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This & That: Links I’m Loving This Week

By at the office, blogs, fashion statements, food, hair care, lifestyle, links, lists, recipes, shopping, summer, this & that, weather, you might learn something 2 Comments

This & That Links 1

1. Is the warm weather finally here to stay? I hope so because Samantha’s glamorous resort-inspired look on her blog Could I Have That? is making me crave summer more than ever.

2. J.Crew’s new tropical print popover means people might think twice before poking fun at my Hawaiian shirt collection this year. (Also, these board shorts are almost identical the pair I wore the day I moved into my dorm room freshman year of college…shoulda saved those, too.)

3. One of my new year’s resolutions was to find ways to connect with other bloggers, so when I discovered the Virginia Bloggers community the other day, becoming a member was a no brainer. Looking forward to finding ways to network with this group.

4. I used one of these strawberry stem removers at my parents’ house last week. Brilliant. About to order one for myself as soon as I publish this post.

5. After being out of the office for a full nine days, I was relying on my noise-cancelling headphones to help me hunker down and get caught up at work this week. Unfortunately, they’re getting on in years and starting to fail me. Time for a new pair?

6. Emily’s new beachy waves tutorial was the first thing I saw when I woke up Tuesday morning, so I had to give it a try. I polished mine off with a little Bumble & bumble Surf Spray, and my wavy ‘do saw me all the way through to Wednesday night.

7. This collection of photos about an inseparable pair of twins who lead an identical life made me smile.

8. I’m the type of person who is always wondering, “What’s next? What’s next?” I often have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy where I’m at right now, so I’m in total agreement with these sentiments from Cara of The Champagne Diet: “You are exactly where you need to be.” (Image by Rui Molar.)

9. Looks like more rain for the next 24-48 hours as Tropical Storm Andrea makes her way northeast up the coast.

10. Getting a little bored with my gluten-free diet (yes, I’m still at it), so I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try over the weekend.

Just a few links from around the web that caught my eye this week. How about you? Find anything interesting online recently? Share a cool link in the comments!

A Few of my Favorite Things

By hair care, life-changing purchases, lifestyle, lists, shopping, skin care, style, wine, year in review 2 Comments


1. Shelley Kyle Tiramani Moisturizing Body Lotion. Love the way this lotion’s subtle scent reminds me of outdoor beach house showers in summer. Not sure why, but it does. I picked mine up at a local shop here in VB called Simply Selma’s. Love. =)

2. Hunter Huntress Rain Boot in Pillar Box Red. I actually purchased my Hunters at the end of 2011, but from snowy nights to soggy crab pickin’ parties, full-blown hurricanes to just plain rainy afternoons, these boots have certainly seen their fair share of puddles in 2012, and the rest of my shoes are certainly appreciative of that.

3. Longchamp ‘Le Pliage – Large’ Tote. I spent a lot of time this year looking for the perfect travel tote to pull triple duty as a carry-on, a purse, and a camera bag (in combination with my Ona Roma camera insert). I found this one in San Francisco, and it’s absolutely perfect.

4. Collecting seashells. It seems like I collected more shells along the water’s edge this year than I have since I was a kid. This particular handful came from the Florida coastline, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the soft, white sand in front of the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola.

5. St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body. Started using this tanner one right around Memorial Day weekend, and it kept me glowing all summer long. No streaks, lovely scent. Easily the best self-tanner I’ve tried.

6. Statement pearls. This necklace was a gift from my mom last Christmas, and it’s been an accessory in heavy rotation throughout 2012. This particular Stella & Dot ‘Sofia’ pearl bib necklace is no longer available, but the brand’s ‘Lucia’ necklace is pretty similar. This more affordable Forever21 Graduated Pearlescent Necklace is another one I wear all the time.

7. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil. This product is a game-changer. Just a teeny drop of this product works miracles in my hair.  As in, I can replace at least 16 other hair products with just this one. Go to Sephora. Ask for a sample. =)

8. Gap 1969 Always Skinny Jeans. I wore the hell out of these jeans this year. =) They’re comfy, flattering, and I love that they come in lengths.

