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Monday, January 25, 2016

#Currently

Happy Friday my loves! I hope you all had a spectacular week, and for those of you who had a less than stellar week, take comfort in knowing that bed, Netflix, and wine await you.

I've sort of fallen off the face of the blogging earth lately so I apologize for that. BUT I want to welcome you to a weekly blog series I'm calling "Hashtag Currently." Just to clarify, I'm often that annoying friend who says the word 'hashtag' IRL.

Every Friday I'll be posting things from the week that make me laugh, feel inspired, feel like I need an IV of coffee, etc. It'll be a round-up of eclectic nonsense, just like the stream of thoughts constantly running through my head. 


 Currently: WISHING I WAS THE GUY NEXT TO ADELE

Sadly my schedule doesn't currently inclue a karaoke sesh with Adele while driving around London, but apparently James Corden is more #blessed than all of us. If you don't already have a MASSIVE girl crush on Adele, you will after watching this video. Not only does she jam to Spice Girls, but she also uses the phrase "I ain't got time for that!" SLAY, my queen. Keep doing you. (And also I'm free this weekend if you want to drive around singing with me. Have your people call my people.)


Currently: ADULTING IS HARD

So while I am currently working two jobs (one technically being an internship), I find myself wondering how people get their sh** together in the real world. Is flip cup is a marketable skill to add to my resume? 


Currently: CHANNING TATUM AS BEYONCE

In a word, is everything. That is all.

In the busy life of Kiera, this about sums up my feelings week. I hope you all have the BEST weekend! 

xoxo,
Kiera

Apartment Spruce: DIY Lilly Pulitzer Pattern

As any unemployed post-grad would, I've been a tad nostalgic about college lately. One thing I miss more than usual is crafting (sorority girls you have my back on this right?).  One winter break I genuinely spent 3 full days crafting for the little that I didn't even have yet. Needless to say there's been a void in my life without the need to whip out a fresh bottle of Mod Podge and throw some glitter at someone.



I was sitting in the bathroom scrolling through Instagram (like every other normal human, don't deny it) when I realized the walls are so bare. It was horrifying; how did my roommate and I not decorate this yet? Sure, we have a lovely shade of seafoam green on the walls, but it still needed something. Kind of the way your nails need a manicure when they're looking...meh, ratchet, etc.

I decided to paint a Lilly Pulitzer pattern on a canvas to brighten the space and I'm here to share the steps with you! Lilly patterns look so complicated, but when you can break them down anyone can paint them.

(Fun fact: did you know all of the Lilly Pulitzer patterns are hand-painted? Yeah. So when you think every part of the painting needs to be perfect, take comfort in the wiggle room you have)

Step 1 : Pour a glass of wine.

Step 2 : Turn on Pitch Perfect 

Step 3: (okay but really)


Start with a darker shade of pink and begin making a few half moon brushstrokes, just to get an outline of the flower shape. I like to keep the paint a little thicker to make it easier for blending in the lighter colors.

Taking a lighter shade of pink paint, begin making the same half moon strokes to fill in areas in the flower outline. Slightly overlap with the darker pink to blend the two, that way you're not just painting lines next to each other.  

TIP : Don't wash your painbrush in between colors, it gave my flowers more depth when I was able to blend and create different shades of pink. 

Finally, take the slightest amount of white paint on your brush and make small rounded strokes where you think you need to break up the pink. If I thought there was too much of the same shade in one spot, I ran my brush ober that area with white and it completely changed the look of the flower.

TIP : You don't need to create full flowers each time. As you can see on my canvas, some of my flowers are only partial and stick over the edge. This gives the illusion that the painting continues off the canvas.

Step 4 : 


Fill in the background with a teal colored paint. When you get close to the edge of the flower, switch to a smaller brush to get the color as close as possible without overlapping the pink paint.

Step 5 : 


Take white paint and make a thin layer of the shape you want your leaves to be; this will make the green a bit more vibrant. 

Take a bright (almost lime) green paint and go over the layer of white paint. Then taking a darker (slight hunter) green you can outline the leaves or make thin lines to mimick the veins of a leaf. Get creative! I actually liked that mine aren't perfect or entirely uniform. 

Step 6 : 


 Hang it up, step back, and enjoy!

xoxo
Kiera

Post-Gym Beauty Hacks

I discovered in college that I'm really good under pressure. In fact, some of my best work or ideas come out of urgency. Yesterday I got to put my somewhat useful skill to use. 

I ususally plan my day out hourly, but I didn't schedule any time for disaster to strike. I had my day planned to a T... I would wake up, work out, go to Trader Joe's, all before 1 o'clock. It was very practical. Until my roommate texted me mid-workout that the exterminator would be coming this afternoon (cut to the day that we had a gardner snake and a mouse in my house IN THE SAME DAY. See: me moving out).

