Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Instagram Worthy Places To Eat in Richmond

Like Many of you, Instagram is probably my favorite app on social media.  I really love taking photos of my favorite things which include all things beauty, pretty floral arrangements, and of course my favorite places to hang around town.  If you are ever in the Richmond area or are a local, here are a few places to dine that great for the gram.  I used my iPhone to capture all of these views.  Between the regular camera and portrait mode options, these photos show each location to be very instagram worthy!

Quirk Hotel

201 W Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220

Quirk Hotel is probably my favorite place to visit since moving to Richmond because nearly every corner of it is so photogenic.  A few of my style posts have been at this location because of the impressive & gorgeous ambiance.  This 1916 store-turned-boutique hotel features a modern and up-tempo lobby which includes millennial pink sofas and chairs that serve as the perfect spot to take photos and selfies for the gram!    In the lobby, there is also a coffee shop, the Quirk Gallery, and Maple & Pine Restaurant.  I've had the pleasure of grabbing coffee during the work week as well as having lunch here.  The experience is always great.  If you dine in for lunch, be sure to try the salmon burger.  The dining table tops are all marble so they make for a perfect background for flatlays as well!

Max's on Broad

305 Brook Rd, Richmond, VA 23220

Max's on Broad is a French/Belgain styled restaurant in the heart of downtown Richmond.  My husband and I love having brunch here Sundays.  When you visit, ask to sit upstairs and preferably near the large bay windows.  You'll get perfect lighting to take photos of your food as well as the perfect downtown view while dining.  My favorite brunch specialty would have to be the Brioche French Toast  & Belgian Waffles with berries.  Don't forget to order your mimosa!

Graduate Hotel

301 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220

The most instagramable spot at this location would have to be the coffee bar and lobby.  Honestly, the menu options at Brookfield (hotel café) are pretty slim.  So far, I've only had the Shrimp Green Goddess salad and chai tea so that's all I can really tell you about.  The goddess salad is actually really good and very hearty. I love the collegiate theme and the boutique design and decoration is perfect for all your insta-stories.

I plan to update this list with more of my favorite Instagrammable spots as I get to know more places here in RVA.  Be sure to check back for more!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Style At Work | Keeping A Positive Attitude During The Work Week

Happy Monday and welcome back to another installment of my 'Style At Work' series!  In today's post, I not only wanted to share with you some cold weather office outfit inspiration, but also give you a little boost mentally when it comes to going into the work week.  Obviously, it's not enough to just dress the part for work.  It's really important that we are excelling at what we do no matter what your specific job is.  Part of excelling is being in the right head space and staying motivated throughout the week, which is key for me.  It's easy to have the Monday blues after the weekend, but here are 5 ways to keep a positive attitude during the work week.

Take Time To be Grateful

Whenever I 'feel some type of way' about going to work, I refocus back to the simple fact that I actually have a job.  Not everyone can say that.  There is always something beneficial about being employed, whether you are working in your dream career or not.  When you take the time to recognize and have a grateful heart about where you are, it tends to put things into perspective, and for me, serve as an instant motivation.

Stay Productive

One of the first things I do when settling in for work in the mornings is make a To-Do list.  I also meet with my supervisor about things that are to be completed on a daily and weekly basis.  This definitely keeps me organized and focused on our goals.  At the end of the day, I tend to have a lot more satisfaction in seeing tasks completed and overall feel good about getting things done.

Customize Your Surroundings

Make your cubicle your own by placing positive images in your workspace.  I have a custom  colorful desk calendar and other images that I can look at that bring inspiration and calmness throughout the day.  Having a visual display of things that bring you joy can serve as stress relievers and maybe even reminders of what's really important if and when you have a rough day.

Leave For Lunch

Whether it's just going into the break room to eat lunch you brought from home, or down the street to a small cafe; I strongly encourage you to step away from your desk for your lunch hour.  I love having lunch in a space with a nice ambiance because it gives me something to look forward to each day.   This is also an instant mood lift and I almost always come back to the office with a better energy to finish out the second part of the day.

Get Good Sleep

I can almost guarantee what kind of day it's going to be based off of how much sleep I got the night before.  There have been times where I've been able to stay up an hour later without feeling the effects of less sleep, but I make sure not to make a habit of going to sleep late.  The lack of sleep can be frustrating and make you less likely to want to do anything in the work day.  Who's thinking about staying positive when all you want is your bed??

