Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Layering for Fall

Layering for Fall



Long length cardigan / Black button blouse / Holiday top / ModCloth Skinny Bookmobile Volunteer Pants / Seychelles leather booties / Cognac tote / Rhinestone jewelry

I have been a fan of ModCloth for many years, so I was super excited when they asked me to put together a fall layering look using items from their current collection. Although it was very fun to put together an outfit, it was also very challenging because ModCloth has so many awesome cardigans and sweaters to choose from. 

Ultimately, I came up with a look that I feel is appropriate for what is considered fall in Southern California. During the fall and winter months, we tend to get very cool mornings but the weather warms up throughout the day. For that reason, the pieces that I chose for this outfit are very light and make it easy to add or take off layers throughout the day. I also aimed to create a layering look that is casual, but that can be easily dressed up by using the right accessories, such as the cute necklace pictured above. My favorite part of this outfit, though, has to be the checkered cardigan that I chose for my look--I love that it is structured like a blazer, but still has a very relaxed and versatile print. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it gives you some ideas of how to layer for fall. And, as always, thank you for stopping by. 

xoxo,

Helen Grace

--
Note: I deleted my previous collage because I realized that it did not completely showcase all of ModCloth's awesome layering options, which is what they invited me to do. However, if you want to know what ModCloth sweathers I have my eye on, you can check it out here

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bridal Makeup Inspiration with Lover.ly



I'm definitely getting to that age where many of the people that I grew up with are either getting married, or in the process of getting engaged. Because of that, weddings are a topic that often come up in conversation with friends. I have always said that I don't think that I can handle the pressure of planning a wedding, nor is having a huge party something that necessarily appeals to me. That's mostly because my job sometimes involves event planning and, knowing how much work it is, I can't be bothered with dealing with all of the logistics required to organize a special event. 

However, one thing that I do love is shopping for clothes and creating new looks. That is why I didn't hesitate when Lover.ly asked me to create a bridal makeup look inspired by some of their dresses on their site, which you can shop here. While I was looking through their website, I was really impressed by their selection and how easy their website is to navigate. Having all of your wedding needs in one place really takes out some of the pressure of planning such a big event. 

BOHO INSPIRED MAKEUP

After I selected a couple of dresses from Lover.ly website, I knew that wanted to create a relaxed and bohemian inspired look to complement them. I wanted my makeup to be bold and appropriate for a special occasion, but still look very relaxed. I had to have a bit of help from my sister Alejandra in order to accomplish this look, because I'm not too knowledgeable about makeup. Alejandra helped me achieve the look that I wanted by creating a smokey eye, and using neutral colors on the rest of my face.  All of the products that Alejandra used on my face are very affordable, and I like that the colors can work on a variety of skin tones.

Bridal Picks With Lover.ly

My makeup was inspired by these three dresses that I found on Lover.ly. I picked them out because I thought that they would be perfect for a rustic outdoor wedding. With the proper accessories, hair and makeup, these picks can definitely be worn to create a cool boho look. You can find many more dresses by visiting Loverly's bridal dress section.

I really hope that you all enjoyed this post and that it was very helpful. As I've said before, I'm no beauty expert, but I'm trying to pick up a few tricks here and there so that I can share them with all of you. And, if worst comes to worst, I can always invite my sister Alejandra to share some of her tips.

I hope you all are having a lovely week, and thank you so much for visiting!

xoxo,

Helen Grace

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Royal Blue

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Maison Jules Dress (Similar)
H&M Sandals
Madewell Bag

I must start off this post by confessing that I broke my 6-month shopping ban. My mother convinced me to go window shopping with her, and I fell in love with this royal blue dress. Even though my mother offered to buy it for me as a very early Christmas present in order to prevent me from breaking my ban, I still went ahead and purchased a couple of other items anyway. I've come to realize that I really don't spend that much money on myself, and it's okay to treat myself every once in a while as long as I'm not making any mindless purchases. Well, there my confession for you all. Now you know that my willpower can only last for a couple of weeks. 


I really don't have many life updates at this moment, other than I had to go back to work last week and that's been a bit of a transition, especially after such a relaxing and productive vacation. I spent most of my time this weekend studying, cleaning and working on my blog, so it wasn't the most exciting. As uneventful as it was, this weekend has made me realize that in order to maintain some balance in my life, I'm going to have to back off a bit from blogging and other activities that I use to procrastinate. I really need to set aside some of that time to concentrate on studying for the GRE for the next month, as well as to start working on grad school applications. I've been trying to post 3 times a week, and that's just way too much for me. After all, I did start blogging in order to have a creative outlet, and not to have another source of stress in my life. I also want to make sure that I put in a good amount of effort to whatever I do post on my blog. 

