I haven't listened to an audiobook in a while and this was the first one of the new year that I completed, and boy was it good!

The Breakdown comes from the author of The Couple Next Door which was an amazing book, and one that really got into the whole 'dark, twisted novel' while also remaining a little on the reality side of things.

Because I enjoyed that book so much, I was very excited for this book. It wasn't a book that was ever boring or slow to start, it was always exciting and had me wondering what was going to happen next.



The Breakdown centers around Cass, who sees a young woman in a car on a dark and stormy night. The next morning, that woman, Jane, turns up murdered.

Cass is sent into a spiral wondering if she could've prevented this if only she would've stopped and helped Jane.

Cass starts getting phone calls from a mysterious caller who doesn't say anything on the other line; she believes that the murderer is after her because she knows something...because she saw Jane.

On the flip side, Cass starts forgetting everything from making plans to with her friends or ordering an alarm system for her home.

Between the murder and the memory loss Cass is experiencing, she begins to spiral.

There are two stories in this book; the story of Jane's murder and the story of Cass' memory loss. Are the two linked? Possibly... I mean, one would think that they are and throughout the book, you see signs that they are.

You are lead to believe a few different things in this book, especially from the title, and you will probably be right on more than one occasion but I never imagined the ending of the story would be that kind of ending.

I was shocked, stunned, and flabbergasted at the events that started to unravel toward the second half of the book.

Cass, as a protagonist, was a little annoying. I wanted to scream at her and shake her through the pages. I just didn't understand the things she was saying or doing, but once the plot is truly revealed, I was rooting for her the entire time and was so proud of the way she handled everything.

This wasn't a novel that was too dark or too twisted; it didn't make my skin crawl or scare me. It was just an old fashion mystery/thriller novel that hit all the nails on the head.

I highly recommend checking this out, you'll enjoy it!

xoxo
B
I have been feeling some type of way for the past few weeks. It's not anxiety, it's not sadness, it's not depression... it's just off and confused.

I'm feeling a little lost like I can't get myself together. I have so many thoughts running around in my head and can't seem to get them all together. I can't seem to put everything I'm feeling down on paper, or even into words.

I think most of this is stemming from what I want in my professional life. I guess I just feel kind of stuck, a little down on myself, and almost discouraged.

There is so much I want to do, so many places I want to work for, so many places I want to write for and nothing is happening. I'm trying my hardest to make things happen but I feel like I'm not moving fast enough, like I'll never get there.

I also feel like I want to write more and it was one of my goals for the year but so far, I haven't written a single article this year.

It's not that the blog isn't enough, it's just that I want to write different things. I want to be a journalist, which has always been my dream and the reason I am who I am, but how do I do that? I've gotten caught up in the social media world and now I don't know how to get off the ride, or how to go in a different direction.

I think I'm feeling very discouraged and like I need something to shake me up... I need some real guidance.

Does anyone else feel this way?







I've been less than inspired by my nail polish lately. I love winter nail polishes and want to embrace it as much as possible but my collection was lacking something new and exciting.

I was browsing Ulta's website in need of something different when I stumbled across a gorgeous winter shade that was very unique and different.

Cashmere Bathrobe is a gorgeous winter shade that screams hygge; it screams coziness and chicness and I love every moment of wearing this.





It's described as a true flannel grey but to me, has hints of blue and shimmer, which is a gorgeous combination.

The formula is also a dream; it applies evenly, opaque, and isn't too watery or liquidy. It's one of the better Essie formulas on the market.

I've worn it 3 or 4 times since getting it at the end of December and it's quickly become one of my favorite nail colors.

What is on your nails this fine Monday morning?
xoxo
B
Friday, I love you!

This week was short & long, rough & easy... it was a really weird week and it's over.

I said it this week to my coworkers but it's so sad how we are constantly waiting for it to be Friday. Is this what life is about? Just always waiting for the weekend? It's a very weird thing to think about and I'm a little sick of it... but I just cannot help it.

At least I'm aware of this though, right?

I had a few other thoughts this week too. There is so much I want to accomplish, so much I want to do and I have so many ideas but don't even know where to start. I almost feel like there are not enough hours in the day to process all my thoughts and wishes.

I think I may do a post on this within the next few weeks where I talk more deeply about my thoughts, ambitions, hopes, dreams, and actually list them out. I have them written down in my notebook but I feel like I need them spoken out into the universe to make them happen.

On another note...

I have quite the little weekend planned; I want to go to the mall to stop by Lush and get the Sleepy lotion as well as some of the Valentine's Day collection. I may also stop by Henri Bendel & Sephora. I'm really wanting to try the Sephora Collection Lip Stories lipstick.

