Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday: From Sunday Best to Mechanic's Threads

Well hello, everyone!
First I just wanted to say thanks for the phenomenal turn out, I guess you could say, with respect to the giveaway last week for the Agnes and Dora leggings. It was so much fun, and the support from everyone meant a lot to me! Fashion is a huge passion for me (another post) and pulling these outfits will one day not just be what I do for fun on my blog or when collaborating with other designers or boutiques. IT WILL BE MY JOB, MARK MY WORDS.

Okay, onto some more fun stuff. Here are a few looks as of late. Happy Wardrobe Wednesday!

So this first look was just me and my babies before church one morning. We played with neutrals and a few pops of color. Ellie's whole outfit (minus her purse and shoes) was a Christmas gift from my Grandma Bonnie. She always does have great style. Especially when my Aunt Jill helps her pick things out. Thanks, ladies. Ellie looked beautiful. Though I couldn't get a full shot of my Landon (he's just so busy with very important things to do, ya know??) he felt nothing less than dapper that day, which he showed by telling everyone at church, "I look pretty great today." No lie.

Ellie-Dress: Children's Place; Cardigan: Children's Place; Heart Tights: Old Navy; Purse: Wal Mart; Bow: Children's Place; Shoes: Payless.
Landon-Pants (not pictured-Khaki slacks): Target; White Button-Up: Children's Place; Blue and Green Tie: Target
Me-Aztec Skirt: Old Navy (available in Tall, ladies!!); Chevron Tights: Target; Oxford Pumps: Sole Society; Chambray Top: Nordstrom; Nude Pullover Sweater: Old Navy; Jewelry: Old Navy

This second look was right before heading out to the concert that I blogged about here. Dan surprised me with a cute v-neck tee from Edelbrock, which is a company that he loves to buy car parts from. What can I say? I'm married to a mechanic. These jeans are the Rockstar line from Old Navy which they now sell in mid rise. (Ladies. Like, buy mid rise jeans. They don't look or feel like "mom jeans" but you hate your muffin top, I know you do because you're constantly grabbing the two belt loops closest to the button and doing the oh-so-flattering "up and over" routine. Please. Do this to help yourself and everyone behind you when you bend over to pick up your kids. Kthanks.) They also offer these in Tall and Long (not sure the difference...anyone want to enlighten me?) which I love because I love the slouchy look you can get from a great pair of skinnies and sneakers... but my legs are too long.UNTIL NOW!
TShirt: Gift from the hubby and Edelbrock; Jeans: Mid-rise Rockstar Skinnies from Old Navy; Shoes: Converse; Bracelet: Um. I forgot.

What did you all wear this week?! Link up!

-L

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK STARTS NEXT MONTH.

Oh wait, I mean, *ahem*...

Hey guys!

No but really. Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion week is in February and I'm dying. I can't wait. I was just telling my husband (who was probably not listening because when it comes to this stuff, I ramble) that I love, love, LOVE fashion week. I can't wait to see all the looks, but I'm especially excited for designers like Rachel Zoe, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Charlotte Ronson, Zac Posen, J. Crew...OH MY. JUST ALL OF THEM. I don't typically start snooping around at the looks for 2014 until the New York fashion week is upon us. And now I've surpassed snoop and I'm onto full blown obsession.

Look, I know that most of the designs walking down the runway during Fashion Week aren't going to make it in my closet or ever adorn me while running my mommy errands or sitting at my desk at my "real" job. But that's not the point. (Well Lyss, what is the point?)

Yeah, I don't have time to get into that.

If you want to read about February's MB Fashion week in NYC, check it out here. They also have live streaming from the website. I watched Badgley Mischka for like 2 minutes and found myself actually crying. Has anyone else noticed how much her pieces seem to emulate the 50's. Kind of like lots of flowy shift pieces and even some that remind me of the early Chanel dress suit?
See what I mean:

And can we just take a second to die over Zac Posen's work? Like, why can't I have an excuse to wear a gown? 



It's also worth your time to follow @mbfashionweek on Instagram.

Here are my predictions: Lots of color on color (black on black, white on white, blue on blue, etc.) and lots of floral or feather inspired prints. Can't wait to see it all unfold. I'm trying to hold myself back from snooping too much so that I can fall in love with it all during NYFW. Tell me what your favorite designers being featured this year are???

