Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Mall Kind of Morning ♡

It was snowing (as usual) and generally gross (again, as usual) this morning so I decided to finally make that trip to the mall that I've been planning for the past 2 weeks.  I even managed to get out of bed by 9:30 so I could beat the mid-afternoon rush.

I only picked up a few things - I've been trying to save money lately because I want to get an iPad soon.  I'm also trying to save up enough money so that I can move out on my own.  Chances are I could probably afford to live on my own right now in an apartment, but I really want to live in a house.  I love being able to lounge around my yard in the summer, and I really want to be able to have my own garden :)  For this to happen I really need to bunker down and STOP spending so much money.  I've gotten better at buying fewer clothes that I really don't need, but my habit is still a bit out of control.  

The mall by my house has just about anything you can imagine, so it's hard to not go in every single store.  I made a stop in Forever 21 and picked up a few pretty necklaces.  The long beaded one was $4.80, but the other 3 were only $2.80.  They were definitely a steal!  I know they aren't exactly high quality, and they probably won't last very long, but I couldn't pass them up.  They will look cute with so many different outfits.

I also stopped in the Gap to check out the pink blazer that I had seen on their website.  After trying it on and seeing that it was almost completely polyester (yuck) and not as cute as I was hoping, I decided to pass.  I had a 30% off coupon so I used it on this cute sweater dress.  It's heavy enough that I can wear it now with a pair of tights, and in the spring time as well.

My last stop was at Sephora where I finally picked up some Clean On Me shower gel.  I fell in love with Soap & Glory after using Hand Food and I've been dying to try some of their other products.  Unfortunately the Sephora by my house doesn't carry a large range of their products, but I did manage to find this.  I can't wait to use it!

My camera decided to break this morning, so I was only able to get a half-way decent pic of the Clean On Me using my iPhone camera :(  Oh well...

On to an exciting night of nail painting and cupcake making!  I'll post some pics of the cupcakes if they turn out alright

x Nicole x

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY Earring Holders ♡

I love crafting and creating new things from scratch.  I like to fancy myself a mini-Martha Stewart (aside from, you know, the whole insider trading, prison scandal thingy).  My earring collection had gotten a bit out of hand and I could never find a cute jewelry holder or box where I could keep all my earrings sorted, so I decided to make my own! I like to troll through occasionally to get ideas from other arts-and-crafters and I saw a really cute idea for an earring holder made from an old picture frame.  After a few minor adjustments of my own, this was the result:

I just downloaded Instagram, so I was playing around with the different effects :) And I somehow managed to smudge mascara on the fabric, right in the middle, so you can just ignore that :D
 This was actually really simple to make.  You can use any picture frame you want, which is great if you happen to have some extras lying around the house.    These are also a great use for any extra scraps of fabric you might have.

Once you remove the glass from the frame, you are going to want to glue the fabric to the back insert.  I glued it to the backside of the insert so it didn't stain the fabric on the outside facing part.  It might even fit tight enough when you go to close it up that you won't need to glue it.

For the strips that hold the earrings, I used some 1/4 inch thick foam that I found at JoAnn Fabrics.  You'll want to measure it long enough so that it can glue to the inside of the frame.  For the slits, I used an exacto knife.  

Once you have glued the strips in, close up the back of the frame, and voila!  You're all done.  Below is my second attempt, which I think is much cuter :)

I'm in love with Instagram!
Here is another shot of the second frame - a bit easier to see.  

I leave you with a bit of love for my girl Martha and Snoop D - O - Double Gizzle :)

Much love,


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Harvey Prince - Eau Flirt ♡

I was going through my box of old Birchbox samples this morning and came across a sample of Harvey Prince's Eau Flirt perfume.  I love perfume and realized that I never tried this one out, so I decided to give it a go today.  

The scent is described as "top notes of sweet lavender and a cocktail of bright citrus, followed by a mingling of feminine florals freesia, ylang ylang, and jasmine. Delicate spices and warm nighttime amber offer a graceful balanced flourish".  I definitely smell the lavender hints mixed with citrus and jamsine.  It's a really delicate and feminine scent, which I think would be perfect for summertime.  Had I tried this out earlier, I may have asked for it for Christmas.  Unfortunately I did not :(  I did get Miss Dior Cherie, though, which I'm not sure I like as much as I want to like.  A bit of buyer's remorse, I suppose.

Eau Flirt also apparently has notes of pumpkin pie, which I'm not smelling.  I thought that was a strange addition, but their website says that lavender and pumpkin pie are "shown to evoke a more passionate response in men than any other smell" and are believed to be associated with "happy, positive and stimulating memories"...?  I will have to keep my eyes open today for any out-of-the-ordinary responses from men, haha.

All in all, this perfume gets a thumbs up!  It's a light, happy scent that reminds me of warmer weather :)  It's also only $55 for the full sized bottle, which is a good price I think, considering that most other full-sized perfumes can be upwards of $70!!
Much love,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Spring/Summer Wish List ♡

I thought I would do a post about the new Spring/Summer styles I like that are/will be out in stores soon and deserve a look.  All the bright colors and patterns are really getting me excited for warmer weather :)  Good thing I live in Cleveland then, because we have a massive snow storm headed our way, lol.

