Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekend Links

Happy Friday! I decided to end the week with some more links to my favorites shopping of the week, enjoy!

The strappy heels I found for a steal at Target (less than $30, how crazy is that!)

My new favorite dress by Joie (under $100!) - I've been layer it with everything and haven't been able to take it off!

The new Piperlime Collection is killing me with all of the gorgeous pieces, I want every one in my Fall Wardrobe - especially this leopard coat!

The Spring App just launched and it's already made shopping 10x easier for this gal - my favorite shops on the app so far are AYR, OTTE, and Milly! Although I can't wait for Kate Spade to join, I love their cute-sy pieces and am always looking for a sale!

And of course, what would a weekend be without shopping some sales? I'm checking out J. Crew who has 25% off a purchase with code SHOPNOW (I've been eying up this top already) and the Nasty Gal sale when this asymmetrical skirt and orange blazer I've been waiting to buy are both less than $30!

Happy shopping!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY Coffee Scrub

I loooveee coffee. The smell, the taste, the texture - coffee is all around ah-mazing. So when I first came across the concept of using it outside of the kitchen, I was all on board. The first time I came across the idea of a coffee scrub was actually through Instagram when I noticed that one of my favorite bloggers (who has AMAZING skin) was using it. She had been using FRANK coffee scrub, which seemed like the total package (and believe me, he was), but I ran out of it so quickly that I found myself in a 30 minute time crunch to either buy or make some myself, and I chose the latter.

Coffee Scrubs have been getting a lot of hype lately, and with good reason. Scrubs in general are amazing for they're stimulation and increased circulation properties alone. Now combine that with all of the benefits of coffee, coconut oil, and certain spices and you have a mixture meant for beautiful  success.

The first thing I did was run to my past lip/body scrub recipes which involved sugar or salt as the exfoliants, and added coffee grounds that I had on hand to the mix. The basic scrub combines Coffee, Sugar, Salt, and Oil. The combination of spices is up to you, and try to buy everything organic, if possible. It's easy to put together, really feels delicious, and, honestly, what else are we going to do with all those grounds (including the leftover ones!). Now, let's talk benefits!

Coffee: is rich in antioxidants, making it an awesome anti-inflammatory ingredient. It contains caffeine, which draws out excess moisture from your skin, causing it to look and feel smoother and firmer. In this scrub, coffee acts as a mild exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and exposing fresh, soft skin.

Coconut Palm Sugar: acts as a second exfoliant in this scrub. For more of a deep exfoliation, you can use a sugar with
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a coarser texture, like cane sugar.
Coconut Oil: is one of our favorite natural beauty ingredients over here. It’s incredibly moisturizing and filled with vitamins and minerals, which it locks securely into your skin. 

Salt: acts as the 3rd exfoliant that helps eliminate water bloat and inflammation, and also helps remove dead skin cells to unclog pores.

(optional) Cinnamon: helps to clear your skin of any bacteria. It also brings blood to the surface of the skin, helping to smooth out any lines that may be present. 

(optional) Cacao: contains antioxidants that help attribute to it's anti-inflammatory properties, along with adding a slightly darker tan tint to the skin.

(optional) Honey: is rich in anti-microbial that kill bacteria and it helps to sooth and nourish the skin.

The spilled sugar may have been a mistake, but it made for a great shot! (But still not a fun mess to clean up!)

1/2 cup ground coffee (you can use pre-used grounds, just leave them out overnight/in the oven at the lowest setting to dry out and prevent molding)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons sea salt
(optional) 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
(optional) 1 tablespoon (raw) honey
(optional) 1 tablespoon cacao powder

To make the scrub, mix all of the ingredients together until well-combined. If your coconut oil is solid, gently heat it until it melts, but wait for it to go back to room temperature before adding the other ingredients. This is to ensure that your exfoliants don’t dissolve in the oil! 
Slowly add the coconut oil to the mixture - you don't want the mixture to be runny, just clumpy enough to grab semi-solid chunks with your hands. When using the scrub, be sure to wet the area prior to applying the scrub and let it set on for 10-15 minutes to ensure the benefits are absorbed into the skin. Store it in an air tight container for up to two weeks. 

After I used the scrub the first time I was in awe at how soft my skin felt already. Two weeks later my skin is literally glowing - I haven't seen it looking this good or this soft in years. I also took the opportunity to taste it since I had a little left on my finger (I mean, why not?), and you guys, it was delicious. I may have to make a batch just to eat... Enjoy!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Black and White Stripes

Victoria's Secret Stripe Tee (bought this one with it for the 2/$40 deal!) / Target White Vest (old, similar here) / American Eagle Black Shorts (on sale, also loving this leather pair) / Steve Madden Quilted Sneakers / Vintage Black Sunnies (similar here for less than $10)

I have always had a soft spot for a black and white combo, and stripes embody that simple perfection seamlessly (literally). The vest over top adds a contrast and put-together feel to an other wise simple, monochromatic look which explains why I wear it and other vests so often with more comfortable looks. I should also mention that when I first found this top, I instantly feel in love. The oversized fit was exactly what I had been looking for because it creates more of that Boy-Meets-Girl feeling that I've been drawn to lately. I just love a classic black and white look and I can't wait to wear this one and versions of it throughout Fall.