Summer Essential Series ~ A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

Today's picks come from Erin over at A Picture Paints A Thousand Words. Erin and I became friends at WSU (she was Greek Woman of the Year), but grew closer down here in California. Erin is a fabulous friend who always makes any party fun, and documents all events with amazing pictures. I was lucky enough to be invited to her lovely wedding in Maui this past February. Enjoy Erin's essentials below!

*What one item can you not be without in the summer?

The one item that I can not live without this summer is Bikini Zone. Up until two months ago, I had been in the dark on this product and now after several times of use, can’t live without it. After partaking in sugaring (a healthier form of bikini waxing) before my wedding in February, I have had horrible razor burn and in-grown hairs. Don’t get me wrong, I would definitely do the sugaring again, but in between sessions, when I do shave, I will never again do it without Bikini Zone. I currently use two of their products – the Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel AND the Bikini Zone Medicated Gel.

Out of all the shave gels that I have used in the past, the anti-bumps shave gel works wonders in the bikini region. This gel provides the closest shave and prevents ingrowns, bumps and redness. Added bonus – also has a great fresh scent for those that don’t care for the fruitier more common shave gels.

The medicated after shave gel helps prevent ingrown hairs and irritation. It stings just a bit at first when you apply, but is 100% worth it. This gel may be used after waxing, sugaring or shaving and you’ll see results after the very first time of use.

*What are you craving for summer 2009?

I have a lot that I’m craving this summer.

- Cute dresses for weddings and bridal showers. In particular, THIS French Connection dress that I ordered today – can’t wait for it’s arrival!

- Fresh flowers and fresh produce. Since we’re moving into a new house in the next couple of weeks, we will (very soon) be planting flowers and a large vegetable and fruit garden in the next few weeks.

- Outdoor BBQ’s – soon we’ll have a nice huge kitchen, BBQ and large deck – perfect for entertaining. Can’t wait for warm evenings, drinking wine on the deck and BBQ’ing up some fresh veggies in our new Williams Sonoma Mesh Grill-Top Chef’s Pan – also bought one for my dad for Father’s Day.

*What is your essential summer song for 2009?

I have two songs from the new Dave Matthews CD “Big Whiskey and GrooGrux King” that I currently can’t get enough of – song 12 “Baby Blue” and song 13 “You & Me.” Love both of these songs so much and will definitely be playing them on repeat in my car and on the boat this summer.

Thank you so much Erin for these fantastic finds. It appears that I am the only person who hasn't experienced DMB's latest album, and I will be sure to get on that immediately. I am glad that you got that adorable dress and can't wait to see the pics of you in it. Check back tomorrow for Michelle over at P.S.'s choices.

Summer White Hotness

I am in LUST with this J. Mendel white number that cutie patootie Cameron Diaz wore to the My Sister's Keeper premiere. I am thinking she may just be my workout inspiration for these summer months ahead. Her toned arms and legs are complimented very nicely by her perfect California tan. And don't even get me started on those kick ass heels. Yum!


I am also totally digging her makeup and hair for this event. Not overly done and the pop of red lips is just HOT! I love that Cameron always has a little edge to whatever she is wearing, whether it is a statement dress or that bright red pucker. Miss Cameron is a straight up winner in this ensemble.


Summer Essential Series ~ Lovely Happenings

I am very excited to share Megan from Lovely Happenings summer essentials. Megan's blog is one of my daily reads, as she always has great quotes, fun videos, pretty clothes, fantastic bikes and she is a recent grad of OSU (Go Pac-10). As an added bonus, she has excellent taste in summer essentials...

*What one item can you not be without in the summer?

This summer, I won’t be without my new current obsession, Kiehl’s “Pear Tree Corner” hand and body lotion. It has such a light scent and doesn’t leave my skin all sticky. It is a perfect solution for dry summer skin. Love it!

*What are you craving for summer 2009?

