Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Birthday Wish List

My birthday is on Saturday so I decided to throw together my idea of the perfect party outfit! Most of these pieces are over-the-top expensive but sometimes it's just fun to dream :)


I love the back of this Alice + Olivia dress! The color is beautiful and makes the dress a little flashy without being over the top. This would be perfect for a birthday cocktail party with my best friends!

The perfect party dress would, of course, need the perfect pair of shoes and no one does shoes better than Jimmy Choo. I love the shoes in the picture with the dress but I hate being so monochromatic! Sometimes it's alright, but I like this strappy black pair better and ultimately, I feel like they would go with more (in the ideal world where I actually own them).

My jewelry tastes tend to be simple so I chose this Stella & Dot ring and these Kendra Scott earrings. I generally prefer gold jewelry but this dress is kind of an odd color and leans a little more towards silver so I think these would be perfect!
One place I love to splurge when it comes to jewelry is on my wrist and I love love love this Chanel watch! I've had my eye on this beauty for years and I would be happy to never buy another piece of jewelry again if I could get one of these. Dramatic statement? Maybe, but that's okay ;)

A little double Chanel never hurt anyone and I think this clutch would be the perfect place to store all of my girly necessities for the evening!

Well I may never own this outfit but I love it regardless! I'm actually kind of looking forward to turning another year older on Saturday. I'll be spending my birthday at the Texas Style Council Blogger Conference so the day should be fun and will hopefully be spent with lots of new friends!

Monday, July 29, 2013

On Travel

I love to travel. I don't get to do it nearly as often as I'd like, nor do I get to go all of the places I wish, but I love the experience no matter where it takes me! Recently, my friend Heather emailed me a Buzzfeed article called "10 Trips you NEED To Take In Your Twenties" that was, for the most part, pretty spot on. I've already had the travel itch since, ohh about a week after I got back from the Pacific Northwest but seeing that list made it ten times worse! Heather and I immediately started discussing all of the places we need/want to go, which even spurred me on to map out my dream road trip:

Doesn't that look amazing? Almost 6,000 miles total and 83 hours of driving time. Unfortunately, I don't currently have the time or money for such a lengthy road trip, but I hope that it will happen someday. For now Heather and I have been discussing the possibility of a Grand Canyon road trip that would only be about a week and way more doable!

One trip that the list mentioned was to travel around Europe on the Eurorail, "preferably alone." As a girl, I think that sounds like a horrible idea. Maybe I'm worrying too much, or maybe I've seen Taken too many times but I can only imagine the worst happening. Also, I'm a very social creature and get bored by myself so spending that much time alone doesn't sound appealing. All that being said, I would love to go on a small vacation by myself eventually. However, I would most likely stay within the country or go to a tropical island as opposed to a full-blown Europe tour. The thought has kind of been in my head since Heather and I met our new friend Roberto in Vancouver and he told us that he spent 15 days in the Canary Islands by himself and loved it. I think it sounds like something everyone should do at some point. Here are a few places I would be open to visiting by my lonesome:

1. The Virgin Islands

I would be happy to visit either the U.S. Virgin Islands or British, not too picky over here! I feel like somewhere tropical would be the best option for going alone since people are generally more friendly and I would be more than happy to just lay on the beach solo for a few days.

2. San Francisco

I've been obsessed with the idea of going to San Francisco for the past couple of years but I have yet to find anyone to go with. SF just seems so laid back, I think it could be perfect for a quickie trip alone!

3. London

Okay, so I think this is the least realistic of my three choices, but the whole point is to challenge myself and go out of my comfort zone! London obviously doesn't fall under my aforementioned U.S. or tropical island criteria but I've been an anglophile since I was a child and I'm DYING to get to the UK. I'm sure London is probably best explored with a travel companion, but who knows, maybe I'd make some friends along the way!

Clearly I love daydreaming about traveling and planning trips almost as much as the act itself, which works out since most of the places I want to visit are a little out of my reach right now. Lately I've been getting in to planning my New England trip in November and that has helped my travel appetite a little bit. I think half the fun of going somewhere is the months of anticipation and planning anyway! I'm curious, would you every go on a trip alone? If so, where would you go?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Budget Beauty

I think we've established that I'm obsessed with all things beauty. Whether it's makeup, skincare, hair products or lotion, I love it all, and for the most part I'm kind of (definitely) a product snob. For some reason, though, this has never extended to face washes and/or scrubs. I've had the same routine for years, which was to wash my makeup off nightly with an Olay Daily Facial and use a Clean & Clear face wash and St. Ives face scrub in the shower. It worked but I wanted to try something new. I have pretty sensitive skin that, I guess, would be considered combination/oily, with an emphasis on oily. Since the smallest change can make me breakout, I stick with drugstore products when I'm looking to switch up my routine so that I'm not just wasting money.

