Life

Shop my looks with Liketoknow.it

Romper: Charming Charlie | Phone Case: Skinit | Laptop Skin: Skinit (discount code below)

It’s been awhile since I have done a post like this and since there are so many new faces around here lately, I thought I’d reintroduce Liketoknow.it for those of you who are thinking to yourself “like to what”?? Liketoknow.it is a popular service that allows you to shop any of my Instagram outfits. Once you are signed up, you are all set to get outfit details from not only me, but any other blogger or influencer that uses this service as well. While my blog houses tons of outfits, Instagram is where I usually share things first. A lot of times items will sell out before I am able to get them on the blog so I try to at least get it on Instagram before that can happen. Plus, Instagram is where I share my daily outfits so you can get a better idea of my “normal attire”. So if you haven’t already heard the hype about this service, I’m telling y’all it really is the best thing since sliced bread 🙂 Prepare your wallets though!

HOW TO SHOP MY LOOKS WITH LIKETOKNOW.IT

  1. Sign up here. Don’t worry, all you have to give is your Instagram handle and email! Easy peazy!
  2. Download the Liketoknow.it app from the app store.
  3. Go to my Instagram and simply like or screenshot any picture that you want outfit details for.
  4. Open up your Liketoknow.it app where you will see every picture that you have ever liked/screenshotted all in ONE place! If you click into each picture, it will list out all of the outfit details. At this point you can click on the item you are interested in and purchase directly from there!

For those of you that do not have an Instagram or do not wish to use Liketoknow.it, I now also have a “Shop my Instagram” page directly on the blog. This allows you to shop any of my Instagram pictures without being signed up for Liketoknow.it. I list all of the outfit details for you and make it super easy to shop all of the items from your computer or phone! Even if you aren’t wanting to spend money on new clothes, this page is great to go to when you are needing outfit inspiration for your own closet. Remember that I am always one message away if you need help with outfit ideas or have any questions about sizing (or anything else!).

Laptop skin and phone case are both from Skinit. Use code CHIC20 to get 20% off of your order!

Photography by: Banavenue

*This post is in partnership with Skinit. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
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Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
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5 Minute Curls

Pajamas: Victoria’s Secret | Blow Dryer: T3 | Curling Wand: T3 | Hair Spray: Biolage

Since I FINALLY got my hair done and basically feel like a new woman, I thought it was about time to show y’all how I get my curls! I am not good at a lot of things in life, but I think that I could compete with the best of them when it comes to the time it takes me to get ready for the day. I have perfected my morning routine so that I can take a shower (this includes washing my hair), do my hair and make-up, get dressed and head out the door in under 30 minutes. It’s taken me many years, countless snooze buttons, and a lot of tardiness to get this down but the longer I can stay in bed, the more of a win it sounds to me!

 I like to think that my curls could best be described somewhere on the spectrum of a loose beach wave. Now I don’t claim to be a beauty or hair expert by any stretch of the imagination but I am going to do my best to break down how exactly I get my curls. I’m talking step-by-step as well as a full review of the T3 products that I use in the video and are ALL the rage right now. So without further ado, here is my very first video!

*Before you begin curling your hair, I highly suggest starting with fresh, clean, blow dried hair. This will boost the volume of your curls dramatically compared to if you let your hair air dry. I am using the T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i dryer. I personally always flip my hair over my head and dry my hair that way. Pretty sure this is the key to va-va-voom!*

Step 1: Divide your hair into multiple sections (2-4 is usually best): Focus on one section at a time. For thinner hair, less sections will be needed. I personally do 3 sections. A upper and lower section on my parted side, and one on the other.

Step 2: Start with the bottom sections: This is important because you want to work your way up. Since the top layers are what everyone is going to see, think of the bottom layers as a little less important. You can spend a little less time on the bottom layers and don’t worry to much about how tight the curl is. We will focus more on the top.

Step 3: Wrap 1-2 inch pieces of hair around the barrel: Depending on the size of the barrel that you are using, this will determine the amount of hair you can comfortably wrap around the barrel. In order to save time, wrap a large enough section around the barrel that will evenly fit on the barrel. You never want excess hair that is not actually touching the barrel.

