Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review: The Good, The Bad and The Barbie

Or Love her or hate her, you can't deny that that Bitch has everything.


I can't recall where I first heard about this book, but I bought it over a year ago and was extremely excited to get it.


I'm pretty sure it was recommended by a T.V. show or Actress I was obsessed with at the time, or something like that. My whole entire life, I have adored Barbie, but I hear constantly everything that it is meant to be negative about her. With the Subtitle of this book being "A Doll's History and Her Impact On Us" I felt that it was absolutely a must read for me. I decided that for this weeks outfit, I'd do my best impression of Barbie, and got all dressed up to take photos. I don't normally just dress up to take photos, usually I wear whatever I'm wearing in the post all day, but getting all done up just for the sake of being photographed was fun. Details will be at the end of the post.fashionandhappythings-9704fashionandhappythings-9703

This gives not just the history of Barbra "Barbie" Millicent Roberts, but also the history of her creator Ruth Handler. It talks of her early life growing up, who she fell in love with and how a girl who never cared about dolls created the most iconic doll ever.

The reason she created Barbie, named after her daughter, is simple. Girls want to play with a doll that looks like a grown up. You could easily stop here at this statement and say "Okay, now I don't need to read this book." But you'd be wrong. You'd miss out on seeing the different Barbie's through the years and how she has affected many girls lives in both positive an negative ways.


This got me thinking, how did Barbie affect me? I remember the last Barbie I ever bought, was a Teacher Barbie, my parents found her at Goodwill, she was new in packaging,she came with 2 students, desks and a chalk board,and she was cheap only $5. I was 9 years old and I loved that Barbie to death. I had several other Barbie's. My first one was bought at an old fashioned General store that had wood floors. I went in with my Grandmother and because I was quiet I got to pick out a toy. I chose Barbie. She was simple, and the cheap version, a kind of knock off of the original, but not really a knockoff since she was produced by Mattel. I adored her. She had such great hair and pretty makeup. I was given dresses and shoes and my fashion obsession began. I loved to dress Barbie up and go on adventures. My Barbies were all actresses because they were always pretending to be someone else. They were Nancy Drew and Paula Abdul and Kelly from Saved By The Bell. Once when I lost my Ken I dressed another Barbie up in his clothes to carry on acting out the scenes.


But Barbie didn't just spark my fashion obsession as a child, she also bonded me with my one of my Aunts. I remember my Aunt Heather had the coolest Barbies when I was little. She had a couple of the Barbies from the Barbies and the Rockers Series. Every time I came over I'm sure I begged to play with her Barbies, but after I put one in chicken soup (she was sick!) I was never allowed to unsupervised. We put on concerts, had weddings, ran businesses, and did everything we could possibly dream of. I always felt so cool playing with Heather, because she was 7 years older than me. By the time she out grew playing Barbies with her niece, I had mostly outgrown Barbies. But I've never outgrown her completely.


Right from Barbie's beginnings mother's were worried about how the doll would effect their daughter's self esteem. Barbie even has a syndrome named after her. I have never had any issues with Barbie, she was always just another toy to me. She represented what I wanted when I grew up, a busy girl with a bursting closet and tons of shoes. It never got more complex than that for me.

No matter your thoughts on Barbie, I can't recommend this book to you enough.




On Me: H&M Dress, Kate Spade Earrings, Kate Spade Belt, Return to Tiffany Bracelet, Jessica Simpson Heels, H&M Sunnies, DIY Necklace from Forever 21 Headband, Nails Notting Hill Gate




On My Face: Smashbox Primer, Lancome Teint Visionnaire Foundation, YSL Babydoll Mascara, Nars Deep Throat, Lacome Various Eyeshadows, Urban Decay Bourbon 24/7 Eyeliner, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter, Too Faced Lip Primer, YSL #4 Succulent Pomegranate Volupte Sheer Candy Balm
My Hair: Pulled in to a High Pony Tail with my Volume on top and hair wrapped to hid the band
On My Nails: Nails Inc. Notting Hill Gate




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Korres Greek Yogurt Lactic Acid Sleeping Facial Review

Or Where Did You Get That Glow?

At the end of one of my many shopping trips to Sephora I spotted the Korres Greek Yogurt Lactic Acid Sleeping Facial as one of the 100 pt perks and decided that I should try it, so I picked up two.


