This felt like a very long month with many ups and downs. It might've been the most difficult month for me since quarantine started and I'm happy that it's over. I'm also excited for Fall, obviously but because August was so difficult, I'm finding it hard to get into the fall spirit. I realized a lot this month and I'm hoping that I could make the changes I need to make to be who I want to be.

We're entering my favorite time of the year and even with all the bad stuff that has happened this year, I really want to try to find a way to enjoy it all. We shall see how that goes! 

For now, I want to get into my favorites of the month; some might seem random but they're all my favorites.

 What a week! I say that every Friday but this week was extra long. I feel like August itself has been extremely long and weird. There is so much happening in the world and this week it got to me. I was completely overwhelmed with grief and sadness. Mentally, I cannot handle the over-stimulation of the bad news happening all over, and I don't know how to focus on the positive.

That was the theme this week and I know I am not alone. There is some comfort in that... knowing that there are people who are feeling the same things I do. All we can do right now is register to vote, donate to organizations that matter and find the silver linings in all aspects of life. This too shall pass. 

All of that being said, I'm off from work today, going to get my first ever massage and might treat myself to the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season, even if it is 85 degrees in New York. 

Etsy has always been one of my favorite places to shop. It has everything you could ever want or need, whether it's a piece of jewelry, home decor, or notebooks. When you shop at Etsy, the possibilities are truly endless.

Sometimes when I have something in my head, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of retailer would have that... but Etsy always delivers. You want a fancy, printable bookmark? Etsy has it. You want memorial jewelry? Etsy has it. Whatever you want, there's an Esty shop that caters to that specific item. It's pretty intense. 

Create and Cultivate is a career website and resource, catered to women but advice for all. They host conferences, they have a podcast, the founder has written a book, and now they have an entire online community dedicated to helping women create and cultivate the life of their dreams. 

I've been following the company for a while and I really admire it. I've gotten great advice from them, devoured the book, and am constantly consuming their content. It's a must-visit website if you're a business owner, a person making a career change, or trying to find your way in life. 

Create & Cultivate isn't just career advice but wellness, money, and other life issues. It's your one-stop-shop and if you can't tell, I'm a little obsessed.

This isn't the point of the post though... within the past year, the company launched a paid membership called "Insiders" and you get exclusive invites and discounts to conferences, events, and other content. The membership didn't seem like anything until Covid hit and the brand changed everything to be digital. 

One of the biggest features of Create & Cultivate is their conferences so with Covid, that is obviously impossible. As a C&C Insider, you get exclusive access to conferences before the public, you *might* get a discount (I'm not 100% sure) and you get more exclusivity at the event itself. 

Now, with digital conferences, as an Insider, you get FREE access to all the digital conferences they put on. That, to me, is the best part of being an Insider. 

What Is a Digital Conference?

Since April,  Create & Cultivate has put on around 4 or 5 digital conferences with a huge lineup of incredible speakers, fun activities, and a Slack channel so you can communicate with everyone attending the conference. There are channels for every individual event, for different industries, and for networking. Over Slack, I've talked and met some incredible ladies so that the networking aspect of the conference is still there. 

Plus, who doesn't want to attend a virtual conference from the comfort of their own bed? There's no travel, no small talk with people you don't know, and you can attend every single panel instead of choosing which you want.

If you're not an insider, you can still purchase tickets to the conference and attend just like everyone else. You can also watch the videos for a few days afterward, but as an Insider, you get to forever access to the videos from the conference.

Other Benefits of C&C Insider

You can get a full overview of all the benefits here but one thing I wanted to mention was the exclusive content 'bundles' that they have available. For example, they have a dedicated 'wellness' bundle on how to incorporate wellness into your routine or if you want to learn how to finally start that side hustle, they have a bundle to help you with that on a step by step basis. It's basically their articles times 10 and in a downloadable, PDF format. I download them all to my iBooks app on my iPad and it's helped me a lot.

The membership is $95 a year which can seem like a lot but if you can work it into your budget, I highly recommend it. Even if you're planning on attending 2-3 conferences this year, the membership is worth it just in comparison to the ticket price.

I have been really into online, digital experiences lately (haven't we all?) and my C&C Insider Membership has helped me focus on what I actually want to do more and has shown me the importance in investing in yourself. 

What do you think? Are you going to sign up for C&C Insider?

