Upper East Side

Monday, January 22, 2018

| Sweater: Thrifted (GAP) | Skirt: Thrifted | Scarf: Target | Beret: Target |
| Boots: Joules | Purse: Thrifted (Coach) | 

Visiting New York was seriously a dream......and getting to experience the life of the city and what it felt like to be a "newyorker" was so fun. New York truly has so much to offer and taking part in that IRL rather than through movies and TV shows was so amazing. One of my favorite parts every day was walking along the sidewalk in all the different neighborhoods, especially ours.
Our Air bnb was in the Upper East side and each street had something special about it. The avenues had markets and bagel places, coffee shops and restaurants, while the streets themselves were lined with tall historic apartment buildings, all different in their own way.
I have always admired the architecture of New York, especially the neighborhoods themselves, and getting to walk four blocks each day to the subway was the perfect time to admire the doors, iron fences, windows, and stone work. Just think "gossip girl" and that is what our daily walk looked like, not to mention we were a 15 minute walk from the steps of the MET:)
On our Sunday (our second day) we went to brunch with one of my Instagram/blogger friends who recently moved to NY, which was so much fun! Since Sunday was still a frigid 15-20 degrees I layered it up with this look (not pictured, my parka and gloves). I picked a navy wool sweater for the day and paired it with this gray wool skirt I thrifted and altered from Goodwill. Since the look itself was simple I paired my plaid blanket scarf with it to match my red boots. I finished the look off with my cream slouch beret hat (because if you don't wear a hat in NY you will be very cold). As I mentioned my style inspiration for this trip in my last post, this look definitely went more along the lines of preppy with a nod to classic and it was perfect for a low key Sunday excursion.

- Madison 

Pamper Your Skin: Luxurious Eye Cream With VII Code

Friday, January 19, 2018

I've always loved skincare, but I didn't always focus on it specifically for my skin's health. Often times I saw skincare products as a way to clear up my skin and keep blemishes at bay, but throughout the years I have realized that the general healthy of my skin was fading and I needed to make it a priority. I once heard someone say that they used "anti aging" face wash at an early age to be a preventative for the future.....as the years have gone by I have realized that focusing on my skin's health and "youthfulness" right now was something to make a priority. 
With that view in mind I was thrilled when VII Code reached out about doing a collaboration with their Oxygen Eye Cream. Oddly enough, eye cream has never been something I considered adding to my routine, but after learning about the benefits of VII Code's Oxygen Eye Cream I knew it was something I had to add to my daily routine and I am so glad that I did! 
Their Oxygen Eye Cream is packed full of beneficial and antioxidant packed natural ingredients like Elderberries, Jojoba Oil, and Evening Primrose to facilitate the healing and regeneration of damaged skin cells near the eyes. Did you know that under eye skin is the thinnest skin on your face and the most sensitive to products and outside elements.....plus did you know it is also the most prone to thinning over time? With that, why wouldn't you want to use naturally nutrient packed products! It's formula was created to fade wrinkles and signs of aging, firm skin, and treat the look of tired eyes (or dark circles). I am a HUGE believer and supporter of skin products that rely on natural ingredients to restore skin to it's youthful health and glow, and the products at VII Code make that their mission. 
Since receiving the Oxygen Eye cream in December, I have been using it every day, in the morning and evening. I think the one aspect of VII Code's eye cream that stands out to me is it's quality and scent. The first time I used it and experienced it's power I remember the word "LUXURIOUS" coming to mind, because that is exactly how it felt (and smelt) on my skin. Unlike many eye creams that leave your skin feeling heavy and greasy, the Oxygen Eye Cream is designed to be light, absorb well into your skin, and instantly leave your skin feeling moisturized and youthful.....and let me tell you it does all of that! 

My favorite part of my skincare routine might now be my Oxygen Eye Cream! I often wake up in the morning with tired looking eyes (due to late nights, lack of sleep, or general exhaustion) and nothing has ever perked up my eyes like my Oxygen Eye cream. As soon as I swipe on a small dab of the luxurious cream my eyes automatically feel and look more youthful and awake...its truly amazing! It's a great way to pamper your skin every day and I have definitely seen the results of brighter eyes, fading of find wrinkles, and less appearance of dark circles (like seriously, my eyes never looked this good without makeup before!). 

