Favorite Lipsticks // Everyday Wear

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Summer is officially coming to a close ... well, at least summer break is. Everyone is back to school shopping, kids are headed back, and we're all getting that fall itch. At least here in Texas where the temps are still three digits (and there is no end in sight) we are ready for some cooler weather. I wanted to share with you all, since the end of summer is so near and the start of fall right around the corner, my favorite lipsticks. 

To clarify. My perfect every shade, everywhere, everyday lipsticks. 

Starting from Nude to Vibrant.

Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit - this is the perfect matte nude lip. I use this for a very subtle amount of color and a brilliant matte finish that feels like chapstick. Do you know how sometimes nude lips are just a little dry? Not this lip paint - it feels like a cloud on your lip. No exageration.

L'Oreal Cosmetics Colour Riche Lipcolour in Fairest Nude (800) - For a touch more on the pink side. I use this lipstick when I just want to run out the door. A slight shine perfect for everyday use.

L'Oreal Cosmetics Colour Riche Lipcolour in Toasted Almond (843) - This is a deeper nude that is perfect for when you're a bit tanner, or those with darker skin tones! 

YSL Rogue Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick in Nude Lavalliere - For a slightly baby pink nude option with loads of shine.

YSL Rogue Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick in Rose Saharienne  - Moving away from the nudes, this vibrant pink is great for going out on a date or for a little more color added to an outfit.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Red Clash Matte Finish - A bold, matte, deep pink. Worn casually with a white top, or for going out with a black top (pictured above).

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gazpacho -  The true deep blue-red. Not a perfect red, and not an orange red, this lipstick is perfect for the night out, or the coming holiday/fall seasons.

These are the lipsticks currently in my rotation. A little matte, a little shine, and enough variety to get me through any occasion. I like to keep variety without feeling like I have an excess of beauty products. What are your favorite lipsticks?? Let me know and check out more of my shenanigans on Instagram!

Life's Recipes // Self Care + Bread

Hey guys!

The past month has been a lot of up and down, so I'm going to recap on life so far - the good, bad, and the unexpected.

To end summer with, I was recently let go of my dream job, started a self care routine, became more confident in my personal style, dedicated more time to blogging and content creating, found out my grandma was in the hospital, made friends with all the nurses, shopped for flowers on a regular basis, baked eight loaves of bread, ate countless cookies, felt more loved and cared for than I could have ever imagined, and have loved every minute of this crazy life. Also, ate a lot of chocolate chip cookies, but let's be real that's me every month. 

This summer, really this life, is filled with some much change and uncertainty, and I finally feel like I am able to embrace it head on thanks to the overwhelming support from all of you, my family, Patrick, and my friends. Thank you all for being there. Now on to the fun stuff. For the past month I've been really trying to nail down a self care routine that works for me, and do you want to know what I found?? Baking. I've fallen in love with the Great British Baking Show - Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry please adopt me - and have since been baking at least one thing a day for the past week. I've loved actually making something delicious and then giving myself the grace needed to be okay with eating it. Let's be real guys, especially when you're a blogger (but also all the time as women) we are expected to look a certain way, and I have struggled to accept how I look for a very long time - always wanting to be more toned, skinnier, or whatever. But recently, I've been giving myself the self love I've needed. So this is your reminder to try something new, embrace self care, love yourself, and be grateful. On this little month-long journey I've stumbled across some favorite recipes and I'm excited to share them with you.

Paul Hollywood's Ciabatta Bread. Okay guys so I haven't mastered this one yet, but one day I will! Regardless of how the loaves turn out, it's still bread and you know I will be eating it with Nutella on the regs.

One Part Plant's Chocolate Chip Cookies. OMG SO GOOD. Like seriously these are amazing even if you aren't gluten free or dairy free. Try them, love them, eat all the cookies.

What are your favorite recipes to bake?? I'd love some suggestions - let me know if there is something you all would want me to bake next! Also, don't forget to follow along on Instagram! XOXO

Ciabatta Ciabatta // Keeping on Time with Woodgrain Watches

Let's get real guys, life get's a little messy. I've been living in this half-up/half-down pony for weeks now with casual comfortable clothes, and I'm loving it. I love dressing up, especially for my blog posts, but sometimes it's nice to just be causal. So here is a glimpse at real life right now. If you all have been keeping up with my stories on Instagram, you've probably got a good sense of how hectic life is right now. I'm currently in the middle of unpacking after a big move, and I just recently found out that my grandmother isn't doing well. But, even though the punches keep on rolling in, I choose to remain positive and keep moving forward.