I'm also going out with my family for my grandpa's birthday to our favorite restaurant and I cannot wait to indulge.

I just had to have this Kate Spade pillow! Utterly perfect for the bookworm in your life

Enough rambling, as usual -- here are my links!



Here's what you missed on Royally Pink:




PS: Sign up for The Beaute Report -- the first edition is going out today!

xoxo
B
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Just like I have an obsession with brunch, I have an obsession with champagne. The two are linked in a way, I suppose... I mean, mimosas=champagne so it makes sense.

I don't know what it is but there is something so elegant, so girly, so chic about champagne and champagne accessories.

It is a true obsession of mine and I kind of want everything champagne themed.

It didn't help that in December Kate Spade released a champagne-themed collection and I pretty much needed everything.



Below are just a few items that I've been loving or am lusting after that are all about the champs!





What are some of your favorite weird trendy obsessions?
xoxo
B
When I started Weight Watchers I knew I needed to find recipes for my favorite meals. I couldn't go without certain things and one of those things was macaroni and cheese. Sometimes I just get an intense craving for cheesy goodness and it cannot be stopped.

I searched Pinterest for a low point recipe as well as one that was easy to make. I love to cook, I love to bake but I hate when things are too complicated.

When I discovered this recipe, I knew that it would be good. It's only 4 points for 1 cup and 1 cup is more than enough. Also, 4 points is pretty decent for a lunch or dinner.

I have to say, this recipe is one of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes I've found. It doesn't taste like 'diet' food and I don't feel like I've really limited myself.



*I altered the recipe just a bit to my liking.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of macaroni
    • I usually use more than this but do whatever your heart desires!
  • 1 can low fat-cheese soup
  • 1/2 can of water
  • 3/4 cup of low-fat milk
    • I use Almond milk
  • Handful of reduced fat shredded cheese
  • Handful of breadcrumbs





Steps
  • Cook the macaroni to your liking
  • Drain and return the pasta to the warm pot
  • Add the cheese soup, the water, and milk to the pot and mix well
  • Bring the mixture to a boil
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Transfer pasta mixture to a greased, medium casserole dish 
  • Add shredded cheese and breadcrumbs on top of pasta mixture
  • Cook for 1-2 hours (or until just brown enough to your liking)
  • Enjoy! 


I like my mac & cheese extra crispy on top and a little burnt but you cook it however you like!

And remember, it's only 4 points per cup.

Happy eating!
xoxo
B
I first heard of Alex and Ani when I was in college. The company popped up all over campus, mostly amongst my sorority sisters because of the brand's adorable charm bracelets which included sorority letters.

By the end of my Senior Year,  I had a hefty collection of Alex and Ani bracelets and had noticed that the brand was taking a step back from the traditional bangle jewelry that had put them on the map. They started releasing regular jewelry, including rings and necklaces, which mimicked the look of the bangles.

After graduating, I took a step away from Alex and Ani. My bracelets became tarnished, the brand started to bore me, and I didn't like wearing the bracelets to work because they seemed too cumbersome.

It wasn't until a few months ago that I got back into the Alex and Ani game and my entire view of the brand has changed.

I can confidently say that this brand is one of my favorite brands ever... top 5 for sure.

I feel like Alex and Ani have found its voice. One look at their website, brand blog, and social media and you'll see that they are a brand that has spiritual ties. I don't mean religious ties, I mean spirt such as healing, astrology, ancient wisdom, and so much more. The brand is empowering, has a wellness edge and is just simply calming.

I think what I also like about them is that they aren't just selling you their products; there are different aspects of the brand and that can be seen in their app and their blog. They're informative and focused on giving customers something else to believe in. It's a really informative brand and gives you the story behind their products.

Every piece has a story, a few descriptive words to tell you what you're buying. For example, the Compass bangle comes with a card that says "Objective, Direction, Transition"... it makes you feel like you have something other than just a bangle.

Alex and Ani also have a huge charity story where they create collections based on certain charities and even have sales on their items to donate to organizations.

The brand is a good brand; it has good intentions, great products, and a really wonderful story.

Since I've gotten back on the Alex and Ani bandwagon, I've made so many purchases (they also have amazing sales) and I feel so good about my collection.



These are the new items I bought recently:

Cosmic Balance Bangle
Peace Wrap Ring
Birthstone Ring
Let it Snow Bangle (similar)
What Is For You Bangle

I don't think I have a favorite item, but I really love the Peace Wrap Ring. I wear it on my middle finger, it fits perfectly and is so comfortable. I need more wrap rings ASAP because they're just so cool.

