Thursday, July 31, 2014

#ShareBeauty with Regency Beauty Institute and Refinery29: Missing My Calling

*Thank you to Regency Beauty Institute for sponsoring today's post and helping me #ShareBeauty

About two weeks ago, I shared some childhood stories about beauty and how it started early for me. Today, I want to share with you why I feel I missed my calling to become a hairstylist. Everything I do with hair is self-taught. There may have been a video tutorial here and there but for the most part, it's been trial and error. I got a pretty good knack for the curling iron in high school. I really did become "that girl" who would do everyone's hair, go home, do my own and be late to the dance. In college, I was late to my formal because I literally spent 6 hours doing hair and makeup for my sisters. I even went home one weekend to do my cousin's hair for her senior prom (pictured on right). Of all the things I've ever complained about, and there's a lot, I've never once complained about doing someone's hair or makeup and I think it's because I love to share beauty.
I can style my own hair but when it comes to color, it's a whole different story. I'm lucky enough to have a cousin that is an amazing hairstylist. His name is James and we've done everything. We've gone blonde, pink and purple, red, short and millions of shades of brown. My hair is a way for me to express how I'm feeling right now. When I put colors in my hair, I was feeling creative and independent. When I went blonde, I was feeling adventurous and a little lost in who I was as a person. When I'm dark brown (my natural), I feel confident and sophisticated. I feel 100% myself. I feel like it's too late for me to start a career in beauty but if you're someone like me who still feels like they have a chance, you should look into Regency Beauty Institute.

Regency Beauty Institute is one of the leading cosmetology schools in the nation. They have 88 campuses across the country and have been able to grow over the years by taking an innovative approach to learning and helping students to turn their creativity into beautiful careers. “#ShareBeauty” is a reflection of Regency’s calling and commitment to growing the careers of the people who make beauty. The “#ShareBeauty” campaign celebrates beauty and the people who make it. 

The core element in the campaign is a video called “Beauty Grew All Around.” It celebrates that person that we’ve all known — a friend, sister, nephew or neighbor — that always had a knack for beauty. More than a knack. A gift. A beauty gene. They were the people who did everyone’s hair for prom. The friend who helped you with your wedding day makeup. Or who totally nailed an updo at age 11. Despite this natural talent, oftentimes beauty makers are pressured away from that gift and toward a more traditional career. Regency’s “Beauty Grew All Around” video is the animated tale of a girl who makes the most of her beauty gene and turns it into a beautiful career that impacts the world around her.

Storytellers are encouraged to share Regency and Refinery29’s #ShareBeautyContest, which runs from July 8th-August 13th. One lucky winner will be chosen following the end of the contest. Each person who enters will have the opportunity to win a customized VIP beauty treatment worth $2,000 from Regency and Refinery29.

Entering the contest is easy!

Try one trend (or all of them). Trends will be posted each week at the regency landing page. 
• Try one trend (Or all of them!)
• Take a photo
• Share it on Instagram (Your account must be public.)
• Hashtag each photo with #ShareBeautyContest

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Creating My Dream Room

*Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post for
Whenever you move, whether it's the first or tenth time, you always go through a phase of wanting to create the ultimate dream room. Depending on your living situation, this could be your favorite room in a new house, the perfect living area in your first apartment or a bedroom in a house you'll live in temporarily or share with roommates. Right now, my dream room is my bedroom. Obviously I've been thinking about a few key pieces that I am really listing over. They are easy to point out.

I have been dreaming of bamboo sheets since I felt my friends' almost ten years ago. I'll never forget how comfy and soft they were and not to mention a good fabric for the environment! This color would go perfect with my bedding. They're on my wishlist but hopefully not for too long.
I love this dresser set. The style would fit in perfectly with my bedding and I love the white color. When it comes to furniture, I like to stay with whites or blacks. That way, you can change it up whenever you'd like with colorful statement pieces.

I always need a nightstand and this particular one seemed perfect to go with the dresser. I can picture my room with these pieces of furniture and my bedding. 

Reading Nook
My dream room, wherever it is, would have a reading nook. I love this uneven shelf. I would make placing books and photos so much fun and I feel like it gives the room a little extra pazazz. I would get the bookshelf in white (if possible) and get the chair in black with a few colorful pillows and a cozy throw blanket. 
Bookshelf - Chair
No room is complete without a little splash of color on the walls. I love these canvases and photos. I feel like they describe me and what I love perfectly. I always imagine black and white photographs on my walls or vintage-style paintings. I also love canvases with words. I feel like they add a touch of the unexpected.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
What's in your dream room? Overstock is offering 7% cash back right now through Shop at Home as well as up to 55% off Back to Campus gear!

