Like I said in my Philly Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, I’ve never really gotten worked up over the big V-Day. What I do get worked up about is taking the time to appreciate yourself – your body, your mind, your friends, and your blessings. So this past Valentine’s Day (excuse the 30+ days it took me to get this post up), I celebrated by treating myself. The result was pretty much a Philly dream day for me, and I hope by sharing, I can encourage all of you to take the time to treat yourselves, too.
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I’ve always been a super planned out person. Planners are very important to me, and I do really well when I know what my week looks like before it even begins. Sure, sometimes this inclination does make me feel slightly like a crazy person, but hey, I work with what I got.
In honor of the email I just sent to several of my closest Philly friends filled with “upcoming dates of fun,” I wanted to share some things I’m excited for in the coming months.
IT’S. GIVEAWAY. TIME. You guys don’t even know – I love running these giveaways for you so much, I have been looking forward to this post for months. In case you’re new (welcome!), I’ve started a little tradition here on the blog: a week of giveaways featuring some of my favorite Philly things in honor of this little blog’s birthday. So, giveaway week is back, and you are going to loooove these prizes.
All giveaways will be run for one week each on a Rafflecopter widget. If you have any questions about how to enter, please get in touch. A quick note about entries: You can enter as many giveaways and with as many ways as you’d like. If you took my reader survey last week, you’ll still need to enter using the widget below (since I don’t know if you would love the prize on Day 4 and hate the prize on Day 2 – I want to make sure you get entered for the prize you’re interested in!). I’ll be revealing a new prize every day, now through Friday . . . so, on to the first one!
As my friends and I get older, the temptation to throw our own parties surrounded by the people we love, rather than celebrate out at a bar, gets greater and greater. Our most recent get-together was a pretty successful Friends-giving, but we’re obviously still learning all the tips and tricks that go into planning and executing the perfect fiesta. In my mind, there are certainly many more parties that need to happen before I can achieve the status of hostess extraordinaire, so I like to take all the advice I can get.
The party people over at Fine Wine and Good Spirits always put together some annual infographics, filled with great holiday entertaining tips, so I knew I had to share for my other socialite sisters (in the making). They also have a ton of other party planning resources on the site (like the ever popular Quantity Calculator), and – in case you were not aware – your party supplies can now be delivered to your house from good ol’ Instacart.Continue Reading…
Ah, tailgating. If there is one way I prefer to spend a weekend morning in a blissful, buzzed happiness, this is it for me. I was a bit of a tailgate late bloomer, starting my freshman year of college, when my parents decided to get season football tickets (and host better tailgates than any fraternity, actually). But in Philly, we take our tailgating to a whole ‘nother level.
Growing up, in what I would now consider a small-ish town, I had a really lucky life. Some good years (I peaked in 6th grade), and some bad ones (10th grade comes to mind), but I was still a very outgoing and friendly human being, so I survived. College brought some more happiness (sophomore year) and some ups & downs (senior year), and then graduation, and there I was. And there was this city.
Mother’s Day has always been a tough holiday for me to shop for. While my mom is wonderful and appreciative of everything my sister and I get her, I don’t really care for those cheesy knick knacks from the card store, and I can only buy so many pairs of pretty earrings before it becomes standard.
The Rittenhouse Hotel (210 West Rittenhouse Square) reached out to me and asked if I would like to come in and experience the Mary Cassatt Tea Room. Not even knowing such a place existed in my neighborhood, I immediately said yes and knew the perfect person I should bring along: my mother.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Philly programming for a quick look inside the mind of me. I am having a moment right now. I have been spending the morning cleaning out my closets in anticipation of new fall goodies. I brushed my hair, put on my brightest lipstick and jumped into my favorite skinny jeans. I have been trying on literally every single item, then sorting it – sell, donate, keep. Halfway through, I pulled out a Forever21 top I purchased the winter of my senior year of college. I have worn the top, a loose, black crop top with the word LOVE across the chest, many times, each with a long, black tank top underneath. The thought of even a hint of my stomach being revealed to a passerby on the street used to make me cringe. But something has been happening to me lately. Something amazing.
Today, I tried on the LOVE top with a tank underneath. Standard. But as I looked in the mirror, I thought, this is a freaking crop top, damn it. I took off the tank top. In nothing but my crop top & skinny jeans, bright lipstick & long hair, I stared at myself in the mirror. I turned around. I posed. I loved it. Above the top of my high-rise jeans, my stomach peeked through. Is this possible? Do I look hot? Yes, it is possible. My curves, my body, I. Am. Hot. And then, I started crying. Happy, HAPPY tears. This confidence that I have found the past few months and years, has literally been . . . life changing. And I owe it to one thing: my job.
