Monday, August 26, 2013

September Issues


September brings many new things. In fashion, it means the biggest magazine issues of the year. For students like me, it means the end of summer and the start of a new school year. On my journey from LA back to the University of Michigan I was able to catch up on three September issues: Vogue, Marie Claire, and InStyle. Interestingly enough, this was the first time I really read each magazine cover to cover and one after the other. I was shocked by how I suddenly became aware of the aspects I loved about each magazine and how each has its own essence or feel.

Anna Wintour's "letter from the editor" at the beginning of Vogue caught my attention. I really admired how she wrote about women and our independence and strength. Following this letter, the article that I enjoyed the most was the cover story on Jennifer Lawrence. As an avid Hunger Games fan, it was interesting to learn more about Lawrence and the different aspects of her personality. A common misconception about Vogue is that the entire magazine is focused on fashion. Although it is a fashion magazine, there are numerous sections that highlight the many different aspects of popular culture.

Next I read Marie Claire. I have always enjoyed reading Marie Claire because it is a good balance of articles and fashion. The cover story on Zooey Deschanel was fantastic, but I was particularly drawn to an article called "The Get-Ahead Grin." It focused on a woman's story of how her appearance allowed her to advance in her career. The message that looks really do matter was disturbing to me; however, it was a well-written and very interesting article.

Finally, I finished with InStyle. This magazine is great because it focuses on current trends in the fashion world. The editors do a wonderful job demonstrating how a normal person, rather than a model, can incorporate these trends into their everyday lives. The only down side of this magazine is that there are not many in-depth articles to read. In this issue there was an article about Rachel Zoe that I enjoyed, but most of the pages were filled with vibrant photos of the latest styles for the fall.

These three magazines offer a similar, yet unique look into the new fall season. These issues are the largest of the year, with two to three times the number of pages as a regular issue. September is a time to start fresh and embrace new beginnings. Whether it be in fashion or the start of a new school year...



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Personal Shopping at Topshop

This past year a Topshop opened in The Grove in Los Angeles. As an avid Topshop lover, I had mixed feelings about this opening. I was excited that I now had access to this fabulous store in my hometown, but I was also a little sad that it wouldn't be as special as it had been in the past. Whenever I went to NYC, I would set aside at least half a day to shop at Topshop. On my first visit, I discovered a magical thing called "personal shopping." With a bit of luck, I had a personal shopper whisk me away into a special area where I was able to try on all my clothes in a huge dressing room with refreshments and all the one-on-one assistance I could want! After that amazing first experience, I have always made sure to make an appointment with a personal shopper before each New York visit. The service is free, and it is great having someone help to navigate the store and find some hidden treasures. This week I went to the Los Angeles Topshop for a little back-to-school shopping. I didn't really have anything particular in mind, but I left with two great camisole tops and a pair of black leather high waisted shorts. I have been really careful recently to only buy things that I know I will wear. I have a tendency of buying things on a whim and then never actually wearing them, so this time I made sure these purchases were going to be worn! Next time you take a trip to Topshop be sure to schedule a personal shopping appointment! I promise you will be happy you did!



Some pictures of the amazing dressing rooms!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dainty Jewels

Over the past few years, I have become a lot more aware of jewelry and how it can compliment or enhance an outfit. My taste in jewelry is usually delicate, yet I also have a few bold statement pieces. Typically, I opt for jewelry that I can wear with my everyday outfits. So when I was on Abbot Kinney last weekend my heart skipped a beat when I saw an alley of independent jewelry artists selling their wares. Although I only walked away with one ring, my friend got this beautiful hand piece and there were a ton of things that I loved!
Some of the jewelry.
The ring I got is on my pointer finger. I love it because it is simple, yet the stone is a little more exciting than a solid stone. Also, it matches perfectly with my favorite "love" ring. Excuse my chipped nail polish!


