July 23, 2014

Book Review Time: One and Only

In my complimentary June PopSugar Must Have box, I received the lovely new beach read, "One and Only" by Emily Giffin.

Giffin is a fantastic chick-lit writer (chick lit is basically fluffy, easy beach reads for women and my favorite kind). She wrote "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue", both great beachy reads. 

You can always spot an Emily Giffin novel on the shelves of your local book store because they always look exactly the same, but in a good way. They have the same simple cover and I love how uniform it is. That is such a cool thing for an author to do.

This time around, the cover was deathly different. The title print was big and bold, very in your face. I wouldn't be able to walk past this at the book store.

I hadn't heard that Emily Giffin was coming out with a new novel so I was really excited to break into this book when it arrived in my Must Have box. I immediately started reading and was entranced. I finished it within two or three days. 

It was one of those easy reading books that was light, airy but just enough intensity to make you want to keep turning pages. Every time I would stop a chapter, I just had to figure out what was going to happen next. 

I couldn't put it down. 

I won't reveal too much about the plot because you could find that anywhere and I don't want to spoil it but I'll give you a little tidbit.

Shea Rigsby, the main character, has lived in Walker, Texas her entire life. Her life there revolves around her best friend Lucy and college football. This is a very football centric novel which I loved (even though I'm not a true football fan), it was a very nice added element. 

The novel starts off with Lucy's mother dying and that carries the entire novel. It is the main reason everything else occurs. It's a domino effect and that is apparent from very early on. 

Even though you might not be able to tell which direction the book is going to go in, or where Shea is going to end up, it's still fun to read along and feel the anxiousness that you know Shea feels.

I get very in tune with the main characters of the book, especially when it's written in the first person point of view. 

I'm usually very able to tell where a book is going to end up. I can read an authors mind only because I've read so many books. I know how an author thinks because it's something I'd like to achieve one day.

This was sort of different because I didn't know what Emily was going to have happen. It could've gone in so many directions. How the book ended was very predictable, however. It didn't make me like the book any less though.

I adored this book, I really did. 

I will say this, it was a little cringe worthy at times and made me shake my head. If you read it, you'll see why.

This was a fantastic beach read. I keep saying beach read and it may be confusing as to what I mean but basically it's the perfect summer/vacation book. It's something light, easy to follow and fun to read--a guilty pleasure if you would.

It's a fantastically written novel about love, friendship, career and hard decision making. Shea is a unique character and truly has to choose between love and friendship--not an ideal decision. She is relatable, oh my god, SO relatable. She's an anxious, nervous but also strong woman who doesn't really know what she wants out of life.

"One and Only" really is a great book. It definitely is one of the best books of the summer and I can't recommend it enough. If you're going on vacation or due for a light hearted read, pick this baby up!

Have you read "One and Only? What did you think of it? What are your other favorite beach reads?

PS: Did you like this book review? Would you like to see more of these on Royally Pink? Let me know all these answers in the comments :)

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July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Prince George!

Do you remember where you were a year ago? I do. 

I was in Manhattan, sitting in a Starbucks, awaiting my day at interning. As I was sitting down, enjoying my Skinny Vanilla Latte and blueberry scone, the news broke that Kate Middleton was in labor. Actually, it had broken hours before, in the middle of the night but I was just seeing it plastered across every news and social media outlet.

I tried SO hard to not be giddy as a school girl that the little prince or princess would be born that day! HOW EXCITING! I had been awaiting this birth as if it were my own child because my obsession with the Royal Family is sick and it was finally here.

Fun fact: That night, I had a dream that Kate Middleton went into labor. HOW SCARY AND FREAKY?!

That day at interning, the Levo office was completely buzzing. Most of the conversation that day was occupied with guesses of the gender, name, and everything having to do with that precious future king or queen. 

While I did my best to concentrate and get all my work done (I did because I'm a good intern), I had the "Royal Baby Watch" on mute aka CNN.com. I was also compulsively checking social media to see when the baby news was revealed.

I was indeed, the first person at least on my timeline to break the news that Prince George had arrived. Someone tweeted "IT'S A BOY" and I lost my shit. I really wanted a girl because hey, Kate Middleton dressing up a baby girl has to be the cutest thing ever but also, she would've been Queen. 

There was a law in England that said only the first born boy would be heir to the throne, even if he had an older sister. This law was overturned right before Kate gave birth that way no matter the gender, that baby would rule the United Kingdom. 

I was super happy all day and when I got home from interning, I continued to watch every aspect of coverage. I also spent the whole next day watching the hospital door for a peek at Prince George and his parents. 

