Saturday, May 28, 2016

Botanical Blooms feat. D&G

Botanical Blooms


Summer is practically already here in my opinion and vacation outfits are in the works. There is one concept that will guarantee that your outfit is completely on point and that is effortlessly chic. You know, that perfect outfit that is really easy to wear while making you feel like the goddess you are. Currently floral prints have been all the rage for summer collections and it is clearly the best way to embrace your inner flower child, in a super chic way of course. So, I teamed up with Farfetch and Dolce & Gabbana to share a little bit of fashion inspo on what's trending in the Botanical Blooms department. 

Shoes are the icing on the cake because they finish off every look and you can get a ton of wear out of a really good pair. The Dolce & Gabbana Embellished Floral Pumps are the ultimate example of what every girl needs to have in her closet this summer. The red and white are the perfect complimenting duo and can we just talk about that gorgeous embellishment on the pointed toe? I've always been a D&G girl just because they elude elegance and haute couture elements while still maintaining that trendy flair. It takes a really good brand to hit both of those qualities, but if anyone can do it it's Dolce & Gabbana.

I hope that this look inspires you to jump into the Botanical Bloom trend this summer. It's totally something that anyone can look amazing in no matter if the floral is on your pumps, top, or even in your hair. Farfetch has all of the essentials (and some fab sales too) so treat yourself and get shopping! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Paintbrushes & Party

Like the true Parisian soul at-heart that I am, I adore anything on the artsy side. I was invited to a class at Paintbrushes & Party which is right up my alley. Anything involving socializing, art, and delicious treats basically speaks to me. Every class has a different masterpiece that the whole group will work on and complete in about three hours. I went to the "Sunset Over the Hudson" class which I think was a very aesthetically pleasing choice.

Everything that you need for painting is already there, so all you need to do is bring your besties and prepare for a lot of laughter and occasional dancing (the playlist is pretty on point, if I do say so myself). Once you arrive and get settled you can put on your apron and begin to do a little snacking before all of the real fun begins. Males and females, children and adults were all in attendance, so there were a ton of different artistic perspectives making the class really cool.  At the end you feel totally successful after creating something you didn't even know you had the hidden creative talent to do!

The owner Deanna was the sweetest and made sure everyone was having a blast the whole time. With fun and easy step-by-step instruction there is really no room for error. Being the wacky perfectionist I am, this really helped me out and kept me focused on one portion of the painting at a time. There is a lot of room to throw in your own flair (as seen in my pink and purple with a hint of blue river). I was really impressed with how well mine turned out in the end. The trick: I tried to find my inner Picasso and use some of those blending techniques I was taught in second grade art class and I think it may have worked out a bit. Once class wraps up you take your canvas home and it is ready to be mounted onto the wall. Then after that you will probably be checking the Paintbrushes & Party schedule online to plan your next girls night out because let's face it, it is pretty addicting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Zest Bistro & Smoothie Bar

I'm one of those green juice/smoothie health-nuts that faithfully blends and gets excited over new combinations. I'm pretty addicted. Literally where I live there was nowhere to get smoothies when I didn't feel like making them myself, until now. Thank the heavens! Introducing Zest Bistro. I stopped in the other day for the first time and left oh-so-happy. Clearly that means I have now been there three more times since last week. 

The smoothies are beyond amazing and super filling, especially if you add a protein boost. My holy grail combination so far has to be the banana-vanilla-kale combo with soy milk, but the blueberry-vanilla-cucumber is also a stunner. The list of fruits/veggies covers basically everything, so there is something for everyone.

So Zest Bistro has not only smoothies, but an assortment of authentic multicultural dishes, teas, and more. Owned by C.I.A. student David Cruz, the restaurant was bound to be a culinary success from the start. Honestly the best part of the restaurant is the overall vibrant atmosphere. It's amazing being in a place filled with healthy and delicious options that I may not have ever thought to cook on my own. It looks like Main St. in Poughkeepsie just got a little bit more Zest-y.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Confessions of a Blogaholic: Staying Motivated

I seriously love my job, but anyone who works in the fashion industry knows the anxiety triggering schedule that can lead to a severe case of writers block and latte stains. What a life. At least I'm getting work done while sitting in the makeup chair before a major shoot, right? Pat on the back for you, Raquel. I feel like I've finally reached a point where all of those voices in my head have finally reached an agreement and there is a solid gameplan. Before I felt like there was something missing leaving me feeling incomplete. Something like Dolce without Gabbana. That missing accessory was called balance. I figured out that once I was genuinely happy with my surroundings, the easier it was to blog and stay motivated.