The Gap
I LOVE blazers and fell in love with this pink one from the Gap.  It also comes in lime green (ew - I can't see that one being flattering on anybody) and red.  I used to be a huge Gap fan, but for the past few years I have felt like all their clothes look the same.  It seems like they pick new colors and re-release them as a new line the next season.  For example, I have a cable knit sweater from them that I have managed to re-buy every year since 2005, just in a different color.  Clearly this is evidence that I was a big fan!  I've also noticed that the prices have skyrocketed but quality has definitely dropped.  You have to be really careful about what you buy from them.  A lot of their lighter-weight products don't wash well and tend to lose their shape within an hour or two of putting it on.
I thought I would toss this pic in too, also from the Gap.  What on earth was their design team thinking??? I have seen better dressed mechanics :)  Did they fall and bump their head, magically transporting them to 1975?  I don't know.  But jumpsuits are unflattering on their own, without being constructed completely out of denim and adding in an elastic waist.  The yellow oxfords are cute, though ;)

J. Crew

Colored denim has really grown on me lately.  I just purchased a fuchsia pair from New York & Company, and they are quite cute on.  This super bright yellow pair is from J. Crew.  I'm a huge fan of their general style, but my financial situation is less than accommodating to $125 ballet flats and $289 trench coats.  They do have some really good deals in the sale section, so I always head straight to the back any time I go in.  Plus all of their clothing is very high quality.  I am always willing to spend a bit more on something if I know it will last me a long time.

Francesca's Collection

I can always count on Francesca's Collection boutique to have the most adorable dresses and fantastic jewelry and purses in stock.  There is one 10 minutes from my house so I tend to stop in there once or twice a month.  Unfortunately for me, the dresses are geared towards shorter girls I guess, because they all tend to hit me right below the crotch (I'm 5'10", so those are pretty short :( ).  Call me modest, but I do enjoy being able to sit down and bend over without my fanny being out for the world to see :)


H&M uses computer generated models on their website.  This one is creepy ☝ The dress is cute, but looks pretty short.  Probably requires a try-on.  My H&M doesn't always carry what other H&M's do, so I hope we get this dress.  Mine carries a lot less women's clothing now that they have a children's section :( boo

This dress looks cute, too.  Much cuter with the belt.
I actually wear legitimate glasses, but I think my frames are a bit too small for my face.  I have an appointment in February, so I think I'm going to look for similar frames to these ones.  Nerdy chic!

I have seen this style of bag at a lot of different stores and have been wanting to pick one up. This H&M bag is $35, which is a bit expensive for this brand, so I'll wait till they mark it down to $5 or $7.

The bust of this dress has a bow on it, which is hard to see in this picture.  I am going to need a dress for my niece's baptism in May and this one might be the winner.  If I start saving for it now, I'll be able to afford it by May...of 2015... Definitely overpriced considering most of Anthro's products are made with as little fabric as possible and look like they might fall apart in the wash.  I do like the style, though, which is why I like browsing around the store.  They always have the stores decorated in such neat ways, too, so I like to get ideas for decorating my bedroom.

I really like the lace detailing on the sleeves.

Cute bobby pins.  I have pretty long hair so I enjoy buying hair accessories.  I could probably make these - these were $28 >:( 
Cute bow necklace, probably available at H&M or Francesca's.  Probably Target, too.

I thought these were cute as well, but I have little patience for bangle bracelets.  They are too loud and annoy me when they bang on my desk and keyboard at work.


I'm a big fan of ASOS.  They have really cute jewelry that is always reasonably priced.  The clothing is cute too, but I am wary of ordering clothing online when I am not familiar with their sizing.  I ordered a shirt from ASOS back when they first started shipping to the US and it got lost in the mail.  Three months later it arrived on my doorstep looking a bit worse for wear.  Customer Service was amazing when I contacted them.  They tried to find the package, but eventually refunded my money because it had gotten lost.  I would be a bit hesitant to order from them again, but it seems like business has picked up here in the states and their delivery is more reliable now.
$8.95 - adorable

I can wear this if I ever get the chance to visit France!

I've always wanted a snake bracelet :)

An idea for a future post would be all of the absolutely horrible looking clothing that I came across when doing my online window shopping.  Some of it was actually laughable.  It's hard to believe what some people will purchase!

Much love,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dream Destination: France ♡

One of the places I need to see before I die ☺

République française

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hello Dry Hair. Meet My Best Friend, Coconut Oil ♡

This may seem a bit weird, but my favorite hair care product is actually a cooking ingredient.  I have always had dry, coarse hair that no matter how hard I tried never looked pretty or healthy.  I'm sure it doesn't help that I fry it out till kingdom come with straightening and curling irons.  My ceaseless split ends can attest to that.  

