The 2nd Most Expensive Investment for Newlyweds

Happy Thursday everyone!

ED Image

{source: Pinterest}

A good friend of ours (let’s call him Bill just in case his girlfriend is reading this post :) )  is thinking about asking his longtime live-in girlfriend to marry him.  Bill is a very busy person who is a stickler for excellent customer service.  He doesn’t have time to visit shops so convenience is very important to him.   He’s not sure how much to spend on this ring because this is his first time getting married and he wants this engagement ring to be the perfect symbol of his love and devotion.

Bill has a budget but he’s not sure if this budget is realistic or not.  He’s not sure the size of the ring and whether he should get loose diamonds, custom engagement rings, princess cut engagement rings, fancy color diamonds, gia certified diamonds or other cut engagement rings.  Will she reject him because the ring was not the right size, shape or clarity?  What about the infamous Four Cs?  What is that?  Where can he get the right education without feeling overwhelmed?  Like most men when it comes to purchasing diamonds it could be intimidating.

Hubby has a reputation of being really good with his money amongst his friends and family so it was natural for Bill to ask him for advice.  After all, hubby did spend a good amount of his fortune to get me this engagement ring.  Like all the big purchases he makes he does his homework thoroughly by asking the right questions from the right sources.  When it comes to getting the engagement ring, he knew that second to buying a home, the 2nd most important investment for newlywed is buying a diamond ring.  As a matter of fact, my engagement ring had appreciated 15% since the purchase.   Not too shabby :)

Coincidentally I was in the market to shop for a wedding band for hubby (don’t get me started on how he lost it.  Let’s just say the new owner of our trade in car also walked away with a fabulous wedding band) and came across a few online jewelry sites like Brilliance and Lumera.  What stood out to me most, that I thought would be a perfect match for Bill was Enchanted Diamonds.   While perusing the site I discovered they sell the most beautiful stones in the world at the most attractive values because they eliminated the middlemen.   They hold no physical inventory and sell diamonds direct from the source.  By removing the middlemen and running a lean organization, they are able to pass along significant cost savings to their customers.  Also, based on the 5 Star reviews at www.ivouch.com/enchanteddiamonds-com, they offer the best customer service, guidance, and transparency.  They ensure their customers get the perfect diamond given their budget and unique needs.  Sounds like a match made in heaven for Bill.

I will keep you posted whether she will say yes or not.  Maybe hubby can enchant me with an upgraded diamond :) ?  After all, diamonds are and will forever be a girl’s best friend.

Say Hi to Summer Thighs with CoolSculpting *GIVEAWAY*

This post is sponsored by CoolScrulpting®

Muffin Top

If you have been following me via Instagram then you know that I went to the beach with the boys last weekend.  I wore a one piece bathing suit with shorts and a beach cover-up because admittedly I was not ready to show my belly (the mummy tummy decided to come back and pay a visit).   Like most women wearing swimsuits can be daunting when you personally feel you don’t look your best.  To me feeling great in your own skin is very important so I always treat my body with respect and accept my imperfections.   I’ve been extremely busy for the past year and for the last 9 months I put yoga in hiatus although I do walk several times a week.  I’m trying to get back to the routine and even though I’m adding the abdomen target exercise to this regimen I’d like to see the results a lot sooner and completely gone!

When I learned about CoolScrulpting® I was really excited.  CoolScrulpting® is the #1 non-invasive body sculpting procedure with more than one million treatments performed worldwide.  CoolScrulpting® is the only FDA-cleared procedure that uses a patented cooling technology for long-term fat reduction. Please note that the CoolScrulpting® procedure is not intended as a weight loss program for overweight individuals. The best candidates are people near their ideal body weight with stubborn fat that have not responded to diet and exercise.  A customized treatment plan is tailored specifically to address individual trouble areas, personal goals and budgets.

I also learned from their survey that 80% women believe there is one or more area of their body that needs improving before they are “bikini ready”.  Here’s a breakdown of their concerns:  abdomen (74%), thighs (54%), flank/love handles (44%), butts (38%) and arms (37%).  So I’m not alone!

The CoolScrulpting® procedure results in a noticeable and measurable reduction of fat in the treated areas, and the treated fat is gone for good. Most patients see at least a *20 – 23% reduction in treated areas after just one session while other patients can start to see results as soon as three weeks following treatment, with the most dramatic results occurring over a period of one to three months.  Take a look at these before and after photos:

CoolSculpting Before After

I personally don’t believe in going under the knife so this non-invasive surgery may just be up in my alley.  If you are like me and are interested you can locate a CoolSculpting doctor near you within their elite network of CoolSculpting Centers.

