Hot Spring Buys

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March may be coming to an end, but there are still a few more weeks of Spring time to enjoy before you have to get into a bikini.  Spring time is always a beautiful time for nature.  Everywhere I go I see trees blossoming, with beautiful flowers of pink and purple.  It’s also causing my allergies to go haywire.  Always remember to take some type of allergy medication (Claritin, Zertec, etc) before heading out to enjoy the natural beauty of Spring.

Spring time is also a lovely time for fashion.  Pretty floral prints are abundant, and pastel colors are in.  Walk into any store during Spring, and you will find items in mint, soft pink, and pastel purple all around.  The weather begins to warm up, so you can ditch your heavy coats, and show some leg.  Trouble with that is, your legs might not be in the best shape after a winter of comfort foods.

That is why some of my hot buys for this Spring included items that will help me get in shape for the summer months.  Here are my hot buys for Spring 2013:

 

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The Birthday Dress

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You have to stand out on your birthday, it is a must! Last year I wore a full length silver and gold sequin dress. Crazy right? Not for me.  I don’t believe that just because I’m not a movie star I don’t deserve to look glamorous.  The dress was amazing, and I felt great in it, even though everyone else was in normal club attire.  Many of my friends abide by fashion rules, and worry about what everyone else is wearing.  Not me.  I would always rather be over dressed than under dressed for an occasion.  So when I saw that sparkling dress I knew it had to be my bday dress.

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This year I was celebrating my birthday at Carthay Circle, a restaurant modeled after the 1920’s theater where Walt Disney premiered Snow White.  I was looking for a dress that had old Hollywood glamour, that I could wear at a restaurant without feeling too over the top.  My search seemed endless, and I was out of luck.  I decided to visit my mother’s closet, which I have done throughout the years much to her dismay.  I found a dress she wore back in the 80s, that I had always liked.  The gold and white sequins and beading reminded me of the theme of the restaurant.  I removed the 1980s shoulder pads, and I had my birthday dress.

I paired the dress with a pair of hot pink Steve Maddens, which have the most delicious jeweled heel.  The shoes gave the outfit the pop of color it was missing.  I decided not to wear jewelry, since the dress was so amazingly embellished.  I had an amazing birthday, and felt like a Hollywood star for the evening.  Remember it’s your birthday, dress to feel good about yourself.  If you want to look glamorous do it! If you rather be in a T-shirt and jeans, it’s your special day.

Here’s a side by side of my mother and I in the dress:

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Travel: Bare Necessities

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When I tell people I travel for work they always say, “You’re so lucky!” Having a job that required travel was always a dream of mine, so when I heard that my current position would mean traveling several times a year I was ecstatic.  Since working at this company I have traveled to Vegas, New York, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, and next month New Orleans.  While I have loved getting to experience new cities and states, I have to say there are certain elements of traveling for work that can ware on you.

Airport security is one element of travel that deflates my excitement bubble.  The long lines, the need to remove practically everything you’re wearing, the pat downs in private places.   Then there is the boarding process.  I always have to remember to check in as soon as possible to ensure that my bag gets on the plane.  One lost bag is all it takes to make you never want to check your luggage again.

Since travel is such a big part of my life, taking trips on the weekends in addition to my continuous work trips, I have learned to pack lightly.  I titled this blog “Bare Necessities”, because I have learned to only pack only the things I absolutely need, things that have multiple uses, and items that meet airport regulations.  It’s much easier to lift that big, and fit it in the overhead compartment of the plane if it’s light.  Traveling light can be hard for women, what with all of our shoe options, but it’s a necessity when you travel frequently.

I have mastered the art of packing light, and made traveling much more convenient.  When I pack for a trip I consider how many days I will be there, how much time I will be spending on my feet, and weather conditions.  It’s a lot easier to pack light during the warmer months.  Here is a list of my travel bare necessities:

meeshme.comConditioner

While I can make use of hotel shampoo, my hair is too dry for hotel conditioner.  My strands need moisture and protection, so I always pack a travel size conditioner.  You can find travel sized conditioner at your local pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens.  Many super markets also sell travel sized options.  My favorite travel conditioner right now is Nexxus Humectress.  This conditioner makes even my dry and brittle hair soft.  You can purchase it here for $4.99.

