Gift Glowing Skin This Holiday With These Hemp Seed Oil Goodies

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEARRRRR ! 

There’ll be much mistltoeing, 

And SKIN may be glowing

When love ones are gifted Advanced Clinicals

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Thanksgiving literally crept up on all of us! But now, as we head into December, the holiday season has officially commenced…and I could not be any more excited! But let’s be honest, this can also be an extremely stressful time! What will Mom want this year? Sister has tried every product out there, how will your gift wow her? Oh yeah, your bestie still needs a little something, and dang, there’s that second cousin of yours that reminded you, you were her secret santa and to make sure it’s something good! The easy part is remembering everyone on your list, but the harder part is budgeting for it all! Cue the anxiety! As I am usually the worst gift giver, frantically shopping the day of Christmas Eve, this year, I decided to take a different approach. I have actually, set gifts aside, ahead of time! (I know, who is she?!)

But speaking of anxiety, this season of my life has been incredibly tough. My anxiety has been living it’s best life lately, making mine, difficult to navigate. So in efforts to find some tranquility, a friend of mine urged that I try some common household items made with hemp. The chemical makeup of hemp seed oil, consists of omega-3 fatty acids, which are aids in relieving anxiety. I let her know that when my anxiety levels heighten, my skin tends to dry up. She then, recommended Advanced Clinicals. For the past couple of months, my nighttime skin care routine has been literally heavenly and so peaceful!

So you could imagine my excitement when Advanced Clinicals  approached me to work together! I freaking love their products! They are THE ideal brand for affordable (yas) and effective (bigger yass) skin care! This line stands behind advanced, scientific formulas that still somehow go for $15 or less! (So, sorry if you are reading this, Mom, Sis, or bestie, these are the perfect stocking stuffers!) This is not a skin-care line that you have to wait weeks on end to see results, the chemistry is so freaking effective, that my anxiety and skin felt better after a few applications.

Before bed, I usually like to cleanse, tone, moisturize, and finally hydrate with my Vitamin E Oil. If you follow me, you know I LIVEE for Vitamin E! So once those steps are completed, I wrap up with the Advanced Clinicals Hemp Seed Oil line.

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HEMP SEED OIL FACIAL MIST: Infused with my fave ingredient, Vitamin E, this mist helps brighten and replenish a healthy moisturized glow. It’s Cannabis Sativa is naturally rich in fatty acids and plant-based hydration. I LIVE for a few spritz throughout the day, really, but especially before bed as it leaves my skin feeling so soft. Plus the Aloe Vera and Sea Salt ensures I will not be left feeling oily or sticky.

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HEMP SEED OIL INSTANT HYDRATION CREAM: Rich in essential fatty acids like Omegas 3, 6 and 9, this soothing compound helps restore the life and elasticity of dry, rough skin. Which is WHAT A GIRL NEEDS, because my elbows, knees, and shins tend to be the driest areas of my body! Poor things, need extra TLC and hydration. The infused Coconut Oils, soothing anti-inflammatory properties, Shea Butter, and VITAMIN E, all work together to revitalize smooth, soft skin!

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HEMP SEED OIL INSTANT HYDRATION BODY OIL: This stuff makes me feel insanely luxurious! This hemp-infused body oil is intended for luminous skin. And as you can see, it does just that! PLUS, IT’S NON-GREASY and does not get on my sheets, probably because my dry skin absorbs it so quickly. Plus, the VITAMIN E, Ginger, and Lavender work together to support collagen and helps lift the skin! Not to mention, it leaves you feeling like a supple queen!

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It’s crazy to me, that these “everyday” products that a friend recommended a while back, became some of the most helpful, soothing aids before bed. Not to mention this hemp line amongst many other Advanced Clinical products are stand outs, as they are backed by chemists who perfectly concocted with some of the earth’s most powerful natural agents, effective formulas that anyone can afford! Y’all know I will never stand behind expensive skincare, because in my experience, just a little, goes a long way!

