Category Archives: Style

Thrifty Possibilities – A New Old Way to Shop

When someone asks me, “Hey where did you get that top (skirt, dress, etc.) and I tell them “Goodwill” their expression changes from curious to absolute shock. I explain that a good portion of my closet actually is second hand and they’re usually my favorite pieces to wardrobe. Then they say how lucky I am to have found such a deal because they themselves have never been successful at thrifting, and in some cases would never even consider doing it. And to be honest I used to feel the same way. thrift collage

When I first started thrifting it was so frustrating to have to sift through a bunch of unwanted clothes just to come out empty-handed. I have always loved the concept of thrifting: giving purpose to older goods and being able to recycle from what can be a very wasteful fashion industry.  But I almost gave up on the idea when I just couldn’t find anything worth having. It all changed when I moved to San Francisco and discovered the tricks behind finding the best of deals.

San Francisco, much like other big cities, is a second-hand-shop mecca! At first, I began shopping at consignment stores like Crossroads Trading Co. and Buffalo Exchange with great results. Consignment stores are different from thrift stores in that their merchandise typically does not consist of donations. Consignors choose and buy the products they carry which means they are going to be more expensive. Their items are usually gently used and sometimes even brand new.  I find a ton of stuff from these stores and always for good prices; however, nothing beats thrift shops. Here are my tips on how to become not only a savvy shopper, but an amazing “thrifter”!

  1. BE WILLING: Remember you are thrifting, not just shopping! You should not come to a second hand shop with a wish list because chances are you will leave unhappy. Instead be willing to search racks of clothing and explore shelves of stuff. It’s like a big Easter-egg hunt so you want to make sure you are in the mood to thrift and have the energy to do so.
  1. BE PATIENT: It may take you some time to come across something nice, but I guarantee once you do it’ll be well worth it (the prices will be unbeatable!). The best results for me come when I make a day out of it and visit more than just one store. Thrifting is hit or miss but that should not discourage you to keep trying. When it comes to thrift stores it is all about location because they usually take up donations from local residences. Based on my experience, the shops I liked most were in neighborhoods where there were more people around my age and therefore had a similar style to mine.
  1. BE CREATIVE: Thrift shops are the best place to tap into your imagination. You can really change up your style at a low cost. I try to be more creative when it comes to colors, prints, and clothing textures. It allows me to be adventurous when it comes to layering and styling pieces. I even try to replicate outfits that I see in magazines. This creativity can also be applied to other merchandise you might find such as furniture or vintage décor.thrift collage 2
  1. BE KNOWLEDABLE: One of my most important tips is to really think about what you are buying. What will you do with it? Are you actually going to wear it? Is it in good condition? It is important to ask these questions because there is nothing worse (and definitely NOT thrifty) than buying something you won’t use/wear – no matter how low the cost!
  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH: If you are like me and want to know the life of your clothing, then take some time to search up brands. When I come across an item with a questionable label, I pull out my phone to see whether or not it is worth my buy. Sometimes, I even come across very expensive brands that are sold in shops like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth. The better the brand, the bigger the deal!

I hope these tips lead you to the best thrifting experience! Have fun and good luck!

Makeup Tips: How to Make Drugstore Brands Work for You

Every time I go to Target, Wal-Mart, or really any drug store I find myself lost in the cosmetics section wanting to try everything on the shelves. Lipstick, lip gloss, lip stains, lip balms, lip liners – there is almost too much to choose from (and this is only one part of the face!). For me, the choosing process is even more difficult because of the low prices. This might not make sense at first, but hear me out. See, when I shop from more expensive makeup brands like MAC or Benefit I come in knowing exactly what I’m looking and how much I am willing to pay. Plus I am able to sample the different products to be sure I am happy with my purchases.  I usually end up with maybe 2 or 3 things whereas when I shop at stores like Rite-Aid I leave with a bag full products. “What’s wrong with that?” you might ask. Well, usually I end up only using half the products I purchase. Whether it is because it lacks the quality I’m looking for or it’s simply not my shade. At first I became very discouraged and didn’t want to buy any product unless I got to sample it. But being on a college student’s budget and wanting to still keep up with trends there was no way I could afford to buy all my makeup from Sephora…

