Shining this Summer with Lovita Jewelry

We have vacays planned, pool parties and weddings to attend, BBQs to host and outdoor concerts to dance the night away. Hot temperatures, Summer whites, up-dos and bare shoulders ~ it is time to amp up our accessory game beauties.

My collaboration with Lovita Jewelry could not have come at a better time. I was ecstatic when my package arrived at my doorstep just as the weather here in Boston has been nothing but sunshine. It inspired me to take this Serenity Fringe Necklace and Earring set beach side for a fun photoshoot.

I just love the blue stones highlighted by the gold tone fringe. It is lightweight and the length can be easily adjusted. The matching fringe earrings are so fun. This is such a perfect Summer accessory.

Summer is about simplicity, so let your jewelry do the talking.

Looking for the perfect piece to add to your summer collection? Lovita Jewelry is definitely heating things up this Summer with their wide selection of fabulous, coordinated looks, as well as personalized and inspirational gifts – all beautifully packaged.

The perfect combination of trendy and elegant, Lovita Jewelry reflects an ideal summer mood for any occasion.

What is your favorite or must have Summer accessory?

Have a great week beauties.

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

Get the Scoop!!!

It was definitely an ideal weekend for beaches and cream. So, Andy and I headed to Boston’s North Shore. Not only did we find a myriad of gorgeous beaches, we also discovered a trail of mouthwatering homemade ice cream.  I LOVE ice cream. It is my favorite sweet treat. I was delighted to learn that there are over 40 ice cream shops across the North Shore. Many of these small town shops have been in business for decades, with some open year round and some only seasonal. This was the sweetest adventure I’ve been on.

Here are my top 4 picks:

  1. Richardson’s Ice Cream

I had to start with Richardson’s, as this is the most iconic of North Shore ice creams. After taking what seemed like forever, I finally decided to try Coconut Chip with Almond Joy. They had so many delicious choices – 85 to be exact – now you know why I took forever to make a selection.

Richard’s Ice Cream lived up to the hype. The ice cream was rich, dense and silky. There were big chunks of chocolate with almonds in an indulgent frozen coconut-cream. I will be returning for more. Richardson’s is sprawled over 800 acres and has a dairy farm and bottling facility right onsite so you can watch fresh milk being bottled. I ordered the kid-sized scoop, which was huge so imagine how big the other sizes are. This is such a fun place for the entire family to eat, relax and even play some mini-golf.

  1. Threadwell’s Ice Cream

After spending the week on the treadmill, Threadwell’s was much deserved. Threadwell’s is opened year round so I was expecting more seasonal flavors. Their seasonal Peach flavored ice cream was unfortunately sold out. I did however try their new seasonal flavored ice cream Campfire S’mores. The generous portion was silky and marvelously creamy. The graham cracker flavor is infused into the ice cream and is loaded with chocolate chunks and marshmallow crème. So yum.

 

3. Cherry Farm Creamery

It was interesting to learn that Cherry Farm Creamery was first opened in August of 1976. Cherry Farm Creamery is named after the farm on Cherry Street in Wenham that the owners, the Jones Family, grew up on. They have 35 mouthwatering flavors to choose from. I tried their refreshing Watermelon Sherbet which was delicious.

  1. Captain Dusty’s

We came across Captain Dusty’s by chance. It was a great find. There are 5 Captain Dusty locations on the North Shore. All of their ice cream is produced in small batches and they have many of the standard flavors. I opted for the Strawberry, which was creamy with huge chunks of delicious strawberry. The flavor was great but it was a little too sweet for my taste. I would love to come back and try another flavor. They have so many great choices.

What is your favorite Summer treat? If you are an ice cream lover what is your favorite ice cream?

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

Wedding Dress Codes, Decoded

Wedding season is officially here!!! So, what are we all wearing because guest outfits play an important role in determining the look and vibe of a wedding celebration? Usually guidelines for the dress code are clearly stated at the bottom of invitations or reception cards to simplify the wedding guest attire dilemma. So to make sure no one unwittingly commits a fashion faux pas here are some wedding dress inspirations.

The Invitation says “Beach Chic, Garden or Outdoor Wedding”

Let the location inspire you and help you interpret what you wear in your own way. This invite makes me think “summertime soirée” so a flowy,  elegant jumpsuit with a splash of bright jewelry is an excellent choice. If you don’t want to sink into the sand pair your outfit with some gold wedges, beaded sandals, or embellished ballet flats.  I am so in love with this gorgeous Asana jumpsuit by  Omaskas. I love everything about this haute couture jumpsuit from the delicate and super luxurious fabric to the extreme attention to detailThe jumpsuit was stunningly  tailored, and fitted my figure perfectly.

