Bangles- Alex and Ani

Delicate, sweet and classy. The jewelry collection at Alex and Ani is an American made brand, eco-conscience, and fabulous! For my birthday my aunt and uncle bought me the Fortune’s Bliss Sweet Pea Charm bangle.  The expandable bangle features a beautiful sweet pea flower and can be purchased in either yellow gold or shiny silver finish. Each piece of jewelry is intended to deliver positive energy to the wearer. The charms have special messages and can be purchased specifically for their meanings like beauty, success, and originality. My Sweet Pea bangle stands for bliss, nostalgia, and endearing. The bangle collection can be stacked, worn casually or with a more fancy look.

Alex and Ani Sweet Pea bracelet

Alex and Ani Sweet Pea bangle

Alex and Ani bracelet

 

 

Makeovers that make a difference

Makeovers are not just about trying a new lipstick shade or changing the same old blush that you have been wearing for years. Makeup can improve your overall being- the way you carry yourself, the way you feel, your confidence. Even on days when you are not leaving the house, it is important to pamper yourself. Wake up and go through the daily routine.

I was recently introduced to two wonderful organizations. Goodshop, an online coupons company. Through Goodshop, customers can shop online at over 2,800 participating stores and a percentage will be donated to a cause of their choice at no cost to the customer! Last year over 100,000 non-profits and schools were supported and a whopping $9 million was raised.

Goodshop is now partnering with GlamourGals, a non-profit which uses make-up and beauty to connect with women living in Senior homes. College and high school young ladies visit  women in senior homes and give them a makeover! I can say from personal experience that this is a wonderful idea. I volunteered at a local nursing home for five years, every Saturday, simply serving coffee and cookies to the residents. It proved to be an invaluable opportunity for both myself and the residence. The seniors are able to reminisce and share their stories while the younger generations are able to share the new experiences pertinent in their lives. In some cases individuals living in senior homes or nursing homes tragically do not get many visitors and it is so important to keep their minds stimulated and reach out to show that we as a younger generation care about them.

Every year GlamourGals offers scholarships to both high school and college students that participate in this makeover program. This year thanks to the Women Helping Others Foundation, GlamourGals is able to award four $1,000 college scholarships to the GlamourGals chapter leaders. Carly Roman, of The University of Pennsylvania chapter  will be awarded a $500 scholarship as well as a $500 donation to her Philadelphia chapter. Carly will be presented these fabulous awards at the 2015 Glammy’s, an event complete with a pink carpet to celebrate young women creating a positive impact within their communities. The Glammy’s ceremony will be held at the JW Marriott Essex House at 160 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019 on May 30th from 11 am to 3pm.

If you are unable to attend this event please signup on Goodshop and select GlamourGals Foundation to raise donations. There are also incredible deals at stores including Lands’ End, Adidas, and Shutterfly.

GlamourGals Foundation

GlamourGals Foundation

Maxi dresses for summer

I love maxi dresses! They look good on all figures. If you are short, wear a higher heel and make sure you choose one with a cinched waistline so you are not swimming in the dress. If you are tall wear embellished flat sandals. Maxi’s are incredibly flattering, cool and airy for the summer, and a classic style.

My entire look today is completely cost efficient. It is a budget look from head to toe. I purchased several maxi dresses including this green one from Walmart. The dresses available are beautiful and the quality is very lovely. My retro chunk heel sandals are a pair of Candie’s that I purchased at Kohl’s. They are extremely comfortable- only $32 and vegan!

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Ashley

 

 

 

 

Candy bar

I noticed a new line of vegan candy bars in Wegmans the other day and for whatever reason decided against buying one. I think it had something to do with trying not to eat all of my daily calories in chocolate. However, that feeling did not last long because when I returned to my house I could not stop thinking about the candy. After an internal fight with myself, I caved and decided to make the candy.

Basically this is a recipe for a homemade, vegan crunch bar, using toasted quinoa instead of puffed rice. Quinoa adds protein to the bar. This would be the perfect portable snack to bring to a barbecue this Memorial Day weekend.

Ingredients:

1 cup of Enjoy Life chocolate chunks

1/2 cup of quinoa

How to:

Toast the quinoa in a pan until you can smell their aroma..about 2 minutes. Make sure to stir to avoid burning.

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl then add the toasted quinoa, mixing by hand, until the quinoa and chocolate are totally incorporated.

Pour the mixture onto parchment paper and smooth. Place in the fridge overnight or until the candy is completely solid.

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Remove, break into shards, and enjoy the toasty, crunchy, chocolaty vegan, gluten, and nut free candy!

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Swimsuit season- Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching and if you are not barbecuing and you live in or near Philadelphia, chances are, you will be at the shore. Bathing suits are on my mind. Not just any suit, but ones that are flattering. I want to feel my best and confident during the most skin -tastic time of year. Here is a tip. Wear what looks best on you. This is definitely one of those occasions when “trendy” is not for everyone. Use the well known tricks to avoid accentuating whatever area makes you self conscience. For instance- look for a ruffled top if you are small chested. Try a one piece with blousing detail on the waist or intricate print on the top if you want to hide your stomach. AND please do not forget to wear sunscreen! Seriously, you will still get a tan, but avoid the dangerous rays at the same time. Shiseido has a variety of sunscreens including one specifically for the face, which is gentle and effective.

