Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Perfect Purse

Hello Beautiful!

I have always been one for bling. I love it! So when I saw this Juicy Couture Sophia Mini Bag with stones, I couldn't take my eyes off of it! Soft Saffiano leather is glammed up with sparkly stones, while the night-right shape easily stows cards, keys, phone and favorite lip gloss. It is the perfect little crossbody for day or night.

I love that this purse comes in three fabulous colors (Bombshell, Maliblu Sky and White)!

The price tag is a bit high at $178, but you know, a girl has to splurge a little right? My birthday is next month you know!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Maison Moschino: My Fashionable Fantasy Getaway

Hello Lovely. Do you love fashion? Silly question right? If you found your way to I Look Good Today, of course you do!

Being an Italian girl, I have always dreamed of visiting Italy and taking in all the rich culture, architecture and fashion that is such a large part of my heritage (I'm 3/4 Italian you know.)

Hopefully I will find my way to Italy one day, and when I do, I am DEFINITELY spending some fashionable nights (and days) in the surreal Fashion Maison Moschino Design Hotel, in the heart of Milan, the Italian capital of fashion.

Hotel Maison Moschino is the masterpiece of the Moschino design team, together with the amazing creative director of the brand, Rossella Jardini, known for her humorous and ironic touch in all her ready-to-wear collections.

You can choose to sleep in rooms that have ballgown beds, giant cupcakes as pillows and a cookies chandelier, beds of roses or walls climbing with ivy, and fairytale themes. The haute-couture allure and the stylish avant-garde d├ęcor will sweep any fashionista off her feet!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Flashback

{Have the most amazing girlfriend to work with each day. We laugh each and every day. Just yesterday we went for an afternoon hot chocolate break to warm up and as we were going down the hall she says, "We're gone with the wind fabulous!" I could not stop laughing. Everyone needs a friend like her!}
Hello Gorgeous. Happy Friday! This has been a very successful week! It started out aboard a cruise ship that was a fundraiser I had helped set up for the children's hospital I work for. We raised over $10,000 to support our mission, which I would say is a huge success!

A very dear friend of mine, Jack, that I introduced you to here, announced that he made me his Director of Marketing and PR Liaison for his dojo. What an absolute honor it is to be able to partner with him and to support his efforts. I know we are going to do amazing things together!

This weekend I plan to simply relax. I haven't had a PJ day in quite some time. Do you have those days? Where you don't leave the house and just stay in PJs all day long? If you haven't, it is a must. I am long overdue.

So what put a smile on your face this week?

{Really wanting to have some fun at the cruise ship's casino, but I behaved and only posed for a quick picture.}

{Listening to one of our amputee patients play the euphonium during our fundraising event. What a true inspiration he is! Success stories like his is what makes planning such events so rewarding. . .so we can help others like him.}

{My fun new cool wine tote compliments of the grand opening of The Container Store.}

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bold Shades for Sandal Season

This season, Essie brings us a collection of six new nail polish shades inspired by some of the most fashionable destinations in the world. From Tokyo to Rio, each shade represents some pretty swanky shopping destinations. Who doesn’t love shopping? I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little retail therapy!
Speaking of shopping—did you hear about the former Park Avenue princess that once flew to Paris just to pick up a hard-to-find Chanel polish? Crazy, right? Sheesh!

The shades include…
  • Madison Ave-Hue
  • Go Ginza
  • Avenue Maintain
  • Bond With Whomever
  • Maximillian Strasse Her
  • Hip-Anema
It’s impossible to choose a favorite from this collection… but let’s just say I can’t live without Go Ginza
and Maximillian Stasse Her!

Whether you’re jet-setting off to a tropical resort this Spring, or you’re looking for a few bold shades for sandal season, this collection is perfect for the upcoming warm weather!

Spy any shades from the Essie spring 2013 collection that you want to make your own?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tips Tuesday: Shopping Smart

Many of us need a few simple reminders of how to shop smart. As many of you know, I like to think of myself as a sort of shopping champion. I LOVE to shop, especially for clothes, but I knew that I had to develop a healthy relationship to shopping to not break the bank, and I did just that. These days, I don’t shop so much but I know what makes for a successful shopping expedition. Let me share my top ten shopping tips with you. I hope they help you to shop smart.

