Sketching with the BIC ®-4 Color Pen

This post brought to you by BIC 4-Color pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hello sketch style trials with bic penBeing an artist and creative thinker, I also tend to be a multi-tasker. That’s why I was excited to review and play around with the BIC ®-4 Color Pen! It reminded me of a pen I used to have when I was a little girl, where you pushed down and several colors were conveniently right there. This doesn’t have my elementary school colors of bubble gum pinks and cotton candy blues, but rather 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen: Green, Black, Red, and Blue. I would rate this as a fun all-in-one pen that’s office or student appropriate, which is great for organizing or even doodling.

I just watched The Great Gatsby movie (I know, where have I been?!), and loved the era and flapper style. I guess that was on my mind, because this is what I ended up drawing during lunch with my BIC ®-4 Color Pen. I started with the eye, then nose, lips, face structure, hair and flower.

portrait girl bic pen sketch style trialsNails:  Zoya Purity | Bracelet: Murano glass from Murano in Italy

It’s also an easy way to outline writing or organize thoughts through color coding.

to do list bic 4 color pen style trials

Colors give off different meaning and can be a fun expression of your mood, so I thought it was really creative how BIC® gave each color a distinct personality. For example, Blue is definitely the boss, Green is the jealous type, Red likes it when everything is correct, and Black, well, he just doesn’t get it. I would say I resonate with Red the most, but checkout these videos to see what I mean!

You can get one of these awesome pens at Amazon or your local Staples, and they’re less than $6 for a 3-pack! Also, if you’d like to follow more of Red, Blue, Green, and Black’s shenanigans, make sure to follow BIC ®-4 Color Pen on Facebook and Twitter.

What color fits your personality best and why? What do you like to sketch/doodle with?

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Meet Your New, Fashionable BFF from ANN INC.

This post brought to you by ANN INC. CAREERS. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love when the brands you love come up with useful tools for consumers. Today’s cool deal is a fashionable FREE app, brought to you by ANN INC. (the team behind Ann Taylor and LOFT). ANN INC. just released its first mobile app called BFF, which will literally become your BFF by helping put your Best Foot Forward!

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The BFF app includes a lot of fun features such as daily inspirational quotes from fashion icons, significant dates in fashion’s history, and helps you keep up with the latest fashion news. I had a lot of fun reading through the mantras from celebrities, such as:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde

“If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light.” – Lady Gaga

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is PASSION.” – Yves Saint Laurent

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The BFF app is designed to help women move forward in their career and life, and even has a feature where you can search for a job in your area of interest. Man, they thought of everything!

One of the app’s coolest features is the Trendspotter. You can take Instagram pictures of yourself putting your best self forward, use the hashtag #bfftrends and you will be featured on the app! You can also view real-time trends from others directly on the app, so it can be a tool for daily fashion inspiration.

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You can also mark the things you like best throughout the app, so it’s really easy to keep track of your favorite news, inspiration, videos and jobs that help you put your best foot forward every day. 🙂

The BFF app is available for free download on iTunes and Google Play stores.

Download the app and let me know what your favorite feature is!

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6 Steps to the Perfect Bridal Shower

Special thanks to Gigis Cupcakes who provided the cupcakes for this event. All opinions are 100% mine.

This past weekend I helped throw a bridal shower for my beautiful older sister, Danielle. While going through this process of co-hosting as sister and Matron of Honor, I narrowed down 6 steps to share that helped make this the perfect bridal shower.

1.) THEME

Picking a theme sets the tone for the shower, and will keep it a memorable experience for all. Try to pick something relevant to the bride, whether it’s based on a favorite motif, location, the Bride’s heritage, or simply color scheme.

For Danielle, we went with a girly Paris themed bridal shower (based on a  sister trip we took to Paris) which was complimented with black, pale pinks, and white details. Choosing a color scheme and sticking to it also helps tie together the theme.

style trials paris themed bridal shower details and banner

Zazzle paris fleur de lis bridal shower invites

 

2.) INVITES

The invites should also go with the theme.

