I'm changing things up around here this week. I realize that I've kind of outgrown the Links to Love idea, mostly because I feel like it's not just links I'm posting. I'm sharing updates, both life & blog, I'm talking about random things, the posts I shared on the blog today and the links I loved.

Weekly Wrap Up seems much more fitting for me right now.

So welcome! Let's get to it.

I'm all settled into the new house and I'm obsessed. All I want to do is lay in my bed and relax because my room is now my sanctuary. I forgot how much I needed/enjoyed having my own space and it's so great to have it back. It's a joy to come home and wake up because I like my space. It's wonderful.

I'm waiting for a few more photos to arrive from Etsy to create my gallery wall and then my room will be (almost complete). I plan on sharing the progress next week in a post so look out for that!

I was published again on The Haute Mess; if you aren't reading them or following them on social media, you need too! The Haute Mess has been one of my favorite websites since they launched within the past year and I'm obsessed. They write about everything from beauty to work to lifestyle and I just think it's so relatable.

I don't think I have too many other updates so for now, here are the links I loved this week:

What You Missed on Royally Pink:
Have a great weekend, everyone!

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?

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?

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?

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?

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!

fashion-lilly pulitzer
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!

white girl rose-beach day
I spent the 4th of July with my first bottle of White Girl Rose & it was delicious
new york mets-baseball game-beer
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}

lobster grilled cheese-summer
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!

It's the 3rd day of the sale and I already shopped it... because I'm an overachiever when it comes to shopping. And I also don't want my favorite must-haves to sell out. Last year was the first time I ever truly shopped the sale and got some staple pieces. I knew this year wouldn't be so different.

For those who don't know, the sale comes once a year and starts in the month of July. They have incredible deals on designer items and exclusive items to the sale. The best part is that these aren't items from last season or summer items on clearance; they're fall items that are for THIS SEASON.

It's the perfect time to stock up on some great sweaters, or staple items like boots or coats. I wasn't that impressed with the shoe selection but I quickly racked up the items in my cart; some I was looking for and others were a surprise:

The sale is open for Nordstrom cardholders until July 22nd and then it opens to the public. If you are a cardholder, I recommend shopping sooner rather than later. I was looking at a sweater yesterday and it already sold out.

These are all the things I got my hands on (yes that is a new pair of Spanx!) I don't know what I'm more excited for -- I can't wait for the package to get delivered to my (new) front door!

As I browsed the sale more, I found some items that I really, really want. Take a look:

Have you shopped the sale? What did you get it?

4 days till moving day! 4 days till I have my own room! 4 days until I can breath in my house because I'll have air conditioning!

Can you tell I'm excited? I am PUMPED. I feel like my life will feel whole again, because for the past 2 months I've been beside myself. Moving is not easy; packing is not easy; living around boxes is not easy either. My mind has been in moving mode since April so I've been rocking back & forth & waiting for this day.

I think I may actually cry on Tuesday.

I may do a more in depth post on my moving journey(s) -- I've moved 7 times in my 23 years (that's every 3 years or so if you do the math) and when I tell people that, they are very surprised to hear that. It's a lot when you really think about it. I have a lot of thoughts on it, so let me know if that's something you'd want to see.

Anyways, it's been obscenely hot lately and I can't stomach it anymore. Is it October yet? I need fall & winter weather ASAP. Just please, give me a blizzard. I would LOVE a blizzard right now to cool me off.

That ramble is over... but here's another: every blogger under the sun is talking about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and I'll do a little roundup over the weekend of what I got and what else is on my list. It's just THAT good of a sale #basicblogger.

For now, here are the links I loved:

  • Reese Witherspoon celebrated the 15 year anniversary of Legally Blonde in the best way possible!
  • Another great Legally Blonde TBT article
  • I love aggressive food, but this is just too much
  • RHONJ is back and life has meaning again
  • I could listen to beauty editors all day, every day

What you missed on Royally Pink:
I've been in a real Lilly Pulitzer mood lately. There will be times when I don't even browse the Lilly website and then other times when I am tracking the hashtag on Instagram to find out what new things people are wearing/buying/styling.

I can finally afford *some Lilly dresses and I treated myself to one at the start of the summer season. They're perfect for work in New York -- the bright colors make me feel slightly brighter & better on the gross, dirty, and dark NYC subway.

I've been lusting after a lot of Lilly: shirts, dresses, bags, and everything in between. I feel like the clothing prints have gotten a lot more tasteful in the past few years and are actually more wearable than those prints of the past. I'm really feeling it.

This is the dress I purchased a few weeks back. It's perfect for work or a daytime BBQ. It's not too short and it fits slightly loose so it's not uber tight & uncomfortable. It's a great dress to have in your arsenal in the summertime.

Purchase here

Here's everything else I want:

What have you been loving and lusting?

My hair is something that I have a love/hate relationship with. It's very thick, curly, frizzy, and unruly. It has given me a lot of grief over the years; from flat ironing it to a crisp during middle school, to trying to embrace my Carrie Bradshaw like ringlets, to sometimes just throwing my hands in the air & surrendering to the messy mane, I've had my fair share of trouble with it.

I've gotten it relaxed, and I'm on my 3rd keratin treatment which has all been a huge help. My hair is easier to maintain and when I do wear it natural, it's more in control.

Even though its slightly better, it still takes a village to keep it together. I used to not really care about the products I was putting in my hair because as long as it was making it less frizzy, I was good to go. That is until I started really get into beauty and had to pay attention to what I was putting into my hair when I got my keratin treatments.

