Heading for a little sun and sand

beach, cayman islands, beach photos

Tomorrow morning, Brett and I are heading to the Cayman Islands for a little vacation with his wonderful parents! We couldn't be more excited! I have some fun guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers scheduled for while I'm gone, and I'll be back with regular posts next Thursday!

What I Wore: Noonday Collection

I'm so excited about today's outfit post. Kirsten, one of Noonday Collective's ambassadors from Richmond, Virginia, recently reached out to me to tell me a little more about Noonday Collections. Noonday Collections is a jewelry company that sells jewelry, home items, and gifts that have been created by artisans in third world countries. Each sale helps empower these artisans by giving them a means of providing for their families.

Kirsten offererd the send me the "ancient ways" necklace to wear in an outfit post, and I love it. It's completely different from every other necklace I own, and the story behind it is incredible. The necklace is handmade in Ethiopia, using recycled copper, nickel, and bronze that is melted down from from previous war weapons. Most  of the artisans that create this piece are HIV positive, and in addition to job training, the artisans also recieve crucial healthcare and literacy trainng.

You can check out Kirsten's Noonday Collection shop here- there's lots of beautiful, unique pieces in the shop! Thanks for sending me the necklace, Kirsten!

necklace: noonday collection | skirt: f21 (similar) | top: h+m | pumps: cole haan 

Hurricane Sandy, and How You Can Help

Hi Everyone! My thoughts and prayers are with everyone that's been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Those first responders, like firefighters, police officers, and other rescue personnel are true heroes, both today and every day.   

I'm so thankful that we're safe here in Virginia, but I know others haven't been so fortunate.  I had a post scheduled today, but it seems a little trivial to be posting about shoes when so many people have lost power and homes. I'll planning to be back tomorrow with my regularly scheduled posts, but in the meantime, here's the link to the Red Cross- donate to help Hurricane Sandy victims if you feel so led.  They're also in need of blood donations, if you're willing and able to donate. If you're interested in volunteering, TimeOut New York is putting together a guide of ways to help. 

What I Wore: Playing in Leaves

I wore this last week, when we were experiencing a really warm week- it was almost 85, and strange to see all of the leaves in their peak fall colors, while being warm enough for bare legs! 

girl throwing leaves, fall leaves, fashion blog
best of bklyn, outfit ideas, transitional weather outfits

dress: urban outfitters | booties: michael kors | bracelet: gift from mom | monogram necklace: west avenue jewelry

On another, more serious, note, keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers that are in the path of Hurricane Sandy- stay safe! 

Pin and a Spin

This week's Pin and a Spin is a super budget-friendly look! Each of the above pieces come in under $50, and I think this is the perfect semi-dressy fall look, and I absolutely adore the red dress. To see other "Pin and a Spin" posts, click here, and to see the original pin, go here!

Olay Pro-X Cleansing System Review

I've been curious about this Olay Pro-X Cleansing System spinning cleansing brush for a while, so when I was given one to review while at Lucky Fabb, I was super excited! I've been using the Olay Pro-X Cleansing System for about 6 weeks now, so I feel like I can accurately review it. 

If you're familiar with the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush, the Olay Pro-X Brush is very similar, but instead of a $200 price point, it's at a much more reasonable price of $29.99. I've never used a Clarisonic, so I can't compare the two, but the price point alone makes the Olay one a lot more practical for those of us without huge beauty budgets! 

To use the brush, you wet your face a little, and apply a thin layer of cleanser all over your face. The brush has two speeds, and is water resistant, so you can use it in the shower, too! When I started using the system, I used the included Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal cleanser, but when I ran out of that, I just switched to using my usual Neutrogena cleanser with the brush. Both worked great, although the Exfoliating Cleanser obviously exfoliated more than just my regular cleanser. 

After using the brush and cleanser, my face always feels extra clean- much more so than it feels when I just wash it. I love the super-clean feeling! The first week or so, I actually noticed a bit of an increase in blackheads (Ew, I know. TMI? Sorry!) but I had heard that the same thing happens a lot with the Clarisonic, but that's it's important to keep using the brush while your skin adjusts and gets all of the "gunk" out. 

