The Darling Nomadess: February 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Make Up Haul

Thanks to Chelsee's Pretty Little Beauty Swap, E.L.F. Cosmetics, and Miss Vacationland, my make up collection has nearly doubled over the course of this past week! All of my make up no longer fits within my Mary Kay Travel Roll Up Bag! How do you organize your make up? I am in desperate need for some tips!

For the Beauty Swap, I was paired with the amazing Katie of Tales of a Twenty Something Hipster! I had so much fun getting to know her and we definitely bonded over the early episodes of this season's Bachelor. She runs an adorable blog and you need to make sure to go check it out! I literally just got her package today and cannot wait to try out the products she sent me! Thanks for a fantastic swap, Katie!

Katie's products came in the cute Clinique bag! Thank goodness she sent a bag, otherwise I would be afraid of losing the contents to my disorganization! I can honestly say I haven't used any of these products, which is really exciting! While at Miss Vacationland I was thinking how I wish I should get Wisps and travel mouthwash for my next pageant. Way to read my mind, Katie! I can't wait to experiment with the texturing spray and the eyeshadow duo!

What Katie sent:
Blue washcloth and hand towel
Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towellettes
Burt's Bees Refreshing Lip Balm
Revlong Scented Nail Polish in Bubble Gum
Tony & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturing Spray
Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampooing Sec
Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre
Clinique High Impact Mascara & lash Building Primer
Clinique Lipstick in A Different Grape
Essence Eyeshadow in Forest Fairies
Clinique All About Shadow Duo in Jammin 
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Brunette

I also received a large shipment from E.L.F. Cosmetics this week! I had ordered this a few weeks ago when they had a major sale going on for Miss Vacationland but it came one day too late so I had to run out and purchase the products below for the pageant. I haven't had the chance to experiment with everything quite yet but really love the studio line!

Flawless Finish Foundation in Sand - I really like this foundation as it gives great coverage but itsn't too heavy. I ordered this a shade too dark so this will be perfect for a summer foundation when my skin is a bit tanner.
HD Blush in Headliner - OMG Obsessed with this liquid blush. It gives the perfect pretty pink flush! It is very pigmented so if you purchase this, be warned and use in small amounts! A little bit goes a long way!
Moisturizing Lipstick in Flirty & Fabulous - It's a bit brighter than what I was expecting but I love it anyway! Definitely moisturizing and doesn't dry out my lips like most lipsticks.
Mineral Face Primer - This was a refill for me as I swear by E.L.F.'s primer! This stuff is awesome. If you don't have it - go get it. Like, yesterday. 
Lip Primer & Plumper - I haven't used the primer side yet but have used the plumper side. The plumper has a deliciously strong scent of mint and makes my lips tingle! I'm not sure if I noticed a change in my lip size or not but I do love the smell of this product!

Other items ordered:
Eyebrow Kit
Body Shimmer Stick in Blazing Bronze
Lip Stain in Fashionista
Eye Widener Pencil in White
Concealer in Ivory

As I said, since my E.L.F. products came later than expected, I ran out to Walmart to pick up some make up. I loved all of these products. ALOT. While I swear by ELF's primer, Rimmel's Stay Matte Primer is giving them a run for their money! I also picked up Loreal lipstick in Fresh as a Rose and lipliner in Rose. I only use the darkest shade of the NYC eyeshadow palette for eyeliner purposes. Here's a secret: I have no idea how to use stick eyeliner so I use a thin brush and dark eyeshadow. 

What make up have you tried out recently?

With Love,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 Ways to Be Fashionable on a Budget

Today Ellen, the writer of Ask Away, is giving us some tips on how to be fashionable on a budget! Ellen's blog is a wonderful advice blog and she covers topics that range from fashion and beauty to finance and minimalism. She also has four adorable chihuahua's! Make sure to drop by her blog and say hi! Now on to her 5 tips on being fashionable on a budget!

