April flew by in a flash... much faster than March that's for sure! It was also the first full month of quarantine and I'm shocked at how used I have become to this lifestyle. Being stuck in the house isn't horrible for me. I love being at home and I feel comfort knowing that I'm safe. I love working from home and I have a pretty decent routine down pat.

However, I do miss going shopping and seeing my friends. I also think I have accepted that we don't know when this is going to be over and that acceptance has really changed how I'm looking and feeling about this entire debacle.

I also came to a few realizations this month; about my breakup, about my career, about my side hustles. I felt a lot of relief and it feels good.

One thing that I realized is that I need to stop spending! I went crazy with the purchases during the last two months and that's because of my stress and anxiety and the fact that there is nothing else to do. I finally feel like I got it out of my system and I'm going to get back on track. That feels good too.

That being said, I do have plans for my home, and when I say my home I mean my family's. What I really mean when I say that is my bedroom. I want to make my own version of a cozy oasis and add a touch of home office chicness to my desk area. We'll see how that goes...

For now, I want to talk about what I loved during this very short month! Some are new, some are old but all are great!



Barefoot Dreams Blanket

I already have a Barefoot Dreams blanket but that has been stolen from me by my mom so I wanted a new one! I also wanted one that was a blush, neutral color so I went over to QVC to see what they had. I scored this gorgeous, huge blush colored blanket and I have been obsessed with it. It's almost become a security blanket and I never want to be away from it. It also makes my bed look very plush and elevated. It's probably my favorite purchase of the year so far, and definitely my favorite purchase of quarantine.

Lele Sadoughi Headbands


You would think that being in the house all-day would prevent me from wearing headbands but it's actually the total opposite. I wear a headband every day to just feel more like myself. I also have been buying too many new headbands thanks to Lele Sadoughi's website doing happy hours every day from 5-7 PM where an item is 50% off! I personally think headbands pull my look together, make me feel like a human, and add a little something to loungewear. I'm planning on sharing my entire collection soon so once I do, I'll be sure to share.

These are the headbands I've purchased recently:

Miranda Frye Rings




I have hardly worn jewelry during the past two months but I have been dying to purchase a few pieces of Miranda Frye jewelry, specifically her rings. I love my rings and still wear them in the house because as I'm working, typing and writing, I like having them on my hands. My two favorites this month have been from Miranda Frye, the Eternity Ring, and the Juliet Ring. They are true to size, so beautifully made and incredibly quality. I feel like I'm wearing a $400 ring, not a $60 one.

Duolingo

I felt like I needed something else to do this quarantine so I figured I'd brush up on my Italian. I learned about Duolingo from Carly as she's been learning French for the past year or so. I was bored one night and downloaded it to my iPad; instantly, I became addicted and within a few days made it to the 4th level. I took 3 years of Italian in high school and so much of it came back to me. It's really fun, interactive, and you're learning at the same time! It's also nice because there is no pressure and you can go at your own pace.

If you're curious about my beauty favorites of the month, head to this post!

xoxo
B
I've been using my new iPad Mini as an e-reader but mostly through the Nook and Kindle apps. I haven't read on iBooks in years but I downloaded some free eBooks that I had stored on my computer to the Apple app so I figured I'd check out the book store.

To my surprise, there was a big sale happening on that particular day (I've learned that iBooks is always having deals and you can score some amazing books!) and I saw a book I had been wanting to read.

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou is all about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. It's the book that started the hype two years ago, the book that started the HBO Documentary, 'The Dropout' podcast, and a 20/20 special.

I had never heard of Theranos before the media brought it back up but I was instantly hooked. I wanted and needed to know everything about Elizabeth Holmes and her scam of a company. It was so interesting, a different type of 'crime' and not the usual murder & mystery that true crime lovers are used too.

I always knew that I was going to read this book, I just didn't know when. Well, I finished it in a matter of days and enjoyed every last bit of it.


Publisher's Summary

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes were widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.


My Thoughts

I will admit that this book was really hard to understand and follow at first. There is a lot of technical talks and if you are not in that world, it is very difficult to connect with the story. However, once you pay closer attention to what is being said, you're able to catch on.

What I appreciated about this book was that it didn't dwell too much on Elizabeth's childhood and pre-Theranos so you weren't exposed to a lot of useless information. Everything included in the book was very calculated, in the best way possible.

One of my favorite parts of the book was toward the end when the writer, John Carreyrou, linked his personal journalistic experience with Theranos to the novel. He told the story of how he discovered Theranos and how he broke the story in the news... he talked about his legal battle with Holmes and how it affected his job and his sources. 