Step 4: Leave hair on the barrel for no more than 10 seconds: As long as you adequately let the barrel heat up before you begin, you should not have to hold your hair on the barrel for more than 10 seconds. In fact I personally usually only hold it for about 5 seconds before letting the hair drop.

Step 5: Repeat all over your hair: Once you finish the bottom sections, start working your way to the top. The top layers are where I will spend a little bit more time. This usually means a little bit smaller pieces of hair and I’ll leave the hair on the barrel for closer to 10 seconds.

Step 6: Curl hair away from face: As you get closer to your face, make sure that you are wrapping the hair outwards towards the back of your head. This will create a more natural look.

Step 7: Run your fingers through your hair: This step is important because rather than brushing your hair out, your fingers work much better and will not create frizz like a brush might. This will break up the curls to make them look more natural without diminishing the curls.

Step 8: Spritz with a finishing hair spray: Possibly the most important step if you want your curls to last! Again, to make your curls look the most natural, and not crisp, a finishing spray rather than a strong hair spray is best. My personal favorite that I have used for years is Biolage.

How would you describe your hair?

I have pretty thin, fine hair. I used to shower/wash my hair at night but have found that I have so much more volume if I do all of that in the morning. I try to go at least 2 days without washing my hair but on the second day, even with dry shampoo, my hair is a total grease ball!

Is your hair naturally straight or curly?

My hair is 100% naturally straight although I never wear it that way. I curl my hair almost every single day since it takes me no time at all and gives me so much more volume!

How well does your hair hold a curl?

I have found that over the years, the better my hair will hold a curl. Unfortunately, I think this has to do with the fact that my hair is becoming more and more damaged the more that I use heat on my hair and like I said before, I blow dry/curl my hair almost every single day. The thing with my hair is that no matter how tight the curl is, it will always end up looking the same. My hair will fall and look almost more like waves than curls.

What products do you use on your hair?

I do not use many products at all. Besides my shampoo and conditioner, the only other products that I use are a leave in conditioner (acts as a detangler) and finishing hair spritz. I’m trying to get better about protecting my color as well as my hair from the heat so I recently picked up Aveda’s Color Conserve hair set and damage remedy. Once I have been using these for a bit longer, I’ll let you know what I think!

What is your honest review of the T3 blow dryer?

I have been using this for about a month now and just do not love it. I have tried to love it for the price tag but if you are in the business of trying to save time, this hair dryer is not the one for you. Compared to my Conair hair dryer, it does not dry my hair near as fast. In fact, it takes more than double the time to completely dry my hair. The plus of the T3 is that I can tell my hair is softer and not as damaged. Personally for me though, I need something that will dry my hair faster.

What is your honest opinion of the T3 curling wand and is it worth the price tag?

So the biggest question of them all! After months and months of seeing other bloggers post about this amazing wand, I have to say i felt a little left out. Once I finally received my wand, I was ecstatic that I now had 3 different curling size options. After trying out all 3, I have stuck with the largest barrel size and honestly never really use the other 2. If I want a bit of a tighter curl, I will use the smaller, one size barrel but I have found that my hair really won’t hold a tighter curl. I have used several curling wands over the years, including the T3 and if I had to pick the one for the most bang for you buck, I would hands down pick my Hot Tools curling wand. That isn’t to say that the T3 wand doesn’t work well, I just personally don’t see spending the money, especially if your hair does not hold a curl well or if you only forsee using 1 out of 3 barrel sizes.

If you stuck through the entire post, I sincerely thank you! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my first video and beauty post! Do y’all like seeing these? Are they helpful and is there anything else like this that you would like to see? Leave me a comment if you think so!

Photography and Video by the amazing Banavenue

*I was gifted the T3 products for this post. As always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.*

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Houston, Let’s Grab a Drink!

Top: Express | Skirt: Express | Shoes: Nordstrom | Purse: Express | Earrings: Bauble Bar | Sunglasses: Nordstrom

Photography by: Banavenue

In honor of Cindo de Drinko (I mean Mayo), I thought it would be fun to share my favorite places in Houston to grab a drink. Whether you are a dollar mimosa fan, margarita loving, or champagne poppin’ person, I’ve got the answer to all of your happy hour needs. From Sunday brunch to after 5 cocktails, I like to believe I’ve got a good grasp on the best places to go.

