Thursday, May 15, 2014

LIFE: Shopping Snippets

I know that Thursdays are usually a beauty post day, and I had one planned out and everything, but it rained all. freaking. day. yesterday and pictures were just impossible to take inside by house. The lighting is difficult enough to work with on a sunny day, let alone a drizzly mess.

However, the rain didn't stop my sister and I from taking a romp around town for some little things I needed for my room before The Big Move. One of our longest stops was Target, and I happened to remember to bring out my camera to get a few snaps of the goings on.

Of course in true "white girl" fashion we had to stop and get a starbucks for our trip around the store. I like to use the excuse that the town my college is in doesn't have one, so being home makes it a treat. Now that Lands' End has one inside the building I'll be working from, I have no excuse and will have to keep my habits in check.

A look through the dollar bin always proves fun! Although it's turned into the $1 & $3 bins now? When did that happen? Anyway, this basil growing kit made me laugh. Seth loves basil, and I thought this was a cute little kit I would have bought for him if I wouldn't have had to send it through the mail to reach him :( 
And these little candle holders were quite nice quality given that they only cost $1 each. If I was a tea light candle person, I would have bought them.

This little journal was too perfect to pass up. It's the perfect size for throwing in a purse (possibly the one to the right?) for jotting down notes/ideas/etc. I snagged that along with a few other items from the bins, and later this week I'm going to write up a haul post of everything I bought from Target and the two other places we went into. 
I fell deeply and madly in love with this brown purse, but the price tag just didn't warrant the splurge just yet. Especially because I really need a black structured bag more than anything (see my last post here for which one I've got my eye on). Looking at it now, however, I'm glad I didn't spend the money on it. It's photographed quite orange, and that's the trademark of cheap fake brown leather, I feel.

Running errands doesn't require a sacrifice of fashion. It was just as easy to throw on a pair of jeans, a sweater, and low heels as it would have been to wear leggings, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes (and heels don't require laces!). The make-up section of Target has also gotten a makeover since I've last been in. While it is brighter, I felt that it was quite a bit smaller- am I imagining that?

PS- my blog sale is going on through May 29th, so don't miss out on that. Later this evening I'll be updating it with books and shoes, so make sure to follow me on Twitter @styleduckling to know when everything is updated! I'll also be updating periodically with new items and tweeting every time something different goes up. Don't miss out ;)
xoxo, Katie

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

INSPIRATION: Summer Essentials + Blog Sale!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

This week's inspiration post is a little bit different from normal because these are things I'm actually going to buy within the next couple of weeks instead of just lusting over the pretty colors and fabrics but crying at the price tag. Everything on this list in under $50 (except the Birks), and these are basically all of my summer essentials. However, there's a happy $250 sitting on my computer screen that I don't have, and that is where you all come in.

In an effort to help make moving a little easier, I'm clearing out my closet, dressers, shoe racks, and book shelves. By the time you are reading this I will have the blog sale tab updated in my navigation bar, but you can also find my gently used (and some brand new!) items I just can't cart around anymore. Everything is under $20, and most will be under $10 if I can help it. I want these things to go, so prices are set darn low. Lower than they would be if I put them up on eBay.

And yes- this is an international sale! All postage/ordering/faq stuff is at the top of the sale page, so make sure to read that before emailing me with any questions, but if I don't answer something there, feel free to shoot me an email at (I check it at least twice a day).

So help a girl out, find some fun new things at super cheap prices, and click here. Seriously. Do it. MY INTERNSHIP STARTS IN 2.5 WEEKS! So order fast, the sale ends May 29th.

PS- Tomorrow's update will include shoes and books. Make sure to read tomorrow's post for the link or bookmark my shop tab so you don't miss out! You can also follow me on Twitter @styleduckling because I will be tweeting every time I add a new item.
xoxo, Katie

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

OOTD: Katz Dress

Dress- H&M (borrowed)
Cardigan- French Connection
Necklace- H&M
Shoes- Lucky Brand
Bag- DIY
Ring- Forever21

This is probably the last set of pictures you'll see of my campus for a little while. I am officially back home and soaking up a couple days of freedom before heading off to work for my old summer job for a couple of weeks. After that begins the intern journey! I'm so nervous and excited at the same time. I have so many diy and decorating ideas for my room, so get ready for those as soon as I get them into place.