meeshme.comFlats

I have made the mistake of packing heels to conferences.  I will take what is normally an incredibly comfortable pair of heels, knowing that I can last hours in them.  Hours yes, days no.  By the middle of the second day of a conference I am always wishing I had packed flats.  Note that not all flats are more comfortable than heels.  The wrong flat can be just as painful as your highest heel.  It’s important to look for support in a flat, and to make sure it’s not fitting you tightly or rubbing against the skin of your feet.  The last thing you need is a blister during a conference.  My favorite pair of flats where actually purchased during a conference when I could stand my high heels no longer.  I bought them for $99, but they are now on sale at Guess for $69.  View them here.

meeshme.comComfortable Work Dress

I like a pencil skirt just as much as the next girl, but packing all of those layers can take up space.  Every conference going woman should have at least one conference dress.  Sticking to basic colors will help you vary the look, and it won’t stand out enough to be remembered.  If you like to stand out like me, pick a dress that can go from the office to dinner.  Adding a blazer to a dress during the day can provide the professional look you’re looking for, while adding accessories and cute heels at night will dress up the look.  Comfort is important as well.  You should be able to travel in this dress, eat in the dress, and wear it for hours.  There are plenty of places to purchase this type of dress, so it will depend on your personal style.  Stores where you can find professional work attire include Ann Taylor where I found the dress pictured.  You can get it here for $88.

meeshme.comUndergarments

We often pay more attention to what we wear on the outside than on what’s underneath, but this could be a big mistake.  Wearing the wrong bra can either create too much cleavage or create a painful situation.  A bra that’s too tight can create creases and indentations.  The same is true for the wrong pair of stockings.  Have an outfit that shows off every little imperfection? Don’t forget to pack shape wear.  Dress liners, tummy hiders, and other shape wear can help you feel confident in any outfit.  You never know when you’ll experience bloating or the after effects of a heavy meal.  I always pack my Hanes Shapewear just in case.  You can find them at Target between $15 and $30.

Before you pack for your next trip think about what items you really need.  Pick items you can mix and match, items that you can wear day and night, and don’t pack too many pairs of high heels ladies!

Twenty Seven

I took quite a bit of time off from the blog recently to attend a work conference, and celebrate my twenty-seventh birthday.  Why is it that life speeds up so much after high school? Before you turn twenty-one the days are endless, the weeks drag on, and summer vacation never seems to come.  Now I blink, and I’m turning another year older.  I can’t get used to saying one age, before it’s time to say another.

This year I decided to take a break from the Vegas celebrations of the past, and spend time with family.  Besides my cousins and my brother, my best friends Marta, Naty and Vlad are my family; as well as, my boyfriend Chris.  The group of us spent the weekend at the Disneyland Resort.  I’m not ready to grow up and face 30, so a weekend at Disneyland was my way of protesting twenty-seven.

We stayed at the Disneyland hotel, and had a blast.  We enjoyed drinks at the Tiki Room inspired Trader Sams, went down the monorail themed water slides several times, and sun bathed.  For dinner we ate at Carthay Circle and The Story Teller’s Cafe located inside Disney’s Grand Californian hotel.  The weekend was full of laughs, good food, and good people.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate getting older, than to celebrate that I’m still young at heart.

Here are some pictures from my weekend of celebrating.

Skin Care Secrets

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This month I’ve decided to spend a lot more time on my skin.  I’ve never had a problem with acne or oily skin, so washing my face when in the shower was the most time I dedicated to it.  Envious? Don’t be.  When you’re not used to working to keep your skin clear, you can fall into the habit of neglecting it.  Taking care of your skin is incredibly important, especially if you want to stay looking youthful.

meeshme.comBeing a California native I’ve spent plenty of time sun bathing.  Having an olive complication thanks to my Middle Eastern roots, I never worried about sun block.  While others slathered on the sun screen, I laughed.  That’s come back to bite me in the a$$.  Sun screen is vital to the health of your skin.  The sun’s rays don’t just make you more susceptible to skin cancer, they also cause your skin to lose its elasticity.  Too much exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles, sagging, and freckling.  To protect your skin, avoid sun bathing for multiple hours a day or hitting the tanning bed.  Always put on sun screen.  I remember putting on the lowest SPF sunscreen I could find, don’t! Make sure to purchase something with an SPF of 30 or higher.  I hate rubbing in sunscreen, so I always opt for the spray-on versions like Coola organic sport sun screen.  Purchase it here.  Coola has enough SPF to provide protection without leaving your hands or legs white from residue.  It also doesn’t seep out of your pores when it’s hot, like traditional lotions will do.

