Monthly Archives: August 2013


What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway

August 28, 2013

If you’re squeezing in one last getaway for the summer this weekend, here are some ideas of what to pack! I’ll be heading up to Moosehead Lake for a relaxing time with my family. Whether you’re going to the beach, spending a weekend in the city, or hanging out at a cabin by the lake (like me!), here’s a fool-proof packing list to make sure you’re lounging in style!

KS weekender

Lake House

The Beach

Weekend in the City

I hope these packing suggestions leave you with one less thing to worry about. Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend!



How to Get the Perfect Manicure

August 24, 2013

Every girl loves to have a great manicure. However, going to the salon every week is extremely time consuming and can get expensive. After much trial-and-error, I’ve perfected the art of the at-home manicure. Gals, get ready to have great-looking nails and save your hard-earned dollars in the process!

What you’ll need:

The Perfect Manicure

Step One

Remove any old nail polish from your nails. My favorite method for doing this is to rip 10 tiny pieces from one cotton ball, soak each one in acetone and place on each nail. Leave on for at least 10 seconds. Remove each piece of cotton by applying a firm, downward pressure and sliding off the end of the nail. Most (if not all) of the nail polish should come off in one swipe.

Step Two

Soak nails in the bowl of warm water and white vinegar for 5 minutes. The vinegar helps to soften your cuticles for easier removal (even though your hands will smell vaguely like a salad). Apply cuticle oil to softened cuticles.

Steps 3 & 6

Step Three

Gently push back your softened cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orange stick. Most of the time, this will be the sufficient grooming your cuticles need. For truly unruly cuticles, carefully trim with a sharp cuticle trimmer.

Step Four

Cut and file your nails however you like. I like to keep my nails short and square, but that’s just my preference!

Step Five

Swipe each nail with a cotton ball soaked in acetone. The acetone dehydrates the nail plate and removes any residual oils to allow the polish to adhere better to the nail.

Step Six

Paint on Orly Bonder base coat. Make sure to paint all edges and corners of every nail. Allow to dry for 30 seconds to a minute.

Steps 7 & Final

Step Seven

Paint a thin coat of color on each nail. To achieve a coat that’s not too thick, wipe the side of the brush close to you 2-3 times on the lip of the bottle. Then, wipe the blob of polish on the far side on the edge of the bottle. Apply a small dot of polish on the lower half of your nail and carefully push the dot towards the cuticle. After that, quickly spread the polish on the rest of the nail in 2-3 strokes. Repeat on the rest of your nails.

Step Eight

Repeat step seven, making sure to keep the second coat thin as well.

Step Nine

Apply Essie Good to Go! quick-dry top coat.

You’re good to go! Your DIY mani should last you at least a week, chip-free!


P.S. The colors I used for my nails are Essie Wicked and Essie Good as Gold.


Not Your Mother’s Guacamole & Sangria

August 22, 2013

Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean that the good times are over. If you’re still planning a summer get-together or two, a vat of a delicious beverage and a heaping bowl of guacamole are a must! I made this batch of sangria and guacamole a few weekends ago for my girls and added a couple of unexpected twists! Keep reading for the recipes and to find out the secret ingredients….

Guac & Sangria

Not Your Mother’s Guacamole

  • 4 whole avocados
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp of fresh salsa (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 good squeeze of 1/2 a lime

Cut the avocados in half and use a spoon to scoop out avocado seamlessly. If you’re too afraid to use a knife to get the pit out (like me), use the spoon to scoop it out and then peel any remnants on the pit. Mash all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Keep the avocado chunky and leave the pit in the guacamole (helps keep it green)! Best served after being refrigerated after 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with Lime Tostitos.

Pro tip: To tell if an avocado is ripe enough, push down on the top of the stem. If a bit of avocado squeezes out, it’s ready. Also, feel for softness. Too soft and it will have brown spots inside. Too hard and it won’t mash well.

Not Your Mother’s Sangria

With sangria, the measurements are not exact. Just try to eyeball it!

  • Large pitcher
  • Bottle of cranberry-raspberry juice
  • Cheap blush wine (I used Franzia!)
  • Triple sec
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 apple
  • 1 package of fresh raspberries
  • Ice

Fill the pitcher with 1/2 wine, 1/3 juice, and the rest (or about 1/4) with the triple sec. Slice up the apple and nectarine and add to the mixture. Add the package of raspberries and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 24 hours and serve over ice.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and make every moment count in these last days of summer!


Beauty - Skincare

How to Get Flawless Skin

August 19, 2013

Unless you were blessed with otherworldly genes, pretty much every person struggles with skin problems at least once in their life… I know I did! I started getting acne in fifth grade (!) and it continued throughout high school. Most of the time my acne and skin problems were manageable, but I longed for a smoother complexion than the one I had. I finally figured out the secret, though. Get ready, because I’m going to share with you my skincare regimen that finally gave me flawless, problem-free skin.

Clarisonic PS

Meet your new best friend, the Clarisonic! Many of you have probably heard of it, but for those who haven’t, the Clarisonic is a skin-cleansing brush that is designed to cleanse your skin 6x better than your hands alone. Does it live up to those claims? Absolutely. This device has revolutionized skin care and has revolutionized my skin.

Breakouts? I haven’t had a bad one since I started using it. Blackheads? Completely eliminated. Dry skin? Gone. My skin is 100% healthier-looking, brighter, and more radiant all because of the Clarisonic (I’m not a paid sponsor, I’m just really enthusiastic about it). My pores have shrunk, my skin emits a dewy glow, and I never have to worry about how my skin looks without foundation.

I want every woman and man to feel as confident in their skin as I do. If you’re hesitant about the price, ask for it as a gift. I guarantee you it’s 100% worth every penny, though. Go buy it right now and tell all your friends about it.

Oh, and if you’re curious, these are the skincare products I use daily in addition to my Clarisonic:



Hair Crush: The Lob

August 14, 2013

Two and a half years ago, I did something drastic. After months of feeling weighed down by my hair, I made an appointment at a hair salon and got 14 inches chopped off. I swear to god, I left the salon 10 pounds lighter that day. I donated my 14 inches of hair to Locks of Love and couldn’t have been happier with my new cut. Fast forward to two and a half years later and I was bored with my semi-long hair again. I longed for a real style, instead of just plain and long (read: boring). After browsing Pinterest for inspiration, I settled on a fresh, new summer hairstyle.

The Lob

If you’re gonna go for it, here’s a few tips:

  • Ask your stylist for the lob to be about 2 inches longer in the front than in the back (and to hit about an inch below your collarbone). This adds movement and texture and prevents the dreaded soccer-mom hair!
  • Let them know that you want feathery, piece-y long layers, especially in the front around your face. Make sure you emphasize that you want your ends tapered to eliminate any bulkiness.
  • This hairstyle looks the best with extremely long layers – just enough to add a bit of movement and pick up waves and curls. Do not ask for short layers!

Enjoy your sexy new hair!



Makeup Review: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

August 13, 2013

I gotta start this by saying that although I love luxurious cosmetics as much as the next girl, I try to be frugal with my money and only purchase truly quality products. I had heard so many rave reviews for Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, so since I was in the market for a new foundation, I walked over to Sephora the other night and purchased it.

Smashbox BB cream PS

I had high hopes for this baby, so I guess that’s why I feel so bummed that I didn’t like it. As usual, I did my research before buying it. I found many sources saying that this BB cream was the best on the market right now. I guess that’s probably why I’m so disappointed that this product didn’t work for me. Here’s why:

  1. The shade range is pretty small (five shades). I tested out both the Light and Fair shades in Sephora and decided on the Fair shade, which is the lighter of the two, as the Light looked too dark on my skin. After a few uses, it became clear to me that Fair was far too fair for my skin. It made me look pasty and washed-out (not cute).
  2. I expected more coverage. It claims that it’s medium coverage, but I would expect a more build able finish from a medium coverage formula. Even with more than one layer, the coverage remains light to medium (and my skin is relatively clear and problem-free, which brings me to my next issue…).
  3. It made my skin look even blotchier for some reason. It could’ve been that the shade of BB cream was too light for my skin tone, but the blotches and unevenness were only emphasized on my skin.
  4. By the end of the day, my t-zone was shiny. Even with my usual dusting of pressed powder in the morning, the greasies crept through this BB cream. Again, not a cute look to be sporting (and especially not something I want to worry about at work).

I had such high expectations for this BB cream based on the many great reviews it’s received. Again, what doesn’t work for some may work for others, so this is solely my opinion! Personally, I’ll be heading to Sephora tomorrow to return it (and then going to the M.A.C. store to buy this).