Monday, April 27, 2015

Rocksbox | rent an ever-rotating closet of designer jewelry


Here's a few quick confessions for an early Monday morning post. 

1. I've tried a lot of "subscription" boxes. Whether my own makeup/fashion obsessed self has "had to try it" or a company has reached out to me wanted to hear my thoughts on a subscription service. I've tried A LOT.  Sometimes I love them but on average I find them "average."

2. I am not a big "jewelry" gal. I LOVE jewelry, I just never seem to take the time most days to accessorize. Not to mention, storing jewelry is kind of a pain so I keep my collection pretty small. Honestly, my jewelry collection definitely lacks.

Enter, Rocksbox*.   Rocksbox costs $19/month. The way it works is you pay $19/month and get a box sent to you with three pieces of designer jewelry to wear. Wear it as long or short as you'd like and then when you're ready, place them back into box and send them back to Rocksbox with the pre-paid postage and they'll send you 3 new pieces back.  You can also choose to buy any pieces you really loved a discounted price.

Let's take a closer look.


Inside each box, along with your pieces, is a card with info on each piece which are custom picked for your based on a style quiz.  When you send them back, if don't decide to purchase one, you can write back any notes to help them in choosing your next three piece.

I was sent a nice variety of a Kendall Scott bangle, House of Harlow necklace and a Gorjana ring.*



I'll be honest, when I first read about Rocksbox I thought it was a neat idea, but didn't know if I'd really LOVE it.  I imagined another one of the "average" boxes I'd talked about above.  Like I said, I love jewelry but am awful at remembering to accessorize.  

But, what I've realized I love about Rocksbox is that having the pieces on loan for a few weeks makes me more prone to wear them (like when you buy a new accessory and wear it all the time.) Then, once you're tired of it, just send it back and get another trio!  I love this because you have an ever-rotating collection of jewelry at your disposal without having to figure out where to keep it all!  Plus, like the pros to all subscription boxes, it's so nice to have someone else do the choosing for you.  You get pieces you might not have thought to try or buy on your own. These pieces and designers included in Rocksbox are on-trend and high-quality. 

Want to know one more awesome-sauce thing? (I kind of hate myself for the fact that I just wrote awesome-sauce, but I'm just going with it.)  I have a code that will get you a free month at Rocksbox  Seriously, try this out for yourself and fall in love like I did!

Use the code butfirstcoffeexoxo for a free month of Rocksbox!

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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

19 Fashion Hacks Every Women Should Know

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have some nice plans this weekend. 
I'm heading into the city (New York City, that is, which else would it be?) and am hoping the weather will be nice. It's supposed to be in the low 60's, which is a tricky temperature in the city this time a year. Jacket? Boots? Socks? Layers?
Anywho, I've just shared 19 Fashion Hacks over on the YouTube and while I didn't get myself together enough to make an awesome info-graphic to go along with it for the blog, I still thought you all may like to know.
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Will you be my bridesmaid?

will you be my bridesmaid
will you be my bridesmaidwill you be my bridesmaid
will you be my bridesmaid

I finally asked my last girl friend to be my bridesmaid this past week which means I can finally share my "Will you be my bridesmaid" boxes with you! Yay! 
This was such a fun project because I actually got to feel like I was DOING something for the wedding.  Right now we're still in such a planning mode that not too much is physical. What can I say, I like projects I can get my hands dirty with.
Here's how I constructed my boxes....

First things first, I headed over to Michael's and bought square paper craft boxes.  Using a little elbow grease, I painted each lady's name on the front with some simple flowers.  I wanted the boxes to sort of resemble our wedding's theme/colors/mood.
Inside I added our wedding mood board (which I shared here if you want to see it larger) as well as a paper with each lady's name and phone number, since a few of them haven't met yet. And, of course,  the paper with the important question, "will you be my bridesmaid?"  I just made these papers on my computer and went to Staples to print them out. 

Underneath all the "paperwork" I included a nail polish that was within our wedding colors and a glitter-encrusted mini champagne bottle.  These were a simple (although slightly messy) DIY. I just mod-podged the entire bottle and then covered in glitter.  

