A step into the past

Wow. I haven’t written on here for around a year, and it’s amazing to see how both my writing & writing style have changed so so much. If you are still glancing back at this blog every so often, eagerly awaiting a new post; I’m still writing on my (newer) blog, http://macaroonsandmarcjacobs.wordpress.com/

It’s evolved both into a personal & style blog, & I would love if it y’all could check it & potentially follow it. As for this blog, I’ll keep it up just in case I feel like feel like strolling down memory lane.

 xx MBOB

aka Layla 

Surprise!

In honor of the new year and holidays , I have a new blog. 

New Name

New Pen Name

New Focus 

As much as I love Massie, I think I’ve gotten too old for her. She’s a great character but I’ve outgrown her. I had this idea that she was perfect and she’s not. She has her flaws, mistakes, and imperfections just like the rest of us and it was about time that I realized that.  I also noticed that this blog had so much more potential as well as my writing and I  had little motivation and my posts were lacking. In order to be the best blogger possible, it was time for a new start.

However, I still love blogging which is why I have made  a fashion, beauty and advice blog if you will. I also have given myself a pen name for privacy purposes as well, so please address me by it 🙂

This blog will still be kept up as a memoir of how far I have come. And every once in a while, you may see a how to be like Massie Block post in your reader.

Enjoy!

http://macaroonsandmarcjacobs.wordpress.com/

Thank you to everyone…

Who commented on my posts

Who follows this blog

Who’s liked a post (or two!) 

Given me advice and shaped to who I am today.

And especially

 http://theoriginalqueen.wordpress.com/

She has helped me from the start and inspired me with her classy and chic posts 

http://massiekurx.wordpress.com/

The original Massie who inspired me to start blogging 

http://size6andlovingit.wordpress.com/

A sweetheart who inspires me with her sweet comments and beyond ah-mazing posts. 

http://classykristengregory.wordpress.com/

A fantastic blogger who never fails to put a smile on my face  

http://astepinmystilettos.wordpress.com/

A funny and fresh writer who never fails to please. 

& one last thank you

To the girl reading this-  Here’s a huge thank you to dealing with my awful grammar and infrequent posts. Your comments can make my day and I’m so happy you’re here, whether this is your 2nd post or your 22nd post.

xo Amanda

Not so Jolly

Don’t you just love the holidays? The smell in the air, Christmas Caroling, the turkey on the table and that all around warm and fuzzy feeling. What I don’t love is the mad rushes to buy presents, the stress of attempting to get everything done and all the cleaning, primping, and shopping that comes with the Holidays.

But this year will be different. Because you’ll have this blog post with you as a guide. You’ll know the best ways to get rid of your stress, cute outfit ideas and my guide to inexpensive presents for almost anyone on your list. Enjoy 🙂

Buh-bye Stress

Here are my favorite ways to get rid of stress or at least reduce it… 

– Just say no. Do you really need extra credit when your average is a 96? What about the Holiday bake sale? Sounds great, until you remember that you hate baking. Say no to the things that you don’t really want/don’t need to do, and save yourself lots of time and extra stress while you are at it.

– Bubble bath. These are so relaxing, especially when paired with an ah-mazing bath melt.  Add some magazines and light some candles to create an even more peaceful mood.

– Laugh. I love YouTube videos for this; two of my favorites are  IISuperwomanII & WorldofNimi (Disclaimer-  Some of these videos may include swearing)

– Just do it. Do that one thing that’s been driving you crazy. From making flash cards for your Chemistry mid term or wrapping your least favorite aunt’s present, get it over and done with so you won’t  keep on stressing.

Midterms?!?!? 

Just when you don’t need them. Here are my favorite study strategies plus an extra surprise to keep you going 😉 

Outfit inspiration 

Midterm Madness

This is an easy to create outfit created by yours truly that uses lots of items that can be found in your own closet. The striped shirt and pink jeggings look way cuter and are (almost!) as comfy as sweatpants and a hoodie. The leopard flats keep things on trend with pattern mixing while a quirky tote and ring give your outfit a fun touch. Keep makeup natural with a BB cream & Setting spray by Urban Decay (one of which is named all-nighter) and a light lip balm. A sweet smelling hand sanitizer prevents you from being sick.

