Top Knots and Curly Locks

Monday, August 31, 2015

New Month Resolutions: September

Before we get started with this month's resolution, let's take a look at how I did last month.

1. Jesse's Wedding: The dress is ready, the shoes have been bought, the heel grips for the shoes have been bought, the song I'm singing has been downloaded, the hair appointment has been made, the flight has been booked (more on that later); I'd say I'm pretty ready for this wedding.
2. Organize dressers: I cleared off my main nightstand which is the one I really wanted to get to.
3. Enjoy concerts: I really succeeded here.  I could have just recorded all of Sam Hunt during his concert but instead I just snapped a few pictures and enjoyed him in person.  I can always Google pictures of him later!
4. Read 6 books: I set the bar high for this month and exceeded expectations.  I ended up reading 7!  There's nothing like a relaxing vacation with all the time in the world to read.  Check out my book review here.

Now on to my resolutions for this month:

My main goal for September is to keep calm and enjoy the ride.  Remember how I said my plane ticket was booked for Jesse's wedding?  Well, I had to do that because I accepted an internship in New York City to work Fashion Week.  Yes, that fashion week.  Everything happened so quickly.  I applied for the position last Monday and got it.  I had to be in the city by today to start working tomorrow.  I'm working for 3 weeks and am so excited!  The time is going to fly by so I really want to soak it all in and enjoy the ride.  I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it in the days and weeks to come!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites

I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites! 

Have you checked out my Chocolate Peanut Balls yet?  If not, click here and try them right now!  I've been eating on them all week, between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and dinner, anytime.  Seriously, try them.

I saw Kelsey Ballerina, Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum in concert last night.  I know I've already used Sam Hunt as a Friday Favorite before, but can you blame me for putting him on here again?  All the acts were so great and I was disappointed when their sets ended.  I wish everyone could have played longer.

Water is just about the only thing I drink, so when Trim Evolution offered me the chance to review their fruit infuser water bottle, I jumped at the chance!  Before, I would occasionally put fruit in my regular water bottle, but I'm not the the best at getting seeds out of lemon so I would no doubt end up getting seeds in my mouth.  Where the fruit was just floating around in the water, it would also cover the hole where I was trying to drink.  With this bottle, none of that happens!  The fruit is contained so I never have to worry about fruit stopping up my water bottle.  Also, there are several small holes, smaller than seeds!, so even if seeds do get in my water, I don't end up drinking them!  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Book Review

This blows my mind.  It also saddens me how few books I'll read in my lifetime.  I wish I would have started keeping track of the books I've read sooner than what I did; I officially started writing down books I read and the completion date starting in 2013.  This quote makes me want to up my reading game!  Now, onto this month's book review.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This was the assigned read for a book club I'm in and I'll admit, I was a little hesitant to read it.  I read Gone Girl earlier this year and was disappointed in it and found it very predictable.  This book however; whoa, totally not predictable.  Every time I thought I had it figured out, a new twist was thrown my way.  I couldn't get through the book fast enough and can't wait for the movie to come out!

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
Alright, Shay has been mentioning Elin Hilderbrand for the past couple months and now I'm wondering what took me so long to hop on the bandwagon.  A local bookstore sells library books for $1 and I found two of hers and quickly snatched them up without even reading what the books were about.  I read this book at the beach and fell in love with Hilderbrand and Nantucket -- where all of her books take place.

For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe
As a HUGE Bachelor fan, I'm embarrassed to say I'm just now getting around to reading Sean's book and have yet to read Trista and Chris Harrison's books.  The book is an easy read and I really liked it.  I just wish we would have gotten more stories of Sean growing up and more behind the scenes details from filming, but I do know there are confidentiality contracts signed for the show.

Miss Match by Lindzee Armstrong
This book was the perfect beach read! I think I finished it in a day and a half ... maybe two days. I loved the book and couldn't read it fast enough. I was sent the book for free to review and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The storyline is very sweet and wholesome. It's rare to find a book that doesn't have promiscuity or language, but this one doesn't and it's such a refreshing change! It would be a lie if I said I wasn't on the verge of tears or crying the last third of the book. I can't wait to read the next book in the series (due out in October!!). Lindzee Armstrong has found a new fan in me.