I'm really going to miss having Mary and Elana (whom I borrowed this dress from) around to always be ready to take some outfit pictures. When I'm home I practically have to get on my knees and beg my sister to take them, and I have absolutely no clue what Wisconsin holds for me. I'm just hoping that someone there will also have a fashion blog (or photography background) and I can bribe them with baked goods. I mean, that always works for me.

PS- I pulled this cardigan out of the back of my closet and I just fell in love with it again. Why didn't I discover this earlier back in the fall when mauve and cardigans were much more appropriate? Oh well. Also, I'm realizing I have no idea what to do with a cardigan. My experience with them is minimal at best. Tips for styling, anyone?

PPS- I'm realizing that I ALWAYS seem to have a PS. Maybe I just need to make this a real thing from now on.
xoxo, Katie

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BEAUTY: Arvazallia Argan Oil and Hair Mask Review

Hair is a big part of my life. It's not easy being born into the troubled and difficult to manage world of curly hair, but 9/10 I would say that it's totally worth it. Especially now that more and more companies are taking notice of women's desire to take care of their natural hair instead of treating it with chemicals and heat.

Arvazallia has created two products that really could work for any type of hair (they even say so right on the product!), but it is targeted for hair that required a little extra TCL to cooperate. The argan oil hair treatment is what really sold me on these products. I've tried other hair oils (including my most favorite CHI silk infusion), and I think this one one that might get used more frequently than not.

The hair mask its a super thick and creamy conditioner designed to give hair a softer, silkier, and healthier appearance. While I can't wait it worked miracles just yet (it did separate my curls a little more than I like), I do think it will make quite a difference after a week or two, especially when straightening my hair. The drier it is, the harder it is the keep straight, especially in the humidity. This Hydrating Argan Oil Mask will most definitely keep things under control when the air feels more suitable for drinking rather than breathing.

I can't wait to find out how Arvazallia Argan Oil hair treatment and Hydrating Argan Oil Mask will change the texture of my hair over the summer. Perfect timing! If you're looking to get your own, you can find them on the Arvazallia website. Happy shopipng!

Arvazallia Premium Argan Oil Hair Treatment
Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Mask

PS- In addition to being available on the actual website, Amazon has BOTH products for 60% off retail price right now- whaaat?! 

xoxo, Katie

Disclaimer: Arvazallia provided free product samples, but all statements, opinions, and reviews of the products are my own.

Would you like to see your product featured in a post? Contact me at or click the "sponsor" tab in the top navigation bar.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

INSPIRATION: The Final Reward

I can't be the only one who feels justified in spending money during finals week, right? Just a little something to make the hours of ulcer inducing stress and studying easier to swallow. I absolutely ADORE the NYX Butter glosses and somehow all three of mine have gotten lost this year. That justifies new ones, yes? The J.Crew hats are perfect for hiding greasy hair days from the lack of sleep and showering (if only the library had showers, right?), and while I'm not a big fan of monograms, who can resist a 35 oz tumbler? You read that right. 35 oz of pure iced coffee goodness (or water if you're into that kind of thing, I guess).

PS- I just realize this list makes me look like a Southern prep blogger, haha who knew I had it in me? Maybe the warmer temperatures are bringing out my inner state school sorority girl.

xoxo, Katie

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

OOTD: Oh you fancy, huh

Top- Joie (via Wasteland)
Cardigan- Elana of Room334
Leggings- American Apparel
Ring/Necklace- Forever21
Sandals- BCBG

This blog post actually marks the appearance of TWO "new" products on the blog. Both the shoes and this top were purchased in L.A. during my spring break trip, and I just love them to pieces. The silk top makes me feel way fancier than I actually am (which is always a plus during finals week), and the sandals are perfect combination of sweet and practical for the summer. The only downside to the top is that silk wrinkles. Badly. And I also can't spill anything on it for fear of ruining it. So this might not have been the most practical purchase, but common! Just look at it! I'd have been a fool not to snag this baby. Especially since it was only 

Also, this cardigan was borrowed from my blogging bestie (she's going to kill me for writing that) Elana. I've mentioned her before, but it's quite fun to have someone around who always understands your desire to obnoxiously take picture of things for instagram. Since our styles are pretty different, this is the first time we've swapped items this whole year, but I've fallen in love with this cardigan. There is just something about speckled grey sweaters that scream "cozy".