For me, my self-care-love-language (is that a thing? because if not we should make it a thing!) at the moment is baking. I've been really obsessed with The Great British Baking Show (because who doesn't want Mary Berry to be their best friend??), and have been tearing through both the regular seasons and the masterclass on Netflix. If you haven't checked out GBBS, and you love non-dramatic competition shows with a wholesome flair, this show is definitely for you. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are fantastic hosts/judges/and chefs. I heartily recommend. 

If you hadn't guessed already, a quick fun fact about me is that I really love to bake. I always have, although I haven't always been good at it. Today I made Paul Hollywood's Ciabatta recipe for the first time, and well... it didn't really turn out the way his did, but it was my first attempt! I plan on perfecting it throughout the next coming months as this is my self care project! Making breads is very difficult, you have to have the timing just right on the proof as well as the bake. I've been using my Woodgrain Watch to help keep on track. Not only are these watches made out of solid wood, you can choose exactly which wood you prefer from their expansive selection + what style watch face best fits your personal style. All together you can get a show stopping watch, guaranteed to attract attention. I really love the leather bands on my Woodgrain Watches, silky soft and sturdy mix together to create my perfect minimalist, capsule watch. Check out the Kickstarter for Woodgrain Watches here, and grab a watch for a discounted price! Staying on time has never been easier or looked so good. I have relied on my Woodgrain Watch for everything from moving to baking.

SHOP THE LOOK.

Watch. Woodgrain Watches

Jeans. Lucky Brand Sienna Slim Boyfriend Jeans

Top. Target's new A New Day Grey Sweater - Only available in select stores right now, but don't worry, they whole new line will be everywhere this fall!

Check out the Woodgrain Watches Instagram here and don't forget to follow along on all my shenanigans here

In the Middle of Moving // High Summer Playlist

Oh man has it been a busy end to July and start of August around here! First things, I recently went through an unfortunate experience with my job (read about it here), then it was my three year anniversary with my fella, and then I moved! 

The good news: I only moved about a mile away from where I used to live. I moved into a beautiful house in the middle of Austin, that I couldn't be more excited to make a little more my own! I've been all over Pinterest these past few days pinning all of the cute home inspo ideas, which you can check out here! Are there any tried and true design ideas that you all use? I'd love any tips for you guys! Here's a peak at the living room.

While moving in this Texas heat, I've caught myself listening to the same few songs on repeat, so I wanted to share with you all my High Summer Playlist, perfect for lounging, moving, and everything summer in between. This playlist features indie, alternative, and pop music! You can follow along on Spotify here, or check the list below. Let me know what you guys think! And don't forget to follow along on Instagram!

1. The Bucket - Kings of Leon - I love the tune to this song, it's infectious!

2. Bad Boy - Dan Croll - The perfect song for jamming to in the car.

3. Sedona - Houndmouth - I listen to this guy when cleaning - you can't help but get into it!

4. Real Love Baby - Father John Misty - The absolute sweetest song.

5. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart - I LOVE the Head and the Heart, I've probably been listening to them for the past six or seven years, and they never disappoint.

6. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap - A cult classic, you can't have a summer playlist without this guy - it's so 500 Days of Summer.

7. Sheep - Mt. Joy - Great for a pump up.

8. Argonauts - The Little Ones - Also great to get you pumped.

9. Alaska - Maggie Rogers - A little softer, and great to wind down a bit.

10. Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home - Keira Knightly - Keira Knightly is the most perfect human - gorgeous, brilliant, and a singer ?? Can us mere mortals ever match up??

11. I Chose You - Sara Bareilles - I am in love with this song - it's perfect for your summer romance - I know I can hardly listen to this one without crying. 

Hope you guys enjoy the playlist! Happy listening!

High Summer Essentials // The Perfect Summer Dress

As I mentioned in my self care post yesterday, I'm hoping to really grow this little blog of mine, and that means more posts! If you all have any suggestions or requests about what you'd like to read about, please let me know! I'd love to get your feedback!

I don't know about you all, but I have been looking for a summer dress literally all summer long. My ideal summer dress is not form fitting, but flattering, simple, but not plain, and well made. I finally found the perfect dress a couple of weeks ago at Madewell, and I've been wearing it non stop. 

Outfit Details.

Dress. The Striped Midi Dress from Madewell. Perfect for every occasion.

Shoes. Target Lois Criss Cross Ballet Flats - under $25!

Hair. DryBar Blow out - check out my Instagram to see more about my blowout experience at DryBar!

