Friday, August 22, 2014

11 Cool Things You Need To Click On Today

Getting a little carried away in the beauty/fashion closet at work

Summer is winding down, our office is a ghost town with people squeezing in those last few vacation days, and I'm already thinking fall. Case in point: We throw a Halloween party every year (you guys know how I love me a good theme party, right?), and this year I'm starting early with the planning, officially deciding yesterday that the theme is going to be "Vintage Halloween." (You won't tell, right?) If you want to follow along with my planning, you can follow my Pinterest board where I'll be heavily pinning away for the next two+ months! :)

But let's not go too crazy with autumn prep--summer's not over yet, right?

• Love a good skinny jean. Love a good boyfriend jean. So naturally these skinny boyfriend jeans are next on my list. Best part: They're under $100!

• These shoes! So pretty, such a good deal and you'd totally wear them with evvverrrrythinnnng.

• I discovered Surratt eye shadows this week, and OMG--they are amazing. The texture is insane (so silky!), and there are so many good colors. I especially love this perfect nude.

• How cute are these bedsheets with metallic gold polka dots? Cute enough that they're in my cart right now.

• The pregnancy announcement heard 'round the (Instagram) world: Big congrats to my friend Eva on her impending bundle of sure-to-be-super-chic joy!

• This new video of celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves is LOL funny.

• Who would have guesses that Snoopy held the secret to anti-aging?

• Years ago at a beauty event, I was treated (ha) to a view of my skin through a UV camera. It was terrifying. (A UV camera lets you see already-occurred sun damage lying in wait underneath your skin, and spoiler alert: There's likely already a ton of damage you don't know about. There was for me. Good times.) This video shares a similar peek at that hidden sun damage and gives a cool glimpse at the power of sunscreen to block UV rays.

 Emily's xoJane piece on adopting her foster son brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful.

And in case you missed it, this week I...

• Went back-to-school shopping with a picky preschooler.

• Announced a cool giveawayHave you entered yet?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back-to-School Shopping With A Girly Girl

Love this dress! It reminds me of Tea Collection...for about one-sixth of the price. Dress, Okie Dokie; leggings, Okie Dokie; sneakers, Disney
Shockingly, my skirt-obsessed girl is all over this skinny-jean-and-graphic-tee combo. T-shirt, Arizona; jeggings, Arizona; sneakers, Disney

Dress + leggings x pink = our go-to kind of outfit. Dress, Carter's; leggings, Okie Dokie; sneakers, Disney.
If you want to be a hero to a four-year-old girl, this is what you buy: Frozen sneakers
Dress, Arizona; leggings, Okie Dokie; sneakers, Converse

T-shirt, Okie Dokie; jeggings, Arizona; sneakers, Converse (Note: That rag she's holding is not available at JCPenney. That' would be Bunny, her lovie. Bunny has seen better days.)

Behind-the-scenes of our shopping trip. I drew the line at the Sofia the First costume as a back-to-school option.

Shopping for a little girl can be amazing. Shopping for a picky little girl can be tough. And when it comes to clothes (and, ok, dinner), my daughter is picky. The older she gets, the more say she wants to have in what she wears. And that generally means skirts or dresses all. the. time. 

I do nearly all of her shopping online, and when the boxes come, we'll go through them together and she'll basically sit there like a little King Joffrey ruthlessly deciding whether something lives or dies. If it's pink, purple, or emblazoned with princesses, cats, or sparkles, it will usually go on to see another day. Typically anything blue ("it's too boy"), kind-of plain ("it's not fashionable"), or the p-word ("I hate pants!!) is sentenced back to the returns center. What can I say? My little girl is absolutely a girly-girl through and through. She loves making a statement with what she wears, and she loves expressing herself through clothes.

Gee, where did she get that from?

So when JCPenney invited us to come by and do a little back-to-school shopping, I was excited, but also a little nervous. I was already imagining the battles we were going to have in the store--and the pink fest we were surely going to walk away with. Don't get me wrong: I like the girly stuff, too. But it would be nice if S would deign to try on a different color sometimes. Or pants. Like when it's, oh, 20 degrees out?

But she actually surprised me that afternoon in the store! Yes, she made a beeline to the princess stuff  (we left with Frozen sneakers that we might as well have gotten surgically attached to her feet since she pretty much refuses to take them off), and yes we bought several (adorable) dresses. But she also agreed to a little blue, lots of leggings, and even jeans. SKINNY JEANS! (There was the sparkly jeweled button on the fly that won her over. My sincere thanks to the JCP design wizard who thought of that trick.) The Great Pants Experiment of 2014 may not seem earth-shattering to you, but my daughter hasn't worn pants in years, so this basically felt like my own personal Everest.

