How to Pencil In Your Eyebrows | A Guide for Newbies

30 May 2017

Hey hey!  I've had such a busy month and I couldn't wait to get back here and write something new for you guys.  First thing's first, I got super sick for about two weeks and did a whole lot of resting.  During that time, I picked up my Billion Dollar Brows products I received at their super fun event last month and decided to do the unthinkable - fill in my eyebrows.  I've tried to perfect my eyebrows for some time now and never felt like I had it right.  I already have naturally dark hair and brows, but you know when you see something you really like so you want it too?  That's me with eyebrows haha. The lovely ladies at this event equipped me with their pointers and knowledge to feel confident enough to sort of know what I was doing.  I mean I've watched countless videos and the best piece of advice I left this event with was the realization that there isn't really a set way to do your eyebrows!

To begin, I took my BDB Brow Butter and angled brush and slowly started to pencil in the arch of my brow.  It was really just a matter of penciling my arch and bringing the brush down to make my eyebrows seem slightly longer.  Think of this step as you would when coloring something.  I was the kid that would pencil in the lines to make sure I didn't go over.  Pencil in your arch just like that!  I also picked up the technique of filling in lightly.  You're not marking your territory here, you're just elongating your brows.  

After you have your top arch covered, trace the bottom of your brows from the inner brow all the way to the outer brow.  This is actually my favorite part because I really like the way it cleans up the bottom of the brow.  After this is complete, just like my coloring analogy, it's time to brush and blend the brow to fill in any empty areas.  Again, you don't have to make them so dark, it all just requires a light stroke. 

That's basically all it takes, friends! As a newbie to this, I am 100% confident with a subtle eyebrow filling.  It's nothing crazy and a small step into the eyebrow world that may not be in someone's comfort zone just yet. Give this a try and let me know how it worked out! Also, if you're interested in any of these products, you can shop them here or comment below if you have any questions. Chat with you guys later!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Ice Cream Float with Halo Top

16 May 2017

What if I told you there was something called healthy ice cream?  Could a pint of ice cream really only be about 300 calories?  I'd call myself a liar but guess what...I'M NOT.  If you're not already in the know, the ice cream gods put the brains of brilliant creators together to make Halo Top and it has quickly become a must have for me.  I am definitely my father's daughter because both him and I share a common hardcore love for all sweet things - ESPECIALLY ice cream.  When I came across this fun alternative at Whole Foods, I nearly freaked out and thought 240 calories for the ENTIRE pint was too good to be true.  After a whole tasting meeting with my coworkers, I was sold.  This stuff is real and I now have the answer to a much healthier alternative to this beloved treat.

Since ice cream is life and anything that comes with it is life too, I decided to create my own vanilla float with fruity soda from Whole Foods.  I've never had a vanilla float with anything other than Coca Cola, Pepsi or Root Beer so trying a fruity soda was something new.  No regrets on that decision because it literally tasted like summer.  I'll let you guys be the judge of this simple recipe, but for now, head over here to find out what store carries all the Halo Top goodness near you!

Chat with you guys later!

Xo..Melissa Victoria 

Easy Spring Outfit | Closet Staples Always Win

14 May 2017

Shop The Look

Top: Target (shop here) // Skirt: J. Crew (shop similar here + super cute one here) // Shoes: Christian Louboutin (shop here)

Hey there!  These days, I've been hitting my snooze button a few too many times which only means one thing: 25 minutes to get ready.  Getting ready this fast was never something my mom would ever imagine for a non-morning person like myself.  Believe me when I say I love my sleep and I'm a super cranky bear in the morning (it lasts for about two minutes while I actually get out of bed).  In middle school, I was forced to learn how to change out of my clothes and into my P.E. clothing in about 7 minutes and that turned out to be such a valuable lesson for a slow poke like myself haha.  Flash forward 10+ years, I feel like I've nailed the art of getting ready in the speed of time.  The key? Closet staples.  