One day I'll make it there, you guys. I will.

What do you think? Should we do a special giveaway on the 6th of February honoring Fashion Week?!

-L

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hey Ya'll: Country Music Concert and Wardrobe

Hey ya'll! (Pun Intended)

Over the weekend, I got to "cash in", if you will, on a Christmas gift my dad gave me. Let me just give you a little background.

Growing up, country music was always a part of my house. And not just country music. We grew up listening to The Beatles, Journey, Boston, The Eagles, etc. But there was always a fair amount of Garth, George and Shania and I've grown up with a love for country music. That's just kind of all there is to it.

So this Christmas, as everyone finished throwing away the last of the wrapping paper and thinking thoughts of Christmas breakfast, my dad, with a wink, told me to go look in the tree (yes, in the tree) because he "thought" there might be one more gift left. As I opened it up, attached to an iTunes gift card, were tickets to go see Lady Antebellum with my dad. Just me and him.

So, aside from my love of music, my crush on Charles Kelley, getting to watch Jana Kramer and Kip Moore open and the badass Tshirt my dad bought me, you KNOW I died over the wardrobe and makeup. Even my dad could tell. Walking out of the arena he said, "Okay, so what did you think of the clothes and makeup?" launching me into a session of gushing I'm not sure he was prepared for. But anyway. Just look.


Hillary Scott had several costume changes, but this one was one of my favorites. Peacock feathers?! Sequins? I'm not sure what's not to love. Her makeup looks great too. Not too chizzled out but her features were still defined on stage. Props to her stylist and MUA. The guys were comfortable but very put together. (As opposed to their opening act, Kip Moore. I didn't love his get up at all...especially the cut off Fender tee. I'm a Gibson girl, anyway. ha.) As far as music went though, Kip sounded great and really surprised me when he went out to sing "Hey Pretty Girl" on a stool, acoustic, by himself. The amp seemingly failed him, though, when his guitar lost power after the first count of eight, and his band tried to jump in to help him. Kip held his hand behind him, as if to tell his band to "hold off" and sang acoustic without his guitar. After "Hey Pretty Girl" he, in an effort to appease the crowd after his technical malfunction, sang "Stand By Me" acoustic, once again without his band.

One of my favorite moments of the show was when Charles stopped the band right before the last chorus of "It Ain't Pretty" to talk about how beautiful the arena looked with everyone's cell phones lighting up the crowd. He said it was one of the best parts of their tour, and then Hillary finished the last, and quite powerful, verse and chorus. There is a gorgeous acoustic version here.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of Jana Kramer but she was wearing some great skinnies (black leather, it looked like from afar) and a loose, almost billowy top in a dark red/purple color. She topped it off with a single, long chain, golden key pendant. Her bracelets were silver cuffs that she wore high on her forearm so as not to hit against her guitar, especially when she played along with the band during her single, Whiskey. Take a listen here. Her makeup was simple but gorgeous. Light smokey eye and a mauve lip.

I thought all around Lady A sounded phenomenal and looked just as great. Their encore included "Need You Now" and an awesome cover of "Wake Me Up" and "Cups". You can see a terrible and ghetto iPhone video here but if I were you I would skip to :40. Though the quality isn't great, you definitely get a feel for it. We left on a musical high.

If you want to check out the review from the Salt Lake Tribune, you can find it here.

Bottom line, it was a great concert with my awesome dad!

And for good measure, don't we look great? These photos courtosey of MY ghetto iPhone!




Now go listen to some country music.

-L

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review and Giveaway-Agnes and Dora and Leggings, OH MY!

***Giveaway Closed***
Entries were counted based upon comments on blog as well as to my personal FB account due to the technical difficulties that Blogger was experiencing...annoying. But thanks everyone, for entering!

Congrats to JORDYN POPE for winning our giveaway!


When I was contacted by Agnes and Dora to do a review for their leggings, I was stoked. Anyone who knows me knows that I live for leggings. The comfort level can't be matched, and anything that can look office or pajama appropriate is a must have in my book! 