This feminine and romantic maxi with an asymmetrical neckline is also by Omaskas. Once I put this dress on I never wanted to take it off. My hair and makeup was done by Boston makeup artist Kerri Herlihy.  Kerri kept my makeup very light and my hair natural which was perfect for the location.

The Invitation says “Formal or Cocktail Attire”

Wear something to razzle-dazzle and show that you are ready to have a good time. Wear something you would be comfortable dancing in and that you would not consider wearing in a ‘day-to-night’ dressing scenario. I opted for a short dress with some bling. I love the sparkly details on this BeBe dress.

The Invitation says “Black Tie”

Think old Hollywood glamour or imagine the casino scene in a James Bond movie. This is usually a pretty swanky affair so bring on the  floor-length gowns, beading, bling and more. I opted for this embellished evening gown by Adrianna Papell which made me feel like a celebrity.

For accessories I choose dangling earrings. I did not need a necklace because just look at this gorgeous neckline. An evening bag is a must; invest in one metallic clutch that can look dressed up or down for all your parties. If you prefer a short dress, be sure it makes a fashion statement and not something you might wear to a cocktail party or a club.

Are you attending any weddings this Summer? I hope this post was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions and I can incorporate those answers into the post! 

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Getting Summer Ready

I can’t believe Memorial Day weekend is here and Summer is around the corner. My mind says cup cakes and donuts but my bikini says salad and green juice. Against my better judgment I always opt for the latter and then I feel terrible after I eat it. It’s hard to find healthy options especially at work. Every time I walk into the staff lounge there are always pastries on the table. I cannot resist because something sweet goes so well with my coffee.

So, to make healthier eating choices I have committed myself to breakfast and lunch meal prep this year and it makes an absolute world of difference. Since I’ve started prepping my meals, eating a healthy snack or lunch at work each day has never been easier.

I don’t even consider buying lunch,  I just reach into the fridge and pull out my pre-made lunch and I am good to go!

I thought I’d share my top 3 meal prep tips with you which has made the process so much easier for me.

  1. Start small.  You don’t have to prep the entire week all at once. Start with one meal first. Snacks like veggies and hummus are a great place to start.

2. Schedule it. Block off an hour or two during the weekend to prep your meals. I knock out all my meals on Sunday afternoons making the other 6 days less stressful. Once you get going you will be amazed at the benefits and how much time it saves.

3. Find recipes you can depend on.  Use recipes that you have tried and love. You can add as you go along. I have a few great recipes that my mom shared with me. Also, blogger babe SimplyFae has  20 snacks that are Bikini Body Safe + Recipes as well as Summer Salads + Recipes. Please check it out.

This is my mom’s egg muffin cup recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms measured before chopping
  • 1/2 cup red pepper measured after chopping
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion measured after chopping
  • 1 cup baby spinach / broccoli (or any veggies you love) – roughly chopped measured/packed before chopping  
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 6 whole eggs

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a standard non stick 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once hot, add in oil, red pepper  and onion.
  5. Saute 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
  6. Add in spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  8. Crack eggs or if you prefer egg whites into a large bowl and whisk together.
  9. Stir in cooked veggies.
  10. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan.
  11. Sprinkle with cheese and cherry tomatoes. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked.
  12. Cool slightly and serve immediately!
  13. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days.
  14. These may also be frozen.
  15. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.

If you have any great tips on meal prep or awesome recipes, please do share. I would love to hear from you. Thank you to all Veterans and active service members for all you do.  Happy MDW beauties.

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

May 2017 Glossybox Beauty Box Review

Hi there, beauties! I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend celebrating Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, my mom lives 8000 miles away so we did not see each other. However, we had nice conversation on the phone and were able to catch up.

I received my very first Glossybox a few days ago and I was super excited to dig in and see what they had to offer! So, I spent my weekend pampering myself with all the products in the May box.

For those of you who have not heard of Glossybox, it is Monthly Subscription Box available for $21 a month (less money if purchased yearly), consisting of top luxurious and upcoming trending brands. You get a mix of 5 DELUXE beauty products handpicked by GLOSSY experts and delivered to your doorstep monthly.

I was so impressed with the beautiful and elegant packaging.   Everything is packaged inside a gorgeous pink reusable box, complete with pink tissue paper and a black ribbon, making it one of the cutest subscription boxes.

Inside the box:

  1. SPA to You Deep Pore Cleansing Facial Brush and Massager

I was thrilled to find this brush in the box. My skin was still crying out with the winter blues and needed some Spring prep. I enjoyed using the brush.  The bristles were soft and the silicon cushions gently massaged my skin as I cleansed.

2.  Tree Hut Exfoliating Mud Mask

My weekend spa treatment continued with the Tree Hut Exfoliating Mud Mask. My skin felt silky smooth after I did this exfoliation treatment.  The mask contains black sand and kaolin and a chock-full of minerals that help promote clear skin.  It smells so good to. I am already looking forward to the next treatment.

