The Only Christmas Candle You’ll Ever Need! (Blogmas Day 10)

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!! The start to a new week, so let’s make it a good one! Starting a new week is always a bit difficult for me, so I hope this post makes your day just a bit better! Firstly, I’d like to thank you guys for all the positive feedback on Blogmas this year. You guys seem to be enjoying the posts so far and that makes me SO happy!! So let’s get started with today’s post. Yesterday I did a whole Christmas grocery haul specifically from Trader Joe’s. I’m going to bounce off that today and introduce you guys to the best candle I’ve ever owned.

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I’d like to mention that I’m someone who has a really hard time with candles. I absolutely adore the vibe they give. They’re so calming and the flickering of the fire is always beautiful. However, I tend to get headaches pretty easily when they’re lit, which has been a huge bummer. I get headaches pretty easily in general, but it’s always guaranteed if a candle is lit. I’ve found that soy candles tend to not have this effect, but it’s still risky. Recently though, I was introduced to this Cedar Balsam candle from Trader Joe’s from my wonderful coworkers. We’ve been burning it since before Thanksgiving because we all love it so much. It hasn’t given me a headache and I can finally enjoy the scent of Christmas!

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The best way I can describe this candle is: Christmas in a little tin. At first, I thought it smelled exactly like a pine tree. Which has been so nice because I grew up with a fake tree my whole life. Our tree always looks beautiful and full but our house never really smells like a fresh tree. With this candle though, you 100% get that holiday vibe. Even though the scent is technically Cedar Balsam, it still reminds me of a lovely pine tree.

They had a couple large barrels of this same candle at the store, so I stocked up! Just in case they ever decide to discontinue it. Apparently, they also have a gingerbread scented candle that is even more popular! Let me know if you guys have ever heard of that candle or can vouch for how amazing it is. These candles are about $4 each, which I think is a really amazing price for a candle considering the amount of wax inside the tin. Of course, being the designer I am, I have to bring up the packaging. What else would you expect from me?? Firstly, I LOVE that it comes in an adorable silver tin. It just feels so Christmasy and appropriate for the holidays. I also love the simplicity, color, and fonts used on the label. Sometimes, it’s nice not to have the expected red or green patterns.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short little post about this awesome candle! It really is one of the best and you don’t have to deal with the crowds that are usually in places like Bath and Body Works. Let me know in the comments if you know about this candle or if you’ve tried it. See you all soon!! xx

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Black Friday Haul 2018!

Hello loves! For all my American readers, I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with lots of good food and family! I of course always look forward to sweet potatoes topped with roasted marshmallows, green bean casserole and of course some good ol’ turkey. Sometimes though, the real fun comes on Black Friday, when prices are low and the crowds are way too condensed. I’ll be honest I’m not one of those that gets up at 4 or 5am to jump in line at my favorite store. I actually prefer to go in after the fact or shop online. I stopped by a couple places today and found a few great things for the coming winter season (not that we actually get a cold winter here in California but I like to pretend, LOL). So for today’s post, I want to do a haul of things I got while Black Friday shopping and hopefully it’ll inspire you to embrace this new season wherever you are!

Autumnal Tones & Frayed Sleeves

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Starting off strong with one of my favorite pieces from Black Friday! During fall, I always am drawn to burgundy or gray tones. I love the mix of colors in this sweater, especially because I know I’ll wear them years from now. This sweater is also very cropped, which is fitting for the SoCal weather. You can enjoy a knit sweater but not worry about getting too overheated when the sun ultimately pops out. The neckline and sleeves are also very frayed, giving it a distressed and grungey look. This would be the perfect piece to wear on Christmas day or simply to snuggle up with your special person to watch a movie. I paired it with my knit beanie from Topshop that I purchased a few years back. This sweater had a 20% discount for Black Friday, which I think is a steal considering the brand is usually a bit pricey.

