2015 Q2 Favorites

Q2 2015 Favorites

Here’s my second favorites blog post for the year. In my first post I mentioned that I’ll only do these every quarter because I don’t think I have enough favorites to make it a monthly thing. So without further ado, here are the seven things I’ve been loving this quarter.

1. Mossimo sneakers – I know these are kind of passé, but I’ve been looking for a replacement for my black TOMs that I wore out last summer. These required no breaking in, were only $16, and go with everything.

2. Physicians Formula Tinted Moisturizer - I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s super light coverage so it’s perfect for the summer and has SPF 15. I don’t use this if I want a more finished look, but it’s perfect for daily makeup.

3. Oribe Texturing Spray – I’m not going to lie. This stuff is expensive. I paid $26 for this little bottle (at a local salon, it’s a little cheaper online) and actually thought I was buying hairspray. I was about to return it when I gave it a try and was hooked. It’s perfect for reviving second day hair and adds texture unlike just regular dry shampoo. It also smells amazing!

4. Pure Barre – The socks aren’t a favorite, but the workout is! A Pure Barre studio opened up two blocks from where I work and I decided to take advantage of the new client special. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pure Barre (or any barre class for that matter), it has nothing to do with ballet. It’s more like pilates, but with a focus on isometric moves and exhausting major muscle groups: abs, thighs, arms, etc. It’s one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done, but after 12 classes, I already feel stronger.

5. Jennifer Zeuner bracelet – Another expensive item on the list, I’ll admit, but I love how delicate it is and I wear it almost everyday. And the main reason why it’s on my favorites list is because Lar bought one too and I love it when we wear the same things – even if we are thousands of miles apart.

6. Mario Badescu Facial Spray – I purchased this at an Urban Outfitters when I was in Phoenix two months ago. My skin felt so dry, so I would spray this on my face throughout the day and it completely helped. Now I use it to help set my makeup.

7. Yes to Coconut Cooling Lip Oil – This is a super cheap item – less than $5. I first read about it in a magazine and thought it was overhyped, but I’m so glad I tried it. Unlike lip balm, it doesn’t sit on top of your lips and it doesn’t feel greasy at all.

Are you a fan of any of these items? Anyone else doing Pure Barre? I’d love to hear what your recent favorites are.


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Work Appropriate Stretchy Pants

stretchypants

Isaac Mizrahi 24/7 pants | Banana Republic top | J.Crew Factory flats

Here’s a couple of things that I never thought I would mention on this blog in a million years:

  • Wearing pants with an elastic waistband to work.
  • Purchasing clothes from QVC.com.

Well, the day has come where at the ripe old age of 31 (almost 32), I’ve given up with trying to be cool and am wearing stretchy pants in a professional setting. And those pants are only available on QVC, my friends. What’s next? Bright white orthopedics with ankle socks? Maybe I’ll even start collecting porcelain dolls from the Home Shopping Network. Seriously. It’s a slippery slope and I might be on my way down.

Really the need for stretchy pants is my own damn fault. As much as I have every intention of eating as clean as Lar, I don’t have the discipline she does. I’m working on getting healthier by working out more and eating less, because I need to lose between 5-10 pounds (mostly so I don’t have to buy a new wardrobe, which I’m getting dangerously close to having to do). So stretchy clothing items are the best. Enter these Issac Mizrahi for QVC pants. If I lose some weight, then these pants will still fit just fine and if I don’t, they’ll still be forever comfortable. They have an elastic waistband, are made out of some type of magical stretchy material, and somehow totally look like legitimate trousers.

I have to give my friend Meredith all the credit for turning me onto these pants. If I had just seen them online on my own, I would have never believed they were worth trying. Honestly, they look like typical mom pants online. See? Luckily they’re much more flattering in person.

I feel a little silly spending so much time writing about a pair of very basic pants, but I just find it so hard to shop for pants and I know I’m not alone. They’re always the last thing I try on at stores because it always seems impossible to find the right fit. After I try on three pairs that don’t fit I give up completely and end up walking away from the store with a bunch of tops and no bottoms. Do you have a pair of go-to pants? My friend Katie swears by the Old Navy leggings and Lar loves her Marks and Spencer leggings. I’m always on the look-out for the perfect pair (jeans too), so leave a comment if you have a favorite.