Do yourself and a favor this holiday season and avoid the stressors of what the heck to gift the women (or men) in your life. With $15 a pop, you can’t go wrong with this line!

Heck, gift everyone on your list during Cyber Monday! Use code: CYBERSAVINGS for 50% off everything tomorrow at AdvancedClinicals.com  + the deals continue for the next 12 days!

HAPPY GLOWING, QWEENS!

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Chunky Mashed Potatoes

My diet is basically a paradox. As much as I enjoy healthy eating and finding yummy substitutes, I equally enjoy pigging out. That in mind, I am a sucker for Thanksgiving food…but like… all year round! So this week, I decided to cave into my cravings and whip up THE healthiest and most finger-licking (no lie) mashed potato recipe I have ever tried.

Now, there is NO dairy involved in this recipe, and I know what you may be thinking: milk and butter are what make mashed potaters so good!! BUT this version is somehow way way way better tasting and much better for your diet! We are substituting milk and heavy cream with chicken broth and replacing regular butter with vegan – plant based spread.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 (1.5 LBS) bag Baby Red Potatoes
  • 4 tsp Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
  • 1 cup Chicken OR Veggie Broth
  • 1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • Pinch salt & pepper

 

Directions:
  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender ~ 15-20 minutes. Add salt.
  2. Drain potatoes in a colander. Simultaneously, heat up chicken broth and buttery spread in microwave or small sauce pan ~ 1-3 mins
  3. Pour on top of potatoes and add pepper and Lawry salt.
  4. Mix together with a folk & spoon or masher until your desired consistency. I prefer mine a bit chunky!

And Voilà!

 

If you are ready to experience a true mouth-gasm, I urge you to give this recipe a try! I seriously could not help but snack on several spoonfuls while prepping this side! Xo

Los Angeles Travel Guide

Ahhh, Los Angeles, The City of Angels! When I first moved to LA, I arrived on a Friday. On that following Monday, I began my first day of work. SOOO needless to say, I definitely did not have the knowledge of the “must-go” places within the city.

Now almost three years later, I’ve ventured to what seems like every corner of the city, but in all honesty, I have barely scratched the surface. There are thousands upon thousands of yummy eateries, numerous beaches, hipster cafes, bars, scenic hang outs…the list goes on and on! To help narrow down that list, I have compiled my top go-to hot spots within the city.

 

Brunch:

 

Blu Jam Café: I heard only rave reviews about this place, so naturally I had it give it a go! Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Crunchy French Toast is the way to go! If you have a larger appetite this place is for you (:

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Mocafe: Variety. Variety. Variety!! Huge portions, fresh ingredients, lovely service and a great location. My favorite dishes are the Nutella Waffles and The Protein Scramble! P.S. their potatoes are to die for!

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Restaurants:

 

Bambou Le Pho: I’ve tried probably 30 Pho restaurants in my life and after trying this place on a whim, I’d say it would make it to the top of my list! There are so many dishes I’d recommend but my favorites item is their fried egg rolls… OH MY LORD! YUM.

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Sunset Thai: Massive portions and super yummy dishes! I’m very particular about my Thai Food but this place is spot on! I’d recommend their Pad Thai and Orange Chicken.

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Clifton’s: This place is truly a gem! Considered the largest public cafeteria in the world, this multi-level building serves some of the best hearty food I’ve ever had, has the coolest decor and vintage bar around AND  is a swing dance venue on the upper level as well. I’ve enjoyed live jazz and swing classes here as well! This place is definitely an experience to have.

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George’s Greek Grill: I saw a friend post a photo of their meal from this place and I just had to try it! The dishes here are fresh and very authentic! Their Grilled Chicken Entrée is bomb.com!

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The Albright: If you’re in the heart of Santa Monica and looking for some fresh seafood and beer, this place is for you! I’m pretty surprised how in such a prime location, there is hardly ever a wait. My favorite dishes are the Clam Chowder Bowls (OMG) and the Chips and Guac!