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Normally when winter hits, I will head up to the mountains for a day and spend some time in the snow. I’d love to wear this outfit with big jacket thrown over it and maybe even a scarf depending on how chilly it is. I honestly don’t know how to dress for the snow so this is the closest I can get, LOL. But hey, sometimes being cold is the price to pay for fashion, right??

I Put a Spell on You

Image.jpgThis has to be another one of my favorite pieces from the haul. This long black cardigan really did put a spell on me. There’s something so beautiful and feminine about a fitted cardigan that reached all the way to the floor. Paired with my favorite gray hat, I feel super witchy in this outfit. I guess you could say I’m bringing back some Halloween vibes into Christmas! Especially when paired with boots, this cardigan really makes a statement. On the topic of boots, how amazing is this gray snakeskin pair from Steve Madden?! While I didn’t purchase these on Black Friday, I thought I’d give them a little shoutout because I wear them every chance I get.

Of course, I paired this cardigan with some black distressed denim because if you know me, I’ll always go for an all black look. For whatever reason, I feel very confident in all black and it’s slimming to every figure.

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Underneath the cardigan I have a top I got 10% off on Black Friday. I love a good button down, and this white one that ties in the front is so versatile. It’s a piece that can be layered during winter but also worn on it’s own during the spring or summer. It’s super comfortable and I love buying simple basics like this.

Cozy by a Stormy Sea

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I’ve been seeing these oversized teddy bear material sweaters all over the place lately! Most of them come in a jacket form but I found this one as a pullover. They actually didn’t have this sweater in my size, so I opted for a larger size. But honestly I really love being wrapped up in a cozy material, so I don’t mind at all. It has a very large hood, great for spending time down by the ocean on a windy day. This sweater really reminds me of sitting on the sand next to the pier, watching a stormy sea. There’s nothing more beautiful. This is another great piece if you’re going up to the snow since the material is so warm and can be layered!

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More Stripes, Are You Surprised?

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While I was shopping, I did a few polls on my Instagram story. I asked you guys if I should buy a certain item or leave it on the rack. I was surprised to see a lot of people thought I should leave this piece at the store. Regardless, I really loved the look of this sweater with the tie in the front and the material is extremely comfortable so I ended up buying it anyway! I love having sweaters like this to lounge around in at home, but I think this could be styled really nicely as well. I love the color and the overall laid back vibe, so I’m really happy with this purchase! It’ll be perfect for a casual work day in the office too! Let me know what you think of this piece in particular down in the comments.

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I really hope you guys enjoyed this Black Friday haul. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a fashion post, and I missed it so much! Like I mentioned in my previous post, life has continued to be a bit hectic but I’ve been focusing a lot on my health and going to the gym almost everyday. I’m slowly starting to transform my body, which has made my little break from blogging totally worth it. I hope one day I can make a transformation/how I got healthy post! Anyways, did you do any Black Friday shopping this year and what are your favorite stores? I’d love to know! Talk to you all soon! xx

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My Experience Working Retail (Spilling the Tea About the Reality of Department Stores)

Hello, babes! Okay, so I’m a bit nervous for today’s post. For a couple reasons actually, but I felt a post like this was very necessary…especially for any of you considering going into retail. I worked at a retail store during my summers between college. I won’t disclose the name of the store I worked at in this post, for the simple fact that I still respect my previous place of employment and the managers I was under. With that being said, the following stories have nothing to do with management or higher-ups in the company, it is simply the things I experienced regarding customers and the retail experience in general. So without further ado, this is my honest experience and horror stories of my time in retail.

Feeling Invisible

Alright, let’s start off with something simple. As you all know, when you’re in a sales position, your job is to greet the customer and always have a smile on your face. Your ultimate goal is to build a relationship with that customer and make them want to come back in the future to shop with you. Seems simple enough, right? My coworkers and I formed a habit of immediately going up to customers to ask how they were, if they were looking for anything in particular, or just to simply say hello! It’s just part of the job. It might be important to mention the type of shopper I am personally. When I walk into store, I’m on a mission to find a few new pieces for my wardrobe and I mostly enjoy shopping alone and taking my time. Let’s just keep this in mind.

