Ivana Hrynkiw

I love reading posts about people’s Amazon purchases- especially the clothes and accessories they’ve scooped up. There’s so much on Amazon sometimes it’s hard to know what is going to be good quality, and what’s going to look like doll clothes from Asia.

Here are my recent Amazon purchases that I think are totally worth the money. Let me know what you think!

PS remember when you shop on Amazon, make sure to use “smile.amazon.com” to donate a percentage of your purchase to a charity of your choice.

1. Maxi print-wrap dress: This has been a hot seller on Amazon for a while and I finally caved and bought the red one. While I totally love it, beware this is a “true” wrap dress and isn’t sewn together! You might want to wear shorts or a slip under for coverage. I ended up returning mine because it didn’t fit, but I think the quality is good and the style is precious if you’re in the market for a cute maxi.

2. Beaded earrings: I’ve had these for a while, and love them so much. I actually am sitting here wondering why I haven’t worn them more. They come in a million colors and are identical to boutique versions that cost more than double. And they’re not too heavy!

3. David Yurman dupe: The BEST David Yurman dupe I have ever seen! All of this brand’s bracelets are around $20 and look so much like DY, I even got a compliment saying just that the other day. I don’t know how the longterm quality of these are because I haven’t had mine too long, but I have definitely been wearing mine daily for two weeks or so. I’m ordering another as we speak. (No, I have no real DYs. This is good enough for me)

4. SoundBot aux cord: My Jeep aux input is very finicky, and a co-worker told me this product is great for inputs like mine. I bought it and LOVE it. It has a bluetooth connection so if you’ve got an more basic car like me without connectivity, you can listen to your music/podcasts/phone conversations through your car radio without having to have your phone actually plugged in. It just connects when you get in the car! There are also extra ports for charging and a dial to control volume. While I still think I need to get my input replaced, this works better than any I’ve tried.

5. Pearl and velvet headband: The headband trend isn’t going anywhere, and these pearly ones are the latest blogger obsession. For good reason! They’re comfortable, perfect for fall, and the pearl detail makes it a little dressier than the average headband. I’m digging it and bought the nude color, but I can’t promise I won’t buy another.

6. Dolly Parton t-shirt: Dolly Parton, the queen herself, opened an Amazon store recently and I immediately knew it was going to take all my money. This “Vote Dolly” shirt was my first purchase and won’t be my last. My only regret is I should have bought a large (I got a men’s medium, because I hate the ‘women’s cut’ in t-shirts)

7. Wool wide-brim hat: Another dupe for the pricey Brixton hats from Nordstrom. I ordered the camel color and haven’t gotten it yet, but I have high hopes.

8. Golden Goose dupes: GG shoes are everywhere right now and I have to say that I am completely on that bandwagon. I think they’re adorable, but I also do not have $550 to drop on tennis shoes. I have tried a lot of dupes, including these– spoiler: I loveeeee them but couldn’t get the right size. I think my feet are just too wide unfortunately. But I still recommend them– just size up.

9. Full maxi skirt: Dede at Dress Up Buttercup wore this skirt all summer and I knew I had to have it. While they were sold out of her color, I bought the pink and I can’t wait for it to come in! I’m probably going to steal her look and pair it with a good graphic tee (like my Dolly one above) and some GG dupes. This skirt is also perfect in the fall with an off the shoulder sweater and booties!

This post was not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

XOXO

ivana

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Not long ago I heard one of my favorite bloggers (Shelby at Glitter & Gingham) talk about what fills her up and how she’s really tried to live lately around those things.

That phrase got me. How trite, I know, but I couldn’t help but use that moment to think, “what fills ME up?” and “Am I doing enough of that?”

I know some things that totally fill me up; others not so much. And my goal for the rest of the year is to really identify those things and concentrate on only those things that fill me with joy and fuel, and give me purpose. Of course, that means also doing less of the things that DON’T fill me up.

What I mean are the things that remind me why I wake up every day and work by butt off to enjoy. I thought it would be helpful to make a list that reminds me of what fills me up:

  • Dogs, in any form or fashion
  • Family time
  • My husband
  • Writing
  • Lunch with a friend & dinner with the girls
  • Being kind to a stranger
  • Good cup of coffee
  • A WWII novel
  • Reality television

OK, OK I know some of these are silly (but not untrue) and I swear I have a more extensive list, but you get the jist.

