Travel Tips!

…so you don’t pull your hair out (this is what I’d add to that title if I wasn’t concerned about the URL being too long). Going on vacation is always something to count down to, and plan day-in and day-out. Next week, I will be travelling to the Golden State to visit one of my closest high school friends. With life being so busy lately, it’s nice to know that I’ll have a few days of catching up, exploring, and relaxation. Even though I’m literally counting down the minutes till my flight, I have to say there is A LOT to do between now and then.

To me, the hardest part about travelling is packing. You can’t pack your entire closet and jewelry box, even though you want to. You’re packing up a frenzy and then you remember that your favorite t-shirt is in the wash, or you’re halfway through your flight when you remember that you didn’t pack the shoes that matched the dress you remembered to take. There is nothing. more. frustrating. than. forgetting. the. shoes. Luckily, I’ve got a few simple ways to make your packing process a little less stressful!

1. Make lists!

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This seems ridiculously simple, but it can really save you from a serious headache. I’m definitely a culprit of making a mental list, or just packing what I see in plain sight. Just sit down with your morning coffee and list out each item by category: Outfits, Accessories, Toiletries, Make-up, etc. Then jot things down as you think of them or see them. Not only will this help you think of everything you would want to pack, it will help you ensure that you actually pack them! There is no better feeling than crossing an item off a list!

2. Pack in outfits, not items!

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Do you ever just throw clothes into a bag because you think “Oh I’ll definitely wear this shirt!” and then end up not wearing them? Save yourself the headache of ending up with 12 shirts and one pair of jeans to work with. When you pack, make stacks of outfits: bottoms, tops, accessories, even the shoes you’d wear with the outfit. Once you have all your stacks laid out you can decide if you can mix and match anything to eliminate an item. Maybe the shorts from one outfit will match with the top from another, and you can nix an entire pair of shorts altogether. This will not only help you pack a little lighter, but it will ensure that you don’t end up getting dressed in your hotel room wishing you had packed the shirt that matched perfectly with the skirt you’re wearing.

3. Buy reusable travel bottles!

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Instead of stressing out about finding a travel sized version of your favorite face wash, just buy reusable plastic bottles and make it yourself! It’s more economical and it makes sure you don’t have to go a week wishing you had your favorite beauty products with you. When I mentioned I was writing this blog post to a coworker, she gave me another great idea. Put your foundation into a contact lens case; it will definitely last you at least a week and you won’t need to carry the bottles with you!

I’m confident I’ll have a few California inspired posts headed your way, and until then, you can follow my adventures on Instagram @notyoureverydaybrowngirl!

xO K

Getting Warmer!

Though my hearts only desire this spring is to be wearing summery floral clothing, the reality is that we are still feeling the remnants of this bitter winter. I find myself reaching for my fall fashion essentials, rather than the clothes I would normally veer towards. It doesn’t help that we had a minor blizzard here in State College last week; that really helps me put my fashion choices into perspective.

I do love how the sun is actually starting to feel warm, and how I’m seeing birds fly north. It’s the promise of what will hopefully be a very sunny few months. This Easter Sunday, we were lucky to have some gorgeous sunshine and temperatures in the high 60’s, and I took full advantage of the fact that I wouldn’t be shivering in just a sweater, without a coat!

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Though it’s probably on its last leg because I’ve worn it into the ground, this white sweater is hands down my favorite sweater. It’s just so warm and comfy, and it’s legging friendly; I wish I had bought more than one when I found it!

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I’ve been very into turban headwraps lately. I feel like they’re the perfect piece to polish an outfit, whether it’s casual for a quick run to the store, or the added touch for nights of bar-hopping. I’ve been slowly growing my collection, and I love that I can add color or dimension to a simple outfit just by wearing one. I anticipate them being a summer staple for me, especially because they help keep my hair in check on breezy days.

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 Sweater – Abercrombie and Fitch (similar) | Headwrap – Forever21 | Sunnies – Rue21 (similar)
Boots – Bandolino | Leggings – LOFT | Crossbody – Coach

The boots I’m wearing are probably my favorite pair of boots on the planet. I bought them over Black Friday, but if you know me, you know that if it’s new and it’s beautiful I will probably never wear it in fear of ruining it. I [finally] pulled them out of the box last week, and have been wearing them all the time now. I managed to keep them safe from the salt and snow so I’m pretty happy that I waited!

I’m hoping to soon be able to put the boots and sweaters away for good. It’s about time for some sunshine!

xO K

DIY Metallic Gold Feathers

The last few weeks of silence are due to the fact that I moved from Delaware to Pennsylvania to start my second rotation. I decided to take some time off from blogging to focus on wrapping up loose ends at my last position and getting settled in at my new one. The weather has (finally) been getting better, and I have my fingers crossed that our days of negative temperatures and snow are behind us.

Moving into a new space always inspires me to begin crafting. There’s something about blank walls and surfaces that makes me want to create something. Since my latest obsession has been metallic gold accents on just about everything, I wanted to add a touch of it in my home decor. I’ve been meaning to try this project for months, but I finally got some time the other evening to actually do it.

There’s nothing complicated about this DIY, but that’s what I love about it. It takes a few minutes but can definitely add a little something to your space.

What you need:

-A pack of long white duck feathers, about 5″ to 9″ long
-Metallic gold acryllic paint
-Old candle jar or similar container
-Glitter (optional)

Choose the feathers that are somewhat symmetrical. They’ll look nicer when you paint them than ones that lean more to one side.

Take a thin paintbrush and dip it in your paint. Beginning at the center line of your feather, paint along the barbs of the feathers being sure to cover them completely. You’ll want to be gentle when painting because the tendrils tend to clump together when painted and you want them to stay separated.