I've gotten rid of a few bangles over the years because they were so tarnished, they were seemingly unwearable -- and this was before I discovered the Alex and Ani cleansing cloth that I blogged about last week (LIFE CHANGING, I PROMISE YOU!)



Here are the bangles (and one ring) that I had in my collection from years ago; some of them are no longer available or have been revamped.



Evil Eye (I have the older version, here is the new one)
New Beginnings Bangle
Path of Life Spoon Ring
November Birth Stone Bangle
Stellar Love Bangle
Niece Bangle (no longer available)
Graudation Cap Bangle (2014 verison)
Phi Sigma Sigma Bangle (no longer available)

I'm forever lusting over new Alex and Ani pieces so below is my wishlist for the time being!




What is your favorite jewelry brand right now?
xoxo
B
We live in the age of technology and as each day goes by, we are more addicted to our phones, computers, and Netflix. We spend most of our hours staring into our screens with blue light staring back at us.

We're constantly told to take some time away from screens, to not be on our phones or watch TV before bed but I highly doubt any of us are abiding by those rules... I know I don't.

My career is the computer, my career is my phone so I'm never really without a screen in front of my face. Never mind my addiction to the television as well as my side business/hustle/hobby of this blog and freelance writing.

My eyes have been taking a hit from all the screens I deal with on a daily basis and I needed to do something about it. After a long day of computers at work, my headaches were on fire, my eyes felt tired and the last thing I wanted to do when I came home is going back on the computer.

I knew that not dealing with screens wasn't an option so I needed to figure out something else.

Enter Pixel Eye Wear...



I have heard of a few different companies developing blue light glasses that protect your eyes from the screens but it wasn't until I read The Champagne Edit's blog post on Pixel Eye Wear that I knew I had to get a pair.

I reached out to the brand and they were so happy to partner with me on this post by gifting me a pair of glasses to test out.

I've probably been testing these babies out for a little over two months and things are very different for me now.

First, let me explain what Pixel Eye Wear is...

They saw a problem and gave us a solution; digital eye strain causes fatigued eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Prolonged exposure to blue light messes with our sleep system and can cause prolonged vision problems.

Pixel Eye Wear developed glasses that protect from blue light and essentially prevent all of those issues.

When I would be in front of the computer all day, my eyes were extremely tired and I would literally see spots after being in one spot for so long. My migraines were at an all-time high and I just needed help.

When I reached out to Pixel Eye Wear, I got to choose a pair of glasses to test out and I immediately went with the Thera frames. They're crystal pink and are on brand... they're also unique and I love that.

The fact that I was going to get to add another pair of glasses to my rotation (I love glasses so much) while also helping my eyes was a match made in heaven.

It's important to note that these aren't prescription frames -- if you need glasses to live, I recommend looking into glasses that are prescription but also have blue light protection. I don't need my glasses when I'm at the computer so it worked out well for me.

When I first put these glasses on, it definitely took some getting used too. You don't really see the blue light protection through the lenses but the glasses aren't clear, you can tell they aren't just a regular pair of glasses.

After one or two days of wearing them, I was completely used to them and I started to feel how they made a difference.

At the end of the day, my eyes weren't tired, I didn't feel like I had to take as many breaks, and I noticed that my headaches were a lot less. It was a very noticeable difference at the end of my first week of wearing these and I honestly couldn't believe it.

Now, whenever I sit down at the computer, I make sure that I have the Pixel Eye Wear glasses because, on the days that I forget to wear them (it does happen), I notice the major difference.

I highly recommend trying these glasses out, especially if you spend all of your days staring into the blue light of a screen. You can try out the glasses for 30 days, they have free shipping and returns and are just a delightful company.

They also gave me a coupon code for all of you; use ROYALLYPINK at checkout and get $5 off your glasses purchase!

Try it, you won't regret it and your eyes will thank you!

xoxo
B
It was a short week but usually, that means it's all the more busy and stressful. I don't know when work got so busy but it has and it's interesting. My days go much faster and I feel more accomplished but it's definitely tiring.

I've spent the past few hours laying in bed, doing a whole lot of nothing as my Friday nights usually go, but I felt more drained and dead inside (LOL) than usual. However, Gilmore Girls marathons make those times much better and that's currently what I'm doing now.

In other TV news, Riverdale came back this week and I was super pumped. I finished binging the first season as well as catching up on the 2nd (I spent almost $20 on the episodes on Amazon Video because I just needed to finish) and it's my new addiction. The show is so unique, so fun, so dramatic and has that perfect CW twist.