Royal Round Up, Vol 3: Week 34

, by RoyallyPink, 9:56 PM

This was quite the week and I was noticeably quiet on the blog. I've been open about my anxiety on the blog over the years and I never want to stop that. I switched to a new medication this week and the side effects were outrageous. I'm finally feeling a little more like myself and ready to get back to the grind.

You also might notice that the blog is looking a little different today... I switched up my layout, again. I know it's not traditional or maybe 'best practice' to change your layout so frequently but I get so bored of the same layout for too long. 

I'm also really happy with this one because it has the bar at the top to show off my most recent posts. It just is visually appealing to me and I'm excited. I hope you guys like it too! 

I have an easy weekend planned for myself and I'm looking forward to maybe trying to rest and recharge so I'm in a better headspace for next week. 

If I'm being honest, the Nordstrom sale this year seems like a mess and a half. It went live for exclusive tiers at the beginning of the month and there was hardly anything left when Early Access started last week. I'm writing this post a few days before the sale actually goes live so we'll see if things are still in stock.

I shop at Nordstrom a lot. It is probably my go-to retailer so I have a lot of essentials and I always try to stock up during the sale and buy one or two new things. That's my game plan for this year too and the entire point of this post. 

Hi, my name is Briana and I'm addicted to TikTok. The obsession started shortly after Christmas and has only become more rampant during the quarantine. I mean, there's not much else to do other than sit on TikTok for hours. 

My obsession got so bad at one point that I had to set a time limit on the app. I allowed myself one hour of TikTok every day because if I didn't, I would be up till 4 AM scrolling. That went out the window once Coronavirus hit and I haven't looked back. 

TikTok is an amazing place for creators but that's not what this post is about. 

Even if you aren't on TikTok you have probably heard of Charli D'Amelio, the 16-year-old who is the most followed person on the app. I love her and need her protected at all costs. She is just... it's unreal the level of fame she has accumulated in such a short time but the appeal is there: young, pretty, talented, and very innocent & sweet. She is shy, humble, and comes across as a very normal girl on the app. 

Royal Round Up, Vol 3: Week 33

, by RoyallyPink, 9:35 PM

This was a hard week in many aspects; how is it that everything can be fine and a mess at the same time? My personal life is fine, career is great and I'm having a pretty good summer. However, the world seems like it's falling apart. 

My outlook on the virus sank to low levels this week, the USPS is being defunded, DeBlasio canceled the 9/11 Light Tribue Memorial and the election is looming closer every day. Not to sound like a negative Nancy, but my goodness that is a lot happening and it's stressing me out.

I have so many feelings about everything going on and they're changing daily. When you believe in something and then it changes so suddenly, so drastically, it can be very scary. That's what happened to me this week with a lot of things. I don't like changing my mind but it's human nature.

 I received this book courtesy of NetGalley and finished reading it a few months ago. I've been waiting to review it until we were closer to the publication date, which was yesterday so here we are.

"The Last to Know" takes place in a small town in England. It revolves around an old house, old family secrets, and someone discovering them. It's a classic mystery!

Brand Buzz: Drybar

in , , , , by RoyallyPink, 6:00 AM

I've spoken extensively over the years about my love of Drybar but I've never done a full Brand Buzz aka brand overview about them. 

Drybar has been on my radar for a while... at least 4 years because that's when I went to Drybar for the first time. However, I think my love affair with the brand had been a year or two longer than that. I've used their products for a long time and am pretty obsessed with the idea and branding of the entire brand, from the salon to the accessories to the tools and products. It's ingenious and I've learned so much about the idea behind it from listening to interviews with Alli Webb. 

I've been a little obsessed with my hair during quarantine because I feel like it's been changing and I figured that now is as good a time as any to share my favorite items from the brand.

My first memory of making S'mores was at my family's summer house in Long Island. My cousins and I would look forward to the nighttime when we would gather around the firepit their great grandfather built every night we were there. Our parents helped us roast marshmallows and put together the S'mores and it is just such an amazing memory I have.

S'mores are freaking delicious. I don't find them too sweet or too much-- they're perfect and after one or two, you're satisfied. 

This delectable, three-ingredient dessert isn't the healthiest nor is it easy to make when you don't have access to a firepit/fireplace. Despite that, I've found a 'healthier' way to make your favorite summer dessert-- no fire required.

Royal Round Up, Vol 3: Week 32

, by RoyallyPink, 10:09 PM

This felt like the longest week of my life and I'm not really sure why. I only worked Wednesday & Thursday! I felt extremely off this week, but really, aren't we all feeling a little off? There is no end in sight of this global pandemic and it just feels like the world is falling apart.