After that first week-ish, I was thrilled with how my skin looked. I've been lucky to never really have acne, but I have always had blackheads (really hate that word) and they were dramatically decreased after a couple of weeks using the brush! I've been using it daily in the shower, and I occaisonallly use it at night, too. Consider me a cleansing brush convert. I'd highly recommend this brush if you have wanted to try out a Clarisonic, but don't want to commit to the  heft price tag! 

What I Wore: Zara Sequin Print Pants

sequin-pants, fashion-blog, fashion-trends
pants: zara | top: gap | shoes: pierre hardy x gap (similar) | earrings: kendra scott | bracelet: kendra scott

This post is full of birthday gifts from my sweet parents and my sister! I'm crazy about the sequin printed pants- the fun look of sequins without the added weight+fragility of real sequins. It's hard to see my earrings in these pictures, but these (the Kelli style) are pretty much the perfect semi-statement earrings from one of my personal favorites, Kendra Scott

Best of: Kate Spade iPhone Cases and Tech Accessories

kate spade iphone case, kate spade laptop bag, kate spade USB, kate spade ipad case

Let's face it. Technology is part of our everyday lives, but oftentimes the necessary accessories aren't exactly feminine or cute. Enter Kate Spade. Kate Spade's tech accessories aren't just functional, they're girly and swoon-worthy, too! These are just a few of my favorites, but you can shop all of Kate Spade's iPhone cases, iPad cases, and other tech accessories here

What I Wore: Polo at King Family Vineyards

horses, polo, polo horses, polo at king family vineyards, charlottesville wineries
king family vineyards, what to wear to polo
charlottesville wineries, king family vineyard
halogen jacket (similar) | pink silky top (similar) | uniqlo jeans (similar) | frye melissa button boots | 

One of my favorite Charlottesville wineries, King Family Vineyards, hosts polo matches every Sunday during the warmer weather months, and last weekend, Brett and I drove out to see the last game of the season. The weather was perfection, and there are few better ways to relax on a Sunday afternoon. We took out a little picnic, and it was a perfect day. 

shop the look: 

Introducing Make Them Swoon

When one of my very best friends told me she wanted to start a blog and asked me to help her design it, I couldn't have been more excited! Courtney decided to call her blog Make Them Swoon, and I love the direction she's taking the blog so far! Courtney is a domestic goddess (watch out, Martha!) and her husband is crazy-talented at building things, and Courtney is planning to share lots of DIY projects, recipes, and home inspiration! Check out Make Them Swoon here, find them on Facebook, and follow Courtney on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest! Congratulations, Courtney!

Pin and a Spin

Olivia Palermo Fashion, Olivia Palermo Fur Vest, Olivia Palermo Hair

I've decided to start a new series here on Best of Bklyn. I find myself pinning outfit inspiration on Pinterest all the time, but I've been slacking in the "execution" phase of using my inspiration in real life. Pin and a Spin will break down popular Pinterest looks to make it easy to assemble the ensembles in real life! This week's pin is of the always stylish Olivia Palermo

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Tutorial

One of my favorite blogs has been posting different fun pumpkin decorating ideas for a few weeks, and it inspired me to make my own decorated pumpkins! Here's one of them...keep reading for the tutorial! It's super easy to do, and a fun way to glam up your home in time for fall!

 pumpkin decorating, fun pumpkin decorating ideas, pumpkin, fall decor
Here's what you need to make a fun, decorated pumpkin:
glitter pumpkins, chevron striped pumpkin

Pumpkins: Can be real or faux (I did one of each!) 
Sponge Brush
Glue (Elmer's works!)
Painter's tape

First, tape off your pattern or design
pumpkin decorating pictures
Working in sections, lightly coat the pumpkin in glue.  
pumpkin decorating, pumpkin decorating photos
Glitter each section immediately after applying glue, and then continue on section by section, until you've coated the entire pumpkin. Let dry, and remove the tape! 
pumpkin decorating ideas, pumpkin decorating pictures
In addition to the chevron patterned pumpkin I glittered, I made an ombre effect pumpkin, too! I didn't take step-by-step photos, but basically just did more glue and glitter at the top, and progressively did less as I went down the pumpkin. 
pumpkin decorating ideas, pumpkin decorating pictures

Glossybox Review

After reading my review of the Glossybox that was included in my Lucky Fabb gift bag, Glossybox generously offered to send me their September box to review! If you missed the last post, Glossybox sends 5 delux travel sized items to you once a month for a subscription cost of $21 a month. The samples Glossybox sends are technically travel sized,  but I've been really impressed with how large the samples are! 