Now for my top swimsuit picks:

A beautiful geranium colored one-piece with bow detail around the bust by Kate Spade. This fiery red suit is strapless and a show stopper. Available at Nordstrom.

Mix and Match from Victoria’s Secret. Create your own bikini from bandeau tops to ruffled cheeky bottoms with prints and solid colors available.

Swimsuits for All offers an incredible selection for curvy ladies. One of my favorites is the athletic scuba two-piece with fishnet detail and high waisted bottom. I love the blue and black combo as well.

Leopard is certainly a bold print option for those who want to stand out. Shoshanna offers a classic halter top with a high waisted retro bottom swimsuit.

 

Kinky Boots on Mother’s Day

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Last weekend was Mother’s Day and what better way to spend it than to take Mom to see a risque musical?! One of our favorite films is Kinky Boots based on a true story (and book) of a man trying to save his father’s shoe factory. Kinky Boots was turned into a play featuring all new original music by the one and only Cyndi Lauper.

I will not spoil the show for you. All I can say is it is worth seeing! High energy, lovely message, amazing music, wonderful performances, and the costumes were fabulous. I was able to see this beautiful show at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia from the Kinky Boots tour. This weekend was sadly the last in Philly, but tickets are still available for Broadway.

I wore an all black jumpsuit that I bought for a steal at the Ann Taylor Philadelphia Premium Outlets with a pair of Vera Wang platforms from Kohl’s, similar here.

For my makeup, I wanted to create a berry kissed look. I am wearing the lightest shade in the Mineral Fusion eyeshadow trio from the Density palette. This gorgeous peachy bone shade is long lasting and crease free, with age defying ingredients like pomegranate and white tea. For my cheeks, I wanted a flushed stained look. I chose the Mineral Fusion 3 in 1 color stick in Berry Glow. I applied a small amount with my fingertips and kept on building the color. The consistency is smooth and creamy, incredibly lightweight, and easy to blend. As with all of the cosmetics from this line, it is talc, paraben, gluten, and cruelty free!

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Wearing Mineral Fusion 3 in 1 color stick on cheeks in Berry Glow with NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen

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Red nails and peplum

This past weekend was definite spring weather, warm, sunny, and blue skies. Friday night I attended a party with some of my old friends and decided to keep it cool and comfy. I wore a quilted peplum cream top from H&M with a pair of boyfriend jeans from the Gap, (similar here) and a new pair of slip on sneakers from Steve Madden.

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Wearing NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Skorpios.

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Ashley

peplum

I must mention my nails though. I am wearing a gorgeous red shade, Crimson Clay from Mineral Fusion. The polish is chip resistant and glides on perfectly, it evenly coated each nail and remained glossy even after it dried.

MineralFusion

Mineral Fusion is a natural cosmetic and personal care brand that is eco-friendly, 100% vegetarian and most products are 100% vegan as well. This gluten and paraben free beauty line is sold at Whole Foods and is offering an excellent special. Now until May 25th the Cherry Hill Whole Foods Market (1632 Kings Hwy North Ellisburg Shopping Ctr Cherry Hill, NJ 08034) is offering a whopping 40% off of all of the products as well as complimentary makeovers!

 

Plaid full skirt

424Fifth

Attending the Philadelphia University 2015 Annual Fashion Show required a new outfit- obviously. Every time I browsed the Lord and Taylor website I kept stopping at this one particular skirt. I hesitated though to order on line because I was unsure of the sizing. I never purchased anything from the 424 Fifth collection. I decided to take a chance and just visit the store. I arrived early at the King of Prussia mall and b lined it for Lord and Taylor in search of this plaid, full, midi skirt. I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, I found the skirt, tried it on, and loved it! The problem now was finding the right top. When one part of the look is so perfect you don’t want to detract from it. After scouring the mall, I ended up back at Lord and Taylor and there it was, a top that called my name. A layered, ruffled short sleeved top from Ivanka Trump. Thankfully, I already had the right shoes. A pair of platform heels from Nine West that I featured in a previous post.

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Zoe Kravitz 2015 Met Ball Gala

Zoe Kravitz looked flawless at last night’s Met Gala, wearing a sheer halter Alexander Wang dress.

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Her makeup look was created by NARS makeup artist, Renee Garnes who was inspired by Tina Turner’s character in the movie Mad Max.

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Zoe’s makeup is slightly sculpted in a nude palette. Renee applied Luminous Weightless Foundation and Dual Intensity Blush in Craving to give a subtle bronzed appearance.

NARS

Emily Blunt 2015 Met Ball Gala

Emily Blunt wore a stunning blue modified mandarin gown with an embroidered royal blue cape by Prada.

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Jenn Streicher NARS Cosmetics makeup artist wanted Emily to look radiant with minimum makeup and applied NARS luminous weightless foundation. The standout, however is the lipstick shade that Jenn chose, a rich berry from the audacious collection.

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