Ankle Boots
Fashion

Fall Shoe Guide

 Fall clothing is great…. but fall shoes are really where it’s at. With many different pant  & skirt styles out this season, midi skirts, wide leg pants etc, there are tons of opportunities to work different styles into your rotation. Here are a few of my favorites

Over the Knee Boots

Yes, these are nothing new, but OTK boots go with everything. Pair them with sleek dark denim & a sweater during the day and wear them with a mini dress to keep your legs warm but still show a bit of skin at night.

Close-toed Mules

Mules are the ultimate lazy girl show, they make any outfit look more put together but are super easy to wear. I love heeled versions for night & wear my flat versions with literally everything during the day

Sock Boots

I’m definitely going to invest in a pair of these this season.  You know how annoying it is when you’re wearing ankle boots with jeans and the jeans are either too loose to tuck but don’t look right when cuffed OR you can tuck them in but your ankles just look super weird… anyone? Happens to me all the time and these are the perfect fix, they keep you looking sleek & put together when wearing straight leg denim, and add some sex appeal to bare legs.

Block Heels

Block heels make every look a bit chicer & more polished, and are super comfortable. I love playing with different textures & colors like the vinyl & yellow tweed one below, but a Chanel-esque classic cap toe is also amazing

 

 

 

Fashion, Travel

Travel Diary: Cabo

 

If you’ve been looking at my IG you’ve probably seen I was in Cabo recently! This was the first real vacation I’ve taken for a while, and it was a much needed three days of rest.

We stayed at Cabo Azul, which I can’t recommend enough. Incredibly clean, beautiful pools, a swim up bar (which is kind of a must for me), & a Javier’s at the resort! We ended up eating there almost every night becuase it was so good and just a quick walk from our room.

Swim Suit: White Fox Swim

Aside from laying out & drinking margaritas (flaca of course), we also went on a wine & jazz (more like best of Sade easy listening) sunset cruise in Cabo San Lucas.

Set: Free People, sold out, similar

At the suggestion of some friends, we went to Flora Farms which I can’t recommend enough. Its a working farm in the hills of San Jose del Cabo, with amazing restaurant featuring produce grown on the farm. Great cocktails & wine list as well. You can wander around the grounds and pop into the little shops they have available, one of which was a wine tasting room. I learned so much about Mexican wine, definitely want to plan a trip to Guadalupe Valley soon to visit some wineries.

Top: LPA/Shorts: Free People/Glasses: Celine/ Sandals: Joie

 

All in all, it was a super relaxing trip, I’d go back to the same resort in a heartbeat. It had been a while since I’d been to Mexico (like a year) and I realized I can’t ever go that long again!

PS, if you want to know what beauty & hair essentials I packed you can see that post here

-Brittany

 

Wellness & Personal Development

Getting Real for World Mental Health Day

 

As much as I’m an advocate for mental health awareness, for taking the stigma away from mental illness, for being open and honest about mental health issues….. I never considered myself to be mentally ill. Or if I did, I was mentally ill in a way that was socially acceptable. I don’t feel ill, I don’t wake up and think about my illness, I don’t classify myself as ill. I’m not bi-polar, I’m not schizophrenic, I don’t have any of the illnesses that you think of when you think of “mental illness.”

But the reality is, I’ve been medicated since I was eight years old for a combination of anxiety and depression. That’s twenty years of a steady stream of anti-depressants & anti-anxiety meds. Before anyone gets on their soapbox about medicating children– let me note that when  I first started taking these meds, no one saw any reason to not medicate their children if it was going to help them.  I’m going to leave the circumstances as to why I was probably depressed & anxious aside, but for all intents and purposes, I was an eight-year-old hot mess–and probably really did need some help.

But here were are, twenty years later. I still need help.

