Lately Loving

it’s all about the colors this week, and shoes of course. Enjoy!

1. Sophia Webster for J. Crew.

Sophia Webster X J crewJ. Crew’s latest collaboration with British shoe designer Sophia Webster is pure artistic genius. Webster’s elegant yet playful designs, combined with J. Crew’s bright colors and lively prints makes for the perfect statement pieces. These beautiful shoes launched April 21st and are selling out real fast, check them out here. Photo via J. Crew.

2. Hair ChalkBeauty Girl Portrait with Colorful Makeup, Hair and Accessories

Hair chalking has been so popular among celebrities lately, and I think it’s a fun and wild trend to try. It’s not as permanent as hair dye and is non-toxic so even little kids can use it. I’m thinking it’s the perfect summertime Lollapalooza hairstyle. Photo via HairChalkTalk.

3. Flower Crownsmelrish-1192They’re pretty, feminine and oh so sweet. I love a good hair accessory and these flower crowns are up there on my list right now.

4. Initial Stud EarringsR_front-225x225

First spotted on Kimmy (Kardashian), these lovely Gorjana initial studs are now available in Dubai at Sophie’s Closet. These are so fun because you can mix and match them, or pair them with a diamond stud or a little heart. Image via Sophie’s Closet.

5. Framed PrintsPrints

If you follow my instagram account then you know I love re-decorating my desk. It brightens things up and keeps me inspired. I’m loving all these different designs of prints. Some of my favorites include Pearls and Pastries, SS Print Shop and Miss Poppy Design. I recommend you take a look at their online shops.

 

Milestones

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Today wraps up another fulfilling year of my life. I remember the days when Birthdays and New Year’s Eve were all about where to celebrate and what to wear, but in the past couple of years they’ve become a little more poignant for me. That may sound a bit dramatic since I’m still in my 20’s, it’s true nonetheless.

This particular birthday is quite significant for me. Those close to me know that I’ve spent the past year and a half striving for my dreams to no avail. I was almost ready to quit scouring for the opportunity to present itself and just settle for the jobs available to me. I started my website The Blush Diaries to keep myself connected to the things I love, and be able to keep a piece of my passion a part of me. This blog unexpectedly became the most exhilarating project I’d ever worked on. I became enraptured with it, and because of the support of my wonderful husband, family and friends I decided to crush my fears and turn this hobby into a full-time job. I’ve learned that with God’s grace, hard work and faith in yourself anything is possible.

As much as I am enjoying blogging at the moment, I have a lot of other goals to achieve and I am actively working towards them. There are many exciting projects I have planned for the future and I really hope you will be there throughout my entire journey.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty o f their dreams.”~Eleanor Roosevelt

Lately Loving: Powder Blue

This may come as a surprise, but my absolute favorite color is pink – it’s shocking I know. Despite that, I’m drawn to different colors that come out every now and then. At the moment this soft powdery blue is all I can think about. It’s delicate yet rich, and I’m enjoying adding pops of it to my wardrobe and even my house. These are some beautiful pieces I found in my color crush of the moment.

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  1. Etsy Paper Straws
  2. West Elm Embroider Starburst Cushion
  3. Essie Borrowed and Blue
  4. Prada Top Handle Bag
  5. Zara Trousers
  6. Williams Sonoma Presidio Loveseat

Nail Care

Nail Care

If you love nail polish as much as I do, then you probably don’t know what your nails look like unpolished and can’t remember the last time you left them au naturel. Lately I’ve been pretty good about giving my fingernails a break from polish and I’ve noticed they’ve become stronger and brighter. It was much harder to do this with my toenails because they’ve been constantly polished since I was 15 years old. Here’s a few tips to keeping your nails strong, white and healthy. A word of advice, do not research “yellow nails” if you don’t want to end up being paranoid about having different types of gross nail conditions.