When I received the Agnes and Dora leggings, my immediate thought was how incredibly SOFT they were. The pattern I chose was bold, but not too crazy, and I was super excited to style them. The real test, however, came with trying them on. Will they feel right? Will they *ahem* ride up?  Will they annoy me since I haven't shaved my legs in two weeks? I mean, these are big questions, people.

 So, on they went.

Oh. Em. Gee. 

You guys, these leggings feel like a million bucks. You see them and hold them and admire the patterns and think, "Yeah, these are super cute." Then you put them on and they're, as I described to my friend, "sturdy, silky heaven." They kept me warm when I went outside, and they're the kind of material that won't make me crazy gross sweaty in the warmer weather. They're legit the perfect legging!

So not only did Agnes and Dora allow me the awesome opportunity to tell you guys a bit about their product, but they also allowed me to GIVE AWAY a pair of these amazing leggings to one of you. Oh, baby...it gets better. For the month of January, all my readers will also get 15% off of an online order.

I decided I wanted to show how I think it's possible that these leggings could really be styled so many different ways and be appropriate for so many different occasions. So, here I decided to put together a few looks to show you how a pattern as loud and crazy and adorable as this, can really be pulled together with the right pieces to look great for any occasion, any weather, or any outing. 

Alright, I'm done talking. Let's see the clothes, eh?

I love this look because it's casual but put together. I feel like I could run to the grocery store or go out to dinner with the hubs. 

Leggings: Agnes and Dora; Chambray top: Nordstrom; Scarf: JC Penney; Boot socks: My Sister's Closet; Boots: Frye; Bracelets: Old Navy and Forever 21; Earrings: Express

Makeup: Neutral, neutral, neutral. I did a nude lip and light pink gloss with brown eyeliner and just an olive green and gold eye. Mascara, bronzer, and boom. Done.
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I love this outfit because I feel like I can wear this to work and still be as comfy as if I was curled up on the couch with my Dr. Pepper and Mad Men.

Leggings: Agnes and Dora; Tank: My Sister's Closet from my bestie Diana; Cardigan: Wal Mart (yeah, buddy); Belt: Kohls; Pumps: Forever Young Shoes; Necklace: I have no idea but also from my bestie, Diana

Makeup: I chose a really gorgeous berry color by NYX with no gloss on top and some gold and a little bit of blue on the eyes. Nars Deep Throat is a really great peach color with not a lot of shimmer, so I used that for blush.
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For this outfit, I really wanted to show how these leggings could be pulled together for an easy spring or early summer look. Once I tried them on, I knew they'd be perfect for any kind of weather. 

Leggings: Agnes and Dora; Top: Old Navy; Necklace: Kohls as a gift from my super hot hubby; Shoes: I have no idea-a gift from my sister; Earrings: Old Navy; Bracelets: Bauble Bar and Forever 21

Makeup: For this, I did a very neutral eye with the Naked Basics palette and a teal glitter liquid liner by NYX just in the corners to offset the coral on my necklace. I also chose a great coral/peach lipliner and went over it with a coral gloss.
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This look is just another comfy winter look. As opposed to the first look with boots and a scarf, this one is a little more low maintenance and perfect for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. In fact, this one may be my favorite. It's great with a braid and really neutral makeup.

Leggings: Agnes and Dora, Top: Costco (no lie); Shoes: My Sister's Closet; Earrings: Charlotte Russe. 

Makeup: I chose a neutral brown and grey eye with a brown liquid liner just on top. I chose my Lancome bronzer and some really sheer pink blush and topped it with a light pink lipstick by Urban Decay. 
---------

I feel like this outfit is really universal for whatever occasion you have in mind. You can trade the sneakers for pumps or flats to dress it up, but I love the casual vibe.


Leggings: Agnes and Dora; Polka Dot Top: Old Navy; Cardigan: Target; Shoes: Converse; Jewelry: Bauble Bar and Target

Makeup: I chose bare lids and just mascara and bronzer here, with a bolder coral lip and red liner. Less is more sometimes.

Okay, so onto the good stuff!

Here are the rules to enter the giveaway (all three must be completed to qualify as one entry):
1. Be a follower of this blog
3. Comment on this post stating that both have been done

Ways to gain an EXTRA entry (the first three must be done FIRST)
1. "Share" this post on your facebook page
2. Tag someone you think would like to enter the giveaway on either your "share" or the one that I will "share" on my facebook page. Each person tagged is an additional entry. 
3. Refer a friend to be a follower of this blog (be sure to leave me a comment below letting me know which friend you referred. Each additional friend referred as a "follower" will count as an additional entry.)