This dress is a true midi dress. It hits perfectly mid-calf, has elegant ruffles, pin stripes, and is lined, + my absolute favorite aspect of this dress is the delicate buttons down the back, such a subtle addition, but it really makes the dress stand out.You never have to worry about that after-meal bloat, panty lines, or anything else unflattering. All you have to do is sit back, enjoy the summer breeze, and if you're like me, drink all the iced coffee in sight. 

If you're still in the market for the perfect summer dress, I highly recommend this one from Madewell. 

Keep up with all the goings-on over on Instagram here!

Keep Moving Forward // Self Care

Hey guys, it's time to get a little real with you all. 

Recently (like earlier this week recently) I was let go from my dream job. Now, before I continue, I'd like you all to know that there are no hard feelings, I understand exactly where my boss came from, and I don't begrudge her in the slightest. It was such a great opportunity to get to work with an amazing team of women, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

If you've ever been let-go, it can be a rough, and so today I want to talk with you all about some self care I've been taking to try and boost my spirits. 

If you don't know, I recently worked for a jewelry company (which will remain nameless) as their Chief Marketing Executive. You all should totally still purchase and check out the amazing jewelry the ladies have created (if you know what I'm talking about) because it really is gorgeous and incredibly made. 

For my self care, I'm making a pact. To spend the next few weeks relaxing, enjoying fun-employment, and blogging more (yay!). I'm going to finally seriously get into codeing, something I've always wanted to dedicate more time to, research ways to grow my little blog, and enjoy a stress-free end of summer. Recently, I've been drinking coffee and tea (all the warm drinks), painting my nails, and reading the Moth's new book All These Wonders as part of my mourning period. If you like true short stories from the people who experience them, the Moth is the perfect thing to get into - they have a podcast and this book which features stories told at Moth Story Slams across the country. It's one of my favorite podcasts to listen to. I love feeling like I know the person who is telling a story - it's so honest and real. Learn more about the Moth here.

So, in the spirit of the Moth podcast, I wanted to let you all know the very real things going on in my life. Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and let's enjoy living this life we have! 

See all of my shenanigans on Instagram here!

Detailed Tops // Goodnight Macaroon

I'm curious, have you guys ever ordered from Goodnight Macaroon? It's an online boutique that specializes in on trend, feminine clothing. I recently received a shirt from Goodnight Macaroon and really love it. I always talk about being flexible with your capsule, and I think this shirt is the most flexible I have been. It's definitely more trendy than anything I usually purchase, however I think it fits into my capsule well. It has a simple, elegant design, and is pretty good quality for the price.

Outfit Details.

Top. Goodnight Macaroon - Similar Here and Here

Bottoms. Madewell High Rise Denim Shorts in Washed Black

Kicks. Cole Haan Originalgrand Wingtip Oxford

Clutch. Lou Lou Boutique Oversized Woven Clutch

Necklace. Bauble Bar Charm Necklace Builder (so fun - you get to customize your own charm necklace!)

When I got my top from Goodnight Macaroon, I was surprised with how small the sizing ran. I am pretty much always a size 4 or medium in bottoms and a small in tops. For Goodnight Macaroon, I had to order a large to fit into their clothing. The top I bought is super cute and I've been happy with the quality, considering GM is mostly a fast-fashion company, but I felt I had to share with you all how small their sizes ran. If you're interested in spicing up your capsule, and I highly recommend you do, check out Goodnight Macaroon - I'll link some of my favorites below. However, make sure you can return whatever you buy in case the sizing is off, and order at least a size if not two up. Also, order quickly. They tend to turn over stock a little quickly, so don't wait too long to grab one of their unique pieces.

Here are some of my current favorites that I think would be great for spicing up a very neutral capsule wardrobe from right to left.

Top Row.

Frankie Denim Shredded Hem Side Cut Jeans

Argelia Essential Linen Shirt Dress

Luana Stripped Tied Strap Peplum Top

Bottom Row.

Shanika Stripped Embroidered Peplum Top 

Gala V Neck Basic Top

Janessa Stripped Knotted Sleeveless Top

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale // Top Capsule Picks

As I'm sure you all know, the Nordstrom Anniversary sale started yesterday and every blogger ever is talking about it. If you aren't aware, Nordstrom has this huge sale every summer and it means major sales. However, if you aren't a Nordstrom cardholder (have their credit card), you can't shop the sale for a few more days. I don't have a Nordstrom card, for full disclosure, but I have been stalking their Sneak Peak and this is what I have found.

I sought out in search of products that would be good for people with a Capsule Wardrobe (because of course), but even if you don't have a Capsule Wardrobe these are great staples!