As a result, I discovered ways to find the perfect affordable product all without having to try it on beforehand. I begin by having a good idea of what new trend I want to try by looking through magazines, watching makeup gurus on YouTube, etc. For example if I want to try an orange lip color there are a few things I need to determine. Like my skin tone and which kind of orange will match well with it (Maybe neon orange? Maybe a delicate coral?). Then I have to think about what I want from the product whether it be a matte finish, a shiny gloss, or something moisturizing and on the natural side. But the key thing in finding the best product for you is to do your research. You can easily find articles on makeup dupes (drug store products that have been compared to high end brands) and popular top-rated drug store makeup products with personal reviews. And if you want to know how a product looks on – because it may look a bit different than what you see on its packaging – check out tutorials from the hundreds of makeup gurus on YouTube. One of my favorites is guru BeautywithEmilyFox, she has great videos on lipstick swatches from a variety of drug store brands and covers every color from their line.

By following these steps I get exactly what I want with products I am more than happy with. The proper research allows you to keep the quality of makeup you are looking for.  Also because they are drug store brands you can buy a bag full of products compared to the few items you would get from more expensive cosmetic lines. If you love to keep up with trends like I do having an assortment of makeup to choose from is important. Below I have also listed some of my top drug store products. I hope this helps your makeup shopping process and good luck!

1. Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm: smooth, very easy to apply, moisturizing, bright pigments

2. Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream: wonderful wand that helps for easy application, very very matte, long-lasting

3. Maybelline Colorsational Lipstick: excellent pigments/ variety of colors, bright as can be, available in matte

4. Maybelline Blushed Nude Palette: beautiful colors, easy to mix and match different shades

5. L’oreal Pop Balm: great for moisturizing lips, color appears lighter than on packaging

6. Milani Color Statement Lipstick: not as smooth to apply but that makes it easier to shape your lips with minimal mess-ups, long lasting

7. L’oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes: great for length, waterproof never smudges!

8. FitMe Foundation: great overall coverage, smooth finish, available in matte and dewey

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Are you Ready? Because Winter is Coming.

Winter Gear Collage


(Beanie – Under Armour Beanie, Gloves – North Face Gloves, Jacket – North Face Jacket, Scarf – Seth Roberts Cashmere Scarf, Hoodie Jacket – Leather Jacket with Removable hood)


A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the days seem to be getting shorter and all the warm summer days are becoming distant memories only to be replaced by chilly mornings and icy evenings. However, winter still has its charms. There are many things to look forward to like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and everyone’s favorite holiday. And winter finally hits, we get to enjoy all the benefits of the Christmas spirit such as peppermint flavored Starbucks beverages and the always fun holiday shopping rush. While it still may only be fall, it has gotten noticeably colder in the past few weeks. Depending on where you live, you might even already have a little bit of snow. Of course this mild snuggle weather is reason enough to start busting out the winter gear. So this week, I’ve made a short list of clothing items that I will be digging out of my closet and most likely be using almost every day.

1. Beanies. Beanies are generally a good idea to wear when its cold. While they people tend to wear them even in warm weather, they become infinitely more useful when the temperature drops to around freezing and the wind chill causes your nose to run and ears to go numb. Not only do beanies keep your ears from turning icy blue, but they are also very useful when you roll to of bed and have a bad hair day. Just throw on a beanie, hide your hair, and pretend that nothing’s wrong and no one will know that you’re having one of “those” days, at least until you have to take it off.

2. Gloves. Most people don’t think to bring a pair of gloves anywhere unless they are going to go skiing or snowboarding, but in my experience having a pair around can be very handy (pun intended). Instead of having to walk around everywhere with your hands in your pockets and being scared to touch anything that looks metal – like door handles – you can walk around knowing that your fingers won’t feel like they’re about to fall off. And lets be honest, gloves are all around trendy to have.

3. North Face Jacket. Probably one of the most common winter jackets you will ever see, but for good reason. North Face jackets are both comfy and warm yet they also look pretty cool. The only problem is that because North Face is such a popular name brand, they tend to be a little expensive, with prices running up to around $200. They are also a little thin, meaning that if you see snow falling you might want to search your wardrobe for something a little thicker.