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
Remember how I told you I picked up two books at the bookstore?  I read the second one on vacation as well.  I think I might have loved this book even more than the first one.  If that's how it goes with Hilderbrand's books, I might explode after I read all of them.  This book takes place over a wedding weekend and not just any wedding -- a wedding that was planned by the bride's mother before her death, she left a notebook with instructions.  The story is really neat because it tells the story of the wedding without using the bride's point of view.  I can't wait to get my hands on some more of Hilderbrand's books.

My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark
This book was thrown into the spotlight years ago with the release of the movie with the same title.  I refused to see the movie without reading the book.  Now years after the release, I can watch the movie.  I struggled to get through the book yet can't really pinpoint why.  It was just really slow moving and not what I was expecting.

First Love Second Choice by Lindzee Armstrong
Remember how I told you I'd been sent a book of Lindzee's to read and review?  Well, she was kind enough to send me another book to review and loved it, too!  Guys, I've even talked to Lindzee on Twitter some and she's so sweet!  Anyway, I had just finished reading My Week With Marilyn and really struggled through that book.  I needed something quick and easy to read to lift my spirits after my last read.  This was the perfect book for that.  A wedding planner who loves ice cream and trashy reality TV? Yes, please!! The story may be short, but it has plenty of ups and downs and comes full circle and ends with a bow on top -- or should I say a red balloon? ;)  My heart broke for the main character, Keslee, who is still grieving the loss of her twin sister when she sees an old high school crush. He doesn't know her twin has died and calls her by the twin's name. Keslee tries, but fails at telling him she isn't her twin and ends up going on a date pretending to be her sister. I'll leave it up to you to find out if Keslee gets herself out of this mess!

What books have you read this month?  I'm always up for suggestions!  Be sure to follow me on Goodreads to keep up with all my reads!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: New Radiance Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I was sent this product for free to review and these are my honest, unbiased opinions.

Before I begin this review, let me tell you just how incredible this glass bottle is.  Someone may have dropped this bottle...ok, I totally dropped this glass bottle from my night stand and it didn't break.  Did you hear that?  It didn't break!  It all happened in slow motion and I was terrified to look down and see a mess, but there was nothing!  The glass didn't shatter, the serum didn't spill -- NOTHING!  If the bottle could withstand that, I couldn't wait to see how it was in action!

I had to look up hyaluronic acid to see what exactly it is; I've been hearing about it but wasn't for sure.  It turns out it's an acid that's naturally found in the human body -- mainly fluids in the eyes and joints -- that holds in lubrication and fights aging!  The acid is used during eye surgery, to heal wounds, burns and as a moisturizer.  Get this, it's even used as a lip filler in plastic surgery!

So what's the deal with all these serums?  I never realized how important they are until this year.  It's another layer of defense for your skin against pollution and everything this harsh world has to damage our skin.  I don't know about you, but I want all the protection possible!  After discovering the benefits of a serum, I don't go a day without putting it on before my moisturizer -- just give it a few minutes to sink in before applying!

Anyway, this serum helps plump up skin and fill in wrinkles.  Being 24, I don't have too many wrinkles to worry about just yet (thank goodness) but it's never too early to start fighting them. I love this serum and within a few days, I noticed just how soft my face felt while putting on my moisturizer. The serum is lightweight and doesn't clog pores and it's very gentle. Not only does the serum contain hyaluronic acid, but it has vitamin C as well. The serum is all natural with no added fragrances. It does has a light smell to it, but it's nothing added. The serum absorbs quickly and a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. My only complaint is I didn't know just how little I needed and feel I used too much the first few uses. Other than that, no complaints here! 

The serum is currently on sale and you can get yours here, I definitely recommend it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Now that we're back from the beach, I've been trying to be better about my eating.  If I need a pick me up or just something sweet during the day, I reach for these instead of cookies, cupcakes or cakes. These are great because not only do you curb your sweet tooth, you're getting protein and as well as other health benefits.  The recipe is super easy to put together.

1 cup oats
1/4 cup hemp seed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup flaxseed
3/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tbs vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together (I usually add the vanilla last so I can control the thickness some)
Once mixed, refrigerate for half an hour
Scoop into 1 inch balls (I use a regular cookie scoop and get about 20)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Favorites: Beach Edition!

I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites! 

I'm still obsessing over my Gnome Workshop charger with 2 USB ports.  I was the happiest girl as we drove back from the beach and I was in the backseat charging AND using my phone and kindle at the same time.  Read my full review here.