This is a picture of my friend Jesse's hand. I love how she mixes all these different pieces. She is wearing the hand piece she bought at Abbot Kinney.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adventures on Abbot Kinney



Although I have lived in LA my whole life, there are many parts of the city that I have not explored. On Sunday, my friends and I decided to drive to Venice and spend the day on Abbot Kinney. Abbot Kinney is a street in Venice with a myriad of cool and trendy stores and restaurants. We visited nearly every store, from vintage clothing shops to an establishment specializing in plants. Each was different and had its own vibe and personality. For lunch we ate at Gjelina, a super hip and trendy restaurant with an amazing menu and ambiance. Between the six of us we ordered nearly the entire menu, and everything was delicious. One of my favorite shopping stops of the afternoon was a little outside area where different jewelry vendors were selling their collections. After much deliberation, I decided to get a ring (a separate post to come). Overall, my day on Abbot Kinney was fantastic and I can't wait to go back and explore even more!
Some of our yummy food! The cauliflower was amazing. (and I don't even like cauliflower!)
My outfit. Loving these new shorts, perfect for dressing up or dressing down.
Fun chandeliers in one of the stores!

A little afternoon pick-me-up, watermelon-mint lemonade.
Loved these doors.

All the girls at lunch.





Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thoughts on Health and Fitness


We live in a world full of contradictions. One of the most prominent contradictions present in my daily life is to be living a healthy and active lifestyle, coupled with the cool and hip trends of finding and eating great foods and desserts. Like.....what?! We're supposed to be skinny and fit, but also Instagram the amazing desserts we ate with our friends at that trendy restaurant. There is too much pressure put on young women from the media to be these perfect humans and I think that it is ridiculous. Obviously, it would be amazing to naturally be stick skinny and also be able to eat anything that looks good; however, that is not realistic. So, my philosophy has evolved to be "everything in moderation". Workout in ways that are fun and social, but don't become obsessed.  Eat what you desire, but don't pig out to the point that you're always saying "oh, I ate too much". 
 My weakness!

This summer, I have managed to practice my philosophy.  I have started taking Cardio Barre classes with my mom and friends. The hour goes by really fast, the music is awesome, the instructor is inspirational and I actually leave the class thinking how much I enjoyed exercising!!  When I can't make it to class, I've made plans to join friends at the gym, or go on a hike.  This has been a great way to combine socializing with exercise. As for eating all these delicious new food crazes, I say go for it. Honestly, it's all about moderation, so don't go overboard. Have the cronut you've been dying to try or enjoy that plate of pasta without dwelling on the number of carbs your ingesting, just make sure your other food choices for the day are on the healthier side. Although it is great to be very health conscious, you don't want to live your life without trying some of the best foods!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Favorite Summer Dress

Every summer I yearn for a perfect summer dress. Something that is effortless, easy, and won't go out of style. These are a lot of requirements, which is why I usually never find my "perfect" dress. However, this year I think I have finally found it (or close to it). While shopping with my mom at Free People I stumbled upon THE frock! It is a black, loose fitting tank dress with lace and eyelet fabric. When I tried it on, I absolutely fell in love. I wore it for my birthday lunch with a cute pair of summer sandals, but I was also able to dress it up for work by adding a colorful, yet more conservative blazer! Unfortunately I cannot find it on the Free People website (even though I have seen it recently in stores), but here is a picture of me wearing it!  Let me know what you think?
I'm the second from the right. I love how the dress is simple but fun!

Here I am with my friends being silly. I'm in the middle pointing at you, and from this angle you can see the detailing on the side a little better!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Where Has the Summer Gone?


So, here's the deal, I've been on summer vacation for the past three months; however, I have yet to post. What's up with that? Well honestly I don't really know. Blogging has always been something I loved doing, but the past few months I just haven't felt it. Fortunately, those days are over and I'm back on the blogging bandwagon thanks to some inspiration from Carly. Lets do some catching up, shall we?

