December 13, 2017

Fairest of Them All

 Recently I joined my friend Ashley on a trip to Indiana. Aside from a few conferences in Chicago and Cincinnati, I've never really been in the Midwest. Although, given the fact that they say "pop" in Buffalo (that's a NOPE from me), you could probably argue that Western New York is borderline Midwest. This was my first time exploring the "real" Midwest and leaving the city. I flew into Midway Airport and took the South Shore line to the Indiana Dune region of Indiana. I was surprised to find it was only a short one hour train ride away!

Given that both of us work in the field of history professionally, and Ashley being an actual historian (albeit European), one of our first stops was the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm. True Confession: When I was in elementary school, I dressed up as a frontiers person and was part of the living museum aspect at the Saratoga National Battlefield. I use to make corn fritters and old fashioned soap over a campfire.  Ha, I know, how could someone be so cool at such a young age?! I tell you, it's a question I ask myself every day! Needless to say, this trip was right up my alley.

I kept warning Ashley that she should prepare herself for the weather - lots of snow, biting cold, terrible wind, etc. The last time we took a winter trip (okay, it was March, which is technically spring) it was to conference in Boston and she didn't even bring a scarf or hat! Well, I had to eat my words because we visited during what was quite the warm spell for Indiana! Aside from some frosty mornings, every day was in the 50s, so I was able to wear this colorful fair isle sweater and adorable flounced velvet skirt with  dot stockings and my Hunter boots with liners (L.L. Bean makes a silver fur version - and they make my coat, here is a version without fur!) and be toasty warm! I don't go anywhere without ear muffs or a hat, so I wore my favorite Kate Spade ear muffs from last year. I am so excited they have an updated version of these, because satin bow is so cute. This year I'm really loving these pearl ear muffs! Have you come across any adorable ear muffs lately? Oh, last but not least, my favorite KJP bracelet. The simple style and gold are truly classic!

I really loved this fair isle sweater! I have never seen such a colorful sweater in such a traditional pattern. Plus it has these super sweet buttons down the back! I have to say, I've been pretty impressed with Talbots this year. If you saw my previous Winter Wishlist, you'll notice I'm a fan of their winter and holiday collection! Also, I think we can all agree that last photo is definitely the best.

December 6, 2017

Winter Skincare Picks

Well, I don't know what it was like where you live, but for me, fall lasted approximately one week before Mother Nature dove head first into winter. As soon as we put the heater on (October for us), my skin started to dry up like a raisin. I went from having smooth, balanced skin to having patchy, flaky skin. No good, my friends, no good at all. Especially under makeup, gross.

It's not unusual to need to revamp your skincare routine, either because of changing skin needs (hormones, medications, etc) or because of changing environment (dry, sunny, windy, etc). In my case, with my history of acne and my various medications, I have super dry skin, plus I have the addition of additives (like tretinoin and AHA) so I need a lot of hydration. I just started used Skin Food Truffle Age Defying Cream and I have to say, so far I'm a fan. It provides a lot of hydration in one step, saving me quite a bit of time. So far I've been using it at night, and I'm thinking of getting one of the lighter formulations for day time. It also happens to have the cutest pink packaging, but that's neither here nor there.

First and foremost, I use a cool mist humidifier in my bedroom. It's pretty sizable (and unsightly) and I mainly use it for my insane allergies, but it has the added benefit of also helping my skin and eyes stay moisturized. Definitely look into having one in your bedroom, there are many cute options for your nightstand.

Second, although this looks like A LOT of steps, you'll notice I don't do every one every day. Also, I occasionally skip some steps if I'm in a rush. The thing that takes the longest is waiting 10-20 minutes after applying my acids (AHAs and BHAs) to apply other items. Honestly, most of the time I don't wait as long as perhaps I should.


About once a week, usually on a weekend night, I use Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine, which is pretty amazing, after cleaning and a Tony Moly mask before applying my final moisturizer. In all honesty, I don't really need to use the Neogen Gauze because I am using so many chemical exfoliants, but I just love physical exfoliation. I don't know what it is. It just makes me feel like I've gotten all the dirt and crap out of my skin! Because I'm taking so much out of my skin, I always follow up with a hydrating sheet mask and then my final step.

So that's it right now! I know it looks like a lot, but honestly, it takes me less than 10 minutes in the morning. The additives and acids add a little time, but not that much. The thing that takes the longest amount of time is the mask, which I leave on for 20-30 minutes...and for that reason, it's usually just something I do on a weekend, although I'm trying to make time to do it midweek, too.

December 1, 2017

Winter Wishlist

Winter is finally upon us! Kind of. It's actually unusually warm in Buffalo right now, and I can't say I'm complaining. But today is December first and I'm charging ahead with holiday spirit and festive cheer, regardless of the temperature. All I need is a little dusting of snow and my dreams of a White Christmas will be complete. So many brands have put out adorable clothes for the winter and holiday season, and here are a few of my favorites. A few of them I've already picked up and the rest are high up on my Christmas list!

ABOVE (clockwise): Joules Evedon Rain Boot; Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Tryst; Kate Spade Minnie Mouse Maise;  Printed Leather Wallet; Edison Plaid Pom Pom Flats; Ted Baker Card Case with Robot Chain; Limited Edition Gold Mickey and Minnie Tsum Tsum Lip Smacker.

I don't want to go overboard, but I have found SO many cute things lately that I *need* to share with someone, so it's probably going to be you and the vast void that is the internet. I feel like even from this little wishlist, it's easy to see that I definitely have a thing for cute shoes and accessories. Without a doubt, they are my achilles (ha, see what I did there!).

I've been working religiously on making smart wardrobe decisions, and part of that is making sure that each item of clothing and pair of shoes that I own is versatile and will work with at least three other items in my closet. I've found that outfit planning is really helpful in figuring this out, so expect to see lots of capsule collections and outfit remixes in the coming weeks.

November 27, 2017

Autumn Florals

Some people feel that floral prints are exclusively for summer, but I think they're fun to wear year round. I love this Moody Floral from Band of Gypsies. It's a delicate print, but the colors are perfect for fall and winter and the cut is incredibly flattering. Serious bonus points for being under $69 at Nordstrom.