Music for your Monday

This past weekend was spent galavanting around Nashville with my aunt. We ate well, pampered ourselves, and of course – shopped.

Out of all the things we did together, I will say that one of my favorite moments would have to simply be our conversations centered around our mutual love for the man, the legend: Frank Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra

We parted ways yesterday afternoon, and I spent the remainder of my day tidying up the apartment and preparing for the work week. So to liven things up a bit, I jammed to Sinatra’s greatest hits (cd courtesy of my aunt). Eventually the playlist shuffled to “That’s Life” and I couldn’t help but think “how absolutely appropriate” for a Monday. (Y’all know how I feel about Monday’s).

“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king.
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing:
Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face,
I just pick myself up and get back in the race”

Life is hard, sometimes. Truly filled with ups and downs. The most important thing to remember, however, is to maintain a positive perspective. And always pick yourself back up.

Cuz that’s life.

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The Tricks of the Trade

Over the years, I’ve learned things that have changed the way I function day to day. True “beauty hacks” that make each day easier, more affordable, and tremendously more sensible. Whether my family and friends have shared this knowledge, or whether I’ve learned it from a book, magazine, or online – I have incorporated many of these habits in my day to day life.

BeautyHacks

  1. Starbucks napkins make fantastic oil-blotting sheets. I once read their composition is similar to those of name-brand blotting sheets.
  2. A silver spoon in the freezer makes for a nice mini-facial. I hold the spoon underneath my eyes every morning to wake me up, and give me a jolt!
  3. Your eye cream in the freezer also adds to the luxuriousness of the spoon facial. Before you climb into bed, run to the freezer, and rub the cream on your under eyes. The tingling feels amazing! Like a facial!
  4. Hairspray can easily replace “Static-Guard”. Dust it lightly on the garment and your legs. Viola! No more stick.
  5. Rub deep moisturizing cream on your elbows, knees, and ankles before applying self-tanner. This dramatically reduces streaking, and overly-orange ‘bows.
  6. Before bed, drench your feet in Vaseline then slide them into your comfiest cotton socks. The next morning, your calloused heels and toes will be no more!
  7. To relax aching muscles, run a warm bath and add one cup of Epsom Salts. The magnesium and sulfate restore the body, and if you add a book and a few candles to the mix, it will restore your mind, too!
  8. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to really get your jewels glistening, a quick hand wash in a few drops of baby shampoo will surprisingly do the trick.
  9. Coconut oil does wonders for your locks. Soak your hair in the “precious” oil, concentrating on the ends. Leave in for a few hours, then wash your hair as usual. You will see immediate results!
  10. Now, the best for last. Throwing it WAY back to my Shirley Temple curly-q years, my mom recommends using sponge rollers all over your head, then daintily placing silk panties over the rollers. It doesn’t look foolish at all. You will surely get all the boys.

Have any beauty hacks of your own? Share them in the comment box below. I would LOVE to know!

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Monday Musings

Monday

It’s here. Welcoming us with its open arms of spilt coffee, blistered heels, deodorant stains, frizzy hair, mascara in the eye, and all the other travesties that Monday mornings always seem to bring. All we can do is push through, slap a smile on our face, and come home and take a long, relaxing bubble bath.

Until you can make it home to slip into your pj’s, take a moment during your lunch break to mull over these “Monday Musings.” Worth your time, will add a wealth of knowledge to your Monday, and heck – may even make you smile.

1 – “The 10 Highest Paid Jobs in Fashion” from the Fashion Student Digest. As graduation looms over my head, I constantly find myself in a state of staring into space, head spinning, trying to iron out the next few months of my life and the career path I want to hone in on. Articles like this really help to put things into perspective. I’d like to be a Chief Marketing Officer, thanks.

2 – NYFW is in full swing. On day FIVE to be exact, and so far, Spring/Summer 2015 is looking flawless! If you are unsure of how to get in on the behind the tents, on the runway, inside scoop, here are “25 Instagram accounts to follow this NYFW” from the StyleList. Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller is number 1. Did you expect anyone else?

3 – Lillian & Dot’s list is fab, no doubt, but the list you NEED to read is from WhoWhatWear and it is “Your Ultimate Guide to Shopping the Best Fall Trends”. It’s the most precise fall-fashion roundup I have seen thus far. Cannot wait for it to get cooler so I can waltz out of the house with a.. er.. blanket draped over my shoulders.