Shop Smart
I always make sure I buy something ONLY if it’s on sale AND I absolutely need it. I also try to use coupons and discount codes as much as possible.  But to REALLY shop smart… embrace thrift shops! I know it may be exhausting sorting through all the items in a thrift store but TRUST ME it is so worth it! I have found so many great pieces to add to my wardrobe at literally a fraction of the sale price at any department store.  I also have found several different tops and jeans that I remembered seeing in another store within the past year for 10 times the cost! Patience and being thrifty will pay off!

Create a Shopping Budget
I live by the cash envelope system and one of my envelope categories is clothing. I take $20 from each paycheck and put it in that envelope. You would be surprised how quickly that adds up.  Then when I actually am in a store, I only purchase what I can afford with the cash that’s in my clothing envelope.  I am much more disciplined because of this and I find it rather easy to talk myself out of a purchase that wouldn’t be worth it.  Plus, you’ll quickly learn that you can get more for your money at a thrift shop!

Create New Outfits by Layering
If you’re like me, you probably look in your closet and realize you have no “new” outfits.  But once you begin layering you’ll find the possibilities are endless.  An example is a cardigan that you normally wear with a plain blouse. Why not switch out the blouse for a plaid shirt?  Then you have plaid with a cardigan over top. 

Style Your Off Season Pieces
If it’s cold where you live, you can still break out your dress skirts as long as you pair them with some tights and boots.  Your summer blouses can be layered with a jacket or cardigan.  At the same time, if it’s warm where you live, roll up your jeans to create a capri-style pant. 

Keep an Organized Closet
Organizing my closet has actually saved me money because it’s easier for me to see what I have instead of going out to buy something new.  Plus, when I purge my closet from time to time I sell the clothes on Ebay. When you organize a closet, make sure it’s got an easy flow to find the items you need and make sure you have all the current season pieces where it’s easiest to get to them. 


How do you stay fashionable on a budget, Darling? If you're into shopping online, make sure to check out my tips on how to save money while online shopping!

With Love,

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thoughts on Selfies

Selfies have been on my mind lately and I was even asked if selfies were narcissistic or showed confidence in my last pageant interview! 

To be honest, I am a bit tired of the older generation's condescending tone towards my generation. Because they owned pet rocks, I really don't think they have any room to judge anyone for anything. I mean seriously? Pet rocks? At least social media can benefit society (when used appropriately, of course). :p

Anyways, my first thought after being asked this question was how interesting it is that the older generation see's my generation as confident/narcissistic because we enjoy taking photos of ourselves and talking about our lives. From my own perspective, I notice my generation faces a lack of confidence in ourselves in almost every area of our lives. Our bodies, grades, financial stability, etc aren't good enough. While I consider my self-confidence to be good - I'm fit, I just paid off my credit card debt, I can hold a decent conversation, and my grades, well, they're just a number - I notice there is a trend of negative self-talk among members of my generation. Coincidentally, I fear my peers view me as narcissistic because I am confident. 

Here's my selfie - #nomakeup #nofilter

A few days after the pageant, I received Glamour's March issue in my mailbox. The issue had an article on page 108 titled "The Big Selfie Debate." How timely. The author, Roxanne Gay pretty much sums up my exact thoughts on this debate when she says...

"I think it's too easy - and rather hypocritical - to dismiss selfies as an exercise in narcissism. For one thing, a woman takes a selfie and she is vain, but not so with a man? Vincent van Gogh painted more than 30 self-portraits...I don't see anyone saying [he was] bringing down society in the process." 

As I said with the early self-hatred amongst my generation, selfies allow us to say to the world "I am here too and I am beautiful." If that's considered narcissistic, then no wonder my generation has low self-confidence. 

What are your thoughts on selfies?

Sponsor Spotlight - Meet Caroline! 

Today I am introducing you to one of my all-time favorite bloggers - Caroline from The Caro Diaries! She has an  adorable blog and she's also a fellow sorority girl! I'm pretttty sure if Caroline and I ever met, we would definitely be like, best friends for life, who else would I share my Netflix show addiction with?! She's also hilarious and SO relatable! Her "Things I Just Can't Seem to Get" makes me scream "me, too!" at my laptop! I'm glad someone else has problems getting the perfect eye make up on both eyes! Make sure to go visit and say "hello!" to Caroline! 

