Instagram

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SATIN > COTTON


Satin > cotton isn't exactly a groundbreaking proclamation. Nevertheless, a lot of you have been waiting to hear my thoughts on satin and silk pillowcases. I happened to find a bunch of satin pillowcases at Marshalls. On a whim, I bought pillowcases from 2 of the brands that Marshalls was stocking. 

MAJOR TIP: Do NOT buy the pillowcases by a brand called "revive". They suck. Not only do they feel like shit. They are shit. After one wash, they both had holes where the seams had easily come apart. They retailed for $14.99 at Marshalls....DO buy the other brand I've seen permeating their beauty section. I believe it's called "Morning Glamour". So far I've been using & washing the satin pillowcases by Morning Glamour for about 3 months, just fine. Excellent quality. 

So, when you're bargain-shopping at Marshalls, keep that major tip on what brand to buy in mind so you don't waste your time, money or patience!
Okay, so let's discuss results. So far, my experience using these satin pillowcases has been stellar. I love them! I can't go back to our cotton ones...bae can have them. It's satin for me. Now, obviously I would love to get silk cases but they are significantly pricier. So, for now, I've settled for these satin ones and they seem to be doing the trick. 

I have found that the best and most obvious benefit from using satin pillow cases is how it seriously extends my blowout. Which limits my reliance on dry shampoo. It really does wonders for my hair. The satin, as opposed to cotton, helps keep my hairstyle longer because there's a lot less oil buildup. My hair easily glides against the slick satin, letting it breathe, which also cuts down on breakage. Whereas cotton holds my hair in place while smothering it in trapped hair & facial oils. 
Another supposed benefit from the light slick texture of the satin is it helps guard against pesky, inevitable facial wrinkles! Sign me up. Ask me in 10 years on the wrinkles-claim!

The satin allows better air flow than cotton. So, you'll notice you probably won't overheat as much while you're sleeping as you would with cotton, which traps the heat your body produces.....totally sounds like I'm shitting on cotton. Not true. I just prefer to use satin for my pillowcases now that I've experienced the difference. I just sleep better on satin. It feels so nice on my face and I think, facilitates me falling asleep faster.

So, I'm sure if these satin pillowcases are working wonders on my hair then I can only assume silk ones must be amazing....till I decide to splurge, satin it is! And speaking of satin, I've linked my satin pajamas below. Because naturally, these are a must while you wait to splurge on silk jammies too.
NUDE SATIN PAJAMA SET ($45) CLICK HERE!

BLUSH SATIN PAJAMA SET ($45) CLICK HERE!

*Both sets are from online retailer, Missguided. For sizing references mine are a size 4. Although I could easily take a 6 and and 8 if I really want a baggy look. When I got my pajama sets, it was during a site-wide 50% OFF sale. SCORE. Missguided has sales ALL the time, so sign up for their emails to be in the know!

XO



SHARE:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Smoooooty time!


If you follow me via my instagram and/or snapchat channels, then you know all about my latest habit. Strawberry-banana smoothies. Almost daily. Besides being yummy, they're so good for you! And I notoriously skip out on breakfast because I can only really stomach coffee and a croissant in the weee hours of the day. So, smoothies around lunch-time are perfect.

I basically went from drinking hot tea every day in the fall/winter to now drinking smoothies during the spring/summer....so here's a super quick post on 

A) what I do to simplify the process 
& 
B) what exact ingredients I use because everybody does it differently.


Every Sunday I get fresh strawberries, that I wash, chop & portion-out into sandwich bags & pop them into the freezer. Every day (more or less) I take out a pre-portioned-out bag of strawberries to toss into the blender.

Strawberries, frozen, taste just fine! Don't worry about them losing their taste. Granted, I eat these all within the week and always start over with a fresh batch for the following week.



I do NOT freeze my bananas! Strawberries, yes. Naners, nope. I always toss in a fresh banana. Mainly because bananas can obviously sit out on your counter all week & are good to go. Buuuut, frozen bananas are just, ew. For lack of a better explanation. They get all dark and squishy and um, no thanks. NO need to freeze bananas. Takes 2 second to peel and put in the blender.



So, here's exactly what I put into my smoothie:

- 1/3 cup Milk (whatever your preference)
- toss in those frozen strawberries
- one fresh banana
- 3 generous scoops of ice cream (again, your preference. My fave is Tillamook vanilla bean.) Not a fan of Dreyers btw.
- honey to taste. I use honey instead of sugar to sweeten it up. so good!
- lastly I toss in a few ice cubes at the end, after the smoothie has already been blended up. Ices cubes at the end give it a nice extra chill!