How do you keep positive during your work week?  I'm not sure about y'all, but these bitter cold days can definitely have an effect on my mood.  Who really wants to leave their warm and cozy beds to head out into 30 degree weather??  It can be a challenge, but lets keep our heads in the game.  Positive thoughts will bring positive results.  It'll all pay off!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Weekly Deals | Cozy Sweaters

When it comes to sweaters this winter I have definitely fallen for extra long sleeves and something a little oversized that tends to cover my hands somewhat like gloves.  I was in LOFT last month and noticed this fuzzy off the shoulder tunic sweater and thought it'd be perfect this season.  I really loved the fuzzy texture and normally would shy away from materials like this because of the shedding.  This one doesn't shed at all and I don't have to worry about keeping a lint remover brush on hand for my winter coat.

This tunic has a very complementary length.  I love that it's not too long and bulky that way I can tuck it into whatever bottoms I'm wearing or simply wear it out like I am here.  My favorite feature of course is the fold over off the shoulder neckline that you can adjust to your liking.  Off the shoulder tops tend to compliment my neckline & shoulders really well so I've been really into them lately.

There are a few, chic cozy sweaters that I've added to my closet within the past month, so I created a quick video for you all that you can view HERE and have linked similar sweaters for you to shop down below.  Most of these styles have gone on sale with an extra percentage off, so take advantage of these deals before the cold weather is gone.  Stay cozy Chic ladies!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

10 Random Facts About Me

I was tagged on social media by another blogger friend to give you all a few random facts about me.  I decided to turn it into 10 facts about me to open up a little more and to give you guys the opportunity to get to know me a little better. 

Let's get into it:

1.  First things first!  I was born and raised in the 209 aKa the city of Stockton, CA (Central California), which is situated in the San Joaquin Valley--so that makes me a Cali girl!  I grew up in a few different parts of south Stockton with fun childhood memories of riding bikes as if they were cars (with real keys pushed in the holes of the rubber handles, lol), playing Chinese jump rope, chasing down the ice cream truck for Choco Tacos Ice cream & Lucas candy, as well as spending summers with my uncle in San Francisco.  Virginia is definitely home for me now, but the Golden State will forever have a special place in my heart.  Will I move back?  No.  Lol.  However, my extended family, childhood homies, and some of the best memories are all rooted on the west side.  In my eyes..the West Coast will forever remain the best coast!

2.  I moved to Virginia 13 years ago by recommendation of a family friend and also 'just because' with my parents and younger sister.  We had never even visited VA before then.  People thought we were crazy for moving across country and even said "You'll be back."  The decision was definitely a huge leap of faith, but here we are--still here.  It was the best decision ever.  I absolutely love living in Virginia.

3.  My dream in high school was to have a career in fashion editing because of my love for writing and collecting style magazines.  I figured that was the perfect job because it combined the 2 things I found the most interest in.  Life didn't quite steer me into the direction to move and attend school in New York as I imagined, so that was one of the reasons why I created this blog.

4.  I met my husband on Myspace.  He slid into them DMs, but I was dating someone at the time.  A year later after the relationship ended, I hit him up again and the rest was history!

5.  I love eating black olives straight out of the can.

6.  I absolutely love to dance.  The right mix will have me on the floor for hours!

7.  Although I have a quiet/reserved demeanor at times-- I love to laugh and can be really silly, but it takes the right kind of humor to get me going.

8.  I love the watching the show 'Queen of the South'.  

9.  I had what some people would call an 'S' curl as a kid--but in all actuality it was a HAWAIIAN SILKY and I hated when people got the two confused, lol!

10.  I have a Black Lab named 'Girl'.

Monday, January 22, 2018

3 Natural Hair Oils You Should Try This Winter

Over the past few months I've been manipulating my natural curls with tons of heat styles.   Wand curls, straightening, and blown-out twist-outs have all been in heavy rotation for me and now-- it's time for a break.  As much as I like to have a relaxed approach (😁 no pun intended) when it comes to my natural hair, I very much so cherish my tightly coiled curls.  
Lately I've gone back to some old habits like deep conditioning every week + using some great oils to seal my hair after I've moisturized it.  As I mentioned in my Winter Skincare post the air here in Virginia has been so dry, so keeping the moisture locked in with my skin and hair is essential.

I consider oils to be a pretty important factor in keeping my hair soft, helping to reduce frizz, acting as a sealant, and protecting it from breakage.  Here are three oils that my hair and I are absolutely loving right now.