I am craving the new line of Trina Turk fabrics by Schumacher. They screams summer! Every single fabric is bright, cheery, and absolutely fabulous! They would look perfect for outdoor lounge chairs. I can imagine myself sitting on the fabrics with a margarita in my hand and basking in the sun!

*What is your essential summer song for 2009?

It is hard to pick only one essential summer song. I love music so much that it is hard to narrow it down. But if I must pick.....Dave Matthews Band, Spaceman. The song is off their new album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King , and the whole album is wonderful. I get to see DMB this labor day at the Gorge in Washington for two days. I can’t wait. It is going to be epic!

Thank you so much Megan for contributing your picks! I am definitely jealous of your trip to the Gorge this summer, epic is a pretty great way to describe the event. And I am most definitely going to try the Kiehl's lotion, as a non-sticky lotion in summer is must have! Be sure to check back tomorrow for A Picture Paints A Thousand Words choices.

Song Of The Week: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

Another peppy, fun summer album that I love is Vampire Weekend. I love the entire album but especially love Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. The album has be wanting to make a road trip across the US to the East Coast, repeating this album over and over with the wind blowing in my hair. This album is so upbeat and preppy, and has influences of Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel to it. Other fave songs on this album are Walcott, One, and Oxford Comma. I am really hoping to get to see them the next time they are in LA.


Summer Essential Series ~ Jamie Of All Trades

We end this week with Jamie Of All Trades summer essentials. In case you haven't noticed, I went to college with a pretty wonderful group of girls, and Jamie is not to be excluded from that group. Jamie is my go to gal for craft projects, renovations and yummy recipes. Plus she is super stylish and always ready to make a rosé at any wedding we both attend. I felt lucky enough to experience the big city lights of NYC with her for the first time. Check out her goods below...

*What one item can you not be without in the summer?

Starbucks To Go Cold Cup. One of the hottest, or should I say coolest things this summer. It's the iconic iced cup but reusable. You won't see me without mine this summer. Take the mug pledge, bring yours the next time you get your iced soy latte, save a little cash and you're using one less cup.

*What are you craving for summer 2009?

Neons! I can't get enough neon this summer. They are popping up everywhere. But neons are hard to commit to. Try a neon color like Essie Nail Polish California Coral during your next pedi.

But I am dying for this Rebecca Minkoff MAB mini neon trim bag. I would rock this neon hardcore!

*What is your essential summer song for 2009?

Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun . When this song was the iTunes free song of the week, I downloaded it pretty much because I thought it was the coolest CD cover I've seen in a long time. But it's actually an awesome song. My favorite part is at 2:43 seconds in, you want to pump your fist to it. Definitely fun to play at a backyard BBQ.

Thank you so much Jamie for sharing your picks. I have to agree that I will be toting a Starbucks To Go Cup with an iced coffee all summer long. I am also looking forward to trying this neon trend on my fingers or toes this summer.

Be sure to check back next week for more summer essentials from friends and fellow bloggers! Have a fabu weekend!

Forever Frugal Friday

I think this H81 Marion Knit Top is the essential piece for everyone to own this summer. It's light and breezy and perfect with jean shorts, jeans or a cute simple skirt. I love the cutouts at the shoulder and hem. Feminine and lovely, ideal for that BBQ that you just can't figure out what to wear.


Summer Essential Series ~ No Day But Today

Next up in the series is the adorable Courtney from No Day But Today. I also met Courtney back at WSU and she is a total and complete doll (not to mention her adorable puppy Max). I love reading Courtney's blog to follow her days up in Seattle but also for the simple little things she reminds me to be thankful for! Here's her summer essentials...

*What one item can you not be without in the summer?

Eau Thermale Avene-- it's a mister that you can spray on your face when outside in the sun, cools you off, I think gives you some sort of vitamins? (that could be a lie?), and is just fun because all of the directions are in French!

*What are you craving for summer 2009?


Casual summer BBQ outfits, sundresses.

*What is your essential summer song for 2009?

