March Instagram Recap

This month was incredibly busy but I managed to take some time to capture some outfits and special moments on Instagram.  Here are a few I thought you would enjoy:

1.  New purchases

I found this beautiful, blush pink kimono at Forever 21 last month.  Less than $18 too!  Perfect for spring outfits.  Similar ones found here and here.

http://chicinacademia.com

I paired it with this Cayetano Legacy statement jewelry which speaks to my love for pastels. ❤  Necklace found here and similar ring found here.  Use code CIA to get 20% off your Cayetano Legacy purchase.

http://chicinacademia.com

And here, paired with some 7 for all mankind skinny jeans (here and in plus size, here) from Fabrik Boutique and a studded Michael Kors bag from a year or two ago (similar here).

http://chicinacademia.com

I also recently discovered sans-UV light gel polishes!!  BEST.POLISH.EVER.  No lie.  No chips for up to a week (after a week I usually decide to change color), and is easily removed with normal nail polish remover.  #thebest

http://chicinacademia.com

Same polish, different color.  Same amazingness. By the way, yours truly made the bracelets in the picture below.  Stay tuned for an upcoming DIY!

http://chicinacademia.com

Okay, so I may be a bit fringe-obsessed.  I now own two fringe bags, 1 pair of fringe booties, and most recently, became the owner of this lovely fringe backpack.  It’s perfect for toting a toddler and a almost-six-year-old-going-on-18-year-old boy on the weekends.  It enables me to maintain some sense of style, all while being a busy mom.  Bag found here.

http://chicinacademia.com

And this beauty, well, let’s just all say it out loud at once: “AH-maze-ING!”  Seriously, it’s a stunner.  In photos and in person.  Also, not heavy and surprisingly not obnoxious when worn, so I managed to wear it into work.  Of course, I would never pair this with a serious suit, but could easily give it a nod of approval on less serious days when I’m holed up in my office but want to look stylish while workin’ away. 🙂

http://chicinacademia.com

Okay, so the spiked bracelet below was definitely a score.  Stella and Dot sells a similar bracelet, but for more than a Jackson ( you know, a $20 bill…).  Sira and Mara on the other hand, sells these for $13 a piece AND they ship for free anywhere in the US!  I’m no financial expert, but that sounds like a good deal to me.  It also sounds like I made money in that transaction.  Two please!

http://chicinacademia.com

Haha, I wasn’t kidding above!  I did buy two. 😀

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2.  Upcoming posts

Once upon a time there was a young Mexican girl (that’s me in case you were wondering), who had her nose buried so deep in her books that she never learned to properly apply her make up.  She also grew up in the pre-YouTube age, so there were no videos to be watched of make-up gurus demonstrating how to apply said make up in slow motion and extreme detail.  So, I would apply stuff to my face that sometime in my late 20’s began to look semi-decent, but never perfect.

Cue Sephora circa a few weeks ago:  The beauty experts at my local store held a blogger-only event to share with use tips for contouring our faces.  They taught us what brushes to use, matched make up hues to our skin tones, and gave us step-by-step directions for applying our make up and ultimately learning how to contour our faces! It was pretty great.  Incredibly enlightening.  So, hopefully in the next month our so, I will debut my very first YouTube video and make a fool of myself while showing you what I learned.  You’re welcome…for the laughs and hopefully useful information. 😀

http://chicinacademia.com

The jewelry DIY.  These beaded bracelets are all the rage lately.  And I wanted some, and wanted them now.  So, one weekend last summer, I ran to Michael’s and purchased some materials, which aided in creating all 4 bracelets seen below!

http://chicinacademia.com

Since then, I have learned to make variations of the ones above, including these ones I made for a friend.  So, stay tuned.  In the next month or so, I will post a DIY so you too can make some to add to your arm party!

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Close up of other bracelets I made.  Pretty cute, right?!  And, they only take 5 minutes to make!

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3.  Coffee cups and tumblers, oh my!