Social Asset 2_Concept 2_B

Now CoolScrulpting® wants to help you get ready for summer with the “Say Hi to Summer Thighs” giveaway! Enter below for your change to win two CoolSculpting thigh treatments and a $500 shopping spree!  (Total value of grand prize Is $2000).  Details are below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beauty Buzz Link Up: Are These Lashes Real?

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Beauty Buzz!  Each week, I co-host the Beauty Buzz link up with Alison from Sassy Moms in the City, Nicole from Mom Trends, and Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife.  I am hosting this week’s Beauty Buzz link up again so link up your beauty post and share! We also host monthly beauty products giveaway from our favorite products.  We are looking for 2 winners so keep reading and scroll down to the Rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win!

Beauty_BUZZ_NEW-1

This week I’m sharing my take on Younique’s 3D Fiber Lash Mascara.  I’m blessed with lashes that are typically longer than most Asians (I think it was probably passed down from my French ancestor…a recent discovery through Genetic Testing..more about that later!) BUT these lashes are straight and sparse.  I remember there was this girl in my gym class in high school where she was praising how long my lashes were but kept saying how they looked like roach legs (long, straight and sparse).  Tell me about it…it’s something I”m born with and can’t do much about but accept and embrace them.

For special occasions I would attempt to use the false lashes to enhance my eyes.  9 out of 10 times I failed because they just won’t stick to my lash line!  When I was contacted by Michelle, a Younique Presenter, to review this 3D fiber lash mascara I was intrigued.  Wow I can get thick full long lashes without gluing false ones in less 1 minute?  Bring it on!

I’ve never heard of Youniqe until Michelle contacted me.  Apparently, the Younique 3D Fiber Lashes are water resistant but can easily wash off with warm water and facial cleanser.  It is a naturally based product, paraben free, carcinogen free, cruelty free, hypoallergenic and gluten free!  Their simple 3 step process combines Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers to help create the appearance of incredible thickness and volume to your existing lashes, perfect for my roach lashes!  Well, let me show you how my lashes went from this (before) to this (after).

Younique 3 D Fiber Lash Mascara Before After

I received this beautiful black box with 2 tubes of Younique mascara; the Transplanting Gel and the Natural Fiber.

younique box

Step 1: Coat my lashes with my mascara.

younique Step 2-1

Step 2:  Layer on the Transplanting Gel.

younique Step 3-1

Step 3:  Immediately apply the Natural Fiber while the Transplanting Gel is still wet.

younique Step 5-1

Step 4: Seal your Fiber lashes with the Transplanting Gel again and voila…

younique Step 6-1

younique Step 7-1

What do you think?  I give it a 5 thumbs up.  Colleen from Let’s Talk About Lipstick recently did a review for this kit and I think she also lvoed it!  This takes me minutes to get ready and they really enhance my eyes! Do you want to try it too?  The Mascara kit is $29 and lasts about 3 months.  You can purchase the kit here. You can also enter for a chance to win this kit because Michelle is giving away this fabulous product to one lucky reader!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to also enter for a chance to win the Microdermabrasion Scrub and the Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Creme SPF 15 from Derma e.

July 2014 Derma e Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway


Treasure Hunt…

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend.  If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you know that we hit the beach and pretty much lived in our swimsuits.

asos high waisted trouser-1-7

asos high waisted trouser-1-2

asos high waisted trouser-1-4

asos high waisted trouser-1

asos high waisted trouser-1-8

Blouse: TJMaxx (similar style) | Pants: ASOS | Heels: Topshop | Necklace: Flea Market | Watch: Kate Spade | Bracelet: Meghan LA (similar style) | Bag: Louis Vuitton Vernis Wilshire | Lipstick: YSL #12

There’s nothing more thrilling for me than finding a bargain, treasure hunt if you will.  In my previous no-kids life I used to frequent flea markets, antique shops, outlet stores, TJMaxx and Marshalls.  I would often buy things in bulk because they were such good deals.  Ever since becoming a mom to my twin boys I stopped frequenting these places with the exception of TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  These stores are local and they are conveniently located.