1. Visualize your goals in small bits...goals aren't met overnight and just dreaming about what you want won't get you there. Laying in bed in hopes of having an iced latte fly into your room are obviously a slim to none chance unless you have a private chef, then kudos to you. Hopefully your goals are on a much larger scale than a latte, per say taking over the fashion empire. In that case take one step at a time and create a path that works for you. Every success story is different for a reason and the only way to stand out is with originality.

2. What do you need to get there...well, lots of determination. Besides that you need more than the "I want to be a great blogger" to become a successful blogger. Blogging is something I never really knew could ultimately turn into part of my lifestyle. It was just an outlet to write from a different environment which I loved, but eventually I realized that it was much more than that. For all aspiring bloggers, it is crucial to stay inspired and keep the creativity flowing. Inspiration is what started me off and keeps me going on the daily. Now this can vary from blogger to blogger in terms of inspo whether that may be magazines, social media, other blogs, and so on. Just knowing what is trending and going on in the industry can also be a big help. Educate yourself in what you enjoy the most, work hard, and the success will soon follow behind.

3. Check your surroundings...so you know those people who are like questioning your future goals? Yeah, please tell them to exit your life. Not to be harsh or anything, but negative energy is getting you nowhere. In that case anyone who wants the best for you and stands as your motivational support deserves to stick around. Now besides negative people, there are negative self-inflicting thoughts that can hold you back too. Battling your fears sounds difficult and it is a challenge, but the outcome is as heavenly as a pair of fresh Louboutins. Once you reach a state of complete positivity, reinforce it by doing things to keep you in a good mindset like helping others reach their goals, meditation, reading positive reflection books, and the list goes on.

4. Trick yourself into staying on track...keeping you eyes on the prize isn't always simple. It is super easy to get stressed out when thinking about time and deadlines to reach a goal. Stop worrying about what other's think or expect you to do and make your own decisions. Knowing exactly why you want to reach a goal is crucial, so make sure that your reason is for your personal self-fulfillment. It's your life, remember that. Break up goals into long-term and short-term to make certain things more realistic. Also, the rewarding system will always work no matter what, so treat yo self.  

5. Que sera sera...alright, I'm not trying to be your zen mediation life-coach, or whatever, but ultimately whatever will be will be. The only thing we can do is turn problems into exciting challenges and become a #GirlBoss. Things just work in mysterious ways and that is the beauty of life. There are many opportunities that will appear out of nowhere that was't written in that gameplan and it can sidetrack you for the better. Be adventurous, explore, and you are bound to grow as a blogger.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Heaven Skincare

There is nothing better than that glorious feeling when you wake up actually feeling like you stepped out of one of those skincare commercials because you are literally glowing on a Beyoncé level. I'm really not a believer of ads pawning "just buy this creme and you will look flawless in days..plus a money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied. Then you aren't satisfied and you probably aren't getting a refund anyway. Just sayin'. That's why I rather focus on the foundation (no, I do not mean buying the latest foundation at Sephora) of the matter - skincare. 

I've never truly dealt with acne or anything, but obviously teenage skin is annoying and everything is trial and error. I've always used sensitive skin products just because I never reacted harsh to any of them and if it ain't broke don't fix it (especially dealing with skin). The warmer the weather gets, the lazier I get in the makeup department because who has time for that when you could be laying on a beach.

The holy grail product that I've been introduced to is Heaven Skincare Clarifying Serum which is known to be "the secret to an airbrushed skin tone". I received this to review and now I'm hooked. I never used serums before because I figured if you have the unruly oily/dry combo skin, serum was no use. Clearly, I was completely wrong. The application isn't even a 1-2-3 process, it is just one step being apply to a clean face..now you can all drop the lazy excuse. I was nervous my first application because it goes like an oil, but then it quickly began to soak in resembling a moisturizer. I use it at night after cleansing and in the morning I am left with that call me Gigi Hadid natural glow with the smoothness to go with it. 

I always lean toward products with vitamins, which this one is packed with, but this is the first time I actually saw a product with loads of nutrients have visible results. I have horrible allergies (part of my love/hate thing with mother nature) causing easy bruising around nose because I am constantly blowing my nose leaving the area super dry. It's not super noticeable, but since I started with the serum the entire area has improved so much with a lot less redness. Since it is lightweight and super hydrating it can easily substitute for a moisturizer making it the perfect summer product. Highly recommending this to anyone wanting to amp up their skin and rid those imperfections.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Silver Needle Runway 2016

Last Friday night I was at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center where for the 30th annual year, Marist College Fashion presented the Silver Needle Runway Show. To begin can I just say how blown away I was with the show production. Running an event all comes down to the details as lighting, sound, seating, great staff, and so on. In my past three years of attending I am still beyond impressed with the show to the point where it has to be on the same scale as NYFW, if not surpassing that. Literal fashion heaven.

