Engagement Gift Ideas

So in case you don’t follow me on social media or missed my post from a few weeks ago, James’ sister Danielle got engaged! I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Danielle for the three years I’ve been dating her brother and consider her a close friend of mine. This past weekend she actually asked me to be her bridesmaid, which makes me even more excited for her next-fall nuptials. All this wedding buzz has me browsing Pinterest and wedding blogs for fun ideas, gowns I think she would look good in and bachelorette party ideas. So prepare for the occasional wedding-themed post on here over the next year.

First up- engagement gifts. While some couples throw extravagant engagement parties to celebrate, others keep it more low-key. Either way, if your BFF, cousin or co-worker gets engaged, the nice thing to do is get her a small gift. Whether it’s something small like a bridal magazine (to help inspire them with wedding ideas) or a custom piece of “mrs” jewelry, they’re sure to appreciate it. My favorites are below- including a lovely picture frame with your favorite photo of the couple and the perfect ring holder.

 

engagement gifts for her

Kate Spade Taken Necklace  |  Kate Spade His and Hers Old Fashioned Glasses  |  Grace Avenue Ring Holder  |  Grace Avenue 8 X 10 Frame |  Subscription to Brides Magazine  |  Our Q&A a Day 3 Year Journal

Who Are Your Trying to Impress?

backhanded compliment

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the evil sister of the back-handed compliment- what I like to call “the rude comment”. A back-handed compliment can be described as “a phrase that sounds like a compliment at first, but is actually an insult in disguise”. Examples that have been said to me recently include:

  • “You’re lucky you’re so skinny- you can probably shop in the kid’s section!”
  • “Have you considered acting? You have such a unique look- they would love you!”
  • “Your hair is so long- have you ever thought of donating it?”

Saying that I’m skinny is usually seen as a compliment in our society, but shopping in the kid’s section as a grown woman is seen as embarrassing. Telling me I should look into acting is a compliment, but saying I have a unique look implies I’m weird-looking. Complimenting me on the length of my hair is a compliment, but to tell me that having long hair means I should automatically donate it is somewhat of an insult. There are things I can’t control (like being naturally skinny) and things I can (like the length of my hair), but neither of those gives you the right for these snappy judgments.

Which brings me to the topic of the “rude comment”, which is when someone glosses over their insult with some flowery words and a smile. Usually the person is an acquaintance and sometimes they are even a family member or friend. Lately, and as far back as college, I’ve been receiving one rude comment in particular. It comes in the form of a question and usually is phrased as “Who are you trying to impress?”

Example 1: Back in my sophomore year of college, I became friendly with a girl who I had 2 classes with during fall semester. We would talk while walking back from class twice a week, so we got to know each other pretty well. She loved to complain about all her boy drama. She complained about having to look perfect every time she was in public so guys would notice her (including never wearing sweatpants in public, always having her makeup done, and religiously hitting the gym). One day after a rant about all of the issues I just listed, she turned to me and said, “You’re so lucky you don’t have to worry about this stuff, since you have a boyfriend and don’t have anyone to impress”.

The context and way in which she said it came off as “You can look ugly and not care about yourself since you’re in a relationship, but my standards as a single girl are set much higher”. It hurt a little, but I knew she wasn’t being malicious so I understood. She was just an insecure girl who said something she shouldn’t have.

Example 2:  Although this isn’t a specific example, rather a mash-up of a few, there are many times where my appearance comes into play with the “Who are you trying to impress” line. One time I curled my hair and then went to a basketball game. My then-friend snapped at me, wondering why I was primping myself to look good for a stupid basketball game. I didn’t realize it was a crime to curl my hair and want it to look nice. Who knew!?

When I wear a nice dress for a night out and all the other girls end up wearing jeans, they’ll playfully ask who I’m trying to impress with my dress. The truth is, I’m looking nice because I want to. I like wearing certain clothes- including a dress that might be tighter. I like wearing makeup. I like doing my hair. I like all of those things, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing them for someone else. It doesn’t mean I’m superficial and it certainly doesn’t warrant judgmental comments.

I wish more people would realize that just because you are a. in a relationship, and b. like to dress nice and wear makeup, doesn’t mean you are or aren’t trying to impress anyone. Asking me “Who are you trying to look good for- you have a boyfriend?” or “Why are you wearing that?” comes off as rude and doesn’t make me value your friendship or opinion all that much.

Has this ever happened to you? What is the best (or worst) back-handed compliment or rude comment you’ve received? 

What Makes Me Sparkle #sparklewithDASANI

This post is sponsored by DASANI, but all opinions are my own. 

I’m just going to put this out there- I’m not a big fan of soda. I would drink it at birthday parties growing up (so maybe 10 times a year?) and occasionally as a mixer when I went to bars in college, but I prefer water and unsweetened tea as my drinks of choice. However, plain old water can be a bit boring, which is where sparkling water comes in. Dasani has recently launched a new product – DASANI Sparkling (a sparkling water). Their sparkling water adds the carbonation of soda, the health benefits of water and a fruit flavor so my tastebuds won’t ever get bored.

