July 28, 2016

Battle of the Agendas: Lilly Pulitzer vs Ban.do

If you follow me on Instagram you know which planner I already chose.

If you've been reading this blog for the past 4 years, you know which planner I chose.

This year, I thought I'd switch things up, which didn't work for me last year or the year before. When I saw that Ban.do released their new and improved planners, which had a spiral binding, I knew that I would go with these this year.

Ban.do is known for their cute, quirky, and fun products and their planners are no different. I knew the moment I saw that these planners were released, that they would be mine.

Well, I pre-ordered this gorgeous pink rose planner in the medium size when they were released at the end of April, but didn't receive mine until mid-June.

That's fine... I was more than happy to have my planner in my possession finally. It was super cute, and I loved that it had a spiral binding. I ordered and used a ban.do planner last year but it was regular book binding and I found myself being frustrated with it, therefore around November, I ordered a Lilly one.

I was perfectly content with my cute planner, photoed here, until Lilly released their planners.

Well, I fell in love.

I needed this planner. I needed more Lilly in my life.

So I ordered the Lilly and gave the ban.do one to my sister, who was happy to have a free planner.

There are many similarities between the two planners; they're the same size, have the same calendar features, and are insanely cute. They have cute details along every single page, quirky quotes at the start of each calendar month, and they both come with stickers.

The gripe I do have is that the ban.do planner is not lined, for each week. It's just a blank box to be filled in. Lilly has lines and I much prefer that.

They both have fun pages, such as holidays and fun dates to remember. They also both include notes pages while Lilly has a place for addresses (I don't really use that) and has extra design pages with their 5x5 designs on it.

Also, the Lilly planner (in Large) is slightly bigger than the ban.do planner, which could definitely be a deal breaker. If you prefer something fun, but don't want something too big, I recommend the ban.do. Lilly has a smaller size but to me, it's way too small.

All in all, I really am partial to Lilly. I like the design better, I like the layout better (even if they are similar) and I feel like it's not as outrageous as ban.do.

It's all opinion here, and I just always prefer Lilly planners. It's what I'm partial to and what I'll probably always buy.

I should probably stop trying to stray from what I know & love because like a bad ex, I keep going back.

What agenda did you choose this year?

July 27, 2016

Book Review Wednesday: Opening Belle

People say to never judge a book by it's cover but I have to admit, that I do it often. If a book has an intriguing cover and it sparks my interest, I need to read it. If the summary matches my interest, then it's a sealed deal.

That is exactly what happened with Opening Belle.

I saw the cover on Amazon and after reading the summary, I knew this was the perfect light hearted book I would enjoy.

I was in need of a great fiction novel and this definitely brought my love of fiction back. I listened to it on Audible and it was the perfect novel for a morning and evening commute.

This book starts out kind of fast, and it could be a little difficult to follow but that could also be because I was listening and not reading it.

Belle is a wife & mother, who lives in Manhattan and works on Wall Street, dealing with stocks. She lives a fast paced, stressful, and over worked life. She doesn't spend time with her children, is exposed to sexual harassement at work, and has a husband who doesn't have a job, and is hardly a care taker for the children.

She tries her best, but somehow keeps falling short.

Belle does her best to work her way up the glass ceiling while also keeping a low profile when it comes to the pigs who work with her. She's one of the highest women in the company and got there solely on her hard work and work ethic.

That is the premises of the book, and everything that follows is related.

Belle is trying to juggle her family life, an old flame coming back into her life, a distant husband, and the Glass Ceiling Club -- women at work who want to end the sexist behavior going on in the work place.

Oh, and did I mention this is all going on months before the 2008 stock market crash/recession. YUP, so you can only imagine how stressed she was.

It is an interesting book, a light and easy read, with lots of talk about stocks and money. I'd compare this to a romantic comedy without a lot of romance, or comedy -- if that makes an ounce of sense. It was fun, flirty, and the perfect read for summer.

What books have you been reading this summer?

July 25, 2016

Brand Buzz: Fresh

As I've stated in the past, I'm very much into skincare lately and have tried a bunch of different brands and products. There are definitely some products that haven't worked and some that truly have. I've discovered what my skin needs and what it doesn't like.

I have dry, sensitive skin and my skin needs products without fragrance and that are made for sensitive skin.

There are a few brands that cater to all my needs, and one of them is Fresh.

Fresh is definitely a higher end skincare brand, being sold in Sephora and a few other retailers. They are probably most well known for their Sugar Lip Balm Treatments, which come in a variety of colors. That's how I was introduced to the brand and I have to say, they are the best lip balms I've ever used. I've gone through a few of them over the years.

That being said, I wanted to try more of the line and was pleasantly surprised that I really like a lot of the other products.

Here's a roundup of the best products I've tried from FRESH.