And speaking of the beach, I got to mark something off of my bucket list: ride a horse on the beach! It was so much fun!  My horse was named Fire and she had a HUGE personality.  As soon as I got on Fire, she turned the wrong direction.  The guide, Jess, turned Fire the right direction and as soon as Jess walked away, Fire turned the wrong direction ... again.  She had to be the leader of the group and tried to take off galloping at one point.  Dad's horse, Sushi, on the other hand, "gets there."  She was such a slow poke; at one point, I tried to take a selfie and get Dad in the background, but he and Sushi were no where to be seen.  I love how Fire is sticking her tongue out in this picture, typical.

How cute are these flip flops?  Remember that sample sale I went to in NYC?  I got these flip flops there and am obsessed.  Havaianas flip flops are seriously the best.  I discovered them in 8th grade; the girls on Laguna Beach talked about how they are the best flip flops so I had to try for myself and let me tell you, they weren't lying!  I've had one pair for 10 years!  Anyway, these were pretty much the only shoes I wore the entire vacation, they are so comfy!  Plus, who doesn't love lipstick, nail polish and glasses?

We spent the night at a hotel on the way to the beach and these were their coffee cups and sleeves.  There were different designs and I matched up this pair.  We gave Anthony a pearl necklace sleeve to go with his morning coffee.

This was bread pudding.  It's my favorite dessert on the whole island and it's from a place called Crab Daddy's.  I look forward to it all year, every year.  When my family only took a few bites, I took it upon myself to finish the rest! ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Show and Tell: High School Angela

I'm linking up with Andrea today for Show and Tell Tuesdays.  With schools starting up, it's so hard to believe it's been 10 years since I started high school.  High school was a big change for me, I'd gone to private school for 1-8 grade but decided to switch to the public school for high school.  I went from a class of 21 with only 7 boys, to a class of 600 -- oh yeah, and NO UNIFORMS!  I can still tell you what I wore to high school orientation: a blue wrap shirt with a yellow tank under it and blue and white shorts.  Believe it or not, I still wore my first day of high school outfit until this summer when I decided it was time to retire it.

Fall semester of freshman year, I was the girl at every event.  I went to football games: freshman and varsity (sorry JV, I didn't go to your games!) as well as soccer games.  I loved the change from private school to public.  I remember one morning walking to Spanish class, my first class of the day, and passing people in the hall who nodded or waved at me and thinking that was so cool!  During middle school, my class traveled from room to room together so we never passed each other in the hallway since we were always together.

It wasn't until second semester that I found where I truly belonged: the journalism room and the "theatre geeks."  I auditioned for the local production of Les Mis and was cast in it.  I quickly went from the girl at all the football games to missing everything for rehearsal ... and I loved it!  I had been in a handful of local productions growing up, but once the theatre bug bit again in high school, there was rarely a time I wasn't in a show!  When I wasn't at rehearsal, I could be found in the journalism room.  My teacher, Mrs. Hale, changed my life and is the reason I ended up getting a journalism degree in college.  By junior year I served as editor-in-chief paper and was known to go to bed with old yearbooks and a marker correcting errors.  Senior year, though, I said goodbye to the paper and hello to college -- at least part time!  I attended half a day of high school, took a college class, worked part time and was in a show.  Can you tell I like to stay busy?

I took every honors class and a handful of AP classes.  I was in several clubs including Key Club, Student Council, Drama Club, Beta Club, Spanish Honorary and I somehow ended up in Mu Alpha Theta, the math honorary!  Junior and senior year I was also part of our school's Chamber Choir.  Ok, enough telling, now it's time to show high school Angela.

Freshman year homecoming and this little private school girl got voted onto homecoming court!

In 2006, a film crew came to town to make the movie We Are Marshall about the 1970 plane crash that devastated Huntington by killing the entire football team and several fans.  Mom let me skip school one day to be an extra on the set.  I'm in the final scene, but I can't find myself in it.

I'm pretty sure this was the last day of freshman year.  Fun fact: that's the shirt I wore to orientation

Sophomore homecoming!  Our dresses coordinated for every dance.  Seriously!  And we didn't even plan it!  I guess that's what happens when you've been friends since birth.

Mrs. Hale and some of the newspaper girls on her last day before retirement.

The summer between sophomore and junior year, I was accepted to attend Governor's School for the Arts, an audition-only camp.  I went for acting.  This is what we did when we got to our room and the instructor wasn't there yet.

