circa 80 AD

I've finally started tackling the hundreds of photos I took in Italy. While taking vacation photos I never seem to take into account the fact that I have to sort through and edit all the photos I take-- so I merrily hold down the shutter, taking continuous shots of birds snacking whilst perched atop Palatine Hill. It comes back to bite me in the ass when I have to wait forever for my photos to transfer from my memory card, and produce thumbnails, and finally open in RAW form in photoshop. Only then do I rue the day that I decided to take 20 photos of some stupid birds.

Asides from stupid birds, I also took a bagillion photos of various parts of ancient Rome (to be shared in a future post.) If I had to pick the highlight of my visit to the city, it would definitely be marveling the numerous ancient Roman buildings that somehow are still standing today. It's pretty mind boggling to think of the huge and intricate structures they managed to build without any technology or advanced mathematics. Of course the most famous and magnificent of all is the Roman Colosseum! (Also known as Lizzie's concert venue in The Lizzie McGuire movie ;)).

We got lucky with the weather as it was sunny and in the mid 60s. It was a tourist's dream. I finally got to go sans tights so I snatched the opportunity to wear the cord overall dress I bought at urban outfitters back in January. I paired it with my always classic Stan Smith sneakers, which were my go to shoes for the entirety of the trip. When packing I had considered bringing some pretty, lace up flats or comfortable wedges but I'm sooo glad that I stuck to sneakers because otherwise my feet would be in bandages. On the day these photos were taken I walked over 25,000 steps and 60 staircases (according to my fitbit)! Thank you Stan Smiths for being as stylish as your are comfortable!

dress: urban outfitters, striped top: urban outfitters, jacket: urban outfitters, sneakers: adidas (also available via nordstrom, j. crewasos), bag: fjallraven (also available via urban outfitters, lord & taylor, shopbop)

overall dress outfit, pinafore outfit, urban outfitters overall dress

roman colosseum, colosseum, colosseum from outside, ancient rome
walking to colosseum, near roman colosseum, ancient rome streets
in the colosseum, tourist in colosseum, outfit photo in colosseum
roman colosseum tourist, inside colosseum, looking into colosseum inside colosseum, colosseum interior, ancient roman building, ancient roman ruins

on the denim spectrum: girlfriend jeans

It seems every time I head to the mall or online store, I'm face with a plethora of denim options. There are of course the classics: skinny, wide, straight, bootcut; but then there are also a whole lot of...others. The mom jean, the wedgie jean (yes, it's a thing), the kick flare, the cropped flare, the tomgirl, the stiletto, and it goes on and on. Needless to say, the never ending list of styles can easily get confusing.

To simplify things, I like to think of denim as a spectrum. There's no fine line between straight jeans and skinny jeans, or mom jeans and boyfriend jeans. They all kind of eventually mesh into one another forming a harmonious spectrum of denim.

My current favorite spot on the denim spectrum are girlfriend jeans. If I had to define them I would say they fall somewhere in-between boyfriend jeans and cropped straight jeans. In a quintessential denim blue wash, they could complete virtually any outfit.

sources: madewellteeth are jadethe august diaries, style & well being, topshop

I personally picked up this pair from urban outfitters earlier this month and am still a bit borderline about them. On one hand I'm not sure exactly how flattering they are, on the other hand, I'm not exactly sure if I give a crap about it. Either way, with so may options out there, I'm determined to find my perfect pair!


Just stopping by to say that I will be absent from the blogosphere for the next week or so... because I'll be in Italy! This has basically been my dream vacation since watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie back in 5th grade so to say I'm excited is an understatement.

I'll definitely be excessively sharing my journey on snapchat and instagram so feel free to tag along (username @sharmtoaster on both!)

See you on the other side!

February favorites

Heading into the new year, I told myself I would resist buying anymore beauty products because I had done some serious damage during the pre/post holiday sales. Of course with all the new drugstore makeup releases this time of the year, I couldn't help but indulge myself a little. On the bright side, an indulgent trip to CVS is a lot lighter on the wallet than an indulgent trip to Sephora.

