What a week! I feel like I say that every week but it has been insanely busy the past few days. Work is very busy and once work is over, I feel like I never slow down - I had writing to do, freelance social clients, the blog, reading, and just life in general. 

I'm off today for a doctor's appointment but I'll be running errands in between. I feel like I have so much to do, all the time, and there's just never enough hours in the day. I guess that is a good thing; I do enjoy being busy because then it makes the relaxing moments so much more enjoyable. 

This weekend, well I'm not even sure what I'll be doing but I know part of me will be relaxing, writing, planning, and setting goals for February since it starts on Monday! I can't believe we're one month into 2021 already... so much has happened but there's still so much time in front of us.

One thing I really want to do in the coming weeks is watch something new on Netflix, or just watch whatever show people are talking about. I love pop culture & love television but lately I find myself just wanting to watch shows and movies I've seen before. It took me weeks to watch Bridgerton -- a month actually, since I just binged it last weekend.

I did really like it... did I love it? Maybe. Am I obsessed with it? Not really but I kind of want to be. It has everything I love: old England, royalty, love, friendships, gossip, British people. It's perfect basically. I'm already wanting to rewatch it so maybe I love it more than I thought. I also purchased the e-book this week of the first novel, which I think matches up to the first season so that'll be interesting to read.

We will see, won't we? 

Let's get into the good stuff of the week!

I went to the Stoney Clover store in the West Village and picked up a few store exclusive items
like stickers, a mug, and a Carrie Bradshaw patch!


Pink Positivity of the Week

The stock market drama this week has once again, brought out the best of the Internet. Between TikTok, Twitter, and all the memes, whenever something big in the world happens, whether it's good or bad, the internet comes through. People are truly hilarious and it just makes me so happy. 

*PS: Make sure you are signed up for my newsletter because there's a special surprise coming there on Sunday! 

Links I Loved

What You Missed This Week on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

I purchased the Stoney Clover x Roller Rabbit pajamas but I think I'm returning them. They're not as comfortable as I thought they'd be. *They're already sold out but you can check out more of the collection here

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
B

The first favorites post of 2021! That is a cause for celebration! I cannot believe we're at the end of January already. It feels like it's been the longest and shortest month... but is that any different than any other month? 

A lot happened this month... both good and bad; a domestic terrorist attack, lots of weird celebrity news (looking at you Armie Hammer), a new President and the first female, POC VP. We're still in the middle of a pandemic, NYC in-door dining is still closed (despite our numbers being some of the lowest in the state) and the vaccine efforts have really kicked off. My grandpa (and so many nurse/medical professional friends) have gotten their vaccine and I'm so excited for them.

There is so much hope amidst so much sorrow. 

This month brought a lot clarity to my personal life, my career, my 'side hustles'... it's been eye opening and refreshing. I'm hoping to keep up the momentum going forward and really make 2021 a good year.

That being said, I loved lots of things this month but below were the standout items. Some of them are a little strange... I mean, a pen? A pen is my favorite item of the month, yes. 

January 2021 Favorites 

Stoney Clover Notebook Cover

Oh look, another Stoney Clover favorite! A few months ago, SCL released notebook covers and I of course, immediately purchased one. I wasn't sure what I was going to use it for but I knew I needed one. The last few weeks of December, I decided that it was going to be my freelance notebook, for both writing and social media. I've been using it a lot this month and really just fell in love with it. I love the snap closure, I love how pens write on the paper, and I love the size. It's not too big or too small, and it's comfortable while writing. I'm going to get another one for work and probably one for the blog as well. I'm a stationery hoarder and love having a variety of notebooks to choose from but I also love notebook covers, so I'm going to make it work. 

Stoney Clover sells refillable notebooks when you run out but you can also use whatever planner/notebook you prefer, as long as it fits. I've even seen people use them as covers for their books/e-readers. It's very versatile! 

*My notebook is Flamingo with a Love Shack Fancy crown and Lilac 'B'. I also went the store in the West Village over the weekend and got the Carrie Bradshaw porch patch because it's my writing notebook so duh! That patch is exclusive to the West Village store but you can call them and place a phone order.

Sugar Paper LA Pen

While we're talking about stationery, I need to mention this pen. I bought it months ago while in Target and I have been loving it lately. It's a weighted pen but extremely comfortable in your hand. It writes beautifully, doesn't bleed nor is it too watery on the page. I use it every single day and really seek it out when I need to write. It's that good! Sugar Paper LA has other pens that I'm intrigued by and I might just pick one of them up soon.  

Diff Blue Light Glasses

I have previously talked about other blue light glasses I have but I was in Nordstrom before Thanksgiving and fell in love with the DIFF brand. I loved how chunky and oversized the glasses were and how they weren't super blurry or made my eyes feel strange like other blue light glasses. I decided to purchase a pair called 'Ryder' in the Amber Tortoise color and have been wearing them ever since. They of course help with my headaches and tired eyes but I can look away from my computer or phone without having my vision completely distorted. They are so comfortable, so beautiful, and I love them! I still alternate between the Book Club glasses I mentioned a few months ago but I've been preferring these. I also just updated my prescription glasses to have blue light because my eye doctor recommended it so we'll see how that works out in coming months.