4. Scarfs. Some people think they are a little ridiculous to have, I happen to think they are extremely comfy and add a snazzy look. These cashmere scarfs are also very very soft and incredibly enough, are able to keep you warm even in freezing cold winds. Wrap it around your neck neck or pull it over your face to keep your cheeks from going numb. However, you chose to use it, a scarf will keep you toasty and help you look good while doing it.

5. Leather jacket and hoodie. Leather jackets don’t exactly hold up in intense sub zero weather, however they are very good at keeping you warm when its chilly and windy. Having a hoodie also lets you keep your head safe. These jackets also are also thick enough to keep out the cold for a little bit but not so thick that you feel like your suffocating in your own clothes. Plus theres also the fact that you leather which instantly adds to your awesomeness.

A Gift for Any Guy

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 3.35.33 PM


( Portable Grill – Uncommon Goods, iPhone case – Mophie, Scratch off map – Uncommon Goods, T-shirt – Vineyard Vines, Cuff Links – Real Simple, Sunglasses – RayBan, Watch – Nordstrom, Face Mug – Uncommon Goods, Gloves – Real Simple )

I have always been one to think that shopping for guys is so difficult, but it no longer has to be. Whether you need a present for a guy in your life for graduation, a birthday, or even a nice surprise, look no further! Anyone is bound to love one of these great gifts.

The portable briefcase grill is the perfect addition to any kebab lover’s life. It fits within a briefcase (if you choose to keep it there) that happens to be perfect for a meal for two.

The iPhone charging on the go case is not only a gift just for guys. Anyone and everyone should have one if they carry an iPhone everyday. When your phone dies, it sometimes feels like there may never be a charger in site. This case will charge your phone on the go- plus, its stylish and sleek! Don’t ever be stuck with a dead phone again.

Do you know a person with the travel bug? I know I do. This scratch map is looks awesome, plus it’s great to keep track of all the places you have visited. Just take a coin and scratch off the places you have visited, revealing color in their place.

I’ll admit, I love vineyard vines t-shirts. They are so comfortable and stylish. They make the perfect gift for any guy (or girl) who has a pretty style, or one that just enjoys colorful shirts with a fun logo. There are so many colors and styles you can’t go wrong!

These cuff links are for the businessman. They are perfect for any man’s tuxedo and add a touch of color. Their packaging doesn’t hurt either!

RayBan sunglasses are a classic at any age. Be careful though, because this particular style does not always fit every face. They have so many to choose from though that it shouldn’t be any problem. They are of great quality and protect your eyes from harmful rays.

This Nixon watch has just enough edge as style. Its leather strap makes it look a little old fashioned but the face makes it look sleek and modern. It even keeps track of the date for those guys who can’t always remember what day it is like me.

For any man stuck in the cold often, cashmere blend gloves are the perfect solution. They protect your hands while providing a fashionable touch. Who ever is lucky enough to receive these may never take them off!

Last but definitely not least, the cookie face mug. Let me just say I would not be opposed to receiving one of these every birthday. This mug is beyond cool. It is perfect for milk and cookie combinations or even donuts and coffee, whatever you prefer. Plus, it brightens anyone’s day.

Don’t ever be stuck looking for a gift and settling on something mediocre.



Ready for a Rodeo

Stampede Collage


(Sun Glasses – Ray Ban Aviators, T-Shirt – Stampede Shirt, Hat – Rodeo Hat, Shirt – Long sleeve Plaid, Jeans – Light blue Levis, Boots – Cowboy Boots)

It’s a Rod-Eh-O

When you think of Canada, the first thing that comes to mind is probably snow, skiing, hockey, poutine, or moose. While all these stereotypes are generally true,  Canada is famous for several other things. One of these is the yearly rodeo held in Calgary, Alberta known as the Stampede. Didn’t expect Canada to be famous for rodeos, eh? Well as it turns out, Alberta, which is the province located north of Idaho and Montana is mostly flat land good for farming and as a result, it has a history that isn’t too different from the American Old West – you could think of Alberta as Canada’s version of Texas. Out of this old western tradition came the Calgary Stampede, a ten day long rodeo held every summer that attends to over a million guests every year.