  1. Let them breath: I’ll start with the most obvious tip, give your nails a week long break between manicures/pedicures. No matter how great the brand you’re using or the amount of nutrients they claim it contains, it’s still blocking the oxygen from your nails and that’s the main reason they turn yellow.
  2. Keep them extra clean: Be sure to scrub your toes and fingertips well, and even get underneath the nail. Dry them well afterwards and then use some cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to disinfect them.
  3. Whiten and Brighten: Lemon is a wonderful natural whitening agent. To diminish discoloration, apply some freshly squeezed lemon juice to your nails and leave it on for 15 minutes then buff it with a dry wash cloth. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to lemon juice.
  4. Buffer: Buffing gently with a soft buffer block will also remove the discolored top layer of the nail, but don’t do it too hard or too often or the nail will become weak and brittle.
  5. Moisturize: Creams and oils with almond extract are my favorite nail and cuticle moisturizers. Applying cuticle oil to your nails everyday will minimize dead skin and strengthen the nail plate.
  6. Controlling Cuticles: You might be tempted to get your cuticles cut and cleaned every time you get your nails done, but that can actually make them worse. Once a month is more than enough, and even then make sure to only remove the excess skin.

I hope these tips benefit you as much as they did for me! Xo

Statement Necklace

There is nothing like a brilliant statement necklace to jazz up an outfit. The jewelry you choose are meant to add sparkle and texture without taking away from the beauty of your outfit. At the moment I’m crushing on striking necklaces, everything from chunky collars to floral bibs. It was an arduous task choosing only a few favorites, but here they are! Be sure to follow the links below to view more stunninng gems.

Statement Jewelry

  1. Bauble Bar Maid Mirian Bib
  2. Olive+Piper Madeline Gem Necklace
  3. Kate Spade Graceful Floral Necklace
  4. J. Crew White Stones Necklace
  5. Bauble Bar Posy Pinwheel Collar

Lately Loving

The best part about doing this weekly series is being able to get creative with the photos I take and keeping it visual and pleasant to the eyes. I hope you enjoy this week’s list!

1. BB Cream

BB Cream

I repeatedly talk about how sensitive my skin is because it’s difficult for me to experiment with numerous products. On the plus side, when something works for me it’s all the more exciting. Although I use moisturizer twice a day I’m not very good at applying SPF – enter BB cream. By now you’ve probably read thousands of articles and reviews about these all-in-one creams that serve multiple purposes including sun protection, moisturizing, priming and sheer coverage. The Maybelline BB cream was moisturizing, gave a beautiful glow, was hardly noticeable and blended perfectly with my skin. I highly recommend it!

2. Pastel Nail Polish

Pastels

I absolutely adore pastel colors, especially during this time of year. I don’t usually like to be limited by the seasons and I tend to wear the nail colors I’m in the mood for, but these vibrant yet soft shades are the epitome of spring.

3. Leopard Prints

Leopard

If you don’t have leopard print shoes yet, go out and get some stat. When stylists say this print is a neutral, they are not wrong. It livens up an outfit and goes with (almost) anything. I especially like to pair these shoes with a white top and an emerald green necklace. Are you at the mall yet?

4. Contour Tips

During my search for quick and easy contouring tutorials I found this great one by Carli Bybel. She uses a heavy layer of makeup so it’s definitely not an everyday look, but the end result is gorgeous and her step by step instructions are quite easy to follow.

5. Jewels for a Cause

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The star of one of my favorite TV shows and my ultimate WCW Nina Dobrev has teamed up with Gorjana & Griffin Jewelry to raise awareness for Epidermolysis Bullosa, a genetic skin disorder that causes the skin to be fragile and form blisters. Proceeds from NINA4EBMRF will benefit the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation. Visit Gorjana & Griffin to browse the beautiful range of delicate jewels, just in time for Mother’s Day.

I Hear Wedding Bells

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As the spring season prances in, we get to enjoy balmy mornings filled with sunshine and breezy evenings under the stars. Spring also means one more thing, wedding season is fast approaching! In honor of this magical time, I’d like to offer a few tips for all the brides-to-be which really helped me out with my wedding preparations.

1. Planning – Whether you’re in the middle of planning or doing your last minute wrap-up, lists are very important. Yes it’s tedious to write down every wedding inspiration or idea that passes through your mind, but it will keep all your thoughts organized. You may want a particular table set-up and have to ask the venue if it’s pragmatic, or you might like the lighting dimmed during the First Dance and need to tell the lighting engineer.  Make a generic list to begin with and you can alter it as you go, because you will in-fact change your mind a few times.

2. Be specific – Whether choosing a song list, table linens or flower arrangements make sure to specify exactly what you want. If there are particular poses you want to take, ask your photographer in advance. Tell your hair stylist and makeup artist what you like and don’t like during the trial run. I’m not saying you should micromanage every aspect but if something is a must to you, then emphasize it and reiterate if you have to.

