Holiday Metallics

Tis the season to add a little shimmer and sparkle and that is what I love most about this time of year. On Saturday I wore my metallic gunmetal grey faux leather jacket from BeBe to toast the beginning of the onslaught of holiday parties for us. I received many compliments on this jacket and thought I’d share it on the blog today. I paired the jacket with an all black look so that “it” took center stage. This jacket gives me a feeling of constant celebration, with a touch of grungyness and rock vibe in a feminine super sexy way.

It is no secret that metallics reign supreme this time of year and this jacket will be on repeat throughout the holiday season.  So what are your tips for wearing these metallics of the moment?

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

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Everyday Beauty Essentials for Busy Beauties

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break with family, friends and lots of yummy food. For me the time flew by too quickly. I can’t believe that Christmas is only a few weeks away. The holiday craze is in full swing.  My work weeks as well as my weekends have been moving at full speed, which means I don’t have much time to spend on doing my makeup. Luckily for me the November Glossbox has come to my rescue with the perfect products to create an effortless everyday look.

I would like to share some of the products that I having been using as part of my morning routine. No only do these products make me look good they also do good as well.

Lips: I am loving this airy matte lipstick in “Daydream” by Laqa & Co. This chubby lip pencil packs a long-lasting, just applied look that stays put all day. I adore the color and love that it contains avocado oil so it is creamy and glides on smoothly.  I use a lip liner first to plump up my lips a little before apply my lipstick.

Brows: This brow gel by Tarteist is such a great product to add to your collection. It gives my brows a naturally clean finish with just a few strokes. Perfect for taming those stubborn flyaways.

Skin: I would definitely recommend using Evio Beauty’s green tea primer for everyday use because it is lightweight. I wore this primer under iT Cosmetics CC cream and loved the coverage. This vegan primer is paraben free and contains green tea and avocado oil blends which not only makes you look good but IS good for your skin. I felt like my skin looks better as the day goes on.

Obsessed with Kat Von D’s Sinner Eau De Parfum. I can’t get enough of the cinnamon spices, vanilla and white florals notes which are perfect for the holidays.

Hair: There are many reasons why I love Nature Queen’s shampoo and conditioner.  First reason, it leaves my hair shiny and silky soft.  I color my hair so I love that it gently cleanses my hair without drying it out.   It also contains sustainable and healing herbs that are used to strengthen and revitalize damaged hair. All of the packaging that holds these precious formulas are 100% recyclable. Both the shampoo and conditioner comes with a pump that can lock, which is so convenient for holiday traveling. This product is perfect for my organic beauties.

Have you tried any of these products?  What is your favorite everyday makeup product? I would love to hear about them! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week.

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

*Sponsored  by GlossyBoxUS

The Classic Camel Coat

Coat season is here Lovelies and if you are still on the hunt for a great winter coat this year, and not sure what coat to invest in. I highly recommend a timeless classic camel coat. It truly is the epitome of winter fashion and a must-have in any fashion savvy girl’s closet.

I purchased this coat last year and it is one of those key pieces in my fall wardrobe that pairs perfectly with nearly everything. To demonstrate its versatility I paired this camel coat with some sneakers for a casual look that I wore for my morning coffee run.

Then, paired with black booties later in the day for an effortlessly chic and polished look that I wore to a meeting.

Ending the day in the same coat paired with some heels for a dinner date.

This versatile and stylish piece will undoubtedly stand the test of time and reside in your closet for years to come.

Do you own a camel coat? If so, how do you like to wear it? If not, will you be buying one this season?

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

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My Stay at the Gansevoort Hotel in New York

Andy and I were in New York this summer on a business trip. We stayed at the Gansevoort Park Ave hotel for the first time. We loved it so much that we returned for a second time for a weekend staycation.

The modern and chic lobby with tall columns, high ceilings and two massive purple crystal chandeliers is very impressive. The temps since our first visit was much cooler and the horizontal gas-lit fireplace is very welcoming.

What we loved most about the hotel besides the awesome service was the central location. Gansevoort Park Ave is located in Manhattan’s NoMad district, a few blocks away from Broadway shows in Times Square on the southwest corner of 29th Street off Park Avenue South. It is easily accessible via mass transit and the hotel is walking distance to many of NYC tourist sights including Union Square, Madison Square Park, and the Empire State Building.

What sealed the deal when choosing this hotel was the 45-foot heated rooftop pool overlooking the Empire State Building. The pool is exclusive for guests during business hours and open year round for easy access.

I loved the modern décor in our spacious room which was clean and neat. The colorful and vibrant photographs and paintings on the walls in the room and hallways added an uptown boutique feel to the hotel.

The Gansevoort Park Rooftop Bar is the perfect place to unwind in the late afternoon, enjoy some bubbly and take in the unhindered views of the Empire State Building and the beauty of New York architecture.