I went to Target a few weeks ago and stocked up on some new products that so far, I've enjoyed using.

Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask,  Que Bella purifying mud mask and detoxifying mud mask

I love masks and I couldn't resist purchasing all three of these. The Botanics mask is great to use regularly and was under $10. The two mud masks came in at $2 each and it seems like you can get two uses out of them, assuming the mask doesn't dry up. I've tried the clay mask and purifying mask and I'm really happy with both!

When I saw the price tag of just $5 on this scrub I decided to give it a try and so far it's been great. I've only used it as a scrub every other day but I'll have to try it out as a mask too. I was using St. Ives before and didn't have a real reason to switch so I'm undecided on whether or not I would purchase this again. Maybe a few more weeks of use will help.

This was definitely the biggest change and the only one that I was a little apprehensive about but it has worked better than I was expecting. The balm rubs into your face as an oil then you use a hot cloth to wipe off the oil and your makeup. It actually comes with a muslin cloth but I thought a regular old face cloth worked better. In all honesty, I think I could have picked a better time to try this out since my already oily skin only gets worse during humid Houston summers but I've still been pretty happy. I realized that this is really similar to how my friend Heather washes her face, using a mixture of olive oil and castor oil. I'm thinking about trying that next since it's a little more natural, although since this balm was only $8 I certainly wasn't breaking the bank.

After all that, I'd say I would for sure purchase all three masks again but I'm undecided on the scrub and cleansing balm. The scrub has some tough competition with St. Ives apricot scrub, which is really a great product. The balm, on the other hand, would probably be a little better for me in the winter when the air is dryer. Have you tried any of these products? What are some of your favorite drug store beauty buys?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Neon Vibes


jacket & skirt: Gap here & here, tank & necklace: J. Crew, shoes: Jessica Simpson, jewelry: Michael Kors, ring: Kendra Scott

I've been a lazy blogger lately but I'm back with a pretty new outfit post, so hopefully you can forgive me! I don't know how some of the fashion bloggers I follow find time to get photos nearly every day but I applaud them for it. Between the never ending rain last week and just being busier than usual, Sarah and I had a hard time getting together but it was totally worth it when we got the chance. Plus I scored an excellent haul last weekend at Gap's massive sale and I couldn't resist sharing! I've had my eye on that denim jacket for a while and I'm so glad I waited since the sale price came in at $20. I also bought the neon coral skirt on the cheap. I don't always bother with sales, generally if I want something bad enough I just buy it, but when I find a good sale I will take full advantage! I've wanted to sneak those Jessica Simpson wedges into a post for a while now and finally got my chance. I never thought I'd buy a pair of her shoes since most of them are way too tall (or ugly) for me but these wedges are really comfortable and a perfect height. They're not too summery either so they'll easily carry into the fall as well.

I had originally intended to wear an outfit similar to this one on a date Saturday night but changed my mind at the last minute and I was glad. I went to roller derby for the first time and it was a) pretty awesome and b) really cold. Pants were the right choice and I think I looked a little edgier (think being the operative word). I was really mad at myself for not bringing my DSLR since I had planned to then kind of forgot because I wasn't sure I'd be allowed to bring it in. Turns out I totally could have but oh well, I snapped a few pictures with my phone and had a grand old time anyway! The derby girls were pretty intense and I kind of wished I could try it out, that being said, there's a reason I never played contact sports growing up. Anyway, it was a super cheap and fun way to spend a Saturday night, I'm already planning to go again next month! 

I know it's only Wednesday but I'm already really looking forward to this weekend. My girlfriend from Dallas, Diana, will be coming in town for some pre bday celebrating and we'll be taking over Houston! I'm super excited for all the BFF time (Heather and Sarah will be joining as well) and because a night out in Houston never disappoints. More on that next week though ;) Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Instagram Catchup

It's been about a month since my last Instagram catchup so I thought I'd bring you another! Bonus: stick around till the end and I'll give you a little playlist curated by moi (duh).

Today I booked a flight to visit my oldest friend, Jade, in Connecticut for Thanksgiving! We've known each other since we were about two years old and we have the kind of friendship where no matter how long we don't see each other, we can always pick up right where we left off. Jade has been attending grad school in Connecticut and is graduating in May so I couldn't miss an opportunity to visit her up there! This will be my first trip to New England and we're hoping to squeeze in at least a quick day trip to NYC since it's only two hours away. Let the four month countdown begin!

I'm also super excited for the Texas Style Council blogger conference coming up in a couple of weeks! 

Some silliness at the Dynamo game with Sammy.

Homemade body scrub using coconut oil, sugar and a little bit of honey.