That was fine, I should've been done with my errands by then, right? WRONG. She told me he could be coming at any time and that I should go to the store ASAP in case he arrived early. 

I finished my morning workout, slightly rushed, but I didn't have time to shower before heading out. In the moment I perfected the fastest routine to look presentable post-gym.


 
If you wear a cutoff with a Mean Girls quote on it and don't Instagram it, did it actually ever happen?

Must Have #1: Dry Shampoo (Favorite: Pantene)

 I desperately need a refresh highlight sesh so my hair looks even dirtier than usual when I sweat. Dry Shampoo is an absolute must-have in my post-gym routine. Some days I'll even use it on clean hair to add volume (BYE flat hair, see ya never). I've tried countless brands, but I've found Pantene works the best for me and has a scent that most resembles freshly-shampoo'd hair. WIN.

Must Have #2 : Wide Headband (preferably with a breathable fabric)


After I massage my dry shampoo into my roots I'll put on a wide headband just to cover up any stringy looking hair. I also disdain having stray hair on my face after a workout so this is a must. Added bonus: this kind of makes me look a little sportier, so people will think I actually just worked out. I don't usually go in public looking like an out-of-breath Sporty Spice. 

Must Have #3 : Face Wipes


I break out SO EASILY if I don't wash my face after I work out. It's one of the most frustrating things to me (girl's just trying to get in shape!). It's so easy to grab a face wipe, refresh, and get all of the sweat off my face and hairline in a quick swipe. Burt's Bees leaves me feeling clean and refreshed so I don't need to head to the sink when I'm in a rush. 

FINALLY Must Have #4 : Gel Deodorant


I have a phobia of having white marks on my clothing so I tried gel deodorant and FELL IN LOVE. Head over armpit in love (that's a thing?). It eliminates the feeling of caking on solid deodorant the way you do with a powder foundation, and I just feel cleaner with my beloved Secret Outlast. TRY IT. Do it. Do it now. 

Give these tips a try and I promise you'll feel refreshed even after a hard workout!

xoxo
Kiera


Weekend Indulgences: Sushi Dates and More

Morning everyone! I'd like to share my thoughts on Monday:

 If only.

Sadly the weekend is over, RIP sleeping until brunch, but I hope you all had a great time! Gather 'round, here comes a little snapshot of my favorite things this weekend. 

Favorite Meme: 

Funny because I'm short. Not funny that I feel that I somewhat relate to this (I don't have saggy boobs, just to clear that up).

Saturday started off with an early morning run around Manayunk (#charitychallenge). I swear there's no better feeling than running along an empty Main Street when it's still chilly out. It's like the quiet before the storm, where everything is peaceful before the whole town is bustling with hooligans. It's funny how a year ago I would never be able to make it out of bed on a Saturday morning after a night of going out. Post grad life changes you; now there's nothing I long for more than a relaxing Friday night and a hangover-free Saturday morning. I guess you could say I've peaked. 

It was a beautiful day so Patrick and I decided to walk to Yanako for sushi, my favorite lunch. When we were in the park he reminded me that we went on a little sushi bender our last semester at Saint Joe's. We went at least every week; he joked that I was going to turn into a spicy tuna roll (like I'd be mad about that?). 


I give you permission to start drooling now. You know it was good because anyone who eats with me will point out my 'Kiera bop' if I'm eating something I like. I bop my head side to side, I don't know how or when it started, and I don't even notice I'm doing it until Patrick starts imitating me. Whatever, a girl's gonna bop.

Saturday night. OH MYLANTA. If you're in Philly you must take advantage of the beer gardens before it's too cold out. We went to Frankford Hall in Fishtown and it is SO. FETCH. You're inside, you're outside... ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I don't understand. But what I do understand  is there is a grapefruit beer with a German name that I don't remember (blame tipsy Kiera, not me), and it is heaven in a glass. Seriously. If there's a drink that will rival a cold glass of white wine it's this. To make things even better I saw my best friend from college and I genuinely cried. She laughed at me. I got fries to calm myself down. So 'twas a win-win.

SO that was my weekend in a nutshell, I hope you all had a swell one!

May your Monday's be short and your coffee be strong.

xoxo
Kiera

Fir For Fall Challenge



Fall is here! Well maybe not specifically in Philly, I'm still sweating here (boob sweat is all too real y'all). But I'm hopeful it'll cool down soon because fall is my absolute FAVORITE season. I'll try not to be too basic but I'm excited about pumpkin everything, I already have two fall candles, and I've made a super healthy apple crumble.