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A Favorite Necklace

You know when you have one of those weekends that’s so busy it feels like you haven’t had a weekend at all? This past weekend was one of those. I had plans to take some great outfit photos for the blog (plus clean the house and do some yard work, which definitely never happened). Instead, I had a couple of minutes Sunday afternoon to take some quick photos on my deck. Not the best outfit and not the best background, but it still counts, right?!

zara_top_outfit

Zara Top | Asos Skirt | r-ki-tekt necklace | Rialto wedges (secondhand from my sweet friend, Meredith)

The skirt has an elastic waistband, so totally Lar approved ;)

rkitekt_necklace

I wear this necklace all the time. It’s all black, my favorite color, and has a tassel along the back. I purchased it last year at Root City Market from Kel, a local accessories maker. I love all of her products, own two of her necklaces, and have been eyeing this one for the summer.

Any of you local Atlantans planning on going to this month’s Root City Market? I’m hoping I’ll be in town for it. Kel won’t be there, but two of my other favorites will, Block & Hammer and Oakleaf & Acorn.

P.S.: To see my daily outfits, add me on Snapchat: asiancajunscath, and I’ll follow you back. Is it “follow” or “add as friend”? I’m not on top of Snapchat lingo, but I swear it’s not just an app for middle schoolers!


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A Little Bit of Shopping

Mall Haul

I haven’t done any Marie Kondo-ing like Lar, but I plan to pare down my personal belongings soon. In the meantime, I’m still making a conscious effort not to buy things just because I want them. It helps that I have a limited budget, so I can’t go on a shopping spree.

Even though I was tempted to buy a whole new outfit when I went to the mall this weekend, I was pretty disciplined. I only purchased these seven items:

1. Black and white Woven Top from H&M. I cannot not buy a black and white striped top. Some day in the not too distant future, my whole closet will consist of  nothing but black and white striped tops.
2. Two camisole tops from H&M. They were two for $10 and I’ve been needing a couple of camisoles to go under a few summer tops.
3. Anastasia Brow Wiz in medium brown. I ran out of my Tarte eyebrow pencil this weekend, which is the main reason I went to Sephora. The store was completely out, so I decided to try out the Anatasia of Beverly Hills version.
4. Sephora honey mask. I’ve been wanting to try one of these masks for a while. I have super sensitive skin, so I figured the honey mask was a safe bet. Have you tried any of these Sephora masks? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
5. Compact Tangle Teezer in black. I’ve had my eye on the Tangle Teezer for a while and saw this travel version in the checkout aisle at Sephora. I love it! It comes with a cover that pops on over it so I can throw it in my purse without the bristles getting bent.
6. Darling Magazine. I love getting Darling Magazine newsletters in my inbox, but I’ve never purchased an issue until now. I found it at Anthropologie. At $20 it’s not cheap, but it’s a great read and and an issue I’ll be keeping on my coffee table for a while.

I’ll admit that the magazine and mask were splurges, but I didn’t go crazy. Right? Maybe some day I’ll be enlightened enough not to feel the urge to buy anything, but not today!

 


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Getting Ready in 45 Minutes

A few days ago Troy and I decided to treat ourselves to omakase at Craft Izakaya after work. I worked until 5:30 p.m., worked out for an hour, and then had 45 minutes to shower, do my hair and makeup, and find something to wear.

I went from a hot, sweaty mess (the photo doesn’t fully show off the oiliness of my hair):

Getting Ready Before

To something a little more pulled together:

Getting Ready After

Old Navy dress (from a few seasons ago) | &Other Stories pumps | long necklace from Boutique Karma

I know some women can get ready in 15 minutes or less, but if I have to wash my hair, it’s going to be at least 30 minutes. I have super thick hair, a cheap hair dryer, and an old CHI straightener. That combination means a decent amount of time fiddling with my hair. So getting ready in 45 minutes is like lightening speed for me.

How about you? How fast does it take you to get ready? And recommendations for a decent, but not too expensive, hair dryer?


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Summer Time

Milly_for_Kohls_capri_tank

My summer festival outfit (note my hair flattened by sweat): Milly for Kohl’s tank | Rkitekt necklace | secondhand Coach bag | Marc by Marc sunglasses

It’s not technically summer yet, but it already feels like it in Atlanta. I hate the summer. I know. It’s a strong statement, so let me rephrase: I hate the summer unless I’m at the beach. Here are my five reasons to dislike the season:

1. The heat makes me sleepy and I feel like I’m much less productive when it’s hot out.

2. It means the cockroaches come out. Troy and I pay top dollar to get our house filled with chemicals to ward off the little buggers, but there’s nothing that gets rid of cockroaches completely. It’s just part of living in the south. And there’s nothing you can do about them when you’re outside in nature – like on a city sidewalk at night. My coping mechanism is to constantly prance around so one won’t run over my foot. I’m open to other suggestions.