9. Beach Cruiser #2 (aka 2012 Electra Cruiser 1 in Blue). I bought myself Beach Cruiser #2 this summer just because I had room for an extra bike. I still love my Electra Coaster 7D, but the gears/fenders are a little fussy, and the lower-maintenance single-speed is a bit more conducive to riding on gravel trails and hanging my beach chair on the handlebars. Besides, coaster brakes are sweet.

10. Tommy Bahama Medium Brim Scarf Hat. (seen on me here) This hat was a splurge, but I’ve got to say it was well worth the money I paid for it. It’s so secure on my head that I can wear while I’m riding my bike, which I love. It’s also very high quality and pretty flexible, which means I can lean back in my beach chair without it awkwardly moving around, looking ridiculous or losing it’s shape. All that, and it protects my skin, my blonde locks and my eyes from the sun. #lifesaver

11. Saint James Garde Cote II in Noir. If I had to choose the best article of clothing I acquired all year, it would be this shirt. 2012 was a year of quality over quantity for me, and this shirt is a perfect example. Instead of going overboard shopping during my annual summer trip to NYC, I kept the item count down and put my dollars towards this top. It’s constructed of a UV-protective fabric, so well-made, wrinkle-free and basically the most versatile shirt ever. I’ve worn it to the office, to the mall, to the airport, to dinner, to wineries, and everywhere in between. I’ve folded it, hung it up, washed it, packed it, and crumpled it up in a ball — it doesn’t lose its shape. I’ve worn it with skinnies/heels, boyfriend jeans/flats, skirts, blazers, sweaters, shorts…I even re-created my favorite J.Crew SS13 runway outfit with it (kind of). Maybe I need it in red stripes, too? =)

12. Chandon Blanc de Noirs. Easily the best wine I discovered on my trip to Napa Valley. It’s a delightful blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, and to be honest, my recent shipment from the winery included a bottle of this stuff the size of my torso, so it’s exactly what I’ll be ringing in the new year with. Don’t be surprised if this bubbly ends up on a list of 2013’s favorites, too. =)

Kung Pao Decision Making

By food, hair care, not ruling at life One Comment

I’ve been putting off my hair appointment for several weeks now. I think I’ve cancelled and rescheduled at least three times over the last four weeks, which isn’t exactly beneficial for my roots. The reason for my hesitation is that for the first time in several years, I can’t decide what I want to do with my hair. Do I want to add red lowlights? Chop a few inches off? Grow out the bangs?

My indecision is having a hazardous effect on my split-ends, so the time has come. I’m determined to keep my appointment on Saturday morning, and I’ve finally decided on the exact future length of my hair.

It appears I’ve been looking for haircut inspiration in all the wrong places because after all these weeks of waffling, the decision was made quite instantaneously over a styrofoam container of Kung Pao Chicken the other day. I was innocently enjoying my meal (at my desk) when a section of my hair fell forward from behind my shoulder and landed directly into a sticky pool of sauce in the open lid of my container. Yum.

I rushed to lick the sauce off  my hair blot my ends with a napkin and promptly secured my obviously-too-long layers into a bun with a Bic pen (a classy office look?).

As I finished up my lunch, I realized I forgot to grab a fortune cookie. Then I realized that my Chinese food had predicted my future after all. I took my hair down and made mental note of exactly how many inches of hair were rock-hard, stuck together and coated in Kung Pao Chicken sauce, then decisively stated out loud (since everyone cares), “I have finally figured out how short to cut my hair!” Yay.

In addition, I think I’ll opt for a few red lowlights because it just so happens that the color of my hair mixed with the reddish brown hue of Kung Pao Chicken sauce equals out to the approximate color of the red lowlights I got last time. Go figure.