I went down about 3/4 of an inch to an inch but you can paint as far along as you want. Allow them to dry for 10 minutes and then flip them over and do the other side.

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IMG_20150310_203353732_HDReddIf you want to add glitter to your feathers, you’ll need to do it when the paint is still wet. I chose not to for this particular project because it wasn’t the look I was going for (and I didn’t feel like dealing with glitter getting everywhere) but glitter would definitely help make them pop!

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Once the feathers are dry, you can put them in your jar, as you would for flower stems. There are so many other uses for these decorative feathers that I’m itching to try and I will definitely be sharing what I find!

Happy crafting!

xO K

Organizing Your Makeup!

If you are like me and you have a lot of makeup, it can be hard to figure out how to organize it all. I try to keep my “non-essentials” in a storage bin, and sort through it when I need the lesser used items, but for my daily routine, I end up leaving compacts and tubes of lipstick all over my counter. My best way to “organize” all of that was to just stack it “neatly” to give it some sense of order.

I decided to end the madness and invest in a makeup organizer. I’d seen them at Home Goods and Burlington Coat Factory, but never knew what size to get or if it was absolutely necessary. I picked one up earlier this week from Burlington and I have to say I’m insanely happy with it. It’s chic and functional, and the fact that it’s clear not only helps it blend into any area it’s in, but keeps the focus on showing off your makeup.

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IMG_20150129_203147115_HDRedI couldn’t find it on the Burlington Coat Factory website, but you will definitely find it in stores!

Now my most popular makeup items are at arm’s length and I don’t have to dig through or constantly look over and under things on my counter when I’m getting ready in the morning. I decided not to put my brushes in the organizer, and instead opted to use an old candle jar instead. It was easy to wash the wax out, and it still smells like vanilla! Everything is now displayed nicely, which I absolutely love!

xO K

Products for Dry Skin!

Arguably one of the worst things about bitter cold weather (other than the fact that it’s bitter cold weather) is how dry it makes your skin. Between the cold wind outside, and the fact that you have your heat cranked up to it’s highest setting, your skin definitely takes a beating. I always switch out my summer beauty products right around November when the cold really starts to bite, and after much trial and error, I found that these are my go-to winter products to help me combat the dryness:

Products for Dry Skin

Jergens Ultra Healing lotion- this stuff works serious wonders. I find it hard to find an extremely moisturizing lotion that doesn’t just sit on your skin or feel too suffocating. This lotion absorbs really fast and thoroughly moisturizes your skin in no time.

Dove Purely Pampering Body Wash (Pistachio cream with Magnolia)- Dove’s body washes are creamy and promise to replenish moisture to your skin. They definitely kept the promise for this one…and  it smells great.

Ponds Cream– this face cream is thicker than the cream I use over the summer, and it definitely helps my face stay soft and glowing without feeling greasy. My face and lips always take the worst beating because they’re usually exposed to the cold the most, so this cream is definitely a must in my book.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1– this lip balm is really thick, so I prefer to put it on right before I get in bed, but it really works wonders against chapped lips!

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve– I’ve mentioned this hand salve in previous posts but it is seriously my favorite hand cream in the world. It’s a little thick so I would definitely recommend putting it on before bed.

xO K

Cozy Winter Casual

This week, the temperature dropped to the teens. That’s right, the teens. Thankfully the weather stayed warm last week when I was off work, and I could fully enjoy going out. This kind of temperature fluctuation definitely throws my outfits off, especially when it comes to the age old “will I need a jacket?” Fortunately, my jacket stayed in a closet for most of last week! The one thing I love about this time of year is the sweaters, whether they’re open knit or super bulky, and cold weather accessories. There’s nothing like a bulky sweater, infinity scarf, and riding boots to make an outfit perfect.

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2015-01-04 15.56.27edSweater – Forever21 | Beanie – Pac Sun (similar)

I bought this sweater at the beginning of the season and have completely worn it out since. It’ s so soft and cozy, and I love that it hangs lower in the front and back and higher on the sides; it’s perfect to wear with leggings. I also like that it’s not solid white or gray, but a little bit of both which allows me to mix and match it with just about everything. The beanie I’m wearing is more for fashion than function, but I like the strands of silver shimmer that make it pop. This outfit is definitely my go-to in cooler weather for running errands or meeting friends at the mall.

Fingers crossed that it warms up a bit this weekend!

xO K

New Favorite Lipstick!

For me, a trip to Sephora can take eons. Okay maybe not eons, but long enough. My recent venture into Sephora allowed me to purchase (and fall in love) with a new lip color. I had never bought a Sephora Collection lipstick before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after using it for a couple of weeks, I definitely have to say it may be one of my favorites so far!
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I know with lip colors, especially ones with more pigment, it is hard to decide what is too bold to wear as an everyday lip. This color is light enough to pass as work appropriate, but still bright enough to make my face pop. I like how matte it is and how easily it applies. It’s pretty long lasting, and though I could definitely reapply halfway through the day to make it look brighter, it still has enough of a tint by the end of the day that my lips don’t look completely bare.
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I’m wearing Sephora Collection Color Lip Last Lipstick in N°21 

My only qualm about this lipstick is the packaging. When I bought it, I loved that the tube was longer and narrower than usual because it was easier to apply than a fatter lipstick. Unfortunately I went to open it some time last week and the entire stick fell out of the tubing. It was an easy enough fix to pick up the stick and push it back into the casing, but I think that it could have been designed a little better to avoid such a situation.
Despite this, I think that if you’re in the mood to buy a new lip color you should definitely check this one out!xO K