All my bridesmaids have been sending me pictures of the places the glitter has been ending up, which makes me laugh. I swear I'm still finding it on my rug. 

I had SO much fun putting these boxes together and giving them to my girls! Plus, while caught up in the excitement of bridesmaid boxes I also helped Michael make up some awesome boxes for asking his groomsmen and I can't wait to share that with you all! He still has one guy to ask, so you'll just have to wait for that one.

See past wedding Wednesdays: 

I'm Engaged: Our Proposal Story

Wedding Inspiration: Mood Board

Venue Hunting

How did you ask your Bridesmaids to be in your wedding?
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hello there, springtime


Guys, guys, guysss! 

The warm weather seeped its way north this past week and us New Englanders have been shuffling outside with out pasty white skin, squinting at the sun. WHAT IS THIS YELLOW THING?!  

After some morning obligations on Saturday, Michael and I trekked out into the sunshine to rightfully welcome the spring. "Thanks for coming spring! You're late, but that's ok. Here let us buy you a beer."


We headed up to West Hartford, Connecticut for the afternoon.  We met friends for Happy Hour at Max Oyster Bar, (which, by the way, has a killer happy hour from 4-6. $5 cocktails, $5 bar apps. Gimme all those things!)

Next we ventured down the road to try out a new resident to Connecticut, World of Beer.  I was clearly very excited about it.  We have family in Florida who always boasted about it, and it is pretty spectacular.  Sitting out in the sunshine trying a new beer totally gets my happiness flowing! The combo of ale and vitamin D is just the perfect combo.


Sunday was spent mostly lounging as Michael worked and I had lots of schoolwork to do.  As you can see, Austin was also very busy.


We ventured out just long enough for a little coffee, and I sported my newest most favorite top.  You can get your own at the But First, Coffee shop!

And on that note, we finished off a lovely weekend where it finally felt like spring. We actually have some feeling that warm weather can actually reach us and it feels oh so good.


Oh, I'm also more and more obsessed with SnapChat and can't stop adding to my story. So, if you want lots of randomness from me, add me! And leave me yours in the comments if you do, it's my new favorite thing!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

April BoxyCharm



Happy Monday, friends. It's time for another BoxyCharm unboxing.  April's box was all about spring-themed products to leave you "fresh as a daisy."  BoxyCharm boxes are $21/month and all consist of at least 4 full size products and one luxury sample.  Let's take a look at this month.


The biggest item in this month's box was the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette, which sells for $39.  I has twenty matte and shimmer shades.  Revealed 2 leans more pinks and purples, while the Revealed 1 was more cool tones.  I loved my first Revealed palette and know this will be another winner.

OFRA Derma Mineral Powder, is a loose face powder that has natural sunscreen.  It's a high shimmer and is designed to give your skin a glowing look. I cannot wait to brush this gorgeous powder ALL OVER MY FACE.   Retails for $35.


Harvey Prince Mini Roller Fragrance in "Hello," retails for $21.  This smells like floral-y goodness and I can't stop wearing it! The scent is soft and sophisticated and lasts for hours and hours.

Vincent Longo Eye Pencil, is a double sided pencil with a satin cobalt blue on one side and a shimmery light blue on the other.  Colored liner is a huge trend this spring, so I'm excited to give this a try. Retails for $26.

Lastly, we have Coolway Smoothing Lotion, which claims to condition and smooth.  I'm always up to try another item that will help tame my locks, so this sounds amazing.  It also is packed with vitamins and proteins. Retails for $25.

This month's box contained $146 worth of goodies, another great month from BoxyCharm!
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nerdette at Large

Hey there guys! Today I have Spokhette here from Nerdette At Large for her espresso shot feature! Make sure to stop over and say hello to her!


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog:
1. I'm Spokhette. I run Nerdette At Large and Talk Vulcan to me. Its a Nerd Lifestyle blog focusing on Comics, Video games, and their counterparts on television and in film. I live in kentucky with my chef boyfriend and our two cats, Geronimo and Kahn.