When you have a keratin, you cannot use any products with sulfates in it, so I pay close attention to that.

Also, I have a very dry scalp so I have to be careful what I use to make sure it doesn't irritate my scalp at all. I can tell within one shampoo if a product is making my scalp itchy and dry.

I also only wash my hair around 1-2 times a week. When I have a keratin, I wash my hair probably 2-3 times a week because it's a little greasier and I don't mind having to wash it because I usually am not blow drying or ironing my hair.

When I don't have a keratin (usually in the winter months), I only wash my hair once a week, because my hair is usually blown out and I hate wasting a good blowout until I have to.

Now that you know my hair routine, here are my most used & beloved products (as of lately). They work for me, keep my scalp in good condition, and help control the horse's mane I have on top of my head.

Alterna Caviar Scalp Exfoliating Facial: A few months ago, my scalp was on fire. It hurt so bad and I couldn't take it anymore. I did some research and found this little product. I immediately picked it up and started to use it, and it made all the difference. It has a scrubby brush on the end, and the product squeezes out from there. You run it through your wet scalp before shampooing and it removes all the dead skin from your scalp, just like a body exfoliator. It makes my hair look and feel so much cleaner. It's such an incredible discovery. If you have dry scalp, TRY this!

Loreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner: I LOVE the EVER line from Loreal because they are free of sulfates & the price is right. They have a lot of different kinds, depending on your hair type but I love the nourishing shampoo because like I said, my hair is dry. I've tried a lot of shampoo and conditioner duos but this is by far my favorite because it leaves my hair clean and soft.

Verb Hydrating Mask:  This is a hydrating mask that I use as my deep conditioner about once a week. My hair can get very dry & this really puts the moisture back into my locks, and keeps my hair shiny, for longer. It's a huge bottle for only $14 and it's totally worth it! It's also sulfate (and paraben) free so added bonus, for sure. Verb is such a great haircare brand, I highly recommend it!

Amika Nourishing Mask: This is another hair mask that I really love. I think of this more as a repairing mask than strictly hydrating. When I feel like my hair just needs a huge break, I'll use this bad boy to help it out. It's also free of sulfates & parabens, and it is advertised as a true deep conditioning mask, it just feels like it does so much more. I switch back and forth between this and the Verb but both are incredible.

Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray: Amika is such a good haircare brand, you must try it out. This is the only blowout spray I've really tried but it's incredible. It makes my hair easier to brush out and makes it easier to blow dry. I'm also convinced it makes my hair dry faster, which I'm pretty sure is supposed to happen. I just ran out and I need more ASAP.

Below are some of my other favorites like dry shampoos, oils, and finishing sprays!

What are your go-to haircare products?

I am SO CLOSE to moving day!!! I can almost taste it!! We are a week & a half away from my own room, in a new, nice apartment. It's a good thing too because it's been super duper hot this week and I had to pull my mattress into my mom's room to sleep on the floor. Her room is air conditioned while the rest of my house is not (#fail #firstworldprobs).

It feels so close and so real, but at the same time it feels so far away.

In other news, I was published on The Haute Mess again -- but just a repost of one of my blogs on here. Still worth the read though!

Here's what I was loving this week:

What You Missed on Royally Pink:

I was in the market for a new eye cream last month and I had a strong desire to try something new. I didn't want something I've tried before because the beauty junkie in me always wants the latest and greatest.

I was searching high & low on Sephora.com for something to entice me and I found it.

Fresh is a brand that I've tried a number of products from but there are so many products, and a lot of them are super expensive, that I hadn't tried even half of the brand. Fresh is such a luxurious brand in my eyes, but something attainable at the same time. I wanted/needed more products and I needed them now.

That's why when I found this amazing kit, which included a full size eye cream, I couldn't resist. Also, let's talk about the value: 3 full size items and 2 "travel" sized product for $64? How does it possibly get any better than that! I thought that the face mask was full size but it's actually half the size; but when does anyone actually use a full face mask?

The Fresh Rose Hydrating Ritual: Hydrate & Tone comes with a Rose Face Mask, a Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream, a Rose Floral Toner, and a Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment.

Roses are my middle name (not really, but I'm obsessed with the rose scent) so I couldn't resist this kit. I knew that I would love everything in this kit, including the Sugar Lip Treatments, which I've tried many; they are an expensive lip balm that I go through quickly but they are some of the best I've ever tried.

I was buying this kit mostly for the eye cream, which has a super gel texture but feels cooling and hydrating under the eyes (and also hasn't given me any problems since I have very sensitive skin).

The floral toner is something I've been wanting to add to my collection -- not necessarily this toner but I was in the market for one, and this is a great one.

It helps remove any dirt or oil that your cleanser didn't get and most importantly, it doesn't leave a greasy, sticky, or burning residue. All too often toners burn my skin or make it feel tight, but this one does neither.

Lastly, the mask is interesting, in a great way. It isn't a wild color, it doesn't bubble up, it doesn't tighten to signal you to wash it off, it's just a simple mask. I leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and after washing it off, my skin feels hydrated, fresh, and supple. It's definitely a mask to do when your skin is feeling a little dry and dull -- it won't clear your pores or do anything fancy, but it gets the job done.

I'm going to do a huge Fresh Brand Buzz post soon because I'm falling deeper in love with the brand.

What is your favorite skincare brand at the moment?