Coffee became my best friend the minute I stopped breastfeeding and had to go back to work.  I then became interested in prettying up my coffee containers and the following tumblers have been added to my collection since.  This one here was sent to me by Rosie Posie Designs on Etsy!  You can find other tumblers from her collection here.

http://chicinacademia.com

This lovely tuxedo/tutu tumbler was part of the Alice and Olivia for Starbucks collection two years ago.  It has since sold out and only available on eBay for the price of an arm, leg, and maybe a kidney.  Of course, if you MUST have it, here’s a link where you can find some.

http://chicinacademia.com

4.  Outfits

Apparently this month, I was feeling a bit casual.  No suits, but I did manage to don some blazers with my outfits like the crisp, white blazer below!  One of my favorites for spring and summer. Details: Blazer, similar here and here; dress, similar here.

http://chicinacademia.com

Arm parties were also big for me this month.  Likely because my outfits were so casual.  Here, I paired a couple bracelets (see purchases above for links), with my new favorite plaid shirt and super comfy camo jeans (similar here and here). These pink here were only $15 at the Nine West outlet last year (similar here).

http://chicinacademia.com

I loved putting this outfit together.  I searched high and low for this jacket, but couldn’t find anything in stores now that came close to it, so I eventually took to eBay to continue my search.  That’s where I found it for a mere $13!  Done and done.  Here’s one I found on eBay (linked here and a similar one here), and links for a similar top and skirt here and here.

http://chicinacademia.com

Another super comfy outfit for the office.  This top is from H&M and one of the most comfortable tops I own.  I love it because it disguises my upper arm fat – ugh, don’t get me started – fits loose around the belly area and is long enough to cover my badonkadonk.  If you’re not convinced that you need this top yet, let me add that it was only $10.  Done deal, right?!  I would say so.  You’re welcome. Linked here. Paired with skinny jeans (here) and leopard pumps for a pop of print (here and here, respectively).  The necklace is super old, but a similar one is linked here.

http://chicinacademia.com

I felt like I was wearing pajamas in the outfit pictured below.  SO comfy to wear!!  The top is my all-time favorite top.  I purchased it when pregnant with my first and it carried me through all phases of my prego/post-prego body.  It’s from nordstrom rack and run about $34.  I have it in black and white and have been actively searching to find it in other prints.  It’s THAT fantastic!! Linked here.  The pants are from AngL clothing in LA, but similar ones can be found here.  The bag is also currently one of my faves.  I’m all about the fringe at the moment.  I just love fringe everything.  I’ll get over it one day, but for now, I’m enjoying the trend.  This bag in particular is sold out at most H&M stores, but I’ve linked a similar one here.  The bracelets were made by yours truly and the necklace is from one of my favorite small-business jewelry companies, Cayetano Legacy. I linked a similar one here, and use code CIA for a 20% discount on your total purchase.

http://chicinacademia.com

Call me crazy, but I loved this outfit.  My favorite blazer, paired with a graphic tee, the second comfiest jeans I own (the first are my 7 for all mankind skinnies linked above), a blingy statement necklace, and a pink heels for a pop of color.  Just a super fun outfit and all very on trend.  Links:  Blazer, similar here // Graphic tee, here // Camo skinny jeans, similar here and here// Pink heels, similar here // Statement necklace, similar here.

http://chicinacademia.com

I love the look of white on white.  I don’t own a white pencil skirt  – yet – but that was the original plan.  Next closest item in my closet was this black and white striped skirt (here).  I paired it with my Cayetano Legacy pendant necklace (I linked a similar one here, and use code CIA for a 20% discount on your total purchase) and floral print peep-toed heels.  Can you believe I once purchased these heels for $5 at Nordstrom Rack?!  Amazing.  It’s been a while since I’ve scored another deal like I did with these. Find similar ones here. Blazer, similar here and here.  White tee, here.

http://chicinacademia.com

Another favorite fashion trend of mine at the moment is the tuxedo vest.  I made one a while back (read the post here if you missed it previously), but I’d been on the hunt for a blush pink or a khaki one.  I finally found one at Forever 21 (link here).  I paired it with a lace top (here), my skinny jeans (here), and nude heels.  The necklace is old from Target, but a similar one is tagged here.

http://chicinacademia.com

And finally, this adorable dress I wore for the Gap fashion show at my local shopping mall recently.  I paired it with a navy blazer and a yellow belt for a pop of color.  Perfect for spring, don’t you think? Links: Dress, here // Blazer, here // Belt, here.

http://chicinacademia.com

5.  Fitness and food

So, I recently tried a FitBit.  Let me tell ya.  It was a wake up call.  During the week, my FitBit thinks I’m dead, except for when I’m around my kids.  Then there is a hint of a histogram on my tracking app.  Otherwise, flatline.  Yup, I’m a koala.  Just sittin’ all day long.  Seriously though.  On the weekends, though, when I am with my kids ALL DAY LONG, I get 10K steps in!  It’s called the “mother of two under 5” workout.  You may know what I’m talking about. 😉  Anyhow, I thought it was a pretty neat little device and highly recommend it if you want to get a sense of your daily activity.  In all honesty, I carried it two days and then decided I didn’t want to wear clothes that matched it perfectly every single day, so I stopped wearing it.  It was also taunting me and constantly reminding me that I was an inactive mass and needed to get to the gym.  I don’t do well with non-positive reinforcement, so I did away with it! J/K.  I had to give it back, haha.