And now I'd like to introduce you to one of my lovely sponsors for the month. Her name is Rebekah and she blogs over at Living Lavender.
Make sure to follow Rebekah on Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

After the Wedding with Be A Warrior Queen

You guys have met this girl plenty of times before but I'm so excited to have had a chance to do a little Q&A with her again. Her name is Raewyn and she blogs over at Be A Warrior Queen. She's one of my blog friends and I always love working with her whether it's through a sponsorship or just because we feel like it. Since she just got married a few weeks ago, I decided to focus most of the interview on that. See what she has to say!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.
I like to think that I blog with a purpose. I started my blog to change the world and empower girls and teenagers to be themselves! I really like to write about giving back, doing good and women's issues. I tend to add in some fun posts as well, especially my Wedding Wednesdays! I married my husband in April of this past year, and we love going on adventures! We have two cats (Reeses and Shadow) who are absolutely adorable and crazy at the same time. 

2. Congratulations on recently getting married! What was your favorite part of planning the wedding?
My favorite part was feeling all of the love from our friends and family. I'm not talking about gifts (though, of course those were appreciated) but about all of the times that people checked in on us, helped us or found a solution to one of our many wedding problems. It really made the entire wedding that much better because so many people were emotionally invested.

3. If you could get married all over again, is there something you would change or do differently?
I would not! Our wedding was absolutely perfect in my eyes.

4. Have you gone on your Honeymoon yet? Where did you go or where are you planning to go?
We left on our honeymoon the day after our wedding. A lot of people thought we were crazy for taking a 2 week trip to the Netherlands right after our wedding, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity! We stayed with my husband's family that lives there and we got to sight see and relax. It was so much fun! 

5. Your blog, Be A Warrior Queen, is a place for women to feel empowered and accepted just the way they are. What are some words of encouragement you would give to someone who might not feel confident right now?
It's hard to feel confident all of the time. We've got so many people and parts of society telling us that we need to be insecure about our dreams, our brains, our looks and every single part of us. If we want to do it all we're criticized for it, and if we want to just stay at home with our families, we are criticized for it. Put all of that on mute. Put your insecurities on mute. You are beautiful - it radiates from your soul. When you believe that your future is great, you can handle any obstacle and it will truly be great. 

6. What are some of your favorite items from your shop Color Me A Warrior Queen
We're actually in the middle of rebranding our shop! We have so many future ideas, but I love our stackable bracelets! I love stacking these Be Brave bracelets with the Warrior Queen bracelet - though those are currently out of stock! :) 
7. Is there anything left on your summer wish list that you are just dying to do?
I would really love to have my apartment completely unpacked and decorated and have a house warming party!! I love having people over - and we have game nights almost weekly - but I've never had my own space decorated!

Make sure to follow Raewyn on Bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, Instagram and Pinterest!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Recipe: Hawaiian Chicken

Happy Monday! If I were at work I'd be swearing at me too right now but luckily I'm on vacation today and tomorrow. That means sleeping in, getting situated after my move and seeing some people. Yesterday I went to the farmers market and got a ton of great stuff. The carrots I bought were still attached to their leaves. They are massive! Anyway, today I have a really simple recipe for you guys that doesn't take long at all and makes zero messes. I've listed the recipe for one below but feel free to make as many as you want. These bake individually wrapped so you don't have to worry about any adjustments.
Hawaiian Chicken
1 boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup barbecue sauce of your choice
2 bell pepper slices
2 pineapple slices

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your chicken in the middle of a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the barbecue sauce, place the bell pepper and pineapple on top. fold the foil up on each side of the chicken, pinch the ends together and roll down two or three times. You want to leave enough room in the packet for the chicken to breathe but you also want it secure so there are no leaks.

2. Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. Carefully unwrap the foil, make sure your chicken is cooked and enjoy! 