I haven't even made it through my first one yet entirely because you don't need very much of this at all. This is sort of a treatment and moisturizer all in one and I both love and hate it, but I think I might need to use it differently and that might fix the hate it part. But I'll get to that at the end.

Whenever I use this the next morning my skin is glowing and bright looking, like I'm well rested. However it seriously makes the acne I have angry, and I usually get a few more blemishes popping up in the areas that I usually break out. I'm not entirely sure why that is. I don't know if I just haven't used this enough so my skin isn't used to it yet, or if I should be using the Wild Rose version of this product, which is what I suspect since I've used the moisturizer version of that before and found it to be absolutely lovely. The blemishes don't usually stick around for longer than a day or two though so it isn't that bad.

I think I might be using it wrong because I put it on after my regular moisturizer and I think I should either be using it before or instead of.

Final Verdict? I like this product, I might purchase the full size once I finally manage to get my skin under control.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stylish Sundays: Shades Of Blue

Or The Moody Blues

I have a favorite quote "When it comes to desire, when it comes to attraction, things are never black and white. Things are very much Shades Of Gray." It was said by Brian Molko, the lead singer of Placebo. I try and focus on this quote as much as I can. What does that quote have to do with this weeks outfit? When I was getting dressed and decided my Feed Chambray would look good with my H&M Skater skirt, this quote popped into my head and I decided to go with shades of Blue instead of shades of gray.

I'm wearing a Feed for Target Chambray, H&M Skater Skirt


Accessories: White and Silver H&M bangle Light Blue Emi-Jay hairtie, Blue Gap Ballet Flats, Blue Twistband Headband and Silver H&M Leaves Necklace. fashionandhappythings-9601 fashionandhappythings-9598 fashionandhappythings-9596 fashionandhappythings-9590

I adored wearing this outfit. It was easy and comfortable and still really dressy. It's the perfect outfit and with different shoes and tights it'll be perfect for fall.

A quick note about the Twistband Headband and a bit of and Ode to Emi-Jay: I bought these ages ago with Birchbox points, and I hate them. They're really thin and they hurt my head and I just don't love them. I do plan on picking up some Emi-Jay headbands the next time I'm near the local shop that sells them. Everytime I've tried any of the Emi-Jay knockoffs, I've regretted it. I really adore the Emi-Jay hairties and personally I'm going to stay with the brand.


Howl was dressed in blue as well!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Liz Earle Energizing Hip And Thigh Gel Review

Or Wow What Is That Feeling

So when I got the Liz Earle Energizing Hip and Thigh Gel I said I'd most likely do a review of it. Since I've been using it a lot lately, and I've definitely formed an opinion of it, I thought I'd tell you about it today.



I was sent this product as a bonus gift for ordering the July Essentials Kit. They do one of these kits every month and there's always a bonus item with it. I kinda wasn't expecting to really care about it at all, mostly thinking this would just be a chuck in the drawer and forget about it. I usually don't get on with the free with purchase products. It's not that they're always bad products, they're just usually the sort of products I wouldn't normally purchase myself. I do like that the bonus item is always a full size product in the the Essentials Kit.

I'm not generally susceptible to the whole "energizing" claim products have, so the first time I used this, it was at night and I used it head to toe, because why not? Just because it says Hip and Thigh doesn't mean it's not good for all over. This was a mistake. Not the all over bit, but the using it at night. It took about a  minute or so to hit me, but I started to feel really jazzed, and hyper. I think it was the smell or something, it just made me feel more awake. It also left a slight cooling feeling on my skin which I adored, especially because it's summer and hot here in the states.

Now for the toning claims I don't have an answer. I don't really feel like any product can tone you. You can maybe be temporarily tightened but not actually toned by a product. I haven't felt or seen that this toned me any. But I did use it all over and I didn't pay much attention because I just don't care if something is toning or not.

Final Verdict? I might buy it, I might not. It's a nice, fun product. It made my skin feel nice and smooth. I enjoyed using it, but I don't think it's an absolute staple in my skincare routine.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Haircare Haul

Or Feeling Smooth and Silky

I ran out of shampoo a little while ago, so I went to Ulta and made my bank account angry with me.


I picked up Ojon's Dry Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner and the Argan Oil Spray Treatment.

