Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thank You Cards Made Easy (Easier...)

For those of you who were unaware, my birthday was earlier this month (thank you... thank you... I'm still accepting gifts) which was one of the reasons I was inspired to post about this. I also just think that even small acts of kindness in life deserve a bit of thoughtful gratitude.

So, I don't know if it's the same for you and all of your various personal connections, but February has a LOT of Birthdays in it. We have a calendar at work that lists everyone's Birthday throughout the year, and February has, by far, the most. With all of these Birthdays coupled with Valentine's Day in there somewhere (I mean, who knows when?), there are a lot of Thanks to give out during the year's shortest month. I know that writing out Thank-You cards can be a total pain (I just got married, OH I KNOW!), but it is oh so important to make sure to give thanks when they are deserved.

Below are some ways I found to make saying Thanks a bit easier:

These Thank You Notes by Kate Spade for Papyrus ($20 for 10 online at Papyrus) are so cute, it's insane. You simply check off which phrase best describes your state of thankfulness and you're good to go! You can choose from, surprised and delighted, over the moon or thanking my lucky stars, adorable! It's probably still a good idea to write a little note in there, as well, but when you're pressed for both time and the right words, these fit the bill!

If we're talking about easy, it doesn't get much easier than sending a beautifully designed e-Thank You Card, no postage required! Paperless Post has a wide range of styles that should fit each and every occasion and, depending on the card, each one ends up costing less and $1. What a deal! You can customize many of the designs to change the color, font and message in order to truly send out a one-of-a-kind sentiment of gratitude. While I will admit that, for me, these lack the personal touch that I feel can only come from a hand-written note, but it's still better than no acknowledgement at all.

There is no doubt a more graceful way to put this, but I like to call this set 'Thank You cards for Dummies' (even though even the act of writing that makes me cringe because I literally hate those ...for Dummies books). I digress, this lovely collection of Thank You notes called A Year of Gratitude ($30, Uncommon Goods) contains 52 assorted cards (one for each month of the year) as well as tips on writing meaningful notes of gratitude, and a journal to record your experience. With these at hand, there should be no reason to not recognize someone's kindness, and you may even begin to notice occasions worthy of giving Thanks where you might not have before.

These cheeky Postcards ($13.60 on Amazon) showcase Artist Vahram Muratyan's modern and whimsical side-by-side comparisons of two of the world's most stylish and enviable cities (bagel vs. baguette, Carrie vs. Amelie, etc.). While these aren't Thank You cards per se, I think that they would still brighten someone's day with your note of gratitude written on the back. I think there is something kind of enchanting about postcards, personally. I just love them, so I would be delighted to get any note written on one of these. Not only does the medium only allow for short, sweet messages, but the cost to send a postcard is .33 versus .45 (soon to be .46), so it will save you a bit of scratch in the long run while still making those special enough to receive them feel the love!

Whatever way that you choose to say Thanks, do it from the heart, and more importantly, do it often. Every bit of generosity deserves to be recognized, and it's not that hard to be thoughful enough to dole out some praise!


Jess K.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fun Pants!

How can you not love a cheap thrill?

These pants came from Forever 21 as did my top, and I am always thrilled when I can find something really interesting and on-trend without going over my (ever-changing) clothing budget. I flat-out refuse to spend too much on things that are super trendy, as if I'm going to drop $300 on a sweatshirt that looks like it was thrifted for $5 just because it walked the runway! Bah!

I initially saw the pants via one of my favorite style blogs, Chasing Davies, and I instantly had to have them. They're definitely a bit daring, but with a neutral top and simple shoes, you'll be looking chic and feeling  good all day!

I put it with a multi-colored, multi-strand necklace that a dear friend gave me as a Christmas gift so the top didn't end up looking too blah

And, of course, my current favorite accessory to show off is my Birthday/Valentine's gift from the Hubby. I've been wanting a nice watch for a while, and my guy really delivered this year (he totally caught me off guard with this one). This is definitely arm candy that I don't have to yell at about how to properly load the dishwasher.

Pants: Forever 21 $24.80 (similar)
Top: Forever 21 (out of stock in Black) $19.80 (similar)
Necklace: Anthropologie (no longer available)
Watch: Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Gap on sale (no longer available) (similar)

I hope you all have some fun shopping adventures and find a piece (or several) that can make you stand out and feel special!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fun Shoes of the Day... For fun!

I just thought I would share the shoes I wore today for fun. They're from the Gap (on sale!). I am really loving all of the animal print that's out in the world lately, and I especially like something that is a departure from Leopard, which I love, but is EVERYWHERE right now.

You can find the shoe style in Leopard (hehe) as well as a super funky Pink Leopard print by following This Link!

Printed shoes are a great way to elevate a simple outfit. For example, I wore these today with a plain black Fit & Flare dress, a Denim Chambray shirt underneath and black tights. A maxim that I like to live by is that you don't have to be rich or a fashion maven to be stylish every day.


ipsy Glam Bag February 2013

The Whole Haul with Makeup Bag

I came home last night, and my February ipsy Glam Bag was in the mailbox! What a nice surprise! I wasn't expecting it until next week, but I'll take a bag of makeup early anytime!

