To Bee bridal shower my mom hosted earlier in the month for my cousin, but that’s still in the works. If you’ve seen my Instagram or drip that accounts you’ve already gotten a little preview of the event. Stay tuned…

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So, for the time being here’s what I wore to the bridal shower. With the bee theme, mom made us all where yellow and black clothing. Since this was a day after my literal run-in with a tourist while on rollerskates, I went with the wide-leg pant option to hide the mangled left leg. UGH! (Note to self: never break in your derby skates on the first nice weekend day of the year when tourists are rampant along the lakefront path.)

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Pants: New York & Co.
Shirt: Target
Shoes: DSW
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Necklace: Mimi Boutique

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Since the pants are so crazy – both in shape and pattern – I went with a fitted and totally plain top to balance out the bottoms. With the basic top and wild bottoms I used the orange necklace to add a little point of interest and step slightly away from the yellow and black combination without breaking mom’s dress code. Simple wedge gladiator sandals completed the look.

family, food, home, summer, vacation

Summer of Flavor – let it take you back

June 22, 2015

You know how there are songs or sounds that take you back to a specific time, a specific location? Maybe it’s the song that was playing when you drove in the car for the first time by yourself, or the song that was playing during your first slow dance ever. The first few bars comes on the radio and you’re immediately back in that moment like it was happening now.

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For me, there are some tastes that are the same. One swig of Dr. Pepper and I’m back to a high school summer vacation. My best friend and I, along with her dad, traveled from Illinois, all the way through Wisconsin and into the upper peninsula of Michigan to spend several days in their cabin by the lake. It took more than 8 hours to drive there and the whole way, my best friend and I ate pounds of jelly beans and drank Dr. Pepper, her personal favorite. I won’t bore you with the details about the stomach ache we both had by the time we arrived.

We spent our days fishing on the lake, sunning outside the cabin, and walking the trails. We spent our evenings watching cheesy old school horror movies and then freaking ourselves out at the sound of wolves howling in the distance. And through it all, we drank cans and cans of Dr. Pepper.

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Now, even years later, every time I take a sip of this soda I remember that vacation with nostalgia and joy.

Tastes, just like sounds, have the ability to create a memory and take us back. Dr. Pepper is all about creating those memories with unique flavors. The company now has two summer flavors – cherry and vanilla float – that can help build those memories.

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Combine the Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float with some delicious vanilla ice cream for a tasty dessert. It’s a new take on an old classic; you’ll have new flavors and new memories this summer while watching the fireworks explode or the stars shine in the sky.

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For the adults, take the cherry flavored Dr. Pepper, mix in a little ice, a little cherry or vanilla flavored vodka and ta-da you’ve got a perfect drink to relax with on Friday night.
So, go ahead, let those flavors take you back and create your own Summer of Flavor.

(These limited edition soda flavors can’t be found everywhere, but you can get them at select local Albertsons and Safeway grocers.)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. The opinions and text are all mine.

beauty, hair

How To Get Your Best Curls After Every Wash

June 19, 2015

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There is more to getting perfect (or near-perfect) curls than just adhering to the Curly Girl Method of hair cleansing. It takes work both in and out of the shower. From all my experimentation now that my locks are long, I’ve found the following techniques work the best for getting your best curls each and every time you need to ‘wash’ your hair.

How to Get Your Best Curls Right Out of the Shower:

  1. Apply leave-in conditioner. As a final shower step, after the water is off and you’ve rinsed your conditioner out, take your leave-in conditioner (I actually use the same conditioner I used in the shower) and scrunch a small amount into the ends of your hair. The longer or thicker your hair the more you can apply. You want your hair to feel and sound a little like squishing seaweed (sorry if that is a gross visual.) I use about a quarter-sized dollop on my hair, but honestly as long as I stay away from the scalp area I’ve never found that I applied too much leave-in conditioner.
  2. Do NOT use a towel. It can be tempting to want to ring, squeeze or dab your dripping hair with a towel. Don’t do it! The towel removes too much water and usually ends up leaving your curls separated, which means your hair is already on the way to being frizzy rather than curly. Instead, scrunch your hair upward as a way to remove dripping water. I’ve also found the wetter I leave my hair the better the curls are later. Not sure why that is, but for my hair it is totally true.
  3. Apply your taming product immediately! Again, apply this in a scrunching manner, always trying to maintain and enhance your curls. Need product suggestions? I’ve got a whole list of Curly Girl products that are curly girl approved and personally tested. While applying try to apply as evenly as possible but with as little manipulating as possible. The less you touch, tease and tame it the better.
  4. Let it air dry. Yes, on occasion I will use a diffuser but that is only when my hair needs to be dry quicker than usual. Otherwise, I let it air dry. Yes, that does mean I walk around with wet/damp hair for a couple hours but since using this routine I only cleanse my hair twice a week so that isn’t too much of a burden.  (I think applying heat is one of the six ways we ruin our curly hair.)
  5. Stop touching your hair! The more you touch it the more it frizzes. So, after applying the taming product of your choice leave your hair alone. This goes for the rest of the day, which can be really difficult, but certainly it applies to the time it takes your hair to dry. In order to not touch my hair when I am trying out different outfits for the day I use a technique called hair plopping and leave my hair up in a 100% cotton t-shirt during the entire dressing and makeup application process. Once that is done I carefully pull it out of the t-shirt and then try not to touch it for the next several hours.
  6. Own the crazy curls. So often I see curly girls pulling their hair back almost as soon as it is dry. Heck, I used to do that too. But now I own the curls. I let the wind tangle them in the car and sleep rumple them in the night, but for the most part I leave the curls long and flowing. From what I’ve read this is also good for the further creation of ‘curl memory’ so that each time you wash your curls they know exactly how to curl again. Pulling them back destroys their memory.

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Do you have best practices for your curly hair? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below and let me know how you deal with the curls.

fitness, health, review, workout

Marathon Training in RBX Leggings

June 17, 2015
This is a review post. I was provided the RBX leggings in order to offer my honest opinion on the company and product.

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While I always try to get in at least four workouts every week, I’m now in marathon training mode. The Chicago marathon might not be until October, but its already time to start working on decreasing my mile time and increasing my mileage. For me, this means running four times a week and then getting in some kind of cross training workout at least one or two days. With all these workouts in the hopper for the weeks and months ahead, great workout attire is a must.

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These RBX Camo Leggings are a great and versatile pair of workout bottoms. In the cooler temperatures I can wear them under a pair of yoga pants, to add a bit of extra warmth. During the warmer months, they are great for a quick backyard workout. Sidenote: I don’t usually feel comfortable wearing these kind of bottoms out in public for a long run, just because they are so form fitting.

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These leggings are so darn comfortable. They are easy to wear and, unlike a number of other brands I’ve tried, they do not stretch out so that by the end of the workout you need to pull them up constantly. On the contrary, these stayed perfectly in place throughout my entire workout with no tugging or pulling necessary.

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The other thing I really like about these leggings is the pattern. They are so much more than the typical solid workout bottom and at the same time they are flattering. The material is also thick enough to not have to worry about patches of skin showing through. (I’ve seen some bad occasions of that at my gym recently.) This style comes in four different patterns – this gray and neon green was my favorite.

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Want to snag a pair of these for yourself? You can purchase them for 25% off using the code Active25. The discount code is good through the end of July! The leggings usually retail for $30.

 

 

 

dress, giveaways

Karina Dresses Giveaway – June Part II

June 16, 2015
I’m part of the Karina Dresses Frockstar Giveaway blogger group. Karina Dresses provides me with a dress to review and this twice-monthly giveaway. All opinions are my own. #frockstar

It’s the middle of the month, which means one Karina Dresses giveaway has ended and a new one has just begun. haven’t been lucky enough yet to win SIX new Karina Dresses of your own? No worries, here’s another shot!

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I don’t have a new outfit post this time around because I skipped town before the dress arrived at my door. *sob! But, if you’ve read ModlyChic in the past, you’ve seen plenty of posts about Karina. This post has a smattering of outfits using Karina dresses as the starting point.