Since all of you are hounding for all things Mexican and margaritas today, let’s start there and then we will break it down into a few more categories so that you have endless options!

Margaritas

El Tiempo – The most happening place on Washington. While there is almost always a wait, the authentic Mexican food and margaritas are well worth it! People who don’t have an El Tiempo come from far and wide to eat/drink here!

Ninfas – The original Ninfas is located in Houston and if you have ever been to a Ninfas then you pretty much know the menu. The only difference is that the look and feel of this place is unlike the chains. It is much smaller and was created by “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo herself in 1973. A must see for you Ninfa fans! O and the margs are strong here (because I know that is important!).

Cyclone Anayas – With multiple locations all over Houston, Cyclone’s is a popular spot. From jumbo margaritas to penny (yes, 1 cent) mimosas on Sundays, this spot does not disappoint. If you go during happy hour, you can find great specials on food and drinks!

El Patio – Holy goodness. These margs are KILLER. They are known for their blue margaritas and they will take you down. This spot is a little smaller than your typical chain restaurant but what they lack in size, they make up for in tequila!

El Big Bad – Located in Downtown among other bars, El Big Bad is known for their infused tequila. Some venture to say that it is the best Margarita in town! They also have a second story patio that has a great view of downtown!

Cocktails

Julep – An absolute must if you have not been. It has an old timey, hipster feel to it with a little bit of class. The perfect place to grab a couple of drinks before dinner or a night out with the girls. There is a full bar that serves cocktails, spirits, and wine! As assumed, you have to try the mint julep!

Anvil – In the Montrose area and actually the original cocktail bar in Houston. A small bar with little parking so you might want to grab a ride here but it is definitely worth checking out! There are a few restaurants and other bars near by so I would highly suggest this place before a date or night out.

Bad News Bar – Want a cool view of Downtown Houston while sipping on a fancy cocktail? This little bar is a little tricky to find as you have to spot the name outside (Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge), go through a door, and then up a flight of stairs to get there, but the view is worth it! It is also along a string of Downtown bars so you have lots of options to hop around.

Mongoose vs. Cobra – It is located in Midtown and has a fun vibe. Not one of the go-to Midtown bars so the crowds aren’t usually as crazy. They have a large selection of small-batch beers and cocktails served in industrial looking glasses.

Wooster’s Garden– Also located in Midtown, this swanky bar has such a fun atmosphere and is the perfect spot for your next date night or Sunday Funday. The cocktails are a little pricey but if you get there before 6 pm (Happy Hour), they prices aren’t too shabby.

Wine o’clock

13 Celsius – Located in Midtown, this is such a cool spot for any winos. There is seating at the bar or lounge areas, as well as a little outdoor patio. On top of a great wine selection, the menu offers charcuterie boards and my personal fav, make-your-own smores!

Sonoma – With two locations in Houston, this is a spot that I always come back to. My personal favorite location is the one in the Heights because of their upstairs patio that not many know about. If you are looking for a good glass of wine and pizza, look no further! I did a post on Sonoma here that shows more of the patio and their menu selections.

Bar Boheme – This hipster spot might be one of my favorite bars ever. It offers a large patio scene with cute outdoor lighting. I love that it is never too crowded and feels almost homey. They offer an extensive menu of wine, cocktails and bar food (that is delicious!).

Benjy’s – While a chain restaurant, it is still my favorite to hit up during their happy hour time because of their amazing food. You can score a bottle of wine on happy hour for $20 and their famous brussel sprouts or pizza for only $6-$8.

Patio Bars

La Grange – Off of Westheimer and Montrose. Half indoors, half outdoors. They have a great menu and drink selection. It is also along a strip of bars so you are walking distance to several other fun bars.

Eight Row Flint – A new bar in the Heights. They offer a great patio with a large selection of rare bourbons, craft beer, margaritas, and an amazing taco food truck.

The “Creeks” – There are 3 bars that are all owned by the same family that are spread out around the Houston Heights area. You have Cedar creek at 18th St. and Beal (my personal favorite and the largest of the 3). There is Canyon Creek at Wescott inbetween I10 and Washington (love their frozen mimosas, sweet tea or Jack Daniels drinks). Lastly, there is Onion Creek at off of White Oak close to Studewood (the smallest of the 3 and a more rustic feel).