I know this post is really short but I don't have a lot to say about these products, except that they were really expensive and I really hope they work. The Ojon products were $22 for 8.5 ounces each and the Argan Oil Spray Treatment was $12. I've never paid that much for shampoo and conditioner before and decided that if it would help my dry hair it would be worth it just this once. I usually prefer to spend more money on my hair products since those are actually staying in my hair for little while. I haven't made my decision yet because I've only washed my hair with them twice since I bought them.

If this doesn't work then I'll try the Wen Cleansing Conditioner next.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

PS. I Love You Book Review

Or What I Really Wear When I Read


I've decided that I'm going to try to make weekly book reviews a thing here. I've read a lot of books  in my life, and many of them were really good. Since I'll continue to read for as long as I can, there will always be  books to talk about. I also plan to try to pair an outfit with each book. Either what I was wearing when I read it, or what it inspired me to wear after I read it. This outfit is a little of both.


I'm wearing Gilly Hicks Sweatpants, Enough Is Enough Tee from Sevenly, White Converse, Kate Spade Glasses.


On My Face: Kate Spade Glasses, Lancome Teint Visionnaire in 100n, Nars Concealer in Vanilla, YSL Babydoll Mascara and Benefit Girl Meets Pearl. I'm actually only wearing makeup because I'm testing this Foundation and Mascara to see if I want to buy the full sizes. You'll find out in a future haul if I do or not.
My Hair: Pulled into a Messy Bun with an Emi-Jay Hair Tie, I love these hair ties.


And a very beat up and loved copy of PS. I Love You.

If you're wondering why I chose this for the example of what I wore when I read this book, when it's such a long book, well that's because I've read this book so many times and I read fast even when I don't know the material that I finished rereading it in 4 hours. I actually took these pictures before I started reading, which is why my makeup isn't destroyed.

If you're wondering why I was inspired to wear this well that brings us to the review, and that box of Puffs also pictured. The start of this book is sad. It's heartbreaking. It's about the first year or so of a widow's life after her husband dies and how she recovers from the loss. She's relatively close to my age, and I'm married so her loss really effects me. This is one of the few books and movies that make me cry. Like actual tears and everything (lets see how that mascara really holds up! BTW it's not waterproof.) So I tend to wear something cozy and relaxed whenever I decide it's time to reread this book.

It's sort of really hard to review this book with out giving too much away, but I'll try.  The book focuses on Holly, who is left a widow just a bit before turning 30, when it's discovered her husband Gerry has a brain tumor. She's an absolute mess until she receives the List from Gerry. Something they had only joked about before and here he'd actually gone and done it. One envelope a month with a task to help her get through the rest of the year. As the year goes on you see Holly begin to heal. To learn that there is a life for her without Gerry.

I think the subject of this book could have made it all too heartbreaking, and while that still would have made for a good book, I think the way that the author, Cecelia Ahern, tackles it with humor makes it easier to swallow. The whole book is both funny and sad at the same time. There were parts that made me both laugh and cry and I couldn't tell you if it was because I was so sad for Holly or if it was because it was all just so funny.

I honestly love this book. I've read it so many times now, it's more like a comfortable old friend, rather than just a story. Even though I know what's coming as I turn the pages, I still laugh in all the same places and cry at all the saddest bits. I usually pick this up to read when I'm feeling a bit low, and by the next morning I'm already feeling much better.

Bonus: The movie version has what is by far my all time favorite movie quote: Ciara "Are you drunk?" Holly "No." "Ciara "Well do ya wanna be?"






Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Latest Summer Obsession

Or Tazo Passionfruit Iced Tea

I don't know about you, but come summer time I switch from my usual Cinnamon Dolce Latte to the Passionfruit Tea from starbucks. So when I found my favorite tea was available in my local grocery store I grabbed it immediately.


Please excuse the instagramy look of these photos, it' was very dark when they were taken and I was to lazy to set up my lighting equipment or fiddle with getting my flash to work.
I'm pretty sure this is my absolutely new favorite tea ever. I followed the directions on the box, using only 1 tea bag and 64 ounces of distilled water, then added some orange and lemon slices and that's it.


Didn't it turn out so pretty? I love it. I think the best thing about it, aside from the fact that it works out to 50 cents a glass, is that there is absolutely no sugar added.

