Friday, June 23, 2017

REVIEW: Ricky Alessandro Hair Care

I was so excited when my amazing hair stylist told me he started his own hair care line.  I always trust his opinions when it comes to hair care.  He's never steered me wrong.  I've been trying his line for about a month now and it doesn't disappoint!!

Let's start with the Silk + Protein Shampoo and Silk + Protein Conditioner.  I love this duo because it really helps with my dry scalp.  I struggle with flaking and I've seen a huge difference after using these products.  I even switched out and went back to my old shampoo/conditioner and started flaking again.  You don't need a lot of the conditioner...a little goes a long way.  Both shampoo and conditioner are paraben and sulfate free.

Next up is a must in my hair care and I was blown away by it - Air Spray Dry Shampoo.  I LOVE this product.  One of my pet peeves about dry shampoo is seeing the white powder at my roots.  I have yet to see any residual powder and I don't feel the product when I run my fingers through my hair.  And it smells great!!!

Lastly are the hair sprays...the FLEX Light Styling Spray is perfect for me as I don't use a ton of hair spray but every once and awhile I like a little hold when I curl the ends.  The product offers three application settings so you can decide how much hold you want.  Doesn't feel sticky at all...feels like I don't have anything in my hair.  The FLEX+ Hair Spray is a stronger hold...I don't have a need for for a strong hold hairspray but I did use this a few times on my daughter for her ballet recital.  It worked great for her.  Gave her the hold she needed for her bun but when we were done, I brushed it out and her hair looked back to normal.

And DC area ladies (and your husbands) definitely schedule an appointment with Ricky for your cuts and color.  He's amazing...the whole family goes to see him.  He's at Eric Alexander salon.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Stitch Fix Box #19

It's been more than a year since I've used Stitch Fix and they reached out offering me a free styling free to try it again.  I thought why not, I'll give it shot.  My 19th box arrived and well I wasn't as disappointed as I've been in the past but the was pretty blah.  One of the things I used to like about Stitch Fix is they'd help take me out of my comfort zone.  Here's a recap of my pieces.

Daniel Rainn Jorgensen Crochet Top ($68.00) - Actually really liked this top but it was a bit too big.  Would have probably worked if it came in a petite.  Paired it with my favorite Banana Republic Sloan Pants and new favorite Steve Madden Sandals

This one might be a keeper.  It's Q&A Ashley Off the Shoulder Blouse ($54.00).  I love the color...such a vibrant blue.  It fits really well and it's pretty versatile with shorts and jeans both dark wash denim and white.  Paired them for this look with basic white chino J.Crew shorts.   

Gilli Lyla Knti Dress ($68.00) I appreciate that my stylist picked this dress to show off my figure.  It is very flattering.  Again, probably would have worked better if it was a petite.  Also I wasn't a huge fan of the ruffle detail on the side.  It does go nicely with my new Sam Edelman shoes

These are my favorite two pieces from the box.  Z Supply Knit Top ($28.00) is really soft and fits great!  I just don't need I really liked the Just Black Lara Distressed Skinny Jean ($88.00) but they were too big.  The whole outfit paired nicely with Converse (currently on sale).

Still on the fence as to whether or not I'm going to been the off-the-shoulder blouse but other than that the rest of items are definitely going back.  I don't know if I'll continue with another Stitch Fix box.  Interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself...check it out here.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

NEED A LOOK: Rehearsal Dinner

If you follow Christina's Favorite Things on Facebook then you know I was on the hunt for a look for a wedding I have this month.  So happy with the look I came up with...thanks in part to you guys!  I completely forgot that I also need a look for the rehearsal dinner because my husband is in the wedding.  For this look I think I want to go with a simple dress (since the wedding look is a fun print) but dress it up with fun jewelry.  Here are some of the dresses that I'm thinking about...what do you think???  
(**Note: I'd get the top Leith dress in navy and the top right dress in teal.**)

So the idea is I'd pair one of the above dresses with one of these pieces of fun jewelry.  I would only do a fun necklace or earrings not both and depends on the dress.  Which are your favorites???

