Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday: {February 27, 2014}


Happy Friday Gals! It has been a WEEK for this gal, so I will be counting down the hours until the work day is done and I can put on my sweatpants, enjoy some pizza and wine and catchup on lots of trashy reality tv! To kick things off, as usual we're sharing our 5 favorites of the week - I hope everyone is having a fab Friday with even more fab plans for the weekend ahead!!



Commuting Gal
#thestruggleisreal
 Ok, this first one certainly isn't a favorite, but just my new way of life. My company decided to consolidate some of it's offices, which means I'm now commuting 40 miles north of my house to the majestic Jersey City, NJ... So it's been a bit of an adjustment having to now triple (yes triple!) my commuting time, along with now taking public transportation.  BUT.. I am trying to stay positive and look for the small upsides of this change, like being able to now have the time to read again, along with lots of time to read all of my favorite blogs! So I will be promptly checking all of your book recommendations and downloading lots and lots of books to my iphone - recommendations definitely welcome!! 

Rent the Runway Unlimited

RTR has done it again, and this time, they've truly outdone themselves! I raved about my love of RTR Unlimited back when I first signed up, and we are also long time fans of their dress rentals, so imagine my excitement when I got the email notifying me that they've basically combined the two into the best of both worlds! Unlimited subscribers are now able to select dresses in addition to accessories for a monthly fee! You can read all about the specifics here, but I couldn't be more excited about this and have already added about 15 gorgeous dresses to my queue!

 Sale Picks of the Week

And for those moments when a rental just won't do, I've been lusting over way to many shopping deals this week!

I'm loving this duvet cover from West Elm - it's so bright and cheerful, and a steal at $34.99

This necklace from Kate Spade - still a little steep in price, but so, so gorgeous!


I have been obsessing over these boots ever since seeing them on Kristen and Pamela, so once I realized they were at 50%, I was basically powerless and had to order them.. they arrived this week and I love, love, love them!

http://www.aldoshoes.com/us/en_US/women/boots/ankle-boots/c/131/FIGODE/p/33891161-37
 Favorite Song of the Week

Shut Up and Dance with Me - Walk the Moon
How fun is this song?! It kind of reminds me of an 80's pop/dance song, and I've basically had it on constant repeat all week long. 

 Gals in Manals
While my Friday night plans may not be very exciting (though I am VERY excited for them), Saturday is a whole other story because the Gals are going to be reunited!! The name of the town I live in is Manalapan, so we affectionately like to call it the Gals in Manals whenever B comes over (which explains my title for this one). She's going to be in Jersey during the day, so I am so, so excited that she'll be coming over at night, along with T, for some dinner, drinks and lots and lots of gal'ing. Hopefully GG and T realize what they're in for, though truth be told, those two are total gals at heart, and I know they'll be cackling along with us (after a glass of wine or two!).

And lastly, as a little bonus item, don't forget to enter our Pearlties giveaway!
You gotta be in it to win it!! 

What are you all up to this weekend?!





Thursday, February 26, 2015

Party Planner: Oscars Viewing Party


I'm not exactly the hugest movie buff, but how did I not see until last week that hosting an Oscars viewing party is the perfect fit for me? The glitz, the glamour, the metallics, the sparkles, and the stars are all some of my favorite things, so it was only natural that I finally threw my very first awards show party this past Sunday. 

This party was a bit more impromptu than my usual events, as it wasn't even a thought until T suggested in the middle of last week that we host a joint party. Nevertheless, I was totally up for the challenge and adventure of hosting a fun soiree and all I can say is...thank goodness for the speed and convenience of Amazon Prime, which really helped the whole thing come together!
 

DECOR
I knew I wanted to stick with a classic Hollywood glamour theme, so the first thing I had to order was a huge bunch of stars. I decorated the back of my studio apartment door with a cascade of stars and then used the rest as chargers on the food tables. The food tables were also adorned with gold star-shaped plates and white/gold netting that I had picked up for super cheap at a post-holiday clearance.


My favorite part of the decor was the long red carpet that led from the front door to the photo booth area (which you'll see down below). As much as I wish I could take credit for this brilliant red carpet prop, it was all T's idea!