2. Five things you CAN'T live without:
2. I can't live without Internet, my 3DSXL, my Camera, My family and My boyfriend Alex.

3. You know I gotta ask, how do you take your coffee? (or tea, or whatever)
3. I actually don't drink Coffee, I generally prefer a soda in the can with no ice.

4. Tell us about one of your most recent favorite posts:
4. One of my favorite recent posts would be my 2 season review of the Australian Television Program: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

5. Something people would be surprised to know about you:
5. I'm a pretty open book, when it comes to talking about myself, but if I had to choose to surprise someone with information about myself, it would probably be that I like to dance. Classically trained in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap for over 16 years, and recently a fan of Urban Hip Hop for the last couple of years. I will actually be starting up classes again during the summer.
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to create a more pin-able graphic

Today we're going to chat about how to make a more pin-able image or graphic for your blog or website.

Pinterest is an AMAZING way to get traffic to your site. If you're writing a post that would work well on Pinterest, it's important to take the time to make an image or graphic that will translate well onto Pinterest so you can capitalize on that free publicity (it's like when celebrities pretend to date other celebrities for free publicity, but you don't have to go out to dinner with anyone you don't like.)

Let's start with making an image you have more pin-able.
 
Create a more pin-able image:
 
1. Pick a great image, something that's high-quality and looks more editorial in style, it gives the pin more trustworthiness and validity.
2. Create an overlay, this helps the title pop without taking away from the image.
3. Make a title that is straight-to-the point.  Most of us scan through our Pinterest feeds quickly, you want to grab attention right away.  Pick legible fonts that aren't too "childish." I often find mixing a basic font with a more "fun" or "swirly" font pairs really nicely.
4. Don't forget your URL watermark to ensure you're always getting the credit even if the image is moved from Pinterest.

 
 
Create a more pin-able graphic:

1. Make a title that is straight-to-the point, clear and concise. Again, choose font wisely.
2. Give the reader most the information they will need, MOST being the key word.  When the pin looks like it gives the reader all they will know, they are more likely to save it because it looks more valid and useful.  However, once they actually want to access it, they'll likely have to click through to your site to get ALL the information they need (for example, in this graphic, readers need to click through to know how much of each item to use, etc.), giving you page views!
3. Don't forget that watermark!

Now, I'm going to show you how I amped up my most recent graphic using these tips and my new HP Sprout!

Meet my new boyfriend, (don't tell Michael!)  This is the *HP Sprout. Sprout is a brand new, all-in-one computer. At first glance it's a full desktop with  Intel Core i7 Processor, 1TB of storage and a Windows operating system, but it is SO much more beyond that. It features an all-touch user interface on its 23" Full HD touchscreen and the capacitive Touch Mat (that's the mat you see flat on the table.) The really unique part of Sprout is "The Illuminator,"  this has a 3D camera and projection engine, which allows you to scan 2D or 3D objects and instantly display them on the Touch Mat! 

Let me show you how it works and how I used it to create an awesome pin-able graphic for my last cocktail recipe!

Using "The Illuminator," I scan each ingredient onto the Sprout. This is one of the coolest features of this computer, you can grab and item or product (or even 2D photos or textures) in mere seconds!
 

Once I have the images, I can edit them up however I want. For this graphic I wanted a more 2D look, and so I removed all the background shadow using the "background" feature.
 
 
 
Now all I have to do it flip my product images down onto the pad and get them arranged how I want. I love the fluid it is to use the Sprout and the huge range of creativity it gives me. Plus, having that 23" HD screen to view all my work while I create is a game-changer!

Once I have the images organized how I want, it's time to snazzy it up to grab the Pinterest user's attention.  As mentioned above, I have added a title, watermark, and MOST the information the readers will need.  I also amped this one up some more with arrow graphics and texts to make the graphic pop even more.  I had a little more fun with this graphic since the post reflected a more fun, light-hearted graphic. 

So there you have it, these are my tips for creating a more pin-able image. Pinterest is a huge source of views on my site, and it's an awesome place to access new readers!

What are your best Pinterest tips?


This post was created with sponsorship by HP. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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