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New Place + New Favorites

My recent move led a much needed spring clean and a much-needed revamp in style. Much like my new home, I also needed a mini makeover to feel a bit more refreshed. I chopped off some hair, started using rose and cucumber eye cream by KTO, started keeping up on at-home manicures and found a fresh signature scent. 
My big goal for the new place was a more welcoming vibe and plants create that for me. I kill them so easily, but I enlisted the help of my friend Merl to identify plants I can neglect without killing and to find new vessels to hold these plants like the pair of vintage glass and brass structures we found at the antique mall in town.
I’m also now newly obsessed with this shower turban by Louvelle. It’s more practical than shower caps to hold the moisture out. I don’t care if my hair gets wet when it’s curly and I’m in the shower, but to prolong a blow out, I needed something like this and it covers my entire head. I also recently bought Pureology’s color treated spray that acts like a leave-in conditioner from a local salon, Laurel. I have shelves filled with products, but I hadn’t tried Pureology yet. I wanted to find a product that didn’t weigh my hair down, but also helped hydrate it since it’s been so dry, limp and brittle. I’ve been using it for two weeks and I like how my curls dry on their own with a bit more definition.
I used to be a one fragrance type of person. I’d spray Marc Jacob’s Daisy every single day. And now I have a handful of scents I love to switch between, and transitioning away from old standby’s. My new favorite is by Maison Louis Marie No. 4. I found the candle in this scent at a boutique in Grand Rapids and the shop girl alerted me to it’s fragrance so I snagged both so my home and my body can smell the exact same way.
Another look at the new apartment. It’s larger than my last place with a separate dining space, which I actually do use! I’m not quite finished with decorating, but I’ll share photos as I complete all the rooms.

Street Style + Friendship

Adult friendships are hard. Life happens and it’s easy to grow a part from the people who seem to fit your life perfectly at a certain time. Friendships built out of convenience and proximity fade away when it’s no longer convenient and you’re not geographically close. It’s easy to drift apart from people. But not Merl.
I met Merl probably two years into blogging around 5 years ago and I was quite intimidated to meet her. She was this creative visionary who said fuck it to the traditional 9-5 world and launched her own jewelry line, Clyde’s Rebirth. She’s never been afraid to speak her mind and you know exactly where you stand with her. She’s also overflowing with creativity, integrity and kindness. And actually, quite a bit of patience. I’m constantly inspired by her fresh ideas, bold entrepreneurial decisions and her ability to connect with others and lift others up, not tear them down for success. I admire these qualities in her and proud to have her as a friend. If you’re not familiar with her work, you’ve gotta check out her jewelry or visit the SHUDIO, her shop/studio space in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago.

Brand New Beauty with Meijer

I partnered once again with my favorite store, Meijer, to share my thoughts on a few beauty and hair products. They sent me a ton of amazing new products to try and I’m sharing just a few today! First, the lipstick above is amazing. Maybelline Color Sensational in Totally Toffee just glides right on and this is a little deeper of nude tone than I have from their line. I use this with a nude lip liner or I’ve discovered it’s a great way to freshen up a burgundy lip later in the day without having to be so precise.
Jergen’s natural glow lotion is already a go-to of mine for adding some color. You wouldn’t guess by how pale I get in the winter, but I do tan easily thanks to my Hawaiian/Filipino roots! I’ve been on the spray tan train and this color primer product is a great exfoliator to prep for spray tans. Obviously, I have not gotten one in a while, but worked perfectly before applying the lotion. I hate streaks and I seem to always get them. With the buildable moisturizer, I don’t notice streaks.
This Aveeno Absolutely Ageless night moisturizer is a great product for someone like me (now 30) and needing to take preventative care, but also not overdue it with anything too thick to cause breakouts. It’s a delicate balance for my skin and so far, so good. I usually use an oil serum at night, but this one feels hydrating without clogging my skin.
I was hesitant to try this reverse beauty full volume line by Tresemme because my natural inclination is to shout I NEED NO MORE VOLUME. But to be honest, my hair has been thinning and isn’t thick and lustrous as it once was. Maybe it’s age, maybe because I bleached the shit out of it for a long time, but the not as dense hair paired winter weather makes my hair so flat and weird. I don’t like how my hair feels after a shampoo. I prefer conditioner to be second so I’m left with soft, easier to manage locks when I’m out of the shower since I finger comb my hair and let it air dry. I didn’t notice any crazy volume, but it dried nicely without being stuck to my head and weighed down.
My favorite and most memorable of the line is this product. Although James could take it or leave it, the full volume hair maximizer made my hair feel soft and no crunchy, stickiness that I tend to run into when I go outside my comfort zone with new products.

Thank you again for supporting collaborations such as this with Meijer!
Beauty, Hair, Inspiration

Big Shopbop Sale!

Hooray! The Shopbop sale has begun! It’s a great time to splurge on that spring piece you’ve been eyeing or if you’re like me, to stock up on essentials like denim (pair by Blank Denim below is just $88!), leather flats or a spring-y handbag. Or maybe a few fun office supplies to brighten your desk! Use code BIGEVENT16 to save 15% on orders $250+, 20% on orders $500+ or 25% off orders $1,000+! For more details and exclusions, visit this page.

Morgan Swank and her illustrations

The talented Morgan Swank surprised me with a few watercolor illustrations inspired by a few images on the blog that she shared on her Instagram and her own blog. So. Talented. I, once upon a time, was known as an artist, sweeping up awards in elementary school for my own watercolor and oil pastel art, but that interest and skill never matured beyond middle school. So obviously, I love her stuff and feel a bit inspired by her because of her skill and her willingness to go after it as more than a hobby. Check her blog out for progress shots–my favorite posts she shares.