tired of the usual ponytail?

Here are a couple of adorable hairstyles to try out this weekend! I’m completely into experimenting with fun braids and buns to change up my look.

Braided Crown

Braided Crown

My hair has finally grown long enough to get a little crazy with braids. Love this braided crown look!

Hair Flair

Hair Flair

Want to keep the style simple but need some flair? Add a ribbon for a pop of color or pattern! You can pick up different ribbons and fabrics at your local craft store or dollar store.

Bouffant Bun

Bouffant Bun

Don’t settle for a plain bun – add a little height! I love this style – I think it looks great with a plain outfit. The bouffant bun IS your accessory.

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origins charcoal mask review

A couple of months ago when I still subscribed to Birchbox, I received a sample size of the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I finally tried it out this morning because I felt like sneaking in a mini-pampering session…

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Image via Origins.com – $24 for 3.4 fl oz 

Before applying the mask, I gently scrubbed my face with a warm, damp washcloth to open my pores and keep my skin moist. The mask went on smoothly and only took about 10 minutes to completely dry on my face. I could feel my skin tightening a bit as the mask dried.

When I rinsed off the mask, my skin felt soft and even looked a little brighter! I loved the super clean feeling and my face even had a faint smell (sort of clay-like, but in a nice way).

I definitely recommend testing out this product. Sephora sells the mask (and other Origins goodies), so you can swing by Sephora and ask for a free sample if you want to try before you buy! I am thinking of making a DIY avocado mask this weekend too – if it is successful, be on the lookout for a post!

september challenge: squats

September is just around the corner; summer is coming to an end! However, this isn’t an excuse to slack on exercise. To be honest, once it starts getting chilly out, I start to slip a bit on eating healthy and opt for afternoons in instead of staying out in the sunshine.

I found this great September squat challenge and I’m going to try my best to stick to it. Squats are probably one of my least favorite exercises so I want to commit to conquering them so they’re finally easier for me.

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What are some of your favorite exercises? Do you think squats are as difficult as I do? Sound off in the comments below.

a tuesday taste

Every Tuesday, I plan to spotlight a healthy snack or meal! I thought I’d start with breakfast for my first post. I typically eat some oatmeal or plain Greek yogurt with fruit. I never really think of toast/bread as healthy, especially because I’m usually starving after having a slice. However, I found a couple of ideas to make eating a slice of toast much more appealing and satisfying.

toast ideas

One of my favorite places online to find yummy and healthy food ideas is http://healthy-food.tumblr.com/ – like this image of ways to enhance a simple slice of toast. I love scrolling through all of the great pictures of delicious food and using it as some inspiration for meals and snacks!

I love the idea of incorporating superfoods, such as spinach and avocado, with a slice of whole wheat toast. Any of the toast options above would be great particularly before or after an exercise session – eggs, peanut butter & spinach are great sources of protein.

Be sure to try out one (or all!) of the ideas in the image above to add some healthy change to your daily breakfast!

favorite fall finds

Fall is an incredible season in New England! I love that it is cool and crisp in the Boston area this time of year – the weather allows for a lot of fun putting together outfits. I love the wine red, emerald/hunter green, and deep blue of fall fashion. You also can’t forget the simplicity of black, white and tans!

Check out some of my fall must-haves below!

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Gold Twin Leopard Bangle – BaubleBar – $26

I love this unique bangle with a pop of emerald. It is a cute twist on the leopard trend instead of the usual leopard print!

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Plum Red Pumps – H&M – $24.95 

Comfy plum heels at an amazing price! I absolutely love the color – it really packs a punch. These would look great with jeans or even just a simple linen dress. I like how the heel is not too high for the office but also casual enough for a night out.

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Beau by Urban Expressions Clutch – DSW – $29.95

I love the basket weave texture! It also comes in many color choices but I think the tan color is the most versatile.

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Love Swing Dress in Bright Floral Print – ASOS – $60.75

Super cute cut on this dress and I’m obsessed with the dark floral print. The lace cap sleeves are an adorable touch. The dress also looks pretty comfortable!

essie carry on

Carry On – Essie – $8

Burgundy is a great nail color for the fall and looks awesome on fingers and toes. It is a very romantic color and perfect for fall!