There were plenty of shoppers that came into our department who were in a similar state of mind. Sometimes there would be trouble though. In many situations I would approach a customer with a smile on my face simply to ask how they were doing or if they needed anything. On a daily basis, many people wouldn’t even take the courtesy to turn around and look me in the eye. Or better yet, not even acknowledge my presence or respond. I completely understand if a person would rather take a look around or shop by themselves because I am 100% that person too. However, I have never blatantly ignored someone if I am spoken to. I personally think attributes like age, economic status, religion, race, etc. (the list could go on) shouldn’t play a part in whether or not you respond to someone. If someone approaches you with happy vibes, you can at least say hi or, “Thank you, but I’d just like to look around.” And to the customers who did say that simple phrase, I thank you very much. It was situations like this that made me feel completely invisible and unimportant to these customers.

“You Didn’t Want to Help Me”

Man oh man! Have I had so many situations that made me want to run out of the store! I remember a very specific customer who became quite angry with me. I’d like to throw it in here that I always gave my full effort with each customer. At times when it would get busy, I’d do my best to remember specific details of each person I placed in a dressing room: what event they were going to, what size they were, what colors they liked and so on. It’s also important you know that there are many departments in this one retail store and customers can roam freely with different clothes from various departments. Which means I do not have a lot of knowledge regarding the pieces from another section.

In this specific instance, my customer had jeans from another department (my section didn’t sell casual clothes like jeans!) Of course, she asked me to get her another size in the jeans. To which I responded, “Those are from another department. Would you like me to walk over and grab them for you?” To which she then scoffed and angrily gave me a big ol’ NO! At that point, there’s not much more I can do. Long story short, this specific customer was getting angry at many things that were completely out of my control, to which my manager luckily stepped in to help out (she was a God send). Before I then run around the store attempting to find another sales person that apparently helped her as well she states, “…since you refused to help me.” Excuse me? I placed you in a nice dressing room, helped you find options, offered to find you something from another department, kept a good attitude and I “REFUSED TO HELP YOU”? Anyways, most retail workers come in contact with a customer very similar to this and I’ve learned to just shrug it off. It’s completely not worth getting upset over, especially when you’ve tried your best and still cannot please the person.

“You Purposefully Messed Up My Order!”

Now, this is an interesting one that I actually didn’t personally experience but is something I heard about time and time again from coworkers. We had the ability to look up any item of clothing in the entire company and send it to someone’s home. It was usually a fairly easy process, unless of course it was one of the last of its kind in the entire company! We were still able to attempt to send it, but sometimes it was not guaranteed that it would be fulfilled. It was protocol to mention this to our customers and it was always understood. However, some of the customers would return to the store after not receiving their low inventory item and get quite angry at the salespeople. Some customers have said, “Why did you purposefully not send me my order?” or “Why did you want to mess it up?” Let’s think about this for a second. Why would we not want you to receive your package? To keep it plain and simple: we work on commission. We want you to buy things. Not receiving the package equals no sale. No sabotaging will ever take place if there’s a possibility to earn commission, trust me.

Feeling Put Down by Customers

There was one thing that really got under my skin. Especially since I am a recent college graduate and actually feeling very good about my accomplishments lately. Earning a degree isn’t a walk in the park for ANY person, so I’m pretty stoked on life right now. Going into retail for a month after graduation though, had an interesting effect. I noticed a lot of customers would make small comments that felt a bit like jabs. For example, “Oh, you might be too young to answer this question or know this fact.” Granted, many people think I’m still in high school upon their first look at me. Regardless, you don’t know someone’s full story just by assuming their age or judging their current job position. This might not sound good, but I felt very looked down upon because I was in a retail position. I’d ask myself, “Did they say that because they think I’m unintelligent, or because I’m blonde, or because I look young?” That sounds ridiculous because it absolutely is. No one should feel less than just because they’re working a certain job to save some money or pay the bills. To wrap up this rant, everybody deserves respect and you should take the time to actually learn important things about a person before passing judgement.