I know this is probably some life message I am way late to the game on, but I thought I should share anyway. Because there’s got to me at least one other goon like me who hasn’t thought of things this way.

A good night with the hubs always fills me up
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Makeup changes with the season, and it’s almost that time of year!

Here are a few things I want to pick up for the fall, but also a peek at some of the products I’ve been loving lately as evidenced by an obnoxious number of selfies.

Links to the products I am loving are in the photo captions, while the links for everything else is in the text below.

Makeup products I've been loving lately and ones I'm buying for fall
Colourpop Brow Boss | Loreal Coral Berry lipstick | Revlon Volumazing mascara

Kylie Cosmetics KoKo palette, lipsticks, and liner: You can get these separately, all together, or in separate bundles (for example, here’s the lipsticks and liner bundle). I am so obsessed with these colors! I am also a Kardashian fan, so that definitely doesn’t hurt my love for these products.

I am currently searching for dupes for these products (especially the palette) so I will keep ya’ll updated! I’ve never had a Kylie eyeshadow so I’m not sure about the quality, but I also feel like if it was awful that would be plastered all over the internet. Say what you want about the Kardashians, but these ladies know how to build a brand.

Here’s an awesome, genuine video of Khloe using her collection from Vogue’s YouTube channel! I definitely am stealing her eyeshadow technique, even though I don’t have the palette.

Revolution Pro New Neutrals palette: YALL. This. Palette. It’s totally a ABH dupe of like three of their palettes. I am a little confused on the Revolution Pro/Makeup Revolution difference, but whatevs. This is a beautiful product thats only twenty bucks and has 18 shades. It’s an Ulta exclusive, but again, $20 and also Ulta usually has a coupon and is on Ebates!

Elta MD facial sunscreen: I have heard amazing things about this sunscreen, particularly about how well it lays under makeup. I am always trying to be better to my skin, particularly my face and neck area, and SPF is a HUGE part of that. I try to only wear bb creams and foundations with SPF in it, but I would love to use this underneath and be double covered. I also would love to use this on my chest and neck area… I heard someone say one time that’s the area where women show their age, and it’s SO true. I want to go ahead and protect my skin so I can look 30 when I’m 50, you know what I mean?

This stuff is pricey but again, if its good enough for the Kardashians it’s good enough for me. Here’s the clear version that’s specifically for your face, too.

Elizabeth Arden x Reese Witherspoon lipstick: I’m not usually a fan of this bright pink color on my skin tone, but is REESE’S. No. Explanation. Needed. Also, the product supports UN Women and that’s enough for me. For $26 I can get a Reese approved lip and support women? I’m in.

St. Tropez Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse: I am FakeBake girl, because I like it better than any other tanning product I’ve tried and also because it’s affordable. But, I have always heard wonders about St. Tropez! Especially in the fall when I’m white as an oxford shirt, I need a good fake tan. One of these days I’m going to splurge and try this! (PS here is what I normally use)

Makeup products I've been loving lately and ones I'm buying for fall
Essie gel polish in Matter of Fiction | Dry Bar Triple Sec texture spray
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By now you know, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here. If you are a cardholder, you’re shopping now or you’ve already stocked up. If you are not that fancy (AKA me), our time is coming.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about or you live under a rock, or both, the Nordstrom sale is a huge deal in the fashion world because you get early access to new fall pieces for sale prices. It’s pretty legit, and you can make out with some really good buys for a price you won’t get again this year! 

I feel like you have to have a plan going into this sale, like you have to do for Black Friday. While you will inevitably see things you want for a good price, you need to keep in mind what you need and go searching for those things— not get distracted by things you don’t need, already own, or will never actually wear even though its a good price.

Like on Black Friday, I make a wishlist of things I want/need before even approaching the site. While some things might be sold out by the time I can shop on Friday, I will at least have an idea of what I’m looking for and can hopefully find something similar.

I hope this wishlist inspires you for what to stock up on for fall, whether its N-Sale or not! 

My picks for the 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

1 Brown teddy jacket: I have a fuzzy teddy jacket that I adore and have worn a million times, but it’s a little more casual than this one. I know this is something I already reach for in the winter, so I would definitely be okay with spending money on a similar one that’s more formal.

2 Leopard tennis shoes: Leopard is still a thing, and I am here for it. I am a comfy over cute kind of gal always and tennis shoes are some of my favorite things. A cute pair (over my nasty gym pair) means I can wear them to work or on a date and not feel like a slob.

