Nail Tutorial: Backslashes and Polka Dots

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If you are keeping up with the latest fashion weather forecast, you will know that neon shades are expected to be extremely popular this spring. What better way to embrace this trend, than on your nails?

TOOLS: One regular nail polish, and one nail art pen. I used 'Strawberry Electric' by Revlon, and a black nail art polish from Art Deco.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Paint your nails with your base color.
2. Using the color with the nail art brush, paint a a few backslashes on the upper half of your nail.
3. Next, paint backslashes going in the opposite direction on the bottom half of your nail.
4. Add 2 rows of polka dots to the design you just made: 1 row above, and 1 row below.
5. Repeat this process on the rest of your nails.


Nail design inspired by Refinery29.com

Sam Edelman for American Eagle

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My friend/classmate, A, who loves searching for bargains as much as I do, told me about a recent collaboration between American Eagle and Sam Edelman. I've always been a fan of Sam Edelman, though, I've never been courageous enough to splurge on a pair of the designer's shoes.

The prices from AE's new line range from $39.50 to $59.50. An original pair of SE shoes can range from $49.95 to $274.95. I think I've finally found my opportunity.


all images via ae.com //edited by SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

Turquoise Rings

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nail polish: 'Valentine' via Revlon

I've always had a thing for turquoise rings. They have the ability to add a pop of color to any outfit, and are subtle enough for every day wear. The one you see above, I got while on vacation with my family in Hawaii. If you ever get the chance to go to Honolulu, I highly recommend going to the International Market. Though, you may want to sharpen up on your bartering skills beforehand, as the vendors there can get quite aggressive.

*Flower via ASOS

2. Large Turquoise Stone Ring via Lucky Brand $35
3. Turquoise Geyser Ring via Thread Sense $14
4. Turquoise Sedona Ring via 1928 $20
5. Turquoise Stretch Ring via Liz Claiborne for JC Penney $10
6. Unique Turquoise Ring via Lulu's $12

We Have A Winner

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Thank you to everyone who entered the Juicy Couture giveaway! There were an overwhelming number of entries, which I couldn't have been more thrilled about. Unfortunately, in the end, there can only be one winner. And that winner is:


Don't fret if you didn't win this giveaway, because I am holding another one as we speak. Click here to win $25 to sneakpeeq!

GIVEAWAY: $25 to sneakpeeq [closed]

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I initially started this blog to share tips and tricks on how to save money as a college student. As some of you know, finding deals takes a bit of effort, which sometimes, is not worth the trouble. A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a company called sneakpeeq, which is a lot like Rue La La and Hautelook (if you're familiar with those). Long story short: sneakpeeq is a convenient website that gives you discounts on items you would find full-price elsewhere.

A few things I found on the site: top--Margo Morrison NY jewelry; bottom-- KOKO Indian-Inspired pillows (These items may not be on the site when the winner is announced. Sneakpeeq rotates the brands they feature every few days.)

And finally, the exciting part: sneakpeeq is giving away 20% off your next purchase just for entering, plus a chance at the Grand Prize: one winner will receive a $25 gift card to use on your favorite food, style and home products.

To enter: Click here and join sneakpeeq (and if you want, leave me a comment telling me you entered)! The giveaway closes on 3/7/12 at 11:59 PST, and the winner will be announced shortly after. Note: you must click on the link provided to be entered, as it was made specifically for this giveaway.


*I was not paid for holding this giveaway, nor did I receive any freebies.

Believe

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My best friend, R, says that "no one has the right to make you feel small". Even though I agree with this quote 110%,  it can be hard not to question your abilities when someone you're supposed to look up to tells you that you are not capable of accomplishing your dreams.

In moments like these, I want you all to know that you are what you believe. At the end of the day, regardless of all the negative things you've been told, you are still the unique and amazing person you have always been. Don't ever let anyone bring you down, especially when they are oblivious to who you truly are.

Topsy Tail

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I absolutely love doing hair. When my friend/classmate, M, sported a unique side ponytail this past week, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to re-create it. Not only did it remind me of Taylor Swift's hair from the 2011 AMA's, it brought back a bit of nostalgia from my childhood; a time where I had been obsessed with a tool called the Topsy Tail.

TOOLS: 1 hair tie, and hairspray (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Tie hair into a low side ponytail.
2. Loosen the ponytail by gently tugging the hair tie downwards.
3. Split the hair that is above the base of the ponytail into 2 parts to create an opening (see picture).
4. Lift the ponytail with your left hand, and with your right hand, pull it straight down into the opening.
5. Optional: To finish the look, lightly mist your hair with hairspray.

Ear Candy

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My favorite go-to accessory of the moment: obnoxiously large stud earrings. I purchased my first pair back in high school for a homecoming dance, and have been obsessed ever since.

My picks under $50:
1. House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Button Earrings $30
2. House of Harlow 1960 Star Earrings $49
3. ASOS Zig Zag Triangle Enamel Earrings $18
4. Madewell Pyramid Post Earrings  $18
5. Juicy Couture Princess Stud Earrings $30 SALE
6. Rachel Faux Pearl Stud Earrings via Nordstrom $6
7. Kate Spade New York Gumdrops Stud Earrings $38

Click here to enter my Juicy Couture heart studs giveaway!

GIVEAWAY: Juicy Couture Earrings [CLOSED]

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"What's that? SWEATshirt DRESSshirt is having a giveaway?"


In celebration of my 2-year blog-aversary month, Valentine's Day, and all the support you guys have given me, I will be giving away a pair of Juicy Couture earrings! You can enter up to 4 times:

1. Mandatory: Follow me on Blogger via Google Friend Connect.

Extra entries:
2. Blog about this giveaway.
4. Follow me on Twitter.