The Customer Is Always Right…Right?

This was a major theme in my past employer’s mission statement. They are known for quality customer service and treating everyone with the highest values. Which is awesome! I definitely agree that customers should be treated to the best of your ability if you’re a sales person. They’re giving you their business and they deserve the happiest vibes while shopping. Unfortunately (as mentioned previously), sometimes you try your hardest and the customer still is not satisfied. At times they would become so nasty that they’d make you want to cry. Including myself and many coworkers in my past, this has actually happened. A customer will say such nasty things and make you feel so horrible about yourself that you drive home in tears. Is the customer still right? I’ve come to realize that in a business sense, the customer must always be correct. Morally though, is this okay? Is it acceptable that someone can be so cruel that they make a complete stranger cry? I just feel there is something so incredibly wrong with this, especially because it happens on the daily. Long story short, be kind to retail workers because they’re just doing their job and giving it their all.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and found it interesting. Even though I’ve had a handful of unfortunate experiences in retail, I wouldn’t erase them from my past. Jobs in retail are great if you’re in college or want to work in between semesters. In that sense, I think they’re really awesome. These are just some warning signs to look for! If any of these things happen to you, don’t ever take them to heart. If anyone shows you negativity, it is because of their own unhappiness, not because of you. I’ve had to build up a thick skin and realize these things while in a retail job and it’s definitely helped me develop people skills. The list doesn’t end here though, I’ve had so many other customer experiences I didn’t share in this post! Let me know down below if you’ve experienced anything like this or if you’d like a Part 2 to this post! Excited to read your responses!

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Blogmas Day 10: Strolling Through the Vintage Market!

Hi loves! Today for Blogmas Day 10 I wanted to share with you a new experience I had! I’m not sure how many of you are interested in vintage markets/shopping, but I decided to go to one today for the first time! My mom just started attending one and she asked me to come too. In the past I’ve struggled with the thought of anything vintage or antique simply because I’m a germaphobe and you never know how many people have used that stuff. I thought I’d step out of my comfort zone to see if I could find anything cool. In my post about Julian (read it here), I mentioned how I found A TON of old photographs that I’m literally obsessed with. This vintage market had many similar items, and I actually ended up finding a couple things I love! So here’s a bombardment of photos from our stroll through the vintage market, let me know if you see anything you’d buy yourself!

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One of my favorite parts about this market was the amount of old records and radios they had available. I have a small record collection at home, so I enjoyed looking through some of the records. It’s so cool to see antiques like these from a different time. Who knows, maybe one day our computers and iPhones will be considered a thing of the past!

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If you’re a photography lover, you would’ve loved this market! I was shocked to see so many film cameras and some of the original Polaroid designs. Some of them also came with a nice camera bag! Wish I could’ve picked one of these up for myself to try out!

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This was a great time to go to a vintage market because everything was extremely Christmasy! From scarves, to sweaters, to reindeers and Santas, the vendors had it all! It was actually a great place to find decorations and small items to send to friends and family. The vintage cars were decked out in Christmas wreaths and flowers, which was a really awesome touch.

I ended up buying a bunch of old photographs, like the ones I found in Julian. They are beach themed, which is perfect for me! I also ended up getting a French Nursery book. I don’t know why I love it so much. I suppose its the beautiful illustrations and the French poems. Can’t wait to read some of them to my kids one day! Hope you enjoyed the photos, let me know your thoughts down in the comments! xx

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My Perfect Summer Day in San Diego!

Hello everyone! So even though I am entering my last year at school, San Diego continues to surprise me and offer me something new everyday. It is a city so full of life! With the gorgeous downtown skyline against the blue bay, it’s the best of both worlds. It’s been a blessing to go to school there and I could see myself living there in the future. Yesterday I had some great adventures around the city that I have never experienced before. Thought I would share it with you guys and give you some activity ideas if you are visiting soon!