With Love,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Flannel Glam

Flannel: Kohl's (on sale for $14 right now!)
Skirt: Express (old) (similar)
Tights: Walmart
Boots: ShoeDazzle
Necklace: c/o Armed & Readi

This weekend was a lot of fun as it was my Little Emily's 20th birthday. After going on my Valentine's Date with Christian, Emily and I went out for some much needed sister time with other Alpha Phis. Saturday was spent working out with an attempt to do some homework afterwords. The night ended with a movie night in our sorority suite watching Frozen.

Speaking of Frozen, I am IN LOVE with Elsa's blue gown. So much so I would love to have a gown like that for my next pageant...

Well, the Twitter Gods heard my plea and while surfing around on a pageant resale group on Facebook, I found my perfect powder blue gown. While it's not an exact replica of Elsa's gown, I know I will be channeling Elsa's sassy personality for my pageant this weekend. I adore my red gown but I seriously cannot wait to rock my new blue gown! I'm keeping the gown a surprise until after my pageant so make sure to stop by for the recap next week!

As ya'll should know by now, Rachael is my IRL Bestie! If you haven't checked out her blog, The Rachael Way yet, you need to open up a new tab NOW and go say hello! Rachael is student teaching in Florida right now (jealous) and I am having serious withdrawals! She is super fun, hilarious, and keeps it real! Her blog documents the trials and tribulations of being a twenty-something, like online dating struggles. She's gutsy and opens up to her readers and makes me wish I was brave enough to do so. As I said, Rachael keeps it real and is super relatable in her post about being enough. With a little glitter and wine, her blog is a great read for any twenty-something so make sure to go check it out!

With Love,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day to Night - Faux Leather Leggings


Jacket: Wilson Leather // Sweater: Kohls // Scarf: Vintage // Faux Leather Leggings: Express

Today I'm teaming up with one of my all-time favorite bloggers! I've been a fan of Laura's blog, Walking in Memphis in High Heels, since I started blogging and am so excited to be participating in her Day to Night Series! For this series, Laura and the participating blogger select an item and one wears it as a day look and the other a night look. Laura and I chose to style our faux leather leggings!

Laura is rocking hers as the day look which is super cute and casual! I love the look of the leggings paired with a tee! I'm super jealous of the fact that she's not surrounded by snow right now! Make sure to go check out her blog for more great looks! 

I styled my faux leather leggings as the night look. Not going to lie, I bought these at Express's Black Friday Sale and have only worn them once! I had no idea how to style them! They are definitely out of my comfort zone so choosing this item for the series was a perfect way to force me to wear them. I would definitely wear this outfit on a date with Christian or out to dinner with a few girlfriends. I can also layer a blazer on instead of the leather jacket for a sorority chapter meeting! 

Recently, Wildflower Cases sent me this gorgeous iPhone case! All of their cases are handmade and each case is one-of-a-kind. I'm totally obsessed with mine and it gets compliments on the daily! How stinkin' cute is the packaging?! #Wildflowerlove! 

Wildflower Cases just started offering a beautiful Alpha Phi case for the iPhone 5/5s and they're offering one to giveaway right here on the blog! I wish I had an iPhone 5 so I could dress my phone in this case. Enter to win in the Rafflecopter below! 

With Love,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Miss Hilliard Recap!

Rhinestones, big hair, and butt glue, oh my! This past weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Hilliard! It's been over a year since my last pageant. It was very exciting to be reunited with old pageant friends and performing, again. 

I want to give a HUGE thank you for all of your support! I appreciated every good luck text, tweet, Facebook message and email! It truly means the world to me to have so much support during my journey to the Miss Ohio stage. I cannot thank you enough! 

While I didn't win the title of Miss Hilliard, I had a blast! This was the first Miss Hilliard pageant and the directors were so organized and ran a very entertaining show. 