The entire story, if you don't know, is very interesting and a pretty wild ride. Elizabeth Holmes set out to start a medical tech company that was going to create machines to test blood for thousands of diseases with just a finger prick of blood. Too bad that is virtually impossible and a lot of people told Holmes it wasn't possible.

She didn't care to listen and wanted to become the next Steve Jobs -- the comparisons to Jobs are pretty intense in the book. Theranos became a very toxic work environment and the stories that are included in the book make me cringe and worry for those peoples' mental health.

Carryrou takes you through the inception of the company, all the legal troubles, and the implosion of what was supposed to be the next great invention. It is a wild ride from beginning to end and truly an interesting read. I was gripped from the first chapter and really enjoyed it.

I have watched and listened to everything related to Theranos and Holmes but I really found the book to be eye-opening to things that were skimmed over or not included in the podcasts and TV specials.

If you love true crime but need something without murder or kidnapping, I highly recommend looking into Bad Blood. If you are interested in Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, you definitely need to read this!

xoxo
B

My dad's side of the family is very neat. It was always a running joke that my aunt and grandma were obsessed with cleaning; I hadn't sat on my grandma's couch for perhaps the first 20 years of my life. She used to use plastic slipcovers to protect the white couch and I never walked in the house with shoes on.

That being said, I have always really enjoyed a neat, clean space. There is something very calming about organizing your space or clearing out clutter. When quarantine hit, I knew that my neat freak was going to kick in because if I am going to be spending a lot of time in my house, it needs to be in tip-top shape.

Whenever I am anxious, even if it's late at night, cleaning and organizing really calms my mind. I feel incredibly at ease and accomplished when I finish cleaning my room or decluttering a space. It's one of my favorite things ever.

One of the areas I knew I wanted to clear out were my Ikea Alex drawers that I use for my beauty collection. I have five drawers: nails, makeup, skincare/haircare, palettes and backups. I recently decluttered my makeup drawer so I decided to tackle skincare/haircare, backup, and nail drawer. Right now, I have published the skincare & backup drawer so that's what I'm going to be sharing today!

I will try to do other organization and cleaning posts because I already have done my bathroom cabinets, my closet and under my bed--the bed was the hardest and I didn't take any photos so we'll see).



I hope you enjoy these videos and stay tuned for the nail drawer video soon :)








xoxo
B
My makeup routine was non-existent for the first few weeks of quarantine but then one morning, I decided I needed to put a face on. That day, when I applied minimal makeup for the first time in weeks, I felt good. I was a little happier and more positive all around.

I realized that the act of putting makeup on, even if it's just a few products, really helped brighten my mood. It was almost like it tricked my mind that it was a normal day. I also always feel better when I'm put together; when my nails, hair, and makeup are done...even if I'm wearing sweats.

I've been keeping up with this mini makeup routine during the quarantine and these are the products that make it easy!



Colourpop Pretty Fresh Tinted Moisturizer

Before quarantine, I was on the hunt for a tinted moisturizer that could be applied with my hands. I also didn't want to spend a ton of money so enter Colourpop. I don't know if this is my favorite tinted moisturizer ever but it gets the job done. My skin looks pretty dewy & fresh when I apply it and it has great coverage. It applies easily with my hands, doesn't cling to dry patches, and lasts a good amount of time throughout the day. It's the perfect tinted moisturizer for an elevated no-makeup look.

Covergirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation

I don't know the last time I was this excited about a complexion product. When I saw Covergirl release this new 'Skin Milk Foundation' I was super pumped. I saw Lili Reinhart's commercial debuting this foundation and something inside me moved. I needed this foundation more than life itself. I really love any makeup product with the word 'milk' in the title and I'm not sure why... maybe it's because I feel like it will heal my dry skin. I probably could've used a shade darker in this foundation (I have the shade 540 Light) and it's just a touch too white for me. I apply this with my fingers and then will further blend in with a brush. I really love this foundation and I would even say this is similar to a tinted moisturizer. It doesn't feel heavy on my face, has light-medium coverage and looks like skin, which is all I need right now. I really enjoy Covergirl foundations and this is a little reminiscent of their old Ready Set Gorgeous foundation that was a holy grail of mine back in the day. If you need a new foundation to wear in the house, I recommend this!

