September 30, 2011

Side-Splitting Laughter

Outfit Details
Dress: Charlotte Russe
Belt: The Limited ($20/$35)
Shoes: Nine West
Clutch: Zara ($14)

While this was worn during the summer, neutral colors are great for the fall and it's still hot if going by Florida weather. This dress cannot be given a price because it is a bit special. Stick around within the next few weeks to find out why. Red belts are a great to have around, red goes with neutrals so it adds a pop of color.

So one night we went out to a comedy club (not Chili's) and had a great time eating food and laughing. Clifford always laughs easily while it can sometimes take me a while to really laugh. At the comedy club there was one comedian who claimed to be half Puerto Rican. So he gives a shout-out to his fellow Puerto Ricans, asking them to raise their hands. A good amount of people from several spots throughout the audience raise their hands and cheer. The comedian proceeds to give a shout-out to his Cuban neighbors, asking the same. Guess how many Cubans waved their hands up and yelled, "woo-hoo!!!" Yeah. Just me. If it hadn't been so dark people would have seen how red I must have turned. Clifford got a kick out of that one.

September 28, 2011

Relaxed Sister

Outfit details
Tunic: Maje/Paris (hand-me-down from sister)
Jeans: Hudson (hand-me-down from sister)
  Earrings: Tarpon Springs (gift)
Sunglasses: Icing ($7/$14)

This is obviously a very simple and relaxed look. Thanks to my beautiful sister for providing the greater part of this outfit! I love wearing my sunglasses on my head like this. On a really sunny day you can switch from shielding your eyes to using them as a headband. I pulled only one side of my hair with them here, other times I don't pull my hair back and just stick them in my head. You'll see me walking around saying, "Where are my sunglasses?!" yet no one feels the need to point out where they are....

By the way, don't forget to vote one the top left of the page! Check out other "I'm Just Sayin'..." posts on the lists to learn more!

September 26, 2011

Punda Milia

Outfit Details
Cowl Back Tee: Sears/French Connection ($6/$17)
Tank top: Express
Jeans: Refuge from Charlotte Russe ($10)
Sandals: Bakers ($20)
Zebra Necklace: Some store in Miami

I'm sorry that you're seeing these sandals so much lately. I do have other sandals/flip-flops I wear to school, but these go with everything, the others are more colorful and fun. The jeans I'm wearing are Charlotte Russe's Refuge jeggings. I swear, jeggings are just jeans without front pockets, they're the only way I can wear skinny jeans, otherwise my tiny self can't fit into them. How do girls wear regular skinny jeans anyways? What did people do before jeggings came out? Not eat? Not an option for me.

Sorry I don't know anything else about the necklace, I got it about three years ago on a trip to Miami Beach at the Aventura Mall. The store was closing anyways but they had such fun accessories. This necklace actually came with matching earrings. Boys notice those earrings whenever I wear them for some reason, but I felt it was too matchy-matchy and wore another, simple pair of zebra print hoop earrings I have. Zebra lover much?!

I used a "nautical" style tank top underneath a breezy, fall-colored top to transition in from summer to fall. Though it's still hot you can  combine summer pieces with fall colors and pieces to save on money and still be seasonally appropriate.

September 22, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Preventing Wrinkles

Did you know we start aging at age 20? See there's this thing called collagen that everyone has, it makes our skin all nice and plump. Your body reproduces less and less of it as you age and 20 seems to be the marker number. Would have been nice for me to know this about a year or two ago. 

"Omigosh, so what now?!" Well, don't panic, that will just give you more wrinkles. Aside from using whatever anti-aging cream you will put your hopes on, you'll want to do two things: take vitamin C and apply facial sunscreen daily. I've recently started taking vitamin C daily and though I'm lazy with my facial sunscreen, I do try to use it as often as possible. The sunscreen part is a big one. Even when the sun is hidden by the clouds the rays can penetrate and harm your skin!

