High Five for Friday

friday, friday, we meet again. this week has been less than stellar, i.e. fighting another cold and the government stealing all my money (read: taxes). however, it's almost the weekend and it's sorta warm outside so all is good in my small world. 

let's take a look back at five of my favorite moments:
1. i discovered (seems that i'm late to the game!) Revlon's Colorburst Balms and am pretty hooked. they go on so smooth and have just the right amount of color. (this one is called 'showy flamboyant')

2. i'm excited to celebrate Easter this weekend. it's one of my favorite days of the year because of what it represents and i always enjoy attending church to reflect on it.

3. Mike and i went on date night to one of our favorite spots in the city, Las Fuentes. not only is it some of the best Mexican i've had, but they finally opened their patio so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth. it was pretty glorious. i officially know what we'll be doing many weekend nights this summer.

4. don't let my 24 years of life fool you, i am still very much a kid. my mom graciously shipped me an Easter basket after i not so subtly asked for you ;) what can i say?! i love a good Easter basket. it's currently torturing me in the taped shipping box, just begging to be ripped open on Sunday.

5. i can't get over this picture of Milo. he's not a snuggler at all, unless i sit or lay (lie?) on my bed during the day. suddenly, he becomes my small spoon and we share a few precious minutes together. the rest of the time, he sleeps like this.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

have a wonderful Easter weekend! 

The Dirty Bun

if i'm being honest, i've become pretty lazy when it comes to getting ready for the day. being that i work from home, i can get away with sweats and bed head every day, minus a few judgmental looks from my cats. during the winter months, i wouldn't leave my apartment unless absolutely necessary, so there was even less motivation to style my hair and put on my 'full face'. 

during those months, i started getting more creative with my hair and trying new styles that would work on second (or third) day hair. i'm typically a down and curled or half-up girl, but i've gotten in the groove of putting my hair back. that will be essential this summer seeing as i've basically turned into Rapunzel overnight. okay, my hair's not that long, but it's sometime unruly and just needs to be out of my face. 


i've always envied women with hair that they could just throw back into a bun and it would look perfect. i am not one of those women, so i had to figure out a way to create an effortless look...with a bit of effort. what i like best about this dirty bun is that it's actually easier to do with dirty hair, so ya know, less motivation to actually wash my hair every day. 

1. roll out of bed. 
2. spray dry shampoo onto roots and/or areas that need it. 
3. rub dry shampoo into scalp and work it into your hair.
4. look like slightly less of a mess. makeup helps. 
5. if you're a teaser, do it. my hair needs a little extra life in it, so i tease at the crown and the top.
6. look like more of a mess, soon to be fixed.
7. smooth out your teasing with a comb or your fingers. 
8. mess fixed. your hair should have some good lift and volume to it now.
9. grab your hairspray and lock in your volume. 
10. pick up your trusty hair tie that's been around for far too many months and is on the brink of snapping at any point. or a new one. whatever suits you best. 
11. put your hair in a low, loose ponytail. if necessary, loosen it a bit more at the crown and sides for an easy look.
12. i like to pull a few pieces out to frame my face and create that easy look. if you want, you could stop here! but keep going. 
13. time for another tiny elastic. i recommend using the clear elastics so that they don't show.
14. twist your ponytail from the hair tie to the end.
15. start to wrap the twist around the existing hair tie. since you twisted your hair first, it should start naturally wrapping around the tie.
16. go all the way around until the end if tucked into the twist.
17. wrap your clear elastic around the bun. i can get mine around twice. if you can only do it once, add another elastic and/or bobby pins for security.
18. check yourself out and rearrange any pieces that stick out or that you don't like.
19. i like to loosen it up again by gently pulling from the bun and at my crown. 
20. you're finished! 

what i really like about this hairstyle is that it can be sophisticated or casual. i've worn my hair like this with both collared blouses and casual tees. for a little extra something, add your favorite statement earrings and a bold lip to finish!

if you're like me and always struggled with getting the perfect bun, i hope this tutorial is successful for you! 

dry shampoo | tresemme fresh start
hairspray | kenra 25
tee | madewell
earrings | elisabeth ashlie
lip color | revlon colorburst balm in showy flamboyante

Spring Style

hope you all survived tax day yesterday! i was the genius that decided to leave my taxes down to just about the last minute, so yesterday was sweet relief for me. note to self: do your taxes early. always. 

depending on where you live, the weather has maybe been just as crazy as it has been in chicago. one day it's in the 70's, the next it's snowing. not exactly what i had in mind for spring, but ya know, that's cool. i find myself wanting to only shop and dress for spring and summer, but still stuck in my winter sweaters and boots. 

based on what i've already purchased/had for the coming months, i have a pretty good idea of what my preferences will be for spring and summer:

distressed and boyfriend jeans are coming back with a vengeance...and i love it. i like pairing them with heels and a dressy top for something a bit different. most days, my style is casual and easy - solid v-necks, skinny jeans, light scarves, you get the picture. this certainly isn't changing for spring and summer. however, i'm adding some more colors and prints that i wouldn't necessarily have picked last year, so i'm excited to branch out a bit.

what is your spring/summer style?
one | old navy
two | kate spade  
three | revlon 
four | forever 21 
five | sole society
seven | anthropologie
eight | fossil
nine | j.crew
eleven | zara 

Julep Maven Box - April

and just like that, it's the middle of April. how on earth is that even possible?! i've always heard people say that life goes by faster and faster the older you get...it's totally true. i don't know if it's because i have more things going on in my life or because i'm not living in accordance to an academic calendar, but time does seem to be flying. 

i'm reminded of just how quickly it's happening each time i receive my monthly Julep Maven box. it always catches me by surprise because i can't believe another month has gone by. this month's box came just in time for some sunshine and Spring-like weather. 


i received two nail colors and blush. Caitlin is a bright pink with a shimmer, which isn't usually my favorite but i'll definitely give it a try! Mariska is a tangerine orange with a shimmer, as well. i'm not typically an orange nail polish wearer, so i'm thinking this one will go in my 'gifts to give' box for a friend's birthday or special occasion. 

i received the glow pore minimizing blush in peach bellini and it's beautiful! i tend to go for pinker blushes, but really like the peachy coral shade of this one. i think it will be a great option for spring and summer to give my cheeks just a subtle glow. 

are you a Julep Maven? what did you think of your box this month? 

New To The Family (Beauty Products)



i've been slowly adding to my 'new products' collection in my cosmetics bag and have come across a few favorites. my mom wasn't using that Laura Mercier bronzer, so she passed it along to me and i'm so glad that she did. i'd been using MAC's bronzer (in refined golden) for years and was looking for something new. i don't mind the shimmer in this one because i feel like it adds a little extra glow. lord knows, my poor fair skin needs as much help as it can get in the 'looking bronzed' department. 

i've been using the Benefit concealer for a couple months and love it. if you've never seen it before, it has an outer ring of moisturizer that goes on with the concealer, so it's extra smooth and silky. it covers up my under-eyes great and lasts all day for me without the need to touch up. also from Benefit, the illuminator has become my best friend. once i've finished applying my makeup, i rub a bit on the apples of my cheeks, my T zone, and the corners of the mouth to brighten those spots up a bit. it really does the job well.

the Smashbox palette is my most recent purchase and i've used it everyday since. i always thought that i was anti-matte eyeshadow until i started using the matte colors from my Naked2 palette and realized that i really like them. i was browsing through the store with my sister and came across this perfect trio of colors. it's great for creating a smoky eye for day, or getting a bit more dramatic for night.