But with fall comes a new Tone It Up challenge that I'm embarking upon! If you haven't heard of Tone It Up, please visit their website. I started their program a few weeks ago and seriously I've never felt so healthy, strong, and happy. Even when I hit those dreaded days where I don't want to wake up and work out, I check in with the Tone It Up community on Instagram and I'm instantly pumped up and encouraged to get in a Morning Booty Call (not dirty, it's just a morning workout). Did I mention the amazing food pictures everyone posts?? Who knew there was a healthy way to make pancakes BTW.

This fall there is a new fall challenge to run 2 miles a day for 8 weeks as a part of their #charitychallenge. I downloaded the free app Charity Miles to track how far I run, and every mile I run a donation is made to the charity of my choice! How amazing is that? Just running can make a huge difference.



I chose the ASPCA but you have the option of choosing a different charity each time you run if you're passionate about more than one thing. OH, and you can walk, run, bike, whatever your heart desires! 

I can honestly say I've never been so excited to run (outside of playing sports), and I'm so happy I can make a difference just by getting in shape!

Everyone should take a minute and download the app; even if you walk around the block you can make a difference for a cause you're passionate about!

p.s This isn't a sponsored post, I genuinely just love the Tone it Up community.

xoxo
Kiera

I Went Makeup-Free For a Week

 

For years I had an overwhelming sense of anxiety when I thought of stepping out in public without make up. I was pretty blessed growing up that I never had terrible acne, but there was always some imperfection I wanted to hide. Or I thought I was too plain, or my eyebrows were too blonde. Always something. This also led to some years of bad experimentation with brow pencils and eyeliner. But this week I decided to make a leap of faith and free my skin. 

My rules: No foundation, no covering up embarrassing breakouts (thanks, sticky humid Philly weather), no filling in my brows (eek!). I wanted to see how it would affect my perception of myself, and see if anyone else noticed.

Want to know what people said?

LITERALLY NOTHING. 



Not that I wanted people to come up and say, "Hey, you look pretty plain today, maybe you should use some makeup." But I didn't get weird glances, no one commented on my naked skin...It was oddly freeing. 

I went to the gym, the car dealership, the store, Target...nothing. 

I went over my boyfriend's house, I had a girls night, and here's the comments I received this week:

Roommate: "Your butt looks really perky this week, I'm jealous."

Patrick: "Your legs are really smooth today."

No one pointed out the little illuminati triangle of pimples on my chin, or the little dark circles of gloom under my eyes. It felt AWESOME.

So why was I always worried about wearing makeup at all times? Why was I so wrapped up in other's opinions that I forgot how nice it could feel not spending time "putting on my face?"

Here's what I realized this week:



-My skin feels SO much cleaner, my weird summer breakouts started clearing up, and my skin actually started looking brighter! Go figure.

-No one is judging me as hard as I judge myself.

-I'm my own worst critic.

This week was so satisfying and liberating, but let's be real. I'm a girl who enjoys filling in her brows and looking put-together for a night out. But now I'm a little more laid back and feel like I can walk out of the house with confidence, makeup-free.


xoxo
Kiera

Girls Night Inspiration

For women working 40-hour weeks, it's absolutely necessary to plan a girls night, whether it's with your roommates or even if you're going solo on this one. While I love a good night binge-watching New Girl on Netflix and eating Smartfood popcorn in bed, sometimes it's nice sitting around a recycled coffee table full of pizza and gossiping with your girls while you watch E! News. Here's my personal recipe for a perfect night in.



My roommates and I set a day aside a week in advance for our girls night, which I absolutely suggest! If you have a definite plan, you won't be temped to make any other last minute plans to interfere. The best part of a girls night is that it doesn't require taking out a loan to have a great night (I'm 22 and currently unemployed, so this is ideal). 



Wine. Lots of wine. Red wine, white wine, pink wine, boxed wine (new Dr. Seuss book title?), anything will do. My pick was a $7 chairman's selection Shiraz, a step away from my usual Pino Grigio. I'm not an expert but my experience shows that any kind of wine (cheap or expensive) pairs perfectly with pizza.





That being said, the next thing you'll need is great food for your girls night. We opted for our favorite pizza from the beloved (ususally drunk) Mike's Pizza, and indulged in BBQ Chicken. We decided this was a great "cheat meal." While I consider myself a very healthy eater, girls night is the exception.

Okay, the basics are covered, now for the good stuff. FACE MASKS. If you're ever looking for a simple way to make you feel indulgent and in-touch with your feminine side, a face mask is always the way to go. I chose the charcoal and black sugar face scrub, and my face felt fresh like a baby's bottom after only 7 minutes. 

Let me know how you all have the perfect girls night in!

xoxo
Kiera