I also have to admit that one of the reasons that I want to lay off blogging is because I'm concerned about how much time I spend on social media. I feel that blogging has in a way made me become more obsessed with social media, and made me feel the pressure to put things out there. Athough I'm not looking to completely quit using social media outlets, I would like to learn not to walk around with my phone in hand, while looking for the next thing to post on Instagram. Of course, that's easier said than done, and we all know how successful my shopping ban was. 

This might be a weird place to ask this, but do any of you have any tricks on how to decrease your social media use? I could really use all of your advice.

xoxo,

Helen

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sweet Helen Grace Is Now On Etsy!


I've mentioned several times on this blog that one of my goals is to open up my own shop on Etsy. Well, I'm glad to announce that after all this time, it's finally up and running. I wanted to take this post as an opportunity to share with you some of the items that are in the shop. Right now I mostly have hair accessories and jewelry, but I have so many more ideas of things that I want to make. Hopefully, I'll be able to do so once the shop starts to get some more traffic. 

I also want to say that I am so grateful to all of my friends and people in the blog community that have been supportive of this venture. As a thank you for all of your encouragement, I'd like to offer you the promo code SWEETHELENGRACE, which you can use to receive free shipping when you spend at least $20 in my shop! This promo code is valid until the end of the month. 

You can click HERE to visit my shop. There is also a link to my shop in the menu bar for this blog. 

Again, thank you all for your support. It's really wonderful to have friends, both in and outside of the blog community, that have inspired me and encouraged me to start this new venture. 

xoxo,

Helen Grace

Follow my shop on Instagram @SHOP_SWEETHELENGRACE

You can also follow this blog on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Surviving Los Angeles Without A Car


If you've been following along these past few weeks, you might remember that I was in a car accident, and I'm currently on vacation while my car is in the shop. Although many people might be bummed about not having a car while in Los Angeles, the idea was kind of exciting for me. Even though I didn't have a car for the first few months after I graduated from college, I still found a way to go out and explore and do things around Los Angeles. However, since I bought a car, I feel like I've been really lazy and don't make an effort to venture out of the bubble that is my neighborhood. I think part of that is because, despite popular belief, having a car can be more difficult at times, especially when you have to deal with parking fees and traffic in the L.A. area. That is why not having to rely on my car for a couple of days, actually seemed kind of a relief to me. 

My first day of vacation and life without a car, my sister Ale and I took the Metro gold line straight from Pasadena into Little Tokyo/The Los Angeles Arts District. On our little adventure, we had the opportunity to discover some new cool spots, and visit some old favorites. Keep on reading to check out some of the things that we did. 


Blacktop Coffee: After walking around the Arts District and appreciating all the wonderful street art, my sister and I made our first stop at Blacktop Coffee. This coffee shop opened up earlier this year, and serves delicious Sightglass Coffee. My sister Ale had a macchiato and I had the cold brew, and both were really delicious. The inside space of the coffee shop is pretty small and cozy, and doesn't have any seating space. However, the shop itself feels very open and welcoming since the doors to the shop are kept open, and it has a very nice outdoor seating area. 


Poketo: I always make sure to stop by Poketo every time that I'm in the Arts District. This store always has beautifully designed decor, clothes and accessories. I always love looking through all of their stationery and kitchenware. You can also usually find me browsing through all of their children's toys, which are so cool that I sometimes wonder if they're not actually meant for adults. 

Woo Souvenir Shop: This small boutique is tucked away in a little corner of the Arts District. The only reason that Ale and I found it was because there were a couple of signs pointing in its direction. Although most of the things inside of Woo Souvenir Shop were outside my price range, I'm glad that we decided to head over there. Many of the pieces in the shop were really beautiful to look at, and I would buy them if I had the money to spare. Even though I obviously didn't buy any  new clothes, I did end up leaving with a really cool greeting card for someone special. I also loved how cute and cozy the shop was; the designer/owner of Woo Souvenir Shop was also really nice, and she had a beautiful dog that greeted Ale and me as soon as we walked into the shop. 


Daily Dose Cafe: Ale and I headed over to the Daily Dose Cafe for lunch. I had been wanting to try out this place for quite some time, simply because I kept seeing pictures of it, and it looked like such a cute space to hang out at. Luckily for my sister, who was really hungry and couldn't care less what the place looked like, the food was delicious as well. We both had "The Daily Toast," which was a delicious piece of bread topped with spicy guacamole, grilled onions, peppers, and a fried egg. Another thing that I liked about the cafe was that the inside reminded me of my college coffee shop, The Motley--the interior of the cafe was really cozy and looked like a great place to go work or study. 


My sister Ale was my wonderful partner in crime for the day. She was the perfect person to go out exploring with, because she was down for doing anything. I'm also glad that she didn't mind all the walking that I made her do throughout the day. 