Too Faced Peach Perfect Instant Coverage Concealer

This is another product I got right before quarantine started and one that I was pretty excited to try out. I love Too Faced concealers so when I saw this pot concealer, I immediately had to have it. I'm a sucker for a new concealer! This is a dry concealer in terms of it's not that creamy in the pot. It's not drying on the eyes and once it touches your skin and begins to warm up, it blends into your skin really easily. This is a great medium coverage concealer and really helps brighten the under-eye area. It has a nice, natural finish (the website says it's supposed to have a matte finish but I don't really get that vibe) and I've been wearing it every day. It doesn't really feel like anything under the eye which is great for lowkey days.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

I haven't been curling my lashes a ton during this quarantine so I'm using my go-to mascara on the days when I AM wearing mascara. Mascara is usually my must-have, cannot leave the house without, product but I've been skipping it more and more. However, when I apply Monsieur Big, my lashes look fierce and I feel even more put together. This is one of my top 5 favorite mascaras of all time and one that I've purchased multiple times. It makes my lashes look long, separated, and voluminous; everything I have ever wanted in a mascara.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm

This is a new find and a product I was pleasantly surprised by. A few months ago, Bite reformulated their Agave lip products but I hadn't tried the new lip balm because the old lip balm gave me a bad allergic reaction. However, recently, this was on sale for $11 so I figured I'd give it a try. Oh wow, this new formula is SO GOOD! It's creamier than the old formula and really sinks into your lips to deeply hydrate and repair. It has been my go-to balm for the past few weeks and I simply cannot live without it during the day. If you need a new lip balm, please go try this



What are your quarantine beauty products?

xoxo
B
I listened to Governor Cuomo's daily briefing this morning and he informed us that we are on day 56 of the Coronavirus pandemic. Personally, I am on day 43 of lockdown and I really don't see an end in sight. I don't know what the future holds, no one does and there is nothing more stressful on the human brain than that feeling.

I was fine this week, a little under the weather, a little confused, and just waiting for the weekend. I just needed to decompress, a day to do nothing, and to let my brain heal. In the first half of the week, I was incredibly nauseous and couldn't keep anything but seltzer and saltines down. Then, I spent the second half of the week with vertigo and incredibly confused. Allergies were on the fritz and I couldn't breathe. It just wasn't a good week but nothing a lot of sleep couldn't fix.

Today is a day of errands, a nice walk around the neighborhood, and perhaps working on some content. I need to shift my mindset and get in the groove again.

I hope you are all staying sane, safe, and healthy.



Now, for the links of the week...

Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink

I was pretty good and only placed another Sephora order!


I have been reading a lot of books... almost too many books if I'm being honest. A few weeks ago I read 4 books in 6 days. That's a lot... however, I'm not complaining. There comes a sense of strange accomplishment when you finish reading a book. It's like checking something off your to-do list. Nonetheless, I'm not reading for competition, I'm reading for pleasure and I've read some great books and not so great books.

Because of that, I decided to round up a few 'meh' books and give you my thoughts in one fell swoop instead of splitting them up into individual posts. I loved some of these books more than the others, while some fell very flat in my eyes.



Some I've read recently and others a few months ago but I never got around to writing a review. I think the more books I read, the more I'll do collective posts like this to save editorial space but also, feel like I don't have to write a negative review on a book. I hate that.

Without further ado... here we go.

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid



I really didn't like this book. I know I should've because it covered such an important, real topic but oh my, I really didn't enjoy it. I finished it though with the hope of it getting better but I felt like nothing happened. If you haven't heard, Such A Fun Age is the story of a young black woman who is a nanny for a rich, white couple and one night, she is accused of kidnapping the girl she babysits for. The plot rolls on from there but I just wasn't enthralled. The characters weren't likable, the writing style wasn't my favorite, and it just felt weird. I understand my privilege as a young white woman, reading a book about racial tensions but it just didn't do it for me.

The Apartment by K.L Slater


This novel by K.L Slater is being released next week and I'm glad I can finally talk about it. This was a very quick read but very enticing. Freya Miller gets the chance of a lifetime to live in a beautiful apartment building, with her daughter, and for very little rent. However, once she arrives, things start happening and it's not at all what she expected. I was a little confused while reading because I really had no clue how this would end. The way it ended, and what happened was even more confusing and took some time to really understand but it was a wild ride. It was very different from anything I've ever read which was very refreshing. The Apartment was well worth the read and I recommend picking it up next week!

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls


This was a rom-com inspired book that I read because I saw it on Netgalley and was approved for it. It was released last June and I just finished it in January. It took a while to read because it took a while for me to get into it, and in the end, I didn't feel like it was worth my time. Nick, a movie buff and employee at a movie theater, is going through a breakup with his one true love, Ellie. After, he can't help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw style) if love even exists. The entire book goes back and forth between the present & past when Ellie and Nick first met. I felt like nothing really happened in this book and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. There are other romantic comedies based books out there. 