Cottonwood – Just north of 610, this bar is a tried and true favorite. Always a good crowd with lots of dogs running around. Sometimes you will find live music and there are a couple of cornhole game boards. Good bar food including paninis, burgers and brunch!

Axelrad– This beer garden is famous for it’s hammock seating, outdoor patio and live music. They offer beer, wine, drinks, and pizza.

Sunday Funday

Kirby’s Ice House – Want to know where the party is? You will most certainly always find it here and not just on Sundays. Usually a very young crowd with a HUGE patio, cornhole and several food trucks. They are also dog friendly!

Wakefield Crowbar – With 3 sand volleyball courts and a huge outdoor patio scene, this place is always poppin! They are kid and pet friendly.

Down the Street – A cute and quaint neighborhood bar. My personal favorite! Depending on the day of the week it is usually moderately busy, unless it’s Bingo night in which they are packed! This is on the first Wednesday of every month and I highly suggest going. They have the best Sunday brunch around and the cutest atmosphere. Boys, they have a ping pong table that always has a game going on!

Lei Low – Looking for a funny and cool bar experience? Lei Low has some of the coolest, Hawaiian inspired cocktails that you will ever find! Don’t be fooled though, they are quite strong!

Karbach Brewery – Houston has a few breweries to choose from but Karbach has the best overall experience if you had to pick just one. With a huge outdoor space consisting of bar games, food trucks and picnic tables, this spot is one you could spend all day at!

 

If I left any off that you think are Houston staples, please let me know. But seriously, it would pain me to know if I somehow don’t know about the best place to grab a $4 glass of wine or see an amazing view of downtown while I throw back my 3rd cocktail! There are very few words that bring me instant happiness, but “happy hour” will do just that.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Party hard and stay safe!

*This post is in partnership with Express. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Dear Bumble Boi

Dear Bumble Boi,

You know who you are and if you are reading this my hope isn’t to inflate your already inflated ego and it’s most certainly not because you deserve the time of day. It is because while I may never hear from you again, I in fact have something to say.

I’ve been perfectly fine by myself for some time now. I seemed to finally have life dialed in: my career, family, friends, the blog, a social life and I was happy and thriving all by myself! The only thing that seemed to be missing from my life was love and I had gone so long without someone filling that void, that it just seemed normal. Natural even. Until you came along and ruined it all.

The first night that I met you, 4 hours flew by like they were minutes. I don’t think I’ve laughed like that in ages and it felt good. Too good. I should have gone out with the girls that night after our date but this would be the first trap of yours that I fell into. I told myself to be guarded and I think I put up a good front. See you are a salesman and therefore a charmer so I know your type, but somehow I was outwitted from the start.

After that date you put effort in and I do have to give you that, but you and I both know why that is and it’s not because you were after my heart. Each time we hung out, the conversations that we had felt like we had known each other for years and while that seemed like a good thing at the time, maybe that was our problem all along. Maybe we skipped directly to the relationship stage without ever having dated at all.

See I know what we had was short lived but I’d be lying if I said that’s what made it all the more exhilarating and intense. I certainly questioned the sincerity behind each compliment and if our seemingly easy, deep conversations were too good to be true. I’d never had a guy communicate quite the way that you could and this intrigued me. I even joked that I had never met a guy that talked more than I did (and that is still true), but the way you analyzed me and each situation is what made me fall for you. While you might not have been great at a lot of things (like cooking a steak or being on time), you had a way of knowing exactly what I was thinking and what I wanted to say even before I did. If that’s not a super power in itself, I’m not sure what is. That and boy did you know how to make me laugh. Those 2 things are what unknowingly sealed the deal.

We went through some hard things that I could say played a factor in our demise but that would be a lie because it started long before that and we both know why. You see, I’m not sure what your intentions were at the beginning, but I now know that they weren’t pure. The flattery and talks about the future were just words to you with apparently no meaning behind them at all. I didn’t put too much thought into what you were saying at the time because I didn’t plan on falling for the charmer that I figured had charmed a million other girls.