I got home from school April 27. Yep, that's right APRIL. Like what kind of school ends that early?! Apparently the University of Michigan does! So, I got home, excited to be on summer vacation only to realize that absolutely none of my friends were home. Lets just say I spent a lot of time with my parents and Netflix. I started my internship at Giorgio Armani the second week of May for a few days as a little preview of the rest of my summer, and then I was off to the Holy Land!

From May 12-22, I was in Israel on a program called Birthright, which provides a free trip to Israel for Jewish individuals ages 18-26. I went through a program at Michigan, which was great since I was able to meet new people that I go to school with, as well as bond in new ways with existing friends. Traveling to Israel was my first time out of the country (besides a one day trip to Canada) and once I made it through the long plane ride, I was thrilled. My experience was fantastic. I had a taste of almost every aspect of Israeli life. Obviously my favorite parts were the fashion (lets just say I bought a tad too much jewelry) and the food (iced coffee and falafel...YUM). On the more serious side, I did feel a much greater connection with my heritage and religion. The trip was only 10 days, and I'm counting down the days until I will be able to go back and explore more of the beautiful "Land of Milk and Honey."

Once I got back from Israel, I returned to my internship. As I said, I'm interning at Giorgio Armani in the Beverly Hills VIP PR Office. I work in the showroom and the office, maintaining and organizing the VIP room for daily fittings with stylists and editors, researching runway shows and events, and performing various administrative duties. It has been an amazing experience, and I am grateful to have a glimpse into the international fashion world. 

Aside from interning, I have been hanging out with friends, relaxing, watching a million different tv shows, and reading lots and lots of blogs! With school being about a month away I have become very excited and motivated to return to sparklesmileandshine....my own blog.  So look for regular (or semi regular) postings from me on topics such as fashion, food, and college fun.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Little Black Dress

I have always read, in fashion magazines and blogs, about the necessity of owning a little black dress. In high school however, I rarely wore dresses other than for the two school dances we had each year. Once I got to college, I realized how many opportunities I had to wear dresses. What I have concluded, is that a little black dress (or multiple) is absolutely, positively necessary. There have been so many date parties, formals, and functions that require a LBD.

Nasty Gal has a ton of little black dress options that aren't your typical boring dress. They are also a reasonable price point, which is great for girls on a college budget! These are a few of my favorites that can be dressed up or dressed down based on the occasion.




Images from NastyGal

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oscar Recap

Hello everyone! So I know the Oscars were Sunday and I'm a little behind, but what can I say, midterms have gotten the best of me! However, I'm still going to highlight a few of my favorite dresses. One trend I saw (and loved) throughout the night was sparkle and muted/ lighter colors.

I absolutely adored Jessica Chastain's dress that was designed by Giorgio Armani. The sequins combined with the beautiful blush color really embody the trends of the night.

Giorgio Armani also designed Naomi Watt's dress. This sequin gown is fantastic. I loved the assymetrical aspect to the neck line and the way it fit her body perfectly.

One of my other favorites was Jennifer Lawrence's dress. The drop waist looked magnificent on her and the color of the dress complimented her skin tone. She is wearing Dior Couture.

Although these two dresses were not sequin or light/pale colored, I thought that Jennifer Gardner and Jennifer Aniston looked fantastic in their bright gowns. I admire both of these women for picking dresses that were bold, extremely classy, but also fun. Jennifer Aniston wore Valentino and Jennifer Gardner wore Gucci PremiƩre.

Who were your favorites?

All images from Vogue

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mom's Weekend!