Clothing.

Spring/Summer.

Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Poplin Top - Bell sleeves are a little trendy, but they are a trend I can 100% get behind

BP. Woven Twill Tunic - Perfect white button down

Mavi Jeans Ada Distressed Boyfriend Jeans - I have been in search for some distressed BF jeans and I think these are the pick for me. Some people don't think these are very capsule, but women have been wearing distressed, comfortable jeans for decades. This is definitely not a trend that is going to go out of style any time soon. 

Leith Stretch Knit Midi Dress - I love the lilac color and the fact that this dress is stretchy - hello comfort

Theory Telson Rosina Crepe Slipdress - Obsessed with Theory and perfect for those hot summer days

Fall/Winter.

Rag & Bone High Waist Skinny Ankle Jeans - I love the Rag & Bone jeans - they are a little pricey but the quality is so worth it. 

Vince Ribbed Wool & Cashmere Sweater - I love the cut of this sweater. I have a very similar version from Ann Taylor that I love and have probably over-worn, but it's a staple of mine every winter. Plus + Sweaters like this are perfect for hiding the holiday pooch. ;)

Leith Shawl Collar Cardigan - Everyone needs a cozy sweater for around the house, the coffee shop, or for running small errands

Fabiana Filippi Sequin Embellished Wool Turtleneck Sweater - a lot of the time capsule wardrobes are ridiculed for being "too neutral" and "bland," which can absolutely happen, but with seemingly simple sweaters like this, you can have a neutral sweater with a pop of embellishment.

Vince Crop Stretch Wool Pants - These are so similar to the Everlane pants I have been stalking for years - I would snatch these up while on sale

Michael Kors Double Face Wool Blend Coat - The most beautiful, simple coat that will last years

St. John Collection Links Knit Wool Cocoon Tunic Sweater - I love the way this almost looks like a cape + that color = *heart eyes*

Shoes + Accessories + Bags.

Madewell Paint Stripe Transport Tote - Available for about $70 off - These Madewell totes are very high quality and very similar to my Nisolo tote. I recommend a large tote bag for anyone on-the-go. I pop my camera, book, wallet, and laptop and am out the door in 5 minutes flat. 

NIKE Juvenate SE Sneaker - Who doesn't need a new pair of plain black tennis shoes? 

Skagen Anita Leather Strap Watch, 34mm - Goes with everything with gorgeous gold details

Vince Milo Loafer - I have wanted a pair of slide-on-and-go shoes for so long. These are definitely in my cart

Intimates + Beauty.

Natori Rose Dream Custom Coverage Underwire Bra - I am really picky when it comes to bras, but I have one of these and it fits like a dream

Chantelle Intimates Festivite Underwire Contour Bra - Ditto as above - cannot recommend these bras enough

MAC Look in a Box Nice 'n Spicy Lip Kit - The perfect everyday shade

Clarisonic Mia Pink Sonic Skin Cleaning System - If you have sensitive skin that is prone to blackheads like mine, I 100% recommend this guy.

Linen on Linen // Target Style

Can you believe it is already July 4th tomorrow? This year is blowing by! I know I talk about it a lot on here, but oh my gosh is it going to be hot tomorrow. In order to keep cool I've been wearing linen on repeat. The only problem with a lot of linen is that it can be really expensive depending on the brand. I recently found these insanely comfortable Target linen pants and have not been able to take them off - I've even convinced friends they need to get them, and now it's my turn to convince you all!

These bottoms are less than $30, wash easy, and are great for both casual and formal outings - plus, who isn't into the wide-leg trend right now?

Shop the look:

Top. Anthropologie - found on super sale - similar here and here from Madewell (both on sale!)

Bottoms. Target Linen Wide Leg Pants - you guys seriously need these in your life. They are the most comfortable and perfect for summer

Shoes. Hinge 'Mere' Flat Slide Sandal - super comfortable and perfect for a lounge-y day

Bag. Coach - discontinued - similar here from Coach

I'll be spending my fourth of July in comfortable, breathable clothing, hopefully watching some fireworks and making cookies. Happy holiday everyone!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and twitter!

Summer Essentials // On the Go

This summer I have been very busy - between traveling, working, and hustling I've had to create a comprehensive beauty routine to combat this Texas heat. 

Here is a glimpse at some of my summer on-the-go products. 

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. A good friend of mine showed me this miracle formula. If you have pesky blackheads, or buildup of any kind, this product is amazing. I use this between washing and moisturizing my face in the morning and at night. Perfect for sensitive skin!