Summertime by Kenny Chesney.

Thank you so much Courtney for sharing your essentials! I am also looking for the perfect summer BBQ outfit and absolutely adore Kenny Chesney! Next up is Jamie Of All Trades tomorrow!

A Thousand Thanks...

I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and have to say that it was quite a powerful read. This book is spans for the 1970's until 2003 and follows the stories of two women who grew up with very different lives but found themselves connected during all the turmoil in Afghanistan.

I LOVED The Kite Runner and didn't expect to enjoy this novel as much. Perhaps because it was told from a female perspective, and the hardships they experienced, I found that I liked this novel better than The Kite Runner. It is an emotional read, that made me very thankful for all the freedoms we have in the United States as women. It has some very graphic descriptions and is very heavy, a yet still hopeful. I highly recommend this book to all of you who have asked if I liked the book, and also to anyone who is looking for a book with a lot of substance to it.

Whenever I come off a serious read like this, I like to lighten up the mood with a little humor, which is why my next book is Chelsea Handler's, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.


Summer Essential Series - Shelby Nycole

I am excited to share with ya'll, the first friend and fellow blogger Shelby Nycole's list of summer essentials. I first met Shelby at a frat party at WSU back in '98 (eek!) and we have grown closer over the years, since relocating to California. Shelby is a talented photographer, extremely fashionable and a recent newlywed. Check out her answers below and be sure to pop over to her blog as well!

*What one item can you not be without in the summer?

CHAPSTICK (yes in all caps) I'm an addict. All year round actually. My fav is probably Burt's Bees. And of course a good book. I've picked 2 (so far) for the summer:

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg (because sometimes you just need a feel good light read and I love her down-home sittin on the back porch sippin lemonade style of writing).

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Because if its about a dog - I'm sold. And if its written from a dogs perspective? Double sold.

*What are you craving for summer 2009?

A house (ha!) I really want a cute romper.

*What is your essential summer song for 2009?

ooh a song....that's like picking a favorite child. I'm really loving anything by She & Him(though its not super summery). And I can't stop listening to You and I by Ingrid Michaelson. Oh and I always seem to turn on Island in the Sun by Weezer during the summer months.

Thank you so much Shelby for sharing your summer essentials. I am definitely addicted to that Burt's Lip Balm as well. I don't think I am brave enough to sport a romper but know you can definitely pull the look! Check back tomorrow for
No Day But Today's list.


My girlfriend Christy sent an email this morning with some great news! Victoria's Secret Pink has finally added my wonderful Alma Mater Washington State University (WSU) to their collegiate collection. It took them long enough! Now if they would only add a few more items to the collection I would be the happiest of all campers. I am 99% sure that this sweatshirt will be added to my dwindling collection of college garb. It should arrive just in time for the 2009 Football Season.



Summer Essentials Series

Summer has arrived and with it comes a whole new list of items that I just cannot live without, crave and will be listening to non-stop. I have asked some of my friends and fellow bloggers to share their lists as well, so be sure to check back everyday and see what you might need to add to your summer list as well!

*What one item can you not be without this summer?

Simple...Neutrogena's Fresh Cooling Body Mist in SPF 45. I am scared to death of having my chest end up like Tamra from The Real Housewives of Orange County, and also skin cancer freaks me out. Which is why I won't leave home without this yummy scented sunblock slathered all over me. It keeps your skin cool, gives it a lovely sheen and best of all, keeps the sunburn away (also available in SPF 30 & SPF 70).

*What are you craving for summer 2009?


Maybe it is because Lonely Island's, I'm on a Boat has been on repeat wherever I go, or because I haven't been on an actual boat since 2005 (and I am not sure if a booze cruise actually counts), but I am craving an adventure on the open seas. Sure I would prefer to take a ride on a yacht...but I am also open for a sailboat or a catamaran (with visions of Thomas Crown, dancing in my head).

*What is your essential summer song for 2009?