Barnes & Noble Nook Glow Light 3

I talked about my Barnes and Noble Nook in 2019 and since then, I've made an upgrade. My mom bought me the Nook Glow Light 3 for Christmas and I have been in love ever since. It's so much nicer than the other Nook and I like it better than my Kindle now! The screen is nice and big, I love that it has a backlight so I can read in the dark, and I love the cover! I'm going to do a more in-depth post on it but reading on the Glow Light 3 has been a pleasure and definitely a favorite. 

Ouai Dry Shampoo

I'm going to do a separate beauty favorites post but I loved this Ouai Super Dry Shampoo so much, I had to mention it again. I got this in a set as a Christmas present and have been loving it! My hair has been extra greasy recently (TMI?) and I'm not sure why... but this has really helped. What I like most is that it doesn't leave a super noticeable white cast nor does it leave my hair a matted mess. I've noticed with other dry shampoos that sometimes it makes my hair feel hard or like I just sprayed it with hairspray. With the Ouai dry shampoo, I can touch and brush my hair immediately after and not feel gross. It also does a really great job at absorbing the grease and just making your hair look better. It's my new favorite dry shampoo for sure!

What have you loved this month?
xoxo
B

I am someone who thrives in an organized environment. Ever since I was a little girl, I was always very neat, tidy, and organized. I love having a space for everything and making sure everything is in it's place. Of course I can always let my space get a little messy but there's something so special about an organized, perfected space. 

My home doesn't look like something out of The Home Edit (even though I wish it did) but I try to keep things as organized as possible. I live with my mom and sister, and storage is very limited in our home so things aren't as perfect as I'd like but I have my ways. 


For the home itself, I don't necessarily use any of the following items. For the kitchen, we have plenty of cabinet space and everything has it's place. Our linen closet is filled with towels, sheets, blankets, and a few other miscellaneous items like back up hand soaps and tissues... plus our Crock Pot. In our living room, we recently converted an empty corner (it was dead space) into a storage area with the addition of a gorgeous folding screen. 

The items I'm going to talk about are how I organize the items in my room. My closet is small so I utilize the space under my bed for my out of season clothes and other items like sorority memorabilia that I don't want to display and don't want to get rid of.

My closet holds my clothes, shoes and some handbags but everything else has it's space... and these are five must-haves for organizing your belongings in a small space. 

Stoney Clover Pouches







This shouldn't come as a surprise because Stoney Clover is my favorite brand of life! Their pouches aren't just good for travel or daily use in your handbag, you can use them to organize your stuff in your home! I recently started doing this and it's really helped. I have a few pouches that I keep in my little 'storage section' (more on that later) that I keep random items in; I have a large pouch that I keep a ring light in, open tops that I store tidbits and giveaway items in, and then another large pouch for books I'm planning on reading soon. I have a small pouch for backup medication and another open top that I have all my headbands on display in. This has helped me use my pouches more but also display fun items like my headbands that don't have to be stored away! 

Trays





Jewelry and serving trays are another way I organize yet display certain items in my room. I've used jewelry trays for years to house my jewelry and lay it out nicely so I can see everything I have. In my shelving unit (more on that later) I have a shelf for all my jewelry and there's a handful of trays that house my earrings, bracelets and rings. 





I house my makeup brushes and most used skincare in an acrylic tray on my dresser and then on my nightstand, I have a glass tray that has my essentials such as tissues, melatonin, lavender oil, lotion, lip balm and CBD gummies. I love that the trays keep things in a contained space so items aren't just spread out all over a surface. I never used trays until a few years ago to organize my nightstand and my makeup, and it's a true game changer. 

Command Hooks




Command Hooks are essential when it comes to a small space. I have a few stuck to my shelving unit to hang necklaces and they've been up for years. I have the necklaces organized by finish (gold, silver and rose gold) but then also by what I wear the most. I have since used command hooks on the sides of my other shelving units to hang bags and hats. I might hang one behind my door next for sweatshirts and other items. These little hooks expand your storage space and give you endless possibilities! 

Drawers & Shelves 



Ah my drawers and shelving units... the epitome of my storage situation in my room. It's been years since I first talked about my Ikea Alex Drawers but they are essential in my storage situation. As a blogger, writer and beauty industry worker, I have a ton of beauty products. I first purchased my Alex Drawers in 2015ish when I started working in the beauty industry and really fell into my love of makeup. I needed my makeup and beauty items to have their own space. These drawers are small enough that they don't take up a ton of room but provide a great deal of storage, both in the drawers and on top. I have an acrylic beauty organizer on top of the drawers that hold even more makeup and little tidbits. I can't recommend the drawer system enough! 





Next to my makeup drawers, I have my handbag storage. I have an incredible amount of handbags but also other accessories, like my Stoney Clover pouches, and they needed their own space. I purchased this when we moved into this home 5 years ago and they've held up so nicely. I originally purchased them from Amazon but you can find these simple cubby shelves anywhere. I store all my handbags and accessories in them, but also use the top shelf as a display for candles, trinkets, and other bags. I even gave my beauty fridge a shelf for easy access. 





On the other side of my room, next to my bed, I have a large shelving unit. It was part of my aunt's entertainment system and she was getting rid of it so I decided to take it. I really loved the idea of having shelves in my room as extra storage and display (are we sensing a theme here?) and it has worked out so well. The shelf unit faces outward so unless you're standing in front of it, you can't see what's in it. It allows me to take a few more liberties with what I store here since it can be a little more crowded than I'd like.

The shelves are organized by use: jewelry, lipsticks & perfume, handbags and other random items, and then books on the bottom shelf. I use the top of the unit for displaying coffee table books, sentimental items, fancy perfume bottles, and my headbands.