Other hotel perks include Flywheels Sports to get your gym on, Exhale Spa and Cutler hair Salon to make you feel and look your best. Last but not least Ristorante Asellina, a sleek, 10,000-square-foot Italian eatery did not disappoint.  Andy and I enjoyed three meals at this restaurant.

Already looking forward to our next NYC staycation at the Gansevoort.

Would love to hear about your favorite place to stay when in NYC. 

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Happy Halloween

Hope you lovelies had an awesome Halloween weekend. Andy and I spent a bewitching Saturday in Salem Massachusetts. We’ve been to Salem numerous times but never during Halloween weekend. We’ve enjoyed learning about the city’s rich history and looking at the Puritan styled homes during our previous visits but this time we wanted to embrace the Witch City spirit and partake in some of the fun Halloween activities. We were not alone. More than 250,000 people visited Salem over Halloween weekend last year and this year was no different. Salem has become synonymous with Halloween due to its association with the Salem Witch Trials. Each year the city attracts more than one million tourists from all around the world, bringing in at least $100 million in tourism spending.

The shadow cast by the witch trials held in 1692 is still keenly felt. The witchcraft hysteria led to more than 200 people being accused of practicing witchcraft, death of twenty-four accused witches, 19 were hanged, one was pressed to death, and four died in prison.

Our visit could not be complete without stopping by the Salem Witch Museum. This museum draws 300 000 visitors annually and features life-size stage sets, exhibits and tours exploring the 1692 Salem witch trials, plus witchcraft today.

Heavy traffic and finding reasonably priced parking was a bit of a nightmare. If you’re coming from the Boston area, I would recommend taking the commuter rail. Once in the city use the Zagster bike share program to explore the city. You can rent a bike at a cost of $3 an hour, and trips under one hour are FREE. Awesome deal right?

So what are you plans for the big night?

Well no Halloween is complete without a sweet treat. Thought I’d leave you with my “dressed up” favorite peanut butter and apple treat.

Ingredients
  • 1 green apples, each quartered
  • peanut butter or sunflower butter (to glue everything on)
  • Shaved almonds or sunflower seeds (for teeth)
  • 1 strawberry, sliced (for tongue)
  • 1/2 a banana (for eyes)
  • Chocolate chips (for eyes)
Instructions
Cut the middles out of each quarter of the apple to create a mouth. Use the peanut butter or sunflower butter to glue all the pieces of the mouth.
Enjoy 

Say Hello to the New Soles of Fashion

I am constantly on the move. Staying comfortable but still stylish is important to me. So although I LOVE my heels, recently I’ve been leaving them at home and opting for the cool simplicity of sneakers. I have been indulging in the comfort of my All-star Converse and Adidas Superstars. I’ve learned throughout the years, that you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. But I am not the only one, I am sure you’ve also taken notice that sneaker companies have been stepping up their game with their sneaker styles.

I recently received a pair of Footpetal trainers compliments from Influenster. I could not wait to KICK back, and enjoy the versatility and beauty of this simple trainer. There has not been a lot of advertising for this shoe, so I thought I’d share my thoughts.

I have to say that I was very impressed with their Cushionology trainer from Footpetal’s Andi collection. The trainers are not only comfortable but they are super luxe and ultra chic. I received the premium Nappa leather pair but they are also available in kid suede as well. What I love most about this trainer is that it features technogel cushion towers that are built directly into the shoe. You can definitely feel the difference with every step. I paired these athleisure shoes with jeans for a casual weekend look, which I adored.

The next day I decided to mix it up and paired the trainer with a comfortable dress. I loved the feminine touch with a sporty vibe. It’s a perfect, put together look for the office, running errands in the afternoon or hanging out on the weekend. I can’t wait to incorporate the sneaker into my fall wardrobe.

I would love to hear your favorite way to style sneakers? Comment below.

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

*Sponsored  by InfluensterFootpetals

One Year Blogiversary

As I was getting ready to write my blog post on Sunday morning, I realized that my one year blogiversary was in two days. How did that creep up on me? So, I changed my planned post to celebrate my little blog and write a personal post on how it all began.

To celebrate I decided to go apple picking. In fact my first blog post was about my favorite fall activity. I shared a delicious mini apple rose tartlet recipe (click here), which was read by my family and a few close friends. It was a good start.

I’ve always loved fashion, food and travel.  But stopped embracing my passionate pursuits after experiencing one of the biggest losses in my life ~ the passing of my dad.  It was a very dark time in my life. I have not publicly shared this because it is still very difficult  to talk about.  Grief runs its course and it comes in stages. There are still times when I break down like it happened yesterday. But with the love and support of my husband, family and friends I find hope that life  goes on.