This one was the hardest to answer personally, because there are just too many great songs for summer. But it dawned on me this weekend while walking Waldo...The Joker by The Steve Miller Band. Perfect for a BBQ, out by the pool, cruising in your car, and just absolutely timeless. I never grow tired of it and it is one of those songs that everyone sings along to.

So there you have it. My Summer '09 Essentials. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see Shelby Nycole's summer essentials.

Song Of The Week: Young Folks

Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks - More bloopers are a click away

YAHOO! My summer fever is in full gear and nothing gets me feeling that summer groove more than Peter, Bjorn & John's Young Folks. It just makes me want to ride a beach cruiser on the Venice Boardwalk. Plus I happen to really adore songs that have whistling in it. Weird I know!


Forever Frugal Friday

When was the last time you shared your love for your city? After a great win by the Lakers on Sunday against the Orlando Magic, I want to sport my pride even louder with this tee. Even if you don't live in LA, show us some love!


Designer Crush: FCUK

My latest designer crush (who's kidding who, I have been crushing for awhile) is French Connection. Whenever I cruise the local Macy's I am continuously drawn to their dresses and designs. Classic styles, and fun colors or details make their clothing popular and lovely. Here are a few of my current faves...

The Bonny Cotton dress would be the perfect summer wedding guest dress. Flirty, current and fun!

TheFast Wizard dress comes in a variety of colors and is the dress that I continue to pick up and try to justify buying. Yes it is just a simple, strapless dress, but the shape is just soo cute!

The Racy dress would be perfect for a summer shower, or day out of the yacht. I love the clean lines, crisp white and contrasting navy squiggles. Throw on some big sunglasses and a hat and you could fully fit in at The Hampton's.

This sexy Sea Silk top would look incredible white white jeans for a dinner date or drinks with the girls. Love the color and love the details in the back!

I am dying to get back to Miami and if I could this year, this Spot the Dot dress would definitely be accompanying me there. Sexy, flirty and floral = one happy traveler!

I am always looking for a casual day dress the doubles work and summer play and this Tomboy Twill dress may just do the trick. Love the bright pop of yellow and button detailing on top.

I have had my eye on this Spring Cotton sweater for sometime. It makes me smile and reminisce about my younger years. As I am pretty sure that I had this exact print or something VERY similar back in 1987 that I wore to death.

Go FCUK yourself!


Hoped For Better...

I have always heard such magnificent reviews about Hope in a Jar by Philosophy, but never used it as it didn't contain any SPF. So you can imagine my elation when they began to offer this moisturizer with SPF 20! Done and done. I rushed over to Sephora, picked up a jar and began applying daily. I was totally loving it (minus the smell) until I noticed I began to breakout. Of course being the optimistic dummy that I am, I figured it must be something else and continued to use the product.

I eventually ran out of the tub, and used some cheap stuff I had and wouldn't you know it, my skin cleared up. But don't worry...I bought it AGAIN! And sure as sh*t, my skin broke out again. So I grabbed my receipt and returned it to Sephora and am currently using a free sample of this guy and LOVING it! Perhaps even enough to purchase it once my sample runs out.

Here's hoping something works better for me next time!

Quite Possibly....

The most awesome moment in reality TV ever!! I love me some Teresa and Caroline! I could watch this video, over and over again. These Jersey housewives rock!


Pretty Much Perfect in Pink

I have a wedding to attend this coming August and am thinking that I just found my inspirational look...


Blake Lively attended the CFDA Fashion Awards wearing this sensational Michael Kors hot pink strapless dress and nude Loubies.


I am loving the bright pop of pink with her tan skin and simple styling of the dress. (Not to mention the incredible awesome addition of pockets!)


Also it just has to be said that her hair, clean makeup, and perfect tan are all complimented by her dazzling smile. I think Blake is just a total and complete knockout with a good head on her shoulders.

Now the quest for all of these items at a price I can afford...stay tuned!