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Eataly:  Great ambiance and tasty food! I love the Eataly concept in general. It is like a Costco for Italian foods, wines, spices, etc.  You can buy pre-maid or dried foods (as you would in any super market). The restaurant inside the giant market is worth the wait! Of course, my favorite items of the menu are the Margarita Pizza, Cacio e Pepe, and Cannolis.

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Nightlife:

Harlowe Bar:  In love with their Old Hollywood feel! It is close to being a full-on club but yet somehow remains true to its chill cocktail bar vibe. There is a DJ on site playing almost every genre in mind.

 

Adults Only: This dive bar is tucked away in a pocket of a strip mall. The aesthetic of this gem is of a classic video store, when you first walk through the entrance, you pass the “adult section”. There is a pool room in the very back and not to mention, their drinks are pretty good!

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The Misfit Restaurant + Bar: Walking distance from the pier, this bar is literally such a fun & affordable time! A perfect spot for day drinking, with one of the best happy hours this city has to offer! From 12-7pm they serve $6 cocktails! Like heller, this place is a must!

 

The Edison: This renovated power plant, serves absinthe, some of the strongest craft cocktails, a burlesque show & live music! The Edison’s prohibition feel, is one to experience for yourself!

 

Ace Hotel: When I first moved to LA, I was introduced to this rooftop bar, and let me tell you, I was a weekend regular for much after that! The views are stunning, the laid back vibes are contagious, and the pool is so nice to dip your feet into, especially during those warmer Summer nights. I would suggest however, to arrive earlier in the night, as the line does get long.

 

Places to go: 

Runyon Canyon: The various routes of this hike, make it suitable for just about everybody! There are extremely steep paths as well as lighter ones, perfect for striking up a conversation. I’ve met countless of celebrities on the trails and the views of LA are pretty amazing! There is free street parking nearby as well!

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Museums: Whether it be, LACMA, The Getty, The Broad, Museum of Broken Relationships, the list goes on and on – you are sure to have a pleasant time and (some pretty cool IG pics) from your visit.

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Melrose Avenue:  LA’s trendiest hub filled with funky stores and cafes… great for people-watching and getting some cool IG shots. I personally love the painted walls on the buildings which are always changing.

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The Global Angel Wings Project Wall

 

Bike Ride from Venice Beach to Santa Monica:  One of the most relaxing ways to get around in LA! Enjoy one of the most beautiful and interesting urban bike paths in the World! This is Coastal California at it’s finest! I have found BOGO coupons online so this is def a fun and cheap adventure to share with a loved one! Once you arrive in SM, you can lock up your bike and walk the pier 🙂

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*As you can see, the possibilities to explore are endless. Because of that, I am seriously so in love with this city. I grew up in the Bay Area and I thought no where could compare to San Francisco, but boy was I in for a treat! Xo *

 

 

The Holy Grail of Foundations

How many of us have struggled with finding the right foundation?! I know I have! It was either I used a brand that matched my skin tone, but was not a match for my skin type or vice versa. I am warm complexioned and have combination skin which means I have both dry and oily areas, so you can imagine how tough it’s been for your girl, haha. As most of us have, I started off with a drugstore foundation. For years I was not happy with the quality these brands had to offer, plus they were cakey or not long lasting.

I finalllly mustered up the courage to spend some real money on a high end brand, just a couple of years ago. But let me tell you, the quest to find the perfect foundation, left this girl feeling overwhelmed by options. There are so many different formulas, textures and ingredients out there. Knowing which one suits you is TOUGH. But after some trial and error, I’m pretty sure I have found the one!!!! To have and to hold, from this day forward…sort of thing. HA!

Drum roll please….

