New Photography Equipment

Hello everyone!

I purchased some equipment from Amazon this week (that will be delivered today!) to assist with taking pictures for the blog πŸ™‚ I got a cheap light tent for about $30 and some velvet jewelry display stands.

I’m pretty excited to try it out with my new Limited Edition Birchboxes for CEW (Prestige Headliners and Mass Appeal) that have arrived! Hopefully my turnaround time between receiving product and posting about it will decrease. I probably could have made one for cheaper, but sometimes paying for convenience (and quality) is more attractive…

Don’t forget to enter my massive beauty giveaway by clicking on the image below!

img_1671-3XO Ali

100th Post: My Favorite Looks

I can’t believe this is my 100th post! I was looking back through all my posts since the beginning, and I definitely picked up the pace in 2014. I will work my hardest on providing more interesting and insightful posts for your viewing. Thank you so much for following along ❀

It’s awards season, and it’s time for the selection of my favorite looks I’ve posted for the past year! I thought it’d be fun to list a variety of outfits throughout the no-new-clothes challenge, especially for new readers πŸ™‚ There were some hits and some serious misses, but I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite outfits (and linked them up to their original posts).

Best in Show

IMG_6467Original Post Here

Yellow lace dress: Target | Green cardi w/ black trim: H&M | Black fringe booties: Target | Chain necklace: Forever 21

I absolutely love this outfit. I started really experimenting with colors here. I would usually pick one focal piece and find accessories or neutral tones to compliment it, but this outfit just came together and is hands down my favorite outfit I’ve recorded over the year. My eclectic college fashion is shining through in this dress + boots combo.

Best Use of a Bow Tie (Tied…No Pun Intended)

20140210-211946.jpgOriginal Post Here

Cream-colored sweater: Forever 21 | Burgundy bow-tie shirt: Forever 21 | Gray skinnies: Delia’s | Burgundy suede wedges: Forever 21

IMG_8642Original Post Here

Pink cardigan: Maurice’s | White bow-tie shirt: Forever 21 | Gray jeggings: Reitman’s | Black flats: Target

Β Best Accessorized Outfit: Leopard + Red

20140203-223125.jpgOriginal Post Here

Leopard-print sweater: Forever 21 | Lips: Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple | Gold nail: Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish

20140203-223202.jpgBracelet: Ann Taylor

Best Costume/Dress-Up: Park Bom

IMG_5195Original Post Here

Black faux leather jacket: Target | Cherry blossom dress: Forever 21 | Gold wedge sneakers: Amazon | Wig: eBay | Circle lenses: Pinky Paradise

20131105-185555.jpgMy favorite part about this outfit is a tie between the dress (I’m obsessed with cherry blossoms) or the circle lenses (hello, big eyes!).

Best Surprise Combo: Yellow + Gray

IMG_5085Original Post Here

Gray cardigan: Target | Yellow blouse w/ eyelet collar: Forever 21 | Black skirt: Forever 21 | Black heels: Target

This particular outfit was very influenced by Louis Vuitton (see post). I have since sold the blouse because it was 3 sizes too big, and this is the only way I could disguise it (not versatile enough).

Best Rediscovered Item: Floral Studded Blouse

outfitOriginal Post Here

Floral/stud blouse: Forever 21 | Salmon-colored honeycomb sweater: I | Black skinnies: H&M | Burgundy suede wedges: Forever 21

Best New Item: Black Sheep Sweater

IMG_6554Original Post Here

Black Sheep Sweater: Forever 21 | Black skinnies: H&M | Black heels: Target | Pearl Headband: Forever 21

I have an upcoming post on any new items I acquired during my no-new-clothes challenge (sounds counter-intuitive) using funds I made selling clothes, and this piece tops the list out as my favorite.