Rules:
-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
-If you blog about this giveaway, be sure to include a link to your post in your comment.
-Be sure to leave your email in at least one of your entries so I have a way to contact you if you win.
-Maximum 4 entries per person.


Other info
-Giveaway will end on 2/25/12 by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time **Deadline extended!
-The winner will be drawn using a random number generator.
-This giveaway was not sponsored.
-Open to ALL readers!

Pleats

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Pleated skirts were something I remember my mother wearing during the 90's. Although it has been a few years since they've been popular, it seems that their reputation hasn't changed. They're still how I've always remembered them: innocent, ladylike, and full of charm.

1. Jason Wu for Target Pleated Skirt
2. Jason Wu for Target Poplin Dress
3. Pleat Front Dress via Delia's
4. Sweet Pleats Mini Skirt via Shop Ruche

DIY: Heart Chain Link

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Looking for some last minute Valentine's Day decorations for your party/girl's night/date? When hanging out out with my friends K^2 (they're twins!) and B, the other night, K showed me how to make this simple and cute heart chain link. All you need are a few pieces of colored paper, scissors, and a stapler.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Cut your colored paper into strips that are approximately 1.5 inches in width. If you're using 8.5"x11" paper, you're going to want to cut it horizontally, or, as many people learned to call it, "hotdog style".

2. Take one strip, and fold it in half so that it looks like a V. Bend the ends of the strips toward the inside of the V so that the strip resembles a heart.

3. Take another strip, fold it in half, and sandwich it between the top of the heart you just created.

4. Staple the two strips together (see picture below). Depending on whether you want to make a chain link or a wreath, repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach a desired length.




Wisdom

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At one point in time, we will all experience something that makes us feel like we aren't good enough. That is, regardless of whether we have tried our best or not. In times like these, all you can do is tell yourself that you have done all you can, and that "you are exactly where you should be... doing exactly what you should be doing."

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough (whether it is directly or indirectly), because if you have the passion, motivation, talent, and perseverance, you will get to where you want to be.

My BFF, R, gave me this card around Christmastime. Whenever I'm feeling discouraged about my future (as I had been this week), I pull this out of my desk, and read it several times.

Nail Polish Favorites

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I've posted about nail polish trends, tutorials, and deals, but never about all-time favorites. Over the years, I've accumulated a list of my frequent go-to colors, regardless of the season. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Black + White Art Deco Nail Art Polish
2. 'Only Gold For Me' SEPHORA by OPI
3. 'Strawberry Electric' Revlon
4. 'Big Apple Red' OPI
5. 'Valentine' Revlon
6. 'For Audrey' China Glaze
7. 'Lavender' F21
8. 'Conquistadorable Color' OPI

leopard tutorial here //heart tutorial here
marble tutorial here

*oops, I forgot to mention: 'Mint Sorbet' is by Sally Hansen

Stripes

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top: Robin K. via Nordstrom //jeggings: American Eagle //watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom //boots: Frye

Something I've found myself reaching for a lot lately: striped shirts. There is just something about them that make an outfit look simple, yet chic. Who's with me on this?


Two

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Two years ago, on this day, I made my first blog post. Since then, I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support. I cannot thank all of you enough.

Cheers, to another fantastic year!

DIY: Toilet Paper Roll Art

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After being accepted into graduate school, and moving into my new apartment, I decided that my decor was going to be one thing: sophisticated. That meant letting go of the bulletin board that I had covered in pictures from high school, and the stockpile of Seventeen Magazine clippings I used to adore. 

While on the hunt for pieces to suit my new room, I came across a wall decoration, similar to the one you see above, on Pinterest. Budget friendly, and minimal materials? Yes, please!

TOOLS: toilet paper rolls/paper towel rolls (I had 5 TP rolls and 3 PT rolls), scissors, and staples or glue. If you decide to use glue, you will need paperclips to hold the petals in place while they dry.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Collect as many toilet paper/paper towel rolls as you can. I had 5 TP and 3 PT rolls, which ended up making a flower that was about a foot in diameter.

2. If you are using TP rolls: cut the roll in half, and then cut each half into thirds. If you are using PT rolls: Cut each roll in half, then cut each half into fourths.

3. Arrange 7 petals into a flower-like design, and begin stapling/gluing. Continue to add petals around the design until a desired size is reached.

4. Optional: for a different look, spray paint the entire thing when you are done. In this case, you may not want to use staples, as they will be visible through the paint.



Hair We Go Again

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I'm a big fan of at-home hair care rituals that require little to no effort. Call me lazy, but I'd rather not put extra time into something that can be done in as little as 5 minutes. That said, I've discovered several products that I can quickly use while in the shower and during my daily routine. Here they are in detail:

1. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle (see my review for this product here)
2. L'oreal Eversleek deep conditioner --I alternate between this one, and #1.
3. Goody headbands --waaay sturdier than the ones from Forever 21. And they're cheap!
4. Goody clear elastic hair ties --these are perfect for side braids, and won't snag your hair.
5. Conair Infiniti ceramic curling iron --has a high heat setting that allows you to get Taylor Swift-esque waves in minutes.
6. GVP straightener --the perfect CHI knock-off. This product also has a high heat setting.
7. L'Occitane volumizing shampoo --made with natural ingredients for clean and healthy hair.
8. Not pictured: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal --basically Argan oil, a product that makes your hair smoother. Use very sparingly, as your hair can get greasy from it.