OOTD- Wearing Navy & Staying on Track

I always watch (or rather listen) to the Today Show when I get ready for work every morning.

I wake up at 7 or 7:15 a.m., turn on my TV, turn the volume way up and listen to the latest news as I shower, style my hair and apply my makeup (it makes me feel like I'm starting my day knowing the top headlines...plus, I feel totally scared when I'm alone in a completely quiet house.)

In between Today Show reports they show local news and today's weather report indicated that it could get up to 80 degrees! (yay!) I immediately knew this meant NO TIGHTS!

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love tights, but when it starts to get into the mid to high 70's tights can be uncomfortable.

I wore a "new" dress for the first time today. I say "new" because my beautiful friend Kari who lives in NYC (jealous!) gifted it to me when she moved back to NYC from Houston where we worked together.

It's a simple navy blue dress from Banana Republic, and I love it (Thank-You Kari!)

I paired it with a wide belt and military inspired cardi.

Dress- Banana Republic; Belt- Club Monaco; Cardigan- Forever 21; Pumps- Jessica Simpson.

After work today my husband and I took our dog for a walk and then I did some quick leg toning moves from a YouTube video (courtesy of ToneItUpCom) at home. I remembered to take a picture of the black tights from Target that some of ya'll asked me to post over the weekend when I first mentioned them.

They are just plain, black, cotton tights. You can purchase them on Target's website, here. They are really comfy and great for workouts. I do caution though that they aren't 100% opaque so I always wear them with a superlong tank or tee. They aren't see-through or anything, but I just like to be cautious.

I've been feeling much more motivated and energized this week. Even going for a brisk walk helps me stay on track on days where I don't do a full workout.

This Saturday my bestie and I are trying "Hardcore Pilates" which is a Pilates class that uses reformer machines. I'm really excited! It's supposed to be pretty intense, but I'm ready for a challenge!

I'm also feeling much better today about the traffic ticket situation. I'm one of those people (as you can tell) that is completely over-dramatic about things like this. I think it party comes from just being a passionate person and also because I get super upset when I think I've done something wrong (probably a result of my upbringing.) I know we all make mistakes, so I just have to take this in stride and move forward. Thank you to everyone who wrote supportive comments and told me their "first ticket" stories- it really did make me feel better! And just to clarify, I'm 100% aware that I broke a law and thus the result was the ticket, but that also doesn't mean I can't be upset about it. Of course I am! I think it would be weird NOT to get upset about getting a ticket.

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening!



A Bad Day & Bronzing Products I Love

Well ladies, I have some sad news to share. I got my first ticket today. Ever. The police officers were right at my street corner pulling people over. I am not sure how I was "speeding" since I was slowing down to make a right turn, but I guess they needed to make their end of month budget. Ugh. So upset.

I cried for like an entire hour after it happened (a little dramatic, I know...but the tears are on and off.) I think most people can just get a ticket and brush it off...but not me.

This is from Google Images...I did NOT take this pic! hehe!

It's because
I'm pretty obsessed with being a cautious and responsible driver...to the point where it is almost a bit extreme. Everyone who knows me knows I am completely and totally concerned about issues to do with safe driving such as drunk driving, wreckless driving etc.

I won't even drive if I had a glass of wine in the last hour or even several hours! I'm just super cautious about anyone getting into a car when they are potentially buzzed or drunk. A lot of people here in Texas do that on a regular basis and it's just not something I am OK with (and really, no one should be "OK" with it.)

I guess I just fell victim to a speed trap, but to me,
it feels like so much more. I just constantly witness irresponsible drivers and drunk drivers (especially in the area we live in which is night-club heavy) and I see these people continue to do it week after week and then I get pulled over. People literally stumble out of clubs wasted, and get into their cars and drive away as door people, security, etc look on (and sometimes even police officers!) It amazes me.

I know I am totally being "
woe is me" right now and I know that police officers have to reach their quota...but speed traps just feel like such a nasty was of doing it. I wish they were really out there pulling people over at night and doing breathalyzer tests and getting THOSE dangerous drivers off of our streets. I don't remember the last time I've encountered a random pull over to check for drinking (can you tell I'm passionate about this issue!???)