  • Sugar Lip Balm: I've tried a few of these, as stated before, and they are the best lip balms I've ever used. My lips are constantly soft and hydrated whenever I use this. I've tried the original, Rose, Honey, and Nude scents, the Honey & Nude being my favorite. They smell delicious and feel light on your lips. If you're in the market for a new lip balm, I highly recommend these.
  • Soy Cleanser: This is by far the best cleanser I've ever used. It's super light weight, can be used at day or night, and smells like cucumber. I mainly use this with my Clarisonic and it's a match made in heaven. My skin is so clean and fresh afterwards, it's the best feeling. My skin doesn't react badly to it because it's so gentle but it definitely gets the job done.
  • Rose Hydrating Facial Serum: I've tried a few different serums but this is my favorite so far. I only have a deluxe size sample but it's more than enough for me to realize how much I love this. It's a very light weight serum that really seeps into your skin. I don't feel greasy or like I want to immediately wash my face after applying this. My skin feels hydrated and smooth in the morning and when I run out, I'm sure I'm going to be purchasing the full size.
  • Black Tea Age Delay Eye Concentrate: This is one of the best eye creams ever. It's thick but not so thick it feels greasy. It has a high price tag, but I had a deluxe sample and it worked wonders. My eyes were hydrated and didn't feel dry at all (I have very dry under eyes). If you want to spend a pretty penny, this is the eye cream you need.
  • Rose Face Mask: UGH this mask is life. I've been really into sheet masks but this regular mask is one of my favorites. It's perfect for when you just want to give your skin a boost and get some hydration back into it. My skin feels great afterwards and it isn't too harsh of a mask.
I've tried a few other products from FRESH but these are by far my favorite. Below are some products I really, really want to try:

Have you tried any FRESH skincare?

July 23, 2016

Links to Love

What a week! It's been very long, very tiring but well worth it. I finally made the big move (granted I'm still living with my mom, but it was still a big move!)

Tuesday was a wild day; the movers came in like wild animals and just took care of the apartment within two hours. It was insane to watch them clear out my home of the last 2.5 years, but it made it very real, and exciting.

I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to my old house because I was in charge of staying with the Verizon guy while he hooked up the wifi in the new house. Which is fine, I didn't want to get emotional leaving.

The new house was set up in probably two hours or less and it was really nice to finally be here. I'm Type A (as well is my mom) and the entire house was unpacked and settled in by Wednesday afternoon. My room was done by Tuesday at midnight -- and this is after we went out for dinner Tuesday night.

Talk about getting settled in fast! 

My room is coming together nicely and I'll share some photos once we get the photos hung up and everything. I shared two photos on my Instagram account but I'll do a whole post within the next few weeks.

I'm headed to the HerCampus HerConference today and I can't wait. Rebecca Minkoff is speaking and I'm pretty sure I'm going to fangirl super hard when I see her. Look out for post on that next week!

I'm 99.5% settled into the house so expect me to return to regular scheduled programming next week!

For now, here's what I loved this wild week:

PS: The Nordstrom Anniversary sale opened to the public yesterday. Take a look at what I picked up!
What did you love this week?


July 18, 2016

Life Lately

Tomorrow is finally it... moving day! I've been talking it to death since April but I'm so happy it's finally here. I'll have my own room again, my little oasis, and decorate it however I please. It's going to be the epitome of an Instagram/Pinterest worthy bedroom.

That being said, I know this week is going to be hectic, which means that it'll be quiet here on the blog. There's a lot to unpack, set up, and settle in... and on Saturday I'm heading to the InfluenceHer (HerCampus) HerConference! I'm super excited because REBECCA MINKOFF is speaking at the event.

I've attended three of these conferences before and always have a great time, but I'm very, very excited for this year because the speakers are just out of this world.

Moving, work, and a conference is going to make for a busy week so like I said, it'll be quiet here. That's ok, I know there are plenty of other incredible bloggers out there to keep you occupied... but don't forget about me ;)

For now, here's some little updates on life lately!

I broke out my new Lilly dress on the first day of summer aka National Wear Your Lilly Day

Is there anything better than Iced Tea Lemonade on a hot, New York Day

My cousin's baby shower was beach themed and it was so cute!

I spent the 4th of July with my first bottle of White Girl Rose & it was delicious
The first baseball game of the season! LGM

I saw Jaclyn Hill's face in Sephora and it was epic

Typical Italian dinner on a Saturday night with the family
{Mattoes in Howard Beach}

What's better than a lobster roll? A lobster grilled cheese!
{Bungalow Bar in Rockaway, NY}

I got my hands on the NEW Anastasia Beverly Hills "Sweets" Glow Kit and it's TO DIE FOR
Review coming soon! 

Have a great week everyone!