On my most recent trip to TJMaxx my eyes darted to this floral blouse and I immediately fell for it.  The floral pattern and the bronze buttons attracted my attention first.  Then after feeling the material I did a double take.  It was made of 100% cotton and with the price being $9.99 I pounced on it without hesitation.  I’ve been living in this blouse from skinny jeans to short denim and most recently with the high waisted trouser.  Talk about thrilling!!!  Have you done any treasure hunt lately?

P.S.  You can read about how to shop at TJMaxx without feeling overwhelmed here.

I’m linking with these fabulous ladies:

Visible Monday,Monday Mingle,DC Instyle, Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Meand How I Summer Link  Up#AllAboutYou and Trend Spin Linkup.

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: No. 10

Happy Friday!

Welcome to the Amazingly Chic & Affordable series.  Since it is such a popular post I’ve decided to bring this series on a weekly basis instead of bi-weekly where I will share on-trend items that are chic and affordable.  These are items that look “expensive” and chic and are friendly to your wallet.  After perusing some online sites I found a handful of chic but affordable items which I think you will love!

P.S. You can take a look at this post for all items under $100 in real leather.  Have a fabulous and safe weekend!

Date Night Style Series: Vintage Inspired

Happy Thursday!

loa los angeles-1

loa los angeles-1-5

loa los angeles-1-9

loa los angeles-1-3

loa los angeles-1-4

Dress: c/o LeTote | Heels: Topshop | Clutch: DIY leather clutch | Bracelets: Ann Taylor  | Sunnies: Target 

Welcome to Date Night Style series! Each week I select an item from my closet and style it for that special night.  This item can be old or new, trendy or classic.  Either way the goal is to to transform the piece to a date night or day date look.  This week I selected this vintage inspired backless dress from Le Tote, an e-commerce site that rents clothes on a subscription basis.  You can read about my review here.

When I opened the delivery box and saw this dress I was puzzled and intrigued.  I have not had a chance to update the closet items on LeTote’s website but they selected this piece and sent it to me anyway.  It’s vintage inspired with a trendy cut-out in the back…it’s not the typical style that I’m drawn to but definitely not shy about trying it.  It’s refreshing to go out of your own comfort zone once in a while and wear something daring and unexpected, especially for a date night.  Have you worn anything unexpected and daring for a date night?

The Perfect Dress that Works on ALL Shapes!

We all come in different shapes and sizes but we ALL want to have that perfect body…at least faking it! The key is know how to dress to flaunt your assets you’ve got and downplay anything you’re less than  thrilled about.  Not sure what your body type is?  You can either google it or take a look at the brief descriptions below.  I did all the legwork for you already to save you some time :)  Here are the most common body shapes.

The Banana (aka Flute) body shape is when you are straight from shoulders to ankles. Think Gwyneth Paltrow.  Adding layers and volume should enhance your femininity.

The Apple body shape is when your middle area is wider with smaller legs.  Think Jessica Simpson.  Look for items like v-necks to elongate your body, mini skirts that sit on the hips to give you a visual balance or blocky heels and trapeze dresses to enhance your legs.

The Hourglass body shape has fuller top, small waist and curvy hips.  Think Kim Kardashian.  Look for high waisted pants to accentuate that small waist, feminine light weight tops that define your waist without adding bulk, and pencil skirts to capture your curves.

The Pear (aka Dewdrop) body shape is when you are curvy in the thighs and butt but small in the top.  Think Alicia Keys.  The key with this body shape is to put the spotlight on your slender waist or add statement necklaces to play up your dainty upper body.

I also curated some looks for your shape by using the same LBD, a closet staple.

LBD for all body shapes

Banana shape:   I selected a wide waist belt to create the illusion of curves and these sexy lace up booties add a shapely quality to the boyish frame.

Apple shape:  A boyfriend blazer can skims your midsection stylishly.  Add statement bracelets to attract attention and draw the eye downward.  And these beautiful chunky heels will enhance your legs.

Hourglass shape: To not add bulk to your curvaceous figure look for thin knit sweaters/cardigans like this one to define your waist.

Pear shape:  Add a skinny belt to put the spotlight on your slender waist.  The statement necklace will play up your dainty upper along with these slim, pointy-toed heels will lend a lightness to your lower half.

Click below to shop for this post

Beauty Buzz: Flex Belt Review

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Beauty Buzz!  Each week, I co-host the Beauty Buzz link up with Alison from Sassy Moms in the City, Nicole from Mom Trends, and Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife.  I am hosting this week’s Beauty Buzz link up so come on in and link up your beauty post! We also host monthly beauty products giveaway from our favorite products.  We are looking for 2 winners so keep reading and scroll down to the Rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win!