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

Illuminating, weightless foundation blurs imperfections while adding a dewy glow. The formula is infused with Vitamin E oil so you are sure to feel hydrated and conditioned.  This is a full coverage foundation but it is sheer. So if you do suffer from acne or scarring this may not be full enough coverage. I will say though, I do have sun spots and get the occasional break out and this is more than enough coverage for that. This product will leave you with healthy and radiant looking skin. I prefer to apply the product with a blending brush vs a beauty blender as it’s already so lightweight. What I love about it, is the formula takes less than a minute to bond with my skin! Plus, a little can go a long way. It is a buildable formula that blends well with concealers, bronzers, blushes etc. You will feel like your skin is able to freely breath (which was not the case for me with other foundations). In fact, I work out mid day with this foundation on and my face looks just as fresh as it did before my work out, can you say #qualitymakeup !?

I am truly amazed by this product and will repurchase time and time again. I use the product 7x a week yet the bottle lasts for about 4-6 months!! So, if you’re ready to serve those radiant, fresh, and healthy looks, this foundation is for you!! What are you waiting for? Head to your nearest Sephora and try it out for yourself!

P.S. If you are wanted to take this look to yet another level, I would suggest using it’s partner: Becca Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer. It helps create a smooth canvas and acts as an extra filter to flawless and glowing skin! Xo

 

Cacio e Pepe

Hands down, my all time favorite Roman cuisine! Cacio e Pepe, traditionally served as a rustic pasta dish, literally translates to “cheese and pepper.” As the name suggests, only a few ingredients are needed. I love this dish for several reasons: its an authentic meal, it’s incredibly simple, yet unbelievably decadent. When I was first served this dish while abroad, I was actually blown away with how complex the flavors were. It were as if, the pasta melted in my mouth. The generous amount of black pepper, offers a spicy and toasty flavor, where as the Pecorino cheese, leave this sharp and smoky touch. To the naked eye, Cacio e Pepe may just look like pasta with cheese, but I am here to tell you, its an instant mouthgasm.

In fact, I took a cooking class while abroad, where a local chef taught us step by step, the complexity of the pan-sauce precision needed for this dish. Although the ingredients are minimal and the recipe is simple to follow, there is a technique required to get the pasta: 1) al dente and 2) at a consistency where the Pecorino coats the creamy twirl of noodles.

I’ve noticed that American chef’s prepare the dish differently than in Rome, but I will be following the authentic way I was taught. I have however, altered the ingredients just a bit, (by excluding butter), in order to recreate a healthier version of the meal.

P.S. I made this dish for last week’s meal prep, so I prepared enough for an entire week.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package of Organic Spaghetti Pasta
  • 1 lb cut Pecorino Romano (grate 1/2)
  • 6 TBS Olive Oil (I used Grape seed oil)
  • 1 TSP ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS of butter (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add grapeseed oil to medium skillet on low heat. Soon after, raise the heat to medium-low and grind in the pepper until it sizzles. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Grab a large skillet and toss in Spaghetti. Eyeball just enough water to cover the pasta. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir until the pasta is almost al dente.
    • The splash of water allows for extra starchy pasta water which we will use for a creamier sauce.
  3. Simultaneously, grate 1/2 of the Pecorino Cheese into a mixing bowl and add just enough pasta water to cover the cheese. Stir vigorously until a sauce forms to prevent clumping.
    • (You can also grate the cheese and toss directly into pasta)
  4. Now spoon out 3-5 TBS of pasta water to the oil/pepper mixture. Stir in butter (optional). Transfer the pasta using tongs into pan.
    • MAKE SURE to save remaining pasta water. Swap out pans on heat
  5. Pour cheese over your pasta and toss! Turn off heat soon after.
    • I like to add a hint of oil to reinforce that the sauce sticks to the pasta yet still flows nicely. 

And Voilà!

