My 2016 Resolutions!

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I’ve never really gotten into the whole, “New Year, new me” thing because I believe that you don’t need to wait until a specific date to set goals for yourself. However, I can definitely understand why people like to embrace the start of a new year, or the end of one.

This year, I figure in order to achieve my dreams, I should really get in touch with what I want out of life and speak things into existence. I wanted to share with you guys some of my personal and business goals for 2016 and I hope that you get a little inspired to look deeper into your own lives, because we all deserve the BEST versions of ourselves and our lives!

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Happy New Year! 2016 Glam

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I can’t believe another year has gone by. It is now 2016 you guys! This past year has been a whirlwind of good and bad, great and horrible and a million memories that I will have for life. Each year during this time, we reflect a great deal on our past and what’s to come in our future, but I don’t want to think about the past anymore, I just want to continue moving forward in my life and be the best person I can be. I know that’s so cliche, and everyone says it, but if you want to see brighter days, you’ve got to believe it! I hope everyone has made big plans for 2016, because this is the year to make dreams come true!

What better way to start off the year than to get back into making videos for my YouTube channel? It’s been almost a year now, but I am determined to have more of a presence on ALL of my social media outlets. I decided to do a makeup tutorial for a New Year’s Eve glam look! I am a little late because of technical issues yesterday :/ BUT, it’s now live! Better late than never right? 🙂 I hope you guys enjoy it! I will continue to put all of my videos on my blog to share with you all!

 

 


 

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Details:

Eyes- Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette • $45 + Urban Decay ‘Naked’ Palette • $54

Lashes- SLAYLA Lashes from Flutter Lashes • $9.95

Face- NARS ‘All Day’ Luminous Weightless Liquid Foundation • $48 + Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer • $25 + Nars Steven Klein Collaboration One Shocking Moment Cheek Palette • $69 + Becca Champagne Pop • $38

Lips- M·A·C Lip Pencil • $16.50 + Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Lolita – Kat Von D • $36.63 

Zara’s Fall/Winter ’15 Sale

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The best time of the year is here! And no, I don’t mean the holidays, I mean Zara’s Fall/Winter sale! The massive retail giant only has two sales a year, their Spring/Summer sale and Fall/Winter sale and I would definitely say that their winter sale is the best one. Here’s a trick and tip for you guys, Zara usually drops their sale prices little by little each week on most items. If you’re on a mission to get the best price, you might want to wait until the 3rd or 4th week of the sale to start shopping. The only problem with waiting it that it may be out of stock by the time it gets down to your desired price, so if you’ve even eyeing a specific item, I’d say get it now! Don’t wait! If you’re just sticking around to get your hands on some cute essentials, you’ll definitely want to hold off on sliding that CC.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from their online sale!

 

Visit Zara‘s online website now to shop the sale!

Winter Wear: Four Essential Pieces for Braving the Cold

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As I am sitting in Starbucks on this Monday after Christmas, we are having our first snow storm of the winter in Chicago. Better late than never? More like, better NEVER. We aren’t just getting snow at that, it’s more like hail. Instead of that perfect “First snowfall of the year” look, the city is currently filled with wet & slippery slush. So, I figured what better topic to cover today than appropriate wear for winter?

 I am probably a bad example of dressing warmly in the winter, because I don’t know how to. I am always that girl struggling in the snow because she has on a skirt, tights and boots with a heel. I have always chosen fashion over function. It may kill me at times, but what the hey, it’s just who I am 🙂 To inspire you guys, as well as myself, to stay fashionable during the colder months, I’m giving you four essential pieces you need this winter! I hope this helps you decide which pieces you need to invest in this season.

Faux Fur Coats

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Need I say more about faux furs? Without even trying, a faux fur coat will have you looking glamorous and like you put in some extra effort to dress up for the day. Throw one on over jeans and booties, or to cover up that mini-skirt you’ve got on over tights. If you already own a classic black or brown faux fur, try adding a fun piece to your collection! Winters are a drag, so add some color to keep you in a cheerful mood.

 

Knee-High Boots

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I am obsessed with over-the-knee boots. They go good with almost anything. I personally love pairing a knee-high with a shorter dress/skirt or black leggings/leather pants. They automatically give your outfit a little sex appeal, not to mention these bad boys will save your legs when there’s 10 inches of snow outside.