Mrs Smith & Mrs R Love Red Hunters

This weeks Hunter Boot story is inspired by the picture above.

Hunter Boots are so fantastic, that you can wear them with nothing but a white button down shirt in a pile of rubbish and still look stylish. Mrs. R shared with us on our trip to Santa Barbara, that she has just purchased due to the movie Mr & Mrs Smith, red Hunter Boots in Scotland.

I love the red boots because they are bold, and fiery. These boots in red make a statement and allow you to stand out amongst all the other plain and safe wellies.

The proof is in the pudding! Look how cute Mrs. R looks in her red Hunters! Who knows...there may just be a sequel to the movie...

Mr & Mrs. R....

Song Of The Week: Chillin

Wale featuring Lady Gaga - Chillin from UniversalMusicGroup on Vimeo.

I CANNOT express in words how much I adore this song right now. In fact this past weekend, I am pretty sure I listened to it at least 6 or 7 times. For the longest time I just assumed the lady voice on this song when I heard it on the radio was MIA, but when I searched MIA nothing was coming up. Well that my friends is because it is the always awesome Lady Gaga lending the female vocals.



Forever Frugal Friday

I am attending a bridal shower in Manhattan Beach this July and wanted a cute outfit that was nautical but fit my personality and budget at the same time. This entire outfit cost only $36 and is something I would totally feel cute sporting. I also think it could work for a BBQ, or baby shower. Added bonus, each of the pieces can be paired with other items you already have in your closet for a completely different look.

Cheers to summer finally arriving next Sunday!


I saw this quote the other day and thought it definitely applied to my day today. My work building was holding a blood drive for the UCLA Medical Center and I decided that although I was frightened by the idea of donating blood, it would be my thing to do that is new and scary. Images of looking like a member of the Cullen family as they drained my blood danced in my head all week long prepping for the withdrawal.

First came the screening process to make sure I was even able to donate. A prick on the finger and a drop in a tube, would it sink (good) or float (bad)..... how about both?! REALLY? The doctor then had to test my blood again using the fancy electronic meter. She walked back towards me with my results.....

FAIL...my iron level was 0.10 too low to donate. As I turned to leave feeling quite defeated, a nice lady approached me about registering to be a bone marrow donor. After reading the pamphlet, and asking MANY questions, I realized that the idea scared me (a lot) but I have to say that after submitting my form, I left the room feeling great about my decision and the ability to possibly help people who really need it.

So while it might be difficult to find something to do everyday that scares you (looking at my balance in my checking account actually would fit this challenge), I think it is a good philosophy to live by.

(P.S. ~ If you are interested in becoming a donor, click here)


The Dress Everyone Must Own

Not to be all dramatic and stuff, but I recently acquired this darling Empire Waist Tank Dress from The Gap in violet and I am SO IN LOVE! This dress is not only versatile, but also super comfy, and totally flattering. Plus it has pockets which is always earns bonus points when dress shopping. This dress can be worn to a BBQ, the beach, the office and also for a night out on the town.

(click to enlarge) dress, shoes, necklace

Unfortunately I couldn't find an image of this dress in black (a little more fancy), but the white is pretty hot for summer nights out as well. Keeping it simple with fantastic shoes (LOVE me some Report Signature shoes), and a flashy necklace, will have you looking stylish wherever the night takes you.


dress, sweater, necklace, wedges

With sunny weather and summer days, concerts in the park, BBQ's and days at the beach all come into mind. These four pieces allow you to transition easily from hot sunny days to cooler evenings for a little star gazing. (I am also currently obsessed with the sweater as it is a great layering piece).


dress, cardigan, belt, necklace, pumps

Pending your companies dress code, this dress easily transitions to work appropriate by adding a cute sweater, belting it in, add some pearls and throw on your best pumps. I recently sported this very look last Friday at my office, and was super comfy but professional.

This is one of those dresses that I think I will probably own in every color because I love it that much! At $39.50 it is definitely a staple for your closet that you won't regret.


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