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover



Ever since Verity, I've been a little obsessed with finding the next Colleen Hoover book to read. One night, a few weeks ago, I couldn't sleep. I woke up around 2 AMish and twisted and turned for about an hour. I decided to give up all hope and crack open a new book. From cover to cover, I laid in bed in the middle of the night and read "Regretting You". It took me about 2-3 hours and I enjoyed every last minute of this. Morgan gets pregnant as a teenager, marries her baby daddy and 16 years later has her own daughter who she is trying to stop from making her same mistakes. However, when tragedy strikes the family and Morgan & Clara's lives are forever changed, their relationships become strained and the book develops from there. I was not expecting this book to be what it was. The main plotline threw me off when it hit so early in the book but it made it so much better. There's the classic mother/daughter push & pull, two different love stories and so many feels. I cried while reading this book and I would love to read it again. It was the perfect love story to supplement my desire for thriller novels and truly was a beautiful story. I love Hoover's style of writing and I already have so many other books from her waiting to be cracked open. I think if you read anything off this list, please make it "Regretting You!"

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo
B
Disney + came out in November and ever since then, my life has been more magical. My Disney obsession has been in full force for quite a while and Disney+ really drove that feeling home. Now, more than ever, I feel drawn to Disney to give me something happy and fun to lose myself in.

I will be doing another post about Disney, my obsession, and the Disney products I've been loving. There are so many small shops out there who create the most beautiful Disney items and I just want to spread the love, because I've been spending so much money at them all!

For now, let's talk Disney+...



I had been counting down Disney + for months and when it finally launched, the first thing I watched was Peter Pan. I then proceeded to watch all of my favorite animated films and a lot of films I hadn't seen in a while like 101 Dalmatians and Alice in Wonderland.

There are also so many other movies on the service like every Disney Channel Original Movie under the sun, Star Wars and movies that I didn't realize would be available like The Parent Trap.

I know Disney is continuing to put new shows and movies on the platform but for me, I can watch the same shows and movies over and over because they are so nostalgic and comforting.

However, I do have my favorites and I need to talk about them!

Old Animated Classics 


These are the top dog for me and always will be. I love all the animated movies, my favorites being Peter Pan, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Aristocats, and Alice in Wonderland. However, I love getting to revisit anything I might've missed as a kid or even adult, like The Princess and the Frog or Zootopia, both of which are incredible! It's nice to escape and relive the beauty of childhood.

Waking Sleeping Beauty



This is a hidden gem in my opinion. While everyone is talking about The Imagineering Story, I much preferred Waking Sleeping  Beauty. It was a docu-series centered around the animation process and the Disney Reinassance where animators came back as stars. As I'm writing this, I googled the doc and didn't realize it wasn't a Disney + Original. It came out in 2009! It was a real delight to watch and made me appreciate all the magic behind the scenes.

DCOMs

As mentioned earlier, I love that all the DCOMs are available for streaming. I was the DCOM queen when I was younger and never missed one! Friday nights, 8 PM, you could find me in front of the television watching the latest and greatest. The first one I watched on Disney + was Double Teamed because that was my favorite one growing up and after all these years, it still made me insanely happy.

Disney Fairytale Weddings


Going through a breakup, you would think I wouldn't want to watch wedding-related content and that was the old me. I hated watching anything related to weddings because it made me sad but this time around, I'm not letting a broken heart get in the way of the things I enjoy. I watched a few episodes of Disney Fairytale weddings and fell in love. Like, can I get married at Disneyworld? It was some of the most magical content I have ever consumed. I cried like a baby watching it. If you love love, you need to tune in.


These are just a few favorites but there is so much more to explore on Disney +! What are you watching?

xoxo
B
Loungewear is all I'm wearing right now. I cannot find it in me to actually get dressed every morning and I'm starting to become concerned with my future self when she has to get dressed in real people's clothes every day.

Before quarantine, I wore leggings most days but would try to rotate in jeans or dress pants but now? I haven't NOT worn leggings since March 13th. I just love them so much but now, I'm not even putting on real shirts with them. I haven't worn anything but a sweatshirt in over a month and have continued to purchase new sweatshirts to keep things fresh.



As stated many times before, the leggings I'm obsessed with (and the only ones I wear) are Zella leggings. Zella is exclusive to Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. The leggings I wear are the High Waisted Live In leggings.

To get in on the tie-dye trend, I ordered a pair of pink tie-dye Zella leggings (currently sold out but available in blue). However, we'll see what they look like when I receive them.

I wanted to come here today and just give you some picks for not crazy overpriced loungewear and honestly, my version of loungewear. I don't like sweatpants and much prefer to chill out in leggings and oversized sweatshirts so most of this is going to be the shirts I've been wearing and buying.

Full disclosure: I've been on a Disney kick so I have a lot of Disney sweatshirts in here. They're super comfortable, very oversized and make me so happy in times when happiness is few and far in between.