Best Baby/Bridal Shower Outfit

IMG_6484Original Post Here

Royal blue/mint peplum dress: Forever 21 | Mint belt: Forever 21 | Mint watch: Charlotte Russe | Mint shoes: Macy’s (Nine West)

Best in Sports Luxe

20140202-212905.jpgOriginal Post Here

Neon yellow jacket: Brooks | Track pants: Adidas | Polka dot shoes: Keds

Okay, this is probably more sports than luxe, but it was the only picture I managed to capture of any kind of workout gear, and it really has become a comfortable staple. My favorite place to wear it? The airport on my way home (I like to dress up for the airport on my way to places, ha).

Best Feminine Look: This Dress

IMG_7620Original Post Here

Greige cardi: Forever 21 | Salmon-colored dress: H&M | Braided sandals: Aeropostale

Between the chiffon outer layer, the ruffles, and the pretty spring-color, this dress always makes me feel so feminine and pretty. It’s perfect to wear to work with a cardigan, or to wear out shopping on a hot summer day.

Best Modern-Day Professional Look

IMG_6650 Original Post Here

Green cardi w/ black trim: H&M | Purple cutout tank: Forever 21 | Black pencil skirt: Charlotte Russe | Black heels: Target

This look, complete with a relaxed sock bun, is one of my favorite modern-day professional looks. The contrast between the bright green and the purple is blended together with matching earrings from Old Navy. The black trim on the cardigan pulls in the skirt and your basic set of black work pumps.

There are many other looks I liked and wanted to post, but I narrowed it down to these few.

What do you think of my selection? Do you agree/disagree? I’d love to have some feedback as well as some inspiration for what you would like to see in the future!



IMG_1646I’ve been wanting to do a beauty giveaway for the last several months, and I’ve finally collected a fair range of products, brands and sizes that I think anyone would want to try πŸ™‚ This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, so you’ll have to follow any of the links on this page, or the image at the bottom of the page, to enter!

One lucky winner will receive ALL of the following products:

IMG_1671-PΓΌr Minerals Mineral Glow ($23.50)
-Murad Oil-Control Mattifier (deluxe size)
-Dr. Brandt BB Matte Cream w/ Signature Shinerase in Light to Medium ($39)
-Ulta Hydra Quench Foaming Oil Cleanser (deluxe size)
-Sample packets for Philosphy Hope in a Jar, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and GlamGlow Youth-Mud
-Ulta Eyeshadow Quad in Bone, Ice Queen, Truffle, and Gunmetal
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (sample size)
-Ardell Natural Lash Starter Kit in 101 Demi Black ($6)
-Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (deluxe size)
-Ulta Eyeshadow Quad in Sahara Sand, Sunkissed, Mosaic, and Glittering Sand
-Ulta Dual Ended Eye Liner in Black and Deep Brown
-Dolce and Gabbana Desire Perfume (sample size)
-Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Perfume (sample size)
-Ulta Beauty Smoothie in Buttercream Cupcake (3 oz. travel size) ($4)
-Pink Beauty Travel Bag
-Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine (mini size)
-It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product for Hair (2 oz. travel size) ($12)

Rules for the Giveaway

1. You must submit your entries through Rafflecopter.
2. This giveaway is open worldwide!
3. You must leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you won to get your mailing address (no P.O. boxes please).
4. I am not paid/endorsing any of these products. Users should read ingredients/instructions carefully to avoid any allergies.
5. One (1) winner will receive (1) beauty bag filled with multiple products by
6. Winner will be contacted following the close of the giveaway. Winner must respond by email within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

Since I can’t embed Rafflecopter into my blog, you can click here or the image below, and it’ll take you to the entry page. Good luck!

img_1671-3XO Ali

Weekend Rewind + Beauty Giveaway Coming Tonight

Stay tuned for my very first worldwide BEAUTY GIVEAWAY opening tonight! Follow me now so you won’t miss it!

Good morning everyone! Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner!

To be honest, I’m a little surprised I even survived this past weekend. Friday was quite literally the worst night of my life. My dog was attacked by another dog in my neighborhood.