A unit like this also me a lot more storage than normal shelves as they're pretty deep and hold a ton. Plus, it's not too large and can fit in a small space. 

Decorative Boxes and Baskets




The best storage system for a small space? Decorative boxes and wicker baskets! I have Kate Spade boxes that hold chargers, phone and iPad cases along with bunch of random stuff that I need to throw out... so I'm using this as a reminder. I have a larger basket next to the boxes that I used to use as a hamper but then figured I could use the built in hamper in my bathroom, so now I store my weighted blanket in it! You can also use baskets to store hair products, makeup, bags, really anything! I'm considering getting another basket for the corner of my room, or even my closet just to throw stuff into... but sometimes the more storage I have, the more stuff I collect.

My room is fairly large, it's probably larger than the master bedroom, and I have it filled. Sometimes I get self-conscious that I'm a hoarder or that my room looks like a store but as long as I go throw my belongings every few months and clear out space, I'm usually good. Also, the key to not feeling cluttered is to make storage easy! It's definitely possible so I hope this post helped a bit.

What are your favorite storage solutions?

xoxo
B

I've done this post in the past and it slipped off my radar at the beginning of 2021 but I wanted to bring it back, even if I am almost a month late. I love keeping track of my most viewed blog posts, my most viewed and/or purchases products across my blog and other social platforms. This year I was accepted in Rewardstyle *YAY* but previously, I used ShopStyle Collective for all my affiliate linking. 

I am not a number's gal but I do like analytics because in reality, analytics is what drives everything for brands and for influencers. Being in social media as a career has taught me how important analytics are for decisions when it comes to content, copy, product features, etc. 

It's equally important in blogging: you want to give your audience what they want and what they respond well too. Knowing what blog posts get the most views and what products your audience likes to buy from you is very important. 

For the past three years I've kept track, on a monthly basis of what blog posts were most viewed in two categories: from the posts I wrote that month and the posts with the most viewed overall, no matter when they were posted.

Some months, my most viewed posts were from years ago and otehrs it was from that month. I've been blogging for almost 10 years... I have a lot of content hidden away!

But enough blabbering... let's get into the most viewed & most purchased posts & items of 2020! 


The 10 Best Selling Products You Bought From Me in 2020

It was clearly a big year for Stoney Clover which makes sense -- if they're my favorite, I'm going to talk about them more and you'll be more curious! Old favorites such as Rebecca Minkoff, my favorite leggings and Tory Burch continue to be good performers... I know you all and you know me very well! 

The Top 5 Blog Posts Published in 2020

These are the most viewed blog posts that were published last year. 

The 5 Most Read Blog Posts in 2020

These were the most read blog posts in 2020, despite when they were published!

Thank you all for another great year! I appreciate your continued loyalty, readership, and shopping my links. I love my blog so much and as we near the 9 year anniversary of Royally Pink, my appreciation grows daily. 

xoxo
B

Fall and winter are my favorite seasons for so many reasons so it's not a surprise that these seasons bring my favorite manicure shades. I love a good berry, a burnt orange, or a crispy, autumnal brown. I love dark, almost black reds and purples, or even a light, snowy blue. There's so many beautiful choices year after year so I figured I'd let you in on my favorites. 

At first I was going to make this a more broad overview of my favorite colors, always, but thought that maybe I should narrow it down and discuss the favorites I currently own, have been and will be wearing for the next few weeks/months. 




Essie From A to Zzz

I've only worn this polish once and once was enough to fall in love. It's a gorgeous, shimmering deep blue (almost a periwinkle) that is ideal for winter. It's described as a cool blue, having pearl and shimmer finishes which is spot on. There's something cozy about it that makes me want to curl up with a book and blanket. The formula was gorgeous: opaque, even, not watery and didn't bleed. It was a delight to work with. It's a must have for this winter... I also feel like it's light enough that you can wear it into the spring which is always a plus.

This is From A to Zzz and a Twinkle in Time

Essie A Twinkle in Time

I wore this polish alongside 'From A to Zzz' and it was the perfect pair. 'A Twinkle in Time' is from Essie's winter collection and it is as beautiful as the season's first snow. This shade is a shimmering white color but definitely a winter white, like ice. It has a gold pearl sparkle that really shines in the light. I was pleasantly surprised at the formula: it was very opaque, not patchy at all, and went on like a dream. Usually when a polish is so light in color and has that shimmery effect, it can be a nightmare to apply but this was not the case. 

This is a great accent nail but I can't wait to wear it on its own. 

Essie Generation Zen 

This was from a collection I think two winters ago called "Serene Slates" and now the shade Generation Zen part of the permanent Essie collection and I'm eternally grateful. It's a gorgeous, grey with a hint of mauve and taupe undertones. The formula is really great, applies smoothly and evenly without any big goops. It's such a cozy shade and is gorgeous for any occasion. I love dark grays for polish and this definitely falls into the category. 

NCLA Back to Black

No nail polish collection is complete without a good black nail polish. Winter was made for black nail polish and I know I'm going to wear this constantly. I won't go on and on about this polish since I just did a Manicure Monday on it but NCLA has a great formula and I really love how simple it is. 