You don't need to take vitamin supplements for your daily dose of vitamin C. Fruits like oranges, papayas, kiwi, strawberry, cantaloupe, etc. are great sources. These are tropical fruits that are may be known for being sour (kiwi) and acidic (oranges). Thankfully these are some of my favorites! 

Vitamin C helps your body develop more collagen and helps with so much within the body including the health of your teeth. While it's pretty difficult to overdose on vitamin C, please look things up before taking a bunch of supplements a day. Having a healthy diet should get you where you need to be, especially if you include some fruits. What's this? Florida is famous for these age-defying fruits? Florida is also famous for the age-inducing sun!

I use Neutrogena sunblock (like SPF 100+ or something) because facial sunblocks are a bit tricky, but details on that will have to be left for a "Review It" post. While it's important to get at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day (for Vitamin D), the sun can be harmful to the skin if it is exposed for too long. I realize fall just started today (yay fall!), but fighting the harmful effects of the sun is a year-round thing.

And don't even get me started on tanning salons. I mean, I'm just sayin'....

September 21, 2011

Brighter Than Sunshine

Outfit details
Blouse: Apostrophe/Sears ($7/$36)
Jeans: American Eagle
Belt: Papaya ($8)
Necklace & Bangle: Gifts 
Sandals: Bakers ($20)

If you follow me on Twitter (go to Links page) you already know this, but there's a funny story about what happened when I wore this outfit the other day. I was just walking through campus when a girl going the other direction looks at me and makes a face while she pretty much yells, "Nice outfit!" It took me a while to realize she was talking to and complimenting me before I could muster a "thank you," sorry about that!

And how about the price on this blouse?! Yeah, yeah?! Sears had a one-day sale I stumbled upon this weekend where everything on clearance was an extra 30% off so I got a few tops. Taking advantage that it is still technically summer until the 23, I wore this super happy, sun-shiny yellow. The sun follows me everywhere I go.

September 19, 2011

Fashion's Night Out

So Fashion's Night Out happened in little ol' Tampa too! How exciting! Of course, I initially had no idea this even existed and only chanced upon the event after hearing the Florida Orchestra would be playing in International Plaza. Thinking it would be all about the music, I headed over with no particular decorum. 

To my surprise it was fashion - not so much music - that was the highlight of the night. There were so many giveaways, goodies, free food and cocktails that I had a bit of an excitement rush. My friend Huong and her boyfriend Michael were there for the fun and we ran around everywhere trying to snag deals. Huong even got her bangs done for free at Toni & Guy!

She'll kill me for posting this picture but I think it looks great!

 My outfit details
Dress: American Eagle ($20)
Belt: Lucky Brand/thrifted ($8/$65)
Shoes: Bobbi Blu ($40/$92)

Jealous of my Lucky Brand snag? I was very lucky to find it in Plato's Closet, a large chain thrift store. The belt was in perfect conditions with price tag still attached and lovely details intact. Only problem is that it's a medium so it only fits at my hips. Oh well, so long as I can wear it somehow. Either way I was buying it at that great a deal! Would have made a great gift too - sorry to whoever missed out, you can blame my hips.

September 16, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Wearing Moccasin Boots

My friend Marissa tweeted me the following:

"@AmapolaStyle I definitely will. I think that would be a good post for you... How to wear moccasins. I have a regular pair of Minnetonkas that are so cute, but I'm not sure what I can wear the boots with. Bc I will buy them eventually! Another idea... nude heels."

So I'm answering her question! Anything with fringe can be tricky to wear. My advice is that whenever you have something special or really attention-grabbing that you want to wear, make sure that the eye is drawn to it and not all over the place. Simply put, everything else should be simple.
Marissa, I'm sure you're crazy about wearing your moccasin boots right away, but because they're boots and because this is Florida, wait till it gets a bit nippy to wear them. If you wear them with shorts, it doesn't have to be too cold. Jean shorts or skirts are great with them because the colors go nicely together and they both have a casual feel to them.
Because moccasins have that carefree vibe to them, try a flowy, maybe sheer top. Something loose would look cute and might help in not giving that "cowgirl" look when wearing moccasins. Oh, steer clear from the "cowgirl" look, it's cute for theme parties and Halloween but you want to show that you can wear a tricky piece without help from the cliché.