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In case you’ve actually missed the previous posts…  I’ve tried a variety of dresses as well as a lot of the same dress in different patterns. I’ve styled the Megan, as well as the Rita and the Carolyn and the Gala and the again in another style Megan. And let’s not forget about all the different Ruby dresses I’ve styled…  the Ruby last Spring, and the fall-patterned Ruby, as well as the blue, green and orange-colored Ruby, plus my favorite patterned Ruby to date. Oh, and don’t forget about the time I donned the Ruby and my mom got to try the Nora.

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In case you were counting the above listing of the dresses and styles I’ve tried… this means I have donned six different styles of Karina Dresses! And apparently I have a thing for photographing the dresses with the skirt portion flared out.

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Want to win SIX of your own Karina Dresses? Use the entry form below to be entered for a chance to win your own collection of these versatile, easy-to-wear, easy-to-pack dresses.



 

accessory, watch

Collecting Watches – a look at popular brands

June 14, 2015
This post is contributed by MediaBuzzer.

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Five years ago I never, ever wore a watch. I used my phone to tell the time and I was happy with that. But then slowly, over the years I realized a good-looking watch can be an intricate part of accessorizing any outfit and it can be a great addition to any arm party. From that point, I’ve begun collecting watches. I like super trendy items, but I also like really classic looking pieces.

One of the most elegant items a person can choose to collect are antique watches. They’re wearable, beautiful and are valuable pieces of art. There are remarkable stories of how the value of vintage watches has increased precipitously. Before you start picking up random watches at second-hand shops, you need to know that not all antique watches share the same collectability or incremental raise in value.

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As you would with any expensive hobby, research is critical. Don’t jump in until you are aware of the pitfalls you may encounter. The obvious issue are fakes. The notion of phony Rolexes has become a contemporary cliché. Don’t allow yourself to be duped. It’s actually a fact of life: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Begin your research by becoming familiar with the names of popular brands of antique watches. Look thoroughly at the types of vintage watches available. A good place to start looking is kalmarantiques.com.au. With anything you plan to collect, make sure it is something you really like. In this case, choose watches if you genuinely like them. If you never wear a wristwatch and are reliant solely on your iPhone for the time, this may not be right choice for you.

The next step is to look towards which era appeals to you. Watch experts note that collectors often narrow their pieces to a certain era, or, even, a certain collection.  The most commonly collected vintage watch are Rolexes, and there’s a lot to know about them. And that’s the best place to start, with the basics. Made with precious metals and gems, it’s clear that Rolexes qualify as jewellery, but a collector will tell you that Rolexes were made for function, as a wearable tool, and rarely will describe the watches as jewellery.

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Popular Brands of Antique Watches

Here are just some of the brands you can examine before you narrow your focus. You may want to collect only one brand, and, likely, one line from the brand, or one era from the brand, or one collection. Then again, you may focus on an era and be open to different brands; this is a decision that will open up the market for you.

Rolex
Tudor
Gruen
Hamilton
Jaeger Le Coultre
Phillippe Patek
Lord Elgin
Longines
Omega
Girard Perregaux
Elgin
Bulova
Movado
Waltham
Illinois
Benrus
Jules Jurgensen
Wittnauer
Universal Geneve
Seiko
Cartier
Tiffany
Tissot
You can also make a distinction between the types of watch you want to collect:
Wristwatch
Pocket Watch
Brooch Watch

Movements to Consider:
Swiss
Mechanical
Quartz

Styles to focus on:
Military
Drivers
Divers
Chronograph
Character
solid gold
yellow gold
white gold
platinum
silver
diamond
ruby
emerald

An issue for true collectors is maintenance. Most experts advise you keep spring-watches wound, and self-winding watches moving. If your collection grows large, you won’t be able to wear all of your watches on a regular basis. Therefore, there are beautiful cases to keep your collectible watches, and many of these cases are actually battery powered, too, to keep the watch in rhythmic movement. They’re worth the investment and can make a stunning addition to your room’s décor.