Lights Lacquer Fuzzy Socks

I can't leave out my favorite nail color of the holiday season this year. Fuzzy Socks was a fast favorite because there's really nothing more beautiful than a simple glitter manicure. I don't tend to wear glitter in the spring and summer, it just feels more like a cold weather mani, especially when it leans more white, gold and pearl glitter. It's festive for the holidays but also cozy and cool enough to wear through March!  You can read my Manicure Monday post about this color here

xoxo
B

Happy Friday! This was a short work week but my goodness, was it daunting. It was incredibly busy at work, so busy I felt like I couldn't breathe during the day. I'm so happy it's the weekend but almost already anxious about next week.

Right now, I'm typing on my new Macbook Air... I ordered it at the beginning of January and it arrived today. I'm in love. I'm such a tech nerd in the way that I get really excited about new gadgets. I last bought a Macbook Air in 2016 and it was just time for a new one. My old laptop was really slow, the pixelation looked outdated and I had no storage. It was so bad that I had to start editing my Youtube videos on my iPad.

I got the 2020 Macbook Air, 13 inches, in gold and wow, it's stunning. It's really nice to have a larger screen. I used to think I only wanted a small screen but after working on a 15 inch Macbook Pro for work, the difference is astounding. I'm happy to have a screen that's in the middle. Also, the gold color is outstanding. It is so gorgeous, it's almost like a rose gold with a tint of bronze. It's right up my alley. 

This weekend I have an eye doctor appointment along with some Stoney Clover shopping in the city (maybe) but otherwise I'm taking it easy. I have some online work to finish for freelance projects and want to start binging Bridgerton. There's just so many shows I want to watch but can never get started... I'm determined though! 

I am in love with my SCL Book Club sweatshirt. It is so cozy!


Pink Positivity of the Week

We have a NEW president! I am THRILLED and spent the better part of Wednesday sobbing and dancing around my room. We had no meetings Wednesday morning so I was able to enjoy the Inauguration. It was so moving, so beautiful, Lady Gaga killed it. The fashion, the masks, the pure hope of the day sent me. No matter your views, the fact that we have a woman in the 2nd highest office in our country is incredible. I sobbed watching VP Harris take her oath. It was wonderful.

I'm also obsessed with Naomi Biden and her pink fit... so there's that. 

It was a good day!

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week: 

I was ok but did buy a few things... including this C&C Luxury Ring and this Park & Beach Bracelet; I also picked up a few Stoney Clover items, such as Valentine's Day scrunchie, masks and a embroidered pouch but everything sold out very fast. Below are a few Target pick ups! 


xoxo
B
I received this novel courtesy of Netgalley and wow, am I so glad I did! This was a standout novel and I'm saying it now, might be a contender for a top book of the year. The plot was incredibly interesting and I truly had no idea how it was going to play out. I read the entire book in two days, maybe even less when you factor in sleep. 

I've never read a book that centered around a plot like this... a regular person trying to help find a missing person? Layers of mystery surrounding drugs, love, teenagers, etc... there was so much happening you were never bored. You were constantly left wondering what was going to happen next, who would end up dead, who would be revealed as a suspect... it was jaw-dropping in a number of ways. 

"Before She Disappeared" was released yesterday and I cannot recommend it enough. You will fly through reading it and be hanging on Gardner's every word. 



Publisher's Summary

Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will--searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim's wary family tells Frankie she's on her own--and she soon learns she's asking questions someone doesn't want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

My Thoughts

This was such an interesting plot to a book... probably one of the most interesting domestic thriller/mystery novels I've read to date. It was unique because I've never read a protagonist like Frankie and I loved the intertwined stories of the other people in Boston along with the very real-life issue of race, immigration, and low-income neighborhoods. 

Angelique is one smart cookie and the way her character is set up is truly awe-inspiring. It's wild that a teenage girl had the balls to do everything she did... also, you find out more and more about her as the novel goes on and it's just the best. She's an amazing character. 

When you find out everything that happened that led to Angelique's disappearance, it's pretty intense and not the traditional mystery plot that you expect from a novel like this. 

Frankie and her struggles with alcohol and saving people is a huge plot point and while it's interesting, it's not totally 'new'. However, what does set Frankie apart is that she isn't a detective... she's just a regular person who knows how to ask good questions, has great instincts, and a passion for finding people in a way to pay back a debt she feels she owes the world. 

All the characters in this novel were so different and brought something to the table. The writing was excellent and the character development was even better. 

This was also a story that kept unraveling... it didn't completely climax at one point, it rolled slowly toward a reveal of what happened to Angelique and why it happened. Her reveal and the reasoning did happen fast, combined with so many other reveals, I sped read through the pages because I couldn't believe everything happening. It was wild and intense and perfect.

The ending was semi-satisfactory... I love that we got the entire story of Angelique wrapped up in a bow but Frankie left me wanting more. 

I felt like there was so much more to the story that we could've gotten -- not that this wasn't bursting with plotlines and jaw-droppers but that there is so much story to tell about this small Boston town. I would like at least two more novels about the city with these characters. 

What are you reading this week?
xoxo
B

My skin is dry all year round. It could be 90 degrees and I'm sweating my butt off by the pool and my skin still feels dry, scaly, and tight. I use two body lotions, daily, and my skin is still dry. However, nothing compares to the dryness I feel during the cold, winter months. 

The part of my body that is dry, day in and day out, are my hands. Add in cuticles and nail beds and you've got a true nightmare. My hands are just always parched... they have dry patches, scaliness, and just the overall uncomfortable tight feeling that dry skin gives you. 