 

Macbarbie07 is one of my favorite Youtubers (how can you not love her?) and this is a very helpful guide for finals that you can also use for midterms.

Study Tips + Tricks

– Who isn’t easily distracted by Instagram & Twitter? That’s why I love the concept of this site. Cold Turkey is a free program that you can install on your computer, that temporarily blocks off distracting sites for however long you choose. A must have for research projects!

– Organize by color. Have a different color for each subject and make everything (notebooks, folders, etc) that color so you can grab and go.

– Read it in funny voices.  Try reading your chemistry textbook in a bad southern accent or even a french one (don’t do this when people are home) to help things “stick” in your mind.

– Ask for help! If you are too shy (or just don’t want to look “dumb”) ask your teacher for extra help during free periods, or before/after school. Most will be happy to 🙂

Gift Guide

All of these options are under $50 and there are plenty of  choices , so you’re sure to find something you’ll love 😉

Beauty/Fashion 

Birchbox– A beauty editor favorite, Birchbox is a subscription service that delivers beauty samples (and even some full size products) for $10 a month. A 3 month subscription is only $30.

eLF nail polish cube– 10 super pigmented mini nail polishes for $10? This set has the perfect polish colors for anyone on your wishlist.

Ulta Lip glossary– 30 gorgeous mini  lip glosses for $16. This has enough shades for even the biggest beauty junkie.

kate spade new york reusable shopping tote – A fun gift for any shopaholics.  $16

Pearl Statement Necklace– How cute is this? It’s handmade & a steal at only $11.

For the Boyfriend 

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy– The classic sci-fi novel with a funny twist. This edition contains all 5 books for only $15.

Think Geek graphic tee– If he has a favorite TV show/book series, try a funny graphic t-shirt. Think Geek’s are funny and under $20.

Sports Tickets– If your guy is into sports, try buying tickets for his favorite team for a fun date night.

Fun extras 

Pottery Barn Must have mini speaker– How cute are these? I love the Navy Peyton color, it’s so classy and chic.  $20

Jonathan Adler Giant Eraser– These are so cute! Give them to your favorite younger cousin for only $10

iTunes gift card– Who doesn’t love music? This is a great gift for the impossible to buy person.

Mani/Pedicure- Treat them to a fun girl’s day with a mani-pedi at a local salon.

In other News 

– New surprise is coming to my blog in January for the new year! Stay tuned for updates.

– Shoutout to Splendid & Southern! Her blog is so cute & classy; it’s a must see!

– What’s your favorite part of the holidays? Comment below and the best answer will get a shoutout 😉 

xx MBOB

Planning the Perfect Outfit

Monday morning rushes. Filled with an unusual mixture of caffeine and sleepiness. In your haziness, you pick some hideous combination. Maybe it’s gaucho pants and a turtleneck or forgetting to put a skirt over your leggings.

In order to prevent that from happening again, (what were you thinking?) this post is filled with my favorite tips, tricks and even some inspiration to ensure you look like a perfect 10. Enjoy 🙂

Consider the Weather

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Please don’t be that girl who rocks Uggs when it’s 70 degrees outside. Always factor the weather into your choices. Make it even easier by installing a weather app on your smartphone or computer.

You should also follow same basic seasonal choices as well. White in Winter is completely fine, but avoid sandals/flip flops in October unless you live in Alabama. Avoid wearing boots after spring break as well. A lot of these are just common sense, but it’s ah-mazing how many people don’t follow them.

Get Inspired

Look at what you wear the most in your closet. Is it your black skinny jeans? That mint green chevron infinity scarf? Use those pieces as starting points

The Clique books themselves feature tons of very detailed  outfit descriptions which is a great first source of outfit ideas. You could also make an inspiration collage from magazine pictures or look at fashion blogs. For a list of Massie approved fashion blogs, click here.

Style muses are also very helpful towards determining your unique style. Find a celebrity, blogger, model, etc. who’s style you would just love to have. Then add your own unique touches and finishes to have a fun style that you’ll lovr.