For types of invites, you can go eco-friendly with an evite, or find good options online at places like MagnetStreet, Wedding Paper Divas, or Zazzle.

*Bonus Tip*

Many times you can find a Groupon or similar daily deal for places like Zazzle or Vistaprint. Also, if you’ve narrowed down the style and aren’t crunched for time, make sure to signup for emails from that site so you can purchase when a promo is running. If it’s around the holidays, there will be really discounted promotions for Holiday Cards, which you can really use for any cards, such as shower invites (I’ve seen up to 75% off!).

 We went with this fleur de lis invite from Zazzle, which matched the banner you saw in the picture above.

3.) THEMED FOOD

We hired a local caterer, and selected menu items to go with a Parisian theme. The menu included a variety of mini croissant sandwiches, cheese and fruit, baked brie, stuffed mushrooms, and mini quiches.

4.) SHOWSTOPPING DESSERT!

Let’s be honest. Women LOVE dessert…so make it memorable! I dedicated an entire table to really highlight the dessert, and put it in the location where we planned to open presents – right next to the Bride’s chair. My friends at Gigi’s Cupcakes in Orlando provided an awesome mix of full-size and mini cupcakes, creating a fun “Eiffel” cupcake tower! Guests were literally salivating over these gorgeous cupcakes.

Gigi's cupcakes logoGigi's Cupcakes orlando bridal showerblush and ivory gigis cupcakes orlando weddingGigi’s has a ton of flavor options that change weekly to suite anyone’s taste (gluten free included), ranging from Strawberry Shortcake to Pumpkin White Chocolate! We kept the flavors classic: White cake and pink butter cream frosting, and chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. Delish! I especially loved the candy pearls and crystal sugar on top.

style trials cupcake attack

Cupcake ATTACK!!!!

Beautiful cupcakes  can really help make any event memorable, and are a fun alternative to cake. Gigi’s Cupcakes has multiple locations in more than 22 states, and you can easily place an order online! Find your nearest Gigi’s location here.

paris theme bridal shower guest book activity game

5.) GAMES AND ACTIVITES

The wonderful bridesmaids focused on a series of games/activities, giving away Paris themed prizes. We spread out them out throughout the event, so people were entertained from start to finish.

  • Unique Guest Book: In lieu of a traditional guest book, we did something a little more creative. As guests entered, we took their photo and they were directed to write a note to the bride. Afterwards, we’ll mount the photo of each guest along with their note in the custom Paris notebook.
  • Newlywed Trivia Game: This is a funny activity for the group to watch and learn a little more about the bride and groom. Before the shower, we asked the groom a series of questions about their relationship and had his answers prepared. At the shower, Danielle was surprised with the series of questions, and had to answer them out loud to the group. For ever question she got wrong, we made her chew bubble gum until she had a whole cheek full!
  • Love Song Game: Guests were tasked with writing down as many songs they could think of that had the word “love” in the title. The one with the most answers won. The hitch? The winner had to sing a line or two from each song to prove they knew it!
  • Purse Game: This is a classically fun game. A list of random items were put on a sheet with a point value association. The more unique the item, the more points. Guests rummaged through their purses and marked off what was in it. The one with the most points won!
  • Slideshow: The groom actually surprised my sister with a beautiful slideshow for all to watch at the shower! It definitely made her shed a few tears. 🙂

6.) DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS!

It’s the little details that will help keep your theme together and make this something guests will remember. Since we were going with a Parisian theme, we used Eiffel Towers, fleur de lis, “ooh la las,” and “amour” motifs. The banner in the first picture (from Vistaprint) helped personalize the party to Danielle, and became a great photo spot. Checkout a few other details:

Paris bridal shower details style trials

Paris box to hold the utensils.

paris theme bridal shower candy details

“Amour” matching stickers put on lollipops or peppermint patties (inset in moss covered Styrofoam) add a pop of color to the favor table.