Elana is always making this cardigan look fantastic. She's basically the cardigan queen, so if you're into those (or even if you're not, because I adore her style and own maybe 3 cardigans max) make sure to check her out!
xoxo, Katie

Sunday, May 4, 2014

LIFE: DIY "Birkin" Bag

I've spent more hours than I'm willing to admit looking at ridiculously beautiful (and expensive) handbags. I have yet to decide which is my bigger weakness- shoes or purses. So, while that debate rages on, I've found a way to keep myself somewhat occupied while I stash away pennies that wouldn't even make a dent in the funds required for 97% of my wishlist.

anyone have an extra $12,000 lying around they'd like to give me?

While I'm waiting and waiting (and waiting some more) for the coins to add up, I took a few out to make a "quick fix" solution to my desire for a new bag. One of the fun new things I've seen out are canvas tote bags with funny or cute little designs on them. Forever21 is a big priopieter of this, and for $3.80, can you really find a better deal? Why, yes. Yes, you can.

A quick trip down the craft aisle at Wal-Mart revealed a 3-pack of canvas totes on clearance for $5, although I think they were only a little over $6 regularly. 

These markers were an impulse buy during a Hobby Lobby trip (also in clearance) but they've proved quite useful. They don't fade or bleed like normal Sharpies, although if that's what you have sitting around I'm sure it would work just as well. Just be sure to use a light hand.
Since the pack came with 3, I made another one! (The first one didn't turn out just how I liked. I'm quite a perfectionist).

The beauty of these is that a) you can make them say whatever you want b) they're cheaper than getting 3 bags for $3.80 each and c) they won't be like anyone else's! Plus they kept me busy instead of eating or sleeping.

1. Mock trace everything out to make sure it will fit nicely
2. Keep the letter relatively tall and skinny. I found it much easier to keep things looking "professional" that way. 
3. I also found it easier to hold the pen fairly far up along the length of it. 

So instead of rocking a more than fabulous leather bag, I'll be looking ironic and hipster with my tote bag that looks like it might have cost 3x as much from Urban Outfitters. That's always a win in my book.
xoxo, Katie

PS- Do you think DIYs should be under lifestyle or inspiration? I just kinda guessed and I'm hoping it makes sense here, haha

Saturday, May 3, 2014

OOTD: All Blogs Post the Same Stuff

(That "tie" is actually my lanyard, haha I'm not weird and just carry ties in my hand)
Tshirt- American Apparel
Vest- Thrifted
Jeans- 'Q
Shoes- Nike

To say that this week has been stressful would be an understatement. Without boring you with all the details, a quick overview would include officially taking over my editor position, multiple projects being due, finals week quickly approaching, and dealing with more than a few things that I had thought would stay buried in my skeleton closet.

And when all of these things bubble up and take over all at once, the pressure to handle it all perfectly can be a bit overwhelming. As a first born child (and then later being thrust into the middle child spot) it's in my nature to be a perfectionist. Sometimes it feels like the world will end if you're not 110% what everyone expects from you- and sometimes most importantly what you expect from yourself.

So this time around I decided to include photos that would usually be considered "bloopers". Mess-ups. Short of perfect. However, in reality, there is nothing wrong with them. They're showing me being my goofy, loud, sometimes obnoxious self. A lot of the pictures I post on here are the "serious" photos. The ones that make me look all brooding and moody, but make for a good shot. But 80% of the time, that's just not how I am, and I'm letting these slightly more real pictures do the talking.

In a blogging world full of pressures to have the "perfect" picture (ie, all white walls, wooden flooring, solid monochrome furniture, and perfect minimalist yet beautiful decorations- bonus points for being able to fake natural lighting), sometimes it's nice to take a step back and realize that pictures (and people) don't have to fit a mold to be perfect. 

ps- if anyone noticed that I didn't make an "Inspiration" or "Beauty" post this week, I apologize! The key to everything really is planning and it just slipped away from me this week. Don't worry, though, next week is already in the works :)
xoxo, Katie