MENU
The Oscars started at 8:30 p.m. EST this year which is pretty late to start a party on a work night (hey, give me a break, I'm in my 30s!), so we decided to forgo any dinner items and jump straight to dessert. We started things off by greeting every guest with a chocolate whipped cream welcome shot, and we served raspberry-lime prosecco sparklers as the signature cocktail.


 The dessert table featured a few salty snacks (chips/pretzels/popcorn) and a big assortment of sweets, including vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, brownies, chocolate-covered pretzels, M&M cookies, and a very popular cake batter dip. In fact, the cake batter dip was such a hit that by the end of the night, people were literally pouring it into their champagne flutes and drinking it!



CRAFTS 
 I can never resist a good paper craft, and this party was no exception! Each champagne flute was decorated with an "And the Oscar goes to..." tag, and I put my star puncher to work making custom confetti to scatter throughout the apartment.


Speaking of my star puncher, I also used it to create two-sided food picks to decorate the desserts in a variety of metallic, textured papers. I also couldn't resist making some glitzy pom pom stirrers to dress up the drinks.



FUN & GAMES
It just isn't an awards viewing party without some games to add some fun to the commercial breaks! Of course, we had to run an Oscar ballot contest (complete with custom ballots designed by T), and we also devised a house drinking game (and with rules like "Drink anytime someone thanks the Academy," things got quite spirited very quickly)! We also played Acceptance Speech Mad Libs, where each guest got the opportunity to make the (absolutely ridiculous) fantasy Oscars speech of their dreams.


The most popular activity of the party was the photo booth that we created with some gold foil curtains and the red carpet! Everyone was able to pose with our little Oscar and have a moment or two of celebrity red carpet glory.


We encouraged everyone to dress up, since you never know when the paparazzi will be watching!



We couldn't resist paying homage to a classic Oscars moment by recreating the infamous Ellen group selfie in our photo booth! I'm not sure how we managed to squeeze everyone in there, but we did it!

What's your favorite way to watch the Oscars?

P.S. Don't forget to enter our Pearlties giveaway!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pearlties Review + GIVEAWAY!

As career gals on the go, we are always looking for chic, effortless ways to stay on-trend and up our accessories game - enter Pearlties.

 
We both have pretty high-maintenance manes, and are no strangers to the days when there is no time for a blow-out and only a ponytail, braid, or bun will do. Luckily, we recently discovered Pearlties, which have now become a staple in our hair game.
No matter where we go, we always have at least one hair tie on hand in case of any hair emergencies, so why settle for anything less than the best? 

The concept is simple - comfortable, high-quality hair ties that don't pull your hair and don't leave unflattering creases behind. However, don't let the simplicity fool you - these hair ties come in six pretty colors and each one features a freshwater cultured pearl to add some elegance and a point of interest to your hair tie.
We love Pearlties because they are totally versatile - you can wear them to the gym, while just as easily add them to a updo for a gala. We like wearing them on our wrists so that we're ready to protect our locks from any unforeseen winds that strike, and the Pearlties also double as lovely bracelets when they aren't being called in to battle stray hairs.
One other cool thing about supporting Pearlties is that you're also giving back to the environment while treating yourself to a new accessory. Pearlties participates in One Percent for the Planet, which donates at least 1% of all sales to charity. So, you can feel good about yourself as you adorn yourself with your Pearlties, because a portion of your purchase is being put towards sustaining the health of the ocean, where your pearls came from! Yup, they are bringing it full circle.
Pearlties are made of all-cotton elastic (so yeah, we're moving far past the materials of your average, everyday hair ties) - they are comfortable enough for all of your on-the-go hair needs, while also pretty enough that you're proud to just wear them on your wrist. 

Fashionable, affordable, and functional accessories that also make a charitable difference? You can definitely sign us up!


Our friends at Pearlties are sharing the love by generously donating 3 sets of 6 Pearlties to 3 lucky winners! Enter below for your chance to win: 


If Lady Luck doesn't happen to be on your side this time and you don't win, never fear - you can purchase your own Pearlties for 50% off, now through 3/4! Just enter the promo code SEQUIN50 for your discount. Check them out on Instagram and Twitter for some additional hair tie inspiration!

Which color Pearltie will you be adding to your collection?
 xoxo
B & M

Products for review were provided by Pearlties. Opinions are our own.