I know each step may sound excessive but remember, the heat melts the cheese, while the starches in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta. I promise, if you follow these directions exactly, you will have created one of the best dishes around! Xo

Fave Drugstore Beauty Products

Let’s face it, makeup is ridiculously pricey. Although beauty products usually fall into the, “you get what you pay for” type category, this is not alwayss the case! In fact, my usual beauty routine is a blend of both drugstore and high end products. As there are a plethora of products on the market, here are my favorite makeup, hair, skin, and body finds you can score alongside your toiletries.

*For each drugstore product, I have listed its high end alternative (all in which I have used before) as a means of price comparison.

 

1) Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer – $9

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This product by far has been my on-the-go savior! I just apply the applicator directly onto the under-eye area, blending into my skin with either a beauty blender, blending brush, or my finger. In fact, I also use this product as a lid primer before I apply my eye shadows. Within minutes I see a significant difference in the dark hollows of my eyes, all while brightening and shaping my skin.

Its alternative: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer – $27

2) Wet n Wild Photo Focus Natural Finish Setting Spray, $4.99

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This product was actually recommended to me by a friend after years of using its high end alternative. I was skeptical at first, but now I can not tell the difference between the two. Both brands keep my make up long lasting, oil free, and give me that dewy skin I’m looking for. Currently I’m wearing this product full-time!

Its alternative: Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Make-up Setting Spray – $48

3) Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, $4.99Image result for WET N WILD MegaGlo Highlighting Powder (82) REVIEWS 0.19 oz Item 2516739 $4.99 Color:Precious Petals ADD TO BAG

This product has been my go-to! Whether I’m dripping in color or going for a more natural look, this highlight helps create the illusion of brightness and height onto my frame. A little product goes a long way, here!

Its alternative: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish- Soft & Gentle Highlight, $34

4) Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Color by Kate, $4.50

I don’t have much of a lipstick collection, but the few I do own are basically all drugstore nudes! This brand is long-lasting and strong in pigment! I truly can not tell the difference between this lippie and its alternative. I wear this product at least 5x a week, and one stick lasts me a little over a year.

Its alternative: MAC Among the Fireflies Lipstick, $17.50

5) L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara, $9.99

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If I could bow down to this product, I would! I have gone through several high end and drugstore mascaras and none did the job for me as well as this brand has! I’m in L O V E  with this mascara! It spreads out your eyelashes perfectly; eliminates any clumps, and lengthens your lashes fully in one coat. I have stubbornly-straight eyelashes so with this thin of a brush, it allows for me to coat the root of the lash, giving me the fanned out – curled illusion.

Its alternative: Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara, $24

6) L’Oreal Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner, $8.95

THIS IS YOUR MUST-HAVE ITEM! I don’t even know where to begin with this product! I have been using this brand of eyeliner since 8th grade! Liner is my favorite beauty product, hand down! Truly without liner, I feel naked! For over 10 years now, I have perfected my wing with this long-wear, intense liquid color. My liner tends to be the most complimented aspect of my make up, as it literally stays fresh and vibrant even after all day wear. The best part: it’s smudge free! I have extremely sensitive eyes, and I’ve never had an issue with this product. I’ve found that higher end liners tend to crack throughout the day or have made my eyes water. All this to say, I literally do not know what I’d do without this product in my life!

Its alternative: Dolce & Gabbana Intense Liquid Eyeliner, $38

7) Covergirl Professional Loose Powder, $5.89

Extend your look with this rich product! This lightweight powder locks in foundation and concealer so that there are no cracks or creases in sight! In order to set my makeup for a flawless finish, I use this translucent powder primarily under my eyes. Not only does this powder give my makeup a seamless finish, but it also helps conceal any under-eye bags I may have. I truly can not tell the difference between this product and its high end alternative!

Its alternative: Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder, $38

8) Conair Hot Sticks Curling Iron, 3/4 Inch, $15.99

May sound crazy, but I’ve literally only owned two hair curlers in my entire life. Both, this exact brand and model. Just late last year, I had to retire my first curler as it was finally giving out after 12 years of use! I usually give myself waves, so I wrap a section of my hair around the rod as you would a wand and then let go after a few seconds. All this to say, this product is durable and is the only curler I will ever use.