3 Sam Edelman knee-high boots: Knee-high boots are a staple, and I always tend to go for brown over black boots. I could wear these to work or out and pair them with any color jeans!

4 Steve Madden snakeskin booties: Booties are my favorite thing and something I wear year round. These snakeskin ones would be so edgy with denim shorts and a sweater during transition weather, and with black jeans and a hat in the fall.

5 Wool hat: The Brixton one I wanted was totally sold out by day two of early access shopping, which is a bummer, but this one is similar and I am loving the color! This is another good transition piece that can be worn with shorts or jeans and a tank while it’s still hot out.

6 Plaid shirt: You can’t live in the south without a plaid shirt. I never pay more than $20 for one, but I also can see the point of a more expensive one for better quality and softer materials.

7 Ugg slippers: I have wanted a pair of these FOREVER and I think it’s finally time for me to pull the trigger!

8 Cashmere ruana: During the cool weather, I usually opt for things like this over thick sweaters. I would rather wear several layers of soft, thin material than wear one big cable-knit one. I get hot easily and the thought of not being able to shed a layer when I walk into a heated building is terrifying to me.

9 White flats: To me, there’s a fine line in white shoes to make them not look like nurses shoes. But, I love the pointed toes on these! I think these flats would be perfect work shoes– either with nice dresses or pants. While I don’t own one pair of closed toe flats, I would be fine with these being the first.

10 Fringe striped scarf: Again, this goes back to my layering thing. I love the fringe detail and the color blocking. I know I would use this as a wrap more than a scarf, though!

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Ya’ll, my hiatus is over! I finally got my computer back. If you don’t know, most 15 inch Macbook Pros between 2012-2015 have been recalled for a fire hazard in the battery (you can check your serial number on the Apple website here). I took it to the Apple Store and they had to ship it off to install a new battery.

Long story short, I finally have my laptop back and can catch up on my life! Since I missed the week of July 4th, I wanted to share some pictures from my family trip to the Exumas! 

Linking my outfit details (or similar options where the stuff isn’t new) in the caption underneath each folder. PS I got my soon to be sister-in-law hooked on Red Dress! Linking her precious white romper too.

Top/ Earrings / Shorts / Slides (and Jessie’s romper)
The cutest little local shop with jewelry, shells, and baskets

FYI if you want trip details, we stayed at the Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas (a chain of islands in the Bahamas). I can give you more info if you leave me a comment about what you want to know!

I hope ya’ll had an awesome holiday too!

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Summer is here and you know what that means- outfit ideas are revolving around the least restrictive, breeziest thing possible. Dresses usually fit that bill best!

I love a little black dress for all occasions, so this super casual number from H&M totally hits the mark. It’s loose fitting, which is a must for an Alabama summer, and has the cutest button detailing down the front to give it a little more pizazz. Best part is that it’s just $10!

Since the dress is so basic, it’s great to pair with fun summer accessories. I’m always and forever a hoops girl, but I’ve been loving these thick gold hoops this season. I’m also obsessed with the headband trend and this pink satin band was perfect with the basic dress and chunky earrings! 

I also paired this with one of my favorite dainty necklaces from The Sis Kiss and some simple slides from SheIn. 

I always love simple pieces paired with fun accessories— hence my forever white tee and jeans combo. It is so much simpler and cost efficient to invest in good basic pieces and then incorporate trendy details with each season. 

DRESS (SIMILAR) | HOOPS | NECKLACE| HEADBAND | SHOES (SIMILAR)

This is definitely a dress I’m taking on my vacay next week- I have a new adorable pink kimono from Sole Society that I think would be so cute with this dress for dinner, paired with leopard wedges!

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You get invited to be on a TV show or interviewed for something, or do a professional photoshoot, and you’re thrilled to death! But also, a little terrified about looking good on camera. I get it.

I’ve been on several episodes of national TV shows, along with a CNN special. I also do videos for my day job as a news reporter. So I can tell ya, I know a little about doing your hair and makeup for camera because I’ve made ALL the mistakes. And Lord knows, ya’ll should learn from my slip ups.

Makeup for camera is very different for most people than their daily beauty routines, and that’s definitely true for me. Here are my top tips for looking good in videos and on camera, and I hope they help you a little when your big time comes!