By the way, my blender is the shit. It's a Waring Pro. And it's a champ.


And that's all she wrote!

Enjoy!


SHARE:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

city hall chic - ALL the details from my elopement


A little over a month ago Chris & I decided to elope. Something we thought would be super easy and fun. Originally, our plan was to get married while we were staying in Palm Springs. But the more I got into planning our escapade, the more I started feeling like I was planning a whole wedding, price tag included...

- just for my bouquet, I was quoted at $400
- paperwork + legal officiant to marry us, we were looking at $4-600
- photographer $3-400
- hair + makeup $2-400
- tried looking into a "cheaper" idea of a traveling wedding officiant who then needed us to pay for their motel room...ugh
- haven't even tacked on our hotel + flights yet....how is this eloping??

So, at this point I'm sure some of you are like, "if you're eloping why the heck would you need any of this stuff? don't you just go to the court house and sign some papers??"

Absolutely. If that's how you want to elope, that is absolutely your prerogative. And that is so not me. It may have been my second wedding, but this was Chris' first. And even though he couldn't care less about flowers, or hair, or photos, I wanted him to still have all those wedding day experiences! And he loved every detail like I knew he would....because naturally, there was NO wedding planner. Eloping meant I had to pull something together, and pull it together fast!

And after taking into account what it would actually cost to elope in Palm Springs, I decided to see how I could pull it off at home in the Bay Area for a fraction of the cost.

So, here's how I pulled it off. I'm giving you every detail + links and information to everyone who helped pull off this perfect little Spring elopement.



THE DRESS



Let's talk about the dress first. Because it's my favorite thing in my wardrobe right now. This spectacular white confection is made by self-portrait. Major tip: I bought my dress straight from the self-portrait website. My dress was not only shipped directly from London, but it was almost $200 less because of the conversion rate since I paid in pounds and not dollars. 320 pounds coverts to $412 which is more or less what I paid. I believe my total was $420. Yassssss....

*If you were to purchase this dress right now from Nordstrom (as an example) you would pay $545 + $50 in taxes, which comes to about $600 for the dress.

I am over the moon with this dress. Hello! She has pockets! And the fabric...intricate and heavy...just exquisite to touch and to look at. It's just beautiful. And...I will most certainly be able to wear it again. The self-portrait lace frill midi dress in white (320 pounds = to $412.22) is available for purchase HERE!


THE VENUE


Driving along one day, it suddenly occurred to me that I wanted to get married at a gorgeous old Victorian that I had swirling in the back of my mind. Specifically, the oldest Victorian in our city. Rengstorff House was one of the first houses built in Mountain View, around 1867, by Henry Rengstorff. I had checked out the property as a potential site for a photo shoot...and now I had the perfect shoot plan. My elopement.

I wanted this beauty to be the backdrop for our basic but sweet little elopement. So, I emailed who I needed to email via the City of Mountain View, and discovered that I could essentially elope on the property, for free. 

Here's why: I applied for an amateur photo shoot permit. Meaning, there would not be a professional photo shoot happening on the property. With a total of about 8 people, my mother being our main photographer, no props except for a table to sign our marriage license, we qualified for the amateur photo shoot permit - which happens to be free of charge.

So, I managed to get us on the property as an amateur wedding photo shoot that was to be featured on my website...never mind that we would also be casually signing a real marriage license and making it official too...sneaky, sneaky! 

It's funny because a lot of you guys totally thought I was just shooting a wedding scene for the site, being that we are in the thick of wedding season...lol...I had a lot of you fooled too.

Professional shoots and weddings at Rengstorff House are commonplace and obviously have a price tag. Weddings at Rengstorff House are absolutely beautiful, set among English gardens, there's space for small and large parties. I highly recommend for Bay Area brides looking for a sweet location. It's breathtaking on a late Summer afternoon.


HAIR + MAKEUP


I waited about 6 months to color my hair. And when I did, I did it a few days before I eloped (risky!) and I did it at Aveda. I wanted my hair an even silvery-blonde for my wedding day. I went to master artist, Marissa at Aveda Atelier Salon in Santana Row in San Jose. 