How I Use My Oxygen Eye Cream:
  1. Cleanse my face (both morning and evening).
  2. Gently pat my face dry with a towel.
  3. Swipe a small pea sized amount of eye cream onto my finger (apparently your ring finger is the correct one, but I always forget). 
  4. Apply the cream right under my eye and to the sides.
  5. Gently massage the cream until it is absorbed by my skin. 
  6. Use before make up or in the morning/evening after you cleanse your face.

I seriously can't tell you how great this Oxygen Eye cream is! I am totally sold on eye cream as a beauty and skincare staple in my everyday routine and VII Code's cream will forever be something that I cherish. 
If any of you are looking to start using an eye cream in your routine or are wanting to try out something new I would highly suggest VII Code's Oxygen Eye Cream! I know the cost might seem a bit pricey, but you really do see results, so if you suffer from dark circles or want to prevent and/or fade wrinkles (like me) this stuff truly is magic and is totally worth the investment....plus a little goes a long way and this stuff lasts for awhile. I have been using it over a month and I will probably get at least two more months out of it:) 

Are you a fan of eye cream?


My New York Journal & First Travel Vlog

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Well, I have visited New York and it was AMAZING!!! This was my first big trip that I have taken by myself (without my family or parents) and it was such an adventure of figuring out things for myself and learning things by being in a new city in the dead of winter. Throughout my trip I kept a notes section open on my phone titled "New York Journal" and jotted down my thoughts or things I learned:

  • Always check into your Air bnb when you tell the host you will check in....not earliar (even if you think everything is ready) because you risk the key not being there (because you told them you would check in in the morning) and be stuck in the COLD for 30 minutes at 3:00am!!!!!
  • Phones loose power QUICKER in the cold so keep it charged and take an external power bank with you.....especially if you are using your phone for navigation. 
  • Taxi's are WAY LESS SCARY than it seems and feel totally safe (even at 12:00am) + they are always waiting outside any major building for your convenience and are about the same price as an Uber.
  • In an unknown and unplanned situation (3:00 am in the morning) or unknown neighborhood where there are no Taxis, an Uber is your BEST FRIEND because there is usually always one a few blocks away and can be there super fast. 
  • If you get cold outside (like it's 3:00am in the morning) find a warm place to take shelter (Even if it's the first entrance lobby of an apartment complex) until you work out a plan or find your next destination. 
  • In uncertain situations (especially with strangers in a new city) "fake it till you make it".... that is all I have to say. Pretend you have a plan and know everything and no one will question it. 
  • When traveling in winter pack lotion chapstick and use it in LARGE quantities!
  • Markets are your best bet for groceries (there aren't a lot of big chain grocery stores) and you can find one every few blocks...........just be prepared that groceries in NY are EXPENSIVE!
  • "Newyorkers" are very focused and goal oriented people....especially when taking public transportation and aren't apt. to make small talk or give you the time of day. It's not that they are rude, that's just how they are, they are focused and efficient......so don't talk to people....it will give you away as a non native "newyorker" and its weird:)
  • People in New York are DEDICATED to working out (like running in the park), even when it is FREEZING outside! WHY?????
  • When riding the subway you will always be able to know what station you are passing or stopping at by looking for the street / station name tiled on the walls outside your subway car window. 
  • When riding the subway pay attention to the "uptown" and "downtown" subways.....just because you need to take the 6 doesn't mean you can hop on just any 6, if you are headed uptown hop on the 6 going uptown.....pay attention to the key words on signs to see what area you are needing to end up. 
  • Often times the subway will burst your personal bubble (#introvert problems), but just remember, "Newyorkers" are used to riding shoulder to shoulder in a subway car, so if you don't make anything of it it won't be weird....trust me:)
  • Some "Metro Cards" have advertisements printed on them instead of saying "Metro Card" and its quite disappointing when the second main reason you want a Metro Card (besides for riding the subway) is to take a picture of it......so when the machine knows you are a blogger it shoots out an ugly green card:( (so you borrow your friends for pictures) 
  • Don't wear heels......flats are your best friend.....your feet will thank you. 
  • Newyorkers know how to "practically" dress for the cold and wear giant parkas over their stylish work wear. 
  • Most streets are given an # name (like 78th street) and most likely run into an Avenue (like 7th avenue) so finding your way along the blocks and streets is way easier than you might think. 
  • There will always be a bagel place or coffee shop on nearly ever other street......Newyorkers LOVE their coffee and bagels. 
If you want to see a live version of my trip and some fun footage of the places we went you can checkout more in my NEW YORK VLOG!