Anyways, please forgive me for this rant/vent. I know that no one is perfect and I certainly don't think I shouldn't have gotten a ticket...I guess I just feel horrible about the way it happened. I feel horrible because I truly try to drive in a responsible and safe manner.
I would never think my driving today was an example of driving that could potentially endanger someone. Plus, it was my first offense ever in my life. I thought you usually get a warning for that? Maybe I should have tried to charm my way out of it, but my lip began to quiver and I burst into tears while trying to speak through my sobs about how this has never happened to me...and I pride myself on being a super responsible driver...blah blah blah...the officer just said "nobody's perfect." Well yeah, obviously...

After this happened and my husband got home, we took our dog for a walk and
we saw someone RUN a STOP SIGN in front of the police, and that person didn't get pulled over. My jaw just dropped to the floor. I see people run that stop sign ALL of the time...I know, I know...I'm just mad because it was ME that got the ticket.

Anyways, sorry you had to read that...back to regularly scheduled programming! (and no, I'm not crying anymore...writing seems to have calmed me down!)
Let's talk: Bronze.

Typically the only time I use bronze is in self-tanning products and powder face bronzers...but then, I saw this photo of the gorgeous Charlize Theron, and I may have to reconsider my limited use of bronze:

I love that look! It is kind of intense but I think it's so pretty and really makes a statement.

Do you ever use coppery/bronze-ish eyeshadow?

Speaking of bronzers, though I do have an HG (NARS Laguna), I have been eyeing Guerlain's Terracotta Light Summer Bronzing Powder.

I saw it in one of my magazines recently (it looks lighter than it does in the pic on Sephora's website) and I knew immediatelly I wanted to try it. Guerlain is pretty popular for its spray-on bronzer product , which my best friend Candice swears by, but I prefer powders and I like that this one is matte for summer. I love shimmer too, but sometimes when my face gets more oily in the summer, it's nice to have a matte formula. The price is steep though- $50. I am definitely going to have to swatch it in the store before I commit to something like that!

Other "bronze" products I love?

1. NARS Laguna Bronzer (my daily bronzer)
2. Benefit "hoola" Bronzer (a pretty matte bronzer)
3. MAC Eyeshadow in "Honesty"
4. Clarins SPF 6 Tanning Milk (I use this mixed with moisturizer on my face for color)
5. Airbrush Self-Tanners- brands I love include Neutrogena, L'Oreal, Victoria's Secret

What are your favorite bronzing products? Please let me know in the comments below!

Have you ever been pulled over? Did you cry like me? LOL. I am such a dork. Thanks for reading!



Target Fitting Room Reviews: Random Selections

Before going on a long walk today with Candice, I went to Target to pick up some groceries. Of course I stopped in the clothing section while there and tried a few things on.

I'll show you what I got first (and by the way ladies, Target has LOTS of super cute swimwear right now!)

I got this swim cover-up for $17.99. It is super soft and flowy. It has a super low plunge v-neck that ties with strings. Love it!

LOL, that's my sports bra underneath it as I was trying it on!

The second thing I got was this top for $10. I ended up getting it in a dark bright royal blue/purpleish color...I am second-guessing it but I wanted to get something more colorful. I did like the black one too but I wanted a medium (for more length) and they only had small. We shall see! I'm not really sure how I plan to wear this...but I figure it would be cute as a swim cover up or with skinny jeans (you can pull it up so it's not so long). Here it is in hot pink (again, with the sports bra...kind of awkward.)

And now for the misses:

This white detailed neckline top. I just felt kind of suffocated when it was on. I didn't like how high the neck was. I just didn't really think it was that flattering.

I also skipped this pretty printed tunic top. I actually liked it...but I just didn't feel 100% about it I guess? Sometimes I hesitate before buying, even if the item is inexpensive. I can see this being cute as a shirt dress, but because of my height it's just not going to happen!

Lastly, I tried on this workout pants. I didn't love the shade of blue/turquoise on the waist and at the time I thought they were completely unflattering...but now that I see this pic I don't think they look THAT bad...but I skipped em'. I always have a super difficult time trying on super-fitted pants. I always get insecure but I just need to get over it because the are perfect for working out.

Today instead of wearing my long LuluLemon pants on our walk, I wore plain black cotton tights from Target and they was super comfy. I think I'm going to start doing that more often. They are so lightweight and stretchy. I also think they can look flattering with a long tee or tank and runners. I don't have a pic but they are the Xiliration brand ones that cost $6 or $7. What do you like to wear to workout? I usually wear long pants but if it's really hot out I will wear my LuluLemon shorts. Now that I've discovered leggings as workout pants (thanks to the lovely Candice who introduced me to this) I may just invest in a pair from LuluLemon so that they last longer.