The first glimpse of baby George was spectacular. It was historical. It made me cry. This was the future King of England we saw, just a day after he was born.

It doesn't get more bone chilling than that.

It was especially emotional for people like my mom and aunt who had watched Prince William be born the way I was watching Prince George. It was insane.

The Prince's latest official portrait 
For the next year, Prince George fever did not die down. Every time a new picture of him was released to the public, people went insane. I loved getting glimpses of him every few months and with every photo, he got cuter and cuter.

Shit hit the fan in April when baby George went on his first Royal Tour and we got a hefty amount of photos, from playing with mum's hair to throwing toys on the ground and making a fuss when at the zoo. We got a real look at what kind of child George is and even though he's the future King, he's just a baby.

He's a mighty cute baby as well, with cheeks so squeezable and stylish clothes, along with the most famous parents in the world. George has got it made.

Today Prince George turns ONE and I wanted to commemorate in the only way I knew how. Also, I mean...have you looked at my blog's name? It's only right that I honor a true ROYAL on Royally Pink!

Here are my favorite Prince George moments from the past year!!!

The first day we got to see the little prince! But the way Kate looks at Will >>>
One of the few official photos-HOW CUTE IS HE?
George's first Royal Tour and he's not impressed
Snuggles with mummy Middleton

Happy 1st birthday Prince George!! The world celebrates with you :) 

PS: Take a look at all my other posts about the Royals :)

July 21, 2014

July Ipsy Glam Bag

I've been out of the monthly beauty subscription game for a while because I'm a broke, post grad with no job. I can't afford a Starbucks coffee, never  mind $10 a month for beauty products.

Lately, I've been really bored and watching beauty vloggers on Youtube; a lot of them subscribe to a variety of different beauty services so I've been tempted to subscribe again. 

I took the plunge last month and decided to splurge on an Ipsy Glam Bag subscription, at least for a month.

I patiently awaited the arrival of my Glam Bag but not before checking my Glam Room to see what goodies I was going to be receiving. I wasn't too thrilled, there wasn't anything I would die for but it was a nice little selection. 

//Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil: I'm not big on tanning oil but this is a nice little deluxe sample. This is great to throw in a beach bag because it's not too big or clunky. I don't know if I'll ever use it because I don't think I ever tried a tanning oil but hey who knows. It's still something that's nice to have.

//Nailtini in Mango Rita: I've always seen Nailtini in the Ipsy Glam Bags but never received any. This color is gorgeous! It's a natural, peach color with a good amount of shimmer mixed it. The brush is a little longer than most regular nail polishes which will work out well when painting my nails. I haven't tried it out yet so we'll see!

//Elizabeth Mott Tints and Sass: This is cheek and lip tint, similar to Benetint. It's a cherry red color and has a great applicator, similar to a standard lip gloss. The formula doesn't seem sticky so it might work out well. I always get confused as to how to apply this sort of product to your cheeks but maybe this applicator will help out. I shall let you know!

//Clear Clinic Vanished Clear Spot Treatment: I love getting products like this in subscription services because they're the perfect little sample and something I would never buy. I used this product a few times already because I had a blemish and it really works. It dries up the blemish and brings it to the surface, essentially healing it quicker. This also has a great applicator and I'm kind of obsessed with this.

//BareMinerals 5 in 1 Advanced Performing Cream Eyeshadow: I love cream eyeshadows and it's something I want to really get into. They're a lot easier to apply and the fall out is seriously minimal. This color is a bit harsh, a really dark brown so it's good for the upcoming Fall. It's a serious creamy eyeshadow so I'm excited to really try it out.

This Glam Bag was sub par but it was still a nice little gift to myself. Once I get a job and get paid regularly, I feel like I'll subscribe to Glam Bag on the regular.

Do you subscribe to any beauty subscription services? What are your favorites? Tell me in the comments!

July 20, 2014

#ShareBeauty What's Your Beauty Story? Enter and Win!

This post is sponsored by Regency Beauty but all opinions are my own

Beauty and makeup is something most girls love to experiment and play with. Your first experience with makeup usually comes at a young age and it's so exciting, so thrilling to finally get to play with all this stuff that you've watched older women apply for years.

I used to love sitting on my bathroom floor, watching my mom apply her blush, mascara and lipstick. It was so strange to watch her transform into this other person, the minute she touched a brush to her face.

I think my first taste of makeup came at the age of 12 or 13 when I started hanging out with boys. I was allowed to put on a touch of eyeliner, mascara and lip-gloss. I felt so cool, so old. It was awesome to get my first experience with make-up.