Beauty_BUZZ_NEW-1

This week I’m sharing my review on the Flex Belt. I have never heard of  Flex Belt until they contacted me to do a review.  After perusing their site and some materials I found out that the Flex Belt is the first Ab Belt Toning system cleared by the FDA for toning, firming and strengthening the stomach muscles.  And, I want my abs to look like Denise Richards, who is a frequent Flex Belt user.

The Flex Belt Reviews

The Claim:

The Flex Belt is a comfortable toning ab belt and the clinically demonstrated, patented medical-grade technology stimulates the nerves that make your muscles contract and relax. As a result, you get an effective abdominal workout that targets all the muscles in your abdomen.

Mama’s Take:

This device sounds perfect for a busy mom like me since I have not had time to practice yoga for the past 9 months and I personally don’t like to do hard core exercises.  I’ve been using this belt for the past 3 weeks.   The instructions are easy to follow and it’s super easy and convenient to use.  Since my 9 months of yoga hiatus my hormonal and aging body was beginning to show the neglect, especially the mommy tummy that I worked really hard in getting rid of a couple years ago.

I’ve been using the Flex Belt while I was on conference calls, doing laundry or burning the Mama in Heels midnight oil.   Well, after using the Flex Belt for the first 2 weeks I was hoping to see some 6 packs emerging.  I followed the instructions and did a 25 minutes each session with up to 50 AMP on each side.  To my disappointment 6 packs did not show up nor did the 4 or even 2!    After telling the rep that this device did nothing for me he was not surprised because the results vary on different people.  It usually takes  6 to 8 weeks to see anything.

Then 3rd week rolled by and BAM my tummy bulge deflated a little and I noticed some packs showing on my abs.  My tummy circumference was actually about half an inch smaller.  So it does work but it just takes a bit longer on my body!  I will continue to use the belt for the next few weeks and will share the results with you again.  Stay tuned!

Disclosure:  While I did receive the product from The Flex Belt for a review all opinions are my own.

P.S.  You can go here to purchase this belt and read other testimonials.  Love the testimonial from Denise Richards!!!

This month we are giving away the Microdermabrasion Scrub and the Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Creme SPF 15 from Derma e.

July 2014 Derma e Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join the #BeautyBuzz Convo!


New Favorite…

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

asos shift dress-1-9

asos shift dress-1-8

asos shift dress-1-10

asos shift dress-1-7

asos shift dress-1-11

 Dress: ASOS | Shoes: Brian Atwood  (similar style)| Belt: Ann Taylor (similar style) | Bag: DIY Leather Clutch  (similar style)| Earrings: c/o Henri Lou|  Bracelet:  MeghanLA (similar style)| Watch: Kate Spade

Can you believe July is rolling by?  Summer is my least favorite season but this year it has been pretty awesome: not too hot or humid.  Lately, I’ve been savoring the mild sun during the day and cool air at night. Although I don’t like summer but I do love the unexpected beautiful weather that has unfolded.  This weather has allowed me to wear more dresses like this pastel leopard print shift dress instead of the typical camis and shorts.  If this weather keeps up for the remaining summer I may have a new favorite.  What is your favorite season?

Linking up with these fabulous ladies:  DC Instyle, The Style Record, Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Me,  How I Summer Link  UpMonday Mingle#AllAboutYou, Trend Spin Linkup, and The Pleated Poppy.

From Garden to Kitchen: Yellow Zucchini

Happy  Friday everyone!

zucchini

z-1-3

z-1-4

Zucchini yellow

gudrun sjoden dress

Gudrun Sjoden Dress Zucchini

 Dress: c/o Gudrun Sjoden | Belt: Ann Taylor | Necklace: H&M | Lipstick: YSL #12

I love to cook, especially healthy food.  A vegetable side dish is present at every meal in our family.  It is healthy and simple.  Lately, my yellow zucchinis are growing like crazy in our little vegetable garden.  I did not expect anything to grow since this is my first attempt in growing fruits, vegetables and herbs.  When I saw these yellow zucchinis sprouting left and right I was over the moon.  How awesome it is to be able to cook organic vegetables right from your own garden.  One of my favorite zucchini recipes is to sauteed the zucchinis with shallots and olive oil.  This is one of the ways of how we eat healthy because eating well is living well.

Thank you for stopping by and have a fabulous and safe weekend!