Origins Plantscription SPF 25 Anti-Aging Cream Moisturizer. I love Origins - I've never been lead astray and this anti-aging moisturizer has worked wonders. I really love how it has sunscreen in it - I can't go anywhere without a little sunscreen on. We've got to protect our skin!

Origins Modern Friction Cleansing Oil. I have used the Clean Energy cleansing oil religiously, and I just recently tried the new Modern Friction - it's amazing. It works the exact same way as Clean Energy but it smells like cucumbers. If you've never used a cleansing oil, it comes out as an oil you rub onto your face. You gently rub water into your face after the oil and it turns into a cleansing milk. I personally like using cleansing oils more than a general cleanser because it gives you a little added boost of moisture. 

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream. This is a very new find for me. I (as mentioned before) have trouble with clogged pores, and I had been using a full coverage foundation, which is great every season besides summer. This BB Cream gives my face the coverage I need, adds some SPF, and doesn't clog my pores. Plus, it has a gorgeous matte finish.

Davines OI Oil. I use this after I get out of the shower to give my hair a little added moisture. Perfect for a touch of shine as well. Love, love, love.

Real Her Beauty I Am Perfect Liquid Lipstick in Ladylove. Brush on and go, for a nude-pink matte look. Perfect with any outfit, and it's cruelty free!

VERB Sea Spray. I've already gushed. Read my previous post about all of my favorite VERB sea collection products here. I love this for sprucing up my curls - and just about everything else. Always $14!

Casual Style // Coffee Shops

In the summer time, and most of the year, my favorite places to work are coffee shops. The other day I was able to have a creative meeting, one of a weekly series, with my friend Sydney. We like to spend time working every Thursday on our creative side-hustles. Last Thursday we went to the South Congress Hotel's Mañana coffee. Such a great spot for collaborating.

Here is a glimpse at one of my working-at-the-coffee-shop outfits. Three words. Comfy. Casual. + Classic. 

Outfit.

Top. Madewell Stripped Tank Top (Now on sale!)

Bottoms. Lucky Brand Sasha Super Skinny Jean

Shoes. Madewell - similar here and on sale!

Bag. Nisolo Lori Tote

Summer Rompers // It's Hot in Austin

It has been excruciatingly hot here in Austin. High temperatures in the 100's and lows in the 80's means we are all dying, and don't even get me started on the mosquitos! The best thing about summer in Austin, however, is all of the summer fashion. Any other season of the year, it's typically too hot to wear all of the cute new styles, or the great classics, but summer is our time to shine, so I thought I'd share with you all a cute little linen romper I've been wearing non stop. 

Recently snagged from the huge sale going on with Anthropologie, this little linen has become a staple in my wardrobe. Now, I know what all of you are thinking, "Ami, that isn't capsule wardrobe," but oh contrare my friends. This romper while maybe more "trendy" than most capsule pieces, was well-made with quality fabric, incredibly comfortable, and will come back for next summer.

Here is my little philosophy on capsule wardrobes, if you think you will wear it next year, if you think it will hold up until the next year (and hopefully many years after), then I think it fits the capsule wardrobe label. The thing with capsule wardrobes is that they are very tricky, especially in a world in which most pieces of clothing can hardly last until the end of the current season. We have no idea what our bodies are going to look like next year - maybe we gain a lot of weight, lose some, get pregnant, or hormones shift and our body shape changes. It's not realistic to plan a strict-capsule-wardrobe when you don't know what your body is going to look like. *stepping off soapbox now*. Here are some photos of this gorgeous summer romper.

Pictured.

Romper - Anthropologie (similar/favorites below)

Shoes - Target Lois Criss Cross Ballet Flats

Bracelet - Bauble Bar - not in circulation

Necklace - Britta Ambauen Jewelry Underline Necklace

And here are some links to my favorite summer rompers/jumpsuits that I am in love with.

Elizabeth Suzann Mara Jumpsuit - an all-time favorite - this guy is on my wishlist!

Anthropologie Linen Stripped Romper - I love the pattern - very unique but not over the top.

Anthropologie Chantal Jumpsuit - I love this look - very 1920's with pants (lol)

Madewell Apron Bow-Back Jumpsuit - I have had my eyes on this guy for months - love the fabric and the elegant bow detail

Madewell Side-Button Drawstring Romper - similar to the jumpsuit above but in a romper!

James Perse Twisted Strap Romper - In love with this darling denim romper - it looks so cozy and perfect for summer weather.

Stay up-to-date on all my shinanigans on Instagram. 