meeshme.comI never was addicted to the tanning bed, but I definitely made visits at least once a month in preparation for the summer.  Who doesn’t appreciate the effect of a tan?  It can hide those pesky imperfections like nothing else.  I liked tanning not just for the look it gave me, but because it relaxed me.  Laying down in that warm bed would put me to sleep.  I’d listen to some music and just let go of everything going on in my head.  While I do miss this experience, it isn’t worth putting myself at risk for skin cancer, nor is it worth even the perfect tan.  I’ve never been a fan of spray tans, but there are other options.  Jergens Natural Glow will slowly increase the pigment in your skin without making you look orange.  Clinque also has a fabulous product for $23.  Buy it here.

meeshme.comTo help correct some of the sun damage on my face, I started researching moisturizers with SPF.  My skin is naturally on the dry side, so applying a moisturizer after washing my face is mandatory.  I read that ROC Multi Correxion 4 Zone daily moisturizer was rated by users as one of the top products for reversing sun damage and aging.  The ROC moisturizer, “targets four key areas of the face to diminish the look of multiple signs of aging.”  The moisturizer has an SPF of 30 which is higher than many make-up counter moisturizers.  The moisturizer claims to target the four zones of the face.  It claims to diminish the signs of lines and wrinkles from the forehead, decreases the appearance of crows feet from the eye area, removes brown spots and uneven skin tone from your cheeks, and improves elasticity of the jaw line. The ROC 4 zone moisturizer can be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Target for around $25 a bottle.  This may seem expensive for the size of the bottle, but it’s cheaper than many brand name moisturizers that claim to do the same thing.

meeshme.comTo repair deep set wrinkles try L’OREAL’s Revitalift.  Botox and similar services can be a scary experience and costly investment.  I’ve never tried it myself, and horror stories keep me from making an appointment.  I’ve known women who have had it, and I can’t say that I saw too much of a difference.  If you do choose to invest in botox, make sure you don’t skimp on the cost in exchange for the right doctor.  These days almost anyone can provide injections, so make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing.  In the meantime Revitalift may provide you with the skin assistance you need.  This wrinkle repair cream works overnight to bring elasticity back to your skin, and plumps up the gaps which create wrinkles and lines on your face.  Users see results over time.  I myself only started seeing results after a couple of months.  Your wrinkles weren’t built in a day, so it won’t take a day or two to fix them.  Dedicate the time every night and a.m. to taking care of your skin, and you’ll see the results.  You can get Revitalift at CVS for just $15.99.  Buy it here.

Seafood Pasta the Remix

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I love seafood! Luckily I grew up in California where I have access to fresh seafood whenever I like.  My boyfriend on the other hand wasn’t the biggest fan of seafood when we first met.  Little by little I started incorporating seafood into his diet.  The trick was adding bold flavors, and a component of each dish had to be something he loved.

A hobby of mine is to mimic recipes I experience while dining out.  Over the weekend we had a late lunch at Bravo in Santa Monica.  I ordered a seafood dish, which my boyfriend loved.  I decided to mimic the dish for dinner last night, but remixed it by adding my own twist.  It’s very important to put your own spin on recipes.  Take what you love about a dish, and make it your own.

The dish I had ordered was tilapia served with risotto and steamed vegetables.  I decided to swap the risotto for pasta.  I had never tried whole wheat pasta before, so I thought I would give it a try.  I picked up two large pieces of tilapia from the market.  My boyfriend loves capers, so I thought I would add them to the dish as well.

I drizzled olive oil over the fish, and then seasoned the fillets with Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt.  I cooked the fish in a mix of olive and vegetable oil.  While the fish was cooking, I boiled water and cooked the whole wheat pasta.  When the pasta was cooked I added olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes then mixed.  I plated the pasta, added the capers, and placed the fish off to the side.

The dish was a success with my boyfriend, who would have never ordered seafood in his life.  You can get anyone to eat anything if you incorporate things they love into a dish.  Remember leave out the red pepper flakes if you or your guests can’t handle spice.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Oz Screening: I’m Off to See the Wizard

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This weekend I was lucky enough to get to see a screening of Oz: The Great and Powerful at the Walt Disney Studio lot in Burbank, California.  This wasn’t my first time seeing a screening at this beautiful theater, but it was my boyfriend’s first time.  He was impressed by the light show introduction, and the plush red reclining seats.  I was more excited about the film I was about to see.