Linking up with Anni, Thoughts for Thursday, and Joey.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Review

Hey Gals! Recently I shared some items on my birthday wishlist, and the lucky gal that I am, I ended up receiving a couple of the NARS eyeshadows I had been lusting over. After trying them out, I love them even more and want to share all the details with you today.



I've been a huge NARS fan for quite sometime and was very excited to try out these new eyeshadows.  They are called dual-intensity, as they can be applied wet or dry, depending on how deep and intense you want the color to be.  


I'm also a huge fan of shimmery eyeshadow and these shine like no other.


The full line comes in 12 beautiful colors, and I was lucky enough to receive 4 of them in Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Callisto, and Phoebe.


Cassiopeia is iridescent opal/pink color with shades of purple and white reflecting through, based on the light.

Andromeda is a warm ivory/peachy color. Out of all the colors, this one surprised me the most and I love it for a subtle daytime look.


Callisto is a silvery purple and gorgeous. For all of the sparkle lovers out there, this one is for you.

Phoebe is a deep amethyst, also having plenty of shimmer, and perfect for a more dramatic look.

I tend to have problems with creasing, due to have smaller, deep set eyes, but I was really impressed with the staying power on these.  I also really love the cases these little guys are in - they have a magnetic closure which not only allows for easy closure, but when lined up, they all stick together nicely in my makeup drawer.
Dry Application: Cassiopia // Andromeda // Callisto // Phoebe
They apply like a dream, and as I mentioned earlier, you can either wear wet or dry.  When applied dry, it provides sheer color and wet gives you a bolder, more intense shimmery look.  Obviously I prefer the wet look, since the more shimmer, the better, though I'll probably also do the dry application when opting for a more subtle look, like for work.
Wet Application: Cassiopia // Andromeda // Callisto // Phoebe

It's really hard to play favorites as far as the colors are concerned, and I really do love them all! If I had to pick, I'd say Callisto is my favorite more dramatic color, and Andromeda wins for my daytime favorite.  I'm so happy GG picked the colors he did, because I don't think I would have necessarily picked Andromeda based on how it looks in the packaging, but I just adore it on, and it works great with my skintone.  These beauties are definitely on the pricier side, but they will be staying firmly on my wishlist since I would love to receive any of the other colors!


They retail for $29 and available at most major department and beauty stores, like Sephora and Nordstrom.

Are you a fan of NARS, or have you tried these out and have a favorite color?


Friday, February 20, 2015

Five on Friday {February 20, 2015}

After coming back from my sunny vacation, I was happy that at least it was a short work week and that the weekend is here again! And what better way to start a weekend than with the five things I'm loving this week?

 
Vacation

My vacation wrapped up earlier this week and while I wish I could still be relaxing on the beach, all good things must come to an end and this really was the perfect recharge. I basically did nothing except lay out on the beach, read some books and magazines, eat delicious food, sip cocktails, and lounge in the hot tub - it was heavenly. 


Plus, you just can't beat those beautiful sunsets!


A surprise from Rituals

I spent a really fun morning at Rituals back in the fall and was thrilled to come back from vacation to discover a sweet surprise package from them waiting at my doorstep! Their products are all totally luxurious and you seriously cannot beat their lotions - my skin has never been softer. I can't wait to add these new products from their Ayurveda line to my daily routine!

Day date

Even though I was sad to come back from the warm weather to re-enter the frigid cold in NYC (nope, still not over vacation ending!), I was able to ease back into the real world by having a daytime date with T. We had a totally yummy cheesefest at the Cellar at Beecher's, which is where I had my Cheesy Birthday Dinner last year, and we followed it up by visiting the City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival (and therefore crossed one item off my Winter Bucket List). The chocolate is super rich, but my very favorite part are those huge, gooey, homemade marshmallows.

Favorite sweet

I couldn't resist sharing these "Single Lady Cupcakes" that I encountered over Valentine weekend! Though why is there no love for Bradley Cooper?!

Oscars Party!
Image source
On Tuesday night, T and I randomly decided to host an Oscars viewing party this Sunday, so I've been scouring Pinterest for all sorts of party ideas. This is a bit of a late start for me when it comes to party planning, so I'm crossing my fingers that everything will come together between tonight and tomorrow. Do you have any recommendations of fun awards party games or decor?

Cheers to AmandaJennieKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, Natasha, Heather, and Tif for hosting today's link-ups!
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