The Silver Needle Runway Show & Awards takes the attendees on a fashion experience showcasing what comes out of four-years of development and rigorous study in becoming a designer or merchandiser. The focus shined upon the thirteen senior designers and their individual collections. A few sophomores and juniors also had the opportunity to present which was pretty cool because I can't wait to see their masterpieces in years to come.

Everything strutted down the runway had such a fresh appeal keeping me glued the entire time. Clean silhouettes, tropical influences, ruffles, minimalism, detailed knits. Every designer was so uniquely identifiable showing their technique and personal story. A similar concept among them all was the overall ready-to-wear accessibility. Personally, I could picture styling outfits with many of the pieces worn. At the end of the show the awards were announced and winner of Best Collection went to the amazing, Renee Pedigo. I had the special honor to interview Renee when I was on campus checking out what goes on in studio a few weeks before the show. Her line was so impressive with beautiful knits and creative construction. Seriously well deserved! Huge congratulations to the graduating class and lots of luck, but clearly with their amount of talent they have nothing to worry about!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

No-Dry Mani with DinkiBelle

Basically because I can't sit still and I multi-task everything polishing my own nails is a completely impossible task. In the spirit of Audrey Hepburn I should probably say, "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'". That's cute and all, but my nails will end up ridiculously smudged resembling a three year old that got loose on her mother's vanity table. Ding, ding, ding! Obviously just go to the nail salon. Alright, the nail ladies at my salon know me by name and I'm always that client with exact pictures of what I want. Then I leave with long-lasting nails, but the cost is so unnecessary when you go every single week.

  Better solution=nail wraps. I've used these in the past from different brands and then stopped using them for no reason. We've now been reaquainted again thanks to DinkiBelle who sent me a pack to try. DinkiBelle is a nail wrap brand saving your wallet and the condition of your nails. Damage be gone! The wraps easily stick to natural nails and the pack has 20 strips of different sizes. Once stuck the ends are filed down and peeled to remove the excess. They are made without all of those nasty chemicals contained in many other nail products which totally got me thinking about those bottles in the nail salons that are simply labeled "liquid" and you will never know what that is code for. 

I sealed the strips with a top coat to get extra wear and they've been going strong for almost a week with the package saying lasts up to two weeks. Clearly the best part is that they look super adorable. This is in the shade "Pastel Princess" and the colors are my obsession. It has spots of periwinkle instantly making this design a 10 for me because periwinkle has my heart.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Specs for Days

Peep the new glasses, well I doubt that because eyes always go to puppies first (just continue reading, you will see what I mean). I found it just a little hard to believe that the photographer didn't realize that she was sitting there the whole time. Before I completely forget what the purpose of this post is and begin ranting about life, I'm gonna hop back on track! I'm sure you have already noticed my mad addiction with only buying prescription glasses from Firmoo after explaining why I really dislike buying them from the eye doctor a while ago. Long story short, the ladies at my old eye doctor were as annoying as the department store perfume girl spritzing you with the latest spring scent when you already said "no thanks". This led me to begin getting glasses at my own leisure online as I eat macarons and watch Gossip Girl reruns. The sprinkles on the cake is that Firmoo prescription glasses are all under $39 with free shipping, so I can use the money I would have spent buying super expensive glasses on expensive food instead. Clearly, these are the types of things I think about. Yes, the word "clearly" was a glasses pun...it just wasn't as funny as it sounded in my head. 

This is my third pair of glasses from Firmoo and once again I am actually very pleased, and I'm extremely picky with frames. First of all they are durable which is a must for my klutzy life. I need to have that type of trust where I know my glasses can sustain a fall just as well as my iPhone in it's Lifeproof case versus the cringing as you pray to the Heavens that nothing cracked. Luckily, these frames itself have weight to them making them really sturdy. Also the package comes along with all of the extras including the case, pouch, cleaning cloth, and screwdriver, which I'm not sure if anyone ever gets to using? At least I haven't broken things to that extent yet.

I've been alternating from pair to pair depending on the mood of the day, you know. This pair is the trendiest of them all in my opinion so it has a special place in my heart, or should I say on my vanity? What's your favorite method of getting new glasses? If you haven't been to Firmoo yet, I would totally suggest that you should give it a shot because they give you the option to upload a selfie and virtually try-on the glasses, so there is the solution to the "will they look good on me?" Plus, I've always gotcha, so here is a special link to receive 15% off your purchase.

If that's not good enough and you want FREE glasses, you can use the promo "OMNI" and you will be able to pick any glasses from here for free. You only have to pay the cost of shipping which is such a deal. This is only available to the first five users and it expires June 4th, 2016. Ready, set, shop!
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