Also be sure to try on everything. Even if something doesn’t look that great on a hanger, it can never hurt to try it on.

Color. Texture. Pattern. Shine.

These are the 4 elements of interest. They take an outfit from casual to chic. Each one of these elements can be used to downplay a part of your body that isn’t your favorite or draw attention to your assets.

For example, the outfit above was created by the lovely Gabi Fresh. It’s a basic black outfit,  but she manages to keep it anything but basic with a luxe tweed blazer (texture), hot pink lipstick (color), some sparkles on her dress (shine) and black and white bracelets (pattern).

Some ways you could use the 4 elements in everyday outfits include…

– Swapping your plain black flats for a pair with a cute crystal detailing

– Try Emerald colored skinny jeans instead of your usual pair. They go with almost anything that denim does.

– Try patterned sneakers. I love this pair.

– Wear 3 jewel tones at once.

– Wear a sparkly headband.

Keep in mine that you don’t have to use all 4 elements at once, but factor in at least on or two.

What not to wear

I’m not the kind of girl who abides by the typical fashion rules. Stripes with leopard print? White after Labor day? All fine by me. But I have found these items to look good on nobody no matter their body type. Please avoid these items as much as possible.

Tapered jeans/pants

High on the waist, balloons around the hips and thighs, then tapered at the ankle. Just those words make me cringe. I haven’t seen anybody who looks good in these (not even models) so stay as far away as possible.

Gaucho pants

AKA high waisted flared capris. A complete don’t.

Fanny Packs  

Only if you want to look 50 years older.

Accessories

 

Turn a plain shirt into something special by adding an infinity scarf or by layering several necklaces. Transform your LBD from day to night by changing from heels to flats. The Possibilities are endless.

To be honest, these are even more fun then clothes for me. You can find cute necklaces and bracelets for inexpensive prices and they are much easier to try on. Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Urban Nog all have a wide selection of affordable choices.  If you want something higher end, try Betsey Johnson or Brighton. Want something unique yet inexpensive? Shop local thrift stores or Consignment shops.

Hair & Makeup

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Of course, an Outfit is never complete without prefect hair and makeup. While you don’t need to match your eye shadow to your shirt (how 80’s!), it is important that your hair and makeup complement your outfit.

For example, I love to curl my hair when wearing more feminine pieces like a vintage floral dress because it gives you this ah-mazing retro feel. You could also do a cute topknot if you are wearing something more quirky and fun  a la Suzie Bubble or sleek and straight for something edgier.

Makeup can also lend a feel to your outfit as well. Channel the 50’s with a flirty cat eye and blush or explore your wild side with bright eye shadow.  Check out Youtube videos for makeup tutorials and explore beauty blogs for product suggestions.

The Clique books also offer several makeup and hair descriptions as well.

Putting it all together

Now that you know the basics of planning an outfit, it’s time to put it all together. I typically to do this the night before, so I’m not panicking in the morning.

Lay out your clothes and even try them on if you haven’t worn something in a while. As a general rule, don’t repeat an outfit more then every 2-3 weeks. Also keep at least one thing basic/neutral. If you are doing a sparkly dress and bag, keep the shoes a little bit simpler. You can also organize your closet by color to see which colors work the best with each other.

Then grab the accessories you’ll need (like shoes, scarves, etc..) and place them right besides your clothes. Make any final adjustments like cuffing your jeans or cinching the waistline.

You don’t have to decide how to do your hair  & makeup the night before, but doing so can save you a lot of time.

In other News

– I will not be blogging as frequently as I did in the summer due to school work. However, expect at least one post a month 🙂

– What do you think of the mini makeover? Sound off in the comments!

– This tumblr is ah-mazing! http://l-i-f-t-3-d.tumblr.com/

xx MBOB

Holla Hydration

In the latest installment of The Skin I’m in series, I’ll being covering dry skin. With winter coming up, it’s great to start getting prepared and this guide can be helpful when it comes to the changing seasons and your skin.

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What causes dry skin?