Here's a few photos of S modeling some of her new back-to-school looks. There's a little pink, a little denim, a little girly-girl--and it's all totally my girl.

P.S.- Um, check out those poses! Could you die?)

When it fits, you feel it.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by JCPenney via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of JCPenney.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Lexypexy Eco-Chic Teethers!

I know it's hard to tear your eyes away from the supercute baby above, but just try for a sec to focus on the wooden things that he's chewing on. Those, my friends, are the cutest. teethers. ever. They're from Lexypexy, an adorable line of cool, eco-friendly wooden teethers that's miles away from the garish plastic stuff out there. 

I discovered them a few weeks back while I was at BlogHer, and actually did a double-take when I first saw the display. They didn't look anything like baby toys. Instead, they looked like superchic mini odes to some of the most iconic bags from Chanel, Chloe, and Hermes. (I found myself really, really wishing that they had been around when my daughter was teething!) 

Luckily, my son is still in the gnawing phase. (Well, actually, not so much luckily--teething is hell). But how cute does he look chomping down on the little croissant and yacht? He loves them. And I love that they're not full of sketchy chemicals like plastic teethers.

Lexypexy is generously giving away a set of THREE teethers of your choice (valued at $73!) to one lucky reader. You can go with all three bags if you've got a wee Kardashian on your hands; the sunglasses, yacht, and vintage sportscar if yours is more of a Little Lord Disick; or just mix and match to make your own set--they're all so adorable. 

And if even if you don't have a kid, I'd suggest entering anyway. Save 'em for the next baby shower on your calendar and show up looking like a gift-giving rock star. Or just display them! (No joke: The bags in particular would actually look amazing styled on a bookshelf. Yes, I'm obsessed...!)

Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 15, 2014

10 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

Such a pretty (and affordable!) storage solution for your favorite lipsticks

Heading down to the beach with the kids today (long car trip. pray for me.), so I'm about to embark on a frantic packing-fest. (Packing for a trip with kids is the worst, BTW. You have to bring everything and it's kind of a disaster if you forget one of the 5123432 essential things like, say, diapers. But that's another post...) 

Oh! This was fun: I saw the play The Maids (starring Cate Blanchett) last night. It was good--amazing acting, very intense, and the set was so cool and different. Worth seeing if you're in NYC and a big Cate fan.

In the meantime, here's a few fun things worth checking out today...

• Is there possibly a prettier way to store makeup than this vintage-y lipstick holder? I think not.

• I'm buying this pleated black leather skirt for fall, and then, mark my words: I am going to live in it. (SO. AWESOME.)

• This modern take on the Topsy Tail (remember that thing??) is really pretty and looks super easy to do.

• How to take the perfect shoe selfie.

• This cracked me up: "20 Back-to-School Ideas That'll Make the Other Moms Cry." Such a funny look at some of the truly insane Pinterest projects out there (and you don't have to be a mom to enjoy it, I promise). 

• This brand-new line of customizable cotton string lights (hard to explain--check them out) is so cool. They would be so pretty for a wedding, a bedroom, etc. Definitely planning to order some for my next party!

• I love this living room--cool and chic but still totally cozy/homey.

And in case you missed it this week, I...

• Revealed the best people to follow on Instagram.

• Talked about why the death of Robin Williams feels like it hits so close to home.

• Shared some fun, eye-catching phone cases for the beauty junkie.

What are you guys up to this weekend? Would love to hear your plans below. Go!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

5 Cool Phone Cases For Beauty Junkies

beauty phone cases

Phone cases, clockwise from top left: palette, brush set, red polish, palette, gold polish

At first glance, the pics above look like palettes, nail polishes, and brush sets, right? But they're actually phone cases! So fun, right?

Tell me: Which beauty product would you like to see wrapped around your iPhone?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Best People to Follow On Instagram: The Cool Moms {Part 1}

I'm always looking for great new people to follow on Instagram, and I can't be the only one. So I thought it might be fun to list some of my favorite follows here. And I'm going to start with what has become one of my favorite types of people to follow on Insta: cool moms. Cute kids, funny scenarios, awesome photography--these are the mothers who make it all look easy... and gorgeous. I realized that I have so many faves in this category, in fact, that this is just part one of two. (And, um, speaking of cool moms--heh, heh--are you following me??) Meet the mommies:

New York mom Ilana captures beautiful, often-funny, always-adorable shots of her two daughters, Mazzy and Harlow. She shoots everything on her iPhone, which is crazy because her photos are so, so good. She has a knack for going viral (see #babymugging and #babysuiting--both her creations), and also has a hilarious blog.