When it starts to get where you need a jacket outside, you can do pretty much the same look - just add leggings! They really do make for a great transition-between-seasons piece.

When it's cold, wear them above skinny or boot cut jeans as they are easier to deal with when tucking inside boots. You can wear a contrasting trench coat and really make those boots shine. It's my preference not to wear short jackets with them because the risk is run that you look kind of boxy. Moccasins already protrude somewhat. 

A good example by Mischa Barton (notice the leggings, length of the shirt, and the simplicity):

To quickly answer your question about nude heels, just remember that nude heels are meant to elongate the leg. You'll want to take advantage of that by showing some leg. Dancers do the same. Try to get a similar color to your skin tone. Don't wear pantyhose/leggings with them unless they're your skin tone. They also look great in bell-bottom jeans though.

Hope I answered your questions well! I mean, I'm just sayin'.... 

September 15, 2011

Review It: Miir Water Bottles

Since my elementary days, I have been adamant about Earth conservation. Being eco-minded, I decided to buy a reusable water bottle after a friend told me of the benefits. Not wanting to buy just any bottle (most of the good ones run at about $20), I took my time and came across Miir. Not only do they provide great, simple water bottles, one dollar of every purchase made is used to provide clean water for those without it for a full year. Check out their facebook page for more info.

My Rating: 4.5/5
Cost: $20 - $25
The cool thing about Miir is that their bottles are super customizable. You can choose what style of lid you want (I chose the wedge), what colors the lid and bottle will be, the size of the bottle (mine is 800ml), even the design of the skin which is free by SkinIt. The skin was my favorite part. I used the same painting I posted last time. Because you can upload your own image, your water bottle will never be mistaken for anyone else's. 

When drinking from it I find few problems. Spinning the top on and off is easy but it is tightly secured. Some people may not like that it doesn't have a sort of sipping hole or nozzle; I find having a top more sanitary so I'm fine with it. The bottle itself is super light weight so you're basically only having to worry about the weight of the water. It also keeps the water nice and cool.

My only regret is having gotten the 800ml sized bottle, the largest one. I only fill it up half way because I know otherwise it will probably be too heavy in my school bag. It's also rather huge to just carry around. Though it doesn't feel awkward even for a small girl like myself because it's easy to hold either by the top or the body, I would have been happier with the medium sized 600ml. Why did I get the largest one even though I don't need it? Sale Craze. See, I go crazy when things are cheap and Groupon had a Miir deal where both the 800ml and 600ml bottles were at the same price at $12. I thought I had to go for the better deal, but as soon as it was too late and my craze calmed down, I realized my mistake. The real down-side is that it takes up more room in my school bag. But it's ok! I love it anyways.

Shipping was great, you can tell the company is environmentally conscious because they only had two very thin and small papers included and an admittedly flimsy cardboard box just the size of the bottle. The cardboard box was slightly open when it arrived, but I value simplicity over exaggerated packaging. The skin came a few days later (as it is through a different company) in very secure and professional (yet simple!) packaging. The skin was easy to apply and it's not like once you stick it on it's stuck forever. The image also turned out great, just how I  edited it.

Giving it a 4.5 only because some people may not like that the packaging is not more secure and that the bottle and skin don't come together.