(**Note: I'd get the bottom right earrings in bright purple**) 
And to avoid having to also buy a new pair of shoes, I'm trying to finish the look off with my favorite new Steve Madden Ava shoes.  (**Note: I own them in tan**)

Don't like anything here...would love other suggestions.  Just leave a comment or reach out to me!  
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jamberry...Take Two

What a different experience the second time around for Jamberry.  My nails turned out SO MUCH BETTER!!  I'm really happy I stuck with it.  This time I did Haute Pink wraps on all my nails and then on the ring finger I layered over Pink Papaya.  The nails still aren't perfect but really a big difference from the last time.  So what did I do differently?

First thing I did was watch this application video my sister-in-law sent over.

It was so helpful!  Since she really emphasized the importance of prepping the nail, I decided to get the cuticle remover and tool she mentioned (thank you Amazon for getting it here so quickly).

Then I basically followed along as she did her nails with prepping and application.  Definitely found the key to be the three step approach to putting on the wrap to make a huge difference.  I didn't think I was going to be hooked because well I just didn't think I could do them well.  Now that I'm getting the hang of it, I'm really getting into it and can't wait to try the next set of wraps which will likely be these.  Stay tuned to hear about my progress.  Current wraps on my wish list are these, these and these (and since its buy three get one free...these).  And if you want to know more about Jamberry, reach out to April here.  

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jamberry...Take One

My sister-in-law started selling Jamberry nail products so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I've been spending a fortune getting gel manicures every other week and thought this could be a better and cheaper alternative.  First let's start with...what are nail wraps?  They are thin vinyl sheets that are pressure and heat activated to adhere to your nail for a long lasting look.  Made with durable materials and can last for up to two weeks on fingernails and four weeks on toes.

I was definitely skeptical because I really didn't think I could do it because I've always been REALLY, REALLY bad at doing my own nails.  I actually surprised myself.  Here's how my nails looked after my first solo attempt.  No where near perfect but I don't think I did too bad of a job for my first go round.

The colors are Daydream (nude pink color) and Cosmopolitan (adds a nice design).  There was some bunching of the wrap around the ends but they definitely got better the further along I got.  Some helpful tips for my next try are 1) push my cuticles back more; 2) reheat the wrap again to smooth out the bumps; 3) go a size smaller for smoother finish and 4) BE PATIENT and take my time.  I definitely think I rushed through it.  I'm going to watch a few helpful tips and tricks videos for next time too to really get it down.  I'm going to try bright pink with a fun pink pattern for my ring fingers next.

If you are interested in trying it out, I recommend getting the Basic Bundle kit which comes with everything you need an application kit, mini heater and you can pick four wraps. Here's a picture of my sister-in-law's nails so you can see what they should look like...I'll get there.

I've NEVER been good about doing my own nails and I know this will take time...practice make perfect.  Interested in learning more about Jamberry, reach out to April, here.

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Weekly OOTD Recap

Recapping this week's OOTD.  My favorite outfit would be the Lilly Pulitzer Elsa top and favorite white jeans (currently being price matched by Nordstrom).  I got so many compliments on it at work and just love the print!  My favorite pieces (other than the Elsa top) would be the Ruffle Sleeve shirt and the Steve Madden sandals (and they both happen to be on sale).  Favorite piece of jewelry is a toss up because I love the new Bauble Bar necklace for a pop of color and the House of Harlow necklace is the perfect addition to a black dress.

Pants (similar)

Shirt (similar)

Dress (similar)
Necklace (similar)

Dress (similar)
Shoes (similar)

Shirt (similar
Shorts (similar

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Nordstrom...oh how I love thee!

Nordstrom is by far my favorite retail store for so many reasons.  And based on the responses from last week's survey on Facebook so do many of you.  I wanted to share why I love it to share some new insights and possibly convert some of you.

Free Shipping.  As a working mom of two young kiddos, I have minimal time to go to stores let alone the mall so 95% of my shopping is done online.  What I love about Nordstrom is free shipping...ALL THE TIME...NO MATTER WHAT.  You can't beat that.  I don't have to spend a certain amount or need to have a code.  They make it simple...just free shipping!

Free Returns.  This goes along with the free shipping because I usually end up having to return items and I hate having to take money out of my refund just to return it.  The process is easy...simple steps online...put it in the mail and I'll get an email once it's been processed.  Seriously they make it so easy.

Brands They Carry.  They have an amazing selection of brands (Zella, Kut from the Kloth, Gibson, Lush, Tucker &Tate) at reasonable price points.  And of course they carry the higher end brands I love like Tory Burch, Free People, AG.