Macaroon Jewelry Boxes Style Trials

Macaroon jewelry boxes for favors!

I ordered these adorable macaroon jewelry boxes from PricewiseFavors. They came already packaged in a cute box with a french saying “Pour Vous Avec L’Amour,” (For You with Love).

paris theme bridal shower details punch fountain

We setup a drink station with a silver punch fountain, champagne, wine, sodas and lemonade.

To tie together the theme, we printed pictures from our sister trip to Paris and put in frames all over the party.

style trials parisian themed bridal shower

Style Trials Paris theme style and pretty bride

The bride paid attention to details as well, looking beautiful with an etsy flower hair accessory, neutral and blush outfit, pearl accents, and a flawless hairdo.

What steps would you add to throw the ultimate bridal shower? What bridal shower themes and games/activities do you love?

Also, make sure to follow Gigi’s on Facebook and Twitter for all your cupcake dreams! 🙂


Review and Freebie: Coastal.com and Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses!

This post brought to you by Coastal.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

Eyeglasses used to be the bane of fashion, but now it’s become a trendy accessory. So much so that you see celebrities sporting glasses even if they don’t need them, or people buying multiple pairs to wear different styles with different outfits. If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you read about my quest for the perfect pair of nerdy chic, hipster eyeglasses. Then I recently got LASIK, and didn’t necessarily need those glasses anymore. I was sad because I still thought they were cute and wanted to wear them on occasion, but adding non-prescription lenses to those Raybans would be more than $100….crazy! That’s why I was so excited to have this opportunity to pick a different pair of glasses for free from Coastal.com. I have to tell you about this awesome experience, and how YOU too can get a free pair of Designer Eyeglasses!

Style Trials Derek Cardigan 7019 eyeglasses Coastal.com

Listen up people! 🙂

I’ve never tried purchasing eyeglass or sunglasses online before (it kind of intimidated me), but this was a really easy buying experience. Coastal.com has become the largest online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses in North America, and I could definitely see why! They have all of the big designer brands/products offered in stores, but for half the price. They also deliver directly to your home, and offer prescription glasses, non-prescription glasses, and even sunglasses. I specifically LOVE their line of Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses for men and women, which are classically vintage inspired, yet trendy. They have a ton of different styles and color options, like this!

Derek Cardigan 7010 Brown Tortoiseshell | Derek Cardigan Glasses - Coastal.com® Derek Cardigan 7006 Brown Tortoiseshell | 0 Glasses - Coastal.com® Derek Cardigan 7015 Shadow | Derek Cardigan Glasses - Coastal.com®

Since I already had a pair of eyeglasses with a square frame, I wanted something completely different. I was thinking maybe a color like fuschia, or just a different shape. I was really gravitating towards the cateye glasses, and they had a few different Derek Cardigan cateye options. I uploaded a photo of myself and used their virtual tool online to “try on” a few pairs.

Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses | Buy Glasses Online and Save.

I decided this cateye style 7019 in Dark Timber was the winner. Just cateye enough, but not too over-the-top so I could still wear them to work.

Derek Cardigan 7019 Black | Derek Cardigan Glasses - Coastal.com®-1When ordering, you fill out your prescription per eye, and pick the type of lense you want (sunglass, regular, bifocal, extra thin, etc). All lenses come with anti-scratch and anti-glare. I ended up having a quick question since I was ordering non-prescription glasses, and I simply used their live chat. Super easy!

Live Assistance

My glasses arrived in the mail about 2 weeks later. They came in a nice case with a cleaner and eyeglass tool kit.

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I love how Derek Cardigan puts different math symbols on his frames. This style has a colon and a semi-colon…I’m so easily amused! Now prepare for a selfie photo shoot.