3.  Rodial XXL Lip Liner in Nude

It applied on smoothly to my lips and gave it a dusty pink hue which I love. It also kept my lips hydrated and it lasted me all day. The liner gave me adequate  coverage and did not smudge. I always aim for a fresh natural  everyday look and Rodial’s XXL nude lip liner did not disappoint.

4.  Skinn by Dimitri James: Shade and Blush Collection: Bronze Goddess

This palette contained gleaming coppers and shimmering bronzes, what’s not to love?  My favorite thing about this product was the convenience of the two-in-one compact.  I can achieve a fresh natural look for the day or glam it up by night with the high-pigment shades.

5.  Vitry Nail Repair Care

I am constantly washing my hands and winter always takes a toll on my finger nails so I am hoping that Vitry Nail Repair Care will help. I applied this solution on my nails on Friday, so it is still too early to tell.  Will let you know if this helps strengthen my nails in two weeks.

Each product in this box is a GENEROUS size with more than 6 uses. You get to really experience each product. I liked that the box included a foldout with each product’s description and price. The card also gives you tips on using your new products. I love the attention to detail that this shows in a subscription box!

Overall, I really liked this box. I was introduced to brands that I’ve never tried before, and was really impressed with their quality and sample sizes.  I highly suggest subscribing! I think we all deserve a little pampering and who does not enjoy receiving a gift every month.

Have you tried Glossybox or any of the products in this month’s box? Would love to hear what you think.

Enjoy the rest of your week

Photo & Video Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Obsession: Jocelyn Chemel’s Earthy Necklaces

Hope you all had a great weekend.  My Saturday was super exciting.  I was honored to model for jewelry designer and artist Jocelyn Chemel at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. I was so thrilled to finally meet Jocelyn. Not only is she a talented artist, and a true gem, I was so proud to learn that she is also a South African ex pat.

Jocelyn’s inspiration for designing jewelry comes from growing up in South Africa, a country of contrasts. She learned to combine the exotic, the primitive and the elegant. I was immediately attracted to the balance between edginess and traditional styles that she features in her work. The outcome is a perfect modern piece of jewelry with extreme attention to detail.

If you add any of these necklaces to your jewelry box from Jocelyn Chemel’s collection, you are sure to make a statement.  Each necklace is one of a kind hand-strung piece of art using precious gemstones such as labradorite, moonstone and citrine.  You can purchase any of these pieces on Jocelyn’s site while checking out her other bold designs!

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Event Credit:  Canvas Fine Arts

Who Made My Clothes?

Today, April 24th marks the fourth anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment building in Bangladesh, which killed 1,134 factory workers and injured a further 2,500 people.

It is also the start of Fashion Revolution Week, an ethical movement that began in the UK whose current focus is #whomademyclothes, a campaign which encourages consumers to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

So, do you know who made your clothes? How was it made and where? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves.

“Once you educate yourself, you’re left with choices” ~ Yvon Chouinard

Here are three ways to get involved with Fashion Revolution Week, and shop mindfully in the process. One way is by organizing an evening where you swap clothes with your friends or go hunting for gems in a thrift / consignment store – like I did. I bought this top seven years ago from a consignment store and I bought this pants from H&M a year ago. H&M offers clothing donation services, where you drop your clothes off at stores in exchange for a voucher.

One of the most eye opening statistics to emerge on the topic of sustainable fashion is that the average piece of clothing in our wardrobes is worn just four times. Before purchasing an item of clothing ask yourself: Will I still love this in a few months? How can I mix and match this with something I already own? Do I own something similar? What is the cost per wear? Where was this made? How was it made?

Did you know almost 70% of the clothes we throw away could be prevented with better care habits? Wash your clothes with care. If all it needs is a little patching or a stitch or two, take the time to mend it instead of throwing it away. By doubling the useful life of clothing from one year to two years educes emissions over the year by 24%.

Think before you impulse buy this week lovelies. Buy less, choose well, make it last.

Nikki

Hair by Billy Disciullo

Photos by Andrew Swaine

Empowering Women through Fashion + Give Away

“If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou

I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with phenomenal women who continue to inspire, challenge and support me. As an Indian girl growing up in South Africa I have our foremothers to thank for paving the way forward for my generation. Their bravery, determination and suffering during the apartheid era only strengthened their sense of comradeship with women across the color lines. Over the years I have learned of these women who as mothers, sisters and daughters effected change and played vital roles within the Indian community and the country as a whole.

Although we women have come so far, we still have a long way to go. As an educator I am always looking for ways  I can pay all the advice, support and teachings I’ve received and have been blessed with forward. We know that when women emerge as positive and powerful role models for the younger generation, society as a whole benefits.