Let me know if the comments what your favorite loungewear is right now!

TGIF! Even though we're stuck inside, there's something great about waking up on a Friday, but perhaps that's because I'm grateful enough to be working 5 days a week. It was another hard week but when you hear that you're going to be quarantined another month, it's hard to not have it be a hard week.

This week I stressed about my job, money, and life in general. I'm hoping the weekend will bring some sort of clarity and calmness to the situation. I just really hope everyone stays safe, follows the rules and we can get out of this soon.

How are you all doing? I hope ok!

I'm going to attempt to get work done on the blog and Youtube this week, as well as work on some passion projects that I hope turn into something. I got a burst of inspiration this week so maybe I can maintain that.

Here's what I loved this week!


Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week




Tomorrow is my favorite day of the year... the Sephora VIB Sale! Rouge gets 20% off, VIB 15% and Beauty Insider gets 10% but either way, it's a discount from Sephora. We might not be wearing a lot of makeup right now, but if you can afford it, it's a nice way to treat yourself.



My aunt got me a gift card for Easter so combine that with the discount and I'm all set. As of right now, I'm only going to pick up a few Charlotte Tilbury items I've had my eye on (see below) but I wanted to do a dedicated post of all my favorite items that are worth the spend.


I went back through my Sephora purchases over the past year or so and picked my favorite products that I've repurchased and/or use daily.

What are you going to be picking up during the sale?


My reading has been off the charts as of late. All I do is read, read, read. I have so many books I don't know what to do with but of course, I needed a new one because I've been hearing so much about it.

"A Good Girls' Guide to Murder" has already been on top of the NYT bestseller list and the premise had enticed me.

To me, it sounded like the perfect combination of YA and true crime... and really, what is better than that?


Publisher's Summary

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.
Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.
But she can't shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?
Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent...and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn't want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.
This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.

My Thoughts

This book was really good. It was really good on all levels and honestly, unlike anything I've ever read. It kept my attention throughout the entire book and I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. I didn't feel like it was too predictable, mostly because I had no idea how it was going to end. 
When it comes to mysteries, I've read so many of them, I can kind of see where the story is going but not with this one.
Note: There was some discrepancy in language; the author is British so sometimes it didn't sound like she was writing an American teenager and there was a lot of jumping from first to third person. 
I also loved the way Pip was written and her budding friendship with Ravi -- it was relatable as a teenage girl but also really mature. I loved Pip so much and I rooted for her the entire time - I didn't find one thing unlikable about her character which is saying a lot because I feel like protagonists are naturally unlikeable most of the time. 
The mystery of who murdered Andie Bell was completely intriguing. There were so many people that could've done it but truly no one has any idea. The plot development was on point; not too fast, not too slow and not a lot of pointless subplots. 
When I knew the book was going to be set in high school, I was worried that it would be a little juvenile for me but that wasn't the case. It was just as mysterious and gory as any other book I've read, but with a toned-down subplot. 
I really loved every second of this and I got a super satisfying ending -- both in the romantic subplot and the main mystery. It was truly incredible and a great read. As I write this, I probably will end up reading it again
Have you read "A Good Girl's Guide to Murder?" What did you think?
xoxo
B
A new season brings new nail polish and more than ever, we need a little brightness. Essie's Spring collection has launched in all retailers and is already fully sold out at Ulta. However, you can still find it at Target.

Upon first seeing the collection, I was intrigued by a few shades but mostly the pale yellow, "Feeling Wellies". I saw swatches on Instagram and it looked so pretty and so springy. I've been really into pastel and tie-dye vibes (who hasn't?!) and I thought this color fit the aesthetic beautifully.

I added it on when I was shopping Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty and finally used it last week when I felt like I needed a pick me up.

Well, I was in love.




The color isn't your normal yellow and doesn't wash your hands out; it doesn't look like a fungus or look like you have watercolor paint on your nails, it's the perfect pale yellow with a touch of neon. It screams Spring, even when you're stuck indoors.

However, the formula is really not great. It's one of the worst formulas I've used in a while and I'm not sure if it's me or the color. I have had bare nails for the better part of the past month so maybe I'm not practiced at painting anymore, or the bright color made the formula a little watery and patchy.

That's exactly what it was -- watery, hard to steady and streaky. Two coats made it much better but it still looked a little messy on the nails. It also didn't last too long and started chipping after 3-4 days. All of that being said, I still really love this color and will be wearing it all spring & summer long.

Have you tried a new nail polish recently?
xoxo
B
Happy Saturday and almost a month into quarantine. I'm pretty sure I stopped going to work on March 13th. This is not how I thought the past few months would go but I'm sure no one did.