Yoshi (20 lbs) was meeting a husky (50-60 lbs), and I don’t know if the husky got spooked or what, but as soon as Yoshi was within reach, he chomped down on Yoshi’s snout, lifted him off the ground and started shaking him. I was screaming and picked Yoshi up while the other guy was using both hands to pry open his dog’s mouth. After what felt like eternity (probably 5-7 seconds), the husky released Yoshi’s snout and I made off like a bat out of Hell. I hugged him so tightly the whole walk (run) back to my apartment and immediately inspected him when I crossed the threshold. Nothing. No blood, no marks, his eyes were fine, nothing. In addition, he was acting fine. At this point, I became the definition of hysterical. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that hard. My baby was somehow okay πŸ˜₯

IMG_9121He probably became the definition of spoiled at this point, because I was ready to give him whatever he wanted! I know it’s not the owners fault and I would never report it unless I knew the dog had this kind of repetitive behavior. But man, it was terrifying to go through. Luckily, he has acted like nothing ever happened.

The rest of my weekend was less eventful, but still tiring. I slept like a rock on Friday night (go figure), and then Ryan and I went for a swim at the Rec Center to prep for our triathlon this weekend. Did I mention this is the first time I’ve been in a pool since before I got LASIK back in December? Good thing my swim portion of my tri is only 250 yards and waist-deep! Haha

Sunday we biked 8.5 miles and only ran 2 because the heat and sun was making us both sick. The rest of the day was spent playing with Yoyo, updating my closet app, and binge-watching TV.

What a rollercoaster of physical and mental fatigue it was. But you know what? Everything is alright, today is a new day, this week is a new week! πŸ˜€

Today’s OOTD:

IMG_9182Cream-colored cardigan: Forever 21 | Pink/purple floral top: Old Navy | Eggplant-colored skinnies: H&M | Beige flats: Old Navy | Water-pail floral necklace: Forever 21

IMG_9176 laqa_liplube_menatour_900x900I also am wearing LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube in “Menatour” which I received in my Birchbox a couple months back πŸ™‚ It’s a little more purple than it photographs. The texture is buttery smooth, without any runniness. It also has a faint mint smell on application.

Also, stay TUNED for details on my very first beauty GIVEAWAY. I promise, you will not want to miss it!

What are you looking forward to the most this week? XO

August Subscription Boxes

They’re here! The best part about coming back from vacation was that little pile of boxes patiently waiting at my doorstep to be fawned over. Since I canceled Birchbox last month (a decision I’ve since regretted…more on that below), I only have 3 subscriptions currently: Sunset 45, BarkBox, and I sampled LoveWithFood this month for only $2. What did I think about what I got? Keep reading to find out πŸ™‚

Sunset 45 Little Luxuries Box

August’s theme was Into the Woods. After a disappointing month last month, I was weighing my decision to keep it or cancel on this month’s box. I’m happy to say that I really loved it! Despite how much I love it, for $35/month, I’m not sure I can keep up with a love-hate relationship…not when there’s other boxes out there I want to sample. I’ll be “allowed” to buy my own accessories again in just a few weeks, and I know they’ll be ones I love (and probably at less cost). I’m going to wait until after September’s box to confirm this decision. There were five pieces in this collection:

  • “Leafcutter” bracelet ($26) – easily my favorite piece in the collection! The pretty emerald green set against the gold leaves makes it really pop out and elegantly define an outfit.
  • MIENN fragrance oil no. 54 rollerball ($15) – my second favorite item. “The no. 54 is a delicate musk with sweet floral top notes.” I was put off by the description at first, because I am not at all a musk-type girl. However, it’s got a sweet, subdued aroma that to me, is almost pheromone-like. MIENN is a Korean fragrance company.
  • “Autumn Feather” necklace ($24) – a super cute silver collar-necklace perfect for date night. I like that it is unique, but not a statement piece. I will be able to get more wear out of it this way.
  • “Apoidea” statement ring ($30) – I LOVE the actual statement portion of the ring, but I think I may deconstruct it and use it as a pendant on a necklace instead. It is a little too big on my hand.
  • Earrings (bonus) – I’m suprised how much I like these rhinestone earrings. The rhinestone portion has subtle pink undertones that show off when they catch the light. I don’t think I would have liked the rhinestones in the earrings if they didn’t have that pink hue.