The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Oil Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Oil

My hair is experiencing a bit of breakage so the product name and what it says that it's supposed to do, jumped right at me.  This oil is also known as the RETENTION oil that is formulated to repair the cuticle and prevent damage.  It's a blend of Baobab Oil (revives dull & dry hair 🙋🏾‍♀️), Kalahari Oil (moisture & shine), and Mongongo Oil ( ideal for conditioning hair).  I'm hoping this will do me some good over the next few months + the smell is amazing!

Vatika Coconut Hair Oil
I like using this before I wash my hair as a hot oil treatment.  While it is coconut oil, it does contain other ingredients such as henna, neem, along with rosemary oil.  My hair normally comes out feeling really soft when I include the product in my wash routine.

Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil
This is my go-to oil since this past summer.  I love the fact that it contains mint, which promotes circulation, so before bed I normally give myself a nice scalp massage using this oil.  It also contains almond oil which is a protein.  Our hair is made of protein so this oil binds to the hair sealing it and locking in moisture preventing breakage and shedding.
I'm really hoping that incorporating these oils into my hair routine a lot more frequently will help aid in reducing breakage and ultimately give my curls some much needed love this winter.  What oils are you incorporating into you curl routine?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cold Weather Clothing Must-Have | The Poncho

I mentioned in my previous post that my new year has really gotten off to a good start with me refreshing things around the house and really getting organized.  Unboxing more of my clothes from our move has reconnected me with items that I love and also to get really get excited about wearing items I  already have.  Lately it has been all about the poncho.  Here, I was meeting a friend for tea and a light lunch, so I kept things casual and cozy with my favorite pair of dark denim and tall knee boots.  When I know that I'm going to be indoors, I normally wear a v-neck or bodysuit with my poncho.  Had it been a day for errands, I would have switched this out for a turtleneck.

Ponchos definitely make a statement all on their own so it may be a little tricky to style.  My advice is to go with what feels natural to you.  Make it your style by dressing it up, down, or adding accessories to it--like a hat--that makes it your signature.

This year I've taken a very relaxed approach in how I'm getting a few things accomplished--which is so refreshing because this time last year was a very different story.  My husband and I dove right into the search for our new home and it was a busy time for us.  It just feels good to start this year off settled, so while there are things that I wish to accomplish in 2018, you won't find me shelling out a long laundry list of what I will be doing.  Instead, here's a small recap of what I have been doing/small changes that I've been making:

Waking up earlier

Eating more vegetables + fruit & less meat

Drinking more water

Preparing the night before for work or important meetings

Caring more for my hair with rich products like oils + deep conditioners

Working on my home office

And the rest you will have to find out later--here on the blog!

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Winter Skincare Products

Happy New Year beauties!  Transitioning from the holidays into the new year has been so peaceful and refreshing for me.  It's been so exciting the past few weeks spending time organizing not only my thoughts, but also the space around me.  What helps me to keep my focus and sanity sometimes (lol) is to stay organized and it was really important for me to start my year off that way.  I've been spending time working on my home office space and I recently purchased a few makeup drawers to add since my office will also serve as a beauty room.  What you are looking at here is one of my drawers that I've designated just for skincare!  For me, this is so much more appealing than having all of my products cluttering up my counterspace in our bathroom.  I like the idea that I can put these items away in their own area and keep them out of sight when I'm not using them.  This makes it really easy for me to take inventory of what I already have and to actually use each product because I can see them.

I'm not sure what it is, but this winter my skin has been a lot more drier than normal.  The T-zone area on my face as well as my legs have called for more moisture than usual.  My normal routine of applying moisturizer after a shower is simply not enough right now.  I've had to switch some things up and also increase my water intake and even add a humidifier to my bedroom to help combat the dry air.   The products that I'm about to share with you have truly been a lifesaver.  Most of these items are products that I've gotten from Sephora, but there are a few drug store favorites that I've included as well.  When it comes to skincare, I don't mind shelling out a few extra dollars because having great skin is top priority.  


Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

I've been using this cleansing oil instead of my usual face cleanser because it serves as a two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser, which is perfect.  This cleansing oil gently removes my makeup (waterproof included) and really cleanses my skin without stripping it of it's natural moisture.  Camellia oil is very nourishing to the skin containing vitamins A, B, D, and E as well as Omega 3, 6, and 9.  Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory effects that can help soothe skin irritation, which is a big relief for me because my T-zone gets extremely dry after I wash my face.  The fact that I only need about a quarter size amount of this stuff to apply all over my face and have it literally melt away every bit of my makeup including my mascara, is enough for me to add to my holy grail.