This week was so-so. I'm struggling somewhere between wanting to be productive and wanting to lay in my bed and do nothing. It feels like I'm two different people and I can't quite wrap my finger around it. Being in the epicenter of the virus, it's really jarring to hear first-hand accounts of what the hospitals are like and how many people I know/know of are losing loved ones to this. Mass graves are being dug and freezers are holding bodies on the streets outside of the hospitals. It's just a lot to wrap your mind around.

While I have my productive moments, it's still hard sometimes to sit down at my desk and churn a blog out. I have so many ideas and in theory, a lot of motivation but physically, sometimes I can't make myself do it which is why this post is coming on a Saturday night and why there were hardly any posts this week. I vow to always be better but sometimes I just can't. I'm trying to work on it though, for myself.

Quarantine is not a productivity contest but I feel good when I'm doing something, or when I feel like I accomplished at least one task.

For example, this morning I woke up very late (11:30 AM to be exact) after not sleeping all night and immediately cleaned my room, changed my sheets, and spend a good hour or so cleaning under my bed (lifted my mattress and box spring to vacuum UNDER MY BED) and changed some summer & winter clothes in my closet. After that, I felt like I got hit by a truck and showered, did my hair and took a nap.

Tomorrow is Easter and for the first time in my entire life, I won't be celebrating with my whole family. I'll be with my mom and my sister and we'll have a traditional Italian Easter meal but it's just weird.

I hope you are all staying safe & healthy, and staying sane because I know this is hard for everyone.


Links I Loved



What You Missed on Royally Pink


What I Bought This Week

I wasn't that bad this week and I know next week I will be even better. I'm finally getting all the shopping out of my system and can focus on what I have instead of what I don't. I had been waiting for months for this Miranda Frye ring to be back in stock so I finally scooped it up and I can't wait for it to arrive! 

I also needed to stock up on my Good Patch wellness patches. I'm working on an article for Fab Fit Fun on these but stay tuned for a blog report as well! 

Lilly Pulitzer is currently 30% off so I had to pick up a little something! Also, I've been busting for a Crislu Disney piece and picked this up. I can't wait to wear it every day!

I hope you all have a lovely rest of the weekend!
xoxo
B
I had this idea for a blog post a while ago but now, in the midst of quarantine, I feel like it's more appropriate than ever. There is nothing to do but be inside and therefore, we are probably using more of our possessions than ever before.

Whether it's food, beauty, self-care, technology... we are using everything to pass the time. I figured it would be interesting to talk about the items that I've been using more that I'm in my house 24/7 and what I'm using as I work from home. I've always loved my stuff and I've talked about that a lot but being home during the day allows me to use my 'stuff' even more.



iPad Mini 5

Right before all of this started, I treated myself to a new iPad Mini. Mine was a few years old, didn't have enough memory, and was a little too slow for my liking. My new iPad is pretty much exactly the same and I love it so much. I use it for reading (I use the Kindle & Nook apps), social media, and even use it as a second screen if I need another browser window while working or blogging. It's my sidekick - my partner in crime. I hooked up my iMessage to it so some days I can leave my phone in another room and just have my iPad. I purchased this Apple Pencil dupe from Amazon and download a coloring book app called 'Pigment' and have been coloring to pass the time. Having a tablet really unleashes a world of possibilities.

Stress Gummies + Supplements

This one goes without saying but it's been a struggle and a battle the past few weeks. It's not just me, as someone with anxiety who is feeling the stress but everyone in the world. I would be nowhere without my favorite supplements that help take the edge off and allow me to think and process things more clearly. I use these interchangeably: Olly Stress Gummies, HUM Nutrition Big Chill, Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies.

Zella Leggings + Graphic Sweatshirts


It shouldn't be a surprise that I haven't worn anything but my Zella Live In High Waisted leggings for the past three weeks. I've been pairing that with any and all sweatshirts. These are the ones I've been wearing the most: Frozen (similarCinderella from Box Lunch, BP, and BBX Collection (use code BRIANA15 for 15% off!). There is a definite Disney theme happening to me right now but let's just go with it. I just want to be comfortable. I do my hair & my makeup to feel like a human and look decent on video meetings but comfort is key.

May Designs Priority Planner



The Priority Planner is one of, if not my all-time favorite layout that May Designs has ever released. I purchased it a few months ago and used it for exceptionally busy weekend days but mostly used it when I was working from home. Well now that I'm working from home every day, I found it to be extremely useful and a key part of my sanity. It helps me organize my day into sections, think about the tasks that really need to get done and really stay on top of everything. It's been a lifesaver!