I ruv Barkbox, seriously. When you love your four-legged friend as much as I do, all you want to do is shower them with new toys and treats. Okay, it’s probably a little more for me than him, but we have found some great healthy treats, and he loves the new toys every month! But the best part is that Barkbox donates 10% of the proceeds from every box to a dog in need. Paws up!

IMG_1628This month’s box had a nautical theme. It includes the following items:

  • Jax and Bones Nautical Wheel Rope Toy
  • Feel Good Treat Co. Seafood Chowder
  • Wadoba Fetch
  • Grandma Bowser’s Cheddar Biscuits

I won’t be opening the treats until he’s finished his other couple packs, but I do want to comment on the Wadoba Fetch ball. It’s pretty cool, it’s made so that when you throw it, it will skid-jump across the water and float. It’s meant to be a catch-and-retrieve toy, not a chew toy, and I’m excited to try it out with Yoshi once we break his fear of water…

Love With Food Tasting Box

I’ve been doing a little research on some food subscription boxes, and decided to try this Love With Food Tasting Box because I found a code where you could get your first box for free, just pay $2 shipping. They have 3 types of boxes: the Tasting Box ($10/mo), the Deluxe Box ($17/mo), and the Gluten-Free Box ($25/mo). What attracted me to the company was that all their snacks are either all-natural, organic, GMO-free, gluten-free or free of artificial ingredients. In addition, for every box you buy, they donate one meal to a hungry child in America.

This month’s theme was Fun at the County Fair and came with:

  • Back to Nature crispy cheddar crackers
  • Salty Road caramel apple salt water taffies (2)
  • Skeeter Snacks nut-free cinnamon graham crackers
  • Covered Bridge steak spice seasoned potato chips
  • Smooze! pineapple and coconut fruit ice
  • 180 Snacks nutty rice bites with blueberries
  • YumEarth lollipops (2)
  • Love With Food kettle sweet peanuts

I don’t really know what I was expecting for $10, but I immediately knew this was a box I wouldn’t continue with. The snacks have so far been delicious, but they’re such a small amount it leaves you kind of unsatisfied. I just can’t justify paying $10 for what was received. Don’t let me dissuade you, however, as you can get your first box for free by clicking this link:

Love With Food - Snack Smart. Do Good.

I am trying the Vegan Cuts snack box next πŸ™‚

In addition, after just one month off, I have decided to renew my Birchbox subscription. Ironically, when you sign up, they send you the current months box as well, so technically I didn’t really take any time off. I was so disappointed when I saw some incredible August boxes…I’m really hoping I get one that’s just as good! I also ordered the two limited edition CEW Insiders boxes. Those reviews will be up after they get delivered!

What are your subscription addictions? Are there any new ones out there that you’re interested in trying? Let me know in the comments below!



Here are some of my outfits from this week πŸ™‚ We’re hitting the home stretch here in this no new clothes challenge. Can I confess something to you? I’m a bit nervous about just how interesting my blog will be … Continue reading

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello my friends πŸ™‚

I have been nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by A Vibrant Day. She’s really super lovely and has great tastes in fashion, beauty, and features a lot of product and subscription box reviews! Please take a minute to stop by her blog πŸ™‚

Here are the rules of the award:
1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. You must list the rules and display the award.
3. You must add 7 facts about yourself.
4. You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5. You must display the award logo.

7 Facts About Me

1. I used to have a pierced lip in college. I got it done winter break of my senior year. I had wanted to do it for a while, but was nervous what other people would think. After I stopped caring, I finally went through with it and it barely hurt! I loved it (and I miss it). I only had it for about 6 months before I took it out to start my professional job.

image2. I’ve always wanted to have light pink tips on my blonde hair. Something really subtle and feminine. No harsh pink tones.

I can replicate this look (and did last year for Halloween) with my pink hair chalk, but I want something more permanent..