http://chicinacademia.com

Now, for the fun stuff.  I love to eat.  A LOT.  I just enjoy food.  It’s a downfall, particiuarly when I don’t exercise, but to compensate, I try eating relatively healthy.  My co-worker has been really great about eating salads every day, so she inspired me to eat salads as well.  Here’s one I made with a greens mix from Costco, canned chick peas, grilled chicken (made at home the night before, served cold on the salad), avocado – obvi, tomatoes, and corn.  Dressing was a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Super filling and so healthy!

http://chicinacademia.com

The next day I had a lunch/working meeting at Urban Cookhouse, where I always get the Pepper Patch.  It’s amazingly delish.  It also happens to come with a delicious orange-sweet bun.  I couldn’t say no. I did have a salad for lunch after all!

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Packing salads for lunch can be quite tricky, especially if you happen to eat lunch late in the day and risk having soggy lettuce or greens by the time you are ready to eat.  Cue: The Bentgo Kids bento box.  I received this bento box to try for the kids’ lunches, but I decided it would best for me, so I borrowed it and used it to pack my salad ingredients.  It worked really well!!  The middle circular compartment works well for the dressing (balsamic vinegar here), and whatever other sides you want in the others.  I loved it and will likely steal it permanently from the kiddies. 😀  Link to bento box here.

http://chicinacademia.com

For the salad below, I was craving cheese, tomatoes, and bread cubes.  So, I came up with this. 😉  Don’t judge.  It was a Friday when I ate this, haha.  Done and done!

http://chicinacademia.com

That’s all for now, folks!  Feel free to leave a comment below if there is anything I happened to have missed or anything I didn’t link.  Perhaps you have suggestions for finding items elsewhere, so also leave those in the comments section should you have them.  Finally, all of these pics came from my Instagram feed, so feel free to follow along if you are interested! Instagram: Chic in Academia.

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

All photos taken by Chic in Academia

(Camera:  Verizon, LG G3)

Getting old is for…ME??

Ugh.  I found grey hair on my head.  It used to just be the one or two.  I knew where they were.  I denied their existence and continued with my youthful life until one day about a month or two ago, I found them.  No longer the 1-2 weeds.  No.  This time, there was a FOREST.  A gaggle of them.  Hiding in the depths of my mane.

SATC Grey Hair Scene

Photo: Pinterest

So, I did what any other woman in my situation would do.  I cried.  No, really, I didn’t.  But it did make me feel quite sad.  For someone who has been confused with a 15-year old most of her life due to less than average stature, having grey hair pretty much eliminates any doubt about my age.  I’m old!  Cue sobs.  Loud ones.

Thankfully, my forest of greys is rooted on the right side of my head.  So for now, I just part my hair to the other side! 🙂  Always best to see the glass half full, right??  But, I know that won’t hold them off forever; them being the greys.  In fact, even when I try to style my hair in my default hairstyle – aka topknot/bun – the greys are evident.  So, I have found some temporary solutions that I thought some of you might find useful should you be in the same predicament I find myself in.  This is what I like to call ‘Operation Hide Greys’:

1) Mascara – Not just for tinting lashes.  This magic wand also covers greys!!  Yes!  In fact, when traveling last fall, I was caught off guard and noticed the patch of greys.  So I took the mascara brush and lightly brushed over the area that contained the grey hairs.  Voila!  Greys were masked!  Temporarily of course, but it gave me some peace of mind.  I only use Diorshow Blackout, pictured below, which on my hair, worked wonderfully.  If you have blonde hair, using mascara might not be the best solution.  So, read option 2 below.

diorshow

Photo:  Nordstrom.com

2) Root concealer – If mascara is not a great option for you, perhaps root concealer is!  Mascara is great, but I want to save it for my lashes and not waste it on my hair.  So, I looked for alternate solutions.  This time, I took to Sephora and found this Rita Hazzan Root Concealer spray.

Rita Hazan Root Spray // http://chicinacademia.comSephora Haul, http://chicinacademia.com

Photos: First (Sephora.com) and second (Chic in Academia)

As you can see, I also picked up some other goodies that day.  Let me know if you want my review on any of the other products pictured above.  I’ll plan a separate post for that if there is enough interest!  Anyway, the root concealing spray comes in a variety of shades, but I settled on the ‘Dark Brown/Black’ spray.  For me, it proved to be a perfect match!  The other shades include Light Brown, Red, Dark Blonde, and Blonde.