The act of writing has always been a cathartic one for me and I found blogging to be a powerful healing tool.  My dad’s death has forever changed me and how I look at the world. I wake up early every morning to meditate and  to remember him.  My dad always savored the small things in life like the first sip of his hot tea on a cold morning or the first bite of his peanut butter sandwich, his favorite.   I’ve turned to my memories for comfort.  I am also learning to enjoy the little things and share the beauty of everyday life in the hope of spreading some love, joy and inspiration. That is how Nikki Living Life 2.0 got its name and its start.

I’ve met some pretty awesome blogger babes in this blogging community.  I love how everyone celebrates each others wins, and really just support each other in any way possible.  There is always a willingness to share and help one another. Without community this blog would feel very lonesome, and I would definitely not have learned as much as I did in such a short period of time.

Nikki Living Life has experienced such growth, beyond what I could ever have imagined, and it’s all thanks to you! I am grateful to you for reading, commenting, following, re-posting, sharing and actually coming back week after week (which still blows my mind), you are the reason I get to do this. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I would also like to thank my hubby Andrew who takes all the beautiful photographs for my blog.  Andrew’s photographs have allowed me to tell an ongoing narrative of my evolving personal style and my pursuit for a healthy lifestyle.

Of course no birthday/anniversary/blogiversary is complete without something sweet. I have a great recipe for an apple cider float that I know you will enjoy.

Ingredients:

French Vanilla Ice Cream (or ice cream of your choice)

Apple Cider

Apple Slices

Whipped Cream

Brown Sugar (optional)

Cinnamon

Directions

Add one scoop of ice cream to a mug and pour in the apple cider. Top with whipped cream, a little brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Add slices of apple to the rim as a garnish.

Cheers beauties 

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

All the Bright Moves

Transitioning  my summer wardrobe to fall has been slow.  As I am easing my way to long sleeves and layers I’ve made a conscientious attempt to rock more than just black and gray this fall season . I am wild about hue and I am not afraid to show it 🙂

I am loving this playful and quirky, orange and blue combination which is great for channeling your cheery vibe on the streets.

As a graphic designer and budding fashionista I can always rely on my trusty color wheel. Once again I am using existing pieces from my closet that I mix and match to maximize wear throughout the year.

You too can make the following combos using the color wheel as your guide:

  1. Colors directly next to each other (example: yellow and yellow-orange; or violet and blue-violet)
  2. Colors directly across from each other (example yellow and violet; or blue and orange)
  3. Colors that form right (90 degree) angles with each other (example yellow and red-orange; or green and orange)
  4.  Colors that form an X (example blue, orange, violet-red, and yellow-green)

I see plenty of fabulous color combinations coming this fall beauties. The future is bright.

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Sunflowers and Maxi’s

As summer slowly retreats Andy and I always try to make our annual trek to the sunflower fields at Colby Farms. The beautiful golden blossoms always add some extra sunshine to our day.

For this trip I decided to wear my flowy and flare maxi from H&M. I have two friends who are pregnant and don’t want to spend a lot of money on maternity wear, so I have been keeping an eye out for pieces that would work for them, too! This super lightweight maxi with an adjustable belt is a great way to dress up growing bumps.

I found this quote which sums up how I feel.

Advice from a Sunflower:

Be Bright, Sunny and Positive.

Spread Seeds of Happiness.

Rise Shine and Hold your Head High

Have a bright and colorful week my beauties

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Hello Beautiful People

Although the work week was a short one it was definitely busy.  As I collapse on the couch on Friday afternoon, Andy announces, “You received a package from Glossy Box“.  Yaassss, just in time for the weekend.  As I excitedly tear open the package I was ecstatic to receive the CEW Limited Edition GlossyBox  that my fellow Glossy babes have been raving about.

This limited edition box has seven full size products worth $204. Starting with The Heavenly Skin Perfect brush by it Cosmetics. Followed by Matte Liquid Lipstick in Scandal by Bare Minerals.  I honestly can’t get enough of this full-coverage silky formula liquid lipstick.  I need this  in every shade!

Other goodies  in the limited edition box include Paris et Moi eau de Parfum by Jafra Cosmetics International. How did you know I needed this GlossyBox? I enjoyed my visit to Paris and this scent took me back to the beautiful city of love with its enticing blend of juicy Mara strawberry, romantic rose petal macaron, and elegantly enduring creamy silky woods.

If you order this box you will also receive  Shine On Lip Screen by Supergoop,  Drops of Crystal Cashmere Touch Serum by Manuka Doctor and Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask by Laneige.

Last by not least, I was surprised and thrilled to find Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinited Moisturizer in Fair by Butter LONDON just in time for #ManiMonday 🙂 I linked up all the products for you 💕

Are you ready to ORDER your CEW Limited Edition Box? This box worth $204 can be yours for ONLY $40.00 (non-GlossyBox Subscriber) and $35.00 (GlossyBox subscriber). Trust me beauties this box is worth it. 

Wishing you all a fabulous week.  May your makeup game be flawless. 

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

* In collaboration with GlossyBox