Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fabulous Fashion Finds for Father! (Sue Me, I Love Alliteration.)

WELL! Here is a fun thing. Ya'll know Shopbop, right? Did you know they have a partner site, East Dane, that exclusively sells men's clothes?

Well, I sure did. (Any excuse to online shop, right?) I love the brands they sell and I LOVE me some free shipping and returns. So I was delighted when East Dane contacted me last week to see if I could help spread the word about some of their new arrivals in time for Father's Day, which is coming up faster than you'd think - Sunday, June 15th! Just a few weeks away!

I enlisted the assistance of my darling fiance, who gave me several minutes of his time and offered his opinions on the various items I selected below. Ram agreed that all these things would be great for a dad/something a dad would enjoy getting on Father's Day, but really, I think that any of these could work for just about any guy. And bonus: every single item except for the sunglasses cost less than $100! 

Here's what we chose...

A polo is a quintessential "guy" staple - they look good on everyone. This color is bright and fun and perfect for summer.

Dads have phones. Dads phones need charging. Voila! This portable iPhone charger is sleek (it fits inside a wallet!) and perfect for the dad on the go. Sidenote: I have one of these (granted, mine is white with red hearts all over it, and I charge it up every day and use it CONSTANTLY.)

"You want a coffee table book that you actually would read and wouldn't be embarrassed for people to see you own," says my soon-to-be-husband. With this awesome 500+ page edition, your dad will get to remember and reminisce about all the awesome music he loved listening to growing up. Plus, it's $20 - an amazing price if you're on a budget!

Is your dad stylish? If yes, great, you lucky thing. If not, yikes - get him a pair of these straight leg, "normal color" (thanks Ram) jeans. They're an awesome basic every guy should have in his closet. 

R has these boat shoes, and loves them. He calls them "the perfect combination of style, sophistication, and comfort" - what Dad wouldn't want that?! I like the brown leather version, but the navy blue is also a favorite of mine.

A total no-brainer. The world's coolest sunglasses. (They look great on ladies too!)

Father's Day happens to fall in the beginning of summer, so if your father is the type who likes swimming and boating and other outdoorsy things, why not "accidentally on purpose" lose his old faded Tommy Bahama trunks and get him a new bathing suit? I'm partial to this one... neutral with a little fun twist!

"I like this shirt because even if you're wearing it with a casual pair of shorts, you could still go out to the market or something and still feel like you're dressed in non-shlubby clothes." Thanks Ram. Well put. I'm a huge fan of anything striped, plus this shirt is actually linen, not cotton, which dresses it up a bit. I kinda love it. I kinda want it for myself.

These are also jeans, but they don't look it - they can be dressed down with a casual shirt or elevated with a nice button-down and good shoes. Ram likes the dark color. I'm personally annoyed the color is called "Smoked Kale" but everyone makes mistakes :)

This basic black duffel works for travel, for gym clothes, you name it. It's canvas, so it's super sturdy, and just the right size - not too big and not too small!

So there you have it, friends. Some awesome goodies to buy for Dad - or any other handsome gent in your life!

Please note: This post was sponsored by East Dane, but both E.D. & Shopbop are websites that I love to shop regularly and can highly recommend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ready For The Desert Sun!

I know it hasn't been that long since I last traveled, but GOOD LORD I need a vacation. Good thing tomorrow Ram and I are heading off to Scottsdale for long weekend in the desert!

Scottsdale is a special place for us - it's where we went on our very first vacation and I look forward to going back there every year on Memorial Day (see last year's trip!). This year we are staying at a beautiful new hotel and I can't wait for a whole weekend spent laying in the sun, swimming in the pool, eating at some of our favorite AZ spots, and kicking off summer right!

As I like to do, here's a little group of things that are coming along with me in my suitcase :)

How cute is this chambray skirt? I love the washed-out blue shade and the buttons going all down the front.

I'm not one for impulse purchases but I saw this gorgeous beaded necklace for sale on a cart in the mall the other day and had to have it! Love this shade of pink - it'll dress up any plain sundress or tank top.

Some of my warm weather essentials: my go-to Hawaiian Tropic tanning cream/sunscreen combo, a bright reddish pink nail polish for my toes (Essie Sunday Funday), and my hands-down favorite, Moroccan Oil Body Oil Mist, which smells ridiculously good.

I showed off this adorable Anthropologie otomi makeup bag/clutch last week and I couldn't be more excited to wear it out on vacation! 

Still loving my Tory Burch sandals. They are super comfortable and the studs add juuustttt the right amount of edge.

This is my favorite bathing suit - I own it in pink and now this pretty mint color. It's INSANELY comfortable and the colors are so saturated and bright. I wasn't familiar with the brand - La Blanca - before, but now I'm a big fan. 

Ram bought me these beautiful Kendra Scott earrings for Valentine's Day and I love the bright turquoise shade. Can't wait to wear them all summer long!

My new favorite travel-must: a portable iPhone charger! This cute heart-printed one is from Bando and charges my phone whenever I'm on the go.

I picked up a couple of these silky tanks at Old Navy the last time I was there - they are awesome staples! Lightweight, comfortable, good for work and weekend alike... I got blue and black but the bright colors are really beautiful and vibrant!

AH! Can't wait for some fun and sun. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding My Soul

If you had told me a few months ago that I would be sitting down to blog about my new workout obsession for all the world to read, I would have told you in no uncertain terms that you were a goddamn lunatic.

But here we are.

And I am addicted to SoulCycle! 