Belle and Park Starbucks Cold Cup

As I mentioned before, I have been on a huge Disney kick. It makes me happy and provides a great distraction. With that being said, I purchased this cold cup from my favorite Etsy shop, Belle and Park last month and have not stopped using it. It adds a bit of magic to an otherwise scary time and it's just a nice, lightweight cup for water and/or iced coffee!

Honorable Mention: Foods I've been eating like they're going out of style this quarantine: Queso Blanco, Tortilla Chips, Mickey Ice Cream Bars and Eggo Waffles. Someone stop me.

What are the items you cannot stop using right now?
xoxo
B
Without sounding too full of myself, I've always had really great skin. I get blemishes and pimples every so often, and my skin is very sensitive and dry so I have to be careful of the beauty products I'm using but aside from that, I'm ok.

I would never classify my skin as acne-prone but I'm human, I'm also a woman, so acne is part of life. As I've gotten older, I've found ways to get rid of blemishes and pimples a little faster and especially in the past few months, I've been working to find the best ways to get rid of any acne scarring or dark spots that pop up on my skin.

I don't always do all of these steps together but they are most effective when I use them in routine.


Neutrogena Acne Light 

I received this in PR a few years ago and it is truly a game-changer. I've never used one of those big LED masks but this small light wand makes a huge difference. When I feel a pimple coming on or there's one underneath my skin (sorry, TMI), I put this light on the spot. It delivers the perfect amount of light and turns off automatically, it's not more than 2 minutes and I just repeat the process for a few days until I notice a difference. Right now, this is only available on Neutrogena's website but definitely check out your local drugstores (when quarantine is over) to see if they carry it.

Pimple Patches

These are magic and the true key in quickly getting rid of blemishes. These clear, gel-like patches adhere to your blemish and deliver some potion to your skin to shrink and eventually get rid of the pimple. Right now I'm using the Alba Botanica Pimple Patches and they are working wonders. Within two days, my blemish is a lot less noticeable and is on it's way to being totally gone. In the past, I've used the Skyn Iceland patches and they work really well.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

I spoke about these in my February Favorites and they have been a total lifesaver. I use the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads right after cleansing my skin at night, almost as a toner, and always notice that my skin is a little less dull, any dark spots or scars are less noticeable. It also helps remove any texture in my skin from clogged pores or small pimples; overnight, my texture is completely gone. I think using these pads consistently has made the biggest difference in my skin; when I do not use these for a few days or skip my skincare routine, I notice that my face doesn't look as good. These might be one of my favorite beauty discoveries ever.

Summer Fridays CC Me Serum

I have been on the hunt for a good Vitamin C serum for years. Nothing on the market ever enticed me and I didn't want to just buy a serum for the sake of buying one. I know that doesn't make sense but I just found the process confusing. Finally, one of my favorite skincare brands, Summer Fridays, released their own Vitamin C serum and it wasn't even a question if I was going to purchase it. I've been using the CC Me Serum for a few months and have noticed a visible difference. My skin is very spotty at times and this makes a huge difference. My skin is a little smoother, a little brighter and the blemishes and dark spots are seemingly gone. I love using these in conjunction with the FAB Radiance Pads and together, they are a recipe for success. I don't think I will stray from this vitamin c serum and will continue to repurchase. It works that well for me.



What are your favorite products for keeping your skin smooth & clear?


xoxo
B
Another week in quarantine down, a lot more to go. This was a solid week in terms of my mental health which is something I am very thankful for, but in the same breath, one of the most devastating ones for the virus.

There were too many deaths this week; two in my extended family and many more in my neighborhood and friends of friends of friends. This is no joke and people who still aren't taking it seriously are bugging me. I found myself getting angry too many times this week because people are stupid. If you know someone who is not taking this seriously, do something to shock their systems. Tell them that there are bodies being piled up outside hospitals in portable freezers because the morgue is overcrowded.

That's the reality of life in New York City right now and it's fucking terrifying. I don't know how to move on from that point so we're just going with...

My sleep has been shit and I'm really thankful for the weekend so I can try to sleep past 6 AM. Not that I wake up for work at 6 AM but I've been up at all hours of the night and knowing I have to wake up to work doesn't help the process.

Work has been keeping me busy and on my toes, and I cannot say how grateful I am for that right now. It is the one normal thing in my life and I am blessed.

For now, I'm going to spend the weekend organizing, cleaning, taking care of the blog and my other creative outlets, reading, and having Zoom meetings with my friends.

Stay safe & healthy everyone!




Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink This Week

What I Bought This Week

Once again, it was very bad. What happened to my low-buy?? The craziness of the world and my life has me throwing it all out the window.