For a limited time (through October 31st), Glossybox is running a special promotion! If you buy a  Monthly Subscription, you get a free lipstick, with code KISS. 

Read on to find out what was in my box, and what I thought of the items...

GKHair | Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizng Conditioner
Nourished with plant extracts, this superior smoothing shampoo will purify and moisturize the scalp and hair. 
My thoughts: I was really impressed with both the shampoo and conditioner included in the box!  I've been devoted to my Pureology products for a year and a half, and this shampoo and conditioner was comparable, which is quite impressive! I let my hair (which tends to be frizzy and a little dry) air dry after using, and wound up with a very minimal amount of frizz once my hair was dry. If you don't like your shampoo and conditioner to have much of a scent, this would be the perfect product for you- my hair smelled clean, but not perfumed, after using the GKHair products.

Koh Gen Do | Cleansing Water
Made with mineral-rich Japanese hot spring water, this best selling spa water is infused with six essential herbs to protect and nurture skin. In a single sweep, it gently removes makeup and skin's toughest impurities. 
My thoughts: This was my hands-down favorite product in my Glossybox. I was briefly confused by the "cleansing spa water" description, but thanks to a handy card that Glossybox sent along with the box, I quickly realized that "spa water" was code for "makeup remover." I tested this product up against my Lancome Hypnose waterproof mascara and Makeup Forever waterproof eyeliner, and the Koh Gen Do took the makeup right off without any scrubbing or rubbing. Considering that these products are extremely hard for me to remove typically, I was very impressed. I'll definitely be re-purchasing this product when my sample runs out. This is, by far, the best eye makeup remover I've ever used. 

Kryolan for Glossybox | Moisture Rich Lipstick in GLOSSY pink
Treat your lips to a creamy, long lasting lipstick enriched with Vitamin E to stimulate and hydrate your lips. This perfect pop of GLOSSY pink compliments all skin tones and lifestyles. 
My thoughts: This lipstick is a perfect shade of pink. It's the shade that I wish my lips were naturally, and is therefore the ultimate shade of lipstick for when you don't want to look like you're wearing tons of makeup. I was really impressed with the formula, as well. Most long-wear lip colors tend to be ultra-drying, but this lipstick lasted and didn't make my lips dry and flaky. 

Missha | M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42
Hailing from Korea, this Blemish Balm, also known as BB Cream, is a multi-tasking powerhouse for the face. This multi-use cream provides light coverage, soothes, protects, and moisturizes. Suitable for all skin types. 
My thoughts: I absolutely LOVED the texture of this cream. It covered up my dark circles, and felt silky and light on my skin. Right now, the shade is currently a little too dark for my super pale complexion, but I'll be keeping this product around for the next time I apply self-tanner. I was also impressed that the product had SPF 42 included. I feel like a lot of makeup has SPF included, but it seems like it's generally only around SPF 30. As someone that burns easily, I appreciate the extra sun protection. 

Overall, I absolutely LOVED this Glossybox. I feel like I found some really amazing new-to-me products that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise, and with the size of the samples, I have enough of each product to feed my new addictions last me awhile! 

One other note: I'm smitten with Glossybox's packaging. The pale pink boxes are so pretty (and sturdy!) that I'm currently using them to store odds and ends on my desk! 

FTC Disclosure: Glossybox provided a sample box to me for review purposes, but I was not paid for this post. All opinions are my own. Thanks, Glossybox

Style Tips: Creating a Uniform

personal style tips, fashion blog

When you read this post's title, you probably instantly thought of plaid skirts and polo shirts, right? While I wore a similar uniform from 6th grade on, that's not the kind of uniform I'm talking about today.

I love being super-creative with my wardrobe as much as (okay, probably more than) the next girl, but sometimes I just don't have time (or the energy) to put together a completely new look each day. This is where my uniform comes in. In the fall, my "everyday" uniform consists of skinny jeans, tall boots, a button up, and a blazer or a leather jacket, top, tights, black skirt, and ankle booties. In the summer, I tend to stick with sundresses belted at the waist with flat sandals or wedges.

Here are my rules for creating your own uniform:

-The uniform should be occasion appropriate for your lifestyle. I work at home or in coffee shops, so I can get away with wearing casual clothes, but if you spend 5/7 days in an office, you may need your uniform to consist of pencil skirts and pumps.