I waited 6 months to touch my hair with bleach because it was damaged and needed time to chill. And I didn't want my hair to fall out. So, I went to Aveda because they know what's up when it comes to color. And an elopement/wedding is no time to mess around when it comes to hair color.

Full highlights ($200) + a much-needed haircut ($100) Note that these prices are reflective of a master artist. You can always go to Aveda and ask about other stylists who charge less depending on their level of expertise. All Aveda stylists are excellent. 

Master Artist, Marissa Domanico can be found at Atelier Salon & Studio in San Jose (408) 244-4222. AtelierSalon.com.

*For the day of my elopement, I had my usual hairstylist (Jesus Yanez of Hair by Chuy) simply do a blowout and then straighten my hair. I wanted my hair straight and simple for a chic look under my pop of a veil. The dress I chose to wear was va-va-voom...wild hair would have been overkill and almost defeating the purpose of our simple and sweet styled elopement.

To book an appointment with Hair by Chuy (based in Sunnyvale), text or call: (408) 316-4652. I've been going to Chuy for 15 years.


**My makeup was done c/o NARS beauty business manager Stephanie Ramirez, who you can typically find at the NARS counter at Bloomingdale's in Stanford shopping center in Palo Alto.

Stephanie is literally the only girl I trust to do my makeup when I need it to be photo-shoot worthy. She gets my easy-breezy, everyday style and basically brings out an even more gorgeous version of myself. 

I wanted my wedding makeup to be chic with a hint of sultry, but still maintaining a look of innocence. Brownish/coppery tones around my eyes (no lashes, just mascara) + nude/pinkish glossy lips did the trick.

Stephanie is fast, efficient, excellent and friendly. Done & done. Bay Area Brides? She charges $150 and bridesmaids $125. Stephanie can be reached at: (408) 709-9341.


PHOTOGRAPHERS


So, bearing in mind this was an elopement, and keeping with our simplistic theme, we had no professional photography. Instead, we had two professional-grade Canon cameras, my mom, my sister and my friends with their cell phones.


My mom took the majority of our rained-out elopement photos and my sister helped out too, both using Canon cameras. My mom and my sister are used to taking my pictures and used to the Canon cameras because it's what we always use for my photos you see on the website. My family is my crew. And that was definitely to my benefit.

To capture some fun vhs-styled video, I had a friend use the "VHS Cam" app on my cell phone. It provided us with just the right grainy, vintage-ish captures I was going for. There was a mood and a tone I was going for, and somehow, even with all the rain, it worked out. And in the end, I did not have to pay my friends and family for taking pictures. Naturally, I sifted and then edited the shots I loved the most. Typical Virgo - needing to be in control of every aspect.


VEHICLE


Not one to skimp on this event, I wanted to have a cute convertible to seal the deal with our fun elopement pictures. I had this vision of a black car with white cans streaming from the back, as we drive off to...to...to...well, back to our house for pizza and bourbon as it turned out...lol...we'll get to the reception...

So, renting a sexy car, even for an hour, can set you back $1000 or more. I kid you not. Pretty cars cost $$$. Even if you just want it for a picture. 

Get creative. I asked my sister and her boyfriend because cars are what make them happy. They know cars. They have too many of them. I knew they were who I needed to ask. Surely if they couldn't help me out, they would know someone who could. Low and behold, they came through with an uncle's old but sweeeet Mercedes. A black convertible that wasn't too old and wasn't too new. It was just right. And we got to borrow it, free of charge. Good thing we had umbrellas went it started raining and the convertible top wouldn't go back up....lol



Always ask around. Ask friends. Ask family. You never know who's going to be able to hook you up, especially if you mention it's for your special day.


FLOWERS


I have to admit, I am a lucky lady to be surrounded by talented floral magicians....and even luckier to call them my friends. Not surprisingly, as soon as I knew I would be eloping here in the Bay Area, I contacted my sweet friend, Crispy of Natalini Flowers. I gave her photos of what I had in mind and she whipped up the most perfect bouquet and flowers for our table-setting to boot. 

Natalini Flowers is family-operated and based out San Francisco, serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area. People often ask, how do I shop or place an order with Natalini?? Crispy creates whatever your heart desires. Her website is not going to be FTD. First of all, Natalini Flowers serves the SF Bay Area only. They are a local florist. Secondly, the best way to contact Natalini about your floral ideas, concepts, wishes is to email or call. You can email Natalini with photos of exactly what you want or descriptions and Crispy will respond to you personally. Call and she will arrange an appointment to meet with you and discuss. 