This past weekend was Mom's Weekend at my sorority. My mom came in from LA and we spent the weekend together! We went out to some really nice dinners, went shopping, and did a little pampering! I didn't realize how great it would feel to step out of my daily routine and actually go out and do things off campus for the weekend. On Saturday we went to get our nails done. I am extremely indecisive, and naturally picking out a nail color is not an easy task for me. However, after about 5 different colors I ended up deciding on a grey. I love this color because its very versatile, but not your typical dark brown or light pink. This grey goes with almost any outfit and creates an overall classy look. These are gel nails. (For those of you who don't know what gel nails are click here for my last post about them.) I go back and forth on the topic of gel nails. They are great because they last for about 2 weeks, but are a pain to take off. They also cost a little more than a normal manicure. I am always the one who ends up chipping their nails within the first hour, and the best part about gels is that they are dry as soon as the manicure is over, no need for drying time! My advice is to splurge on gels when you know you will be needing a manicure for an extended period of time!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Footwear Necessities!

Footwear has been another challenge for this California girl who is currently living in Michigan!  As I look out my window, I see lots of white stuff on the ground, which translates to no open-toed shoes.  Once again, a winter party-going dilemma!  My solution is closed-toed wedges.  They are the best of both worlds, giving you the height of a heal, as well as the warmth and protection of a boot.  I bought a pair of Steve Madden black suede wedge booties at the outlet mall over winter break, and I've already worn them numerous times.  Here are a few cute options!
         
Black is great for versatility and I love how these have a cutout in the heel.

The lace up is very cute and the color can be worn more casual or can be dressed up.

These are very bold and will add a great pop of color to any outfit.


Fratket


It's been a lot of fun going to parties and meeting new people at college; however, going out in cold weather is particularly challenging.  The dilemma is this, once you get to a party it is extremely hot and there is no need for a coat.  Not to mention the problem of actually finding that coat at the end of the night!  So basically, to wear or not to wear becomes the party dilemma.  As a California girl, I've tended to take the risk and opt for warmth.  The solution that I've found is getting a very inexpensive, and unfortunately not too fashionable, "throw-away" coat also know as a "fratket" (a frat jacket).  It may not be cute, but it helps with the cold.

Image from Target- Only $11.88

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fighting the Cold!


As a LA girl dealing with cold weather for the first time, it has been extremely exciting, as well as shocking, adjusting to the weather. Returning to school after winter break to face snow on the ground has been quite an experience! After one day of being cold and numb as I walked from class to class, I came to a conclusion. It is absolutely, positively necessary to wear a hat or headband that covers your head and ears in freezing temperatures! I have learned from my almost fatal mistake, and have not left my dorm without some sort of head protection within the last week. Here are some cute options that will also keep you warm! 



Images from TopshopUrban Outfitters, and Nordstrom


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Cutest Accessories


One of my favorite accessories is this adorable bracelet/hair ties. I wear them almost everyday and love how they function as both a hair tie and a bracelet. They come in so many different styles and colors. My favorites are the sparkles and patterns. I love how I can put a few on my wrist in the morning, but use them to tie back my hair later in the day when I'm tired of hair in my face! Either way, they compliment any outfit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Leggings.

Problem: One thing I have noticed about my wardrobe choices throughout my first semester of college is the abundance of leggings/yoga pants. Throughout high school I would wear jeans everyday, occasionally leggings or sometimes even a colored jean. However, at college I can hardly ever bring myself to put on a pair of jeans. I wake up and want to put on the most comfortable outfit, which leads me to my pair of black leggings. My leggings and yoga pants have also become interchangeable.

Solution: This semester I am making a promise to myself to wear jeans more often and dress more fashionably to class. Even though I wear cute outfits when I go out, I think dressing up for class a couple times a week will make school a little more exciting. Wearing leggings with some sort of texture or added embellishment can dress up an outfit. I am going to try and save my black Lululemons for the gym and my textured "riding" leggings for school days.

Pictures from Free People and Lululemon

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm Back

A lot of things have changed throughout the past year. I have graduated high school, turned 18, and finished my first semester of college. One of my many New Year's Resolutions is to start blogging again. Blogging about the things I love--fashion, food, lifestyle-- is so great and I want to start making time for it on a regular basis! So here I am, making my way back into the blogosphere!