Links + Sites

This past week has been filled with, you guessed it, work, work, and more work. My boss is expanding our small business up to Seattle (whoop!), which means getting everything ready to move and finalizing some last-minute details. If you're every curious about the work I do, head over to Britta Ambauen - we make unique, handmade jewelry here in Austin to inspire you to be the most unapologetic version of yourself. I was also able to meet with the blogging queen and king, Christina and Robert of New Darlings. It was such a blast to get to meet them and explore around the state capitol for the Canon #EOSMMission. 

And now, without further blabbing, here is my list current favorite links from around the web. 

1. This airline specializes in inexpensive flights to Europe - If you need me, I'll be over here planning my trip to Paris

2. While on the topic of travel, here is a great site for keeping tabs on cheap airfare 

3. Need recommendations on books? Look no further - this site has recommendations, reviews, and podcasts discussing new releases and book-ish news

4. Is life getting you busy? I love this little online shop that specializes in planners and stationary

5. I am currently obsessed with this retailer - shop online or in store for the highest quality products at a very reasonable price

6. This new camera I just tested out is worth-while and perfect for the travel bug

7. This new line from Outdoor Voices is fitness goals

8. I am obsessed with this hair trend - I cannot wait for my hair to grow out more

9. These Madewell Summer Styles have me all heart-eyes-emoji if you know what I mean

10. Have you checked out my Pinterest page - checkout my inspirations

Boston Travels // Solo Trip

I am a huge fan of the solo trip. If you've never been on a solo adventure, I highly recommend going on one. It's a wonderful time for self-reflection. On my trip I had a lot of time to reminisce on the time I spent living in Boston, going to Harvard, and I was able to parse through some thoughts that had been on my mind. I think my favorite part of the solo trip is the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want. I'm going to share with you all my recommendations for a perfect solo trip.

First. Don't plan ahead. The beauty of the solo trip is being able to wake up in the morning, and decide what you want to do then and there. There are no appointments or requirements, just spontaneity. 

Second. Indulge. When on vacation, and especially on a solo trip, it is very important to toss those pesky dietary restrictions aside in favor of life's more delicious options. While in Boston I ate all of the dairy and bread I could get my hands on, and friends, I was in heaven. Here's a list of all the places I frequented in Boston and Cambridge, warning it's mostly coffee shops.

Tatte Bakery. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, and a mid-morning snack.

Crema. One of my most favorite coffee shops. I have never had a better latte than the one at Crema, and if you all have stuck with me through my coffee blog days, you know that my praise it not easily given (and that I have had a lot of coffee in my lifetime). 

George Howell. I stubbled across this place on my independent book store tour of Boston. There are a couple of locations sprinkled throughout Boston, all modern, posh, and filled with delicious coffee. If you're looking for a place that has a modern, trendy vibe with delicious coffee and treats, this is your spot. 

Cafe Luna. The perfect brunch spot. This place has moved locations from its tiny, homey space to a modern, trendy spot down the street a couple of blocks. Be sure to go on the weekend for brunch and get the honey butter biscuits as a starter. The best biscuits in the world.

Cambridge 1. Looking for pizza? Look no further. This place has you covered. Delicious wood-fire pizza located right in Harvard Square. 

Cafe Sushi. Alright, this is the best sushi I have ever had. Be sure to get every roll that sounds out of the ordinary, they are the absolute best.

Third. Relax. Whether your version of relaxation is shopping on Newbury street, eating your way through Boston's Italian Quarter, reading a book in the Japanese Gardens, or going to all the museums and independent book stores (like I did) take some time for you. A solo trip is the perfect time to be selfish - do whatever you want and don't worry about the rest. Treat yo self. 

Summer Essentials // VERB

It's finally summer down here in Austin, and thank goodness! I know it's been a quick minute since my last update on here (sorry guys), but to make it up to you all I'm doing a GIVEAWAY with VERB! I've partnered with VERB to bring one of you beautiful readers their newly released Sea Collection!

I've had the pleasure of using the Sea Collection for a little while now, and let me tell ya, this line has worked wonders for my curls. As I get older I find that my mane of curls is slowly falling. Don't get me wrong, I still have big curls and a ton of hair, but I used to have the most ridiculous ringlets and so much hair it would take two hours to get it cut, so recently I've felt a little more protective of my curls. Specifically, I've been having trouble keeping my curls bouncy especially as I grow out my pixie cut. Most days my curls fall after drying and I'm left with a wavy mop on my head. Not only has the VERB Sea Collection revived my curls, but it looks like my hair took a trip to the beach and came back healthier, more relaxed, and bouncier than ever. 