Also, there is a prize for EVERYONE! Agnes and Dora has graciously given all of my readers 15% off of any online purchase for the entire month of January if you use the code: 

HALL15

So, now that all of that is out of the way, happy shopping, everyone! The contest will be open for one week, and the winner will be announced at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, January 21st. I will choose the winner via random.org.

Have fun! Thanks, Agnes and Dora!

-L

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Addressing Some Questions as of Late



Hey everyone! So just a quick little post today. Over the last week or two, I've been absolutely overwhelmed (in the BEST way possible) with requests via email, Facebook, text, in person, etc. for specific blog posts, product reviews, guest blogging and collaboration concepts, Q and A sessions, stylist requests and the like. I was even broached about the subject of doing a YouTube channel and legit started laughing at that one...
Anyway, I wanted to quickly point out a few things.

First, the best way to get in touch with me regarding business inquiries is either email or Facebook. Chatting in person is totally fine by me, but it's harder for me to keep track of it all if it's not "written down" somewhere. You can find me on Facebook here, or email me at: alyssalynnhall5@yahoo.com. Also there is a link at the top of my blog where you can find ways to get in touch with me about any of these types of inquiries.

Secondly, I wanted to really, truly THANK all of the people who are not only following this blog, but have shared it with their friends. Thank you for encouraging people to become "followers" and to subscribe by email. I typically post a link to my blog posts to Facebook, but I'll be leaning away from that a bit I think. I'll still share them to my Facebook wall from time to time, and I'll be sharing THIS post, so it's not like I'm anti linking blogs to social media. But that being said please, "follow" my blog or subscribe by email and encourage your friends to "follow" my blog as well. I get a lot of comments about my posts on the link that I post to Facebook and that feedback is so awesome for future posts. But I'd like to gear that toward the blog itself, instead of on the link to Facebook. PLEASE feel free to "share" my posts on your own Facebook. I wouldn't and couldn't ever discourage that. It's so fun to find out that I have followers of my blog that have found me through others' sharing of my posts or giveaways. I'm simply saying that I would like the discussion and feedback from my blog to occur here, as opposed to my links shared to social media. This will help me to use that feedback to what it is that you'd like to see me blog about!!

And finally, I have some awesome reviews and giveaways coming up here in the next few weeks, but I'd really like some feedback from all of YOU. Please, tell me what you'd like to see. I've had requests like: tutorials, more outfit posts, more makeup posts, more giveaways, more reviews, etc. Tell me what you think! Let's build this out to something incredible together.

I've really appreciated all the support (especially as of late) from some great people that I truly consider to be my friends. Thanks for your support, your "atta girl" attitude toward me, and the support of my dreams and the changes that are happening in my life to move toward those dreams (another post entirely--stay tuned). I walk a fine line with trying to convey how much FUN I think all of this "stuff" is (makeup, clothes, styling, etc.) and making sure my readers, my friends, my family and my community know that I don't think that the "stuff" is more important than what really matters. I also want to acknowledge that though I'm working toward that professional training, at this point I'm NOT a professional makeup artist, I don't have a fashion degree yet, and I DON'T for one second think that I'm one bit better or smarter than anyone else out there who just loves to experiment with fashion and styling as much as I do. I love the idea of collaborations and guest posts, so like I said, please feel free to contact me at any time for those things.

So, in short, the support has been phenomenal and I really appreciate it.

Thanks, everyone!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wait Just a Minute, Here

They grow up so fast and I often struggle with finding the balance between taking in the moment, mourning the past and the outgrown, and deciding if I'm more scared of them growing up or more excited to watch it happen. 

And there are so many times that they are just so darned independent. Too independent, if you ask me, but not really. Just growing and learning; trying and failing and spilling but learning.

And I want to say, "Now wait just a minute, here! I have not said it's okay for you to get bigger, or know how to pour your own juice, or repeat swear words, or be embarrassed by my mommyness or write your freaking name."

And then sometimes they still just need to be held.

So do I.