About a year ago, an Indian woman that my mom works with mentioned that she uses coconut oil on her skin and hair to keep it moisturized and soft.  Supposedly this is common in Indian culture (or so I have been told).  She gave my mom a bottle to try and I have been hooked ever since.  

In its regular state, it is a cloudy white paste, but becomes liquidy when warmed up.  I always apply it to my hair right out of the shower.  My hair is really long, so I use a dime-sized amount and it works like a charm.  For shorter hair, I would suggest using less because it will leave your hair looking really greasy if you use too much.  Something else to note is that you CANNOT let your hair air dry.  I always straighten it or curl it.  I put it on my hair one night and didn't have time to do my hair the next morning.  Yuck!  It looked like I hadn't showered in a week or two.  

The oil definitely doesn't smell like coconut, which I thought was weird, so you will definitely be able to smell it in your hair.  But all that is worth it because it makes my hair so soft and so smooth!  I have tried a million deep conditioners and nothing has ever worked as well as coconut oil.  

I use Parachute brand coconut oil.  Apparently you can buy it in Middle Eastern and Indian specialty food stores, and you can most certainly buy it online.

It looks like The Body Shop offers a product called Coconut Oil Hair Shine.
Walgreens, Sally Beauty Supply, and other drug stores offer a wide range of coconut oil hair treatments as well.  I've only ever used Parachute though, so I can't offer a review on any of these other products.  Organix is a pretty prominent brand so their's might be worth a try.

Hopefully you will be willing to give it a try :)

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birchbox Day ♡

My January Birchbox finally came today.  I was expecting it Saturday, but better late than never I suppose.   I have been subscribing to Birchbox since ... September or October... I can't remember, but anywho.  

This month I got a sample of Viva La Juicy, which I already own, an intense moisturizer sample from Borghese, body butter from Jouer, Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Peacock, and a Larabar... umm, k..?

I was actually really excited about the Stila eyeliner because I have always wanted to try blue - it's supposed to look good with brown eyes.  But then I opened it... Uh, I usually enjoy lining both eyes so I don't look like some sort of cyclops, but apparently Birchbox is in to that one-eyed look.  There is barely anything in the stick, so I'm not really sure how you are supposed to tell if you like if or not.  Unfortunately, 90% of the samples I get in my box are barely large enough to get a good feel of whether I actually like the product or not.

My skin is really sensitive so I don't plan on trying the Borghese stuff. The Jouer body butter works well. Not too oily, but it's way too fragrant - like "I had to wash it off because I couldn't stand being around myself" fragrant.  It's lilac scented, but just a tad too much.  And the Juicy perfume - I already own it, but never really wear it.  It smells similar to Burberry Brit, but much more flowery. 

As for the Larabar... I get so confused by Birchbox because they send the most random things. Like last month I got this Vitamin C drink powder mix.  This month's box also had a magnet in it... yeahhhhhh....

Maybe I have visions of Boudoir Prive and Glossyboxes dancing around my doorstep, anxiously waiting to shower me with beauty and goodness that can only be found in deluxe samples and full size bottles of the newest and best stuff out there.  Or maybe I am asking too much by expecting my froggy Birchbox to transform into the handsome Cosmetic Prince I want it to be.  Either way, I'm not sure how much longer I can stick around only to be disappointed by the inadequacies of my $10 investment.  Then again, I'll probably stick around a few more months, pretend like I am really invested in this relationship before I crush the little froggies miniature sample sized heart.

After all, seeing that little pink box on my doorstep does bring me an inappropriate amount of happiness.

Until next time,


Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello ♡

Just thought I would share a bit about myself and what I plan on sharing in my blog.  My name is Nicole and I just turned 24 in December.  I graduated from college with a business degree and liked it so much (i guess) that I work for them now doing finances.  Not exactly the most exciting thing in the world, and definitely not my dream job, but with the economy I suppose I am grateful to have any job!  Plus, it finances my shopping habit :)

A few of the things that make me happy:

  • shopping!!! I love clothes too much to wear only one or two brands, but my go-to's are Target, J. Crew, and H&M
  • make-up and beauty products - I always make sure to stop in Sephora while I'm at the mall.  I recently discovered Soap & Glory and can't get enough of their products.  I also subscribe to Birchbox and get a box of beauty samples each month to try out.
  • baking and home goods - I love trying new recipes and forcing my family to be the taste-testers.  Some things are great, others... not so great :)  Anthropologie has the BEST home goods ever.  Their plates, glasses, and everything else for the home are absolutely amazing.  Maybe one day I will be able to afford Anthro, but until then a girl can dream, right?
  • arts & crafts - Jewelry, lamp shades, earring holders... I love being creative and making things for myself.  I will be sure to post about any new projects that come up.
  • reading - I am most definitely a huge geek, and I am very proud of that!  I love reading just about anything, but my favorites are definitely mysteries.
I'm sure there are a lot of other things that make me happy, but those are the top 5. 

Until next time,


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