DSCN2729 Style Trials Coastal.com Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses 7019 Style Trials Coastal.com Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses 7019 dark timber

I’m going to leave you with some fun facts:
Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses were featured in Flo Rida’s “I Cry” music video and Alicia Key’s “Brand New Me” music video.
-For every pair of glasses purchased, Coastal donates another pair to someone in need! Look good, while doing good!

GET YOUR OWN FREE PAIR

Now how do you get your own free pair of eyeglasses from Coastal.com you ask? If you’re a new customer, simply go here and use promo code: FIRSTPAIRFREE. Then choose from over 300 specifed frames (other restrictions may apply). It’s literally that easy!

What do you think of the Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses from Coastal.com? Have you ever purchased glasses online?

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How to get Better Beauty Sleep

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ZzzQuil. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everyone’s heard the saying “I gotta get my beauty sleep,” but what exactly does that mean? Well, I did a little digging around and thought I’d share some interesting info.

Not only does getting the proper amount of sleep on a consistent basis make you feel better and is good for your health, but you’ll actually look better too. I’m not just talking about avoiding puffy eyes and dark circles, but your skin actually renews itself during this time. Not only that, but beauty sleep has also been linked to weight control.

Here’s Style Trials tips on how to get the most out of your beauty sleep!

  1. Get yourself on a routine. Try to set your “internal body clock” in a rhythm by going to bed and waking up at a regular time. This calls for weekends too!
  2. Wash your face and get on a skincare routine. This is the time the skin will rebalance and rebuild itself.
  3. Do not take caffeine or drink liquids too close to bedtime. Definite cause of sleeplessness/waking up in the middle of the night.
  4. Don’t workout too close to bedtime. This boosts your adrenaline, sometimes making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  5. Train yourself to be a “back sleeper.” Althought I really, really try and wish I were a back sleeper, I personally sleep on my stomach. This is SO bad as it increases wrinkles, especially on your chest, neck and face. If you absolutely can’t sleep on your back, then invest in a silk or satin pillowcase which will keep your face from twisting and wrinkling. The silky pillowcase will also make your “slept in” hair look fresher in the morning, especially if you have thin/oily hair.
  6. White sheets free from dyes are best, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  7. Try aromatherapy. Lavendar spray on a pillow case can relax and help you sleep.
  8. Invest in a good mattress. You’ll spend a good portion of your life sleeping on it!

No matter if you follow these steps, you may still have occassional nights of sleeplessness. I sometimes do myself, or have situations where I have a super early flight in the morning and have to go to bed much earlier than normal. That’s the worst, when you know you HAVE to fall asleep, but just can’t. Luckily, I found a solution!

I was sent a bottle of the cool new product ZzzQuil I’ve been hearing so much about. It’s from the makers of Vicks NyQuil, but is different because there’s no pain medication. ZzzQuil is literally just for the problem of occasional sleeplessness, and is non-habit forming. I tried out the liquid form because I hate taking pills (although they do offer it in pill form), and the taste wasn’t bad. Just kinda like cough syrup, and it instantly made my belly feel warm…which equals sleep for me! 🙂 I woke up feeling refreshed, so I’d definitely recommend this for adults and children 12+ years old who experience occassional sleeplessness.

If you’d like more info, checkout and “like” ZzzQuil on Facebook. If you try it out, let me know and tweet about your #ZzzQuilNight!

How do you combat sleeplessness? What beauty sleep tips do you have?

P.S. The image below is a hint for an upcoming post!

Style Trials ZzzQuil

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Kitchen Plan with Stainless Steel and Moen

This post brought to you by Moen, Incorporated. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve been trying to piece the new house together which has been a painfully slow work in progress. My problem is, I can easily make decisions for other people, but when it’s for myself I have to exhaust every option. *Sigh,* my poor husband. 🙂

With that, I’ve been researching and checking out a lot of cool products. I know I want to eventually redo my kitchen which is dated 10+ years, and am thinking new counter tops (probably granite), new appliances (hopefully sooner than later…the dishwasher is practically broken!), and a new sink with a really cool faucet. My kitchen is just very standard, but adding these elements would make it look a lot better, plus increase the value to my home – overall a win, win!