 

Oversized Scarves

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Everyone needs an oversized scarf this season. They are fashionable, yes, but also come in handy when that wind is hitting you in the face. I always hide under my scarves and wrap my entire face in it in order to save my makeup 😛 I mean it takes a long time to get this face right in the morning!

 

Chunky Sweaters

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This year I have been loving oversized and chunky sweaters, more then I have ever in my entire life. I used to think they were so frumpy and grandma-like, but I’m finding more and more ways to make them look chic and classy. I love chunky sweater dresses or cropped sweaters that I can layer. Turtle neck sweaters are also wonderful for winters because they protect your neck and keep your body extremely warm without having to add too much bulk to your outfit.

 


 

Shop the Look

 

  1. MIU MIU Blue Wool Knitwear • $239.25 Vestiaire Collective
  2. Mango Outlet Cable-Knit Wool-Blend Sweater • $22.99 MANGO
  3. ASOS COLLECTION ASOS Chunky Sweater With High Neck And Moving Rib • $38 ASOS
  4. Nordstrom Wool & Cashmere Wrap • $98 Nordstrom
  5. Liquorish Oversized Blanket Scarf With Border Trim Detail • $45 Asos
  6. Sam Edelman Elina Suede Over-the-Knee Boots • $125 NET-A-PORTER.COM
  7. MICHAEL KORS ‘Joanie’ stretch back leather knee high boots • $150 Lane Crawford
  8. Ivanka Trump Saffri Knee-High Boots • $169 Lord & Taylor
  9. Anna Sui Mixed-Media Faux Fur Coat • $777 STYLEBOP.com
  10. Topshop Urban Shaggy Faux Fur Coat • $150 Nordstrom
  11. Trina Turk ‘Makayla’ Patchwork Faux Fur Coat • $236.90 Nordstrom

 

 

 

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How to Wear Red This Christmas

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Can you guys believe that it’s almost Christmas?? After the recent mid 50’s degree weather we had earlier this month in Chicago, we are really getting hit with that winter air now. Oh how I love that sudden change of seasons here in the city…*Side eye.* I am proud to say that I am officially done with Christmas shopping! I finished a little more earlier this year than my usual time, which is the day before Christmas 😛 Now all I have to worry about is what I’m going to wear for the big day!

We all know that red is the universal sign for Christmas, but unfortunately it is not a color that really suits me, besides a red lip. If you want to get into the holiday spirit, but don’t exactly know how to pull off that bold color, I’ve got some inspiration and tips for you!

Add a pop of red

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You don’t have to compete with Santa Claus this year, let the old man have his full blown red and white suit while you keep it classy and polish with just a splash of red. Keep your outfit a solid color like all black or white and throw on a bright red coat or jacket.


Mix it up

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Break up the bold color with some fun prints! Who said wearing red meant wearing ALL red? 🙂 Incorporate plaids and patterns into your Christmas outfit for a more casual look.


Different shades of Red

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I love the idea of a monochromatic outfit. If you’re going to go all out and rock the color from head to toe, be careful about how you’re going to do it. Try wearing a darker shade of red and make sure the top and the bottom are slightly different. Wear neutral shoes and accessories to take the focus off the bright combination and keep your outfit looking effortless.



Shop the Looks

 

Calvin Klein Seamed Side-Pocket Floral Dress •  Macy’s

Diane von Furstenberg Diane Von Furstenberg Margot Satin-Trimmed Crepe Wrap Jumpsuit

Fireside Sweater • LOFT

Mossimo Women’s Faux Leather A-Line Skirt • Target

FOREVER 21 Tartan Plaid Pencil Skirt • Forever 21

FOREVER 21 Contemporary A-Line Midi Skirt •  Forever 21

Saint Laurent Suede d’Orsay Pump, Red • Neiman Marcus

DKNY Wool-Blend Felt Coat • NET-A-PORTER.COM

Étoile Isabel Marant Gabrie Plaid Wool-Blend Coat •  NET-A-PORTER.COM

 

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Say No to Winter Hibernation!

 

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Just because it’s getting colder outside doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to give up a healthy and active lifestyle! Trust me, I am far from a crazy gym rat, but I’m trying to motivate you guys and motivate myself at the same time. The past 2 months or so I have really been focused on staying active, getting fit and eating healthier. I was never a huge fitness freak and have constantly struggle with my weight. Losing it, gaining it, being really unhealthy, the whole ordeal. It wasn’t until I decided to actually buckle down and get a trainer, (well, two actually :P) and change my eating habits that I started seeing results and the benefits of exercising.

