Thursday, April 17, 2014

a sunny afternoon

Go home, Maryland. You're weather drunk.

A couple days ago, it was 70 degrees outside and I broke out my first sundress of the season. Then, not even 3 days later: snow and sleet. Riddle me that.

Suffice to say, I took full advantage of the wonderful weather. Enter: new fave sundress, sandals, and sunnies. And in an effort to soak in as much sun as possible (because I had a feeling the first sign of summer would be short-lived), I sat outside on my lunch break to catch some rays.


Full length shot of the dress

Close up of the pattern. One of the panels is a gorgeous sheer lace.

obligatory selfie with fresh bouquet

Want to Get Jessed up?
Mossimo Illusion Maxi Dress: $34.99

Side note--
I love this dress because it reminds me of something I could find at Free People... but I got it at Target! The earthy tones, lightweight panels, and sheer lace are definitely elements I love in my favorite pieces from Free People. However, sadly realistically my budget doesn't exactly allow for that kind of shopping right now. That said, here are some of the dresses I am dreaming of in the meantime:

Intimately Love Me Loves Me Not Maxi, $108

Candela Ami Pieced Lace Maxi, $285

Edie Gurl Maxi, $98

What's your go-to sundress style for summer? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beach Bunny Body

I learned about Beach Bunny Swimwear last year when I saw one of their ads featuring Kate Upton.

Here is some of the current campaign featuring Kate (because we're on a first name basis):





[Sidenote: I love Kate Upton. I love that she doesn't hide her curves. I love that she isn't rail thin. I love that she embraces her body and rocks the hell out of a bikini.]

Anyway, ever since I discovered the brand, I've wanted to own one of their bathing suits. Though it's been almost over a year, I've not yet purchased one for myself for a few reasons:

1) The bathing suits are pretty pricey. They range from $109 - $250 for both pieces.
2) If I am going to spend that kind of money on a bathing suit, I would like my body to be in much better shape. If I am going to own it, I want to own it, and feel good about myself when I'm in it.
3) I've got no where to wear it. I feel like those bathing suits are a little... much... for your average neighborhood pool.

So, here's what I'm thinking:

I am going to challenge myself, with the reward being purchasing one of the Beach Bunny bathing suits.

If I lose 15-20 lbs., I will gift myself a bikini from Beach Bunny. I will also take a long weekend and go somewhere, whether it's the beach or a resort in Atlantic City. Just somewhere to break in my new suit other than the pool in my apartment community.

This is going to be tough for me. I don't get enough any exercise, which of course I take full responsibility for considering the fact I've been a huge slacker and haven't been to the gym in two, going on three, years. I need to get my behind back into shape, and the first step is obviously going to the gym. Secondly, I need to eat better. It's not that I go through fast food drive-thru's all the time, because actually, I don't eat fast food at all! (I don't consider Subway or Panera fast food, but for the sake of this challenge, I'll remove them from my diet for the time being). I do, however, snack. A lot. All the time. I am a BIG snacker, so I'll need to curb that habit pretty significantly for this to be successful.

For the record, the goal for this challenge is not to lose a ton of weight.  Realistically, I know that won't happen. However, I do need to lose 15-20 lbs. to be healthy. I need to gain lean muscle and tone up. Overall, I am proud of my body and am comfortable with the curves that I have. I am not proud, however, of the Pillsbury doughboy effect that has enveloped my stomach and thighs.

There's no deadline for this challenge, but I do hope to achieve it over the next couple of months. If it takes until the end of the summer, or if it takes until the end of Fall, I'll be happy with that (and go somewhere warm once it's colder here so I can better enjoy the sunny weather!).

Here are some of the suits I am eyeing right now:

Knitted Zig Zag Balconette Bikini, $215

Sexy Sequin Lace Bikini, $170

All Eyes on Me, $179

Yes. That's Chrissy Teigen. I love her as much as I love Kate Upton, probably more, mainly because I am jealous of her marriage with John Legend. They have to be the hottest couple on the planet. Have to be.

So wish me luck. It's going to be a tough couple months of trying to eat right, increase my activity levels, and get back on track. With your support, it will be much easier. Here we go!

Until next time,
GJU

Monday, April 7, 2014

My week on Instgram

It's been a very Instagram-worthy week.

Orioles played the Red Sox on their Opening Day at Camden Yards. I ate way too much at my parent's dinner party, particularly overdid it with the Smith Island Cake. I tried a couple of new hair styles. I enjoyed a Sunday brunch overlooking the water in Baltimore. And lastly, I spent quality couch time with Bruiser. Here's my week as seen on Instagram :)


















Want to see more? Follow me on Instagram!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Coveting.

Covet: to wish for earnestly; to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately

The tenth commandment is "Thou shalt not covet..." and then it goes on to list a couple things we should't covet, including: my neighbor's house, and his wife, his servants, his ox, his ass, or anything - for that matter- that is his.

That said: I covet.

There are things I don't have that I desperate want.