The new (at least to me) products I loved the most in February were the Pixi glow peel pads, Nars chihuahua lip gloss, Wet n' Wild 1 step wondergel nail color in stay classy, Jordana sweet cream matte lipstick in tiramisu, Trader Joe's ultra moisturizing hand cream, Laura Mercier's hydrating foundation primer, and Vaseline lip therapy lip balm tin in rosy lips and aloe vera.

Pixi glow peel pads: I've been a loyal user of Pixi's glow tonic ever since Target started selling it. When Target released even more Pixi products at the beginning of the year, of course I had to take a look. And of course that little look turned into a little purchase in the form of these Pixi glow peel pads. With a strength of 20% glycolic acid, they're the perfect "entry level" acid peel for acid peel newbs (with sensitive skin to boot) like me. My face feels tingly after swiping one of these pads all over my face, but it's worth it because my skin instantly feels smoother after the treatment is done. It's also been helpful in preventing some of those under-the-skin, possible pimple guys from rupturing.

Laura Mercier hydrating foundation primer: Dewy, dewy, dewy skin is all that comes to mind when I use this primer. It's a total makeup game changer. Unsurprisingly, my skin tends to dry out in the colder months. There have been days when I get so caught up in slathering my face in moisturizer to avoid looking like a silurian that I don't even bother thinking about makeup. Thankfully those dog days are gone thanks to this primer. I've worn it under powdery foundations, moussey foundations, liquidy foundations and every time I'm blessed with dewy, looking skin. If I'm feeling particularly lazy I'll wear this primer under the teensiest bit of concealer and even then I still get that dewy glow. Of course when I wear it on days when my skin is somewhat oily, this primer works to accentuate said oiliness-- which I am not so fond of. Because dewiness >>>> oiliness.

Nars lip gloss in chihuaha: I've been anti-lip gloss for the better part of the last decade but this little tube of pink, Nars magic has changed my mind. I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Nars hands down makes my favorite lip products. Of all time. This lip gloss is no exception. It provides the sheerest coating of pink, a glossy finish, and zero stickiness. Never again will I suffer the feeling of my hair getting stuck in my lip gloss on a windy day. In fact, I'm already eyeing on picking another one of these tubes in dolce vita.

Jordana sweet cream matte lipstick in tiramisu: Jordana is a bit late to the liquid lipstick game but it's all worth it because their formula is the shit (in the good way.) It dries down to a matte so comfortable that you forget you're wearing it. It's also pretty good at staying put through various foods and drinks. The one thing I don't like about the formulation is the "sugar frosting from a can" smell, but it didn't bother me enough to stop me from going out and purchasing it in 4 more colors. Tiramisu (my first and favorite) is a deep, dusty rose color which I think is perfect for darker skin tones!

Vaseline lip balm tins in rosy lips and aloe vera: Vaseline is pretty much as boring as you can get in terms of beauty products. These tins somehow transform dull, mundane vaseline into cute, peppy vaseline-- but with the same reliability of classic vaseline. I also like that the formula is a bit lighter feeling than the ones you find in the larger tubs. The names are pretty self-explanatory-- aloe has a soothing aloe smell while rosy lips provides a natural pink tint.

Trader Joe's ultra moisturizing hand cream: I'm convinced it was fate when I noticed the inconspicuous blue box housing this lotion near the checkout counter at Trader Joe's. It seems to be the same formula as the trio of hand creams Trader Joe's brings around every holiday season. I'm not any sort of aficionado when it comes to hand creams, but in my book this one takes the cake. Thanks to the 20% shea butter it contains, it's perfect for dry hands. I also like that it doesn't have any sort of overwhelming smell and doesn't leave my hands excessively greasy after application. I've read somewhere on the interwebs that it's the perfect dupe of l'occitane's shea butter hand cream-- the main difference being that l'occitane's costs $28 while this one costs a mere $5.

Wet n' Wild 1 step wondergel nail color in stay classy: At first I was hesitant to dish out $5 for a wet n' wild nail polish since I'm perfectly content with their cheaper megalast line. It turned out to be worth the extra few dollars since I've fallen in love with the polish! The brush is pretty wide which makes applying it a breeze. With two, reasonably-fast-drying coats it's fully opaque. When I take the time to apply cuticle oil and orly's rubber base coat prior to application, this polish can go a week chip free! But the main reason I fell in love with the polish is because of its beautiful dusty, rose color. It's the kind of color you can wear year round and in any setting.

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