Transparent accents lend a fresh and playful element to any Fall ensemble. 
When I first saw lucite hitting the fashion scene on Spring 2013 runways, I was a bit skeptical and was instantly brought back to my jellies days. The trend has really grown on me, and I can’t get enough of crystal clear accessories that have now been all over Fall and Winter 2013 runways. 

Apprehensive about splurging on this trend? Forever 21 has several super cute and affordable options. I picked up both cuffs (below) and am loving trying this trend out without breaking the bank.

How do you feel about transparent accessories? How would you style them?

 
As a self proclaimed beauty and skincare-aholic, I was thrilled to attend SkinSpirit’s Beauty Blogger event last week. 
Tucked in the charming Strawberry Village boutique shopping center in Mill Valley, the relaxing oasis that is SkinSpirit was the perfect way to end a busy week with sweet treats, bubbly, luxe beauty services including Botox, VelaShape, microdermabrasion, and skin analysis (not to mention the company of fabulous bloggers)!
Necklace twins with the beautiful and super sweet Sascha.
While most keep hush-hush on some med-spa services…ahem, botox, fillers etc, I have no shame admitting that I tried Botox for the first time. 
The fine lines that I had on my forehead have bothered me for years. Yes, I am in my mid twenties, and yes, I know it sounds vain. But who isn’t?!
So, what is it like?
  • At first I was absolutely terrified. You couldn’t pay me to voluntarily go and have blood drawn. It is about the last thing I ever want to do. So naturally I was very hesitant about trying Botox.
  • The nurse who administered the Botox to my forehead was the sweetest person ever. She was incredibly knowledgeable and made me feel as comfortable as possible. 
  • My biggest problem area are the horizontal lines that are were on my forehead, and the nurse advised that I get a shot between my brows as well to make the entire upper portion of my face look as smooth and natural as possible. Didn’t think of that before!
  • Back to the fear of pain and needles. Before getting the shots, I held an iced balloon to my forehead to help numb the area. 
  • I got a total of 6 shots (12 units) and each one felt like a tiny pinch. The best (and gross) way to describe the pain is to compare it to popping a zit. I know, TMI.
  • It literally took about 10 minutes, from consultation to completion. There’s a reason this procedure is dubbed ‘the lunchtime procedure’! 
  • The aftermath: I was told that after two days, I would start seeing results. And after day 14 I will see complete, maximum results. It’s now day 5, and I’m already loving how my forehead looks. I can no longer scowl between my brows–love that!
See that semi-smile?  Photographic proof that it wasn’t bad at all.
So, would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. And I will be going back to SkinSpirit when I’m ready to go for it again.
It’s important to be knowledgeable and to do your research about this product. Finding an experienced, reputable med-spa, doctor, or nurse is key. Botox for sure gets a bad rap and is somewhat controversial. I find this to be due to lack of knowledge.
If you’re in the bay area in California, I highly recommend SkinSpirit for all of your skincare needs. The staff is incredibly welcoming, experienced, and knowledgeable. They have three gorgeous locations, and have pretty much every treatment you can imagine. 

I fell in love with these Jonathan Adler coasters when I visited the Newport Beach store earlier this month, but the $125 price tag for four coasters was less than appealing. 
I’m pretty sure I squealed when I saw these Threshold faux agate coasters at Target for just $10, and I had grand plans for them.
After purchasing a gold leafing kit from Michaels for $10, I was ready to glam-ify my coasters. The kit includes an adhesive, four gold leaf sheets, and a sealant. 
Step 1: Apply Adhesive with a brush (I used an old eyeshadow brush) where you want to apply the gold leaf. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, until it becomes tacky. 
Step 2: Take one sheet of your gold leaf and press it onto the edge of each coaster.
Step 3: Gently peel the extra sheet off from around the edges and use the remainder of the sheet on the other coasters. I only used 1 1/2 sheets on all four coasters.
Here’s how they look after step 3.
Step 4: Apply the sealer with the same brush to the edges of each coaster to secure the gold leaf, and let dry. It will add a creamy look to the edges (pictured), but it dries completely clear.
…And Voila!

When it comes to cardio, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the best way to strip body fat without losing muscle. Innumerable studies have found that practicing HIIT reduces body fat quicker and more effectively than steady state cardio. I always start with a three minute warm up, and then alternate between intense and moderate cardio on the treadmill with small rest periods. To get the most out of your HIIT workout, do not spend more than three minutes at a high intensity, and do not spend more than two minutes on a rest period. 
You’ll see below that I alternate between walking (rest), running (intense), and walking at an incline (moderate-intense). The pink numbers reflect the moderate and intense exercise, and the black represents rest.  I do this workout four days per week after weight lifting, and I change up my HIIT routine ever so slightly every once in awhile to avoid muscle memory. This can involve just one extra incline level, or a quicker MPH while I run. 
Happy HIIT!!
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