Because of that, I've tried so many hand creams over the years and I finally feel like I'm in a good place with the items I use to keep my hands in good shape. I don't exclusively use these in the winter but some are too thick for the summer months and I figured most people experience bad dry skin in the cold! 


 Back in the fall, I fell in love with the NCLA nail polish formula. It was beautiful and I couldn't wait to purchase more. For some reason, I felt compelled to place a huge order on their website a few weeks ago and knew I needed more polishes.

I wanted a few neutral shades, maybe some Valentine's Day, and I needed a new black polish to add to my collection. I picked up "Back to Black" and that was the first shade I tested. 



Black polish is inherently messy and I've never tried a formula that was perfect. The NCLA formula was one of the better ones that I've tried so I was pleasantly surprised. 

The application was a little messy but not nearly as bad as others that I've tried... just a few fingers had some black residue leftover. The polish formula itself was smooth, not patchy, and really opaque. You would think black polish would always be opaque and dark but you'd be surprised at how light some can be.

The polish stayed on solidly for 4-5 days until I took it off and even then, the chipping was minimal. The polish came off very easily with regular nail polish remover which I was thankful for because black polish removal can get really messy and leave you with stained nails, cuticles, and hands. 



One note: I felt like adding something extra to the manicure so I used my Olive & June white star nail stickers. I definitely needed to let my nails dry a little longer before applying them because they turned black and didn't stay down as much as I would've liked, which is why the manicure looks messy. 

I have a few other colors of NCLA polish that I want to test so stay tuned for more Manicure Mondays featuring the brand!

xoxo
B

The long weekend really got away from me, which is why this post is coming late on a Sunday night instead of Friday morning. I worked a slow day on Friday, then yesterday I woke up after 12 PM and the day kind of got away from me. Today I went for afternoon tea and scones with my friends and it was so cute. 

Afterward, my mom, sister & I went food shopping, we ordered in sushi and assembled our new stationary back. 

It was a packed weekend but filled with lots of fun and I so desperately needed it. It felt a bit like the normalcy that I didn't realize I was craving. 

Tomorrow I'm off (Happy MLK Jr. Day -- Black lives matter today and every day) and I'll be running lots of errands. I have a list of things I need to do: Trader Joe's, shipping packages, CVS run, working out, blogging, filming videos, and starting an article that is due this week. Will I accomplish everything? Who knows! 



Pink Positivity of the Week

This weekend was a positive point for me. It was a lot of fun, busy, and chill. It was much needed! 

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week 


Oh dear, I bought a lot... not shopping more than 3x a month is not going well. 

Everything else is linked below but I wanted to mention that I picked up a new perfume from ALT Fragrances, a company that sells fragrances inspired by designer scents. I watched Toni Sevadalis' review on some fragrances and the moment she smelled the Baccarat Rouge 450 inspired fragrance, I purchased it. My sister got the expensive perfume for Christmas and I love the scent. I'll do a review of both when it comes in! 




I also purchased a new mirror (I've been dying for a new mirror for months) and decided on this arched mirror from Kirkland's. 


Dr. Barbara Sturm is a brand that is intriguing to me. She's a doctor who has a lot of experience with skin and skincare, so she's someone you would trust to buy beauty products from. I never thought about pulling the trigger on one of her products until I saw the Ski Cream pop up on the new arrivals page a few months ago. Maybe it was the packaging, maybe it was the name, but something about this product really drew me in.

I never thought I would purchase it because it well, it's expensive; it's $115 which is insane but sadly, it's one of the cheaper items in her line. However, I just couldn't stop thinking about it and every time I saw it, I would add it to my cart and then never press 'purchase'. One day, my wallet got the best of me and with the lovely website, Klarna (where you can split your payments into 4), I purchased it. 

It is the most money I have ever spent on one singular beauty product that wasn't a hair tool. I was dreaming of being on the ski slopes while wearing Ski Cream but no such luck... after a few uses I knew this product was not for me. Back to Sephora, it has gone but I wanted to do a review before I shipped it back, in case anyone else has been eyeing it and wants to see what $115 worth of moisturizer is. 

I go over everything in the video but this product was just not it. Unless you live in a freezing cold climate or do go skiing a lot, you won't be able to use this. For once, a product name and description was not a marketing ploy... this is actually a ski cream! 


xoxo
B

Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors. She writes incredible mystery novels and whenever there is a new book of hers on the market, I know it's going to be good. "Invisible Girl" was no different and I gobbled it up within a day, give or take a few hours.  

I received the novel from NetGalley (I'm so grateful to be part of this resource for writers and reviewers because I get the best books from them) and even though it took me a little time to read it. 

"Invisible Girl" was released in August and everyone has been talking about it so I knew I had to make it one of my first reads of the new year. 



Publisher's Summary

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a computer science teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

My Thoughts

This book was very suspenseful yet not in a bad way. The entire book was unanswered questions: where was Saffyre, what was up with Owen, did the Fours family know more than they said? Everything felt so wrong and unhinged, you were just always waiting for an answer to be revealed. That was one of the reasons that I needed to read the book so quickly -- I just wanted answers. 

"Invisible Girl" alternates between the POV of three characters: Owen, Cat, and Saffyre. Saffyre's is in the past before she disappears and you see how she ends up where she ends up as the book goes on which I am thankful for. I wasn't a fan of Cat, she seemed like the typical suburban housewife and I felt like she didn't really add anything to the story. It felt like her POV was more neutral and unnecessary.