One of the reasons why I started blogging was to inspire women to inspire girls through fashion.   I think fashion has the power to bring positive change. As the largest consumers of fashion, we can inspire and empower the next generation through what we choose to purchase.

When Rhode Island based jewelry designer Nicole D’ Andrea reached out to me, I knew that this was a brand I wanted to craft and share my story with. It’s her mission statement– not to mention the chic aesthetics of her jewelry design that resonated deeply with me.

This is her mission statement: “To inspire and empower women with words of strength. Wear these words to remind yourself of how strong and amazing you are. At the same time know that you are empowering other women. We donate $1 of each product to the charity “Live your Dream” to help educate and empower women”.

I believe that both men and women have a critical role in empowering women because if not us then who if not now then when?

GIVEAWAY

So, to do my small part I am honored to partner with Nicole D’ Andrea Jewelry @nicole_dandrea to gift one lucky follower a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­piece of jewelry valued at $42.00.

To enter:

1.     Follow @nicole_dandrea  and @nikkilivinglife2.0 on Instagram

2.     Tag a friend in the comments below to enter (each friend tagged is an additional entry)

3.     Repost my post

The winner will be announced on Sunday April 23, 2017 and will be contacted directly by Nicole D’ Andrea Jewelry   via DM on Instagram. Good luck!

On top of the giveaway, @nicole_dandrea is also giving away a discount of 20% on all orders with the coupon code “NikkiLove2017”.

Thanks to Nicole’s beautiful jewelry, you can literally wear the Women’s cause on your wrist. Because fashion can be far bigger than style, it can also be about making a powerful statement about who you are and what you stand for.

Spring Break in London

I can’t believe that Spring Break is here. Andy and I were reminiscing about our trip to London last April. We had an amazing trip and could not have picked a better time to visit. The temperatures were mild and the city’s parks were green and blooming. The weather continued to get better during our stay in London. The temps were in the upper sixties during the day but lower in the early mornings and evenings hours. Come rain or shine I knew that we would fall in love with London. We did pack our umbrella however we never used it. We had 6 glorious days of sunshine.

London is notorious for being pricey. Although Andy and I did splurge on our accommodations and a couple fancy dinners we managed to make the most of our stay without going bankrupt. Here are a few insider saving tips:

  1. Walk, Walk, Walk

One of the cheapest and best things you can do in London is just wander around and see the sights. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked almost everywhere. One of our favorite walks is along the Thames. During our walks we passed many  iconic landmarks like the London Eye, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, HMS Belfast, Tower of London and of course Big Ben. Walking also allowed us to really take in all the beautiful architecture and gave us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves to our new surroundings.

2. Free Attractions

London is great for sightseeing because so much is free. It makes sightseeing on a budget really easy. Some of the free attractions and landmarks include top art galleries and museums including Tate Modern, National Gallery and British Museum. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard which is, yes you guessed it is FREE. Buckingham Palace was a short walk from our hotel so Andy and I got to the gates 45 minutes early. We had an amazing view and got to take so many incredible pictures as you can see. The changing of the guard takes place every other day at 11:30am. We also met a sweet couple from Chicago who gave us some great lunch recommendations.

  1. The London Pass

For attractions that were not free, Andy and I bought a London pass for two days of sightseeing. The London Pass covers over 32 destinations and offers free public transportation. The London Pass gets you in free (often with fast-track entry) to more than 60 top London attractions including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge Experience and the Thames River Cruise.

  1. Cheap Eats

London is a haven for affordable lunch spots. From bakeries to pie shops to deli sandwiches, there’s something for everyone. Our favorite fast food chain was definitely Leon. Leon had  many healthy, fresh, Mediterranean inspired menu choices. We ate at least 3 meals at Leon. We also loved food shopping at Harrods. It was an amazing experience. One afternoon we picked up a few treats and had a  picnic in the park.  Andy’s favorite meal was definitely breakfast. He enjoyed the full English breakfast. One our third day after a few hours of walking we decided to go to Victoria station for a cup of coffee and pastries.  We sat back, relaxed and did some people watching. It was so fun. We even saw comedian Eddie Izzard shopping.

  1. Get an Oyster Card

A visitor Oyster card is a smartcard which is used to pay for public transport like the Tube, London Overground, and most National Rail services in London as well as buses.  However, you have to try the Black cabs at least once. They are one of London’s iconic symbols. Our cab driver was a great tour guide and a wealth of information.

My best advice for travelers to London is to explore the city and its amazing sights at your own pace. Don’t try to do  everything in one week because not only will you be rushed but you will also miss out on the wonderful experience of re-discovering London again and again. I can’t wait to return.

What are your Spring Break plan lovelies?

XoXo

Nikki