I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of this film for months now.  What’s there not to love? Amazing fashion worn by the three lovely witches, the always hilarious James Franco, and the magic and mystery that comes with every Disney film.  If I was going to attend the screening, I had to look the part.  To prepare for the release of Oz, I bought a few “OZ inspired” items.  Emerald is the color of the year, and you can find it in plenty of stores.  Sephora recently released a new emerald make up line.  Find out more about it here.  With my emerald dress, gold belt, green eye shadow and nail polish I was ready and off to see the wizard! See how I connected with my witchy side below:

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To purchase this Oz inspired emerald dress, visit Venus here.  Sizes run big, so order a size smaller than usual.  To learn more about the film visit here. And go see Oz: The Great and Powerful out in theaters now!

Minty Fresh

 

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My new obsession this month is with the color mint.  Whether it’s dark or light in hue, mint is a fabulous color.  It can highlight a great tan, or even compensate for a lack of one.  Three purchases this month have me really excited.  Check out my new buys:

meeshme.comIt all started with a trip to Las Vegas.  My boyfriend’s little sister flew from New Jersey to celebrate her 21st birthday.  She was having an amazing time, but learned a very important lesson the hard way, when visiting Vegas pack your hottest pair of comfortable shoes.  Sure Vegas is the city of excess, and we all want to look hot, but when in Vegas you want to party all night long, and that requires a comfortable pair of shoes.  I would never suggest wearing an frumpy pair of flats, but there are plenty of sexy styles that won’t kill your feet.  We took a trip to the Fashion Show Mall to find her a pair of shoes that she could dance in the rest of her trip.  Of course we had to stop by Aldo, and of course I had to find a pair of shoes I just had to have.

These mint leather sandals were too good to pass up.  The heel is low enough for me to be able to wear them whether I’m going out on date night or attending a conference.  The silver heel adds a bit of sex appeal, to an otherwise average shoe style.  The shoe is light, easy to walk in, and comfortable to wear.  The mint hue brought out the tan in my legs, which need a lot more sun light if you ask me.  You can find these shoes at your local Aldo store or online here for $80.

Once I had these shoes I needed something to wear with them.  I came across this skirt on Lulus.com.  The style is a little 1950’s which I think matches the style of the shoe perfectly.  The only issue I encountered when the skirt arrived was the tulle underlay.  It added a lot more volume to the skirt, which can be unflattering.  I simply cut the tulle from under the skirt (it came off very easily) and the skirt fell closer to my hips.  The color was described as mint, and it’s a very rich mint tone.  The skirt is high waisted, so a cropped t-shirt or tank works well with it.  I bought two different shirts from Express to go with this outfit.  You can find them here.  I purchased this skirt here at $45 with free shipping.

LulusbraceletThe bracelet is also from Lulus.com.  The light blue tone matched the soft mint tone of my Aldo heels, and the fake jewels add a little sparkle.  This bracelet can be found online here for just $16.  For my neck piece I found a pretty mint toned necklace at Express.  The necklace can be found here or in stores for $40, but buy one necklace at Express right now, and get the second for $9.50.

I hope you fall in love with mint this month like I did!

The Wedding Planner

the-wedding-planner

Ever had a guy bring up marriage in the early stages of dating?  Believe it or not it happens.  I call these men “wedding planners.”  It’s a funny notion, since we’re raised to believe that men can’t commit.  Personal experience would tell me the same for the most part, but then there are the “wedding planners”, guys who bring up marriage early on in a relationship.  At first it may seem like a breath of fresh air, a guy who isn’t afraid of putting his feelings out there, he’s honest, and real.  Then you’re forced to face the reality of, “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.”

Jenny had ended a relationship, and was in the stage of singledom where she felt as though she was done.  She no longer saw herself getting married, and she was okay with it.  She couldn’t even see herself being in a serious relationship.  She was happy being single, and spending time traveling and being with her girls.  One night a few guy friends of hers asked her to come out with them.  Jenny typically didn’t go out unless one of her girl friends was by her side, but she was in a confident place in her life where she thought why not?  She got ready and headed to the hotel where she would be meeting up with her guy friends.

When she got there the hotel room was full of women, not that it surprised her knowing her guy friends well.  There was only one guy in the room, leaning up against a wall.  He seemed afraid to talk to anybody, which seemed odd because he was very attractive.  Jenny sat there talking to one of the girls, and noticed that he didn’t hold a conversation long with anyone.  Girls would attempt to talk to him, but his responses were always short.  He didn’t seem to have an interest in anyone.  When the girl sitting next to her got up to use the restroom, the attractive guy came and sat beside her.  It was awkward, because he didn’t say anything.  He just sat next to her sipping on his drink.  Finally Jenny had to say something.  She hadn’t wanted to give him the satisfaction of letting him think she was into him, but the awkward silence was killing her.  She broke the silence by introducing herself, and they were having a nice conversation when her guy friends announced it was time to head to the club.