-L

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My 2013 Beauty Awards

I was not paid for any of these reviews or given any of these products gratis by the companies they represent.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I'm probably supposed to post something sappy about goals and new beginnings and all of that. But that crap is for my journal. And a facebook post or two. I just want to talk about makeup and girly stuff...

So, I really wanted to highlight some of the beauty (hair and makeup mostly) products I discovered over the last year, repurchased over the last year, fell in love with over the last year and decided wasn't worth my spit in the last year. Obviously, I can't name everything...but tell me your faves and flops in the comments.

Repurchases: 
Okay, so for me to repurchase something (or even hit pan in general before I get bored) is a big deal. Usually, by the time I run out of a product, I'm over it and onto something new. But there are a few things I've repurchased this year. I'll keep it snappy, ya'll.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
Awesome setting powder. Also works well over just concealer for some "no makeup makeup". Lasts a long time. Not too expensive. Don't overuse or it looks powdery.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
I've blogged about this before. I originally got a sample size in my Ipsy and immediately bought a full size when the small one was gone. Gives me body and waves without making my hair frizzy, crunchy or anything else that sucks.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner
I have blogged about these before as well. I love them. All of them. I would repurchase all the colors but the only one I used enough of to repurchase was brown.

Loreal Telescopic Mascara

My go-to mascara. I love it. I've used it since high school and every time I try something else I'm disappointed. Don't get the other types in the telescopic line. Stay with the original or Carbon Black.

Egyptian Magic Cream

I have blogged about this in the past and I'm still loving it. I use this on: my face, my hair, my sunburns, my kids' sunburns, Ellie's eczema, dry hands, etc.

Almay Lipgloss

Doesn't leave that gross film, not super pigmented but great for over lipstick or alone when you don't want to have a lot going on. Not sticky at all.

NYX Butter Gloss
Great color payoff, not super sticky (more sticky than Almay but not in a bad way), no gross film. I especially love the red one in the color Cherry Pie.

ELF Mineral Eye Primer

Nothing else works as well...

Favorites:
As far as favorites go, I've had a few this year that I haven't changed my mind about and I still love. Here ya go:

Living Proof Style Extender
I don't feel like there is a HUGE difference between my hair with our without this until the next day, when it doesn't look like hell. So, there's that.

ELF Studio Brushes
Specifically the flat top powder brush (Think sigma F80) and the kabuki brush

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
Okay, this would be on my repurchase list but I haven't ran out yet. I absolutely love this. I am a fan for life. All the things you want in a concealer? Yep. No cakey. No settling. Full coverage. Etc. The price tag blows though. Like $30ish.

Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish
Yeah, if I use a topcoat this lasts without chips for a full week. 'Nuff said.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
I literally have used this almost every single day since I purchased it. I use it for a brow filler, also. Matte shades except for "venus" which is a great base and highlighter. The darker colors are great for definition, creases and even a liner.

Flops:
There have been a few things this year that I've purchased either on a whim or by recommendation that frankly suck. And nothing makes me more mad than when I waste my money.

Not Your Mothers Sea Salt Spray
Only use this if you like super tangly hair that is frizzy and doesn't curl or wave at all. Oh, and if you've used this, "crunch" has new meaning to you. Beach Babe? More like Beach, please...

Moroccan Sea Salt Spray
See description for previous spray. Ditto.

Big Sexy Hair Root Pump
People need to freaking stop saying this is good stuff. For short hair? Yeah, it's alright. Long hair? Hello greaseball and crispy roots. Stop saying it's good. Just stop.

Revlon Colorstay Lipliner in Sienna
This sucks.

Tresemme Dry Shampoo
If you like your hair to feel like straw, you should get this.

Here are a few things I'm looking to try this year. Let me know if you've tried any and if I should take the plunge or keep my boots on.

MAC Mineralized Skin Finish

Which shade? Worth the money? Any dupes?

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

I know, I know. Everyone already has it. But...should I, too? Or is it too matte? (If that's possible.)

Prada Candy Perfume

How long does the scent last? I'm not paying that much for perfume that lasts for a half an hour.

Well, happy 2014, everyone. Go ahead and insert something heartwarming and thoughtful about new beginnings >here< if it makes you feel better about this post that really doesn't have a lot of depth. But I don't care...

That's why I wrote it.

-L