2) @taza

Imagine a hipster fairytale set in NYC and this account would be it. It follows mom Naomi, dad Josh, and their two little cherubs, Eleanor and Samson, as they romp through the city in Saltwater sandals eating popsicles, taking in the sights, and generally living a gorgeous Instagram-filtered life where there's nary a tantrum in sight. :) (Warning: You are going to want to be Naomi's BFF.) By the way, I am completely in awe of how often these two travel with their two little ones. Utah, New Orleans, Holland--it's seriously impressive (and fun!) to watch all the places they drag their Bugaboo.

3) @roopikamalhotra

This is one of those rare instances where I actually know the person behind the account. Roopika used to be a beauty editor here in New York. Now she lives in L.A. and it's so fun following her adventures out there as a writer, blogger, and mom. She has the two most beautiful little daughters (always in the prettiest outfits!), and her photos often have this gorgeous pink cast, presenting a very rose-colored view of La-La-Land life that I just love. (Check out her blog, too.)

4) @ladyandprince

Marissa works in fashion (VP of creative for Ivanka Trump), blogs about her kids, and has the perfect little Brooklyn family. Afternoons at the park, skipping down the city streets, supercute outfits--they are a J.Crew catalog come to life, I swear. Love.

5) @hollywoodhwife

Compared to the others here, Laura posts relatively rarely on Insta (for more regular updates, follow her awesome blog--it's a daily read for me.), but the pics are worth the wait. She often shoots with a quirky, really interesting perspective that's fun to see. Plus her kids are super expressive and her husband (a producer/director/creator of Jackass) seems hilarious. They give off such a cool-family vibe--the kind of group you'd want to hang out with, for sure.

6) @shakeyourbeauty

I first knew Tia from the beauty world (she has worked as a beauty editor at magazines like Lucky and Elle), but she's also an author, beauty blogger, and of course, mom. I adore her Instagram because the love between her and her daughter emanates through every frame. Plus she has amazing hair, so for me, that's half the battle right there. :)

Now, please tell me: Who are some of your favorite follows? (Could be moms or non-moms--I'd love to hear about anyone great!) And leave your Instagram handle below and I'll definitely check out your account. :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Why The Death of Robin Williams Hits Us So Hard

It's 8:15 pm on Monday evening right now. My kids are tucked in their beds. The house is quiet. The day is rapidly inching to a close. It's the time of the night when I usually grab my computer, settle down on the couch, and work on a blog post for the next day. And, per usual, that's what I planned to do tonight. I had a post I'd been working on about my favorite people to follow on Instagram. I had intended to put a few final touches on it and then sit back and hate-watch Bachelor in ParadiseAnd then I checked Twitter and everything changed. 

So, I'm going to hold off on that post for a bit.

You see, I'm sad. Really sad. Like much of the world, I suspect, the news of Robin Williams's death hit me hard. I'm not sure why it's gotten me so upset. Other celebrity deaths haven't made me feel like this. James Gandolfini's death was sad. Cory Monteith's death was sad. Phillip Seymour Hoffman's felt like punch in the gut. But this feels different. This time, I feel like I've lost a friend.

And, honestly, I kind of have. I've never met Robin Williams, of course. But that doesn't mean I didn't know him. We all knew him. He was there every step of the way. He was Mork. He was Mrs. Doubtfire. He was the Genie in Aladdin. From Awakenings to Dead Poets Society to Hook, he was integral to so many of my favorite movies--and moments--growing up. He was awesome. 

One of my favorite Robin moments was the part he played in one of my all-time favorite movies, Good Will Hunting. Do you remember how incredible he was in that role? I just watched a few of my favorite scenes from the movie on YouTube. I really want to re-watch the whole film again now because he was so wonderful in every single moment. 

There are so many great scenes from that movie, but I've included a very quick one below. The clip is just over a minute long--and he's only onscreen for a few seconds--but it really speaks to his power as an actor. Because even though he has only one single line in the entire scene, it's perfect and it completely makes the movie. I've always loved it, but I gained new appreciation for it relatively recently when I read an interview with Matt Damon where he talked about how Robin actually improvised the line. That's how amazing he was.

Good-bye, Robin. Thanks for the lifetime of laughs...and tears. We'll miss you.