3. I always check my slippers for spiders before I put my feet in them. Every. Damn. Time.

4. Apparently, my celebrity doppleganger is Maggie Grace (Lost, Taken). Personally, I don’t see it, but I swear I’ve had no less than 15 complete strangers or friends tell me I look like her. Most of my close friends don’t see it either, but you be the judge.

5. I hate watching people shave, especially guy’s faces. Any time an ad comes on TV or a movie shows a close-up, I have to look away because it freaks me out. ESPECIALLY straight-razor shaving. Watching Sweeney Todd many years ago may be the root cause of this problem…

6. I learned (and was pretty good at) HTML in middle school when I started a website dedicated to the anime, Sailor Moon. It was hosted by Geocities (an affiliate of Yahoo!) and I poured hundreds of hours and years of time into it. I could freely type most HTML code without any kind of cheat sheet. They shut Geocities down in 2009, long after I abandoned my pride and joy, but it would be cool if I could go back and see all I had done.

7. I’m really impulsive. When I have a thought or desire, I have very little self-control in keeping it tamed and analyzing it. If I want to go on a cleaning rampage, I can’t sit still until I’ve finished everything on my mental to-do list. That’s another thing–to-do lists. I’m obsessed with them. There’s nothing like writing down everything you want to do and then getting to mark it off when you’re finished. Sometimes I even add things I’ve already done just so I can check them off πŸ˜€ Haha

Bloggers to Nominate

1. HuiminXOXO
2. Look Beyond Beauty
3. Kerstie Ladd
4. Pink Lace Pearls

Please stop by all these SUPER lovely ladies websites πŸ™‚ They’re a mix between fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogs (just like yours truly). I really look up to and respect these blogs and each of their unique writing styles and fashion tastes.

That’s all for now. HAPPY FRIDAY! XO

Red River Gorge

Hello y’all! πŸ˜‰ I’m back from Kentucky and hard at both work and working out this week. I’ve got my first triathlon next Sunday, the 31st (the day before my birthday πŸ™‚ ), so Ryan and I have decided to get up at 5:45 basically every day until then to get in our workouts. We’re both behind on training, but since mine is a mini-tri, hopefully I will do okay!

Here are some pictures from my mini-vacation last week!

Our first hike was in Natural Bridge State Park. It was only 1.5 miles from the parking lot, but it was a 600 foot ascent, with LOTS of stairs and winding uphill paths. The Natural Bridge was pretty cool. I didn’t realize until we got there that you could actually climb up on it, so naturally, we did! It was a terrifying drop off, however, with no rails. It was probably at least 20-30 feet wide though, so it was more mental because I didn’t go anywhere near the edge πŸ™‚

The second hike we did was to Daniel Boon’s Hut/Cave. This one was another 1.5 mile hike through the woods (plus 1.5 miles back), but it was mostly flat until we got closer to the caves.

The third and last hike we did was a modest 1.25 mile hike on a mostly flat, wide pathway. We wanted to bring Yoshi on at least one of the trails, and this one ended up being perfect. He pulled on the leash most of the way going in because he was so excited and wanted to see and smell everything. He gave him water every 5 minutes and carried him just a small ways back, mostly because we knew he would need breaks but was too excited to sit still. I loved having him with us on the vacay πŸ™‚

Overall, it was a (mostly) relaxing long-weekend in our private little cabin. We brought a ton of fresh fruits and veggies and so we had hearty, healthy meals to look forward to. We only ate out once at Red River Rock House (it was recommended to us before we left), and it was incredible. I highly recommend it if you ever stay in RRG. We had zero service in the entire area, but would randomly pick up signals here and there on the paths. We DID have satellite TV, so we kept up with Big Brother, and even got into some Dateline mysteries (yes, we’re wild ones). But mostly we just played games, took Yoshi on lots of walks, and read books.