I don’t think most people would look at me and assume that I have either of these issues. The anxiety definitely comes through a bit, and I’ve generally been pretty open about my issues with that. It’s easy to be self- deprecating with anxiety, it goes along with being high-strung and type A, and unfortunately, most people think of it as a “woman’s” mental illness; picture the archetypal anxious mother fussing over her children (this is bullshit and a stereotype that harms men too, as over 100 million men in the US deal with anxiety, but I’ll leave that for another day.)  Everyone does have some level of anxiety, the fight or flight phenomena is a real thing and can bleed through into your everyday life, but obviously, for some, it’s worse and can be crippling.

For me, it’s panic attacks, it’s hypochondria, it’s weirdly physical symptoms like heart palpitations & tics, its an underlying sense of doom, it’s thinking someone is dead when they don’t answer the phone (every single guy I’ve dated has had to deal with me thinking they’re dead at one point or another, don’t even get me started on family members).

But again, I’ve been open about my anxiety, and there are ways to manage it other than medication. Meditation has helped me a ton, and even though I’ve fallen off the bandwagon a bit with my daily practice, I know it’s there for me as a resource.

Depression is the issue I’ve kept hidden for the most part. I don’t look depressed. I don’t seem depressed, I’m not walking around bedraggled with sad eyes. Most of the time, I’m not depressed, because I’m medicated for it; but I still have depression. Depression has different connotations than anxiety, it makes people think you’re weak-willed,  you can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps… you’re just a bummer. I’m none of those things, but I am someone who suffers from depression, and in all honesty, I carry a lot of shame around it. People are not always kind when it comes to this issue.

Probably because of the age that I’m at, the biological changes that come with aging (I’m assuming my brain has evolved somewhat since I was eight) a few months ago I found that my regular medication wasn’t as effective. It didn’t stop working, I just had to work a lot harder to maintain my equilibrium.

I noticed mood changes that seemingly have nothing to do with my life circumstances, because to be honest, right now, and even at the point in time I went through this, I’m the happiest I’ve been in quite a long time. The changes were like feeling horribly overwhelmed by the idea of washing my hair, like whaaaaat? It sounds ridiculous, but I felt so deeply tired that I was brought to tears when I thought about the day ahead of me. I’m a 28-year-old, unmarried woman with no kids and a very cute dog…. my life isn’t hard, by any stretch of the imagination.  But I’m telling you there are little things that just feel EXHAUSTING when you’re going through a depression period. It’s as if you’re moving through quicksand and every step, every sentence, every email, every trip to the grocery store and every human interaction takes an ungodly amount of energy. I know enough to know that feeling that way isn’t normal.

I spoke to my doctor, and she agreed I was probably developing a tolerance to the meds. So a few months ago we agreed to increase the dose. It was a nightmare. Headaches, worsened anxiety, super weird physical symptoms, like ringing in the ears, blurry vision, a feeling of my throat closing up, not being able to catch my breath. I stuck it out for two weeks and then decided I couldn’t handle any more of the adjustment period. My doctor said the symptoms would go away, and I’m sure they would have, but there is never a convenient time to feel like a complete basket case. I can’t put my life, my job and my relationships on hold until I’ve “adjusted.”It seemed like it was just a phase of depression, brought on by nothing I could remotely pinpoint, and about month later, it was gone.

So, I don’t know what the answer to this issue is, becuase I don’t think there is one. Maybe I just deal with random periods of feeling deeply exhausted & highly sensitive. Luckily for me, these episodes are just that, episodes.  Maybe I workout more, meditate more, try this new medication thing again. There’s no right answer, and there’s no cure. This is something I’ll need to deal with for the rest of my life, and sometimes that freaks me out.

I’m going to be fine, but there are so many peoples who aren’t fine, and I’ve felt like a little bit of a coward for not being more honest about my struggle with anxiety & depression, especially when I share a decent amount of my life on social media & on this blog (mainly my clothes and make-up and my dog, but still). I really pride myself on being authentic and honest, and so I hope that for anyone who reads this and struggles with similar issues, this makes you feel a little bit less alone. At the very least, it makes me feel like less of a hypocrite.