Though, it wasn't until I was much older and in college, around the past two years that I really divulged into the world of beauty. I discovered new products, learned how to apply them correctly and figured out what kind of brands I liked best.

I think the first time I ever really got the true message of make-up was when I was watching "Burlesque" and Cher applies lipstick to Christina Aguilera's lips and gives this whole speech about beauty. It was beautiful and that was the moment that I realized make-up was so much more than products on shelves.

Make-up and beauty products make me feel good about myself, they give me confidence. It has nothing to do with boys, as some may think. I've come to see that boys don't like a lot of makeup on girls so it really isn't about dressing up your face for the male species.

Make-up is about feeling good about yourself and being your best self. It makes me feel womanly and girly. It's so much fun to paint your face and become a different person.

Red lips make me feel powerful. Nude lips and a smokey eye make me feel fierce. Pink blush makes me feel romantic.

There is makeup for every mood and personality. It's so special to be a girl and be able to be whoever you want to be.

That's my beauty story but now Regency and Refinery29 want YOU to share your beauty story!

Regency and Refinery29 have teamed up for the #ShareBeautyContest which runs through Aug. 13th. One lucky winner will be chosen following the end of the contest. Each person who enters will have the opportunity to win a customized VIP beauty treatment worth $2,000.

Try a trend revealed by Regency and Refinery29, take a photo to post on Instagram and make sure to hashtag #ShareBeautyContest to ensure your chance of winning!!

Head to the contest's landing page to find out more!

What's your beauty story? Tell me in the comments!!

July 18, 2014

Links to Love

This was an incredibly long, dragged out, stressful and tiresome week. I'm happy that it's finally Friday and just hoping for a better week ahead of me!

Just like there are every week, there were loads of links, articles and quizzes that kept me sane! Also a nice little surprise in the mail warmed my heart.

I won Preppy Love's May Designs giveaway a few weeks back and my customized notebook arrived in the mail. I chose a nautical themed, lobster print because that seems to be really popular nowadays and I instantly fell in love.

Follow me on Instagram for more pictures like this :)

I was also surprised to see my testimony from a recent Her Campus Blogger Network survey on the homepage. I truly love being part of the HCBN; it has given me so many opportunities and it's such a great place to meet and work with fellow bloggers. 

If you have a blog and want to apply to become part of the HCBN, go to this link and see it all for yourself :)

Here are some of my favorite links from the week!

What did you love this week? Tell me in the comments!! 

July 17, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer vs. Kate Spade Agendas

So I am a normal Type A personality who loves her agendas and all things organization. For the past two years, I've become a Lilly Pulitzer agenda addict. I live and breathe by these babies because they're so colorful, fun and make organization that much more fun.

There's not outstandingly special about these agendas; they don't breathe fire or are made from magical unicorn hairs, they're just simple planners. They have monthly views in the front, a few blank note pages and then then the standard planner pages: monthly and at a glance weekly pages. 

My Lilly Pulitzer agenda was the source of color and fun in my life during the school year but when I graduated, I thought that maybe I should get a plainer planner, something more sophisticated and for the office.

I weighed my options but ultimately decided on a Kate Spade planner. I fell in love with them when they were released for the first time last year but had already ordered my Lilly one. This year I decided to take the plunge and order my Kate Spade planner; I decided on the classic stripe planner and waited for it's arrival. 

In the meantime, I saw the Lilly agendas being released and was insanely jealous. I wanted to order a small one to have for my blog and because I couldn't just stop my Lilly love cold turkey.

That's why I was sort of thrilled/relieved when I got my KS agenda in the mail and hated it. Yes, that's right, I hated it.

It was a quite large agenda, a little too big to carry around all day, everyday. It was also very plain inside. Like really plain, old boring. I instantly missed my colorful pages and printed monthly tabs. I was longing for the queen of pink and green. 

The KS planner is set up the same way as Lilly, the only difference being size and plainness. I did though, like the little quotes at the beginning of each month. It just wasn't enough to satisfy my need of color.

There wasn't anything wrong with this Kate Spade planner, though. If the Lilly agendas are too much for you, this might be an answered prayer. 

I then returned my KS planner and ordered a Lilly one, in the print Hot Spot. My goodness it was nice to be reunited with my colorful pages.

Sticker pages
A new Lilly story page
Monthly calendar
The Lilly planners are set up the same way they always are, but there is a more color, more prints and a little more craziness than usual. They definitely upped the ante on these agendas and I love every second of it.

Month at a glance
Week at a glance
I can't wait to start using my new agenda when August comes; it's the best day of the year!

Also, aside from these planners, I'll post a review on my Whitney English Day Designer next week. (I received it in my goodie bag from the SGG Conference, read about that here).