As always, thank you for reading! Also, let me know what YOU wear to workout in the comments below. Does it depend on the weather, the workout you're doing, your mood?



Hair Coloring, Spring Cleaning, Couch Shopping & OOTD

Yesterday evening, some work colleagues and I attended an awards dinner for the Houston Association of Black Journalists. It was a great event! Here's what I wore (the dinner was a mix of business and cocktail.)
Dress- Ann Taylor (seen in this haul post); Belt- Club Monaco; Shoes- Paris Hilton "Senorita"; Bracelet- Forever 21.

Gosh I love those bow shoes. I wear them every chance I get! They do hurt a bit towards the end of the night, but hey, a fabulous shoe is worth a little discomfort!

I got my hair done today! At the last minute I chickened-out and canceled my trim. I just got the color (my roots) retouched. Here is how it turned out (my hair looks the same, but brighter since the color is fresh.)

I LOVE fresh color! It just brightens things up and makes hair feel shinier and better. I know it's going to fade all through the summer, but I actually love the faded ends look (kind of like how Gisele's hair is.)

After my hair appointment today, my lovely husband accompanied me on a little errand-running. I had spring cleaning on the brain and wanted to find a shoe rack for our closet. I didn't want the fabric kind or anything that would hang over the door because we have super skinny closet doors. I ended up finding an awesome shoe rack at The Container Store for $19.99 per rack (I purchased two.)

Here's how it turned out:

First, the box, in case anyone wants to know the name/packaging of the product. It's super easy to put together. It took me like 5 minutes to do both of them. They are expandable and assemble with a quick "click."

Ta-da! (and excuse our messy bed/room, like I said, I'm still cleaning) Isn't it great? Now...here it is with the actual shoes on
it (it saves SO much space! love it!)

Lulu came to check out the shoe rack. I think he likes it.

I'm keeping my most-worn shoes in the second rack from the bottom.

While at the container store, I also picked up this acrylic makeup brush holder for $6.99. I was tired of having separate containers for my brushes so this was the perfect fix!

As you can see, I also started using Maybelline Great Lash clear mascara as a brow gel. I finally remembered to pick some up a couple of weeks ago. It really does help keep brows in place. Great product, so thanks to those who suggested it!

I was also on the hunt for a new duvet cover/bed sheets today and after visiting Bed, Bath & Beyond, Pottery Barn AND Crate & Barrel to try to find ones I liked (fail) we paid a visit to West Elm where my husband and I fell in love with this gorgeous couch:

We have just started looking for a new couch recently (we plan to try to sell the ones we have now.) It's pretty rare for us to BOTH absolutely love something, so this couch seems like the perfect match for us since we both agree on it.

We tend to like more modern, clean-looking furniture and this couch fits that look to a "T." We also both wanted an L-shaped couch with a long chaise lounge which this set also has. I believe it is called the Tillary couch. The best thing about it is that you can completely re-arrange it to whatever best fits your space and you can also add more pieces to it. All of the pieces and cushions are movable, so you can completely customize the look and layout of the couch. I also really love the fabric. We haven't committed yet, but it is definitely at the top of our list! Plus, if you have a West Elm card, you get 10% back on your purchase to spend in the store!

Do you like the couch we fell in love with? What does YOUR dream couch look like!?

Anyways, we won't be buying for a couple of months or so, but it's nice to start looking and seeing what's out there.

I saw some cute duvet covers and bed sheets at West Elm but I just couldn't decide. The ones I liked were:

The Ruffled Circle Quilt (as a bed cover, in gray) and The Parachute Duvet Cover (in white). I would buy regular white sheets to go with the duvet cover. I don't know why I hesitate so much before making a purchase. I want white sheets/duvet cover because I think our rooms needs more white/brightness. I love our lime green patterned sheets, but I guess I'm ready for something new and fresh for spring/summer. What color are your bedroom sheets?

Before I go, I just had to share this adorable buy from BB&B: a dish scrubbing brush:

It was only $4.99 and it just makes me so happy! I mean, I hate dishes, but they are definitely more tolerable with a cute little flower scrubber :) It just looks so...happy!

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Saturday! Have any of you done some spring cleaning? Warmer weather always gets me in the mood to re-do my closet.