 

Happy World Mental Health Day, take care of yourselves, everyone.

-Brittany

 

-Brittany

Tropical Beauty
Beauty, Travel

Beauty & Hair Essentials for a Beach Vacation

Hi everyone! Apologies for the lack of blog posts, but I just got back from a fantastic trip to Cabo & definitely took a bit of time to unwind. While I was there I tried to keep my beauty & hair routine as minimal as possible, so thought I would share what I packed with you guys!

With 90+ degree temps & humidity, plus frequent pools dips, no one wants to be dealing with a ton of makeup & high maintenance hair. I even told my boyfriend that I was committing to not wearing makeup the whole trip… but didn’t end up sticking to that haha. At the very least, I kept things low key. If you’ve read my Summer Heat Proof Makeup blog post, then you’re probably familiar with some of my favorite warm-weather products. For this trip, I brought the following:

Drunk Elephant Anti Pollution Serum

NYX Strobing Cream (dupe for MAC version)

Revlon Photo Ready BB Cream

KKW Beauty Concealer

Chanel Soleil De Tan

Marc Jacobs Bronzer

Kosas Color & Light Cream

Glossier Boy Brow

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes

Moroccan Magic Rose Lip Balm

As far as hair, I didn’t bring a curler, blowdryer etc, just a few hair ties bobby pins and the following:

Virtue Labs Finale Shaping Spray

Virtue Labs Moisture Defining Whip

Virtue Labs 6 in 1 Styler

Virtue Labs Polish UnFrizz Cream

Ouai Hair Oil

Pretty minimal if I do say so myself! My go-to cosmetics case this hanging Tartan & Twine one, so I  can hang it up out of the way. Hope this was helpful, are any of you going on any beach/warm weather vacations soon? Let me know in the comments!

Fashion

Splurge vs Save

It can be hard to figure out when to spend money on an investment piece or save & buy a cheaper version. The overall goal is for your wardrobe & outfits to look high quality, even if the majority of the pieces you’re wearing were bought on a budget. Here’s my rundown of the items you should definitely have in your wardrobe and which ones you should splurge on vs save on.

 

Basic T-Shirts 

There are so many great direct to consumer brands and companies that specialize in high-quality t-shirts without the price tag, so there’s no need to pay $100 for the perfect white shirt. Everlane is my absolute favorite for everything from t-shirts to sweaters.

Everlane White T Shirt

 

Leather/Suede Jacket 

A leather or suede jacket is a wardrobe staple and should definitely be high quality. That being said, you don’t need to spend $500 on one. Blank NYC has some amazing suede jackets and in a bunch of different colors for under $200, and ASOS also has some really high-quality ones for reasonable prices as well.

 

Morning Suede Moto Jacket, Main, color, COFFEE BEAN

 

Sunglasses

I’m of two minds about sunglasses. On one hand, there are so many trends in eyewear that come and go, I like to buy a few pairs of trendy sunglasses each season, nothing more than $50 bucks. But I also think its necessary to have 1-2 good pairs of timeless high-quality sunglasses, they make every outfit look chic. My Celine sunglasses retail for around $500 but I bought mine used on PoshMark for less than half the price. Look for sales at department stores or gently used items on sites like Tradesy or Poshmark when buying designer glasses.

Celine Sunglasses

Heels

Heels, whether sandals or pumps are an item that I think shows quality (or lack of) very easily. That being said, you don’t need to spend a ton to get a good pair of heels. Schutz has some really great options, most for under $200. Stuart Weitzman Nudist Sandals are the ultimate luxury basic heel, but retail for around $500. I found my pair on major sale, so its worth keeping an eye out when sites like ShopBop, Revolve, Nordstrom or Bloomingdales have sitewide sales.