Have you been to New York?
What are your thoughts? Do they align with my journal notes?


A Day At The Met

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sweater: Faded Glory
Skirt: Thrifted
Tights: Amazon (fleece lined leggings)
Boots: Joules (Amazon)
Boot Liners: Amazon
Beret: Amazon 
Purse: Vintage Coach 

The first major post of my New York trip....hooray!!! New York was seriously AMAZING! Not sure if I will even be able to capture the vibrance and bustle of the great city in all of these coming posts or in my vlog, but it is definitely all I thought it would be and more.
One of our first stops on our trip was The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have always loved going to art museums, seeing history captured in art, admiring the talent of artists from the past, and seeing the many forms of art that exist. The MET was definitely the most impressive art museum I have yet to visit and is broken into so many different sections and time periods of exhibits you can't help feeling as though you are walking through history. I loved that each time period exhibit was in a room (or rooms) that actually resembled the architecture of the time. On one side you were walking through an elaborate and elegant American house filled with furnishings from the late 1700's. In another section of the museum you visit the Renaissance time period and feel as though you are in a dark paneled wood abbey, it was so cool.....I would highly recommend visiting if you are ever in New York.
As for my ensemble for the day, the weather in New York the first day was quite cold (15 degrees and colder to be exact) so I was definitely focused on dressing for the weather. Looking at my outfit you might be wondering how that was even dressing for the winter, but what you can't see are the two long sleeve shirts + tank top under my sweater, the 3 pairs of fleece leggings, and the two pairs of socks + boot liners. With all of those layers and my parka coat I was perfectly cozy in the nippy city air. I would definitely have to say my style inspiration for New York was classy prepster meets Parisian chic (and as all the NY outfit posts come to the blog you will start to see that trend).
This look in particular I really LOVE now after wearing it in NY. I have recently become obsessed with beret hats again, so this black number is a classic staple. I also love how classic turtle neck sweaters are, so pairing this plain black one with this wool wrap skirt was the epitome of classic prep with a hint of french. As for my footwear, I practically lived in my red Joules rain wellies because New York was covered in a blanket of snow, plus they are comfortable and warm:)

Have you ever been to New York?
Have you visited the Met?
Do you like art museums?


First Flight: Necessities & What you should know

Saturday, January 13, 2018

If you were to ask me what my BIGGEST fear was, I would probably say Sharks or Flying on a plane. It's not that I don't think flying is cool, its that I have an over active imagination and always imagine the worst when it comes to flying.....I always thought that the plain might crash, but as my brother would say "more people get into car crashes than they do plane crashes" and he would be right. Every day people use flight as a means of travel, its brilliant and efficient and helps us see different parts of the country or world! 
I am 22 years old and I had never been on a plane until my recent trip to NY. That was one of the MAJOR things I was faced with in planning this NY trip was realizing I would have to go on a plane for the first time. I tried to just forget about the whole "flight" thing until it was closer to my trip, so a few weeks ago it hit me. 
Now, flying for the first time isn't only intimidating and a bit nerve wracking because you will be launched into the sky and soaring thousands of miles above land at hundreds of miles per her, but it also means figuring out an airport and manuvering through checked luggage, security, and the airport proticals.....that can be where it gets stressful! 
With that being said, I am a PLANNER......it's part of my personality as an Introvert and also an INFJ that I am not spontaneous and like to know a plan or at least a good bit of details before ever going somewhere or doing something. Therefore, while booking and planning for my first flight was easy peasy at first, flights rarely run on time and travel by air doesn't always go according to plan, especially when you travel in the winter (and a snow storm and blizzard threaten your plans). Thus, even when plans don't go according to how you worked them out, being VERY prepared up front helps you to be flexible without to much stress when you have to change what you are doing.
To make a long story short, the day before we were scheduled to leave for NY a "bomb cyclone" snow storm blew into the east coast and New York and as a result our flight go canceled. This put me into "Re-Planning" mode as I was figuring out the new status of our flight and working to change not only our flight out, but our itenerary as well. With that, we ended up leaving Friday, a day later than we had anticipated. 
However, despite the change of plans and bumps in the road (or runway) I learned a LOT about the necessities for flying, how to figure out the airport, and rationally handling my first flight. So weather you are like me and a bit uneasy when it comes to flying (or have never flown) or still have trouble when it comes to traveling by air, I thought I would share some of the things I have learned.