4 – The “25 Must-Read Books For the Fall” from Flavorwire. I’m currently reading “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, so I’m extremely behind on “trendy” reads. However, this list is on my radar. I can’t wait to get my hands on “Women in Clothes” edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton.

5 – The new “I WILL WHAT I WANT” campaign from Under Armour is genius. I initially saw the short commercial on Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre a few weeks ago and was floored. Then it wasn’t just a few days ago that I saw this special on The Today Show. Not thinking it could get any better, I watched the film on Gisele Bündchen. I don’t know about you, but I just got a huge amount of motivation to go work my tush off.

Just survive today, people! Tuesday is around the corner!

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Wonder Woman

DVF

“I wanted to be independent.”

Sitting down to conduct research on an upcoming assignment for my internship class, I came across a video that was the second in a series of fashion designers opening up their studios to The New York Times. Seeing that their second feature was on Diane von Furstenburg – I immediately swooned. Opening up your home is a very intimate thought, and to be invited into Diane von Furstenburg’s space seemed like some magical secret that I just couldn’t wait to discover. It felt like my style icon was inviting me to tea, or something of the equivalent.

(Note: for copyright reasons, I could not insert the video into my post. Please click the link below to watch the video, and read the article.)

Diane von Furstenberg: A Life in Five Floors

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Her office is just as you would expect. Colorful, vibrant, full of life, charming, electric. Words that I could imagine describing DvF perfectly. I admire this designer for a plethora of reasons. For her charitable works, a positive spirit, timeless beauty, artistic vision, and her wisdom to women all inspire and light a fire in me to pursue my passions in the fashion industry.

So while I was on this DvF kick (it isn’t the first), I continued to search for more content on both her and the brand. I came across another clip regarding Diane’s take on confidence. It’s filled with impactful and moving words. Take a look.

“So the more complacency you have with yourself, the better your life is. I was very lucky to discover that really early on.”

Complacency. Hm. Complacency is a terribly scary word. It’s a double-edged sword. Complacency can take a turn for the better or a turn for the worst. You get the point – it can have a double meaning. Regardless, we know DvF meant “for the better”,  but I’d like to focus on another word instead that I believe she would 100% support. And that word is contentment.

As a 20-something on the verge of college graduation I am typing this piece on a style icon on my life and style blog while [ironically] sitting curled up on my couch, yoga pants on, hair all a mess, socks on feet, and a tent-sized tee to top it all off. I do not look stylish, cool, effortless, or chic. I look messy. But I savor days where I can lounge and wear a t-shirt that feels like a second layer of skin. It’s comfortable and since my current job requires a much, much different attire Monday-Thursday, I am taking advantage of being anything but the “stylish” person that my career path demands I take during the work week. I’m content, and comfortable. And what’s so cool is that lately, my whole life has felt like a big ball of contentment. I’m content with my internship, coworkers, new home, new city, new state, new friends, old friends, family, and faith that gets renewed and tested every single day. You could say I’m complacent, but more accurately so I’d like to say that I’m content.

How do you reach a plateau of contentment, though? I think, as young women the climb to contentment is an ongoing one. However, the very first step is to eliminate comparison. Eliminate jealousy, bitterness, envy. Living in a very stressful world that demands so much of us and that expects us to keep up with a certain criteria of beauty, intelligence, wit, and humor can leave you feeling drained, unequipped, and never good enough. But that’s just not true. What’s true is truth, what’s right is taking care of yourself, what’s best is eliminating comparison.

Of course we each have our own goals, our icons that we admire, and that’s all well, and necessary. But when we begin to belittle our own interests, our passions, and our own strengths because they may not be as impressive as the person’s staring back at you on your Facebook screen – we have encountered a serious problem. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. And just as Diane said,

“You have to be true to yourself.

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Pre-order Diane von Furstenberg’s new book, “The Woman I Wanted to Be” on Amazon.com!

Your questions.. ANSWERED

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. NOTHING makes me happier than receiving a call, text, a Facebook message, or an email from a reader sharing their support for Lillian & Dot. However, there is ONE thing better than fan mail (*hair flip*), and that is when I receive an email from a reader asking for advice. (Like, that means you think I know what I’m talking about. Cue excited squeal.)

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So yesterday, I received an email from a reader who was inquiring my opinions on skincare – moisturizers to be exact. She said she was interested in a moisturizer offered from a large company and wanted to know my opinions on: 1) the company, and 2) moisturizers in general.