Its alternative: I would not know, ha!

9) InfinitiPro by Conair Ceramic Flat Iron, $29

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This tool has been my full-time straightener for over 5 years. It provides fast, versatile styling options (waves or straight) and although the plates are only 1 inch, this flat iron can straighten thick sections of hair at once! I have pretty long hair yet I can complete my entire mane in about 10 minutes. Usually one glide per section will do the trick for all day (non frizz) results!

Its alternative: CHI Cermatic 1″ Hairstyling Iron, $85

10) Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $4.99

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I mean, the first step of having clean skin, starts with removing your makeup before bed! I have gone through numerous brands and I’ve either experienced irritation, have had to use several wipes at a time to do the job, or felt sticky. Neutrogena is truly the only brand that has successfully wiped off all of my make up (matte lipstick, mascara, bottom eye-lid liner, etc) with one towelette. My skin actually feels refreshed and looks radiant after use.

Its alternative: Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths, $15

11) Vitamin E Moisturizing Skin Oil, $5.50

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Last year, I was referred to this product by a friend. I was experiencing random break outs, dry skin, and numerous sun spots, basically my skin NEEDED help! According to him, this brand helped cure his acne, smoothed over any remaining scars, and brought this new found radiance to his skin. Over one year later, I too can attest to the wonders of the product! My face rarely feels dry anymore and my sunspots have nearly disappeared! The best skin product I have used thus far!

Its alternative: La Mer The Renewal Oil, $245

 

*Hope this list helps! Your body and wallet will thank you for picking up these finds!* Xoxo

 

Fave Winter Pieces|NYC Shopping Haul

Winter is coming, y’all, aka the most wonderful time of the year! As much as I’m looking forward to the holidays, I’m not so sure if I’m ready for the cold! It’s as if, Los Angeles goes into crisis mode when the temperature drops below 70 degrees…or maybe that’s just me!

Us Californians, have it easy compared to those East Coasters…but **drum roll please**… in a few days, I will be experiencing my first East Coast winter!  I AM BEYOND EXCITED! Ever since I was a kid, I have dreamt of gallivanting across New York City, under 5 layers of clothing, with a hot beverage in my hand. And from what I’ve seen in movies, nowhere oozes festive spirit better than the Big Apple! AHH!

This will be my first time in NYC and to be honest, I’m already shivering! So, I plan on packing plenty of warm options to fight the cold!

Of course, I will be bringing some of my staple pieces but I’ll also be taking some new finds 🙂

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Charcoal Jaxon & James Baker Boy

Fownes Fownes Women's Faux Fur Earmuffs - Cheetah Print

Faux Fur Earmuffs- Sears

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Honeycomb Stitch Infinity Scarf – Old Navy

3f6i8v-iOversized Turtleneck – American Apparel

00211706-09.jpgOversized Turtleneck Sweater – Forever 21

 

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Mock Neck Sweater – Marshall’s

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Camel Turtleneck- Zaful

Image 8 of TEXTURED HOODED JACKET from ZaraRusset Textured Hooded Jacket – Zara

Image 8 of SUPER SOFT COAT from ZaraCharcoal Super Soft Coat – Zara

shoppingWool-Blend Peacoat – Michael Kors

dzz88305_stone_xlWaterfall Coat- Boohoo

Forever 21 Pants - High waisted dressy capri pantsHigh Wasted Carpi Pants – Forever21

nn.jpgDistressed Black Denim Jeans- ANGL

Slim Boyfriend Jeans- Lucky Brand

 

Image result for booties 4 inch heel steve maddenAnkle Booties – Steve Madden

3Faux Suede Chelsea Boots -Forever21

 

Main Image - Steve Madden Ezra Thigh High Boot (Women)

Thigh High Boots – Steve Madden

 

I love getting style inspo from anywhere I can! So hopefully these items give you some too, for your next trip! Xoxo