I will say that I also ran out and bought that pretty Pitcher and those Iced Tea glasses, because I didn't own any. I usually buy my cold drinks pre-mixed, but now I'm kinda obsessed with Iced Tea. Are there any other flavors you think I should try?


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stylish Sundays: Pattern Mixing

Or Baby I'm A Firework

First do you like the way I've changed my titles? Making the Or a subtitle rather than part of the main title. Do you like it or should I go back to the way I was doing it before?

Secondly this outfit is what I wore to my Sister-In-Law/Bestie/Sister/One third of the best group of friends that ever existed T's house when she and her man C grilled out and had some super dangerous fireworks. Seriously, the phrase "At least no one got burned this year" was uttered several times. I'm teasing, it was a beautiful show and I'm looking forward to next year.

I wore:

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Boyfriend Button down from Madewell tied in a knot at the last button, GAP Skimmer Jeans in yellow Polka Dot and Blue Leather Ballet Flats also from GAP.


My Hair is tossed up in the laziest messy bun I've ever done with my bangs pinned back. I was having a very rare bad hair day.
On My Face: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Nars Concealer, Nars Deep Throat, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl, Chanel Mascara Sample, YSL Volupte Sheer Candy in #4 Succulent Pomegranate.

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Close up of the accessories; H&M Necklace worn as a bracelet, necklace with the chain shortened using a safety pin and a close up of my shoes, which I absolutely adore.

I was actually really surprised by this outfit, it's much more colorful than I would normally wear. Usually I'd just do one statement piece in an outfit and that would be it, but I recently saw this post by Hanna Lei who is a blogger I'm absolutely obsessed with right now, and was inspired by her pairing of printed colored jeans with a graphic tee. Obviously the two outfits are very different, but that just shows you can take inspiration from anywhere.

It was really comfortable to wear and I felt great in it. It helped that this shirt is one of my husbands favorite shirts on me. He likes it enough that he remembers where we bought it, and if I say I don't know what to wear his answer is immediately wear that Madewell shirt. He's also the one that picked it out. I don't know if he just randomly spotted it, or if was bored and flipping through the racks, but I'm really happy he found it, because it was on sale, during one of their extra percent off of sale items sales and I think we only paid $6 for it. The jeans were really comfortable, but the best part was the shoes. They were comfortable right from the first wear, no breaking in time which is amazing.

Bonus Note: I'm doing the 30 day ab challenge with Amanda of Living In Another Language



Friday, July 19, 2013

Gilly Hicks Wishlist

Or I Just Want To Be Cozy

It's been absolutely forever since I've done one of these posts. And even longer since I've visited the Gilly Hicks Website. Until recently I've just been doing all my shopping at H&M or Sephora. Since my I fell into the GAP recently, I've been snapped out of that behavior. I was looking at all my favorite sites and I didn't find much, except at Gilly Hicks.

Gilly Hicks Wish List

I fell in absolute love with some cozy things and decided that I just had to tell you guys about them. I'm being super careful with my money right now so hopefully they'll have a promo code very soon.

First the Daytime Cozy Things

The first thing I'm lusting after is the GH Sport Full-Zip Jacket. I know that most people want the LuLu Lemon one, but I what I love about this one is it has a hood. My ears get cold and I don't want to wear earmuffs to walk the dog. And while I adore my Superdry beanie, it doesn't stay on my head that well. I also really like the Navy and Pink combo this has going on. Hot pink is my favorite color and so dark it's almost black Navy is another color I'm in love with.

Then of course I want these Banded Boyfriend Sweatpants. I love the Boyfriend Sweatpants from V.S. Pink and I adore the GH Sweatpants I bought last year, so I know these will be amazing. Once again, I adore that Dark Navy. I see many Fall afternoons being spent curled up on the couch wearing these, reading on my Nook, or iPad.

I had to add in a Tee to go with the Sweatpants, because sometimes my brain is completely numb and all I can think is "Be Cozy." I picked Grey for this post, but I also really like it in the Pink, Navy and Green colors.

Moving away from Daytime Cozy we have Nighttime Cozy.

I love stripes, I love button downs, I love pajama's as previously evidenced by my Chirstmas Eve Blogmas post and pretty much all the Pajama's my husband has ever given me. So of course I am completely in love with these Menswear Pajama Top and Bottoms. I really want these, and if I don't manage to buy them myself before, then they will pop up on my Birthday Wishlist (It's 2 and a half months away). These just look perfect, I want to wear them all fall long. I want them in all the colors, but mostly this stripey pattern.