I felt extremely sick this week -- not COVID related but I felt horrible. It was really upsetting and threw me off my game in so many ways. I cried a lot, slept a lot, and it was just horrible. Friday night and I'm feeling slightly better... I think? I was out with my mom all day, ordered myself Taco Bell for dinner and now I'm on my computer & watching 20/20. I need to reconnect with myself and figure some stuff out... hopefully, this weekend will allow me to do that.

There's been a lot of complaining from me lately, and I almost always dump it all in these posts but I definitely don't want it to feel that way! Sometimes I use the blog as a journal and sometimes you guys like that... but I never want it to seem like a dumping ground.

Back in 2011, I read the Hunger Games series along with the rest of the teenage/young adult population. I was intrigued at first and looking for something to replace Twilight. I read the first book with ease and Catching Fire was intriguing but Mockingjay, the final book, was so confusing. I was also reading it in the middle of pledging my sorority so my brain was fried. I still don't even really know what happened and when I watch the movies, I'm equally lost. 

I never re-read the books but appreciate what they're about and like the movies.

However, even though I wasn't a huge Hunger Games fan, when I heard a prequel was being released I was ecstatic. It was odd, how happy I was and how intrigued I was by this prequel but maybe that's because there was so much we didn't know. The Hunger Games was a random series with so much backstory that you could easily write multiple prequels. Maybe it was also a sense of nostalgia for me since this was announced around the same as Midnight Sun.

We're already a few days into August and I can't believe we are actually here. July was pretty slow & fast at the same time... but I've been feeling that way all summer. August is usually the time I start counting down to Fall but that feels different this year. I'm not in a rush for the Fall season but maybe that's because this summer has been kind of fun, and odd. 

I've been hanging out with my friends a lot, more than usual, and I've spent the majority of the weekends in a backyard or pool. Not to mention working from home every day makes me not dread the heat and taking daily walks around my neighborhood is kind of fun.

Life isn't the same as previous summers and I know that it won't be the same as previous falls. Also, the past two fall seasons I've had a boyfriend and now I don't so just like summer, I won't know what that looks like. It's almost like the pandemic timed perfectly with the breakdown of my life so I wouldn't dwell on it so much. Timing is truly everything.

That being said, this July was heavy with skincare and body care but I have a feeling next month will be all makeup -- I've been doing my makeup for the past few days and I feel so much better. I have to keep that feeling going! 

July was not great in terms of personal stuff: lots of personal family things happening and it's upsetting, but I hope August is a little better. I mean, we've got Midnight Sun being released, Fall on the horizon, and more days to enjoy Folklore! 

That's enough talking... let's get into my favorites of the month! 

Ella + Mila Cuticle Oil

My cuticles took a beating this month but I finally got a manicure so that's over. The thing that saved my fingers? This Ella + Mila Cuticle Oil.  I've tried a lot of different cuticle oils over the years but I think this one is my favorite. It's hydrating and moisturizing but dry at the same time. It doesn't get greasy or slip all over my just does its job. My favorite part is the brush application. It just makes things easier and less messy, while allowing the oil to stay in place and do its job. It also has a 7-free formulation so it's safe for you, your nails, and skin. 

Scrub of Your Life Body Buffer

For the past 11 months, I've been using Soap & Glory body scrubs. I've tried almost all of them, including Scrub of Your Life, a viral TikTok sensation. However, when I first tried this I wasn't a fan. I much preferred the scrubs in a big tub rather than the squeeze tube. That changed this month when I religiously started using Scrub of Your Life. It is a scrub that deeply exfoliates, leaves your skin smooth as a baby's butt but also lathers up to a soapy consistency that moisturizes your skin at the same time. It's also rose-scented but the smell is os much more than that (I also am allergic to fragrance but this doesn't irritate my skin or cause any negative effects). It's a magical rose scent that you want to bathe in. If you haven't tried this body scrub you need too. 

Lilly Pulitzer Swim

As I mentioned above, I've been living in bathing suits all summer long and every chance I get, I wear my Lilly Pulitzer bathing suit. I have never felt more comfortable in a bathing suit and I don't think I've ever worn a bathing suit more comfortable. I'm not sure if it's the material or if it's the cutouts on the side but this is a magic swimsuit. It's not easy for me to feel or physically be comfortable in a bathing suit so I don't say anything lightly. To go along with the swimsuit, I purchased this shirtdress cover-up which is so adorable. I wear it with the bathing suit and shorts, or just throw it on over the bathing suit for a more casual *and comfortable* look. Lilly Pulitizer really has stepped up their swimsuit game and I can't recommend it enough.