3. I’m naturally a heavy sweater (as in I sweat a lot, not the article of clothing). If I’m walking outside for a few minutes I start getting gross and then it takes me forever to cool off once I’m inside. Troy is a lucky guy!  I have to shower at least once a day and wash my hair every day.

4. Even though sweating in the heat is miserable, I also hate the super frigid, overly air conditioned rooms. My office is so cold in the summer that I wear a sweater and use a heater under my desk. That means the air conditioning is in high gear AND I’m using energy to run the heater, which means I’m giving the environment a double slap in the face (plus there’s that whole showering multiple times a day thing when parts of the country is in a draught).

5. On an even more vain note, sweating outside + freezing inside makes for some seriously unfortunate outfits. For example:  sleeveless dress with ill-fitting sweater I keep in my office for emergencies that makes me look like I stepped out of Lands End catalog from the 1980s. I always forget to bring a better sweater or coverup alternative with me to the office because as I’m running out the door in the morning into the god forsaken heat, the last thing on my mind is more layers.

Am I alone here? I know it’s ridiculous to be so down on summer when I live in the American south, but you have to take the bad with the good. Hot summers also mean not having super cold and long winters. So there’s that. And then Creative Loafing just published its 2015 Summer Guide this week that made me not hate this time of year so much.

I hope you all have a not-too-hot weekend!


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Quick Weekend Outfit

It’s going to be way too hot to wear this outfit this weekend – 90 degrees this Sunday! I’m never ready for summer weather. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. If I could live somewhere that is always jacket weather, I’d be perfectly content.

weekend_outfit

BB Dakota jacket | Urban Outfitters top | Gap jeans (obviously very old) | Boutique Karma necklace | Longchamp bag | Flats, secondhand from Meredith

What’s that you say? Did I get Troy to take an outfit shot of me at our local Kroger? Uh. Yes. Yes, I did. I have no (blogger) shame. I realized my hair was looking decent when we went to the grocery store and whipped out my camera in the, ahem, beverage aisle.

I don’t really have super cute, creative weekend outfits. If I spend money on clothes it’s most likely going to be work appropriate because that’s what I have to wear 80% of my waking life. For the most part, my weekend wardrobe consists of t-shirts and jeans. I like my t-shirts baggy and my jeans slim – and my shoes flat. I’ve come the realization at the ripe old age of 31 heels are not my friend. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the way heels look and will wear them as much as I can, but after years of ballet and heel wearing, it’s time to be a little kinder to my feet.

multitone_flats

A t-shirt with jeans might seem uninspiring, but I like having a uniform for the weekend. I might branch out at some point this summer and get a romper/jumpsuit (what’s the difference?!) to wear on weekends, but only if i can find one on the cheap. Any suggestions? H&M? F21? Let me know what your weekend uniform is.


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Stay Golden

Hi luvs!

Thank you to everyone who commented on Lar’s last post. We’re excited to take AsianCajuns in a slightly different direction and I suppose it goes without saying that I’m over the moon that my twin sis/bestie is moving back stateside.

We’ll start making the blog transition over the summer and we hope you like it!
____________

I wanted to do a quick post on my love for golden jewelry. It’s kind of become a little bit of an obsession. And keep in mind I’m talking about golden jewelry and not jewelry made of gold- I’m not rolling in money, folks!

Last weekend I stopped by the Root City Market pop up in Decatur and bought three more rings to add to my collection from Melting Sun Apparel – 3 for $9!

gold_rings

Rings from left to right: Melting Sun Apparel, Squash Blossom Boutique, Agnes Scott College Ring, Melting Sun Apparel, Top Shop (mentioned here), Melting Sun Apparel. And for those of you who are interested, I’m wearing these on my nails.

I also recently bought this golden necklace (below) from Boutique Karma – a locally owned shop in Decatur, GA – for only $20.

gold_accessories_necklace

 

I know the golden trend is nothing new – it might even be a little passé. What’s next? Rose gold? Silver – even though it feels so 90s/00s now?! Either way, I’m sticking to gold for now. Any other gold/golden jewelry fans out there?


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Monday Inspiration: Sia

Dearest Lar,

I rarely talk about my job on the blog. For whatever reason, I’ve always kept AsianCajuns relatively separate from my work in local government. I suppose it makes sense. Economic development doesn’t really have a place in a lifestyle blog. That being said, I’m making an exception today.