I also tried to watch Black Mirror, made it through 4 episodes and just gave up. I don't understand it, the 5th episode was in complete black & white, and I just can't get into it. On that note, I discovered that I could watch Netflix on my television through one of the cable channels on Fios -- this is a game changer.

I need more Netflix recommendations so please leave them below!! There's so much to watch but yet, I don't want to watch any of them. Weird...

I wanted today to be the day I made a special announcement but I don't think that's going to happen the way I planned. I'm hoping that by Sunday/Monday I'll have everything complete but I can give a sneak peek as I've already mentioned it on social media.

I'm launching a new newsletter. I've been toying with the idea for a while, about launching a beauty-focused newsletter because there is another side to my beauty passion besides what you see on the blog. I also love newsletters, like The Newsette and theSkimm because it gives you snippets of the news you need without being overwhelming.

My Royally Pink newsletter kind of flopped because I felt like it was just a repeat of what was on the blog and it seemed redundant to rewrite information.

Please sign up for the newsletter here; I promise it's going to be different and give a unique perspective on the beauty industry.



All that aside, here are the links I loved this week:

Here's what you missed on Royally Pink:
Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
B
I've spoken time and time again about how my makeup purchasing has decreased, but I've been more obsessed with trying skincare.

Skincare is having a major moment and it's not going away in 2018; one of the biggest trends you're going to see is skincare as makeup. That means more natural finishes, more radiance, more hydration, and just more natural beauty. I for one am excited about this because I love a good trend and I'm ready for some new stuff!

Now, this post isn't necessarily about skincare but it is about masks. I'm not talking about face masks or sheet masks, I'm talking about nonface masks.

There are masks for everything now, for every part of your body and for every concern. I love a good nonface mask and I've tried my fair share. I think I love the 'gimmick' but just as you take extra care of your face, you need to take extra care of other parts of your skin/body as well.

I've tried my fair share of all different types and I've come up with these as my current favorites.



1. Skyn Iceland Eye Masks: I've tried so many eye masks but I always go back to these. They're soft, smooth, and very cooling. They don't tug on the skin and don't slip or slide all over the place. They are the perfect undereye mask and I don't know if I'll ever be able to try anything else.

2. Sephora Lip Masks: Sephora Collection is sneakily becoming one of my favorite brands and I love their lip masks. They're inexpensive, easy to use, and makes your lips super soft. I always make sure I have at least one on hand.

3. Patchology Lip Masks: In the same breath, I love the Patchology lip masks too. They're gel masks that fit on your lips perfectly and feel really nice on your lips. My lips feel very soft and smooth after using these! I don't think these are better or worse than the Sephora ones but just different in texture.

4. Sephora Collection Hair Masks: I bought one of these masks on a whim and used it one random night when I knew I had to wash my hair in the morning. OMG I was stunned. I've never used a hair product that made such a quick and noticeable difference. After using the rose mask, my hair was softer, shinier and easier to style. I need everyone to try one of these, ASAP.

5. Nails Inc Overnight Detox Mask: I wouldn't forget your nails, would I? I love a good at home manicure and probably get a salon manicure 1-2 times a year. This overnight detox mask has really helped my nail growth and strength. Every so often I'll take my nail polish off, let this sink in overnight and then repaint in the morning. It's nice to give my nails a breather

6. Sephora Collection Foot Mask: TMI but I have really terrible feet. They're always dry, cracked, and just gross. I do my best to take care of them with the Emjoi Micro Pedi but sometimes I need extra help and these Sephora foot masks are the ticket. They leave my feet so soft it's actually insane. After using one of these, my feet feel like a baby's butt.

What are your favorite non face masks?
xoxo
B
This book isn't set to release for another few weeks but I had to figure out a way to get my hands on it. It's all over my Instagram feed and the cover is just enthralling, as well as the title.

I did some research and stumbled across a website that I used to use and completely forgot about; Net Galley is a way to request books before they're released, directly from the publishers. All you do is fill in your info and you're all set. I don't think you need to be a blogger/reviewer to use it but it definitely does help if you have a place you can review the books you request.

The catch is you need to have a Kindle account (whether on a tablet or actual Kindle) to download and read the books. I don't have Kindle but I do have an iPad so I just downloaded the app and voila, I was ready to read.

She Regrets Nothing was the first book I searched for and was so happy when I was accepted to read it. (The publishers can accept or decline you based on your profile.)



I finished this book within a few days because it was a very easy read but also very interesting.

Here is the publisher's summary:

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.


Some critics have compared this to The Nest, which I read and hated yet I do understand the comparison. This book heavily deals with family drama and uncovered secrets, as well as how a small town girl deals with a huge life change.