For me, working out and losing weight doesn’t come naturally and some of us need a little more help. I started doing Muay Thai kickboxing with a personal trainer 2 months ago and it has really helped me relieve stress while at the same time get an amazing workout. Although I love it, I knew that I needed to address other areas of my body as well, so I got a trainer at my regular gym. I know it may be a little intense for most people, and even myself, but it’s what you have to do when you’ve got goals. I workout with my trainers 3 times a week and the rest of the 4 days, I workout by myself. You don’t have to go to the gym 7 days a week, but I recommend at least 3 times! Even when your body is sore, do something active to keep your muscles moving like hot yoga or just walking on the treadmill. I find that letting my body rest the next day tends to make me more sore the following day when I try and workout.

As far as my diet, I have been meal prepping and sticking to lots of greens and protein. Some of the biggest things I’ve had to cut out are bread and grains entirely, soda (I was addicted to Coke), salty snacks like chips, sweets and alcohol, (minus a glass of red wine once a week or so ;)). Because I’ve always been a terrible eater, I really had to be strict with my diet so that I don’t relapse. If you’re pretty good with eating, you don’t have to cut out as much as I did, just consume everything in proportions.

Even though I feel as if I’m taking all the right steps towards achieving the body that I want, I have to constantly remind myself that weight loss is a journey and fitness is a lifestyle. Let’s get an early start on our New Year’s resolutions! Here are some great post-workout smoothie recipes to try, as well as tips on healthy eating. I’ve also included links to some cute workout clothes to have you looking even more amazing in the gym! Trust me, having cute sports bras and leggings will make you want to g to the gym more 😉


Tips & Tricks

  1. Workout with a friend- I personally love working out alone because I tend to be more focused that way. However, finding a friend to take classes with and go to the gym with definitely gives you an extra boost of motivation because you guys will help each other stay on track! My best friend and I are dieting together though. She’s a better eater than me so she keeps me on my toes and helps me avoid all the bad stuff.
  2.  Go grocery shopping- Stock up on healthy food at the beginning of each week so you won’t have an excuse to order in or eat out since you spent all that money at Whole Foods Sunday and your fridge should be filled with food 😉
  3. Weigh yourself once a week- After I purchased a BMI scale, I was obsessed with weighing myself. I would do it in the morning, after the gym, before bed and this was every single day. My trainer told me to stick to only weighing myself once a week because you have to remember that progress takes time and you don’t want to get discouraged. I recommend weighing yourself at the end of the week, like Friday and in the morning before you’ve eaten or had anything to drink.
  4. Create a hit-list- Music is everything when I’m working out. I need motivating tunes to get me through a workout.
  5. Pump up the H2O- I am so bad with this tip, but I am trying to be better. Water is so important in our diets and is a key factor in weight loss. Try to drink at least 72 ounces a day, (9, 8 oz. cups).


Post-workout Smoothies

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Green Smoothie: I have this smoothie every single day after my workouts. I usually go to the gym in the evening around 7pm and sometimes don’t finish until close to 9. Because I need protein after my workouts but don’t want to eat so late, I always make a protein smoothie instead.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 small green apple
  2. A handful of sliced strawberries
  3. 1 whole banana
  4. A handful of baby Spinach
  5. A handful of baby Kale
  6. 3 sticks of Celery
  7. 1 scoop of SHREDZ Vanilla protein powder for women

Monkey Flip Recovery Smoothie

Ingredients:

  1. 12 ounces of pure, unsweetened coconut water
  2. 1 banana
  3. 1 tablespoon almond butter
  4. 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  5. Ice, to preference

Cutest Workout Clothes

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  1. Forever21– Don’t overlook Forever21. They have some great workout gear that won’t break the bank. I love getting leggings and bottoms from here.
  2. Fabletics– You’ve seen the commercials with Kate Hudson right? This is a membership website where you can get full looks for just $49.95 a month. Sign up and receive your first outfit for $25!
  3. Flexy Fit Wear– I came across this brand via Instagram. They are a southern California based brand with some very colorful and vibrant gear.
  4. Lululemon– We all know this legendary brand. They’re a little pricey for me personally, but I heard their leggings suck everything in!
  5. Upvibe– Another Instagram find!