As you know (but our readers don’t), I’ve been working with my organization’s innovation team – a group of 12 of us that is charged with creating an innovative project. We gave a presentation on that project in Phoenix at a local government conference last week (where I found this gem). In addition to our presentation, we also got to show our group video – which has nothing to do with our project and everything to do with our definition of innovation:

I debated about whether or not to share the video – mostly for egotistical reasons. I hate my outfit. Seriously. I need to get my shirt tailored and buy new pants. But I’m so proud of my team and their amazing willingness to take part in my crazy idea that I had to share it. I don’t know of any other government organization where you’d find such open-minded and creative folks willing to learn some crazy choreography, put on a blond wig, pink blush, and come in on a Saturday without pay to do a video for work.

Also, Greg shot the whole thing on his fancy camera after I told him I was going to attempt to use my old iPhone. What an awesome friend! And Troy was there the whole time helping Greg with the camera work and he spliced down the song to two minutes so I didn’t have to choreograph a four minute song. Best bf ever!

So basically, I’m riding on a high that I have such amazing friends/co-workers who were willing to do this with me and I wanted to share.

Happy Monday!

xoxo, Cath


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2015 Q1 Favorites

Dearest Lar,

I’ve totally gotten hooked on watching favorites make up videos on YouTube. I just love hearing about real products from real women. So I figured I’d do my own favorites (not just makeup), but instead of doing a monthly favorites (I don’t buy enough things to have favorites every month), I’ll just post my favorites every quarter :) So without further ado, here we go!

1. Tarte Cosmetics LipSurgence and Butter Lipstick
Tarte lip gloss 1
The lipstick is the Tartelette limited edition Amazonian butter lipstick in Ethereal Pink. I picked it up last time I was at Sephora because I’ve been looking for the perfect light-ish pink that goes with my skin tone. I like it on its own, but I like it even better with the gloss layered over it. I got the LipSurgence gloss (in Flush) as a gift with purchase and didn’t really think I’d like it. I’m not really a bright pink person, but it goes on really nicely and it is the ONLY thing that keeps my lips from drying up.

Even though Tarte cosmetics aren’t all natural, they’re a step in the right direction. Tarte products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phtalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten.

Here’s what it looks like on my lips:

tarte pink lipstick

 

2. Muji Multi Cape

Muji Multi cape

You were so so so sweet to buy me this amazing piece from Muji last summer. I love how versatile it is and the fabric is so delicate. It’s the perfect spring time cover up/scarf.

Also, do you have any idea how I can prevent so many wrinkles from gathering on my skirt?! It looks terrible!

3. J.Crew Factory D’orsay Flats

JCrew flats

I’ve been wearing more flats since I’m trying to get 10,000 steps in each day. Wearing heels = me finding every excuse not to walk and roll around on my office chair instead. The only problem is that office appropriate flats usually don’t work with my feet. I have wide feet and pretty ballet flats usually hurt like crazy. So I picked up these D’orsay flats a few weekends ago and have been wearing them ever since. My left heel got a small blister the first day I wore them, but other than that they’ve been really comfortable.

JCrew factory flats

4. Topshop Ring

Topshop ring

I picked this ring up at the Atlanta Topshop opening last month and wear it almost every day. It was only $18 and the best money I’ve spent all month. I can’t find it online, but it might still be available in stores. I’ve received so many compliments on it because it’s such a statement piece, but not your typical giant cocktail ring. Wouldn’t it be cool if the glass was really a rough-cut diamond?! Actually, scratch that. If it was a real diamond, I wouldn’t be able to afford it so never mind!

5. Kickstarter: #TruthBeauty

Beauty lies Truth

Alexis Krauss and Jessic Assaf are on a mission to make the safest skincare and makeup affordable to everyone. I love the concept because, as I mentioned in this post, I’m slowly trying to get rid of all harmful beauty products. But sometimes it gets so overwhelming trying to keep up with what’s natural and what’s really bad for you. Also the natural stuff that beauty magazines suggest are usually crazy expensive. I now read the Beauty Lies Truth blog religiously.

6. TV Shows: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Peaky Blinders

favorite tv shows

Both are streaming on Netflix and they couldn’t be more different. I’m so glad I got you hooked on Unbreakable. Since I’ve already seen the whole season, I’ll replay episodes as I blog and check emails. It’s happy-making but also not completely superficial and Titus Andromeda is the best! Also, hashbrown no filter.

Peaky Blinders is dark in every way possible – storyline, sets, costumes, makeup – but I love it. The acting is great, the set design is more stylized that a typical period piece, and somehow the contemporary music totally works. I know you said you’ve seen a few episodes, so keep watching and let me know what you think!

Ta da! My next favorites post will be in June. You should do one too!

Skype this Saturday? I can’t wait to hear about your Berlin trip!

xoxo, Cath


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