Many people outside the pageant world don't know about the interview phase of competition. In the Miss America system, interview is set up panel style like a mock press conference. The judges can ask you anything and everything - personal, current events, resume, and you won't believe some of the ridiculous questions I've received over the years! Of all the pageants I've competed at, this was my favorite judges panel and probably best interview, especially for being out of the system for a while! I made a few "mistakes" like saying cursive writing is irrelevant...which it is. #sorrynotsorry #noshame 

I'm in serious love with my interview outfit. I bought this dress second hand and was amazed at how well it fit! Pop a blazer over it and I can also wear this for job interviews, too. Not a bad deal for $20! 
Necklace: Macy's (similar)
Photo Credit: Steven Hugh Stanley Jr.
On Stage Introduction! 

Beauty Queen Secret: I love a classic red lip for the stage competition portion of the pageant and BA Star has the perfect red lip color pencil. The pigment is beautiful and I wear it on stage, and off. It's the gorgeous lip color I wore for the blogiversary photo shoot, too! Because it is a matte finish, it is a bit drying so I always put a coat of Burt's Bee's Chapstick on prior to layering on the color. It's also super affordable - only $8.75, you can also use code BBLIPS to get 50% off! Look like a beauty queen while maintaining your budget, you're welcome. ;)

Top: Old
Necklace: c/o Armed & Readi
Earrings: c/o Benevolent Jewels (use code AJCODE20 for 20% off your order!)
Lip Color: c/o BA Star Holiday Red Lip Pencil (use code BBLIPS to get 50% off!)

Photo Credit: Steven Hugh Stanley Jr. 
On Stage Question with Bob Nunnally, the meteorologist of Columbus's NBC4! He asked me about my favorite part of working with my platform, Habitat For Humanity. 

Next is my favorite part of competition - lifestyle and fitness in swimwear. Seriously this is my favorite part. I worked really hard to get to and maintain my goal weight! For my workouts, I walk/jog on the indoor track (cardio), lift weights (tone it up!), and yoga/pilates (stretch it out to create lean muscles). While I'm always a work in progress, I'm proud of how far I've come!

Photo Credit: Steven Hugh Stanley Jr. 
Photo Credit: Steven Hugh Stanley Jr.

Swimsuit: Venus 

Just being sassy!
Talent is always my roughest phase of competition. This was my first time performing a baton routine since high school and it was very nerve-wracking. I had a few drops (stage ceiling was so low so the baton would hit the ceiling and just fall flat). I am a little disappointed with how my routine went but it went a heck of a lot better than I expected it would! I'm really excited to polish the performance up some more before my next pageant in two weeks! 
Photo Credit: Roark Studios
Photo Credit: Roark Studios
Anytime I get to wear my red Sherri Hill mermaid gown I get all giddy! I love this gown so much and it's so different from all the other contestants gowns. While I adore their sequin-covered gowns, I appreciate a more red carpet-esque look.
Photo Credit: Steven Hugh Stanley Jr. 
In two weeks I'll be competing again for the title of Miss Vacationland and cannot wait! As part of competing, contestants need to make a $100 donation to the Children's Miracle Network, which I've discussed previously here. All proceeds from my Etsy shop and ad sales on my blog this month will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network!

With Love,

Linking up with The Rachael Way and Style Elixir!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Suit & Tie

Blazer: Target
Button Up: Old
Skirt: Old
Shoes: ShoeDazzle

Blazer: Target
Tee: Old
Jeans: Macy's
Shoes: ShoeDazzle
Tassel Necklace: c/o Armed & Readi

With graduation in less than 100 days, I'm in need of a real suit! Yesterday, I had a presentation for my Business Communications class where we had to wear a suit. After shopping in a nearby town, I've determined there was not a single suit within a 50 mile radius of my college. I quickly ran to Target and picked up this classy blazer (God bless Target!) which I paired with an old pencil skirt. 

Later in the evening, I had another presentation to give, oy. Thankfully, this one was less formal so I could rock black skinny jeans and get away with it. After class I had a recruitment party for my sorority so this was the perfectly polished look and it made for an easy transition from the suit! The second look was inspired by this image that I found on Pinterest!


As for suits, I've been looking online for inspiration. Black suits just really aren't me so I would love to have a blue, or even white, suit! Here are two that I found at Macy's that I love!

Which suit do you like better?

With Love,