Rita Hazan Root Spray Shades // http://chicinacademia.comI realize that it’s probably not long before I’ll have to start dying my hair – if I choose to dye it at all – but for now, I’ll stick to these temporary fixes.  I’d love to hear about what tactics you use to hide your greys.  Please share them with me!!  Nobody seems to talk about this stuff, so someone like me is faced with fear and shock and denial and incompetence!  Help a sister out for goodness sake!   Share your secrets!!  Seriously though, in light of the fact that I am now a grey-concealing ninja, I also contemplated putting together a video to show you how I use these products.  Leave me a comment below if you think you might be interested in that at all.

Otherwise, I continue to enjoy keeping up with you on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!  Finally, if you happen to follow me on Pinterest, you know that I’m hosting a J Crew giveaway along with some other awesome bloggers.  Check it out!  You might just get lucky and win the pot!!

Until next time!  Stay chic!

Blogger Giveaway Loop

The Mani-Cure

Disclaimer:  The following post is, much like the current state of my life, a bit disjointed.  So, I ask you to bear with me just this one time.

As some of my readers know, I lost my beloved Vienna just yesterday.  The title of this post therefore stems from a emotionally-exhausted attempt to seek some comfort, a ‘cure’ if you will, from something as simple as a ‘mani’cure.

My Beloved Dog, Vienna:

vienna

She was a sweet, sweet dog.  Loved to chase after squirrels.  Had an insatiable appetite. Loved to burrow under a doggie blanket before falling asleep in her doggie bed at night.  Loved us unconditionally.  Sigh, so difficult to write this just a day later.

Not skipping a beat, off to work I went today.  The morning was tough, but I managed to check some things off my list.  As lunch time approached, the tears were starting to overwhelm me.  Hoping to find something to take my mind off of the sadness, I left my office for a lunch break away from my desk.

There are usually two things that can make me feel comforted when away from my loved ones: a mani with a manicurist who is a good listener and comfort food…Mexican.

So, off to lunch I went.  In one hour, I managed to drive to the restaurant, eat my food (I ate it too fast to capture a picture of it, oops!), get my nails done, and drive back to my office. Pretty impressive, right?  I thought so!  Efficiency at its best. 🙂

Post-mani:

mani_insta

Often a manicure will eat up a large chunk of time, but over time and after numerous smudged manicures, I have identified two items that make for quick-drying, long-lasting, glossy manicure.

The first is this Deborah Lippman ‘It’s Raining Men’ polish:

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Or, another favorite, Sinful ‘Ruby Ruby’ polish:

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…and the second, a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri:

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That’s it.  The no-nonsense mani for the working, professional woman.  The red hues described are not obnoxious and the SH Insta-Dri dries in literally 5-7 minutes!!  The SH Insta-Dri I totally recommend.  In fact, I suggest you hop in your car after reading this post, and run to the drugstore to buy one for yourself!  I joke, I joke. Seriously, though, finish reading my post. 😉

So, much like Elle Woods (yes, that’s a Legally Blonde reference), I too sought a ‘Mani-Cure’ for my bad-day woes.

But, was I cured of my doggie-blues?  Not quite unfortunately.

Grieving, from what I am gathering, is not a one-day experience; even when grieving over a pet.  Although I felt momentarily happy, I kept thinking of Vienna. For example, how I will miss hearing her nails on our wood floors at home, despite how much it sometimes irked me to hear them at 6am when she would rush to our room to alert us that the sun was out and she needed to be fed.

Also hard, is explaining to my four-year old where his doggie is now.  Of course we explained that she is now in heaven.  We pointed to the sky in an attempt to explain where heaven is.  Thinking we had appeased his intrigue of heaven, we left the subject alone only to be confronted with, “Mommy, but I still want my Vienna,” when we tucked him in at night.  Followed by, “Vienna is going to be scared in the sky because it’s dark now”.  “What if the lightning and thunder hurt her??”

Together, we are working towards healing.  They – the experts and others – say that talking about it, writing about, etc., can be therapeutic.  Alas, this post, is an attempt to do just that; heal.  If anything, it helps me maintain a sense of normalcy for a few minutes out of the day, by telling you about how my ‘Mani-Cure’ temporarily helped to heal my emotional wounds.

We love you, Vienna (2007-2013).  Forever you will be the heartbeat at our feet.