As someone who works in marketing and is constantly working to brand herself along with her clients, I can appreciate the branding behind DASANI Sparkling. Yes, it’s sparkling (carbonated) water, but it also sounds glamorous- who wouldn’t want to be described as “sparkling?”

So when DASANI asked me to describe what makes me sparkle, I immediately though of my blog. It sounds silly, but my blog is a hobby that also really makes me feel good about  myself. I get to share my personal struggles and triumphs and there are people out there who actually care. I get to make new friends- online and in real life- and have a huge support system. I have the opportunity to put my writing out there for others to read, and that’s an awesome feeling. My blog is a great opportunity to really show my sparkle, as cheesy as it may sound.

 

DASANI is also currently giving away a grand prize of a Sparkling Getaway- which is a trip to the Westin Diplomat in Ft. Lauderdale which includes airfare, hotel and spa treatments for 4 people. Entering is as easy as uploading a photo of what makes you sparkle to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SparkleWithDASANI. You’ll also want to like @dasaniwater so they can contact you if you win.  The winner will be selected in early August.

 

Finding My Best Fit Ever

This post brought to you by Hollister Co. All opinions are 100% mine.

hollister jeans

When it comes to finding jeans that fit, I often have a hard time. I’m petite- which technically means I’m under 5’3″, so most pants require cuffing or altering in the length. I also have a small waist, hips and legs so most jeans are baggy in all the wrong areas. I’ve often resorted to buying jeans in the kid’s sections just so the waist will fit, only to have them make my butt look crazy (not a good type of crazy, either). I’m also difficult in that if the waist is too high on my pants, it bothers me all day long. So needless to say, I’m not an easy person to buy jeans for.

So when I was introduced to try Hollister’s jeans to find my “Best Fit Ever” I was excited. Although trying on jeans is a pain, I was sure I’d find something with all the different options they carry. I have to admit that I’ve never shopped at Hollister Co before, so I was surprised at all the options they had. I ended up trying on a few to find the best fit, and the Super Skinny came out on top.

 photo 1d2d624a-81b3-4054-b764-9d0717941216_zps157ea987.jpg

Here are a few of the characteristics of their denim offerings:

  • A no-slip waistband with memory stretch that lays flat and doesn’t cut into skin
  • Back pocket placement designed to make your butt look perky and amazing
  • A wide range of washes from super washed out lights to rich dark rinses
  • An array of rises from low rise to super high waisted
  • Expansive fit range, with added sizes

Most importantly, you can get any jeans in store for $20. While you’re at it, why not Follow @HollisterCo on Twitter and Follow @HollisterCo on Instagram.

Visit Sponsor's Site

My Holy Grail Products for Summer

I’ve always been a firm believer that your makeup, skincare and hair routine should switch with the seasons. You won’t see me running out and spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora just because the sun is out a little more (I wish!), but I do rotate products in and out based on the change in the weather. My biggest issues in summer are melting makeup, frizzy flyaways and protecting my skin from the sun. With that being said, here are my holy grail summer beauty products.

holy grail summer beauty

Hair:

The “Wet” Brush- I know people who say “Never use a brush- always use a comb on your curly hair” and I’d like to tell them to just GTFO. Using a comb on my mane of hair would not only take forever, it wouldn’t work. I use the WetBrush after showering or swimming and it works amazingly. It is specially made to be used on wet hair without damaging it. And not to toot my own horn, but my wavy hair is healthy and strong and I use a brush, not a comb. So there.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray- This is by far my favorite “beach waves” spray and I’ve tried quite a few. The scent is amazing- it smells like the beach, so I feel like I’m on vacation even when I’m stuck in an office all day. The product defines my natural waves and adds volume and texture.

Skin:

Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Body Lotion- This lotion has been my summer go-to for years now. I even sometimes use it on my face (I don’t break out, so using body lotion all over isn’t a problem for me). It has a yummy smell, glides on easily and moisturizes skin of all types. A pump bottle lasts me forever and it’s so cheap.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen- I usually just grab whatever sunscreen I can find, since protection is the imporant part, not the brand. However, I’ve consistently loved Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens, especially this Silk Hydration version. It adds hydration as it protects and smells incredible. Yes, I’m one of those people who enjoys the smell of sunscreen.

Makeup:

Essie Nail Polishes- I used to be an OPI girl (which I still do love), but I’ve found that Essie polishes have started to take over my collection. Every summer they come out with a line of pretty, bright shades that I can’t resist. My current favorite is Tart Deco, a coral shade with just a hint of orange.

Stila CC Color Correcting Cream- This is a new favorite of mine. Having used only BB creams in the past (read my Garnier BB cream review here) I was really pleased with my results. The shade I have is a little too dark for everyday wear, so I can only wear it when I’m tan (aka mid-to-late summer). The product blends easily and dissovles into the skin, making it look like you’re not wearing makeup at all.

What are your “holy grail” products for summer?