In the meantime, I’ll be wearing my hair in a ponytail for all meals because I really don’t want to have to wash and blow-dry it again before Saturday morning.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’:  clumsy
And I’m singin’ along to: La donna è mobile – Placido Domingo

Acai vs. Argan — An End to My Quest

By don't waste the pretty, hair care, product reviews, shopping, skin care No Comments

I know you’ve been waiting patiently for the results of my body lotion comparison, so here it is. Like Brad Womack on The Bachelor: Season 11, I picked…neither! Here’s how it played out.

After I wrote my last entry, I went back to Sephora and slathered the tester of Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream all over my arms and legs. It felt kind of sticky at first, and I wasn’t sure if I liked the smell as much as I did the first time. However, after a few hours, my skin felt awesome. It continued to feel awesome the next day (even after I showered). I was impressed. My little sample bottles have arrived, but I haven’t used them yet. I’ve decided to save them for special occasions.

The Alba Botanica Acai Antioxidant Body Lotion arrived yesterday, and I quickly ripped it out of the package to try it out. As soon as I opened the box, it smelled extremely fruity. When I put it on, the scent was a little to strong for me, and I didn’t think what it did to my skin was very extraordinary. It was nice, but not as nice as the Fresh body cream. I was disappointed, but I think I’ll still use the bottle. You might like the Alba acai body lotion if you’re a fan of fruity scents, and lighter lotions. Alba is a great line — I love their Hawaiian line of products, and my boyfriend and I both use the Sea Moss Moisturizer with SPF 15 (for day) and the Sea Plus Renewal Creme (for night) from the Advanced line.

By now, you’re probably wondering why I chose neither. Let me start with hair products…

A few weeks ago, at the salon, my stylist used MoroccanOil on my hair for the first time. It smelled delicious! I was intrigued and Googled the product to find that the main ingredient is argan oil — an oil high in Vitamin E that Moroccans have been slathering on their hair and skin for thousands of years. Grown only in the Berber region of Morocco, the rare Argan tree is yields the magical nuts from which this legendary oil is made. Now, I don’t know about all that, but I certainly liked a.) the way it smelled in my hair, and b.) the way it made my hair feel. And we all know what happens when Lisa experiences silky smooth, fragrant tresses. I have to buy! I ordered a travel-size bottle from

Now, back to body lotions. I ventured into Bath & Body Works today looking for hand sanitizer. (You know there’s a swine flu pandemic going on — everyone needs hand sanitizer!) Of course, I didn’t leave with hand sanitizer; I left with a new body lotion because you can imagine that I was intrigued to see argan as an ingredient in a body lotion at Bath & Body Works. I tried a little dab of it on my arm, and I fell in love with it. The True Blue Morocco Sweet Fig & Argan Body Lotion — that’s what I choose for my new body lotion. It feels almost as good as the Fresh Sugar Acai Body Cream, and it smells even better! Plus, it was 50 percent off! You know I love a sale. (However, I did find out it was 50 percent off because they are phasing it out of the store, so if you want to try it, you’d better get it soon.) I bought two bottles — one for home, and one for work. I have to say, it looks very pretty sitting on my desk.

Well, there you have it. Leave it to me to pick something entirely different than what I set out on a quest for. Argan and acai are both pretty legendary and beneficial if you ask me — they’re both so exotic-sounding, too.! But, at the end of the day, I think I’ll keep drinking that fruity acai in smoothies, and leave the body and hair care to the timeless argan oil. Unless someone wants to buy me that Fresh stuff for Christmas…

Final thoughts: Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream is a great product; if I owned a full-size tube of it, I’d probably use it once or twice a week to make it last and feel like I got my money out of it. Alba Acai Antioxidant Body Lotion smells like a Juicy Juice, and I definitely don’t love it. True Blue Morocco Sweet Fig & Argan Body Lotion gets the job done for the right price — 50 percent of $15 — in a cute and classy glass bottle with a pump. For now, I’ll be indulging in argan oil for my hair and my skin, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that this product is still around when I run out!

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