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We started the day by renting some city bikes for a couple of hours. I believe it was about $12 for two hours and $8 for one hour. Starting in front of city hall, we made our way towards Seaport Village and stopped at Starbucks for nice cold cup of water. It was the perfect day for this activity but still on the warmer side. Then, we made our way towards the convention center and rode along the water. Taking a little break under the shade of a tree in a large grassy area was my perfect moment. Hopping back on the bikes, we made our way into Gaslamp Quarter and into Little Italy. It was then about an hour and a half into our ride when we decided to return the bikes and stop at a cafe called Lofty Coffee Co. They had a delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookie and the inside of the shop was so cute! It was completely my aesthetic with a view of the farmer’s market along the streets. It was time for us to make our way back to the car which was a short walk back to city hall.

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For dinner we went to a restaurant right on the waterfront. It had the most perfect view of the San Diego skyline and Coronado bridge. Here’s where I want to be perfectly honest on my blog. I love sharing my experiences both good and bad, so here it goes. The atmosphere of this restaurant was amazing, however the food ended up making us very sick and I do not want to recommend any restaurant that will do the same to my readers. The art by the restaurant and the walk around its premises was beautiful, so its very unfortunate that we had a bad experience when it came to the food. I would recommend visiting it for the view of course, but maybe not for a nice meal.

Quick OOTD: Usually I have very bad luck when it comes to rompers, but recently I found this beautiful black one from Owl Fish! The neckline is cut in a V shape and the bottom portion has layers of fabric that makes it very flowy and dress-like. It is very elegant while also being very flirty. A cute blush bralette worked very well for underneath it. I paired the romper with simple nude shoes with a slight heel that I have been wearing everywhere lately! Lastly, my light blue purse is something I picked up when I was in Italy (little preview for my next Travel Journal post!)

Hope you all are having a great start to your week, and I hope my honesty when it comes to reviews is okay with you guys! Until next time! xx

9 Binge-worthy Netflix Shows You Need this Summer

Hey lovelies! So since my health has not been at its best during the start of my summer break, I have had plenty of time to find some amazing Netflix shows. I would not recommend starting any of these shows if you are still studying for finals. However, if you need a chill day between long beach days and pool activities, try out some of my binge-worthy Netflix favorites! *These are in no specific order, but I will mention which ones are my top favorites/shows you absolutely need in your life at this very moment. 

1. Riverdale: The current series I have been binging like CRAZY. The characters in Riverdale are inspired by the Archie comics. I love this throwback to classic comics I used to read as a kid in the summer. However, the creators definitely added a darker twist to the lives of each character and they even threw in some new stories. It’s so cool to see Cole Sprouse (from the Suite Life of Zach and Cody) as Jughead and in such a serious role considering his past with Disney. Not to mention, Cole and KJ Apa (Archie Andrews) are complete heartthrobs. This show definitely has me completely hooked and I need another season on Netflix! Definitely a top favorite of mine. 

2. Lost: I actually binged this entire series last summer. It was kind of my summer 2016 show. I was super late to jump on the Lost bus but I’m so happy I did! This show has become one of my favorites and it’s definitely something I want to rewatch. Every season is completely captivating, even though it wrapped years ago. I love every single character the creators introduced, but I have to say I have a special place in my heart for Sawyer 😉 Lost is another one of my top favorites! 

3. GirlbossThe story of how Sophia Amoruso created her business out of her passion after struggling for every penny. This inspiring and oftentimes hilarious series is great for fashion lovers. It is based off of and named from Sophia’s book “Girlboss,” which I can say is an equally inspiring book. It is a quick series to watch and totally worth it!