So before you get in your car and point it in the direction of your favourite shopping destination, take a few moments to familiarise yourself with this list of savvy shopping strategies.

1) Shop with a list. This is my number one tip for good reason. Many people overspend or buy things they don’t want, don’t need and never end up using because they haven’t prepared properly. This is your hard earned cash and precious time you are spending – it’s worth a few minutes of preparation, don’t you think? Sure it is (and remember, you’re worth it!). So, before you set off on your shopping trip, prepare. Review what you already have – in your closet, bathroom, cupboards, etc and then write a list of the ‘gaps’ you have and the needs this item will fill. Make sure they are genuine needs – not frivolous wants (there’s a big difference between the two). And finally, remember to use that list when you shop! That list will be no good scrumpled up on the bottom of your purse or jammed into your pocket. Use it and only buy things that are on that list! Will power ladies!

2) Set a budget. Yes, oh yes – the “b” word. Budget. This is important. Many people overspend on things they don’t want, need or use because they had no parameters around their spending – they just went ‘hell for leather’. Not a smart way to shop. You need to set a ballpark figure (or a more precise one if you have the specific research on what you are shopping for to support it) on what you are going to spend on this trip, what is comfortable for you to spend and what makes sense for you to spend on this shopping excursion. You want to feel great about this shopping experience long after the ink has faded on the receipt, right? And one way to do that is to make sure you don’t buy more than you can afford. Set your budget – and like the list – stick to it! Whatever your budget – $50 or $500 or $5000 – stop shopping once you hit that limit.

3) Pay with cash. The research is clear: we pay 20 – 50% more when we shop with those magic plastic cards, whether it’s using a credit or debit card. There’s something about that magic plastic that can make us feel like we’re using Monopoly money - like it’s not real. Unfortunately, those credit card fees are very real! So once your list is prepared and you have a realistic budget you can stick to, withdraw your funds in cash and use only that cash for your purchases. Paying with cash feels more “real” and that’s what you want – to connect to this shopping experience so you only buy things you genuinely need (Key word and I know a hard one to swallow sometimes when you see a dress you know you just couldn't live without.) and will use. You’ll save a fortune and those impulse buys will seem far less alluring!

4) Set a timeframe. Don’t allow yourself to meander around a shopping center in an aimless fashion. Many people use shopping in a lollabout way, whiling away an afternoon in their favorite mall. Not a strategy I would promote or advocate. If you want to shop smart, this isn’t the way to go – no meandering! Set a specific timeframe that you will complete your shopping in, and once that time is over, it’s time to head home. Your time is too valuable to spend mindlessly anyway – once you’ve bought all you need (and nothing you don’t), stop shopping and turn your attention to something else for the day.

5) Pick the best time for you. Shopping can be a fatiguing and stressful activity if you don’t shop at a time that works well for you. Shopping when the malls and stores are most busy (such as late night shopping and Saturday mornings) can lead to shopping fatigue where you end up exhausted and irritable – not a state in which smart shopping usually takes place. Remember that our physical environment affects us and overcrowded, jostling environments like congested shopping centres rarely bring out the best in anybody. So, pick a time to shop when you are going to be at your most alert and positive. And make sure that you take regular breaks or shop for shorter periods to avoid becoming fatigued.

6) Shop alone. Many people find that shopping partners are more akin to accomplices in crime! They can egg us on to making purchases that we don’t want or need, and can have their own (sometimes unconscious) motives for encouraging us to shop. Perhaps they feel some sense of competition, or they want to live vicariously through us and our purchases. Whatever is going on for the other person, what they don’t have to live with is the consequences of your shopping – only you have to live with that. If you want to go shopping as a social activity, that’s okay – but make it a purely social activity with no purchasing allowed. Window shop, or have a bite to eat together, but don’t buy until you can go shopping on your own.

7) Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored or upset. This is not an exhaustive list of the emotional states that lead some people to overshop and end up buying things they don’t want or need. But they are some of the most common emotional triggers that prompt people to shop unconsciously and therefore not smartly. If you are feeling any of those emotions – you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored, and upset – don’t go shopping. Do something else until you feel on more of an emotional even keel.

8) Ask “do I really need this?” Too many of us buy impulsively with no thought to what we need or even want. Our hard earned cash and precious time is wasted on things that have no place in our closets, our homes or our lives. One way to short-circuit the impulse buying cycle is to imagine you already own the item you are considering buy. Fast forward through the ‘thrill of the kill’ and imagine that this item, the one you are holding in your hand right now, belongs to you: you purchased it and now it’s yours. Imagine it in your closet/home, really see it there. Now consider: are you still excited about it? Or has the shine worn off it just a little bit (or a whole lot)? So many of us don’t stop for even a moment to consider if we really need this item, and so we end up taking home things we never use. What a waste.

9) Remember that the sales person is there to sell to you! No matter how friendly or pleasant a sales person is, here is the fact you cannot avoid: they’re in it for the sale. Yes, they may care that you walk out only with items that suit you and that you will use. But they want you to walk out with something. That’s what they are being paid for – to sell you something, or to maintain a relationship with you whereby you keep coming back. That’s their business. Sales people, no matter how charming and helpful they are, aren’t there to be our friends. They may engage in friendly behaviours, but their purpose is singular: to sell us something. Be mindful of this so that you only buy items you need and will use – not because an effective sales person talked (or guilted) you into it - they are very skilled at their trade!

10) Don’t buy just because it’s on sale. ‘Sale’ really is a four-letter word! Accompanied by the word ‘shoe’, it is possibly responsible for more impulse shopping than almost any other word! Remember that a bargain is not a bargain if it’s not you, doesn’t fit correctly, you don’t love it, or it doesn’t fill a legitimate gap you have and is therefore a real need. Spending money on a $20 shirt or shoes or make-up or a DVD or scented candles or a Batman clock or anything else that you never wear (or wear only once) or use is a waste of that $20. We justify it by saying “oh it’s on sale, it’s only $20” but those $20 add up. You wouldn’t throw $20 out the window, so don’t throw your hard earned cash out the window on items that appear to be a ‘bargain’ due to their discounted sales tag. Only buy items on sale when it’s something that is on your list and is within your budget.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Believe in YOU!

Hello Lovely. 

We are all on a journey of discovery which will be made both more pleasurable and successful if we believe in ourselves. You are a work in progress, on a never ending journey. What’s important is to keep moving forward, ensuring you’re heading in the right direction.

Some of you reading this are sporty, some creative, some musical, some are good with people, some good with computers. If you want to lead a fulfilling life and reach your full potential you must grow and develop these talents.

Some talents can be developed in your job and  some talents are recreational/personal. Whichever area of life they are in, they must be developed and honed because they are a part of what makes you - YOU.  If you ignore them you are ignoring a part of you, it is as simple as that. You are holding yourself back from experiencing all the greatness you are destined to achieve.

Once you are aware of your abilities and talents; trust them. Believe in them - believe in yourself and develop your talents and abilities.

The first thing I want you to know, no matter what your background is or where you grew up or the type of family you came from or even the position you are living in right now; it has nothing at all to do with you becoming successful! History is full of people who had nothing and went on to achieving great things, so just remember you have the ability to change your life - you just need to believe in yourself 110%.

Success and believing in yourself is 99% mental - I don’t care want anyone tells you! Of course you need to take action and learn new skills and work hard, but it all starts inside your head. You must believe in yourself or no one else will either.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

OZ: The Great and Powerful

Like many people, my first exposure to The Wizard of Oz was the Judy Garland film. I always wanted to be Dorothy for Halloween as a child and for whatever reason, I never was (Hmmm getting ideas for this year's Halloween costume, but I digress) Then I fell in love with the Broadway musical and book Wicked and its sequels Son of a Witch, and the vastly-underappreciated Return to Oz.

With the new release of the Disney movie OZ: The Great and Powerful, I could not wait to see yet another sping of the 1939 classic!