September 11, 2011

Reflections, 10 Years After Sept. 11, 2001

Ten years ago today an eleven year old girl was sitting in her first period 6th grade "wheel" elective class. The day had started off as boring as any other when a teacher from next door came in to talk to her teacher. Their hands were up to their mouths, their eyes worried and shocked. Slowly, almost in a dream-like manner, the girl's teacher walked up to the front of the room, reaching up to the television, and turning the dial. 
In an automatic response, the class looked up at the television. The girl thought there was a movie playing. It wasn't very good. When the news castors started talking, she knew it must be real. Still, so what? Some accident happened. The girl was too young to connect the dots so quickly on her own. Later a lot of her classmates were being picked up early by their parents but she knew she wouldn't be one of them, her dad worked at the school.
Later when I got home that day and listened to what my mom and the news people had to say, I started to grasp the gravity of the attacks. Growing up in what I considered an ideal world that had obtained world peace after so much history of war, I was shocked. What broke my heart the most was the thought of all the families that were suddenly torn apart and losing "world peace."

Thankfully, my family did not lose a loved one during 9/11. Still, I have not been able to listen to a story of loss about the tragedy without chocking up. I feel only a small fraction of their pain but it is enough to move me to tears. I have seen many others moved the same way.

During that time my family and I were not even American citizens. We had been in this country for only six years. Although I remember feeling this country was my home, I can finally understand what it must have been like for my parents and sister. Having fairly recently moved to this new country and still struggling to get by within it, the fear must have been great. They had moved with the dream that they would be free of troubles and worries in the "land where the streets are paved in gold." To have that dream turn into a threat of national turmoil must have had them wishing they were back "home" where they were safe.

But the truth is, no one can truly be safe anywhere in the world. Everyday we put our lives in the hands of others without thinking about it. When driving, you trust others not to hit you, accidentally or purposefully. When eating out or buying groceries, you trust the food to be safe.

We are all connected and trusting each other constantly. On 9/11 a great deal of trust was broken, as has happened in all wars. It is not the absence of war that creates world peace; world peace will be achieved when people learn to trust. Trust yourselves, trust one another, trust the nations you love, trust the nations you fear, trust the world. To create trust, people must first learn to love. 

If everyone in the world can manage this, the world will truly know peace. This is my wish for Earth, who has shown nothing but the love of a mother to her children.

Repainting (watercolor) of a colored drawing done five years ago titled "Gaia's Sorrow." (Note: the painting was originally created as a visual representation of the damaging effects of pollution and the earth's struggle with it. I felt it could be applied to the effects of war. Please do not try to analyze it or put words into it out of context without permission from myself, the artist.)

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

September 9, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Threading Vs Waxing Eyebrows

Eyes are the focal point of the face, making eyebrows extremely important to one's overall look. Women are constantly looking for the right shape but few consider the health factors that come with beauty maintenance. I prefer threading to waxing for the reasons to follow. 
What is threading? It's basically facial hair removal with the use of thread. Like the picture below, this old technique uses crossed cotton thread to pluck hair out of the follicle. Essentially one's hair is being plucked but it's much faster than tweezing one hair out at a time.

Photo from eHow
Threading Vs. Waxing:

  • Threading is more precise than waxing. Where waxing spreads a layer of wax on the skin and rips out the hairs covered, the person threading is able to choose which hairs to remove and which to leave. Threading also allows hairs in difficult to reach spots to be removed. 
  • Health benefits. Think about it, not only is one removing hair when waxing, but skin as well. The skin on and above the eyes is very thin and sensitive. Eventually wrinkles will form sooner than expected. 
  • Threading is all natural. Wax uses chemicals and burns the skin.
  • The top layers of the skin are not damaged when threading. 
  • Great alternative for those with sensitive skin or skin allergies.
  • Hurts less than waxing. I used to brace myself every time I would have my eyebrows waxed. Threading does still hurt a little bit, but I find it's not as bad and it's only when first having it done.
  • Recommended for acne sufferers as well as those using acne medications.
  • Hair grows back thinner and slower if done regularly.
  • Inexpensive alternative. I pay $8 where I go. 
  • Not just for eyebrows, can be done anywhere on the body.
Cons & Similarities to Waxing:
  • Of course, some might find it to be just as painful as waxing and it's not as quick as waxing. You can put ice on your eyebrows beforehand to numb the area. You can also ask for a small break if it's painful while it's being done.
  • Just as with waxing, your skin may be red for some time (usually some minutes). In my case my skin would stay red for a few hours after waxing whereas with threading it's stayed red for about 30 minutes tops.
  • Like with waxing, you want to be careful about where you get your eyebrows threaded. Look up online reviews before heading to the place. You want to make sure they use clean threads on every customer, take their time, and are not harsh. It is possible to hurt the skin while threading if it's done carelessly.
  • The hair tends to fall on your eyes, sometimes making eyes watery and uncomfortable if there is a lot of hair removed. With waxing the hair sticks to the strip.
I have heard two beliefs as to the origins of threading, while some say it is unknown as to where it originated, others say it was in India. It certainly is the most common practice in India. This is a practice that is starting to gain popularity here in the United States. Most cities should have a salon where threading is done. 
If you do not live somewhere near a threading salon or want to save on expenses, you can try threading your own eyebrows! Just as a warning though, it takes practice so be sure to do just that on an old towel or leg hairs.