Sales.  Items are constantly going on sale.  I rarely buy anything full price.  And you can't beat their annual sales - Half Year and of course the legendary Anniversary Sale which will be July 21-August 6 this year).

Rewards Program.  I'm always looking for some type of loyalty program when shopping at various stores and Nordstrom has two options:

  • Nordstrom Rewards - No obligation for this one.  You earn one point for every dollar you spend online Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook.
  • Nordstrom Credit or Debit Cardholder Rewards - More perks with this one including two points per dollar at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club (I'm not familiar with this one...anyone use it?); early access to Anniversary Sale (a must), pick your own Personal Points Day, alterations credit, and more.  
Customer Service.  And lastly their customer service is top notch.  I've only ever had very positive experiences with them...whether it's a wrong item was delivered or something arrived damaged, they've always rectified the situation quickly and with no stress.  

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Look for Less: Eyelet Edition

I am so excited about this look for less.  A couple of weeks ago I posted on Christina's Favorite Things Facebook page this Madewell/Free People look.  I really liked the look but couldn't justify the total $137.50 (not including tax) cost.

Good news!  I found a much more affordable look for less...more than $90 cheaper...and all brought to you by Target.  Absolutely LOVE this look.  Top is really great quality and the under $50 price tag is even better.

Big thanks to my friend Kate for sharing the Target top find!

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas

With Father's fast approaching I thought I'd share some gift ideas for you all because I don't know about you but it is so hard to find things for my husband and my dad...Hopefully this list helps you.

Money Clip.  I got this sweet money clip from 3LittlePixie's Etsy shop for my husband about a year ago.  I put our daughters birthdays and our anniversary on it.  He loves it and its such a personal gift that puts a smile on his face every times he sees it.  And great news for readers, they are offering readers a 15% discount on your purchase by using code FBFRIEND15.  

Collar Stays.  I got these collar stays for my husband years ago and he loves them but I wish I had known about 3LittlePixie because she has adorable personalized collar stays.  And again you can use code FBFRIEND15 for 15% off.  

Clothes.  Your house might be like mine where you dress your husband.  I basically buy a bunch of stuff for him and then he decides what I like of the purchases.  It works very well and Father's Day is another time to bring his wardrobe up to speed.  My favorite men's brands right now are Bonobos, Vineyard Vines, Penguin, Sperry.

Yeti. These products are a hit with my husband and his brothers.  Keeps beverages cool much longer than anything else.  There's a bunch of options with ramblerscoozie and jug.

Photo Gifts. There are so many personalized sites out there but I usually go through Snapfish because they are always offering great coupon codes.  I've gotten mugs, mousepads and key can't go wrong with something that has a picture of your child on it.  

Robe.  This one is definitely a personal preference but my husband lives in his robe.  And something they won't buy themselves.  Here's one that looks comfy.

Echo aka Alexa.  This is a "woman" you wouldn't mind your husband talking too.  Alexa is great.  We have the big Echo in our main kitchen area and a dot in our bedroom.  Definitely a game changer.

Books.  Summer is great for reading.  My husband will usually get through one book in the summer between reading on vacation and when we are at the pool.  Kevin Hart just came out with a new book that would be a perfect read and gift!  


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Amazon Subscribe and Save = Life Saver

I can't live without Amazon....packages arrive from them almost everyday other day.  As a working mom it really is a life saver because Amazon really has everything.  One of the things that I can't live without is Amazon Subscribe and Save.  You basically set up regularly scheduled deliveries on products you use on daily basis.  Sometimes you items in bulk (think Costco, Sams Club) and sometimes you get just a one off...all depends on the subscription.  My Subscribe and Save items range from diapers and toothpaste to garbage bags, cleaning products and paper plates.

Its so easy to do...just chose from thousands of products in the Subscribe and Save store, select your delivery frequency and create your subscription.  The prices are always better in Subscribe and Save and I've found 75% off the time its cheaper than Costco.

There's no commitment.  Amazon will send you an email once a month to review your items and you can chose to delay a shipment.  You can also cancel at anytime.  I've cancelled a lot of item...especially diapers and the baby stuff as my kids get bigger.

Here's a peek at my June Amazon Subscribe and Save items.  I'll start featuring them on a monthly basis to give you some ideas on products and ways you can save money.

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