I haven't done it yet by my closet needs some MAJOR reorganization so that my summer clothes are easier to access. I reorganize my closet every 6 months or so. That way, the clothes I wear the most are more towards the center of the closet and within reach and my heavier winter clothes can move to other parts of the closet. Am I the only one who does this?



OOTD: Still Wearing Tights

It's still cold in the mornings here (well, let's be honest, I'm always cold, so anything below mid 70's feels freezing to me.) I still have a space heater at my desk and use it daily. Everyone in my office likes different temperatures so I've learned the only way I can be comfortable is by having an awesome space heater. My boss got it for me this winter and I haven't looked back since! I have an AC vent right above my desk and when the AC is on, it blows right towards me so I have to counter-act it. I'm going to be embarrassed if I have to use my heater in the summer, but I'd rather be comfortable!

I've been wearing boring basics all week (black dress pants, simple top and cardigan.) I think last week's shopping trip left me feeling uninspired.

So today I decided to wear a dress and feel cute again. Here is what I wore:

No, my hair is not blonde or lighter, it just photographs that way when my camera is on manual mode :)

Dress- Express; Open Cardigan- Charlotte Russe; Belt- Club Monaco; Necklace- NY LightMetals on Etsy.com; Tights- Target; Shoes- Jessica Simpson; Watch- Michael Kors.

I felt cute in this outfit. I needed an end-of-the-week pick me up. This did the job! I know it's boring black, but I think the way it's styled made it a bit more interesting. I really do need to step up the colors for spring though.

Does what you wear affect your mood? I find that when I make an effort, I always feel better and more upbeat that day. How about you?



Tim Gunn Coming to Houston & Bikini Season is Around the Corner (yikes!)

Firstly, a PSA to all of my lovely and stylish Houston readers: Style expert Tim Gunn will be at The Galleria Mall this Saturday, March 27 to share his expertise as he hosts a Spring 2010 fashion show featuring Juicy Couture, Kate Spade New York and Lucky Brand Jeans. Guests will enjoy live style transformations, get invaluable fit and style tips and learn how to maximize their wardrobe for Spring. It's happening inside of the Galleria mall right near Ann Taylor (on the lower level right beside J. Crew.)

Because the event starts at 1 PM, I sadly won't be able to be there... and I love love love Tim Gunn ("
Make it Work!")

Why, you ask? It's because I have my last color/trim with my wonderful hairdresser before he moves to Italy next month. I couldn't imagine not having one last color appointment with him (and uh, it's been months since I last had it colored...though, I'm pretty thankful I can let it go so long between visits.) I'm going to miss him (and so is my hair.)

Have you ever "lost" your hairdresser? What did you do? I'll probably remain at the same salon and just have another stylist take a shot at my hair, but I am terrified about trusting someone else. I just like really blended, low-maintenance color and I think it takes real skill and talent to do that properly.

If you can make it out to see Tim Gunn, please do! I'm sure the event will be fabulous!

I want to give a quick update on my fitness progress (or lack thereof.) I have been trying to "get back on track" for like 3 weeks now. I completely failed. But that's OK. I can't beat myself up about it forever. So today when I got home from work I so didn't want to work out. Like absolutely totally 100% didn't want to do it. But I forced myself to do one of my "Elle Make Better" workouts. I just pushed through it and told myself "it's just 30 minutes."

I seriously admire anyone who can stick with the P90X program. I just haven't been able to. It's too much for me. I think I need to work out more before I do the program on a daily basis.

Bikini season is just around the corner and I need to get toned up again! What do you do when you're in a rut and what is your summer workout plan? Let me know below!

Oh- and before I go- one more update: my skin has been really weird lately. Like super peel-y and uneven. I've been using the Clarisonic and haven't changed anything so I think the weather is what's making it act up. It's cold one day and warm the next. Very inconsistent. Does your skin freak out when the weather changes?



Home Decor: Inspiration & What Styles Appeal to You?

Before I begin my intended post, I wanted to share with you all a blog I saw posted today called Pale is the New Tan. If you EVER needed yet another reason not to use tanning beds (or O.D. on self-tanner, for that matter) this is the site for you (and it's also good for a laugh for pretty much anyone...unless...uh, you're featured on the site or something.)

I know some of you have asked me to do more Home Decor posts and I do plan on doing a house tour soon (I might wait until we get our new couch!)

Lately my husband and I have been planning for the future and checking out neighborhoods we eventually might want to live in (and possibly moving to the suburbs.) We are not moving anytime soon (ie: within the next year) but we want to start our search way early (I'm an obsessive planner.)