4. 13 Reasons Why: To be honest, I finished this series within a few days while on vacation in Santa Barbara. I watched this the first week it came out, simply wanting to see what the hype was all about. I love the actor who plays Clay, I think he did a fantastic job. To be even more honest, 13 Reasons Why definitely has a somber and saddening vibe to it. Since the main subject discussed in this show is teen suicide and depression, the viewer is left pretty shocked and a bit down by the end of the last episode. Don’t get me wrong it was a great series, but don’t watch this if you want to feel pepped up or need something to make you feel happier. 

5. The Great British Baking Show: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT watch this show if you are hungry. This show brings together a group of fantastic British bakers to bake out of this world pastries and more! The vibe of this show is very calming somehow, even though it is a competition. It is clearly different from American baking or cooking shows that are usually quite stressful. Chill out with these British bakers and the stunning English landscape they bake in. 

6. The Carrie Diaries: Another great show for that fashion lover in your life! Set in the 80’s its an amazing throwback to the trends of that decade. This series recounts the teenage years of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. I actually have never gotten a chance to watch Sex and the City, but I absolutely loved the Carrie Diaries. She lives the dream of a high school girl and although her adventures are pretty impractical for a person her age, the show is completely binge-tacular! 

7. Gossip Girl: I watched Gossip Girl the first semester of this last school year and it was a show I had heard about for so long. However, it ended up being a little different than what I expected, in the best way! The lives of these characters are so glamorous on the Upper East Side of New York City. I was so captivated by the lives of these NYC royals, I totally recommend this series! 

8. Friends: Of course, I have to mention my top favorite show of all time: Friends! I know this series is talked about repeatedly, but I honestly have rewatched this show about three times. Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe are the friends you need in your life. I can’t get enough of their adventures as a group and I love getting wrapped up in their love stories. I can’t say enough about it, so if you haven’t seen Friends, please stop reading this post and go binge watch it! Go on, close that computer and turn on Netflix! 

9. Leap Year: Although Leap Year is a movie and not a T.V. series, I thought it was worth mentioning. I just recently watched this adorable love story. I personally think it is the Irish equivalent to the movie About Time, which is set in England I believe. Such an adorable story and a great date movie! 

Bonus – Bob Ross: Beauty is EverywhereAlright here’s a little series you should check out if you don’t know who Bob Ross is. He is an amazing man who teaches you how to paint professionally with the flip of a brush! Seriously, is there anything Bob can’t paint?! I find him both hilarious but also quite talented. With his love of squirrels and landscapes, there’s no way you can’t fall in love with Bob Ross! 

That’s about it for my binge-worthy Netflix shows list. Let me know if you have any favorites from this list as well or if there’s any shows I missed! I am always looking for something to watch so let me know down in the comments! Thanks guys! xx

Stroll Along the Beach OOTD

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been a little absent lately, I was hit with a pretty bad sickness that lasted for about a week. Such a bummer! Nonetheless, I am back with another OOTD! When I shop, I tend to be drawn towards cooler shades (and black) rather than warmer ones. It fits better with my skin tone and is gorgeous for this time of the year. I’m also a fan of babydoll tops, which I feel accentuate every body type beautifully. They’re so easy to wear and are so gorgeously feminine.

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I love that this top is off the shoulder but also has straps attached. I personally find off the shoulder tops a little difficult to wear; the slid up your shoulders too easily and it’s a bother to constantly adjust them. However, this periwinkle blouse requires no adjusting and is totally comfy! I bought this recently from Nordstrom.

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I recently wore this to a trip down to San Diego on a hot day and it was perfect! The flowiness of it kept me cool and still looking put together. Personally I think this would work perfectly for a date walking along the beach, watching the waves. It is the perfect mix of bohemian and elegant!

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Hope you guys enjoyed this summer inspired OOTD! I’ve been finding so much enjoyment in blogging so often again, so I really hope you all have been enjoying the posts! I have been posting every OOTD on Instagram as well as Tumblr, so check me out on there if you’d like! Love you all, have a great rest of your day! xx