Enjoying the view at Lake Woodlands

I had my first Top Golf experience last week, which also happened to be my first real golf experience ever. It was fun but let's just say I didn't discover a hidden talent ;)

So. Good. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby then you should go buy these right now. Seriously.

Pool day at Casa de Lizzy on Lake Conroe with Sammy and her adorable daughter Lilly. Such a pretty view and great company!

Last night my parents and I thoroughly enjoyed The Woodlands Pavilion's free concert, Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. We got free ice cream and spent the evening watching cartoons accompanied by the Houston Symphony, what more could you ask for in life? Oh, and it was a breezy 75 degrees instead of the usual 95! A truly perfect evening.

Here's a playlist for no other reason than I've been enjoying discovering some new favorite songs and artists with my free XM subscription:
1. Franz Ferdinand - Right Action
2. Bastille - Pompeii
3. Lorde - Royals
4. Avicii - Wake Me Up
5. Vampire Weekend - Diane Young
6. Fitz and the Tantrums - Out Of My League
7. Passion Pit - Carried Away
8. The Mowgli's - San Francisco
9. AWOLNATION - This Kids Not Alright
10. Daft Punk ft. Panda Bear - Doin It Right

I hope you enjoy some of those, I love finding new things to listen to so please comment with your current faves! Feel free to follow me on Instagram @emmersg if you don't already :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Monthly Mail Surprise

It's my favorite time of the month: Birchbox time! I love getting my Birchbox because a) I almost never get mail and b) it's chock full of new makeup goodies. This month's box was probably the best I've ever received so, without further ado, here are the contents:

Ohhh looks good so far!

Benefit Hello Flawless Brightening Makeup

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (in purple)

Marcelle BB Cream/Illuminator
Kerastase Fondant Chroma Captive Treat and a couple of cute Birchbox bobby pins

I've been feeling like my hair and makeup routine has grown a little stale so I'm looking forward to all this new stuff to try. The sizes are perfect to get an idea of whether or not the product will work for me and if it's worth a purchase. I'm really excited for everything in this box but especially for the hair products. I've used Kerastase before and you really can't go wrong with anything in their line. And those bobby pins? I die! I'm all about pinning my hair back and these will be perfect for changing up my look a little. I'll have to review everything over the next couple of weeks and let you guys know what I think!

If you're a beauty junkie like me, or just enjoy trying out new beauty products, Birchbox is totally worth the money. Bonus: you can even buy subscriptions for beauty-obsessed friends as gifts! If any of my readers are Birchbox subscribers I'd love to know what you received in your box this month. What are you most looking forward to trying out?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here Comes The Sun

shorts: c/o James Jeans, top: Francesca's, sunnies: Marc by Marc Jacobs, ring: Kendra Scott, watch: Michele

Remember how I mentioned I won a pair of shorts from James Jeans? Well these are the shorts and I absolutely love them! The color is great because they're dark enough that I can dress up a more casual top but still be comfortable and cool for summer. They can also be cuffed up if you're feeling like going a little shorter. I won these simply by participating in one of James Jeans' Instagram contests so if you're interested, go follow them! They do a great job of showcasing their beautiful denim and give tons of outfit inspiration pictures. Also, I'm sure this wasn't their last contest ;)

Sarah took these photos after our brunch date Saturday morning at Lake Woodlands. We had an excellent time wandering around amongst the massive houses and enjoying the view of the lake. I loved this top too. It was probably in the lower 90's while we were out but there was a nice breeze to go along with my semi-backless top that kept me a little more comfortable. Since Sarah and I didn't have time to go kayaking on Saturday (even though we both wanted to just jump right in the water!) we decided to go this Sunday. I'm glad we're finding so many ways to enjoy this pretty little city!

A semi-backless top, comfortable pair of shorts, dark shades and lots of sun make a pretty perfect summer day, in my opinion. What's your perfect summer day? Do you prefer shorts or sundresses?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Que Sera, Sera

Have you ever had one of those days where you can't keep up with your thoughts and you just feel uneasy and stressed for no real reason? Well that was my day. I called my friend, Heather, at lunch and we both started venting about all of our little problems and agreeing how much being in our early 20's sucks. Surely we couldn't be the only two under-25-year-olds that feel that way?! All I could think about today were things totally out of my control and it was beyond frustrating. Lucky for me, I have some great friends that will listen to me vent and share my frustrations and an awesome, supportive family. Thanks to both of them, I know that, ultimately, everything will be just fine and life will go on. I would also like to thank my Words To Live By Pinterest board for some lovely quotes that have kept me going today and put a little smile on my face :)

Now I'd say it's time to relax with a glass of wine and forget about today's worries. Tomorrow is a new day and I bet by the time I wake up, I'll have forgotten all this silliness!