When Jenny left that hotel room she thought it would be the last time she would talk to Jim.  When they got to the club everyone was dancing and having a good time, but Jim just stood there drinking his drink.  From time to time Jenny caught him glancing at her, but told herself to think nothing of it.  After an hour had gone by Jim finally walked up to her and asked her if she wanted to join him outside.  They walked out onto the balcony, and began to have what ended up being a great conversation.  Jim started out by talking about how he wasn’t in town to meet anyone.  He was a former marine here visiting Jenny’s friend who had fought alongside him.  He was only in town for a couple of days, and not looking to start anything with anyone.  He said that he wasn’t talking to girls who approached him, because he didn’t want to lead them on.  When Jenny heard all of this she thought for sure he was letting her know that this wasn’t going to go anywhere.  He lived in Texas, so Jenny had no expectations.  She was simply having a conversation with a cute guy.

He never let her out of his site for the rest of the night, holding her hand and leading her wherever they went.  Throughout the rest of his days in L.A. Jim tried to spend time with Jenny.  She wasn’t interested since she knew he was going back home, and wasn’t looking to start anything.  After turning him down over the weekend, she finally said yes to having lunch.  When Jim left to Texas he promised to keep in touch with her, and wanted to get to know her better.  Jenny shrugged this off, knowing that men will say just about anything.  But Jim kept his word and over several weeks they would communicate day and night.  He was charming, but Jenny found it odd that he was so serious about her after hanging out only a couple of times.  He mentioned over and over how she was a girl he’d want to marry, that he had a big house and wanted her there with him.  He spoke about missing her so much, but Jenny wondered how someone could miss someone they barely knew.

Jim couldn’t understand why Jenny was so hesitant to believe his feelings were true.  He messaged her best friends who he had met during his trip to California.  He told them he wanted to be with her, and asked them how he could get through to her.  Finally Jenny agreed to visit him in Texas.  He bought her a flight, and planned the whole trip.  Jenny couldn’t help, but to start to get excited.  Could this guy be for real?  If he was doing all of this he must really like her?  After all who would put all this time, effort, and money into someone they didn’t care about?

The time came and she had a wonderful time in Texas.  They did a lot of domestic things together, cooking together, watching movies, staying up late.  She actually started to see the life she could have if they worked out.  Things were great, but then towards the end of the trip Jenny got a feeling that this would be the last she would see of Jim.  He began to talk about how much he hated Los Angeles, and Jenny didn’t plan on moving out of the state.  How could it work?  Still she enjoyed the rest of the trip, and when he took her to the airport he told her to call him when she landed.  They kissed and said good bye.

When Jenny got home she gave Jim a call, but there was no answer.  She texted him the next day, and there was no reply.  Then she was deleted from his Facebook page.  He finally reached out to her and told her that he was just, “cleaning up his Facebook page.”  Two days later he was engaged.  Jenny’s mutual friend broke the news to her.  How he was engaged two weeks after spending time with her, Jenny didn’t understand.  Jim got married, and divorced in less than two years.  Jenny never heard from him again, and was better for it.

The lesson here is not that there are no good men in the world.  It’s not that men can’t commit, or that you should be worried if someone wants to be serious early on in the relationship.  The lesson is that marriage is a big deal, and anyone who is willing to enter into it after a couple of dates isn’t in the right mindset.  Getting to know someone takes time.  Even if someone is in love with you after knowing you for two days, they don’t really love all of you.  It takes more than two days to know someone, to know their personality, their interests, their goals.  You might be in love with certain aspects of a person, but not the person as a whole, and that’s what you need in order to enter into marriage.  If someone starts to talk to you about marriage that early on, ask yourself what their motives are.  Find out more about their relationship history, and you’ll have a better idea of if it’s going to last or not.

 

Under the Sea

I love the sea.  The blue hues of the water, the pink and peach tones of the coral, the color combos have always been a favorite of mine.  This next outfit was inspired by the sea.  The necklace can be found at Express in stores and online.  The shirt can also be found at Express in stores currently.  The skirt is from H&M, but no longer in stores, but check out these peach colored options at Polyvore.

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