Fresh Rose Face Mask

Although I love roses, I don't necessarily like the scent of them in sprays or cosmetics.  I can however, make an exception when using this face mask because the benefits are amazing.  This is a gel mask that I've been using at least twice a week, although you can use it everyday because it is that gentle.  It's infused with actual rose petals, soothing rosewater, and algae that helps with both dryness, and redness.  My favorite thing about this mask is that it's made without parabens and sulfates, which is really important to me.  One day I will fully be able to transition to all natural cosmetics, but I definitely want to use up everything I have first.  This mask is so calming and I love that the gel helps in cooling and soothing the skin--Especially with the area of skin around and under my nose.  It gives me tons of relief and I don't have to deal with that chapped feeling.  I like to apply my face masks with a brush to keep things clean, plus it just makes me feel like I'm at a real spa : ). The little things!

Glam Glow Volcasmic Moisturizer

My skin really loves creamy moisturizers and this one has a extra creamy and light weight texture.  I love that it doesn't add shine so I really like to apply this product in the morning before my makeup because it's the perfect base before primer.

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream

This product came right on time in my Sephora Play box.  Another moisturizer, but this one has a thicker consistency that I like to apply at night before bed.  I love that feeling of applying heavier moisturizers at bed time because the product is really able to work into the skin without disturbance.  This cream helps to soothe sensitized skin resulting from external environmental stressors.  We are recently coming off freezing temps, it was literally 1 degree last weekend, so this stuff definitely came in handy with replenishing the moisture and relieving the redness that I've been experiencing around my nose and mouth.  Hydration is what you will get as well as soothing the skin of all the dry and itchiness you'd get around this time of the year.

Philosophy's The Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash

Incorporating an exfoliant into my skincare routine is pretty much vital for healthy looking skin.  I learned very early (thanks to my Mom and Grandmother) that you have to remove the dull and dead layers of skin this way especially during the colder months.  I love that Philosophy's exfoliating wash isn't too harsh although there are micro-beads present in the formula, you don't feel like you're scrubbing your face with sand paper!  My focus area of exfoliation is mainly my nose because of white heads and it's important for it to always have a smooth appearance.  

This post would not be complete if I didn't include what I'm using to take care of the rest of my skin! My focus is mainly on my legs, knees, elbows, and the heels of my feet since those areas tend to get the driest first!  I like my skin to feel soft, supple, and moisturized.  With the constant cold it doesn't take a whole lot of time before you find your skin in desperate need of TLC.


Dove Sensitive Skin Shower Foam

My Mom actually put me on to this product over the Christmas holiday.  I was immediately drawn to the smell and the lather!  This shower foam makes my skin feel so refreshed and smooth.  It's hypoallergenic, meaning it's designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response, as by containing relatively few or no potentially irritating substances.  It's one of Dove's milder cleansers, and although it has an super light and airy texture, your skin still feels super clean and moisturized even after a really warm shower.

Raw Shea & Cupuaçu Daily Defense Hand & Body Scrub

I can't stress enough how good it is to have a body scrub in your beauty cabinet.  I've been combating flakey skin with this this stuff and it has done wonders!  Using a luffa and and body wash will not cut it with this dry air.  I like to buff away dead and dehydrated skin with this moisturizing exfoliator.  It contains Organic Raw Shea Butter which deeply moisturizes skin with vitamins and essential fatty acids. 

Something else I've added to my routine is dry brushing my skin.  This is another way to really maintain moist skin and remove any dry, dead skin cells.  Not only does it improve my skins appearance but it has deeper benefits like increasing circulation, reducing stress levels, and improves digestion and kidney function!  Do a little research on this when you have time!  I love to dry brush the soles of my feet and work my way up to my legs, arms, chest and back.  Apply firm pressure while brushing, but don't go ham!  Lol, you don't want your skin to be super irritated and red.  You'll also want to make sure you have a high quality dry body brush.  Look for one with bristles made from natural materials.  I normally do this before a morning shower or after work for about 10-15 mins.  It's very energizing!

L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil

I just love body oils.  Nothing nourishes or makes my melanin pop quite like oils do!  My favorite right now is L'Occitane's Almond Supple Skin Oil.  I received this oil in a PR package not too long ago and I'm completely hooked.  L'Occitane has been a favorite of mine for a little while now and since I've tried out their almond collection, I've been hooked.  I've learned to apply oil before and after my showers to get ultra soft skin.  When I'm out of the shower while my skin is still damp, I work this oil all over.  The smell is intoxicating and will have your skin feeling like satin.  I'm not kidding.

Let me know down below some of your favorite winter skincare products.  Right now, I'm on the hunt for a few butters.  Give me the details of what you like to use!


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