You said that I was different and we had several inside jokes that made me believe this might be true. We would stay up late talking about anything and everything as if when we were together there was never enough time. We talked about meeting each other’s parents and what we wanted out of a relationship. You talked about the future as if I was a part of it. I like to think that I easily kept up my guard until that day that you were telling me about your family and sang me your grandpa’s favorite song. I looked at you and thought “this boy doesn’t lack confidence and that is for sure”. But it was more than that, it was the first time you let your guard down around me and somehow you instantly dropped mine too.

But like I said, I know your type and there is only one person that is ever going to satisfy you the most, and that’s you. So while you made it seem like I wasn’t just another girl, I was never going to be good enough for you because right now you only live to serve one person and that person is not a girl. I never stood a chance. So why did you do it? Why did you say the things you said to me if you didn’t plan to follow through? Why when things started to get tough did you immediately run away? See I knew you would hurt me from the beginning but I never expected it to be this way. I didn’t expect you to awaken feelings and then completely shut them out. I didn’t expect a coward that treats women like they are disposable. And I most certainly didn’t think that one day I would wake up to never hear from you ever again. No goodbye, no call, not even a text. So yea, I didn’t expect to regret having ever met you at all.

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Call Me Old Fashioned

Top: Similar | Pants: AG | Shoes: Johnston & Murphy (under $100) | Purse: Similar | Sunglasses: Similar

Photography by: Banavenue

From a young age, girls read about their prince charming and we are taught to be hopeless romantics from day one. Well nowhere in any of the fairytale books that mom was reading to me did it say anything about finding my prince charming in a bar or on a dating app but as we grow up and start to enter into the real world, we realize this whole dating and relationship thing is a little (ok, a LOT) more complex than Cinderella made it seem.

We now have so many more variables to deal with in the dating world than our parents ever did and don’t they just love to remind us of the “good ol days” every chance that they get? I can just hear mom saying now “why can’t you just pick up the phone and call one another?”. O Mom, don’t you know that there are a million and one other ways to try to contact someone before actually making direct contact?!

We now live in the age of social media, texting, and other superficial ways of flirting. Before you can even think about going on a date, you have to go through all of these hoops just to get there. First it’s the exchanging of numbers, then it’s some superficial small talk over text, and then maybe you even add one another on one or five million forms of social media. You can’t just come right out and ask to go out for drinks because that would make you seem crazy!! Believe me, I feel just as ridiculous typing this as you probably do reading it, but that my friends is what our world has come to!

I am not shaming anyone who has met their significant other in a bar or on a dating app because I have most certainly met guys in both scenarios. I am more so upset with the fact that since we do have all of these variables to deal with, it’s like nobody knows how to be direct and forth coming! All of these variables allow us to hide behind our little smart phones and play games. Whether we want to admit it or not, that’s what it is, it’s mind games! Why are we making dating so much harder than it has to be? Why can’t we just come out and say “hey, I like you?” without sounding too needy or too clingy?

So yea, call me old fashioned but I am still holding out for one of the good ones. A guy that has no issues with picking up the phone and having a conversation until 2 in the morning. Not someone that purposely waits 5 hours to respond to a text message (because that’s playing the game right?) or would rather send filtered snapchats back and forth than hang out with me in person. I’m tired of the mind games, I’m tired of the lack of self confidence that social media has built, and I’m tired of a dating world that is built on forms of communication that aren’t organic.

If you are riding the single bus and feel my struggle, all that I can say is that our prince charming is out there and when you find him, he is not going to play games. If there is one thing that I am certain of, it is that if a guy genuinely likes you, he will do anything in his power to talk to you and get to know you. Not text you every other day, not Snapchat you at 2 am, not Instagram direct message you because he saw you post a picture in a swimsuit, not Facebook message you because he sees you are online. No ladies, don’t stand for any of that. He will want to hang out with you and if he can’t do that, he will still make it known the best way that he knows how that he likes you. Now, I can’t tell you how that will look because here I am still single, but believe me, if a guy is into you, you should know without a doubt and if you don’t, well then he isn’t worth your time. *Tell him boy bye*

So hold out for your prince charming. The one that mom read you fairytales about. The dating world might look a whole lot different than it did in those children books and even now with all of the perfect ending chick flicks, but I promise you, he is out there. Maybe in a bar, maybe on a dating app, or maybe someone in passing, but make sure to hold out for the one that doesn’t make you question if he likes you, one day you will just know. And that’s the one worth holding out for!

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