Some of the pretty little things I am currently craving:

Coveting this? Spiked Lily Necklace, Bauble Bar, $44

Coveting this? Candela Starlight Maxi, Free People, $550

Coveting this? Cedar Street Maise, Kate Spade, $298

Coveting this? Honeydew Intimates Camilla Lace Bralette, Nasty Gal, $28

Is there anything you're currently coveting? Do share!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Living in lace

Lace, in my opinion, is the most feminine fabric. It's ethereal, soft, and delicate. Lace is beautiful and graceful, and when I wear it, I feel pretty. So there's that.

This summer, I am going to live in lace. I've already added a couple new pretty pieces to my wardrobe (shocker), and cannot wait until it's warmer weather so I can wear them.

Some of the lacey little things I am loving right now:

Leanne Top, Abercrombie, $68

Cropped Lace Button Down Top, American Eagle, $39.95

Lace Crossback Tank, American Eagle, $39.95

Illusion Yoke Lace Dress, a. drea at Nordstrom,  $88

Outskirts Lace Cami, Free People, $48

Lady Bird Lace Tank, Free People, $78

Are you loving lace as much as I am?



Monday, March 24, 2014

New Baubles and a Braid

As you guys know, I love statement necklaces. LOVE. They can elevate a simple tee shirt, and add sparkle, shine, and color to any outfit. Here are some baubles I'm currently loving:

J. Crew

Anthropologie 

Francesca's 


J. Crew


Feeling inspired by spring - and by all of the aforementioned necklaces - I picked up a glass and grey leaf necklace for myself (and I am absolutely obsessed with it)!

Top: J. Crew, Necklace: J. Crew, Belt: LOFT, Denim: LOFT, Shoes: Steve Madden (Similar)


While we're at it on the outfit pics, here's what I wore the other day. Neutrals on neutrals on neutrals = my upcoming summer wardrobe. I love putting peaches with pinks, and whites with beiges. 

Jacket: LOFT, Top: Free People (Similar), Bracelets: LOFT

On a totally different note... I am trying to learn how to braid. I don't mean your average braid - I know how to do that. But I want to learn how to french braid, inside out french braid, and fishtail braid.

Photo: The Freckled Fox

Photo: Posie Blogs

Photo: The Freckled Fox

I have a lot ton of hair (duh), and blowing it dry/straightening it everyday just doesn't work in my schedule. Takes too long, my arms get tired, I have no patience, and so on.

I feel like knowing how to do more kinds of braids would really benefit me. Instead of throwing my hair up into a clip like I do every. single. day. (see both selfie outfit photos above/every other photo ever) these new braiding techniques would give me other ways to throw my hair back quickly and effortlessly but in a more polished way.

Though I've tried many times, I still cannot french braid quite yet. However, here is my best first attempt at the fishtail braid. IMHO, it's a damn good first try! (Thanks, Danielle, for showing me how to do this!)


Can you do any fun braiding styles? Please share your secrets and teach me your talents!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Capitol Culture Couture

My friend Ryan turned 30 this month, and to celebrate, he threw a Capitol Culture-themed bar crawl celebration.

When I first got the FB invite, I had no idea what Capitol Culture was-- I had never heard of it. The invitation suggested we google "Effie Trinket" for inspiration. Following Ryan's advice, I promptly flipped open the macbook and got to Googling. It didn't take long to realize this was a Hunger Games theme. I've not seen any of the movies or read any of the books, which explains why nothing on the invitation made any sense to me.

However, whether you've seen the movies or not, the theme was crystal clear.

What I learned was that Capitol Culture is all about luxe. Being overly frosted, sparkled, and made up. More is more. To me, it seems like a satirical view on society and our country's obsession with material things and outer appearances. Either way... I was into the theme because the brighter the colors and wilder the make up = the better the pictures.

Here are some of the photos I used as inspiration for my outfit and hair/makeup:






One thing was certain: I needed drama. Drama on my eyes. Drama in my hair. Drama everywhere.

Another thing was also certain: if I went too dramatic with the whole get up, I could run the risk of looking like a Baltimore City street walker, so I needed to subtle-it-down a little.

My friend Kelly manages a hair salon and was able to help me accomplish the hair and makeup looks I had in mind. (Thank you Kelly, again, for your help!) Here's what we came up with:

This was about halfway done the makeup application. Lashes applied,
bright lip, green shadow, and the start of the gemstones being glued to my face.

My hair was everything. Several french braids and fishtails pulled to the left,
tied together, and crimped. Then all of it was teased. The bottom was dyed pink and silver .

I used a pin (for clothes) as a bright hair accessory to match the pink hair dye.
Because my hair and makeup were... aggressive (albeit pretty, IMO)...
I went with a bright, but simple, dress choice.

In the elevator on the way to the party-- excited to see everyone's looks!

With my friend Mallory and the birthday boy.

Close up of final make up, and Mallory's fierce eye shadow.

The group.

B&W version of the makeup photo. I just thought it looked cool without color.

If you were going to this theme party, what would you do?! Any good ideas for next time?

Until then,
GJU