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Winter Skincare: How I stay Hydrated

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Winter is approaching and I am trying to prepare myself for the madness that is about to hit Chicago. I hate winter for a few reasons, the ice cold weather, the mountains of snow and most of all, the dry air. My skin gets horribly dehydrated towards the end of fall and usually lasts all winter long. I absolutely hate the way my makeup looks and feel during this time because my skin is so dry and flakey. Not cute ladies. I have always had combination skin so I’m used to switching from product to product. I wish I was one of those people who can use one cleanser and one moisturizer all year and be good, but unfortunately I was not blessed with amazing skin like that. This year I have been a lot more experimental with my skin care regime and have had the opportunity to try out many different products. With great suggestions from friends and helpful associates at Sephora, I finally curated a collection that suits my skin and keeps it hydrated all night and day.

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Sunday Riley, Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $105

This Sunday Riley night oil was a huge splurge, and I felt so guilty for getting it, but I was eyeing this bad boy for a while before I bit the bullet. The Luna Sleeping Night Oil is a retinoid oil created to reduce pore size, improve appearance of damaged skin, help fight wrinkles, moisturize and calm the skin. This product is made with cold pressed oils which include avocado, chia and concord grape seed oils.

Apparently the blue coloring of the oil was a tactic to make people use the product the right way. The cashier at Sephora told me that it’s blue because you’re supposed to really moisturize it into your skin until the coloring is gone and let your skin soak it all in instead of just slabbing it on.  I cannot say how amazing this product is. The morning after my first night of using this, my skin was so hydrated and soft! I had been suffering from some dry spots on my face for a few weeks and this oil completely changed the feel of my skin literally over night. After a month of using this, I noticed that the pores on my nose was a lot smaller and my acne marks were diminishing. I currently use this product every other night before I put any other products on.

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Bobbi Brown, Hydrating Eye Cream, $50

After a bad reaction to a makeup removing oil that I was using, the skin under my eyes became extremely, extremely dry. I was not able to put any makeup on it because it just wouldn’t stick and would flake off. A friend recommended I try Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Eye cream, and I haven’t looked back since. After a few weeks of using this cream, the dryness under my eyes disappeared. After a month and a half, I now have the smoothest, most soft and hydrated under eyes I have ever had. I’m telling you ladies, my concealer goes on amazingly! I use the eye cream during the day before I apply my moisturizer and in the evening after my night oil.

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Alegnist, Concentrated Reconstruction Serum, $95

With age, our skin tends to become pretty dull. I was a complete serum virgin before using this Alegnist reconstruction serum. It’s an anti-aging serum that is supposed to minimize wrinkles, give you a radiance boost and firm your skin within four weeks. I’ve used it for about a month now and my skin looks so much brighter than before without makeup. I like the fact that it’s oil free because I can wear a day oil on top of it without feeling too messy. I only use this serum during the day, before I put on anything else.

 

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Kate Somerville, EradiKate Acne Treatment, $24

One key to having wonderful winter skin is making sure that blemishes stay minimal. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid getting a pimple, but when you do get one, here’s how to get rid of it! I’ve been using Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Acne Treatment for a while now. It’s the only thing that I’ve ever tried that zaps those ugly little zits. There is a separation of liquids in the bottle which you are not to shake up and mix in order to get the complete affect of the product. What I do is cleanse my face first, apply my moisturizer everywhere else on my face besides the spot I want treated, dip a cotton swap into the bottle and apply it right on my pimple or zit. I leave it on over night and wash whatever is remaining off the next morning. This usually does the trick and gets rid of the pimple, but make sure you apply it right when you notice one because that’ll make it easier to get rid of before it fully develops.

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Josie Maran, 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil Light, $16-$48

Who doesn’t love a great Josie Maran oil?? I especially love the light version of her Argan oil because it doesn’t feel heavy under my makeup. I’ve been using my travel size bottle for more than a month now and it’s still going because you don’t need to use more than one drop! Depending on how dry my skin is that day, I’ll either apply a drop all over my face, or just to the areas I need more hydration. I use this before my moisturizer and after my day serum and night oil. It really is that extra step I need to keep my face from drying out too quickly after a wash.

 

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Ole Henriksen, Sheer Transformation, $40

This has been my holy grail since the day I purchased  it. I really love this moisturizer by Ole Henriksen because it’s so lightweight and just melts into my skin. It’s oil-free, includes licorice and Vitamin C, which is super important to me because Vitamin C helps fade dark spots and evens skin tone, an area I have always needed desperate help in. I use this every day and night.

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I hope you guys took away some good things from my winter skin care regime and will try some of these products out yourself! It’s so important to take care of your skin, especially in harsh weather.