Until We Meet Again

Writing this blog has been a fun, creative outlet for me for the past 2+ years.

499 posts later, I have covered numerous trends, favs, finds, shops, recipes, styles, looks, hits, misses, inspirations, drinks, laughs and more. It has been truly an enjoyable exploration and almost therapeutic for me.

Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and posting. Seriously…thank you. The positive responses that I have received from sharing my likes and obsessions has been overwhelming and comforting. Thank you for reading.

This blog started as a way for me to write, to share, and to connect…but it ended up being so much more. However, life…as it often does…has gotten in the way a bit and I feel like it is time to retire the blog (at least for now). Like you, responsibilities are many (and multiplying) and I am not able to devote the attention I wish any longer. It wouldn’t feel right to commit “half-way” and therefore, I have made the choice to end with this, my 500 blog post. (High five!! Like 100 of them!)

So, as they say, “it’s not goodbye…it is simply until we meet again.”

Until then, continue to be awesome and look for all of the awesomeness in the world. It’s out there, I promise. We just need to open ourselves to embracing it a little more readily.

Love what / who you love. Try new things. Challenge yourself. Be authentic. Stay awesome.

Awesome_Peach

Stay Awesome

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BUSY BUSY BUSY!
With my two busiest weeks of summer upon me,
I am taking a little blog break and will return to
dazzle you with reviews, fav products, trends, finds, and
all other things ‘awesome’ next week.

Until then…well, you know…
STAY AWESOME!

Texas Style: June 2014

One of my most fashionable friends made a big move from Michigan to Texas.  Daryn is true fashionista, always on trend, always fabulous. Daryn is literally a fashion-aholic. She breathes it. So, when I found out she was headed to Texas, I thought it might be fun to check in with her once in a while to see if her fashion-sense would chance, adapt, be inspired, etc… by everything Texan!  Enjoy monthly updates from Daryn!

From Daryn:

Don’t freak out ladies, but it’s bikini season! Bathing suits have really taken the fashion world by storm and have evolved into intricate works of art. I have always been a swimsuit enthusiast, but this year designers have really pulled out all the stops. My favorite designers include: Mikoh, Pily Q and Vitamin A. There are a few other new faces in the swimsuit scene that you have to check out as well! There are so many great options to help flatter your individual style and body type with patterns and pops of color that will be sure to make a statement. For great swimsuit inspiration and info on top designers, check out abikiniaday.com.

When I shop for suits the first think I look at is the style of the bottoms. The last thing you want is a bathing suit that cuts off those dreaded love handles. I tend to go up a size to prevent the bottoms from digging in those unwanted places. I also prefer bottoms with a ruffle trim or a smooth waistline, ties on the sides can add to that unwanted stuffed sausage look. One trend that has really taken off is the cheeky bottoms, which I think really flatters and enhances a woman’s behind, but if you’re looking for a more modest look than go with the full bottoms. Another common theme is the Brazilian cut, which is basically a thong style bottom that widens a bit at the top, so beware!

For the top, it really all depends on how busty you are. For those of you in the A/B category I recommend going for a bandeau style top, they show off your shoulders and are tan line free! For the more voluptuous woman, I suggest sticking with a triangle top with a thicker top strap. The thinner straps tend to slack on support and makes you look saggy, which is NOT what we want! You may find quite a few styles with push-up padding, but I try to stay away from those. Nine times out of ten you can tell the suit has the padding and I really don’t find it flattering – the natural look is way sexier in my opinion!

When shopping for suits, I try to search for unique cuts and embellishments. One trend I’m really enjoying is the crochet bikini. It gives a great texture and is so incredibly unique! Cut outs are also a huge trend right now. Many bottoms now include side cuts to show a little more skin and step up the sexy factor. Scallops are also making their way back and really add a feminine touch. My absolute favorite look is definitely more fashion forward than practical, which is the multi-strap patterns on the neckline and back. These designs add a unique touch to your suit but will leave you with awful tan lines, so choose wisely! As far as colors go I am all for pastels this season, I’m over the whole neon trend!

Here are a few of my favorites suits:

Vitamin A (fun cut outs)

Vitamin A
(fun cut outs)

Mikoh (fashion forward)

Mikoh
(fashion forward)

Pily Q (for the bustier ladies)

Pily Q
(for the bustier ladies)

Rove Swimwear (itty bitty, pastel & crochet)

Rove Swimwear
(itty bitty, pastel & crochet)

Marysia Swim (for smaller busted & scallop-detail lovers)

Marysia Swim
(for smaller busted & scallop-detail lovers)

 

Summer “Must Have” List

What’s on your summer “must have” list? Are you sticking to versatile basics, or are you adopting a unique trend? I decided to ask a few of my friends what their absolute-gotta-have-it-can’t-live-without-it-this-summer items were. Check out what they had to say!

Leigh’s Summer “Must Have”
Maxi Skirtcn7503740
This summer my go to look is the maxi skirt. If I’m going out to dinner with friends, to a concert, or even simply running errands around town, wearing a maxi skirt ensures I will look cute and comfy, day or night.