Natalini Flowers' creations are always better than you imagined them to be. Natalini Flowers by Crispy can be reached here: (415) 503-1690 or email: info@nataliniflowers.com.


ACCOUTERMENTS


Moving on to all the other little details that made up our special day....

Something borrowed, something blue: My fabulous blue satin shoes were none the less from ZARA. Big shocker. And at only $49.90 hardly breaking the bank here. Luckily for you they are still available for purchase HERE!


My lace bridal panties ($39), with a crystal "Bride" scrawled across the bum are by Hanky Panky and available HERE.


My lace garter by Eberjey ($24) is available for purchase HERE.


I got the most beautiful golden metal "French Market" hanger to drape my dress on from BHLDN ($30). The hanger rotates at the neck for ease when photographing. Comes in gold, silver and rose gold. Detachable "bride" ribbon allows the hanger to be used long after your wedding day. 


Etsy is a wondrous destination that simplified my elopement decor, etc. in one swoop. I was able to order everything, including custom-made items, and have them delivered within my 2-week time limit.

I was able to order from Etsy stores:

- my custom-made, retro veil by EllanaCouture ($56)

- our custom-made, shabby-chic wedding car tin-cans by Sabina Hoffman of SabiHUP ($65 for set of 10)


- our custom-made "We Eloped" sign by SweetNCCollective ($50)

- Chris' custom titanium/olive wood-grain wedding ring by Stefano Dimalta of DimaltaGioielli ($160)

- black/white striped table runner for our reception table by FloraTouch ($21)

- my "Mrs. Gehrels" wide-brim, black/white honeymoon hat by Kristine Banks of DesignsBiK ($56)

Amazing, right? Gotta LOVE Etsy shops!


So, what am I missing....a friend, who is ordained, legally married us, so that cost us nothing but a hug and a handshake. 

Our "reception" consisted of nothing more than our close friends and family gathering at our home for pizza and booze! Yup. Very grandiose....lol...I did manage to order about a dozen cupcakes from Sprinkles in Palo Alto. I figured a little dessert couldn't hurt. And I had Sprinkles adorn the tops of the cupcakes with little diamond rings to fit the occasion. Cupcakes were probably $50 for the order I placed.



I think that just about covers every little detail of our elopement! Long and extensive, I know. That was lot of information. But, if you're a bride-to-be or helping plan, hopefully you'll have found this post helpful and inspiring. 

Elopements are supposed to be stress-free and FUN! And even though I still got meticulous with details, we still managed a budget-friendly affair. Money that wasn't spent on a big, over-the-top wedding went towards our lovely honeymoon. And that was definitely money well-spent.



To see our elopement video post, CLICK HERE.

To see our honeymoon in Palm Springs post, CLICK HERE!



SHARE:

Friday, May 26, 2017

like to know it...no thanks


Every so often one of my lovely readers will shoot me a message or comment on instagram, asking me if I know about something called "like-to-know-it". If you're an avid instagrammer, then you more than likely have a pretty good idea or have at the very least heard of "like-to-know-it".

For those unfamiliar, LIKEtoKNOW.it is an app that you download and how it works is it allows you to essentially shop certain influencers outfits via instagram. As the app has updated over time, now you can screen shot an influencers outfit and the shoppable links from his/her outfit will appear in your email. Presto! Now you too can wear what you favorite blogger is wearing, right?

Absolutely. Assuming your favorite blogger/influencer is a part of the LIKEtoKNOW.it group.

So, you've seen these posts on instagram, especially if fashion is your cup of tea. Numerous bloggers/influencers posts will give an easy indication that they are part of the LIKEtoKNOW.it family by simply stating it within their photo captions, hash-tagging #liketoknowit or just simply tap their photos and the "liketoknowit" tag will invariably pop up...



As you can see in the example above, @pamhetlinger not only tagged "liketoknowit" but she also tagged Stuart Weitzman to let you know the designer of the lovely sandals she's wearing & subsequently talking about in her photo's caption. So, here she is giving you the option to check out Weitzman's website yourself in search of the sandals OR you can screen shot her photo and have a link to the sandals sent to your inbox for your shopping convenience. I like that @pamhetlinger is giving me the option...