First, I use the Sea Shampoo and Sea Conditioner in my shower. I try to get all of that shampoo sudsy goodness deep into my roots, then I moisturize with the Sea Conditioner. After my shower, I always let my hair air-dry. I try and use as little heat as possible on my hair to keep it as healthy as possible. After my hair is dry, it feels soft, light, and breezy. 

Second, I lightly spray in the Sea Spray and scrunch up my hair to revive my falling curls. You can also section off your hair and curl individual pieces by twisting them through your fingers. I prefer to just scrunch my hair since I have naturally curly hair, but for my more wavy-hair friends sectioning and twisting your hair is probably a better idea.

Top: Mary Claret | Bottoms: Madewell | Jewelry: Britta Ambauen

Top: Mary Claret | Bottoms: Madewell | Jewelry: Britta Ambauen

Third, after letting the Sea Spray settle in, depending on how loose my curls look, I add in the Sea Texture Cream. I rub the cream on my palm until it reaches a clear consistency then lightly work it from tip to root, defining my curls as I go. I find that this last step helps my curls stay bouncy throughout the day. 

My favorite thing about the Sea Collection is how even though my curls look bouncy and full, my hair feels soft, beachy, and loose. I've never experienced crunchy hair or found clumps of product laying around, which a lot of products (especially for curly hair) can do. Be sure to check out my Instagram to enter into the GIVEAWAY! I'll be giving away the entire Sea Collection! 

Special thanks to VERB for supporting this post. 

Catching-Up // Men's Fashion Projects

Wow oh wow has this been a busy spring!

Let’s catch up, shall we?

I’ve been working like a mad woman and enjoying every minute of it. I’m the Marketing Executive for Britta Ambauen: Jewelry to Inspire, and essentially I run everything from our social media to our website to our outreach and photography. If you haven’t checked out Britta Ambauen: Jewelry to Inspire you should to see everything we have been up to! It’s been great to get to work for a job I love, while still going to school and finishing everything up.

I’m currently planning a trip up to Boston - eek! I’m so excited, the last time I was in Boston was when I was living there three years ago. Boston is a magical city - it’s where my fella and I had our first date. <3

Patrick, my fella, and I have been working on a men’s fashion post. All the ins-and-outs of men’s fashion and how guys should take care of themselves - beauty routines and all that jazz.

Here is a sneak peek!

Outfit details (with ready-to-shop links!)

Jacket: H&M Denim Jacket

Pants: UOMens Chinos

Top: American Apparel Button-Down similar here (everything is on super sale since they are closing down)

Shoes: G.H. Bass Co. Niles Buc Oxfords

Zilker Park // Spring Transitions

Last weekend, my fella came to town and we spent our time together roaming around one of our favorite cities. Sometimes I get stuck in my own little corner of town and rarely make it out. While I love my neighborhood, it's a great feeling to explore and feel like a stranger in your own city. 

My favorite moment of the weekend was when we went to Zilker Park with a little picnic and a couple books from our favorite local bookshop, Malvern Books. We spent hours lying in the grass, under our Texas sun, feeling as happy as can be. 

It's getting hotter here everyday, which means bye-bye cute winter clothes (although, did we even have a winter?) and hello shorts and tank tops. Spring always hits here a little early, but I wish we could hold on to the winter chill a little longer.

On our park date I chose a functional, spring transition outfit.

Pictured.

Top. Madewell Riverside Textured Sweater (similar color here)

Bottoms. Madewell 9" High-Rise Skinny Jeans in Lunar (here)

Shoes. Nisolo Sofia Slip-On in Noir (here)

Hat. Thrifted - I do love antique store finds!

I hope these spring feelings have you happy and adventurous. 

Fresh Faced // Daily Beauty Routine

After questions from you all on what products I use/what my beauty routine is, I decided to give you all a small look into my daily routine. 

It has been an uphill battle, friends, trying to find products that work for my skin and hair types. After years of trial and error, I feel as though I finally have a good routine down. That being said, if you are a beauty guru and have tips, I'm all ears!

I'm a firm believer in twice-a-day face washing - I can't sleep at night if I have a dirty face. There's just something so beautiful about going to bed and waking up fresh faced. My beauty routines are very basic because on a daily basis I don't really need to do too much - plus I have very sensitive skin that gets easily irritated. The foundation on which I started my skin/haircare journey is the idea of natural beauty. I want to feel confident in my natural skin and hair... and maybe one day look like Kiera Knightly without make-up (one can only hope). I try to find products that are natural, minimal in ingredients, and good for extra sensitive skin - here is what I've found.

Hair.

My hair, as I have told you all before, can be a mess of crazy curls or awkward waves. Currently I'm trying to grow it out, and I want it to be as healthy as possible. This means keeping hot irons and blow driers to a minimum and loading up on the moisture, especially in these dry months. My hair goals are obviously Kate Middleton who rocks the ever-elusive "rich girl hair," essentially this is the hair that always looks incredibly perfect and hydrated - my ultimate hair desire. 

To keep my hair looking smooth and silky I use Verb Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. I really like the way these products feel. They go on smooth and never tear apart my hair like some shampoos do. After my shower I apply Verb Ghost Oil to lock in all the moisture I can. Once a week or so I use the Verb Hydrating Mask to help repair some latent damage from a week of non-stop running around. Typically when I style my hair I like to add a little volume and I apply Verb Dry Shampoo to my roots for added lift - guys, this stuff is a dream. I love the way my hair looks effortlessly tousled.

Skin.

Winter is very rough on my skin. I always have problems keeping it hydrated. After months of peeling from severe dehydration, I popped over to my local Origins store. OMG guys, Origins has saved my face - I can't imagine going back to where I was before this.

My absolute favorite product from Origins is the "Clean Energy" Cleansing Oil. It rubs on like an oil and washes of like a milk. It adds that little extra boost of moisture I need, and it smells amazing. Washing my face has become my favorite part of the day - it's relaxing, cleansing, and joyful. I love being able to have a couple of minutes to myself.

After I finish washing my face I use Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Lotion every morning and evening. I have never found a moisturizer that didn't cause me to break out, but this Origins lotion has changed the game. I have never had any problems with it and it doesn't clog my pores - a huge problem for me. 

Make-up.

I just wanted to give you guys a small peak at my make-up routine since I was already making this post. I think it goes hand-in-hand with skincare, and for all my sensitive skin gals out there, this one's for you. 

So, we all know by now that I have sensitive skin, however I also have a really hard time keeping blackheads away - gross. It's something I have always struggled with, and generic make-up foundations make everything worse. For a long time I stayed away from anything resembling full coverage, but recently I stumbled onto a foundation/concealer duo that has changed my life. To start, I always use Clinique Superprimer - alright, this little guy has saved my face from intense blackheads. Ladies, if you have any blackhead/breakout problems like I do and ALSO have sensitive skin, this guy is for you. After priming my face, I use Clinique Beyond Perfecting Concealer+Foundation. It goes on even, is silky smooth, and covers even the tiniest blemish without added makeup. To spread my makeup I use an Oval brush set (similar to the Artis brushes), which if you haven't tried these brushes out, you really should. Make-up goes on seamlessly, is never spotty, and looks radiant. 

And there you have it! One small glimpse into my daily routine. I try to keep everything simple and minimal, utilizing quality products for my face and hair. It's so important to take care of yourself, and my beauty routine is one piece of my day I have found to be very enjoyable. 

Comfy and Casual // Daily Wear

I've been getting asked what sort of outfits I wear on a daily basis with my capsule wardrobe, so I wanted to give you all a glimpse into what my daily wear looks like.

I love casual clothes (it's probably half of my wardrobe) and I try to find pieces that are accessible for multiple occasions.

Pictured here are some of my favorites.

Jeans. Can't go wrong with black denim. Dress 'em up, dress 'em down, they're perfect for errands to a night out. These are from Madewell.

Cardigan. My absolute favorite cardigan/sweater/light jacket/every day coziness is from Bannana Republic. I love this color, tan just goes with everything. Similar here.

Shirt. I love stripes but I am very particular about them. I liked the uniqueness of this top, it's great for casual days out. Here is a stripped shirt I am majorly crushing on from Everlane.

Shoes. My classic Nisolo booties. I pretty much live in these slip-ons. I wear them with everything from jeans to dresses. 

Jewelry. Britta Ambauen everything! I can't stop wearing her pieces. They are so well made and accentuate all of my daily wear. 

I like to keep things simple. Lots and lots of neutrals are in my wardrobe, and lots of basic/plain tops. I tend to stay away from patterns unless they are really nice stripes. 

Smiles in the Sun // Banana Republic Sweater Dress

My favorite go-to recently is this beautiful sweater dress. It's my only sweater dress, and honestly I think it's the only one I need. The grey tones match everything, and the comfy cowl adds warmth and comfort. 

Outfit Details.

Dress - Banana Republic Cowl Neck Dress (only available in black here) + on super sale!

Similar dress option here if you're looking for something a bit more sweater-y.

Shoes - Nisolo Sofia Slip-On Noir