If you're unfamiliar with what an ipsy Glam bag is, it's similar to Birchbox; if you're unfamiliar with Birchbox, where have you been?? Seriously though, both Birchbox and ipsy Bag are quite simply monthly Beauty subscriptions. They send you samples of products on a monthly basis that usually follow the theme of the season/month during which they're sending it. Each box also normally comes with a full-size product, as well, which makes it SO worth the $10 per month.

There are actually several variations of this kind of service around these days, and a friend of mine was kind (crazy?) enough to list each one with their respective details and price comparison. You can check it out Here (it's very informative).

Anyway,  I switched from Birchbox to ipsy two months ago because I began feeling disappointed with the products I was getting from B-box as well as with their customer service. I won't bore you with the details, I just think ipsy is more bang for your buck (or 10 bucks!)

So the products from the February ipsy bag are as follows:

Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Sample

This is a good amount of eyeshadow for a sample, and the colors are nice and neutral (I love eye shadow so when I pulled this out, I got so excited that I ripped it open before the photo... sorry). The lighter ones have a more buttery texture than their darker counterparts, but I find that happens often with all eye shadows when they go up in pigmentation. This is one of those brands that makes those HUGE eye palettes (you can check it out Here ). I don't know if I would ever buy one of those, but I can see the appeal. 

Lash Card for ipsy

What you see here is a curved card that is meant to be held behind one's eyelashes as she applies mascara to prevent smudging on the eyelid (You can check it out Here). Okay, as interesting of an idea as this is, I know for a FACT that I'll never use it. I just don't have time in the morning to do all of that. It shocks me every day that I have time for eyeliner, so this will be a pass. Any of my friends reading out there who want this, let me know and it's yours.

Pop Beauty Mascara Sample

This is a mascara sample from Pop Beauty. I've actually never heard of this brand before, but I love mascara, and especially mascara samples (great for travel), so I was excited about this. I'm actually not sure what particular type of mascara that this one is, but all of their eye makeup can be found Here.

Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer

I'm was super excited about this, because I've actually been looking to try a Primer that's pore minimizing but does not mattify for a while now. I've been kind of, sort of boycotting Pixi recently after being severely disappointed in some of their products, but I wore this under my foundation today and it's still feeling good, so, we'll see. You can (and should!) buy Pixi products at Target Here.

MICA Beauty Gel Eyeliner

Last but hardly least, is a HUGE sample (I think it's as big as the full size, but just doesn't include an application brush) of Gel Eyeliner in black. I LOVE gel eyeliner like it's my own hypothetical eyeliner baby. It has the look of liquid liner but applies like a dream even with a cheap $3 angle brush (which is what I use). This one did not disappoint with a lovely application and a true black pigment. I don't know if I could see myself dropping $35 on it when MAC makes a better than average version for $14, but it's great to be able to enjoy it while it lasts. If you, however are willing to take a $35 eyeliner plunge, be my guest and follow this link!

If you'd like to join ipsy or just want more info Click Here 

Thanks for reading, you beautiful creatures!

Jess K.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Little Red Dresses for V-day and Beyond

So, if you're like me, Valentine's really isn't one of those occasions that you go all out for (and if you're not like me, have fun on your horse and carriage ride and stop showing off!). It's not that there is no romance in my relationship, but we have found over time that the more all out that we try to go, the more complicated and weird things end up being. For me (or us), grand gestures of romance tend to suck out more romance than they create. We'd prefer to just do something casual where we can be stupid together.

All of that being said, I'm still a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, whatever that occasion may be. I also just think that there is a lot you can do with a good Little Red Dress that in some ways, your favorite LBD can't quite accomplish. A LRD will get you noticed for the right reasons, if worn appropriately, while sometimes a LBD can look like just another dress in the crowd.

So, if you're looking for a last-minute V-day look (all of these selections can be purchased in the store except for the one from ASOS), or you just want to add a little punch to your wardrobe, I suggest picking up one of these 4-seasons darlings before they're gone!

From the Top-Left:
Madewell Threadlines Dress in Countess Rose - $120
Old Navy Tee Dress in Amaryllis Red - $24.94
Pintucked Ponte Dress in Red - $148.00

*My personal fave!

Happy shopping and I hope every lovely lady gets just what she wants this V-day (romantic or otherwise)

Jess K.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Birthday for Two

Another Birthday weekend is about to draw to a close. It was actually a pretty low-key occasion this year. Just lots of food instead of a little bit of food followed by a lot of beer, which is how almost every other year plays out. 

Dan and I finally went to Mindy's Hot Chocolate which sure was an experience. The above dessert was really the highlight (Hot Chocolate 4 ways in one dessert, come on...), but everything really was delicious. I guess they don't give those James Beard awards to just ANY old chef.

That was followed the next day by a raucous time at Heaven on Seven with my Mom and Stepdad which was as good as it was loud (I don't know if a 4 piece band in a small restaurant is ever a super good idea), however the food was also delicious. My Mom and I are lucky (?) enough to have our birthdays 1 week apart, so we always celebrate them together. How cute are we?

Seeing as I have kicked off the last year of my 20's in such a low-key way, maybe this is a sign of things to come in the impending year. But, being that I'm a girl who loves restaurants, bars and concerts, I can sincerely say that I hope not.