Tame those flyaways

When you’re under bright lights, especially with a darker background (like a backdrop many photographers or videographers use) the little frizzies in your fair are totally magnified. Especially if you’re like me and like to tease your hair, or if you have thick hair! I can’t tell you how many times in a shoot I’ve had to stop and take a wet paper towel across my head to tame my hair, or rub lotion between my palms and pat down my little flyaways. Make sure you use lots of hair spray or gel to keep your hair in place, even if you normally go for a bigger, bed-head look like I do. 

Neutrogena shine control powder

I was recently on a shoot for a Discovery ID Channel show and this was what the video team handed me to keep under my chair, with a little white makeup sponge. It seems super thick (which it is when applied straight on your face with a sponge like that) but that’s exactly why they like it. You can powder your nose or forehead and totally, completely cut out any shine without looking like you added more makeup or changed your makeup between shots. It’s easy and from the drugstore, so definitely pick some up to have in your bag. You might feel really weird putting it on, especially if you typically go for a dewey look, but I promise you’ll be glad you did in this situation. Pick it up at Target.

Matte matters

Speaking of dewey looks– as much as I love them, that’s not what you want on a video or photo shoot. You don’t have to have heavy, mask-like makeup but you also don’t want your face to be reflective in the camera. The dewey-ness also can make your pores look bigger, which no one wants! Keep your face fresh looking with a foundation and concealer, but don’t go too heavy on contouring or highlighting. 

Shimmer

Shimmery or glittery highlights, blushes, and eyeshadows are some of my favorite things- but they aren’t camera and harsh light friendly. Again, glitter on your cheeks can make your pores look bigger than they are under all that lighting. Keep it off the eyes, too! Go for a matte, clean look with a color to warm up your crease and a lighter, skin-colored shade to put on the inside of your eye. You can use eyeshadow or eyeliner to define your eyes, but don’t overdo that either. It can look much harsher in photos than you realize. 

Lippies

The only real rule here is wear a lip liner, even if you usually don’t! It will keep your product in place, so it doesn’t start sliding into the skin or lines around your lips, and make it last longer too. I tend to stay away from very shiny lipsticks or glosses when on camera because they are too reflective off the lights for my liking.

Last but not least

Relax and have fun! This is your time to shine!

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I hate it when you see these bloggers in totally amazing bathing suits and then when you click on them, they’re usually over $150. While I might be in love, I have a really hard time convincing myself to spend what could be a nice night out on a bathing suit that covers literally 12% of my body.

So after a little internet sleuthing (that’s what I’m here for, right?) I have found a whole bunch of cute & similar styles to the ones all the it girls are wearing, all for under $50. Yes, both pieces of two-piece sets are under fifty TOTAL. 

It’s time to stop spending an insane amount of money for a cute piece of spandex you wear for three months, amiright? 

Let me know if you buy any of these and what you think! 

1 AF seersucker one piece

2 Forever 21 chain and floral bikini

3 Target black one piece with cutout (buy this in your bra size for $49)

4 Amazon pom pom high-waisted bikini

5 Forever 21 watercolor bikini (comes as a set for $27)

6 Red Dress ruffle bikini (comes in black too!)

7 AF leopard one piece

PS: TJ Maxx is a great place to find well-made, department store bikinis for around $30 max. The stores have way more of a variety than online, so head there asap. One of the only stores I go to in person anymore!

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It’s no secret I’ve changed my ways when it comes to face makeup over the past year– I’m planning to write a post about that soon, but I converted to a light coverage kind of gal and ditched my old full-face, matte routine. But I think for the summer, most of us don’t want to wear our normal makeup and opt for something lighter or something with SPF.

Recently I ran to Ulta and picked up some new things for the season that I have been absolutely loving. I’ve been really leaning towards a light or no base, with bronzer and blush and something to give my skin a dewy effect. For eyes, I really have been loving a warm-toned look.

These products give me just that! Let me know if you try any of them and what you think.

Summer makeup products

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup

Ya’ll, I am shocked at how much I like this stuff. Its one of those products that comes out white with little grains, but it changes color when you rub it on. I rub it between my fingers for a few seconds until the color starts appearing, and then apply it directly to my face and blend with the warmth of my fingertips to make sure the color is just right. There’s several different shades that adjust, and I went with the lightest. 