It is easy to dress up a maxi skirt with wedges and statement jewelry, but my favorite look is a simple colored tank and flip flops. Bold colors, stripes, floral patterns and tie-dye are just a few of the variety of prints maxi skirts come in.My personal favorite is pairing my black and white striped maxi with a bold colored top and matching flip flops for an instantly cute, easy outfit. I think that every woman should have at least one in their closet this summer, they are perfect for any occasion!


Kaylie’s Summer “Must Have”

Ray Ban Sunglasses
The one thing I definitely cannot live without this summer is my Ray Ban sunglasses.

Ray Ban sunglasses are the perfect accessory for any occasion.  Whether I’m wearing them out on the town or at a sporting event, I can always count on my sunglasses to add some glamor in my every day look.  805289278511_shad_qt

Picture yourself on a warm summer evening driving down the road, the windows down, wind blowing through your hair and you’re wearing your stylish Ray Ban sunglasses as you cruise the night away.  That’s what summer’s all about!

Now, I’m the type of person who looks for simplicity in things, and these sunglasses are the perfect touch to any look.  They are just the right amount of style without fussy rhinestones or frill.  I can count on them to be fashionable and provide protection in any situation.

If you are considering any type of sunglasses I would highly recommend the Ray Ban sunglasses. You’re sure to get some head turns and who wouldn’t want to be the star of the show?

Natalie’s Summer “Must Have”
THE LIST
1. Sandals, preferably sparkly

Summer is the perfect time for flip-flops and sandals, and I always love to add sparkle to my wardrobe! These black Olsenboye sandals go with almost every outfit, and are comfortable for walking long distances.

2. Maxi Skirtnp1
Whether it’s a little windy or you’re trying to cover up those bad tan lines, a maxi skirt is a comfortable alternative to looking classy. They can easily be dressed up or dressed down, and come in so many great colors, patterns, and materials.

3. Sunglasses
Every girl needs a pair of signature sunglasses that are fashionable and sensible. I love aviators, but the options are endless. Just make sure to steer-clear of those tempting $5 pairs, because they will surely break in the first week.

4. Pastel Bathing Suits
It is ideal to look your best at the pool or beach, and lighter colors will emphasize that sun-kissed skin. Pastel is all-the-rage right now, and looks great for a bikini.

5. Stretch-Ribbon Hair Ties
These cute, little hair ties are growing in popularity, and are great for pulling your hair back, without the annoying crease. They can be rather expensive, but are cheaper in bulk and are sold at many art fairs. I personally love wearing them as bracelets, and even own an MSU set to match all my college gear (Go Green!)

Scout’s Summer “Must Have”
Inspirational JewelryR1820_z_1
In the past, I chose to accessorize with fringe purses, multicolored strappy sandals, and even the notorious hair feathers. However, this summer I’m going for a much more simple and meaningful look: inspirational jewelry.<

Years ago, my mother gave me a ring engraved “Be true to your dreams.” I had never thought about wearing it until this year when I finally understood what it meant to be true to your dreams. As I start to move towards a life of being an adult, this accessory proves as a great guide to become the person I want to be and do the things I want to do in college.

I don’t normally wear jewelry everyday, but with this ring I can remind me of what keeps me going. Not only is inspirational jewelry a great way to accessorize, but it also keeps our personal mantras on our minds as we live out every day.

Michigan Awesome

I love being from Michigan. Born and raised, you could say I am ‘Smitten with the Mitten’. So whenever I find awesome ways to show off and celebrate my home state pride, I jump on board!

logo

I discovered this amazing retailer, bursting with Michigan love a few years ago — perhaps it was the named that peeked my initial interest…  I promptly swooped up a few t-shirts for myself, my husband and a few friends. Since my purchase a few year’s back, Michigan Awesome has expanded their stock and offer a wide variety cleverly phrased apparel for men, women, kids and babies. In addition to what is soon to be your new favorite t-shirt or hoodie, you can also score prints, drinkware, totes, stickers and even… a cycling jersey!
Pssst…. KEEP READING FOR A DISCOUNT CODE!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Again, this is only a sampling of their clever slogans. Check out their website for more, including city / region specific shout outs like “Cherry Empire” and “Saginawesome”.

(Is it bad that I kind of want to own everything?)

If you are from Michigan, or simply know someone who calls “the hand” their home, you need to check out Michigan Awesome. These items make great gifts for the Michigan-lover and are just plain fun.

More about Michigan Awesome from Dave Ornée, Operations Manager
Michigan Awesome
is a celebration of state pride and hometown love. We know from experience that people who leave Michigan miss it, and the people who live here love it; you might even say they’re Smitten With The Mitten! Our products (apparel, drinkware, accessories, and more) are available in retail stores across the state and online at michiganawesome.com. We’re proud to be based in Michigan, and we encourage Michiganders around the world to celebrate the Land Shaped Like A Hand.

Enjoy discount code “InsistOnAwesome” for 15% off all orders!

Valid June 16th through midnight on Sunday the 22nd

Don’t forget to stay updated on other discounts, contests, new products etc…
Check out Michigan Awesome on:

 

Free Hugs

Some food for thought on this beautiful Friday…

I saw this video swimming around social media and it really affected me. I mean REALLY affected me. I was very emotional watching it…tears swelling, holding my breath, smile beaming every time a genuine gesture was made.

And then the end…wow

Today I challenge you to open your hearts a little more to those around you. Heck, open your arms wider and embrace the world.

Food for Thought…

The Brows Have It

Aside from general brow grooming (waxing / plucking), I have honestly never really given my brows much thought. They aren’t too thin. They are the right color. They are just kind of there, living above my eyes. Big deal, brows.

I remember in college, one of my friends was obsessed with clear brow gel that you could pick up at the drugstore. She literally applied and reapplied it a few times daily. (Even then) always willing to try a new product, I purchased my own clear brow gel and proceeded to incorporate it into my make-up routine. Did it really do anything for me? I honestly doubt it, but at least I was giving my brows some attention. Right?

Anywho…I was reevaluating some of my make-up choices to help transition into summer (tanned skin, increased sweating, more bronzes, light-weight everything, etc…) and I started really looking at my brows. Did they need some attention? Some love besides just grooming maintenance? Probably.

One thing that has actually bothered me about my brows is the fact that one of them has kind of ‘balded’ slightly near the inner eye / starting point. It is something that I have just kind of overlooked because, well, hairs just haven’t grown there. It was kind of ‘whatever’. I started thinking about clients who used to come in to Sephora or Macy’s (when I worked as a make-up consultant) who had actual brow issues. Women who had virtually no eyebrows, brows that were the wrong color, brows that needed to be tamed, brows that needed X,Y,Z… I remember researching pencils and gels and powders (oh my!). I remember applying different products during make-up trials to my clients and really seeing the transformation that a ‘good’ brow can have on one’s face. So, why oh why, have I neglected implementing one of these products into my own make-up routine. That answer, my awesome friends, is still a mystery to even me.

Long story short (whew), I have recently experimented with a few brow products to fill in my little balding patch and create an overall more striking / filled in brow. I have to say, I love the results. It has given my face more symmetry and has just created an overall cleaner look for the rest of my make-up.

My product of choice is Laura Mercier Brow Definer.
lm
This product works for my needs because it is a wax / gel formula that naturally grabs onto the brows hairs that I do current have. It creates some color enhancement, as well as fills in any bare spots. The look is so natural, I just love it.

The wax / gel formula isn’t sticky at all and it wears well all day.

I apply the brow definer with a thin but stiff angled brush (THIS is my favorite) and gently create small upward / diagonal strokes to encourage the product to flow with the direction of the hair. Easy peasy.

Laura Mercier Brow Definer comes in three shades: Fair, Soft and Warm. My brows / natural hair color is a pretty rich brown, so I selected the Warm tone.

This little pot of brow happiness runs for around $20 a pop, but should last a LONG time. You really only need a small amount daily.

So, if you are thinking about switching up your make-up routine, or simply want to reevaluate your overall look, take a peek at those brows. Do they need some love? They might…and that just might make a world of difference.

Don’t you just love a simple solution!?

Summer Blazers

Whether you pair them with a smart pair of shorts, layer over a flirty dress, or dress up a fabulous pair or white jeans, summer blazers are a wardrobe staple.

Awesome fabrics like linen, allow the blazer to breathe and for you to be covered up, without heating up. Plus, you can embrace your blazer as a true statement piece and celebrate with some color, or go beach chic with a pretty neutral palette.

Here are few choice blazers that I stumbled across:

Banana Republic Cotton / Linen Blazer

Banana Republic
Cotton / Linen Blazer

 

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Salad Kit

I have been kind of a salad-aholic lately. I can’t seem to get enough of all of the awesome produce available right now and love creating my own “salad art” for lunch. I might even dare to say that I find chopping up my fruits and veggies somewhat therapeutic — mind you, this is the only ‘cooking’ that I do…

I am in love with this little contraption from Rubbermaid that allows me to compartmentalize my salad ingredients so that they remain seperate until that glorious moment at lunch when they combine for yummy awesome delightful “salad art”.

The Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Salad Kit is the bee’s knees, people.
81RFnj2+uVL._SL1500_
This handy dandy salad kit is designed to build and transport your salad, your dressing and your toppings all in one kit! The base is the perfect portion size for lunch salad and the top tray allows you to hold toppings like cheese, nuts, fruit, etc… There is even a small dressing container with lid to keep your dressing seperate to make sure your salad remains fresh. The kit comes with a snap on Blue Ice Block that keeps you salad cold for up to four hours in a lunch bag (however, I have had this salad kit for over a year and have NO IDEA where I put that ice block).

All of the pieces fit together and keep your favorite lunch ingredients fresh, without awkwardly touching one another, until the are supposed to. The containers are super durable and leak-proof, as well as microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe.

Honestly, this little salad savior is the best. If you like to pack salads for lunch, I highly recommend grabbing one. It will make your life so much easier!

A compartmental freak like me? Check out this triple kit from Rubbermaid that gives you 2 sandwich blox and one salad blox…I might have to invest in one of these sets next!61sPBnHl2UL._SL1500_