I’ll be getting stainless steel appliances which will hopefully update the look of my cabinets without having to redo those too, and want a matching faucet. My concern with stainless is usually the fingerprints, because that’s something I think will seriously annoy me. Does anyone have a good solution for that?

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Well, I actually found a pretty nice kitchen faucet by a great brand, Moen, which is fingerprint resistant! The Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet would definitely add a sleek, modern look to my kitchen, and I like the high arc design.

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The features are pretty cool too.

  • Fingerprint and water spot resistant…yes!
  • Pulldown spout has 2 spray functions (aerated stream of a more powerful cleaning rinse with pause feature
  • Relex system – makes a smooth operation, easy movement, and secure docking

Not too shabby! Plus, the Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet can easily be purchased at Lowe’s. Make sure to checkout Moen on FB and @Moen on Twitter for more info and options.

How would you upgrade your kitchen, and how do you combat fingerprints/water spots on stainless steel?

 

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Transform your Wardrobe with No nonsense Tights and Leggings

This post brought to you by No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

I’ve had lots of people say to me, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wear the same outfit twice!” Well, I definitely do, but I have little tricks to help. One of the ways you can make your wardrobe appear endless is by styling things differently. For example, you can completely change the look of an outfit by adding tights and leggings, especially if they are a cool color/texture. It’s literally style made easy!

So you can imagine my excitement when I received a pair of No nonsense tights and leggings to try out. They surprised me with a pair of jean leggings (a.k.a jeggings) and opaque citron colored tights.

One of my favorite things is that No nonsense tights and leggings can be found in places like food and drug stores, so you can quickly pick something up without having to do a big shopping trip (although they are also sold in major retail stores). I put together a casual outfit and a dressier outfit for each item to show how you can completely change a look. Check it out….

No nonsense Denim Leggings

My thoughts on the jean leggings were that they are super soft and comfy. Although the size I received was a little big (I like my leggings really fitted), these definitely still worked and I was happy to see they were long enough to fit my 5’7″ frame. The length was actually perfect because as you can see, I could wear them with heels or boots. The denim color was also great and had a nice sheen that could be dressed up or down. They had a mid-rise sitting right below my belly button, and I liked how they didn’t cut me off at the waist like some other leggings (nobody wants the dreaded “muffin top!”).

One last thing is that I typically only wear leggings with long shirts, but I wanted to go “jean on jean” with my casual outfit, which happened to be a shorter shirt. I think it works because these leggings are actually pretty thick, so they kinda look like jeans without pockets. They’ don’t go “see through” when you bend down and such, so in my opinion they’re more flattering than thin leggings which can cheapen a look.

 No nonsense Tights

Ahh, what can I say…I love me a good pair of opaque tights! This color was so unique and something I probably wouldn’t have picked out myself, but I ended up really liking it because it’s so bold! I loved that the tights were really opaque and again, SUPER soft and warm. Like, “you’ve gotta feel ’em” soft.

I also loved that I could take my Summer clothes like shorts, and make them Wintery by adding these punchy tights. There’s also a bit of a control top which is nice, and the Medium was perfect for my height.

For additional style points, try keeping the rest of the outfit neutral and adding one other colorful accessory to compliment the colorful tights. Like a bright lip, bracelet, purse, or heels!

 

Did you know that fashion expert Jill Martin is a style Ambassador for No nonsense? Checkout this fun video for more information and additional tight/legging colors!

I keep in touch with No nonsense on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to follow along. I love that No nonsense can really add affordable, modern style to your wardrobe!

Which of my looks above do you like best? Have you or will you try No nonsense tights or leggings? Leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂

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