What I Learned, Necessities, & Tips: 

1) Learn as much as you can beforehand in regards to what you should expect at the airport. Familiarize yourself with the steps to take once you arrive, where to go for bag check, what terminal your gate is in, and where that gate is located in the airport. Flying blind is never good, so answering some of your questions up front HELPS SO MUCH!

2) I even went so far as to watch a few videos on what to do when you get to the airport that really helped. Some of my favorites:

First Time Flyers Guide
How to Go Through Airport TSA 
10 Airport and Flight Tips 

3) PACKING: Make sure you know the size and weight limit for your airline. I opted to get a smaller suitcase so that I would be forced to pack less and thus be in the proper weight limit...I'm so glad I made that choice:) Also, check to see if you are allowed carry on. If you are I would suggest trying to pack carry on and take a personal item on a flight rather than doing checked luggage. We unfortunately had "basic economy" tickets and didn't get that option.
Also, invest in a luggage scale (you can find them on amazon) so you know your luggage weight before you get to the airport. This will help you if you choose to check in online or on the app beforehand.

4) Download the app for your airline. With the app you have access to your reservation, updated schedules, change of flight, airport maps, you can check in on it, and have access to digital boarding passes. It will save you!

5) Don't overthink it.....it's not that big of a deal, so if you don't dwell upon it your mind will be calmer.

6) Pack the essentials in your carry on or in your personal item (I took a backpack). For me this included things to do on the flight as well as my "emergency kit" with things I might need:

  • Book
  • Headphones
  • iPod/Phone with music (I like to listen to instramental soundtracks or my personal playlist to keep my mind calm and occupied)
  • Take a snack (buy it at the airport)
  • Portable power recharge dock for your phone with lightning cord. 
  • Bring water (take an empty bottle through security or buy one at the airport)
  • Dramamine (just in case) 
  • Altoids (these things are lifesavers if you feel nauteous) 
  • Neck pillow or item of clothing from your carry on to use. 
  • Download movies and shows on Netflix 
  • Aleve (or some type of tylenol)

7) CALM YOURSELF!!!! Everyone has their own way of preventing stress, but for me personally I utilized my essential oils on my first flight and I have to say that it made a world of difference. I am a person VERY prone to extreme cases of nervousness at new and uncertain situations, but I never really felt nervous or anxious on my flight and I think it was due to the Young Living Essential oils I used:
  • Stress Away (back of my neck and wrists)
  • Peace and Calm (back of neck and wrists)
  • Kidease 
  • Lavendar (helps with motion sickness)
  • Peppermint (always have on hand if I feel nautaous)
8) Have your ID accessible and on you at ALL TIMES! You will need it to drop off your luggage, go through security, and sometimes to get through your gate.

9) Once you get to the airport you will go and check in (unless you already checked in online), weigh and pay or your luggage (if it isn't included in your ticket), drop your luggage off, and move to security. 

10) Tips for Security: When I was preparing for my trip I had a number of people give me tips for security that helped in being prepared:
  • Wear slip on shoes (you will most likely have to take them off to go through security). I wore my Joules wellies. 
  • Wear pants that don't require a belt (I wore leggings with an oversized sweater)
  • Pack any carry on liquids using the 3-1-1 --> 3 oz bottles in 1, 1 quart clear bag (this has to be removed at security)
  • Grab 1-2 bins for your items for security 
  • All electronics (laptops, tablets, etc. mus be placed in their own bin.....cameras are fine to stay) 
  • Make sure you have reviewed your airlines policies for what is allowed in a carry on bag. 

My experience (taking off and landing ):

Okay, so to say I was nervous would be true (though not as nervous as I had first thought I would be). When we got to the airport, because of our departure flight time, there was hardly anyone there so we were able to go through all the steps super fast. Throughout our bag check, drop off, and security I was thrilled with how nice everyone was (I know that sometimes that isn't the case), but because of that, it helped my first time flight experience be more enjoyable. We made sure to arrive at the airport a good two hours before our flight was scheduled to leave and I would definitely recommend you give yourself plenty of time to go through the bag and security procedures, especially if the airport is busy.