Then finally we have this phone case which doesn't fall into Day or Night Cozy, but it would be a cozy for my phone, so it fits. The phone case I have now is one from Sephora and I really don't love it. It's functional and says Sephora on it, that's about it. But this one is bright green with a Koala wearing glasses and if you don't think that's completely adorable, well then I'm sorry, but I'm obsessed.

Yes, I know, I know, I shop at Sephora WAY to much if I have a Sephora phone case. I can't help it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Didn't Expect You To Fall Into The Gap or An Amazing Sale

In my Mother's Day Gift Guide I said I'd be perfectly happy if I received a Gift Card to the Gap, and then I did a post showing what I'd most likely buy if I did. Well I didn't receive the card, and sort of new I wouldn't, since I already had gotten my gift way back in April.
Well I was bored the other day, and when I'm bored I window shop online, and I found somethings that I really loved in the sale, and came across some deals that I just couldn't pass up.


That black tee that I said I'd get if I got a gift card, full price $20 on sale for $15. Then there were these yellow polka dotted skimmers that I fell completely in love with, full price $70 marked down to $20 and only left in my size. Finally, the blue leather flats I featured in my I'd rather be in Paris or Parisian Chic post, full price $40 on sale for $20 once again only in my size. If you grab your calculator you'll see that full price it would come to $130, before tax. But I wanted to see what they'd come to with the sale prices, so I put them all in the cart and they came to $56 including tax, but wait there was a coupon code at the top of the site for 35% off, which made my total $36 and free shipping. I mean really? How could I not. That's one third of the price.

I, of course am a very happy camper, and will definitely be checking the Gap sales more often.

*Edited to add: I just discovered this is my 200th post! And it's about shopping...I seriously have a problem.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Virgin Suicides or Book Review OOTD

These images are not recent at all, they were actually taken last spring when my husband first got his camera. If your friends with either of us on Facebook then you might have seen these images before. That's okay though, because you don't know the story behind them.

First what I was wearing:



H&M Top and Sunnies, American Eagle Shorts, Minnetonka Moccasins, Adore Plate Necklace, Key Necklace, Ring. The Tote bag is from Barnes and Noble and is covered in quotes from famous books. The blanket was a gift from T when she went on a trip to Mexico the year before.


Hair Loosely Curled with Conair's YouCurl Infinity Curling Wand and pinned back with a whole mess of bobby pins.


On My Face: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10, Too Faced Papa Don't Peach Blush, Benefit's Leggy Eyeshadow, Blinc Mascara, Smith's Rosebud Salve
On My Nails: Essie's Navigate Her.

You might notice that I'm reading a book, it actually happens to be one of my very favorite books, The Virgin Suicides. When I was getting ready to take these photos I tried to think of what one of the Lisbon Sisters would have been wearing, or how they would have done their makeup. I was going for a very natural, very 70's feel. As you might see in a future Throwback post, I went through a bit of a 70's phase early last year. It only lasted for the spring though. I feel like these pictures are spot on, because they have a sort of soft, kind of dreamy, but very bare feel to them. Which matches the tone of the book perfectly.


The Virgin Suicides focus on the Lisbon Sisters and the events surrounding their suicides, and is told by one of the boys who was enthralled with them. The whole book has a sort of dreamlike hazy feel to it, since it is told in memories. It's like they used a soft focus blush toned filter on the whole story. Even though it focuses on the mystery, you can clearly tell that some of the elements have been softened by time, some of them forgotten and some of them never known.

It's a book I've read so many times I could nearly tell you the story verbatim, but evertime I read it, I still feel the same way. Like I too am looking back into history, spying on the Lisbon Sisters through the window, and wondering why. It's not the resolution of this story that makes the book for me, it's the tone and the depth of emotion. Every time I read it I go through a bit of 70's phase, and I think I'm due for a rereading soon, so look forward to some inspired outfits and inspirations posts coming soon.
I linked up on the I Feel Pretty Weekly Link up so go check her out, and the others that linked up out.

*Not every book review on this site will have an outfit post to go with it, but some of them, that effect me particularly will.