Oz the Great and Powerful is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, intended to show us how the Wizard from the 1939 film (and the original book) got to the land of Oz in the first place. It turns out that he’s a small-time magician in a traveling circus, as well as a player and a bit of a charlatan, although what he really wants to be is a cross between Houdini and Edison (who he admires greatly). After playing the field with one too many circus women, Oscar Zoroaster* (“Oz”) Diggs escapes in the circus’s hot air balloon, right into the path of a tornado.

And we all know what happens then. He finds himself in the land of Oz - full of witches and talking/flying monkeys and living china dolls.

I've read a lot of reviews online and sadly most are not very complimentary. However, I rather LOVED this movie. Perhaps because I left the 1939 class out of my mind and enjoyed this movie for what it is. This story isn't about Dorothy, so if you go in expecting that, of course you will find disappointment.

I truly did love everything about this movie. I loved the graphics, the costuming, the casting. I loved the whimsey of it all.

I think one of the things I loved most was the transformation -- as well as great acting -- from Theodora, played by Mila Kunis. When Oz meets Theodora, she is beautiful, naive and innocent, wanting only the best for her people. She falls to Oz's charm. However, after getting brushed aside by Oz, and with the "help" of Evanora (already a nasty witch), Theodora succumbs to wickedness and her heart is hardened. She transforms into the Wicked Witch of the West we all know!

While I found myself laughing out loud at some scenes, the movie also has a number of emotional moments as well! I was amazed and a bit shocked of  how much of a love story this truly is.

So friends, are you planning to venture back to Oz and see this movie? If you have already, what were your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: ForGoodnessGrape

Good Morning Gorgeous. I am so excited to share one of my favorite Etsy shops and new sponsors of I Look Good Today with you. ForGoodnessGrape is an AMAZING natural lip balm and perfume shop. You should know me well enough by now - this girl cannot get enough of perfume and beauty products, so when I stumbled upon this shop, it was instant Heaven!

I cannot tell you how excited I am to use her products, and with product names like Bananas Foster, Blueberry Cheesecake, Caramel Apple and Key Lime Pie how is a girl to choose? Everything sounds so delicious! It is truly like having dessert on a stick!

The women of I Look Good Today know that looking beautiful shouldn’t be a chore, and as Lisa states on her website, "it should be FUN and FORGOODNESSGRAPE brings you products that you can count on having fun with and feeling flirty when you’re wearing them. All while knowing that you are wearing one of the best products available!"

I won't keep you waiting anymore. I recently had the opportunity to interview Lisa about her shop and I am so excited to introduce you to her! Be sure to visit her shop and let me know in the comments which products you just cannot live without!

So tell me a bit about your shop and the inspiration behind its launch.
Hi, I’m Lisa, the owner/artisan of ForGoodnessGrape. I have always loved lip balm and perfume. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and I’ve always loved making things. I decided I wanted to make excellent beauty products with premium ingredients, offer them at reasonable prices and share the thought that feeling beautiful should be fun. I think I’ve accomplished this. I’ve been told by many customers that I have the best lip balms on Etsy. Some say the best on Earth! That’s pretty huge considering that on any given day there are over 8,000 lip balm related items offered on Etsy.

I love the indie artisan way of life and the creativity it allows me. I am passionate about natural ingredients and have found a way to utilize nature to bring beauty to others. Being absorbed in natural and handmade products really opens your eyes and you end up knowing that natural and handmade are what’s best for your body and for our world. As an indie business, ForGoodnessGrape is very earth friendly and I give back to my community to share the rewards of this wonderful life.

I have been on Etsy exclusively for 3 years now. To date, I’ve sold over 8,000 items on Etsy thanks to all of my wonderful and loyal customers! I want to be able to share my passion with more people so I have launched my own website - www.ForGoodnessGrape.com.