There's a story behind the outfit I'm wearing in this post and it includes me being super late to church and promising my boyfriend I'd get there on time.  Martin is a hospitality minister at our church so he has to show up about a half an hour prior to mass.  Our church is about 25 minutes away from where I live (Martin and I don't live in the same city) so I have to leave at least a half an hour prior to mass time.  On this day, I spent a lot of time in the morning browsing Pinterest that I seriously just lost track of time.  Before I knew it, it was 10:30 AM, I had dirty hair and had to be on the road to church by 11 AM.  The reason why I just had to hurry up was because: 
  1. Martin's hospitality friends always save me a seat with them. They're SO sweet!
  2. Martin closes the church doors right at 11:30 AM so he would absolutely know if I'm late lol.
  3. Church gets really packed and it's not fun to stand.
  4. I like to sit and watch Martin pass out his basket and do his church things. It's cute haha.
So I jumped in the shower and took a super quick body shower, ran out and thought about what I was going to wear.  I knew I had just bought a new skirt I hadn't worn and I knew I had a t-shirt or something I could wear it with you can imagine, I was really rushing to get my stuff together.  I jumped back into my pajama pants, tossed on a sports bra and sprayed all the dry shampoo in my hair.  As I quickly curled my hair, I opened up my closet doors and immediately grabbed my skirt and chambray top.  It made sense to me so I just tossed it all on and voila, I was ready.  This chambray top has been worn multiple times in several different ways because it's such a go-to top.  Whether it's tucked into a skirt, worn over jeans of every color or tossed over a pair of shorts, it's simply such a staple everyone needs in their closet. Same with this skirt.  Even if you're not jumping to your nearest mall to purchase a purple skirt, a pencil skirt of any color is something us ladies always need in the occasion where a business suit is required, want to toss a sweater over or even just wear casually with a crop and sneakers.  Moral of the story, pay attention to the items you wear consistently and in various ways!  They will never fail you in the times when you have to be ready in under an hour - I am a testament to that.  

Talk to you guys later,

Xo..Melissa Victoria

How to Make Paper Flowers

08 May 2017

What You Need

Petal Template: I sketched mine out, but you can print some super fun ones out here
Cardstock Paper : To make a three petal flower, you will need a total of 8 pieces
Optional: 2 green pieces of paper 
Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Push Pins

How To Prepare Your Petals

1. Take 6 pieces of cardstock paper, fold them in half hamburger style and then cut right along the fold. You will end up with 12 pieces for the large and medium sized petals.
2. Take another piece of cardstock paper and fold it in half hamburger style and then again hot dog style. Cut each square up to end up with 4 pieces.
3. Take the last piece of paper and fold it in half hot dog style.  Cut along the fold first, then take one half of the paper and fold it in half hamburger style to end up with two squares.  Put these two pieces with the last 4 - these little ones make the small petals. 
4. With the other piece, simply cut straight lines to create a fringe stopping about 3/4 of an inch away from the edge

Outline, Cut & Curl

1. Take the 12 larger pieces of paper and outline a total of 6 large petals and 6 medium petals
2. Take the 6 smaller pieces of paper and outline 6 small petals
3. Cut all of these petals out
4. Towards the bottom of the petals, make a 1/2 - 3/4 inch cut as shown in the photos below
5. To curl the petals, take a sharpie pen or marker and simply roll the top of the petals backwards. You want the petals to go back and not inwards.

How to Put Together

1. Where you made a cut towards the end of the petals, take each one and overlap the cuts and glue down.  To glue, you'll need to dab some glue from the glue gun on one side of the cut and then take the other and put it right over the glue. When overlapping, remember to form a sort of bowl-like shape.  See photos for a reference of what it's supposed to look like. 
2. Repeat this step with every petal.
3. To connect the petals, you'll simply want to dab glue towards the edge of one petal, take another and connect it.  When doing this, the most important part is to form a circle in the center of the flower.  Simply follow this circle shape when connecting the petals and you'll be good.  
4. Repeat this step with every layer of petals.
5. Once you have three layers of petals ready, start with your largest and place it over scratch paper.  
6. Take the medium sized petal layer and dab glue around the bottom backside of the petal layer. avoiding the hole.  When you have enough glue, sit the layer inside the largest layer of petals and press down.  
7. Take the smallest layer of petals and repeat this same step.  Let the flower sit.
8. Take the fringe piece of paper you made and begin rolling in to make a tube.  Glue the inner edge as you roll.
9. The flower should be complete but you should see a hole in the middle of the flower still.  Cut out a scratch piece of paper (stick to a small square) and glue it to the back of the flower to cover this hole.
10.  Take the fringe tube you made and dab glue all along the rim multiple times. Place the tube right in the center of the flower and press down.
11. Finally, you'll need to separate the fringe and you're all finished.


If you would like leaves, simply sketch out a large leaf fitting the entire piece of cardstock.  You will simply cut these leaves out and decorate how you would like.

How to Pin

To pin your flowers and leaves, you can use push pins, painters tape or any other adhesive that isn't too harsh to your walls.  I regularly use push pins and that usually works right away without any issues.  

Anyway, I know putting paper flowers might seem like it involves a thousand steps.  Just remember, sketch your petals, cut them out, cut the bottom of the petals, overlap the cuts, glue each petal to each other, stack on top of each other with glue, create a fringe flower center and then glue.  Okay yeah, that sounds difficult but trust me, it's a lot easier done than said!