However, Owen, Owen made me sad. I felt in my heart that Owen was innocent. From what you read in his POV, it just doesn't seem like he's in the wrong. He obviously says and does questionable things but I was still rooting for him the entire time. I just wanted him to be ok. 

The entire plot of Owen being in trouble for Saffyre's disappearance when you knew something else was up with the Fours family was frustrating yet interesting. Things kept popping up to work against Owen which annoyed me to no end but I knew it had to work out.

Then on the flip side, you have Saffyre's obsession with Roan. It was strange and I wasn't a huge fan of it. I knew it was necessary to connect the entire story and it did make sense but the beginning was a bit odd.

The ending was semi satisfying, semi not. I felt like there was a vast, gaping hole in the story about the father, and I felt like we didn't get all the answers we deserved. However, I was happy with the ending for Owen, Saffyre, and Cat. 

This wasn't the most thrilling or twisty novel but it kept me entertained, held my attention and was a quick, interesting read. If you like mystery/thriller novels, you will definitely enjoy "Invisible Girl".

What did you read this week?
xoxo
B

Winter is here and my candle selection reflects that. I love fall candles more than life but my 2nd favorite is, of course, Christmas & winter candles. The merriest season of all came and went but I still burn a lot of Christmas scents until about March when it becomes socially unacceptable to be excited about winter.

There's still plenty of time to enjoy a nice, flickering wick that makes you dream of a log cabin up in the mountains so I figured let me share my favorite scents while I still can! 

Most of these are Bath & Body Works but I have to give a shout out to my favorite 'small business', Evil Queen candles. I've talked about them for years but they just keep getting better & better! I also have been loving the fact that I can burn candles while I'm WFH all day long. It made the season just a little bit easier.

If you haven't tried any of these scents, you need to run to the store and get them! 


Marshmallow Fireside

I have this burning as I write this and I think this is my most burned candle, ever. I buy one every season and always have to keep myself stocked. This is also the most versatile scent because I feel like it's very woodsy and cozy, but not overly wintery. If you're having a bad day in May, I think you can light this up and instantly feel like you're somewhere else. It's not an overly sweet scent and has that fire crackle after smell... it's pretty wonderful and I think even if you don't like candles, you would like Marshmallow Fireside.

*For some reason, this isn't available online but I'm hoping BBW restocks soon. 

Snowed In from Evil Queen

Am I cheating if I say that this is a new scent and I haven't burned it yet? I am simply obsessed with this candle from Evil Queen and I'm saving it for a rainy day. It is described as a gingerbread, vanilla candle but I definitely get a hint of spice throughout it as well. "Snowed In" is sweet but I get a really great hint of a smokey undertone which is what I really want out of a winter candle. I'm also obsessed with the blue color and that it symbolizes the fact that we've been stuck inside all year long! I would scoop up this candle before it retires for the season. 

Twisted Peppermint

This is a scent that I have loved for years and it really turned me onto peppermint scents in general. It is classic peppermint without being overly sweet or minty. It has hints of balsam and vanilla to balance out the mint and I think that's what makes it super special. I already burned through one of these this season but I need more. 

Mahogany Teakwood

This isn't technically a winter candle because it's available at BBW all year round and I've burned it in the heat of July but it feels like a winter scent. It smells like the hottest member of the male species you can find.... truly. It smells like an attractive male wearing cologne or better yet, it smells like Abercrombie and Fitch in 2005. It's warm, sensual, and true perfection. 

Fresh Balsam

This is another one that is currently sold out online but check your stores because Fresh Balsam needs to be burned at least twice during the winter season. It smells like the most beautiful Christmas tree with a hint of warmth. There is eucalyptus in this candle which cuts the strong fir scent and really adds a touch of calmness to the smell. This is probably the most 'Christmas' scent on the list but I truly believe you can burn this from September-April. 

What are your favorite winter candle scents?
xoxo
B


For the past few years, I have used my Louis Vuitton MM Agenda and planner inserts as my personal planner. I fell in love with the idea of an LV agenda when I first stumbled upon the preloved market and have been addicted to perfecting it ever since. 

My Louis Vuitton agendas have evolved over the years. I toyed with the ideas of making them notebooks, of planning out my finances, freelance work, and blog ideas with them but ultimately, they were used for daily scheduling, running to-do lists, and jotting down notes. I took it with me back and forth to work and have spent years trying to find the perfect planner inserts for them. I finally settled on Cloth & Paper and have been loving it (Youtube video on that coming soon).

However, over the course of the pandemic, I've felt a little lost when it comes to using this agenda. It feels a little small for me; I want more space but also a less complex look and feel. I toyed with the idea of a bigger agenda, maybe even buying the Louis Vuttion Desk Agenda cover so I can still have that sleek designer look I love and appreciate. I made due though; I bought my 2021 inserts, rearranged the layout, and was going to make it work. 

That was, until, The Everygirl announced they had partnered with Day Designer for a line of planners at Target. I've used the Day Designer before; both the original and Target editions. I've loved them both but loved my LV more. The one company that could change my mind is The Everygirl. It's an online publication that I have loved and cherished for years, that really encompasses who I am and who I want to be as a woman. I knew I needed to support them and after seeing the designs of the planners, I was sold.

I purchased the smaller, hardbound, pink design and I love it so much. I love how girly and sophisticated it is. I love that it's hardbound and has a pink, silk bookmark to hold your place.

new 2021 planner - target

2021 planner- the everygirl3

I also love the layout; I love all the goal-setting at the beginning of the planner and the different pages of how you can action those goals to help you succeed. It has a page for habit tracking, organized by daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly habits which I love; plus, a list for a year's worth of bucket list items. It's really laid out to help you be the best version of yourself. 