So in my online searches of the real estate market, I've noticed something I guess I didn't expect...and that is that a lot of people don't see to be as into home decor as I am. Whether it's simply not a priority, they have completely opposite tastes from mine or just cannot afford to decorate how they'd like, I'm really surprised at how many homes have decor that appeals to me.

Maybe I'm tainted because of the gorgeous homes a lot of Nesties have.

I am one of those people that definitely prioritizes having a home that is nice and well-decorated. This is my husband's and mine's first home, and we have definitely come a LONG way decor-wise from where we started (think bare walls, very little furniture and no color scheme or details at all.) There are still a few changes/upgrades I'd like to make, but overall I am very happy with the way our home looks considering it's our first and we've lived in it for just under 3 years.

The problem is, I am getting so distracted when I look at homes online by the random decor that it's so difficult (at least in photos) to imagine the home as your own. Maybe in person it would be a little bit easier but my online searches are really discouraging thus far. I remember when we were looking for our first home it was fun to actually visit the homes in person. We looked primarily at modern looking open-concept town homes, so that probably played a role in me liking the homes more. I hate super closed-up homes, especially when the kitchen isn't open-concept. (Have YOU experienced frustration looking at homes online because you just can't picture your "stuff" in it?)

I've also only seen approximately 2 kitchens that I like, and they both look like the one we already have. I sometimes think to myself "maybe I should design homes." I also think we might just have to buy a completely new home because things like the color of kitchen cabinets can completely sway me. I mean I literally only like 3 cabinet colors: Dark (almost black or black), White or dark Cherrywood (which is what we have now.)

I guess I am very very picky. Like, super picky...but is that so wrong? I am a girl who knows what she likes. In fact, I have an entire folder on my computer dedicated to inspiration photos I've gathered over the last few years of decor I love.

I'm going to share some of them here just for fun (obviously my home doesn't look like these, they are just inspiration!)

Ok how cute is this baby? seriously!

Aren't those rooms pretty? I may not like 100% of everything in each photo, but parts of each photo appeal to me in some way.

We don't own any really expensive furniture in our home. A lot of it is from IKEA, JC Penney and (the pricier) Crate and Barrel. I try to pick pieces that are simple and clean. Our coffee table for example, (from IKEA) is the most simple table ever. Like 3 of our friends have purchased the same one after seeing ours (you can't go wrong for $50- and it's huge!)

I prefer little details like picture frames, vases, throw pillows and other accessories to make a statement instead of the furniture (you know how some furniture can just overwhelm a room? I remember watching Teresa from "Real Housewives of New Jersey" decorating her home with all of this elaborate furniture that looked like it should be in a castle somewhere and I was thinking how much better the home would look with more modern, clean furniture choices.) I believe her sister in law even stated on the show that she is making her home look like a banquet hall (her words, not mine!)

I like when pieces are simple, clean and elegant. I don't like a lot of "detail" on our furniture either. I think details should be more in your home's accessories. Having said that, I also don't favor the uber-modern space ship look either. That's a bit harsh for me. I would say that the styles/stores that appeal to me most are the Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, West Elm and Z Gallerie (not in any particular order.) I think PB can tend to be a bit traditional, but they keep their pieces pretty clean.

I'm not sure where this post is going? I guess I was hoping to start a dialogue with you, my lovely readers about your homes and what you prioritize about your home. I know that every time we do home improvements, I think about how it will increase our home value and also lure buyers in.

What are your upcoming home related projects? For us, we would love to get a new couch, put hardwood in our downstairs bedroom and eventually get a new bed frame.

If you have any great inspiration sites you'd like to share, please let me know in the comments! I also have tons of baby nursery pictures saved, but that's for a later time! (Like I said, I like to plan ahead!) Also- how would YOU describe your home decor style?

Edit: AWESOME reader Lindsey posted a link to a great style quiz! My result was "Modern Elegance," what's yours!? Thank you Lindsey for posting this!



ecause I always feel the need to write a little disclaimer to avoid the inevitable negative comments: No I don't think my house is amazing or incredible or anywhere near as amazing as the inspiration pictures I posted. I like our home and think we have nice things, but no, I don't think I have a superior home, furniture or decor style. I guess I just have different style than what is "common" her in Texas because it seems the homes located in suburb areas are decorated very differently than what appeals to me. No, I am not repulsed if your kitchen cabinets are not one of the colors I like, listed above.

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