Get the look— for less!

See how, for only $100 (including accessories!), we can mimic this celebrity look!

When you’re thinking of style icons, Jessica Alba may not come to mind.  But let me tell you, the girl knows how to put an outfit together!  Every time I see her, I wonder how she can make comfy, casual clothes look so hip and adorable.  (Yes, the personal trainer probably has something to do with it.)  But I’ve done my research and found a way to get Jessica’s look at a price that even a starving college student myself can afford.  Okay, maybe I’m not starving, but you get the idea!

Here’s Jessica’s look (I’m guessing that I probably want whatever is in that shopping bag, too!):


The combination of tight, rolled up jeans with the slouchy sweater and graphic tee keeps this look super casual, while her metallic shoes and brightly colored scarf take the whole look up a notch.

Here’s how you get it:

The Sweater… I found this one at Old Navy for $26.50!

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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List (Bonus: they're all under $10!)

Valentine’s Day gifts can be a little awkward.  As a kid, I loved the card-and-candy combos we passed out in school.  But somewhere along the line (perhaps around the time boys stopped hitting us to get our attention and simply started making fools of themselves… sorry guys), Valentines really began to mean something.

It’s always fun to give and receive gifts on February 14th (or any day, really!), regardless of whether you have a significant other to celebrate with.  But getting gifts for all your friends can really add up.  I don’t know about you guys, but my bank account is still recovering from Christmas! Fortunately, I found some super cute, budget friendly options. (Plus, they’re all available online… how easy is that?!)

For your girlfriends:

Not only are these bath salts seriously adorable, they cost only $4 a piece!  Plus,  you can choose from a variety of colors and scents when you order.  (Check them out at Etsy.com )



For your mom:

There are few things more festive than pink and red sugar cookies.  I’ve been seeing heart-shaped cookie cutters in stores everywhere lately, but I couldn’t believe how affordable these were. (Not only that, but there are six of them!)  You can find them on Amazon.com for $7.

For the artist:

This gift would work great for the kids in your life, but let’s face it, no one ever really grows out of their love for crayons.  Is it just me, or would you love getting this rainbow colored gift from Etsy.com?

For your someone special:

Let’s not forget the true purpose of V-Day— reminding the people in your life how much you love them.  There’s really no need to spend a bunch of money when you can easily give the most romantic gift of all: a love letter!  Take the time to make a card at home, rather than buying one from a drugstore.  If there’s ever a day to tell someone how you feel, Valentine’s Day is the day to do it!

Tell me some of your favorite V-Day gift ideas! What’s the best thing you’ve ever received (or given) on February 14th?

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How-to: Kristin Cavallari's Laid-Back Bun

Yes, the groundhog saw his shadow.  But here’s a reason to be happy this morning: I’m starting a new series of “how-to” posts that will cover a whole range of topics.  (Be sure to let me know if there’s something specific you’d like to see!)  Today, we’re going to learn how to mimic a chic yet laid-back updo, as seen on Kristen Cavellari.

Let me just start by saying: I am not a fan of this non-celebrity. However, I saw these pictures of her from the “When In Rome” premiere, and completely fell in love with her hair.  (Yes, I am ashamed.  But look at what I’m talking about!)

I am a California girl through and through, and nothing impresses me more than a  messy-but-not-too-messy, imperfectly perfect updo.

So, I decided to try and re-create the look and share the steps so you can try it too!

For this style you’ll need: mousse, bobby pins, a hair tie, a comb, and hair spray.

**note: updos are easiest on day-old hair, meaning hair that isn’t newly washed. (Mine was freshly washed, so my ‘do didn’t turn out quite as fabulously as it could have.  But let me assure you, this is NOT a difficult look.)

STEP ONE: Apply mousse to damp hair (this will keeping it from getting crunchy once it dries.)

STEP TWO: Blow hair dry and tease from the crown, forward.

STEP THREE: Pull hair into a low ponytail, leaving a thick strand hanging on either side of your head (above your ears.)

STEP FOUR: Twist these strands back toward your pony, and pin with bobby pins.

STEP FIVE: Grab a big chunk of hair from the center of your ponytail (about half the thickness of your hair) and twist it into a knot-like bun.  You can secure this with more bobby pins, or you can use a small elastic like I did.

STEP SIX: Take the remaining hair from your ponytail and wrap it, strand by strand around the knot-bun.  There’s no wrong way to do this!  Messiness is a key part of this look!

STEP SEVEN: Spritz with hair spray and enjoy a night out on the town!

Good luck and let me know how it goes!  Have you seen other hairstyles that you need help figuring out?  Send me a photo and I’ll see what I can do!

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The Renter's Design Solution!

Maybe it’s because rent is due today, or perhaps it’s just because I’m always looking for a way to make our apartment feel more homey, but I flipped over this adorable design idea:

These decals can be applied safely to any wall in your home to add instant      color and ambiance.  I have been soo frustrated with our all-white walls  (some landlords allow tenants to paint… sadly, we are stuck with these  sterile puppies.)  But the decals to the left make this white wall look totally  updated and fabulous.

Meanwhile, the decal below creates an instant accent wall.

The best part about these decals is they’re budget friendly and easy to find.  There are websites all over the internet that sell these larger decals for under $100.  (I found the ones you see here.)  There are also opportunities to create your own custom decals through many of the sites.  And, they peel off easily without damaging the walls of your apartment!

I am definitely getting one— but now I have to decide which I like best!

Any opinions?  Check out the site and tell me which is your favorite!  Has anyone actually put these up before?  It’s supposed to be easy… but IKEA instructions are supposed to be easy and we all know that isn’t true.  (My favorite episode of The Amazing Race is when the teams were challenged to put together IKEA furniture… but that is another story!)

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