I always thought that going through security would be harder and more confusing that it was, but thankfully because we knew what to expect going in we went through safely and smoothly.
Now, comes the actual flying part:) I think the one thing that helped me with the actual "flying" was listening to music! As soon as we boarded the plane I put on my instrumental movie soundtracks to keeps my mind occupied and that helped so much especially when it was time for takeoff.

So takeoff.......you know in space movies when they are in the rocket ship, buckled up and they count off, 10, 9, 8, 7, etc. and then presto.....they are being launched into the atmosphere at hundreds of miles per hour and feeling all the force of takeoff?!?!?!?

Okay, so takeoff isn't really as forceful and fast and crazy as astronauts in a rocket ship, but I kind of felt a bit like an astronaut when we took off because you could feel a bit of the force of how fast you were going and takeoff and ascent into the sky is very loud at first. However, once we reached our proper altitude we leveled off and the ride was fairly smooth. I have to admit that I didn't think I would like flying at all and I told myself I wouldn't look out the window, but once we were up in the air I couldn't help looking out at the cities we past....plus we were flying at night so it was so cool to see all the lights down below.

Now, the ride was great for the most part, hardly scary, and not to bumpy......that is until we hit some wind pockets (because remember there had just had a winter snow storm) and we experienced a bit of turbulence. The turbulence in the air wasn't really that bad until we reached New York and had to circle getting ready to land......that is when it started to feel like I was on a roller coaster (and I hate roller coasters) because we were being pushed up and down by the wind.....my stomach definitely felt the angled drops......but all the while I never really freaked out (thinking I was going to die or anything). However, it is very reassuring when you hit a bit of turbulence because the Pilot comes on air and warns you ahead of time or during it, so you know it is just part of flying.

Now, the worst part of my flight was definitely the landing!!! The airport we were flying into in New Jersey had a shorter runway and the Pilot told us to be prepared for an abrupt stop......and let me tell you it was abrupt! If we hadn't been warned I probably would have through we were crashing, but once we taxied out of our landing I knew I had safely survived my first flight and actually quite liked it (despite the rollar coasters).

Flying back to Texas was 100% better because we had no windy weather and landing was a breeze. We also flew back in the daytime and the view out the window of the patchwork land below was so picturesque and our flight above the layer of fluffy white clouds was sureal and so beautiful.....I will have to admit that I LOVE flying now!

I'm still a bit nervous about the whole idea, but the process of flying thousands of miles above the ground and seeing life from a birds eye view is crazy amazing! Not to mention it gets you places that would take you days driving but just hours flying.....travel here I come!

Have you flown?
Are (or were) you apprehensive of flying like me
How has your flight experience been?


Top Posts of 2017 & Year Recap

Monday, January 1, 2018

Can you believe it is 2018!!!!! This year has seriously FLOWN BY!!! I remember when the year started, and my spring semester Methods classes began and thinking to myself  "this is going to be a long year" and before I knew it I was graduating! This year has seriously been the busiest year I have had in awhile with full semesters of education classes, methods, and student teaching and loads of travel when I wasn't in school. Looking back on my accomplishments throughout the year I am stunned at the blessings of God and how much he helped me grow

Not to mention how much this blog has grown! I grew so much as a blogger this year, creating unique content, trying new things, learning from others, and also realizing that blogging is not quite as glamorous as it might seem and can easily be a struggle as a "one woman show". However, thanks to you lovely readers, you encourage me and motivate me to keep creating and for that I THANK YOU! Thank you for taking an interest in my life, passions, and love for fashion and being a part of this exciting journey. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of the TOP posts on the blog from 2017 as well as some of my personal favorites. ENJOY! 

Definitely one of my FAVORITE posts of all time because it means so much to me to share who I am and open up about the misconceptions people have about my personality, and through it I met so many people who share my same or similar personality. 

Loved collaborating with Whatever Ministry and their Four:Eight shop for this collaboration to inspire women to find the beauty, value, and purpose in themselves. 

This post came midway through my semester of Methods for education when I was able to spend time in the classroom with students for the first time in my education training and it opened my eyes to so many things, while inspiring me so much! 

Such a fun post and outfit sharing this DIY sweater and quircky accessory, while also sharing what it is like to be "visible" as a blogger.....especially when I am used to being invisible as a person:)

Classy and elegant collaboration with StyleWe in styling this blush pink dress. I loved getting back to my girly childhood roots when I loved pink. 

My Personal Favorites:

What would you like to see more of on the blog in 2018?

- Madison