What are your favorite planners? What did you choose this year? Tell me in the comments!!

July 16, 2014

Her Campus National Intercollegiate Conference 2014

It was truly the week of conferences. Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd annual Her Campus Intercollegiate National Conference.

This was my second time attending the conference and I was hesitant to attend. I didn't know if because I was no longer a college student, would it be worth it for me? I was also skeptical because I knew I'd be exhausted from the SGG Conference and didn't want to waste the day.

Once the schedule was released, I knew I had to go. The main selling point for me was the blogging panel, featuring ALL my favorite bloggers: Hallie from Corals and Cognacs, Jessica from Bows and Sequins, Mackenzie Horan from Design Darling and my number one, Carly from The College Prepster.

I wanted needed to go just to see them, hear their advice and be in their super blogging presence. I also really wanted a goodie bag, meet some of my blogging besties and be around that inspiration. I couldn't deny the feeling anymore.

I bought my ticket a week before the conference and was super happy with my decision. Saturday morning I got up, dressed up in Lilly and hopped in my car to drive to Manhattan for the very first time.

This year the conference was held at Colombia University, located across the street from Morningside Park and my goodness, it was beautiful. The conference was three floors and one floor totally dedicated to the awesome sponsors such as Luna, Intel and Amtrak. It was so cool!

Peek at the fab swag bags
Windsor in all her glory
When I got there, I grabbed some breakfast, peeked in my goodie bag and then listened to the welcome from the lovely Windsor Western, co-founder and President of Her Campus. Windsor is always bubbly, sweet and full of inspiration and fun!

After Windsor's awesome welcome, we listened to Carley Roney, the founder of the XO Group, which is the umbrella company for The Knot, The Bump, and The Nest. We listened to her story and her advice and it was so real and heartfelt. She was also hysterical; I always appreciate a funny, inspirational speaker.

Here are some of my favorite pieces of advice from her:

Focus in who you are and who you want to be and all that other stuff will follow

It's too fun to have it all but you never really have it all

Perfection is ultimately completely impossible and imperfect is where it's at

It's not a straight line to anywhere awesome

My only regret in all of it is that I stressed all the way

If you try it and it doesn't work, don't have an ego about it

All Lilly-ed out during the panels
After the keynote, I headed to the first panel of the day entitled "Does the Devil Really Wear Prada" which was all about the lives of magazine editorial assistants. I attended this panel last year and the girls speaking seemed so much older than me. Now, these girls were my age and it was pretty cool to hear their stories and advice.

The line to get into the panel
The panel that was center stage for me was next and that was "How to Make your Blog a Powerhouse". I jetted out of the first panel and by the time I got to the room for the blogging panel, there was already a line. I was terrified that I wouldn't find a spot but I did, next to one of my fav blogging friends, Caroline from The Caro Diaries.

Carly and Mackenzie #cuefreakout

All the fab bloggers #OMG
We were both FREAKING OUT when the lovely bloggers walked into the room. We kept saying that this isn't normal, why are we so nervous, they're just people like us. 

Seeing four of your idols/role models in person was surreal. These are women that I know so much about just from reading their blog everyday and it was kind of strange but so exciting to see them in the flesh. 

They were fabulous, as usual, dressed in adorable dresses and ready to shell out their best advice.

Here are some golden nuggets of wisdom from this dynamic blogging foursome:

Be self motivated with blogging-Jessica

Have specific ideas for when pitching to other bloggers-Carly

Take a look at your social media platforms and see which ones work best so you're not spread too thin-Hallie

Give readers content you won't find anywhere else-Mackenzie

When you live your life it'll only inspire your life-Hallie

Don't get caught up in the excitement of it all-Hallie

You are your own brand-Hallie

Make the right choices for you, don't say yes because it's an opportunity-Carly

If you wait for the right moment you'll be waiting your whole life-Mackenzie

After the panel was over, all the girls rushed to the bloggers to talk and network a little. I spoke to both Carly and Hallie and it was truly incredible. Hallie is one of the funniest people ever but she was so sweet, welcoming and so down to earth. She was so real.

Carly is the sole reason I started this blog back in 2012 so being able to speak to her was a dream come true #inspiration. 

Then we had lunch and I left the conference; I had to get home for other reasons but it really was a rewarding experience, as always.

Aside from sitting with Caroline at the blogging panel, I also met one of my favs, Ashleigh from DarlingDaily.

My goodie bag was also jam packed with lots of fun stuff! My favorite part had to be the Bobble water bottle, the Milani beauty pack, and the Essie polish. Hello gorgeous :)

Once again, the Her Campus Conference did not disappoint.