'Cadey Lee' Sandal, Main, color, NEUTRAL

Denim

I think denim, not trendy, of the moment jeans but real quality denim, is a great investment piece. You can’t get away with stretchy Forever21 jeans forever, and most people can’t even get away with them when they’re 21.   That being said, I won’t spend $400 on jeans, that’s ridiculous to me. I draw the line around $250 and generally try to buy jeans under $200. Some of my favorites are GRLFRND Denim, AGolde & Madewell 

 

GRLFRND Devon High-Rise Boyfriend Jean in Up Side Down

I hope my splurge vs save tips were helpful! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Silk Slip Dress
Beauty, Fashion, Travel

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Here are the things that kept me going through the week…

 


L'Academie The Long Sleeve Bodysuit in Bright Navy

Dying for this silky blue bodysuit, perfect jewel-toned piece to add to your wardrobe for fall!

I love home pieces that are fairly neutral but have interesting textures & patterns, this Urban Outfitters rug fits the bill, I’m thinking of getting it for my room. AND it’s on sale!

Baked Chicken Milanese is made with breaded chicken cutlets, baked in the oven topped with arugula, tomatoes and balsamic. This is my favorite restaurant dish, made healthier!

I’m probably the farthest thing away from a domestic goddess, and when I cook for myself I always make sure I follow a healthy recipe. I made this Baked Chicken Milanese from my favorite healthy food blog, SkinnyTaste and it was SO GOOD!

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare SpectraLite FaceWare Pro Image 1

Ok, this is a little bit crazy but I bought this. Dermstore had a 20% sale on all devices this week so I couldn’t resist almost $100 off this LED lightmask. The reviews are good, and I’ve been hearing so much lately about all of the amazing skin benefits of both blue (for acne & acne scars) and red (for wrinkles & pore refining) LED lights. My skin has been a nightmare lately so I’m really excited to try this out, and feel like I got a 2 for 1 with the anti-aging & acne benefits! I’ll keep you guy posted on results.

Image result for cabo azul

Probably the ultimate Friday fave….I’m leaving for Cabo next Wednesday for a short getaway with my boyfriend & I can’t be more excited!

 

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Leopard Print Skirt
Fashion

Fall 2018 Trend: Leopard Print

Leopard is kind of a neutral by now, but even so, I’ve been thoroughly surprised by its aggressive presence in NYFW outfits & all my favorite shopping sites this fall. I definitely knew it was a thinggggg and featured it in an earlier fall trends post (see here) but am so excited to see it splashed on everything from blouses to shoes to headbands. But it can be a tricky print to pull off. Some tips:

  • Keep the rest of your outfit simple. At most add in a red lip for some color, but leopard looks best with black, nude, white etc.
  • Some leopard print just looks kind of cheap. The spots are too small, too fake looking, the color is off etc. Use a discerning eye when pinking something out
  • Shoes are the easiest way to incorporate it into your look, I love a leopard pump with distressed jeans & a simple top.
  • Leopard is kind of an in your face print, so you want to make sure whatever you’re wearing isn’t too revealing. It’s very easy to veer into lady of the night territory with this look.

So go out & get yourself a leopard printed piece, I promise you’ll feel VERY Fall 2018 with it.

Beauty, Fashion, Health & Fitness

Friday Favorites

This week was short & long at the same time, but as always, I’m excited for a little weekend R&R. Here are a few of my favorite things this week

 

Love these wine colored tassel earrings, perfect fall party accessory

Earrings - Burgundy/gold-colored - Ladies | H&M US 1

I’m obsessed with leopard print right, along with the rest of the world, and these pumps really hit the spot (and they’re under $150!)

Sam Edelman Hazel Haircalf Pumps

 I’m late to the Summer Fridays party but I’ve arrived and I’m SO here for it. I know they launched a new product recently that I have yet to try, but I just used their OG JetLag mask when my skin was freaking out (breaking out but also dry… my boyfriend said I looked like a recovering Zombie, thanks babe!) and I woke up with smooth hydrated skin that glowed.


Jet Lag Mask

 

I’m shook. Honestly, I can’t wear  these a ton because they’re a major  statement piece… but the heart wants what it wants.