3. Keep an open mind – Many of us have very elaborate themes in mind, but they may not always be feasible. Flowers are seasonal, so your favorite flower may not be available during the time you’re getting married. Venues have different restrictions and capabilities and may not be able to accommodate every request. There are so many beautiful and unique ideas out there and if one is not entirely possible, you can find thousands of new inspirations and change it around a little. If your vendors give you suggestions take them into consideration. Whether it’s your florist, photographer or band/DJ, their previous experience gives them good insight.

4. Forget your worries – The most important piece of advice I could give any bride or groom is: Don’t stress out. I could probably be voted one of the most laid-back brides that ever existed, but that is only because I made a conscious decision to enjoy the planning process. Although there were some hectic days and some moments of anxiety now and then, I really didn’t want to lose any sleep over small details.  As your wedding day approaches you will start to feel the strain of juggling many things at once, which is why it’s important to take some time to do something for yourself. Go to the spa, take a yoga class or just spend a relaxing day on the beach (make sure to use SPF!).

5. There’s no such thing as perfect – I wish I didn’t have to be the one to break it to you but not everything at the wedding will be exactly as you intended. When you’re coordinating with so many different people, it’s possible that certain details will get lost in the process. As much as you want to, don’t fret over this. Your wedding day is about celebrating the love between you and your groom and your much-anticipated future together. You worked hard to put together an exquisite wedding, so enjoy it!

Show Cropper

This is definitely the year of crop tops and midi skirts, and now that the weather is warm I can’t wait to start slipping these styles into my wardrobe. While it’s normal to be apprehensive about wearing crop tops, I find that they can be both elegant and sexy if paired with the right pieces. Here are a couple of outfit ideas you can use for inspiration when shopping this spring.

Pink Frosting

  1. Miss Selfridge Beaded Crop Top
  2. Top Shop Calf Skater Skirt
  3. Aldo Montraie Earrings
  4. Chanel La diva Lipstick
  5. Miss Selfridge Nude Shoulder Bag
  6. KG by Kurt Geiger Pale Blue Heels

Spring Blues

  1. Topshop Crochet Crop Tee
  2. Zara Printed Pencil Skirt
  3. Burberry Sunglasses
  4. Baublebar Eve Foliage Necklace
  5. YSL Red Muse Lipstick
  6. Zara Criss Cross High Heel

Lately Loving

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lately Loving. Here are this week’s top picks:

1. Glitter Guide‘s 5 things to try this weekend. You can find cute and fun ideas weekly, including everything from outfits to DIYs. Here’s my version of girly heels with boyfriend jeans.

GG5things

2. My amazing husband handmade an inspiration board for me, and I’ve been pinning on it all day! Pinning

3. I have a not-so-secret obsession with lipsticks, glosses and balms. The latest addition to my collection is Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint, which doubles up as a blusher too. Giving a sweet peachy pout and lovely flushed cheeks, I can’t get enough! Chacha tint

4. There is nothing more perfect for spring then these girly tulle skirts by Space 46. Photos via Margo and Me & Walk in Wonderland.

Blush Pink Tulle Skirt by space46 Boutique - Cut out Tee- Rosegold Pumps- Whimsical Outfit-251Margoandme

5. Did you catch the 2014 Academy Of Country Music Awards last night? Taylor Swift may have left empty handed, but she was as immaculate as ever in a sexy J. Mendel outfit and a wavy bob. I loved everything about her look, check it out here.

I would love to hear your favorites in the comments below!

GlamGlow’s Youthmud

GlamGlow

I usually use homemade face masks with natural ingredients, but I like to try other masks for an occasional deep cleaning. After hearing so many great things about the GlamGlow Youthmud I was eager to try it, but not so keen on investing in one. Lucky for me, during my last visit to the states I found the perfect little sample size at Sephora. It’s a pretty generous 0.5 fl oz jar, good for a few uses(and so cute!).

After trying the mask a couple of times, I found it to be very gentle. It left my face even-toned and really soft. I’m always terrified of trying new products because my skin is so sensitive and breaks out easily, but since this mask is composed of mostly natural ingredients like green tea, cucumber and lavender I had no aversions to it. The downside is it didn’t get rid of blackheads. It’s a good mask for gentle exfoliation but doesn’t substitute a deep cleansing facial. If used over a long period of time, it has the potential to keep your skin glowing and smooth.

I personally think it’s definitely worth a try, but only if you think you would use it a few times a week.