Junior year I got the part of Gabriella in High School Musical and my best friend got the part of Ryan.  This is us practicing our jumping picture.

Junior year also brought about show choir.  This is just some of the group at one of our competitions.

I'm not exactly sure when this picture was taken, but in high school, we started our Elf movie night party.  Every Christmas, it's the last movie we watch and we have a big party.  My dad dresses up as Buddy the Elf and makes chili.  The party has now evolved into a pajama party and we're very serious about it.  If you don't come dressed in pajamas, you get to wear a nightie of mine!

This is one of my favorite pictures, ever.  I loved my hair, my dress, my makeup, the group of people I went with ... everything about junior prom.

I took my senior trip the summer before my senior year because my dad was working in NYC and his company had a hotel room for him.  Mom and I tagged along with my dear friend Josh and his mom. This is Josh on the subway for the first time.  Oh how times have changed, he now lives in the city and doesn't think twice about taking a subway.

My senior show was Peter Pan and I was an Indian as well as adult Wendy.  I actually got the call to play adult Wendy while I was in NYC with Josh.  We were headed to dinner and my phone rang with the director offering me the part.

I mean, who doesn't love a good senior picture?

And then I graduated.

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.  I hope you'll join us for the next Show and Tell when we talk about where we were on 9/11.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Gnome Workshop Portable Charger

Always be prepared.  I could have never survived as a boy scout.  We're known for having summer storms that knocks our electricity out; when they come through, I'm never prepared, my phone is usually at 25% and my Kindle about the same.  I have to rummage through my house to find a charging brick and then have to pass it around my family so everyone can charge a little.  Well, the sweet people at Gnome Workshop sent me this:

a portable charger that has 2 USB ports and that has made such a difference.  I'm more than willing to share now or I can charge two of my own devices at once.  This is extremely helpful as we road trip.  Usually I have my GPS plugged in the cigarette lighter until we get to a long stretch of road, then I unplug it and alternate between charging my phone and my iPod.  (What is a road trip without some great music to go along with it?!)  Now, the GPS remains plugged in and I get to charge everything else at once.  Plus, there's a flashlight built in!  That comes in handy when it's dark and I need to dig through my bag to find my charging cords.

The charger is solid, but not too bulky. It's still easily portable and considering I don't have a car charger for my phone, I love that I can take it with me! The charger also stays fairly cool to the touch, just around the USB does it get a little warm, but overall, the whole charger stays cool. The charger is also very quick. It usually takes my kindle a while to recharge, but within 20-25 minutes, I had charged 20%! The charger has a great battery life! I was able to charge my phone twice in the car and still had 3/4 of my battery left!

As a bookworm, this charger is so convenient! Now, I never have to wait for my kindle to charge again! I simply plug my kindle into the charger and it's instantly portable and I can read anywhere! Definitely a HUGE plus!

I highly recommend this charger to anyone looking for one!  You can get it here and it's currently on sale for $19.99!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Favorites!

I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites! 

This past week, my mom and I surprised a friend of hers and took her to see Dancing With the Stars Live Perfect 10 Tour.  It was so good!  We see the dancers every Monday night on TV but seeing them live was even better.  Watching the dancers made me want to dust off my dance shoes and go take some classes.  The dancers are even more beautiful in real life, and yes, Val did have his shirt off or unbuttoned most of the show! ;)

I posted the recipe for these healthy Red Lobster biscuits last week and they're too good not to share again.  My family loves these and they're always asking me to make them.  Check out the recipe here and let me know what you think!

Bachelor in Paradise started this week and I'm already hooked!  So many tears already and it's just the first week.  This show is great because it brings back so many of my favorites!  How great is it to see Tenley on TV every week again?  Also, how great did Ashley I. look on the After Paradise show?  I love her short hair!

I downloaded Sam Hunt's Montevallo and I'm obsessed!  The songs are great and his voice is just so sexy!  My friend and I are going to see him in concert later this month and I can't wait!  People have been talking about him for a while now and I only knew his singles, but now I know what people were talking about.  I love every song on the CD and it's been on repeat since I downloaded it earlier this week.

How gorgeous is this kate spade new york north court pave initial charm bracelet? I bought it during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and love it so much I bought more as presents!  The bracelet is so girly and dainty, I love it!  The sale may be over but if you buy it through Ebates, you get 6% cash back!

Have a great weekend!