-You should feel absolutely great in your uniform. You want this to be a flattering look, and something you can throw on in a few minutes and not think about it. Play up your figure's positives, and downplay your features that you're not as crazy about. Take your clothes to a tailor to get perfect fitting pants and blazers...it really does make a huge difference.

-When you're shopping, always be on the lookout for the components of your uniform. For instance, if J.Crew's Perfect Shirt fits you perfectly, know your sizes. It's much easier to score uniform pieces on sale if you know what you're looking for and what size you wear. Chances are that if you reach for the exact same button down three times a week, you'd probably be smart to buy it in duplicates or in a rainbow of colors.

-Having a uniform does NOT mean wearing the same 4 things over and over. That's just boring. Sub in regular blue jeans for a pair in a bright hue, dress up a silk top with a fun statement necklace, and switch up the shoes if you're feeling bored. A uniform is a great starting place to branch out from. If you feel great about the main pieces in your outfit, you'll feel more confident in trying out new trends or colors that might otherwise hide in the back of your closet.

Shop some of my favorite uniform staples here: (click through to see the slideshow if you're reading in Google Reader!)

What I Wore: Polka Dot Top

navy blazer: c/o aritzia (similar) | polka dot top: target | jeans: uniqlo (similar) | earrings: c/o t+j designs | boots: frye melissa boots | bracelet: kendra scott patricia cuff (birthday gift from my parents!)

Brett and I took a little drive out to the countryside to see the sunset on Friday night before we went out for drinks, and the view was stunning. I grew up in the deserts of Arizona, so seeing colors starting to change is super exciting and new to me. I love fall! 

shop the look:

The Little Things

This week was seriously awesome. I had a great birthday, got to spend lots of time with Brett since he was on Fall Break, and felt very loved by all of my friends and family. These were just a few of the great moments from this week.

Hope you have a great weekend!

What I Wore: Pink Tweed Jacket

Remember when I talked about Copious? I picked up this Zara jacket from the site for a steal, and I've been waiting to wear it! I love the color, and I think I'll be wearing it for a long, long time! I've paired it with skirts, and love it dressed up and down equally. Even though it's definitely a statement piece, it's proving to be very versatile, as well!

jacket: zara via copious | jeans: uniqlo | shoes: pierre hardy x gap | necklace: bauble bar
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Best of: Birthday Fun

Yesterday was my birthday, and I really couldn't have asked for a better day! Brett planned lots of fun things for us to do, and we started out with a picnic on the lawn of UVa, which is gorgeous....

Outfit details: top: zara, birthday gift from my parents! | skirt: american apparel | tights: h+m | shoes: c/o DMSX | monogram necklace: west avenue jewelry | sunglasses: ray-ban | watch: c/o caravelle by bulova | bracelet and earrings: c/o t+j designs

And then we headed out for an afternoon of wine tasting at four local wineries- Flying Fox, Cardinal Point, Veritas, and Pippin Hill
pippin-hill-vineyard, vineyards, wine grapes photo

And we capped off a great day with dinner at C&O- it was amazing, and I'd highly recommend visiting if you're ever in Charlottesville! 

Outfit details: dress: Jessica Simpson (bought it almost two years ago for my bachelorette party, and hadn't worn it since then, so it was fun to pull it back out of the back of my closet and wear it! shoes: kate spade
All in all, it was an amazing day, and Brett and I had so much fun! Thanks, Brett!

Exciting News!

I have some exciting news to share today! I'm going to be contributing monthly to one of my new favorite blogs, Seventeenth & Irving, once a month! I'll be doing a series on packing for various travel destinations, and my first post is up today. Go check it out here, and tell me what you think! A big thank-you to Lauren for letting me contribute! 

Carter Mountain Orchard

Since Brett is on Fall Break from law school, we decided to start my birthday celebration a day early, and headed up to Carter Mountain Orchard yesterday to pick apples and check out the gorgeous view! It was pretty chilly, but we had fun, and I can't wait to go back! 

top/tunic: j.crew (similar) | jacket: sanctuary clothing (similar)  leggings: h+m | shoes: c/o dmsx x donald j.pliner | wellies: hunter | scarf: free people (similar) | bracelets: c/o t+j designs | watch: michael kors