Like most rodeos, the stampede hosts many events ranging from bull riding to horse bucking and barrel racing. It also includes various rides, exhibitions and lots of food most of it deep fried. Now I don’t want to understate the importance of the Stampede to the city. It’s a really big deal for the city and instills a sense of pride in heritage. In fact last year a flood hit the city several days before the stampede, literally submersing the fair-grounds under water and flooding most of the Saddle-dome, where all the rodeo events are held. Yet in only a few days, city workers cleared out the flood-waters and repaired the fair grounds in anticipation of the City’s biggest festival. So, now that I’ve peaked your interest in the Stampede, the question is, how are you going to get in the Rodeo Spirit?

Wearing a T-Shirt that says “I like Calgary” is a good start and simple enough if you don’t want to dress up in gear full cowboy, but this is a rodeo and you should try to dress as festive as possible. Last year when I attended the Stampede I tried to be festive yet casual. I chose to go with a plaid shirt and light blue Levis jeans – a simple combination that also complements the rodeo atmosphere. Aviators might not be traditional rodeo dress, but believe it or not, it gets really hot during Canadian summers and the sun is constantly beating down on you during the parade. Eventually I convinced myself to wear a cowboy hat both to hide my head from the sun and to show my festive side. For those of you that choose to go all-out, you might want to throw on some boots. IF that’s not enough a large-buckled belt or leather chaps might be your style, but as for me, that would be going overboard.

If you’re planning a vacation soon check out Calgary Stampede 2014. This year’s runs from July 4 to July 13.

My Travel Bag


(Camera – Canon SLR, iPhone – Apple, iPhone case – Jagger Edge, iPad – Apple, iPad case – Penelope & Parker, Apple chargers – Apple, Kindle – Amazon, Kindle case – Mulberry, Swimsuit – Morgan Maillot, Wallet – Kate Spade, Shoes – Capezio, Hat – OndadeMar, Shades – Vera Bradley, Sunscreen – CLARINS Sun Wrinkle Control SPF 30,  Sandals – American Eagle Outfitters)

What’s in My Travel Bag

I absolutely love my Kindle (I have two, the Kindle Fire and the Kindle with the Keyboard) because not only am I an avid reader, sometimes flying is the only free time I have for reading! With the Kindle Fire, I could also listen to my audibles and watch downloaded movies on the plane.

After flying for hours and checking in at a hotel, I love to relax in a jacuzzi or heated pool, so I always pack a swimsuit – just in case.  Plus, if your destination is close to a beach, you are all set without worrying about where you could find a swimsuit.

Since I rarely wear tennis shoes, do not want to lug a suitcase of heels and desire to wear a dress from time to time, I always bring a pair of heels made for dancing. It is light, functional and looks fabulous with any dress or jeans. When I visited New York City a couple years ago, I comfortably walked over 30 blocks in a pair of Capezio – without any blisters!

And of course, don’t forget your chargers, Apple products and sunscreen!

Food for the Soul

As I travel and discover new places, cultures and people, however, I appreciate how it broadens my horizon.

1. Opens my mind. I organically learn about new and diverse places, people and cultures  that may or may not do things the same way as Americans. Even if I travel to the same place more than once, each experience is new – and different. And I love delicious food from all over the world, from a cart in the middle of the street to a restaurant in the middle of an isolated island.

2. Challenges me to thrive. By far, I am not the most athletic person. I am afraid of heights, and I cannot swim well.  However, I have challenged myself by (safely) zip lining in Costa Rica and black water rafting in Rotorua, which made snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef a piece of cake!  I come back loving myself and appreciating life even more!

3. Allows me to see the beauty of a people globally.  All over the world, I’ve discovered that many of us value inner beauty – love, respect, purity, integrity, friendships and family. There are people in Fiji who are happy just because they are surrounded by beautiful lagoons and clear blue sky. There are people in Slovenia who are happy just because they are surrounded by friends – and cooked wine.

Thus, go forth and explore!