Oh and you may wonder how ForGoodnessGrape got its name. Well…I’ll share that too. I was making a grape flavored lip balm for myself one day. When it came time to name it, guess what popped into my head? You guessed it! ForGoodnessGrape. I know sometimes my names may seem a little silly but hey, like I said, you've gotta have fun! And there you have it.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Wow! I have a quite a few favorites. I've been using Seville Rosa by The Lip Balm Queen  for about 1 month now and LOVE it! I also love Gingerbread House, Marshmallow Rose, Secret Stash and Ghost Farts. I'd say I use these exclusively.

What's been the most popular item you've had?
Lemon Cupcake Lip Balm
Pink Sugared Lemonade Sugary Lip Scrub
Marilyn Lip Tint
Doni Perfume Oil
Jelly Donut Perfume Oil

Keep in touch!

Website: www.ForGoodnessGrape.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ForGoodnessGrape
Blog 1: www.confessionsofalipbalmaddict.com
Blog 2: www.forgoodnessgrape.blogspot.com
Twitter: twitter.com/4GoodnessGrape

Make sure to sign up for The Grapevine Newsletter (the official source for member’s only specials and sales) http://eepurl.com/BfE1

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blush at First Site

Hello Beautiful! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Are you adjusting to the time change? It is always so hard for me. . .driving to work in the dark, just doesn't seem right!

I have never been a big wearer of the color pink for some reason. I have nothing against the color, but I have never gravitated towards it in my wardrobe. This spring however, I am finding just the opposite to be true. I am loving the blushes, the roses, the magentas.

Here are a few of the pieces I am swooning over. . .it truly is blush at first site!

{Afternoon Bubble Tea Dress - $42.99}

{Rosey Sunrise Necklace - $18.99}

{Beauty Secrets Bow Belt - $12.99}

{Swing Dance Pumps - $36.99}

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chocolate-Mint Creams

Saint Patrick’s Day has never been a big deal for me. I'm not Irish. I do my best to remember to wear green to avoid getting pinched, but the thrill of green beer and rowdy bars holds little to no appeal for this girl. That was, until I discovered how fun it was to make holiday-themed goodies.

I recently made chocolate mint cream cookies, which instantly put me in a festive St Patrick's Day mood. This treat guarantees a lucky day!

What you will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 6 ounce package (1 cup) semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Pastel cream mint kisses

  • Directions:

    In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and water. Cook and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Add chocolate pieces; cook and stir until chocolate is melted. Pour mixture into a large bowl; cool for 10 minutes.

    Using a wooden spoon, stir egg into chocolate mixture. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

    4. Bake for 8 minutes. Immediately place a mint kiss on top of each cookie. Bake about 2 minutes more or until edges are set. If desired, gently swirl the melted mints with a table knife. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool until melted mints are firm. Makes about 48 cookies.

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Prints That Pop

    Hello Lovely. Spring is all about renewal. As we head into the fresh season, put the greys and black of winter behind you and invite bright colors and bold graphics into your style palette. Embrace eye-catching prints with some of my favorite dresses, tops, jeans and skirts in floral, abstract and geometric designs. Spring’s patterns let you celebrate your individuality and have a lot of fun while looking absolutely fierce!

    {Dot dot dot dress - $72.99}
    {Sweet Success Dress - $54.99}

    {Run a Bright Ship Dress - $154.99 }
    {Cool with Me Top - $64.99}
    {Honeymoon Floral Print Dress - $44.99}
    {Pastel Art Deco Shift Dress - $43.99 }

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    White Out

    Good Morning Doll. I have always loved all-white outfits. Be effortlessly on-trend this spring with some of my favorite pieces. Sleeveless sheaths and poplin dresses. Quilted leather shoulder bags. Breezy blouses and pleated skirts. You can create an entire white ensemble or simply choose one item as your standout. Either way, this stark color palette is easy to pull off, and something you can wear any day of the week.

    {I.N. San Francisco Belted Lace Dress - $59}

    {Alex Evenings Scalloped Lace Overlay Blouse - $95}
    {Juicy Couture Frankie Satchel White - $182}

    {Hint of sparkle white sweater - $49.99}

    {Gianni Bini Kelli T-Strap Platform Sandals - $69.99}

    {DKNY NY8145 Watch - $79.53}