When I started my 9-5 job two years ago, I knew nothing about the industry I was getting involved in. The world of “plus size fashion,” as it is referred to, starts at a size 12. My size. The size of average woman in the United States. And yet, this entire world, which literally changed me, is so hidden. Before I started diving head first into the blogs and magazines of the plus size world, I literally had no idea women like this – confident, beautiful, and curvaceous – existed. Let alone, existed for me to be inspired by on a monthly, weekly, even daily basis. These images, images of gorgeous, curvy women, and their stories, stories about wearing a body con dress, buying wide calf boots, their relationships, have literally helped me to start my own revolution. Hell, I bought a freaking BIKINI this year. Do you know the last time I wore a bikini? 9th grade. And here I am, 24, single, and confident as hell, and I owe it all to these AMAZING role models that I luckily get to work with every day.
So, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite inspirational images. I want these images out there. I want another young, Philly college girl to discover this world while she still has time to enjoy her sexy, curvy, youthful body. I want her to put on a dress without tights underneath or skip the cardigan and let her bare arms out, and say, why the hell haven’t I tried this sooner? Here are some of my favorite women, looking so stylish & rocking their curves:
A few weekends ago, I was at Seacrets (Ocean City, MD) with about 20 of my friends for my BFF Mandy’s birthday. Each of my gorgeous, beautiful girlfriends wore a tiny bikini, and I was clearly the largest girl in our group. But as we ran around all day long, eight hours to be exact, in and out of the water, dancing and jumping to the music, enjoying each other’s company, I did not give my size, or the fact that I was in my bathing suit in front of hundreds of people, a second thought. I heard girls complaining that they “felt fat” and hated X, Y, & Z about their appearance . . . and it felt so liberating to not have a care in the world about what anyone else thought of my body. I was just happy.
Every day is not perfect. But for the most part, I am so grateful for my new-found adult confidence. If you are looking to join this high I’m on, I encourage you to check out the fabulous women above, and beyond! Trust me, seeing is believing – and you CAN be the sexy, powerful, rule breaking woman you have inside of you. Thanks for reading. xx
Looking for a fun girl approved activity for the weekend? Philly’s local Sephora (1714 Chestnut Street) is the perfect place to hang with a girlfriend and get a fresh new look at the same time!
My friend Kenya & I recently stopped by Sephora for some Sunday afternoon makeovers. Sephora offers a few different options for makeup applications at their Beauty Studio (the stand in the middle of the store), each with a different minimum purchase. If you’re going on the weekend as we did, I recommend making an appointment a day or two before, either over the phone or at the store.
We chose the Customized Makeup Application. We were each seated in chairs at the Beauty Studio and began to chat with our own Beauty Expert (the Sephora makeup artists) about what we were looking for.
After our chat, our Beauty Experts were off – hustling around the store to find products they wanted to try on us. Once they were finished selecting, it was time to get started! We went through skincare (a quick cleanse & tone), primer, foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blush, eyebrows, lips & of course, the eyes! As they worked their makeup magic, our Beauty Experts answered each & every question Kenya & I had. They talked over our specific problem areas & enhanced our best features – while showing us how to recreate the techniques at home.
I had asked to stay neutral on my eyes, but my Beauty Advisor tried to break me out of my shell with a deep green/blue eyeliner from Urban Decay. After telling her I had never tried orange blush before, she found me a gorgeous shade that worked super well with my skin. It was great to be taken outside the box with my makeup options.
After about an hour of being pampered & learning about makeup, we were finished!
Kenya & I were both very happy with our makeovers. I walked out with an the Urban Decay liner, Anastasia Brow Wiz (hello – I’ve never done anything to my eyebrows before!), Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, and a new foundation brush. Some of Kenya’s items were out of stock at the store, so Sephora gave her a Free Shipping coupon for the website. I love that!
I think I will definitely be back for my foundation and concealer (and mascara, and blush, and lipgloss . . .), but I needed to spread out my purchases a little bit. Thanks to my Beauty Expert Haneefah – you were great!
Here is a little more of my finished face in the light of Anthropologie soon after.
The makeovers were a great experience. I highly recommend the service if you need a new look for an important night out (like your birthday!) or just want to learn more about the whole wide world of makeup! You can get more information about the Sephora Beauty Studio on their website.
What are some of your favorite beauty products or techniques? I’d love to hear them! xx
March was a busy month! Between birthdays, reunions and weekend trips . . . sprinkled in with some amazing opportunities, I had a full schedule, and I absolutely loved it! Check out some of the highlights . . .
Tara & I about to experience the #WesterosVIP event // My favorite Game of Thrones (p)imp, Tyrion Lannister
With Carling & Ashley at the Harlem Globetrotters game // There is not much better than crab fries & cheese
One of my favorite days of the year – free Rita’s water ice // And favorite day of the year Part 2 . . .
Celebrating Amy’s birthday @ Sons of Essex in NYC // My obsession with kale (topped w/ bacon) grows daily
Coming from a Philly pizza enthusiast, SliCE has my fav pizza presentation // Our pretty city from a roof deck
Some thrift store finds at my favorite shop in South Jersey // Finally got to try a burger at Rouge!
If you’re craving some more Her Philly Instagram action, follow me! Some of these photos came from my personal account and I just really wanted to share . . . are you feeling special yet? xx
What was your favorite moment of March? (This is a judgement free zone, it’s OK if you say Rita’s or Shamrock Shakes . . . )