2021 planner- the everygirl

At the beginning of the month, it has pink pages with inspirational quotes and then has a little 'weekly tip' at the top of every new weekly layout. It's so sweet and the attention to detail is fantastic. 

2021 planner- the everygirl

2021 planner- the everygirl2

2021 planner- the everygirl-quote

The core of the planner has monthly pages and then the weekly, planner pages that are laid out into 'to do' lists and regular note-taking space. 

There are larger, spiral-bound versions of this planner and they also have a career planner and a 30 Day Challenge planner. I'm considering purchasing the career planner to see how it's laid out and if it's helpful but truly, how many planners can I have?

At the moment, I'm using a Lilly Pulitzer planner for work,  my Everygirl planner, and I haven't figured out what I'm doing with my LV planner yet...I've still been using it on and off with The Everygirl. I also have notebooks for my blog, for meal planning, and for freelance writing ideas. Then, in my Damier Ebene Louis Vuitton MM Agenda, I have inserts for meal planning (though I am running out and like the individual notebook idea), capsule wardrobe planning, and skincare routine planning. I have leftover inserts for finances that I haven't found a place for either.

It's a lot of planners and notebooks but I don't mind. Notebooks make me happy and I really adore using my Everygirl x Day Designer planner! 

What kind of planner are you currently using?
xoxo
B

Shop the full collection of planners: 

Another day, another disgusting tragedy. What we saw on Wednesday of this week was not normal. It was horrifying and I never thought I'd see domestic terrorism play out that way. What is even worse is that not a ton of people were surprised; I'm not sure if that's because we knew it was going to happen or because we're used to the circus that is the United States but it was sad not to be shocked by it. 

I was also sad that it was expected of everyone to just move on with their days like it was normal. Teachers kept teaching, businesses stayed open, we all kept working... all while Covid wreaked havoc for another day. It was just upsetting on so many levels.

However, I am hopeful that things will get better. I have to hold onto some positivity otherwise I will find myself in a horrible place. 

I won't ramble on too much longer, let's just get into the post.



Pink Positivity of the Week

Georgia turned blue again. Biden's win is certified. Stoney Clover restocked their notebooks and are releasing scrunchies & sleep eye masks today. Look for the silver linings! 

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

I purchased the Kylie Skin Hand Sanitizer & her Rose Bubble Bath but that was it! 

Have a great, safe weekend everyone!
xoxo
B
Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors and I was thrilled to receive her latest novel through Netgalley. "Yours to Keep" is part of Layne's "Man of the Year" series. The books are linked through the fact that each man character is awarded a publication's "Man of Year" award. However, you don't have to read the previous books to read these. Each novel stands on its own, it's just linked to the others through this award.

There is currently only one other book in the series, titled "Yours in Scandal." I read that and reviewed it here

Spoiler alert: I really loved this book. I read it within a day or so and it had me clutching my chest with hopes and tears at the end! 



Publisher's Summary: 

Pro baseball shortstop Carter Ramsey is about to be Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, but the only title that matters to him is out of reach: World Series MVP. Benched by a recent injury, Carter retreats to his hometown to recover. His ten-year class reunion and potential reconciliation with the sweetheart he left behind could be perfect distractions. Until another old acquaintance throws Carter a curveball.

Olive Dunn admits that her former high school science partner is still a handsome charmer. But she wasn’t swayed then, and she won’t be swayed now. Because Olive remembers Carter’s little shortcoming: he tends to bail the moment it suits him, without a backward glance. Best to keep her feelings strictly platonic while he’s in town.

Except for the entitled boy she knew is a changed man: solid, reflective, and generous. As they ease back into their familiar friendship, things take a surprising turn, and Carter and Olive must decide if what they have is a passing flirtation or a real shot at love.


My Thoughts


At first, I wasn't too sure how I was going to feel about this book. I wasn't a fan of Olive... I felt her character development happened too quickly. It could've just been me not paying attention at her first introduction or just misinterpreting it but I didn't take her as a bold,  quicky character... not in the way she turned out to be.

I'll admit I found her annoying at first but by the end, I was really rooting for her. 

The story is pretty typical; big baseball player goes home for a high school reunion and starts a friendship with the nerd who he wasn't friends with back in the day. It read like a Hallmark movie but it was perfection. 

I adored the character of Carter -- I love how Layne writes her main, male characters; super sweet, a little tortured and massively misunderstood. I loved how him and Olive slowly started to tolerate each other and how they eventually opened up and formed a true friendship.

I also love how they flirted, how it was so natural for them. It made the book so exciting! The sexual tension was truly jumping off the page and I find that to be really difficult for a lot of writers to convey. Sometimes it feels like the relationship can be forced but with Olive & Carter, it happened nice and slow, really building it up. 

When they finally do get together, it felt so satisfying but then of course, it was ruined. However, the ending is heartbreaking on so many levels, but yet also satisfying. I was sobbing by the end of it and it was truly magical.

This is the perfect romantic comedy to read when you need something easy to lose yourself in. The story was very easy for me to get roped into and become invested in. I needed to know what happened next and I needed to see if and when Olive & Carter's flirting would move to the next level. 

It was the perfect book to take your mind off the world and just feel giddy about romance. It was everything a modern romance novel should be!