I bought this sweatshirt and a phone case from BellePark; this Lele Sadoughi headband was 50% off today (she's been doing happy hours for the past two weeks where a different item is 50% off). I've been in the market for a new laptop bag for my work computer since I bring it back and forth so much so I finally got the perfect one! This old Kate Spade model was on Poshmark and I'm so happy I found it in perfect condition for an amazing price.

Make sure to follow me on RewardStyle aka LiketoKnowIt!
xoxo
B
I have been meaning to write this post for months and I kept putting it off but better late than never!

When I found out that Kim Kardashian West aka my queen was releasing a solution wear line, I knew it was going to be good and I knew that I needed it. However, I had no idea that she was going to expand the collection so fast, and into so many different categories.

SKIMs launched a few months ago and since then, I haven't been able to get my hands on a piece of solution wear but, I was able to score a T-Shirt bra and as a woman, I am always looking for a new bra.



Let me tell you something... my life has been changed. I did not know that a bra could be this comfortable. The moment I put on this bra, I knew there was no way I was going back. Now, I have 4 of these bras and no others. I threw all my old bras out with the expectation of a strapless and convertible one.

The SKIMs T-Shirt bra comes in 9 different skintone colors; I have the shades Clay and Oxide but the colors don't really matter to me. I do love that there is a nude for everyone, that's really Kim's entire point of this line.

I chose the T-Shirt bra because it seemed like the most comfortable and most 'normal'. It's not a pushup bra, not overly padded and has a good underwire. It's a very standard bra but something about it is so different.

When I wear this bra, it feels like I'm wearing nothing. I don't fiddle with the straps, I'm not fidgeting all day long -- it's just there and I don't need to adjust. Sure, it's still a bra but it feels better than any other bra I've worn.

I've tried Aerie, Victoria Secrets, Thirdlove, and other no-name brands but nothing compares to the Skims. I have been shouting from the rooftops since the moment I put it on... I cannot get enough.

For reference, I'm a 38D and it fits perfectly. The cups aren't too big, the straps fit and feel comfortable without digging into my shoulders. The backstrap is also wide enough that you feel secure and with three hooks, three size adjustments, you're able to find your comfort level & perfect fit.

I haven't tried the push-up bras only because I don't like a push-up bra but I'm assuming it's the same material, same fit, just with more padding.

The SKIMs T-Shirt bra retails for $52 which seems standard for a bra of this quality. You can also shop with Afterpay, for four payments of $13.00 which definitely makes the price easier to swallow.

I'm not really careful with my bras; I put them in the regular wash, and in the dryer, and they've held up very well. Sure, the hooks dent a little but I'm sure if you hand-washed and hung them to dry, they would be in better shape. I've had them all for a few months, purchasing my first in September and they haven't lost their shape, are still comfortable, and in great condition.

I don't think I'll be purchasing another bra any time soon. KKW has hit the nail on the head with this one!

Have you tried SKIMS?
xoxo
B
Over the past few months, I've heard a lot about "The Wives" by Taryn Fisher. I heard that it was a wild ride of a book and that it was unlike anything people have read before. I bought this book on my Kindle a few weeks ago and finished it within maybe 3 days. It was truly addicting and really a great, well-written novel.

I've never read anything by Taryn Fisher so I would say this is a great introduction to her writing style.



Publisher's Summary

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.


What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read. You’ll have to grab a copy to find out why.


My Thoughts

This book was not what I thought it was going to be. From that summary, you don't get a lot of information so you're going into the book a little unsure of what to expect.

 Thursday is married to Seth, who has two other wives. He's technically a polygamist but unlike Sister Wives on TLC, these wives don't know each other and don't live together. Seth is basically cheating on all his wives.

Thursday is the 2nd newest wife and our protagonist; she is head over heels for Seth but then curiosity gets the best of her and she starts to wonder about the other wives. Thursday takes it upon herself to find out information about the women she shares her husband with.

As Thursday discovers more about the wives and even meets them in person, the story of her life and her marriage starts to unravel. Everything she thought she knew about Seth was wrong. Thursday starts to second guess herself, tries to get away, and tries to enlist the help of the other wives.

Everything blows up in her face, things go a little wild and her life is forever changed. 

This is not a mystery thriller, it's definitely more of a psychological novel with a twist at the end that I really didn't see coming and honestly didn't believe it until the last page.

I really loved this book and it will probably be a favorite book of the year for me. It was very easy to read, not scary and made you second guess everything that was being told to you. I love a good psychological thriller, something that isn't scary or a true-crime based but something that has to do with people's minds.

There isn't too much else to say without giving away the entire plot but this book is not what you expect, and I loved every moment of it.

xoxo
B
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