In order to buy the best skin care products that are suited for your unique skin, you need to look at what’s causing your dry skin. Here are some of the most common factors.

Steamy Showers

While that 20 minute hot shower might feel ah-mazing after Volleyball practice, it’s not doing much for your skin. It can strip the natural oils from your skin leaving it dry and itchy. Prevent that by keeping your showers and baths as cold as you can stand it. Also be sure to keep towel drying to a minimum and rub a thick body butter afterwards.

Harsh Skincare Products

Rubbing just any old bar of soap on your face can also strip the natural oils. Use gentle yet hydrating skin care products to soothe your skin.

Low Humidity

Ever notice that you have to moisturize more often during the winter? And how your normally dry skin might appear oily and greasy during the summer?  That’s the magic of humidity. Be sure to adjust your skincare to the changing seasons.

Poor Diet

Not getting enough  of essential fatty acids,  vitamin E, some dietary minerals, & biotin can take a toll on your skin. Avoid processed greasy food as much as possible and be sure to take a multi-vitamin.

Too much Caffeine

It might be time to stop your daily Starbucks habit or at least slow it down. Caffeine actually draws fluid out of your body which can lead to dry and flaky skin.

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Product Recommendations   

Dry Skin & Acne?

Manage pimples with a gentle cleanser that’s still tough on acne like Cetaphil® DERMACONTROL™ Oil Control Foam Wash, then moisturize with a light cream that won’t clog your pores such as CLEAN & CLEAR® ESSENTIALS Dual Action Moisturizer. Use acne treatments at night and avoid overdosing. One of my favorites is Clean & Clear Advantage acne spot treatment.

Dry and/or Sensitive?

Hydrate your skin with a gentle cleanser like Cerave Hydrating Cleanser    then moisture with CeraVe moisturizing cream. Exfoliate once a week with a gentle exfoliator once a week or make an inexpensive homemade face masks.  Dry throughout the day? Use a hydrating face mist such as Evian.

Toner?

Want to know why I didn’t include toner? It actually doesn’t do anything and is known to strip skin of it’s essential oils. Instead use a hydrating face mist such as Evian to refresh, not strip your skin.

Makeup?

Use a hydrating primer to even and correct your skin tone plus add some extra hydration before applying your makeup. Then be sure to choose the correct makeup for your skin type (I recommend going to Ulta and asking a sales associate for help) and stick to terms like hydrating and dryness reliving.

From Head to toe

Be sure to exfoliate before shaving with an Exfoliating glove and moisturize ASAP as soon as you get out of the shower with a rich body butter. If you are shaving, skip the expensive shaving cream and go with a cheap moisturizing conditioner that does the job just as well and for a lot less  money. Look for bottles labeled hydrate, repair or moisturize for the best results.

In other News

 Blogs I heart page is getting a revamp and will soon be updated. Stay tuned 🙂

As I mentioned before, I’m extremely busy with school and the time/length between posts may be growing. However, please know that I’m trying my best and will try to have uploaded 2 posts per month.

xx MBOB 

All about acne

In my most recent post, I did a poll and asked everyone what was their main skin concern. Which ever topic had the most votes would have the first post dedicated towards solving that issue. Almost everyone seemed to struggle with acne (57%!) so the first post is all about getting rid of your acne. Enjoy and let me know how things went for you 🙂

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Some Skin Care products that are on my must try list

Find your skin care routine

To do this, you have to know your skin type and buy the right products for it. These two quizzes were very helpful for me.

For example, don’t buy a hydrating face wash if you have oily skin!

Product Recommendations  

Cleanser-

You don’t need to get a harsh cleanser. These can strip your skin and leave it dry and even more prone to breakouts. Look for one that gently exfoliates and has  Salicylic Acid to unclog your pores.

I alternate between Neutrogena Pore Refining Daily Cleanser & Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser . These are great for my oily/combo skin and leave my face feeling super soft.

For  dull skin, try Clean & Clear Morning Burst Fruit infusions Reviving cleanser.

On the drier side? You’ll love Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore scrub

Want something quick and easy? Try a face wipe like Neutrogena Oil free cleansing wipes Pink Grapefruit.