Let me know if you have any questions at all.  If you do make these, please post a picture of what you created!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Style Collective Party | Orange County Meet Up

03 May 2017

In all reality, the blogging community can either be super supportive or horribly competitive.  I have to admit that when I first started blogging, I felt really intimidated, I compared myself to influencers and constantly felt like I was such a wannabe (lol).  Trust me when I say it can be really hard to find yourself part of an active community of bloggers who truly want to help support you in any way, along the way.  For the longest time, I felt so alone in this blog world to figure things out, but honestly, the support was there all along!  I always knew of this community of bloggers called Style Collective and after finally giving it a try, I found myself surrounded by some of the most eclectic and supportive creators.  If you don't know what this community is about, in simple terms, it's a whole group of fashion and lifestyle bloggers that make magic together by networking and supporting one another in many ways.  Just recently, I attended my first Style Collective Meet Up and it was everything I thought it would be and MORE.  I had the opportunity to meet new bloggers, catch up with bloggers I already knew and chit chat all about our lives, struggles and success.  The atmosphere was so empowering and if there's something that pulls my heartstrings, it's women supporting other women.

The Location

We came together at one of Orange County's most fascinating restaurant's, Mesa.  I've been to Mesa a few times before and REALLY love the atmosphere there.  It's lounge-like set up is so inviting and the cocktails and music are just the cherry on top.  Our reserved section was decorated with super cute and dainty floral arrangements made by Shawna Henrie of Bleudog Floral, who mind you, is a superwoman and is also the photographer behind Bleudog Fotography.  Shawna snapped photos of our event all night and really did us a favor of not having to worry about taking care of our own creative, so BIG thank you!  As for our meals, we selected food from shrimp to pizza to salads and other items of that nature and wait...was I the only one who tried it all?! Aside from yummy food, we had cocktails of our choice and enjoyed a few Eleanor Rigby's that were passed out to sip on. While the menu is great, I especially love the architecture and how every corner of the restaurant is so share-worthy.  I mean, when you enter, you already want to snap a photo of the entrance and the lantern walls.  Then when you're inside, you want to snap a photo of the bar sitting in the middle of the restaurant as well as the super cute patio.  It's definitely a must see if you live in the Orange County area you guys, everything about this place is just perfect!  

The Sponsors

This evening couldn't have been received with any more gratitude without the help of our sponsors.  We all walked away with a huge swag bag full of products for us to try and lucky me, I even walked away with a pair of shoes I won in a raffle.  Honestly, digging through the bag was such a moment of awe for me.  I couldn't believe how many awesome brands contributed their items for us to try!  I felt like a little kid on Christmas day going through everything and I can truly say I loved every single piece.  There were definitely some items in our bag that I already don't know how to live without and have totally started working on product review posts haha. In the meantime while I get to every product, just to give you a round up of our amazing sponsors, check out the list below along with each sponsor's social network handles.

Mesa | @mesalounge
Bleudog Fotography | @bleudogfotography
Bleudog Floral | @bleudogfloral
The Songbird Collection | @thesongbirdco 
Middle Sister Wines | @middlesisterwines
Guilty Soles | @guiltysoles
Spa Gregories | @spagregories
S.S. Chokers | @s.s.chokers 
Rodan & Fields | @augustbabe25
Alina Jo | @arlinajo
Jade J | @jadejtech
Benev | @benevskincare
Oh So Cali Clothing | @ohsocaliclothing
Shea Moisture | @sheamoisture 
Nubian Heritage | @nubianheritage
Boric Body | @borikabody
Leven Rose | @levenrosebeauty
LahVa | @lahva
Travertine | @travertinespacollection
Pure | @kathleena31
Bella Sol Med Spa | @bellasol_medspa
Fresh Brothers | @freshbrothers
Amazing Lash Studio | @amazinglashstudiorsm
Halo Top | @halotopcreamery

What a Night

After this meet up, I'm truly so excited for our next event and my personal future with Style Collective!  The accumulation of every detail made it so special and our coordinator, Debbie of To Thine Own Style Be True, did such a magnificent job of getting us all together.  This leaves me absolutely no doubt that I joined the most perfect community for myself and my blog's future.  Literally since this event, I've seen a few SC sisters at other events and it's all squeals and hugs when we run into each other.  Talk about a strong sisterhood of bloggers!  If you've even thought about joining, please do look into it!  You won't regret learning all about the art of blogging, networking with sisters both local and far and remaining connected with awesome brands who want to work with you.  Curious? Join Style Collective!

Okay okay, I'm done for tonight but be sure to check back in for some fun new material involving some product reviews that I talked about earlier!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

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