Cafe Dulce: Before Ale and I headed back to Little Tokyo Station in order to go back home to Pasadena, I had to stop at Cafe Dulce in Little Tokyo--one of my old favorites. Cafe Dulce brews delicious coffee, and has an awesome selection of pastries. I'm a sucker for their green tea donuts, which have a delicious cream filling that is just sweet enough for me. They're so good that my best friend Laura and I once visited the shop about 6 times in one day.

To end this post, I have to say that although I really liked all the spots I visited on my day trip into Downtown L.A., I definitely don't want to call this a guide of the Arts District and Little Tokyo. The reason why I don't want to do that, is because this list in no way reflects all of the things that I like to do in those two places. However, If you want more suggestions of things to do in the Arts District, you can check out this post as well. I hoped you enjoyed reading, and let me know if there are any places that you think that I should check out on my next adventure. 


xoxo,

Helen Grace




Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Picks

(Photo from my Instagram)

I'm on a much-needed vacation right now, and I'm loving every minute of it. I love not having to wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, and being able to start off my day whenever I feel like it. I'm planning to use the next few days to relax, and really focus on self-care. I'm also looking forward to having tons of time to work on projects that I've been setting aside due to lack of time, and also having time to explore new places. I'm working on opening up my shop in the upcoming week, as well as putting together some "adventure" posts. But while you wait for me to put those together, you can check out some of these links:


If you want to make personalized vinyl decals for your laptop, you should check out this tutorial on the Skunkboy Blog. 

(Photo courtesy of Keiko Lynn)

One of my dreams is to visit Japan, and I really loved looking through blogger Keiko Lynn's photo diaries from her recent trip. You can check out Part I and Part II on her blog. I love all of her pictures, and really hope that there is a Part III!


(Photo courtesy of Hello Giggles)

I really loved this letter written by an anonymous writer, in which she apologizes to her body for mistreating it for so many years. I could really relate to this letter because unfortunately, like many women, I've dealt with my share of insecurities about my body since I was a very young girl. In the past few years I've learned to snap out of my negative mindset, and have had time to really focus on learning to love and take care of my body. 

(Photo courtesy of I Spy DIY)

If you want to get into the Halloween/Día de los Muertos spirit, you should check out Sugar Skull Napkins tutorial from I Spy DIY. 

(Photo courtesy of Popsugar Fitness)

I'm not a huge fan of the fall pumpkin trend, but this salad recipe looks and sounds really delicious. 

(Photo courtesy of The Clothes Horse)

Lately, I've been really in love with The Clothes Horse blog. I'm really impressed by the fact that blogger Rebecca takes her own photos, and I'm in love with all of her outfits and shooting locations. 


xoxo,

Helen Grace

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What's In My Makeup Bag

What's in My Makeup Bag

What's in My Makeup Bag by sweet-helen-grace featuring a cream blush


Today I'm sharing with you some of the products in my makeup bag! Even though I don't consider myself to be a beauty expert by any means, I do enjoy wearing makeup on a day-to-day basis. Over the years, I have developed an easy and quick makeup routine that complements my every day style. I like to keep things simple enough so that it only takes me a couple of minutes to get ready in the morning, especially on days when I'm in a rush to get to work. If you're interested to learn how I achieve my every day look, keep on reading to see what's in my bag:

Face: For my face, I use Loreal's True Match Foundation in W3 and Loreal's True Match Concealer in Light/Medium Warm. I've tried several foundations over the years, and this is the only shade that doesn't look too pink or gray/brown on my face. And since I don't like spending more than 10-15 minutes doing my makeup, I also like that I can easily blend both products unto my face by just using my fingers. To top it all off, I use NYX Cosmetics Cream Blush in Tea Rose, which is equally easy to apply. 

Eyes: I use Almay Liquid Eyeliner to create the perfect cat eye. The soft and pointed tip on the brush makes it really easy to apply and get the perfect shape. I also use Covergirl All-in-One Curved Brush Mascara in Very Black, and I love that the curved brush gives my lashes a lift and eliminates the need to use an eyelash curler. 

Lips: I recently purchased MAC Lipstick in Twig, and it has quickly become my favorite shade to use every day. This shade is a subtle brownish rose color, and is a great alternative to a nude lip. 

If you don't feel like you've already seen enough pictures of my face, this is what my makeup pretty much looks like every day. I really hope that this post was helpful to you, especially if you're not one for wearing makeup, and would like some sort of guidance on where to get started. As I said before, I wouldn't say that I know too much about makeup other than what I do every day, so I would love to hear about what are some of your favorite products. 

Have a great rest of the week!

xoxo,

Helen Grace