Moisturizers-

Look for one labeled non-comdgenic  with Salicylic Acid in a non-greasy formula. Avoid ones with cocoa butter, Wheat Germ oil & Lauric acid, as these are known to clog pores.

I love Clean & Clear ESSENTIALS Dual Action Moisturizer. It somehow manages to moisturize my dry areas without making my t-zone greasy or shiny. A must for combination skin!

Treatments-

A great drugstore option is  Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment which is perfect for anyone with easily irritated skin.

You have to get these from a dermatologist, but they are amazing! I’m currently using Tarzoc which is a prescription cream designed to clear blemishes. There is a an initial breakout for the first 1-3 weeks (as your skin gets used to it), but after that your skin will look much smoother and most breakouts will be gone. I also take Doxycycline which is a mild antibiotic designed to help reduce the inflammation that causes acne.

Misc-

I also exfoliate once a week with a homemade scrub consisting of 2 tsb of coconut oil and 2 tsp of sugar.

What zit?

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Some easy ways to distract from your acne include…

– Avoid straightening your hair. This can highlight any oily spots and make your breakouts seem blotchier. Curling your hair has the opposite effect.

– Have well groomed brows. These open up your eyes, make you seem more awake & define your cheekbones.

– Be confident 🙂 A lot of times most people won’t even notice your acne. One day I was complaining about how bad my acne had gotten and my friend was like “What acne?”

– Use light/nude makeup on your lips. I tend to avoid super shiny/matte shades as that can make my t-zone seem even oiler. Go for a light balm with a hint of color like this one by Revlon

You won’t regret it

If you’ve tried everything, a dermatologist is a must. They can give you special prescription medicines that aren’t available at your local target and perform special medical treatments. Mine even gave me makeup suggestions!

You are what you eat

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Personally, changing my diet has done wonders for my skin. Diet is a big factor in the health of your skin and eating lots of greasy and processed foods can upset that balance and lead to breakouts. If you notice that you are breaking out even worse then usual after eating a certain food, do your best to eliminate that food as much as possible. Also be sure to eat tons of fruits and veggies and avoid fried/greasy food as much as possible.

– For example, whenever I ate a bowl of ice cream, I’d have a trio of zits of my forehead the next today. After limiting my consumption to once every 2 weeks instead of 2-3 times a week, my skin became less oily and now I rarely breakout.

Body Breakouts

As if acne on your face wasn’t enough, lots of people struggle with breakouts all over their body. My favorite ways to solve body breakouts are body washes and scrubs that are super easy to use in the shower. Two of my favorites include Clean and Clear Morning Burst Charge Body wash & Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub. Once you are out of the shower, apply a pimple treatment to any areas with breakouts.

Also be sure to  find the right type of razor and to avoid keeping dirty/sweaty clothes on you for long periods of times as that can increase chances of you breaking out.

In other news

Added two pages for navigational purposes and have a brand about section 🙂

Huge Shoutout to Becoming an Alpha! I learned so many amazing things about WordPress, and my posts are looking better then ever because of it.

I bought this from Target. It’s a Major Faux Pas, but it’s so cozy!

xx MBOB

The Skin I’m in

If you’re like me, you have a love/hate relationship with your skin. One day your skin will look beyond ah-mazing and the next day (if you’re like me before a big event), you’ll have a giant zit right smack in the middle of your face or a blackhead that you just can’t get rid of.

With this new series, you’ll hopefuly have more of a love/love relationship versus the previous option. In each post, you’ll get new tips, ideas and inspiration to keep your skin looking it’s best.

But, I’m taking this a step further. Vote on the skin issues you want to be addressed first in the poll below, comment your skin type below and give me feedback on any of the DIY masks that you try. 🙂

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In Other News

– Love the clique? This tumblr is perfect! http://tpcthings.tumblr.com/
– Anyone willing to make me a header? 🙂

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Shoutouts

http://size6andlovingit.wordpress.com/
http://lovelymassieblock.wordpress.com/
http://massieglamorousalpha.wordpress.com/

xx MBOB