I LOVE the way this cream feels on my face, and I love it has an SPF. Its the perfect beach makeup for me! It also isn’t very dewy, so if you’re looking for something like that just use a dewy primer or spray over it and you’re good to go. Perfect natural face makeup when you just want a little help and protection for your skin! (Buy it here)

Australian Wellness Co. Mango and Papaya Lip Balm

I picked this up at a CVS at the beach on a whim (it was in those darned things by the cash register, they always get me!) and I have been in love ever since. It goes on really white and thick, so I use it before bed or first thing in the morning before I do my makeup. After it has time to soak into your lips, you will feel the difference. I don’t think there’s an overwhelming smell or taste, despite the claims on the bottle. It’s pleasant, but definitely not too much.

PSA the applicator on mine had a little plastic bump on it, so I’ve just been applying it to the back of my hand and then using my finger to rub it into my lips. (Can’t find it online, but I love this brand too)

Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm

Can you tell I have a slight lip balm addiction? This stuff is great because unlike the other one, you can wear it like a lipstick during the day. It smells AMAZING, tastes good (don’t ask) and has a color that wears like a light lipstick. And, it’s got SPF! Lips are one area, like the tops of your feet and your ears, that usually don’t get sun protection. Anytime you can remember to protect those areas and actually have a product that makes you forget you’re helping your skin, it’s a winner. 

I have the color Sunset Cove and Sand Bar. You can pick these up at Ulta or online!(Buy it here) 

Revlon Volumazing Mascara

This is an incredibly underrated mascara, in my opinion. It’s a really lightweight and easy to remove formula, which is awesome, but it stays put all day even in the sweaty summer days down south. It gives you that thick, flirty lash look and is more volumizing than lengthening, but I’m completely down with that. If you’re looking for a new drugstore mascara, check this guy out. (Buy it here)

Colourpop Brow Boss

I am usually NOT a thin brow pencil kind of girl- my usual go to is Benefit Goof Proof. I ordered this on a whim because it was $5 and at first I wasn’t crazy about it… but I started using it, along with a little brow gel (Archery from Soap and Glory is my fave) and I love the way it looks! I use the gel first, and then fill in any bald areas with this little guy, concentrating on the front and the arch. I love the thick look this process gives my brows! With a light, summer makeup, I think full brows are a must. And God knows I do not naturally have those. (Buy it here)

Summer makeup products, Naked Heat petite palette

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat

The internet made me do it. I’ve seen this palette since it came out last year and I have always liked it, but I didn’t ever bite the $29 bullet and buy it. Well, that day came and I am completely smitten. I was a little worried about the limited looks 5 shades could give, but it’s actually surprised me in the best way possible. There is a great browbone/highlight color, a neutral for the lid, two great outer corner or crease colors, and a color I can use as a liner. Shockingly, I have been reaching for it everyday and haven’t gotten tired of it! 

I also love how this little guy has a big mirror, and its perfect for travel. I’m already planning for it to be the one shadow I take with me to the Bahamas next month! (Buy it here)

Pacifica Alight Multi-mineral BB Cream

This is another product I bought on a whim (are you seeing a pattern here?) and I’m surprised I actually like. It’s also another white-turn-nude formula, but maybe a little less versatile than the Almay shades. This product doesn’t actually give you any coverage or color to your skin really, but acts as a dewy cream that makes you look like you have a Victoria’s Secret model skin. I recently used this with a little of my Petite Heat eyeshadow, some strong brows, and my tinted Sun Bum balm for family dinner after a day at the pool and it was such a perfect look! It isn’t irritating to my skin or covering up my face, but rather giving a little healthy glow to look a little less tired than I usually am.

I am curious to see if this lays well under makeup— if so, it would be the best primer! (Buy it here)

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I’m not usually a huge LOFT person, but I have occasionally found some really good finds there. Especially when they have awesome sales! I recently saw they were having a 40 percent off sale & I thought I should check it out.

So I did, and found some really great pieces! Here are the items I bought, plus two not pictured that I ordered.

LOFT romper

Floral romper

I ordered a simple black high-neck tank and a long sleeve, chambray type dress shirt with a subtle polka dot print. Both are SO SO soft and both so versatile!

Yellow shorts/ black tank (old from Free People)

Everything I got is precious, but I have to say I think the romper and the basic black tank are my favorites. And I’ve already worn most everything I got!

LOFT shorts and shirt

Yellow shorts/ floral blouse

Do you like shopping at LOFT? Or are you a more trendy shopping kind of girl? Let me know where I should try!



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