Let me say this, Laila becomes more unlikable throughout the entire book, but most of the characters are unlikeable. I wasn't really rooting for anyone to come out the star on the other side. However, the book was very, very enjoyable. I was invested in the storylines and characters unlike any book before.

It was a little far fetching in terms of plot, at times, especially when Laila is whisked away to a private island (spoiler without being a real spoiler) and the turn of events that happens there. I kind of rolled my eyes at it because it was very unbelievable.

I expected this book to be really good with the way people are going on about it but I don't think I expected to be really surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

What I was wasn't expecting was the plot twists and mystery of it all; there are a few huge happenings that occur toward the end of the book that make it very, very interesting and just shocked me to my core. It was wild and intense.

Another thing I really liked about the book was how you weren't given every single detail. It wasn't overfilled with frivolous details. When the 'big' storylines happened, you kind of had to think about it and read between the lines to figure out what the author was trying to get across. Because of that, I felt like the book was really well written.

The ending of the book was perfect too, the ending thought was inspirational at best. 

I HIGHLY recommend this book. The release date is February 6th so make sure to stalk Barnes & Noble and Amazon for it!

xoxo
B
I've always been someone who takes care of my things very carefully. Everything I have is always in perfect condition and I'm very serious about making sure they stay that way.

That being said, I'm not perfect and something that falls on the waist side is the fact that my jewelry is always dirty.

I've always loved jewelry but I occasionally do have periods of time where I hardly wear anything aside from rings.

Right now, however, I'm having an 'I love jewelry' moment and after deep diving into my collection, I needed to get everything cleaned and bright again.

Most of my Kate Spade jewelry as well as some costume jewelry doesn't ever really get dirty or tarnished so I don't have to worry about that but others are not as lucky.

The pieces that get the dirtiest are my Tiffany jewelry and my Alex and Ani items. It was so bad that I couldn't even wear most of my stuff because it was filthy and looked very tarnished. The problem was that you can't use jewelry cleaner on Alex and Ani pieces so I wanted to find something that could clean everything I have and do it in a safe way.

I'll be damned because the item I'm talking about is pure magic.

How the cloth looks after it's been used


Alex and Ani have their own cleaning cloth that is made for their jewelry and you can use it on other brands as well. I figured it would work but I truly had no idea how good.

All you have to do is rub the jewelry between the two pieces of cloth and it is magically good as new.

Before

Before2

After
It was weird because whenever I rubbed the cloth on the jewelry, there was some sort of smoke (or some airy substance) coming off of the cloth. It was wild and weird but I was so pleased because I cleaned every piece of dirty, tarnished jewelry I had and everything is gorgeous and good as new.

Before

After  *it's a little more difficult to see the difference*
I cannot recommend this cleaning cloth enough. It's inexpensive, reusable, and you don't have to wait for your jewelry to dry. You can literally keep one of these in your purse, car, or on your desk and you can clean your jewels whenever you want!

How do you clean your jewelry?
xoxo
B
When I was younger, my mom always took naps. I didn't really understand why but as I turned 25 and am entering my 4th year of 'adulthood' post graduate life, I realize why.

Life is exhausting.

I never napped as a child or teenager; once I got to college and had all this free time before or after classes, I napped all the time. As time ticked on, naps and getting more sleep became been more important than ever.

Forget once I started my anxiety medication, I am constantly exhausted and constantly feel like I need sleep. Sleep is my lifeline and I hate getting out of the bed in the morning.

All that being said, it's really important to me that I get a good, decent night sleep. I've gotten a routine pretty down pat and something that works for me.

My current sleepmask is from Etsy


1. Reading: I am someone who watches TV before bed and I sleep with the TV on all night. My phone is the last thing I see before I close my eyes and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I usually am on my phone. Therefore, the bluelight kills me but I do find that if I read before I go to sleep, it does help. It calms my mind and helps me relax. I think I get a better sleep on the nights I read than the nights I don't.

2. Sleep Mask: This is probably the most important and most effective thing I'll talk about. When I was younger I always tried to use these because I wanted to be fancy but it never worked. A few years ago though, I started using these religiously and I hardly ever go to sleep without one. When I put the sleep mask on, I fall asleep within minutes and I usually stay asleep. It does come off in the middle of the night because I toss and turn but I put it back on (if I wake up) in the middle of the night. It blocks the light out and helps me stay asleep. My mom started using these too and has fallen in love. It's a must-have for anyone who is having trouble sleeping.


3. Writing: I've talked about how much I love writing everything down but I started journaling every night before bed, even if I had a good day (journaling isn't always to talk about bad or worrisome things) but just getting some sort of thought out on paper really can help clear your mind.

4. Cool Down: I can only sleep in a cold room so I make sure that my room is nice and chilly. Your body sleeps best in a 65 degree room but sometimes I like it even colder.

5. Essential Oils: While I love candles to relax, I like to diffuse some lavendar essentail oils before I go to sleep, usually while I'm reading and writing. Lavendar obviously helps you relax and is known to be helpful for sleeping so it makes sense. Also, if you can use some lavendar products before bed or even to spray on your pillow and sheets, that'll help! I can't use them because I'm very sensitive to fragrance but I believe they do work!
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6. Sleepytime Tea: If you struggle with sleep like me, get yourself some Sleepytime. It calms me down and while it doesn't really make me tired, it's very soothing and I feel like it helps me stay asleep.

What helps you fall (and stay) asleep?
xoxo
B

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Royal Round Up: Week 2

in , , by RoyallyPink, 7:25 PM
Was this the longest week ever? It was the real first week of the year without a holiday and without a snowstorm and it really felt like it.

It was long, busy, stressful and boy, was my commute a bitch. Tuesday (or Wednesday, I can't remember) it took me 3 hours to get to work. The New York City subway is no joke and not for the faint of heart.

It's a three day weekend so I'm very happy to relax, recharge, and power through next week. Don't I say that every Friday/Saturday, even if it's not a holiday weekend? I just got off a week and a half Christmas vacation but my goodness, it feels like it was months ago.



I won't ramble too much so here are my links for the week:

*Has anyone watched Riverdale? I just finished today and I can't stop thinking about it. I cannot wait for it to return on Wednesday! 



What You Missed on Royally Pink:

Have a great weekend!
xoxo
B
My Kate Spade obsession came to an overwhelming climax over the holidays and has since calmed down.

That doesn't mean I'm not on the website multiple times a day, looking at the items and putting things on my wishlist.

I say that my obsession has calmed down because it's 11 days into the new year and I haven't shopped! I've made wishlists and thought about shopping... I even placed a few orders and then canceled them. I am doing really well so I don't want to mess it up.

That being said, I can't stop thinking about some of these new Kate Spade launches. I'm pretty comfortable on the handbag front so what has been really drawing my eye is their new athleisure line, especially this touchscreen smartwatch, which I need like I need air to breath!



Who would want a review on that?!

Anyways, take a look at the things that caught my eye!



This book was released almost two years ago and I just finished it... but boy was it worth the wait.

Spoiler alert: I think this was the best career book I've ever read.

The Career Code became a bit of a social media darling when it was released and I keep seeing it in Instagram posts as time goes on.

It was written by the founders of WhoWhatWear which is now part of Clique Media Group and a very successful website on its own. I think they are pretty qualified to give career advice...

I've read a lot of career books in my time and I think this was the best one. It was a clear-cut advice book with only a bit of memoir mixed in.



Other books I've read were almost all about how people got to where they are in their careers. There was advice mixed in but it was all about the author.

This was so different. It takes you from start to finish of the job process; from searching for a job, interviews, what to do on your first day, how to ask for a raise/promotion, how to interview people and how to leave a job.

If there is something having to do with your career, this book covers it.

It's also not a boring book -- there are a lot of images, lists, and exercises throughout the book so it's a quick read and easy to reference. This isn't a chapter by chapter book, it really flows together cohesively and I think is a great reference to have on hand.

It's the type of book you can write in the margins, highlight, and just keep on your shelf for the rest of your life. It's not a book that only one type of person can use - you can use it at any step in your career and I found that very helpful.

All in all, this is the best career book I've ever read. I will be keeping it forever and referencing it forever. I HIGHLY recommend you picking it up -- you will not regret it!

xoxo
B
Relaxing is my favorite hobby. It is one of the greatest things I do. My mom always tells me that I am the greatest relaxer ever. That doesn't mean lazy... it just means having alone time and decompressing.

That being said, relaxing on the weekend is a given for everyone but relaxing during the week is an art; I have perfected it.

Relaxing on a weeknight after work is a must for me. I rarely do anything after work because I am way too tired and I just need time to myself.

I get home around 6:30 every night (sometimes earlier, sometimes later if I'm late at work or there are a lot of delays) and I usually have dinner right after I get home. Then I shower and it's time to chill.



Relaxing on a weekend is a little different for me than a weeknight because I do try to stay off the computer after work. After staring at the screen and typing all day, I need to take a break.

1. Candles & lights: My ultimate way to relax is by burning candles and turning on my twinkle lights. It creates the perfect ambiance for me to unwind and chill out.

2. Television: I am a TV person through and through but the weeknights are the ultimate TV nights because everything new is on. It's usually Bravo and the housewives but getting into bed to watch television after a long day is my favorite thing in the world.

3. Journaling: I end every day with writing in my journal and recapping my feelings on the day previous. It helps me clear my head and just wind down.

4. Planning: I have a few new planner systems going on right now in the New Year (post coming soon) and I've been loving sitting down with my new planner and getting things in order for the week and following days. *Definitely more of a Type A way to relax but true nonetheless

5. Pampering: I love a good face mask after a long day of work and just laying in bed with a face mask *or hand, hair, or feet mask* while watching trashy reality TV is awesome. I also love to take my sweet time with my skincare routine. Washing my face, putting a mask on, and then lathering myself in serums and moisturizers makes me feel so good.

All in all, I really try to stay off the computer and stay away from 'work' stuff, or anything really stressful. I try to avoid any blog work on weeknights too (which is why sometimes there are gaps in my schedule during the week) so I have zero responsibilities.

What are your favorite ways to relax on a weeknight?
xoxo
B
It's been 6 months since I started Weight Watchers and the most I've lost is 23 pounds. This was before Christmas... during my little Christmas vacation, I definitely indulged and gained a few back.

However, I'm on the right track and am on my way to losing more and getting back to the pre-Christmas weight. Hopefully, within the next 2-3 weeks, I can lose even more weight.

Weight Watchers has been going really well and it has allowed me to change my lifestyle without really restricting myself. I mean, I ate a lot over Christmas but because I've learned the 'right' way to eat I didn't gain a ridiculous amount of weight. I'm also able to drop it quickly because of what Weight Watchers has taught me.

Weight Watchers allows me to eat what I want (I know I sound like Oprah) and not over indulge. It's all portion control and that was really what was my vice. I overate everything from carbs to sweets to chicken. I don't eat fruits or vegetables (I know, very bad) and work out 1-2 times a week (nothing great) but I've been able to lose weight I never thought possible.

I covered most of this in the Popsugar article a few months back and it really has continued to show me results.

But now I'll get to the real update...

The first week of December, Weight Watchers changed their program. I thought this was going to be a good thing... Freestyle made a lot of foods 0 points (and some foods were lowered in points because of the change). The foods included in this change were eggs, egg whites, chicken, and turkey.

I was thrilled, over the moon, because this meant I'd be able to eat more without using my points and honestly, I felt that certain foods were too much in points value.

Also, the Freestyle program allowed you to roll over up to 4 daily points that weren't used. For example, I have 41 Weekly Points to use throughout the week and on Friday I ended the day with 2 points... those got added to the weekly points bank.

This was a good adjustment mostly because of what happened next...



When the change came into my account, I was shocked that I lost 7 daily points. I went from 30 to 23 and that has been a real struggle.

Yes, now I can eat as much chicken, turkey, and eggs that I want but sometimes that is always not doable. I got into a routine with how I ate and what I ate and now that was just taken away from me.

I reached out to Weight Watchers to see if there was a way I could opt out of Freestyle and keep my 30 daily points but they said no (in a nicer way of course).

I think it's really hard to switch up a program like Weight Watchers out of nowhere and not give people the option to stay with the old program because people who have been on Weight Watchers for years are going to have a really hard time with the change and may even opt out (I definitely considered it).

If you were just starting Weight Watchers or joined after the change, then I don't think you'd have a hard time with the adjustment.

I can't say whether or not the Freestyle program has been affecting how I gain or lose weight because I haven't had a true week on it yet. The week before I get my period, I PMS super hard and don't lose any weight, and then Christmas came along and it screwed me up. January will be the first month I really use Freestyle the proper way.

However, I have figured out a way to make it work for me -- I just use my weekly points more. They are there to be used and before Freestyle, I never felt the need to use them and deplete the bank. Now, I use them because I need to but like I said, some days I do have points leftover.

So in conclusion, I'm still enjoying Weight Watchers, it helped me not gain a ton of weight over the holidays, and I'm struggling with the new Freestyle program.

Stay tuned for more updates in the future! I have a feeling I'll be posting them at least once a month!

xoxo
B

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We're back in the new year with a little-rebranded series. The Weekly Wrap Up has become the Royal Roundup and we're starting 2018 fresh with a new name and at Week 1. So far, the content will remain the same but that could change at any time.

I write this as the Bomb Cyclone is taking New York hostage. I worked from home today and good thing because my office closed at 2 PM. When I woke up this morning, the weather didn't seem as bad as the news made it seem but as the hours ticked on, it was obvious that the storm was probably worse than anyone thought.