Hope you have a fantastic week! XO

Weekend Review + No Outfit Repeats Challenge

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I actually don’t even mind that it’s Tuesday. I had to work yesterday and today, then Ryan and I are going to Kentucky for the remainder of the week/week-end for a little getaway πŸ™‚ I’m done with school for the summer, so we rented a pet-friendly cabin near some National Parks, and will be gone from Wednesday-Sunday! You may not hear from me for a few days, though I’ll try to post some pictures through my Instagram if you care to follow along!

This past weekend was pretty eventful as well. I met up with a bunch of co-workers for a girls night out Friday after work and got schmammered, ha πŸ˜€

Saturday we met some friends in the Eastern part of the state for some four-wheeling, a bonfire, and plenty more eating, drinking, and hanging out with friends! Yoshi even got to tag along and met a new friend, Brutus, our friends’ 8-week old golden retriever.

puppiesIMG_8927 IMG_8942 Now onto the final outfits of my no-outfit repeats challenge. I lasted from June 23 through August 8 (that’s 47 days!) without repeating any clothes, other than shoes and accessories. That’s probably a sign I still have too many clothes. I did go through my closet last week and nix about 20-30 more items though! I’ve got to fill in that $81 gap I owe for spending more than I’ve made selling clothes :/

I’ve decided moving forward I am going to continue with the goal of the challenge (finding out what I wear/don’t wear) by continuing to wear one item I haven’t worn yet each day since the beginning of the challenge.

I’m sorry I’ve been so lazy that I haven’t taken many pics in my outfits. But at least I’ve been keeping track of them in my app.

IMG_8975Pastel green cardi w/ lace collar: Forever 21 | Contrast-trim white blouse: Forever 21 | Grey skirt: Charlotte Russe | Black pumps: Target

IMG_8976Polka dot sweater: Forever 21 | Beige dress pants: NY&Co. | Black flats: Target

IMG_8977Red/black floral dress: Target | Black pumps: Target

IMG_8978(I was sad I didn’t get an actual picture in this outfit, so I added the accessories to show) Yellow dress: Forever 21 | Striped belt: Forever 21 | Braided sandals: Aero | Crescent hoops: Forever 21

IMG_8979IMG_8881Mint-colored scalloped lace top: Forever 21 | Black tank: Old Navy | Shorts: Pac Sun | Shoes: Sperry’s

IMG_8980Blue blazer: Forever 21 | Tropical green top: NY&Co. | Khaki skinnies: H&M | Loafers: DSW

IMG_8981 IMG_8909Bird-print blouse: Forever 21 | Black skirt: Forever 21 | Black lace-up booties: DSW

IMG_8982Yellow dress (w/ matching navy belt, not shown): Forever 21 | Blue leggings: Unknown | Loafers: DSW

IMG_8983Bejeweled-collar dress: Forever 21 | Black blazer: Charlotte Russe | Black pumps: Target

IMG_8986Burgundy sweater: H&M | Pink/gold polka-dot blouse: Forever 21 | Skinny black jeans: Target | Laser-cut beige flats: Old Navy

IMG_8987Plaid button down cotton top: Aero | Shorts: Pac Sun (my first repeated item) | Rib-cage tank: H&M | Shoes: Sperry’s

IMG_8962Blue/white striped top: Victoria’s Secret | Jean capris: American Eagle | Button down plaid top: Forever 21 | Shoes: Adidas Boost (we walked to dinner from our apt)

IMG_8992Beige/cream striped top: Old Navy | Taupe skirt: H&M | Pink belt: Forever 21 | Beige heels: DSW

IMG_9001Blue sweater: H&M | Blue/white striped blouse: Forever 21 | Black skinnies: H&M | Leopard-print flats: Target | Leopard-print belt: Forever 21

I’m getting sick of all these old-fashioned pumps and loafers (basically, the only shoes that have lasted throughout the challenge) and how I own so many cheap Forever 21 items. I’m ready to step it up in some pretty new heels and loafers with details in the toes and some quality pieces of clothing that will last more than one season! C’mon September 6th!

I’m hoping this vacation brings me some new energy. I can’t wait to share my experiences when I’m back πŸ™‚

See y’all next week πŸ˜›