I won’t disclose my opinions on the company, but I tried to answer her question on moisturizers to the best of my ability, and I realized that if she had this question, then perhaps others may, too!

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To adequately find a solution to this question it is important that you start your search by being extremely familiar with your skin type. Some may scoff, and say ‘duh’. But others may not have ever really thought about what it is that their skin actually needs. Do you have dry skin? Oily? Combination? Sensitive? The first step is to IDENTIFY your skin type. This is crucial because all skin types vary and all skin types have a product that is designed specifically for them.

Next, you need to do your research. Know what it is that your skincare regimen should contain and what it SHOULDN’T. Clearly I’m here to help you skip this step. So let’s make this simple. The ONE word you NEED to know while commencing the skincare search is non-comedogenic. My dermatologist shared this magic word with me last year and it has made a world of difference when choosing not just skincare products, but makeup products as well. Non-comedogenic simply means that the product does not contain additives, oils, fragrances, or any other junk that will cause your pores to clog. Seriously, magic word. If a product claims to be non-comedogenic it is claiming to work, people.

So when trying to answer my reader’s question, I discovered that the company that she was interested in purchasing a moisturizer from offered a non-comedogenic moisturizer (hoorah!). However, the price was pretty steep for only 4.5 ounces. So my advice to her? The advice my dermatologist gave me. Save your money and don’t funnel so much into department store skincare products that are oftentimes filled with fragrances and additives. Instead, head to your local drugstore to purchase these guys:

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Yep, that’s right. The classic Cetaphil and the popular CeraVe. Both are non-comedogenic, offer a variety of options for every skin type, and are significantly less-expensive. Kinda hard to beat wouldn’t you agree?

And what’s so cool is that that’s not just MY opinion, it’s my dermatologists expert advice. Don’t you just love the free tips? I don’t even charge a co-pay!

So let’s keep the questions rolling. Drop me a line at:

Email

 

Happy Wednesday!

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Fuel Your Week

FuelYourWeek

 

As Labor Day weekend comes to an abrupt close, it’s time to rev up for a new week. Monday’s are difficult as is, but It’s always terribly hard to start a work week after a long holiday that consisted of family, food, and way too much fun. However, you gotta do what you gotta do, and if you follow my “Ultimate To-Do List”, you will be fueling your week to run seamlessly! Complete this list the day before your week starts and you will be so glad you did! Then bam! It will be Friday again before you know it!

1 – Literally FUEL UP! Put gas in that guzzler on Sunday to avoid an unexpected gas light mishap when you crank the car Monday morning.

2 – Plan your week. Doctor’s appointments? Write ’em down. Play dates? Record those, too. Bills to pay? Pencil them in. Deadlines? Do I even have to tell you to make sure that’s in bold in your planner?!

3 – Take out the trash. Empty trash bins not only make things look neater, but there’s something refreshing about getting all that junk out.

4 – Wash those sheets! There truly is no greater feeling than crawling into a clean bed. Fresh sheets help YOU start fresh and get a better night’s sleep!

5 – Wash those clothes! If you’re single, you can accomplish laundry in a few hours. Do this on Sunday so you have dresser drawers full of fresh undies and basic necessities. (If you have items at the cleaners, make it a habit to pick them up on Friday or Saturday. You don’t want to be fishing in your closet come Monday morning only to realize you haven’t picked up your things!)

6 – Clean house. Get a lil vacuum action in, dust, wipe down the countertops, clean the dishes, scrub the shower, whatever! Just get your space sparkling!

7 – Stock the pantry. Get your grocery shopping done! Plan your menu for the week, make your shopping list, and head to the store! Nothing is worse than coming in on a long Monday to open the fridge and find NOTHING. Don’t be victim of an empty fridge failure!

8 – Iron and steam. This doesn’t necessarily have to be completed all on a Sunday, but be sure to complete this each night before you head to bed. Running around in a frenzy attempting to get yourself and your clothes in order is not an ideal way to start your morning.

9 – Groom yourself! Girls, paint your nails. Deep condition the hair. Pluck your brows. Get yourself in tip-top condition at the beginning of the week.

10 – Get some Zzz’s! Retire to bed EARLY on Sunday night. That’s the best way to guarantee a smooth Monday morning.

So even though this week’s Tuesday is our “Monday”, follow these tips today and EVERY weekend and you will be sure to have a week that’s just a little less worry free!

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PS – Honorable mention #11 on the list is to get yourself a Grande Non-Fat Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s time! It’s time!