Remember, next time you get your eyebrows done you'll want to consider trying threading. I mean, I'm just sayin'....

September 8, 2011

Laboring Over White

Outfit Details
Top: Express ($10)
Shorts: BCBG ($24/$80)
Belt: (Came with a blouse) Abercombie & Fitch
Shoes: Bakers ($20)
Choker: American Eagle ($5/$12)
Ring: Icing ($2/$12)

Every year people make a fuss over whether it's appropriate to wear white after Labor Day. It's been repeatedly affirmed that it's just fine. Of course, like with everything, common sense should be employed. White pants, especially linen, can wait in the closet for next summer. I also would steer clear of blinding amounts of white. 

Although I admittedly wore this outfit before Labor Day, it was meant for this post (sort of. I'm not that great a planner). So you want to kind of do something similar to what I did. As we further progress into the fall, bring in more and more fall colors with the white. Here I used different tones of purple and silver. Of course, you can use other fall colors, there are so many that it's sometimes confusing when you hear a color like orange is used in the summer and fall, but stick to this rule: fall uses warm tones of most of the colors you'll see in the summer. Greens, yellows, oranges, reds, etc. 

If you're still apprehensive about wearing white after Labor Day, go for an off-white or cream color. Gossiping old ladies should stop bugging you then!

By the way, the last picture is from today, there's a preview of my new haircut.

September 6, 2011

Happy Frogs

Outfit Details:
Top: Zara ($10)
Silk Skirt: Express ($10/$60)
Feathered Headband: Icing ($8/$14)
Necklace: Hand-me-down from sister
Clutch Wallet: Zara ($14)
Shoes: Sofft
It's been raining so much this Summer that I'll be outside in a neighborhood and hear the frogs in the distance having a ball. I love frogs (when they're not threatening to touch me) so when my friend Huong and I decided to take pictures I was glad we were next to the froggie fountain. She was afraid.... Psst. They're not real frogs!!

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day!

September 2, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Organizing Your Jewelry

Collecting pieces throughout the years, you may find yourself drowning in accessories one day. Keeping them organized and separated from each other is a necessary chore if you want to keep your jewelry and accessories intact and easily accessible. 

-Make small investments in jewelry organizers. They can be really cute in your room too.
-Find creative ways to organize your jewelry and accessories. I put some bracelets on a vase, some hair pins in decorative containers, long necklaces hanging from a large frame (in my case a mirror).

These jewelry hangers from Icing were on sale for $2 each!

You can click on any of these images for a close-up
A long necklace hangs on either side of my mirror
-Make sure as many pieces as possible are visible when you go to look for your accessories so that you're not always wearing the same pieces.
-Separate them into categories: rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, hair pieces, etc.
-Separate necklaces (or whatever you have a lot of) especially into subcategories: short to long, real vs. fake, etc. 

-You can even take a sturdy branch from your backyard, clean it up, hammer in some nails to your wall...and kablam!
Photo & idea from Delightful Dozen's blog

Hope these ideas spurred you to rethink how you organize your accessories! I mean, I'm just sayin'....
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