Do you know what SoulCycle is? It's indoor cycling/spinning. But it's a little more than that - it's like, an exercise cult. An inspirational exercise cult :) It's spinning + inspirational mantras + loud-ass dance music. As the company themselves say, "It's a dance party on a bike!"

This all all started when I took Soul101, their intro class, in February. I had taken one SouCycle class before, last year, with Greene - halfway through that one, I remember turning to her and saying "THIS IS THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE AND I AM DYING OMG." But I kept hearing people rave about it, and wanted to give it another try. Enter Soul101. Once a week for three consecutive weeks, their best instructors and staff literally walked us through everything to make us feel comfortable - the choreography on the bike, the different dance moves, how to set up our bikes properly, how to ride safely.... and it just clicked. After Soul101, I got hooked! I wasn't intimidated anymore. 

Don't get me wrong, it is still RIDICULOUSLY hard. But as with anything, I get better the more I go. I'm a creature of habit - once I get hooked on something, I keep coming back because I feel comfortable with it. Once I got into the swing of things with Soul, it was easy for me to commit to - and commit I did, making a promise to myself to do a mimimum of two classes a week! (Can you tell I've FULLY drank the kool-aid?!)

I have always liked being part of a community, and the SoulCycle community has fully embraced me - whenever I walk through the doors, I'm greeted by name with a smile by the girls at the front desk. When I wait in the locker rooms for the studio to open up, I chat with all the regulars I now recognize. I even have a "Soul Buddy" who I met at Soul101, and now we take classes together and ride next to each other each time - it's nice to have a friend sweating it out next to you :) 

I've also found an instructor I am OBSESSED with - I can't get enough of her classes! She plays amazing music and is tough and curses and encourages us and makes it an awesome 45 minutes. I can't tell you how great it feels when I hear her say "Great job Jordan!" or "Yeah girl!" when I am riding. It's a crazy good high. 

In class, I always take the same bike - all the way on the side, second row, closest to the door. I started taking that bike when I first started riding, in case I fall off the bike I can get up and run right out the door and never come back :) Now that I'm getting better and riding stronger, there's another reason for choosing that bike... 

Tthe wall next to me is covered with inspiration mantras and sayings, and when my legs are so tired I can barely keep pedaling and when I literally have to wipe the sweat off my forehead with both hands as it pours into my ears, I find myself looking at it and reading the part that stands out to me the most:


And I keep riding. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Had To Have It: Otomi Makeup Bag

It's been a REALLY long time since I posted a "Had To Have It" post. I think it's time to bring it back!

I recently saw this rainbow otomi bag on Anthropologie's website and instantly had to make it mine. As soon as it arrived, I ripped open the package, squealed in delight, and texted my sister this picture to show her. Her response? "Mara Hoffman, right?" WRONG! Mara bags retail for hundreds of dollars... this baby was $48!

I don't know about you but even though the information is always included online, I almost never check the sizing on an item before I buy it. I was expecting this bag to be MUCH smaller - like a normal makeup bag size, big enough to include a compact and some lip glosses and maybe a mini bottle of Advil and some other things. In reality, it's HUGE! Nine inches high, almost eleven inches wide - I will absolutely be using it for a clutch rather than just a makeup bag. I can fit my phone, my keys, my entire wallet, my sunglasses and more!

I can't wait to use it all summer as a fun little going-out bag - it would be so cute with brightly colored sundresses and wedges or white jeans and a cute tank. I am so glad I bought it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beauty Buys

I’m usually not one to try a whole bunch of new beauty products - I have my “tried and true” favorites, which I’ve stuck to faithfully for years, only occasionally branching out to try something new.

But for some reason or another, I’ve found myself with a handful of new additions to my makeup case - and since I’m really liking all of them, I figured I’d share them all with you!

For the life of me I can’t remember what inspired me to pick this up... but I am so glad I did! I don’t use foundation, just bronzer and a little concealer if needed, but my skin had been looking a little flat in pictures and I wanted to brighten it up. Enter this highlighter. It’s creamy and a little sparkly - I dab a little bit under my eyes (careful, it comes out fast) and blend it in up towards my cheekbones and follow it with my bronzer. It has done WONDERS for making my skin look fresh and glowing - I love it!

I first read about this body oil on my friend Nicolette’s blog - she raved about it and I was instantly intrigued. I ADORE the scent of Moroccan Oil products - sort of musky and sexy - but I have oily skin, so I was nervous about the idea of putting more oil on it. I really should not have worried - this stuff is amazing. I mix a couple sprays with my regular body lotion and put it all over my body. Maybe this is TMI - but I’ve always had kinda rough and gross elbows, and after a couple of weeks of using this oil on them, they are SO soft. My mom didn’t believe me til I made her feel them... and she made me order her a bottle on the spot!

I have been a devoted fan of Smashbox liquid eyeliner for years, and admit to accidentally assuming that this Stila one was the same and sweeping it into my bag at Sephora. I was wrong, but I’m kinda glad I was - this type of liquid eyeliner (with the felt-tip) is so easy to use and this smoky grey color is so pretty for when you want something a little subtler than black. 

A couple months ago I needed a new mascara, and tried a couple from Sephora that I didn’t love and ended up returning. The sales associate recommended I try this Two Faced mascara, and now I’m hooked. I never like having to choose between whether or not I want mascara that gives me “long” or “volume” or “thick fringe” - I want it all! This shiny pink tube (which is surprisingly heavy) makes my eyelashes look long, thick, AND full of volume.

So those are my new beauty bag additions! If you end up trying any of these, let me know how you like them! And if you have any amazing beauty finds you think I should try, I want to hear about them!