You guys this is super easy, four ingredients that you probably have lying around and you can go take a shower or do something productive while it's cooking. I call that a win!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Keeping Fresh With Cottonelle #LetsTalkBums

*Disclosure: Thanks to Cottonelle for sponsoring this post today! #LetsTalkBums
We're getting real today with Cottonelle to talk about bums. Nothing is worse than thin, rough toilet paper but luckily Cottonelle is soft and thick so you can use less sheets and avoid the mess. There are so many other uses for toilet paper though so today I'm going to share what I think are some of the best ways to put the white stuff to use. 
Top Ways To Use Toilet Paper
1. Wipe your bum! (duh)
2. Blow your nose because sometimes you can't get to tissue in time
3. Take off makeup. I use the gel remover from Maybelline and toilet paper seems to be the best tool to remove it with
4. Clean hair up off the floor. I learned this in my last apartment. When hair starts to collect on the ground, pick it up with some toilet paper and it makes sweeping less painful
5. Blot your lips. One sheet of paper and you take your lipstick from whoa to perfection
Getting even more real...sometimes toilet paper just isn't enough. You guys know what I mean. Sometimes you need a little extra cleaning support. Thanks to the Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths, a cleaner bum is only an arm reach away. This little dispenser houses flushable wet wipes that smell amazing and are useful for so much more than just wiping your bum. See below:

Top Ways To Use Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths
1. Clean your bum (duh)
2. Take off makeup when you're feeling too lazy to go through the whole face washing process
3. Wipe a kiddo's dirty face. Summer means popsicle and ice cream season, and that is a huge mess
4. Take a package without the dispenser and use them at the gym for post-workout freshness

So you see, talking bums doesn't have to be all completely gross. Stretch your buck and find some uses for your toilet paper and cleansing cloths that don't just have to do with your wiping your toosh. It's always nice to have a clean bum but it's even better to be resourceful.

Give Cottonelle a try and get a $1.50 coupon using this link. Tell me what you think about Cottonelle once you try them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

July Group Giveaway!!

Happy Friday!! Today I have a fun post for you guys followed by a giveaway. Erin from Two Thirds Hazel hosts Blogmopolitan quizzes once in a while and I love filling these babies out. So catch up with me, find out what I'm afraid of and what I sleep in and then enter the July giveaway for some goodies!

And now for the giveaway!

Here is a photo of the earrings from Hello Felecia:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Esencia Urban Kitchen: Brunch with a Mexican Twist

Well hello there! Are you pumped for the weekend because it's almost here. Recently, my cousin and I went to a new place for brunch after moving the majority of my things out. Our go-to brunch place has been kind of deflating as of late so we decided on a whim to try Esencia. We walked passed it and everything looked amazing so, why not. Before I get to the food, I want to talk about their coffee. It was delicious. We realized immediately that there was a spice to it and it turns out they put a little dash of cinnamon in their grounds before they brew it. Ah-mazing! They also have a ton of pastries that look really great. I'll have to get a photo of those next time.

Guacamole & Chips
(A blend of avocado, tomato, red onions, cilantro and jalapenos)
This was potentially the best chips and guac I've ever had. The guacamole was so fresh and so were the chips. The chips were also dusted with what I think was paprika. They were delicious and tasty and I want more.

Breakfast Tacos
(Three corn tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, spinach, tomatoes and chorizo topped with queso fresco)
This was my cousin's choice of meal. I didn't get to try them because we were so into our own stuff but I did manage to grab a photo of his last taco before he downed it. I can't speak for him but I almost had to be rolled out of this place.

Huevos Con Chorizo Torta
(Scrambled eggs with chorizo, beans, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, Chihuahua cheese and chipotle aioli on bolillo bread)
This was my breakfast, hence my comment above about being rolled out of the restaurant. I've only had a torta once before and it was ordered by my best friend who is Mexican and she ordered it in Spanish. Needless to say, I don't know what I ate that day. This however called my name when I saw it on the menu. I love chorizo and I wanted eggs. I only ate half the sandwich because it was so filling but it was the best breakfast sandwich I've ever had. The chipotle aioli was sweet with a tiny kick and the avocado kept it fresh and summery. The potatoes included on the side were also great. They were very simply seasoned so that it wasn't overpowering in comparison to the torta which I really enjoyed. By the way, this was breakfast Monday morning too...

If you happen to be in Chicago's East Lakeview neighborhood at any time, you should definitely consider Esencia for breakfast, lunch or brunch. We are going to be back to try one of the other amazing things on their menu...and I will get my hands on one of their pastries.

33f1 North Broadway (between Roscoe and Buckingham)

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