What have you read lately?
xoxo
B

2020 was a hard year. I've been saying that for months and it still rings true, however, I am sick of talking about it. It was hard for a lot of reasons: for personal reasons, for the pandemic, for death, for social injustice, for adjustments, for the election, for the tension, for the fighting, for the selfishnesses. It was exhausting on so many levels.

It was heartbreaking on so many levels and just simply unfair. It didn't have to end up like this; we didn't need to experience this trauma but we did and we're all still in the thick of it. As the clock struck midnight on Friday, we didn't magically make all the problems we had in 2020 go away. It's going to take time, learning, and hopefully a new administration! 

2020 was a year of learning and being taught lessons you never wanted or needed to learn. 


I learned a lot this year, about myself and about the world.

  • I learned that people are not what they seem -- that things can happen without you seeing them coming and you have to deal.
  • I was hit with the realization that a ton of people don't like following rules and feel like they are entitled to do whatever they want because we live in a 'free country'.
  • I am really great at keeping myself entertained! Being in quarantine didn't bother me so much because I love being home and I've always been an expert at keeping myself occupied. 
  • Even with facts, some people just won't believe you when you say something true.
  • I learned a ton about politics and how the country works, which I'm grateful for but also gave me a lot of anxiety.
  • My anxiety and depression do have triggers and it's not a bad thing to avoid them.
  • Reading is a true escape for me and one of my favorite things to do.
  • Procrastination is a big problem for me and I need to fix that.
  • I am perfectly fine with not talking about politics with people who disagree with me. I understand everyone has the right to an opinion but some things, I cannot look past. 
  • Being outside actually brings me great joy and I love taking walks and being at a park.
  • I never want to live anywhere but New York. (I knew this already but this pandemic really solidified that)
  • I am self-aware of my anxiety and depression but I need to work at pulling myself out of a rut and actually doing the work, instead of just accepting this is how I am.

I could probably think of a thousand more lessons but those are my big ones! I will take those lessons in 2021 and grow from them. I realize I need to work on myself to be a better, more open-minded person. I need to control my anger and work on bettering my mental health. 

All that being said, I have some goals for the new year. I completed a handful of my goals in 2020 -- I had written them out here but also had other, more personal goals written in my journal.



Goals I Hit:

  • I definitely read 2 books per month, as I wanted to in my 2020 Goals post. I read 50 books in 2020 and my goal for 2021 is 60. I already finished one book over the weekend so we're off to a good start! 
  • I think I got a firm grasp on my Royally Pink brand. I changed my layout a few times and finally settled on something that felt like me. I also internally, wrote out brand guidelines and feel like I know who I am when it comes to Royally Pink.
  • In my journal, I wrote that I wanted to journal more and I did! I journaled almost weekly which is amazing and I think it had a really positive effect on me. I'm looking forward to more writing this year! 
  • I almost hit my savings goal this year and I think I have a better grasp on money and how to manage it. I feel lighter, understanding my finances, and having things finally under control.
  • This wasn't necessarily a goal for the year but something I wanted to accomplish at some point -- I started my social media freelance side hustle! I want to make it more legitimate in 2021 but I have a few clients and it's really exciting! 

Goals I Didn't Hit:

  • I definitely didn't complete my no-buy year (remember that?!). I'll be doing a separate post on this but it was an epic fail.
  • Once again, I didn't finish my book. I need to get into a better headspace for this and actually write out some tangible goals instead of saying 'finish writing the book' this year. 
  • I didn't lose the weight I wanted to lose and I gained a lot more than I ever have before. This will also be a separate post.
  • I've been saying I want to get a tattoo in honor of my dad ever since he died and I haven't done that either. I really hope to check that off in a few weeks! 

2021 Goals: 

I have some more personal goals I'll keep to myself but these are the ones I'm really working toward: 

  • Pitch 2 brands for partnerships per month: I really want to work with more brands in 2021 and I feel like I have the tools, I just never follow through.
  • Pitch 2 stories per month to news outlets; I want to write more in 2021. I had an internal crisis this year where I thought I didn't want to focus on writing but was quickly pulled out of that and realized I really do want it to be part of me and my career.
  • Limit my shopping to 3 orders per month: We're going to see how this goes. I definitely have a better grasp on spending but want to try to follow a stricter budget and limit the amount of stuff I own/order.
  • Meditate Daily: My meditation practice has been on and off but I need to get back into the headspace (pun intended) of doing it daily. 
  • Work out 3x per week: I ordered a new workout bike that will be here in 2 weeks and I'm going to try to sign up for an at-home workout app. My workout routine suffered this year with the gyms being closed, low motivation, and the fact that I am not walking as much as I did pre-Covid. This is something I really need to force myself to do because I know I will be thankful.
I could go on and on but those are my main goals. In a more general sense, I want to take care of myself more, I want to try to put myself out there more in terms of dating, friendships, and relationships in general. It was a very isolating year and as much as I enjoy being home, I can feel myself putting walls up. I've never really been that way but it was just easy to let it happen this year. 

I want to care for my mental health more, pull myself out of the ruts, and leave the negativity in the past. I was very low at the time this year, lower than I have ever let anyone in on and I need to work that out. I am self-aware when it comes to my mental illnesses and I need to actively work at it. 

I don't think those goals are too lofty -- I think they are achievable and that is the key to goals. You can't get too crazy and put too much pressure on yourself. 

What are your goals for 2021? What are you looking forward to the most?
xoxo
B

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