MAJORELLE Christopher Pant in Terracotta Brown

 

I somehow stumbled upon Lucy Wood’s channel on Youtube & am dying over her “Average Girls Tries Pretty Little Thing Model Outfits” video. Someone needs to show women that we can’t all pull off these ridiculous trendy looks made for models .. and that’s OK! She’s body positive, beautiful, hilarious & a great fashion & beauty resource.

Image result for lucy wood youtube

 

I started reading Silence of the Girls this week and am almost done, I’m obsessed. It’s the classic Illiad told from a women’s point of view. If you love the classics but want something with a modern twist, you’ll love this.

The Silence of the Girls: A Novel by [Barker, Pat]

Health & Fitness

Intermittent Fasting

Traditional diet & food philosophy has been to make sure you’re eating enough that you’re sated, but still in a calorie deficit.  There’s the whole idea of eating every 3-4 hours, breakfast as the most important meal of the day and the fear of your body going into starvation mode if you aren’t eating enough.

Fasting goes against all of this, but I started looking into it when I realized I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I would wake up, workout and eat breakfast only to feel like I needed to eat again less than two hours later. It seemed like a waste of calories, especially when I was tracking my allotment for the day.

Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet, its a pattern of eating. There are many ways to fast but the most common, and probably the easiest is the 16-8 fast. This means you fast for 16 hours, and eat during an 8-hour window. This seems hard to do, but you’re actually sleeping for most of that 16 hour period.

Ex: If you eat dinner at 7 PM, you would not eat your next meal until 11 AM the following day. Your body is in a fasted state during this 16 hours window, which has a number of benefits, including increased  HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which aids in muscle building & cell repair and lowered insulin levels, which let your body burn fat more efficiently– more info on this here.

I’ve been following this 16-8 pattern for the past few months and have seen a number of benefits

  • My hunger is more manageable. I’m able to stay full longer when I do eat.
  • I feel more sated because I’m able to eat larger meals during my eating window. This makes things like going out to eat much easier because I have more wiggle room as far as calories. I still try to make good choices, but this pattern allows me to be more relaxed with my diet. I don’t really need to have a “cheat meal” because I’m splitting up a full day of calories into two meals– roughly.
  • I’ve been able to maintain weight when eating poorly, doesn’t sound good but its true. I’ve gone on vacation & indulged and just have had weeks where I haven’t been great with my nutrition, but I haven’t gained any weight.
  • When I have buckled down on my diet, I’ve been able to lose weight that I really  haven’t been able to lose otherwise (the “last five pounds”)

I’m not super strict with my eating window. I just make sure I wait 16 hours from my last meal to eat again, so If I go out to dinner with friends and don’t finish my meal until 9, I won’t eat the next day until 1 pm.

Some Tips:

  • Time your workouts so that they’re at the tail end of your fast, which is in the morning. You’ll be working out in a fasted state, which burns more calories.
  • The first days are tough, but stick with it and your body will adjust. Coffee, tea & drinking tons of water helps.
  • It’s easier to eat earlier in the evening so you can eat earlier the next day, even though 16 hours is 16 hours, eating lunch at 2 still feels late.

So now that I’ve been the fasting guinea pig, anyone interested in trying it? Let me know on IG or in the comments below!

 

 

Slip Dress with Leather Jacket
Fashion

Styling a Slip Dress

I’ve been loving slip dresses lately, I even included them in my recent post on fall trends. Because it’s so minimalistic, a slip dress is the perfect versatile piece of add to your wardrobe;  it can be styled so many different ways.

For a chic date night, party, or cocktail look just add dainty heels & a sleek clutch and let the dress stand alone. You can add more dramatic jewelry depending on how dressy you’d like to be.

If you want something more casual, play with layering a leather or suede jacket & booties (Chelsea style is always a good bet) & a chain strap purse

 

  Silk Slip Dress

Silk Slip Dress

Leather Jacket & Slip Dress

Leather Jacket & Slip Dress

This dress is sold out but I found some similar options, shop below!