This list is short yet mighty this month! What did you love in July?

Today is National Watermelon Day and I'm actually pretty siked. Fun fact: I am allergic to watermelon so can't eat it but watermelon flavored things? SIGN ME UP! I love a good watermelon drink or a watermelon-flavored candy... it's always the first flavor I reach for.

In recent years, that love of watermelon has transferred over to beauty products. Just about everything can be a 'good for you' beauty ingredient so watermelon is really no different. Whether something is watermelon scented or formulated with watermelon extract, you can find a lot of beauty items that house my favorite 'flavor'.

Watermelon Extract, when used in beauty items, is rich in Vitamin C and helps protect your skin from environmental elements and promotes a healthy, rejuvenated glow to the skin. I'm all for brighter, more glowing skin so watermelon extract is key in my skincare routine. 

What better time to talk about Watermelon beauty products than National Watermelon Day? Below are some of my favorites!

Bliss What A Melon Overnight Mask

I'm very curious about the Bliss brand and this was a product on my radar for a while. It is an overnight mask that has a gel texture and helps heal stressed skin. *I love anything that helps stressed skin... I don't know why! This is a very hydrating mask that immediately sinks into the skin without leaving any residue behind. After applying at night, my skin is very bright and soft in the morning. It doesn't break me out and is gentle enough for nightly use. It makes me want to try the other Bliss watermelon products.

Sephora Watermelon After Sun Mask

This is my favorite summer face-mask and I'm not talking about the cloth kind! Whenever I feel like my face has gotten too much sun, or feels a little too stressed out from the heat, this is what I go too. I discovered the Sephora Collection Watermelon After Sun Mask last summer and stocked up this year so I was always prepared. The watermelon helps moisturize and restore your skin so your face can look and feel it's best, post-sun. It also recently got a CLEAN Sephora makeover so it's near perfect.  

Milk Makeup Watermelon Brightening Serum

This was the first watermelon beauty product I tried and I think it started my love affair. I swear, the Milk Makeup Watermelon Brightening Serum Stick helped my skin so much, I was shocked to see the dramatic results. I don't currently own this but it is 100% worth mentioning. I would apply it to my face every night and wake up with clear skin. Whenever I felt like my skin was looking dull, one application of this serum and my skin was bright again. It was like a magic wand. After I'm done with my current vitamin C serum, I might have to purchase this again.

Touchland Watermelon Hand Sanitinzer 

Does this count as a beauty product? Touchland is my new favorite brand and the Watermelon Power Mist is my favorite scent. It smells like a watermelon jolly rancher and who doesn't love that? I love the slim packaging and the spray application -- it's a must-have in these COVID times. 

Below are a few other watermelon products I have my eye on! 
Happy Saturday everyone! I have spent the better part of the past two days on TikTok. If it gets banned, I will throw a fit. But the addiction is real. Have you seen Noah Beck and Blake Grey? I'm in love with them and truly believe I have feelings for them. I know I'm coming in hot but I can't stop thinking about it... ok I'll stop.

I went out for the first time since quarantine last night. My friends and I went to a restaurant in Brooklyn at their outdoor dining. It was delicious food, I loved being back at a restaurant and didn't feel totally unsafe, however, there was hardly any social distancing but it was ok. 

I've been so careful for the past five months and it felt good to be out, and not just in someone's yard. We'll see what the rest of the summer brings... so much could happen in a month.

We're finally in August and the summer is almost over. Fall is just around the corner and I need to find a way to make this Fall really great. For the past two years, I've had a boyfriend during the Fall season and we did lots of Fall activities so now I need to maneuver my way around my favorite season without feeling sad about it. 

I'm sure I'll figure it out... nothing stops my love of Fall. Even though Fall is my favorite, this summer wasn't terrible. I mean, we're still in the middle of a pandemic so the things you were able to do were limited but I still hung out with friends a lot and felt like I was constantly busy. It was a nice change of pace for sure.

Today and tomorrow are going to be home days: I'm exhausted and gross from last night so I'm spending Saturday watching Youtube videos, writing, and planning. Tomorrow will be the same along with a quick Target run (hopefully).

Let's get into the links!

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week