The winds are intense, the visibility was horrible, and everything was just out of whack. I stayed indoors all day but had a bit of a stressful situation because my mom went to work early this AM and then got stuck in the car for 5 hours. A gas truck was stuck in the snow and she was behind it... it took a very long time for it to get cleared and it was just very nerve-wracking.

She made it home safely so that's what really matters.



The first week of 2018 was pretty good; I was super busy/stressed at work but it was refreshing, and we had a snowstorm so I got to stay home. I'm planning on keeping it lowkey, as usual, this weekend as the temperatures dip to 20 below 0; I'll probably go to the gym, do some writing, some blogging, and other work, as per usual.

I also want to make a trip to Trader Joe's to get some Everything Bagel Seasoning because I just can't go another day without trying it.

I did well with shopping this week too -- I didn't buy anything! However, I do need to restock up on candles so we'll see how the weekend goes!

Here are the links I loved this week:


What You Missed on Royally Pink:

Stay safe & warm this weekend everyone!
xoxo
B
When I think of peppermint I always think of Christmas and naturally, I think of winter. Peppermint and mint, in general, is a very specific taste and has a specific audience. However, I really love it (at times) especially when mixed with hot chocolate.

I also really love peppermint in my beauty products. I love the tingly sensation that makes me believe that a product is really working.



I started to notice a trend in my collection and figured I'd share my favorite beauty products that have that minty feeling! None of these are really 'makeup' products but more of a beauty focus in general!





The most peppermint-y of all these are definitely the IGK Walnut Scalp Scrub -- there is a whole post on this product and some more haircare items coming soon!

I also really enjoy the Sara Happ lip scrub in Peppermint. It's been a lifesaver this winter so far, which is no longer available as I type this. However, Sara Happ has so many other lip scrubs that are probably awesome!  

The Glossier Mint Balm Dot Com is always an A+ and every year I get the Philosophy Candy Cane body wash which is amazing and inspired this post!

What are your favorite weird flavored beauty products?
xoxo
B
For the better half of 2017 I was super focused on wellness.

I love the idea of being mindful, peaceful, and really just taking care of every part of your mind, body, and soul. I've been obsessively reading Well + Good which is a website that I've read little of in the past but the past month have really enjoyed.

I guess you can also say that I went off the hippie, dippy deep end and have also been into spiritual and healing trends. I owe this to the Alex and Ani app & blog which offer a lot of quotes, motivation, and insight into spiritual ideals.

When I was planning content in my new Content Planner (post/review coming soon) and thinking about content for the month of January, wellness was something that kept sticking out to me.

To me, wellness is all about being the best person you can be, for yourself. It can mean staying home and watching a calming movie or organizing your closet so your mind is more at peace. It can be having lemon water in the morning or buying a new sports bra to wear to your new gym.

There has been a lot of talk about wellness and self care in 2017 and something more and more people were researching and focusing on. That is going to continue into the new year and I for one am super excited about it.



I wanted one of my first wellness posts of the year to be about the trends you're going to see this year, in all areas of wellness. These are the trends that I think are attainable, relatable, and ones that I will for sure be focusing on.

1. Hygge Activewear: We won't see the disappearance of the activewear trend any time soon but we will see it get a little cozier and take on some hygge aspects. I am obsessed with Hygge and just finished this book on it. 

2. Beauty That Protects: I'm not talking about SPF here, we've got that down pat. I'm talking about beauty and skincare that protects you from enviornmental dangers and pollution. We talked about this at my company in late 2016 and it's so weird to see that it actually was right on target. Urban Decay already released their pollution protecting setting spray and I'm sure we'll see more as the year ticks on.

3. Even More Self Care: Self care was a huge thing in 2017; more people stayed home, took baths with bath bombs, and drank tea (I'm guessing?) but this isn't going anywhere either! It's a huge thing right now to be really into your self and being a bit selfish when it comes to taking care of YOU so I'm happy with this trend staying put.

4. Lunar Everything: I've always been into horoscopes and astrology but this year, the shift is moving to Lunar; focusing on moonscopes, supermoons, and all that jazz. The moon is said to effect us even more than other planets so it'll be interesting to see this take center stage.

5. Women Working Spaces: Have you heard of WeWork? What about The Wing? While WeWork isn't a women's only working space, The Wing is and I'm super into it. There are a few all over New York and they're going to be opening up in more cities this year. I wish I had a remote job just so I could join The Wing. The reason this is a wellness trend is because it's bringing women together to empower and care for each other. I'm all for it!

What wellness trends are you excited about?
xoxo
B

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