Back to the point now, and the purpose of this post. Hopefully this will answer your questions as to why you do not see my posts affiliated with this particular network of influencers. Some of you have been surprised to find out that LIKEtoKNOW.it is part of rewardSTYLE. And they are, for lack of a better word, picky upon whom they select to enter their world. And I do not fit the bill. Plain and simple. They don't think enough of my readers are actually shopping my looks...

LIKEtoKNOW.it and rewardSTYLE are monetization platforms that are invite-only.

Meaning if you are a blogger/influencer and you have enough reach social-media wise, these platforms will invite you to join their exclusive network and monetize your instagram feed. So, earning a commission every time someone shops your outfit from instagram.

Years ago, when rewardSTYLE was new, I applied. And I got a very quick rejection letter that said thanks but maybe try again in a few years....because according to their research, algorithms, etc. my social reach was not within their parameters for acceptance.

Think of them kinda like a sorority....and I was never the sorority type anyway.

But let's keep it real here, in my honest opinion, I find "liketoknowit" posts super annoying. HOLD UP! Don't get me wrong, I'm not crapping on influencers for making money. What pisses me off are the girls who ONLY tag "liketoknowit" in their posts and NEVER tag the brands of what they are wearing. Essentially forcing you to download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app, so you can screen shot their photos and then have links to their outfit sent to you. And then they in turn get paid as soon as you purchase via their link. 

See the following photo for a perfect example of a post that is vague in that even though I know it's a Nike shoe, I wouldn't know where exactly she bought her pair on sale because she opted to not tag the retailer, just "liketoknowit"....


I have unfollowed or decidedly not followed a lot of bloggers simply because they NEVER tell you where they got what they are wearing, which is supposed to be what their blog or website is about, typically. It's like they feel that if they tag the brands or the retailers, then it defeats the purpose of monetizing their instagram feed.

Ugh.

Then, there are the girls I follow who not only tag "liketoknowit" BUT also tag the brands. And I like these girls. Because they get it. To me these are the girls that are not just "in it" to make money, but to also spread their fashion sense and style without asking for something in return. Could that be hurting their "bottom line"? Possibly. Slightly. Doubtful in my opinion. Because they reap other rewards, which to me are important in the long-run for the longevity of their brand. 


As you can see above, I now know where her top, skirt and shoes are from. Just by tapping her photo. I am more inclined to follow an influncer who tells me where she got what she is wearing as opposed to an influncer who chooses to be vague. If every time I tap your insta-photo to see what brands you are wearing ONLY to see "liketoknowit" every time, I'm going to unfollow. That blogger/influncer just lost a potential reader, fan, shopper....

While I openly think LIKEtoKNOW.it is annoying, I'm not blind to where I cannot see its perks. For those who do not have time to shop or search the internet for their fashion needs, LIKEtoKNOW.it solves a lot of issues for people on the go or just simply the not fashionably-inclined. For these individuals a shoppable email that pops up with links to exactly what they want is genius.

So, does this answer your questions as to why you do not see "liketoknowit" attached to my posts?? Obviously I know you guys love my outfits and are always waiting to see what I wear next...AND that's why I ALWAYS tag every single brand I am wearing!! My website is about shopping and saving first and foremost. And that's why I tag my brands so you too can shop, save and still look fucking fab. 


Just didn't want you guys thinking I wasn't trying to do you any favors by not being part of LIKEtoKNOW.it....that is a sorority that has to invite me first and by all accounts I'm not a blip on their radar. 

So, as always, just tap my insta-photos and you'll know exactly where I got what. And you all know you can always send me a snapchat, comment on insta, facebook or email me if you have questions or need help with your wardrobe woes....I'm always at your service. 
SHARE:

Monday, May 22, 2017

ELOPED


On April 17th 2017, Chris & I gathered with a handful of friends & family at the oldest Victorian house in Mountain View. And so on a warm, yet rainy afternoon, we eloped at the lovely Rengstorff House.

A friend married us. Our sisters were our witnesses. My mother was our photographer. A friend provided my flowers. And a couple friends were there to capture these fun, grainy, 90s VHS-styled video clips....it was a fun, wet, but most certainly memorable day. Eloping was perfect for us and we wouldn't have had it any other way.


Enjoy this fun video and remember future brides AND groomies....it's YOUR day. It's about YOU. YOUR future. This is what YOU want to do. Don't lose sight of that. If a big party is in order, then do it! But if something quiet and small and romantic is what you want, then do it. Have FUN!

SHARE:
© Shopping, Saving & Sequins. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig