Apr 30, 2014

Erika's Style Diary | My Wish List

I wanted to share a few items on my wish list in case you are looking for ideas for late spring and summer. The weather has already started to warm up quite a bit here deep in the heart of Texas, so that means dresses and  rompers are my best friends. I love pairing my clothing items with statement jewelry, whether it be a necklace or earrings. I find it hard to wear bracelets and watches during the warmer months in Texas because I end up with a tan on my wrist...which I am not fan of. 

You can either use the widget above or click on the clothing item titles to shop my wish list! 

Lilly Pulitzer 'Mills' Print Slub Cotton Maxi Dress
Topshop Cross Strap Romper
Line & Dot Tie Dye Perforated Chambray Romper
Tart 'Elsie' Tie Dye Jersey Fit & Flare Dress
J. Crew Vachetta Leather Canvas Wedges in Navy
Mossimo® Women's Short Sleeve Tie Waist Romper - Black/White
Lush Knit Maxi Dress
Charles by Charles David 'Valley' Thong Sandal
Vince Camuto 'Jillie' Bootie (Nordstrom Exclusive)

What will be your clothing & shoe staples for late spring and summer? 

Stay tuned tomorrow for my Mother's Day Gift Guide 2014! 

Apr 29, 2014

Run, Saturday Fun & Sunday Relaxation

Happy Tuesday friends! Lots of photos to share from a very perfect weekend. As I will be traveling the next three weekends, I wanted to use this weekend to have a lot of fun but at the same time...rejuvenate myself so I wouldn't feel exhausted this week. 

Saturday started with a 2.01 mile run outdoors and it went very well. I even broke my record time for 1 mile...I ran one mile in 12:36, which is freaking awesome. I believe the next weekend I am here in Dallas...I will move up to 4 miles. I may as well get in some good outdoor running before the temperatures get to 100+ degrees!

After I finished my run, babe & I hung out for a couple of hours before I got ready for girls night with my loves. We went to take my wedding band to Zales because I lost my first diamond this week...thank God for insurance. After that, we had lunch at Mi Cocina (a regular favorite of ours).

Later that evening, I met up with two of my girlfriends at The Porch Restaurant. Didn't take any pics there because we were busy enjoying some yummy drinks and girl talk. I had babe take a OOTD pic before I headed out. I got back home a little before 11 pm...which says a lot because I am such a granny when it comes to going out.

On Sunday, babe & I had a great morning and early afternoon. Breakfast at Original Pancake House, worship, movies and then a late lunch at The East Hampton Sandwich Co. in Plano, Texas. 

What did you get into this weekend? As I write this post, I am waiting for my last load of laundry to finish so I can start packing for the first of many trips. 

P.S. All of the outfit deets are below! :) 

Wearing MAC's Flat Out Fabulous lipstick! 

Outfit #1

Target Shirt (here) // J. Crew Denim // J. Crew Necklace
Steve Madden Shoes

Outfit #2

J. Crew Necklace // Target Romper (here) // GAP Denim Jacket (here)
Zara Purse (here) // Target Heels (here)

Outfit #3

Zara Scarf // Target Cardigan // H&M Cami
Guess Jeans // TOMS shoes (here)

Apr 28, 2014

Tory Burch Friends & Fans Sale

Just a reminder that the Tory Burch Friends & Fans Event ends today! This also means the Tory Burch items that are 25% off on Nordstrom website will return to their regular price. You can earn 3.5% cash back through Ebates if you shop ToryBurch.com! 

Natural Hair Diaries - New Style

Hey hey loves! I am feeling great on this beautiful Friday morning; although, you won't get to read this on Friday. I have been pre-scheduling blog posts as I feel inspired and it has been awesome to engage with each of you! Last night I went to the hair salon and this was the third time I had my clip-ins installed. FYI: The hair for my clip-ins are sold by my stylist and she also made the clips-ins for me...and colored them to match my hair. As someone who has never been a fan of extensions and only had a sew-in once that I absolutely hated...I am very impressed with the versatility that this hair provides. It gives me body, length, volume, fullness and even more! Not to mention, hubby loves it because it looks so natural. I say all this to say that for summer...I am going to get a protective style done. My plan is to get a sew-in by my stylist with very little leave out. I am waiting for her now to confirm the appointment and then it will feel real. 

Anyway, here are some photos from the day I got my hair done and the morning after:

Please excuse my unkempt bedroom. I am a neat freak and borderline perfectionist, but also very much a realist. I don't be having time to make the bed up every morning. I'm just being honest!

Apr 27, 2014

Beta Gamma Sigma Induction Day

Hey hey loves! Friday was one of the happiest days of my life. I enjoy celebrating each accomplishment in my life because you never know when your time will expire. I am very grateful that even with working full-time, I managed to finish my graduate school program with honors. Not to mention, I feel my program was more difficult because when I began they did not offer the 30 hour MBA curriculum that they offer now. Therefore, I was required to take 45 hours of courses...which was not easy. Nonetheless, invitation into Beta Gamma Sigma was worth all the sacrifices I've made. 

Enjoy some photos from prior to (honey took me to lunch this day & had a lot of surprises planned...including Sprinkles Cupcakes), during and after the induction ceremony (dinner with hubby where rose petals were involved)! By the way, the outfit details from my ceremony are at the end of this post! 

Trina Turk Dress (here) // Arturo Chiang Pumps (similar
Michael Kors Watch (similar) // Pearls gifted from my Grandma Sheila 

PRODUCT REVIEW | Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Do you want to unclog your pores? Do you want a clear and even complexion? This product may just be your lifesaver as well. There are many clay masks that I love, but this one has been a favorite for this month. I feel that it draws all of the impurities and toxins from my skin. And instead of the White China clay drying out my skin, it makes it feel soft and moisturized. I equally love that it is formulated without parabens, sulfates, etc. The Origins line of products have quickly become one of my skincare staples as I am already in love with the White Tea Skin Guardian. Now that my no-buy has ended, I am looking forward to trying more products from the brand…more specifically the A Perfect World line since it is anti-aging at its finest. 

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, 3.4 oz, $24

Check out this product either at Sephora or Origins

There is also a 1.7 oz version in case you want to save a few dollars! 

You can also check out more information on the product from each of the retails mentioned.

I will definitely be sharing some of my skincare favorites soon but products like this deserve an honorable mention! 

Apr 26, 2014

Products I Can't Live Without

I realized I haven't quite shared in a long time those makeup products that I just cannot live without having in my collection. I decided to share the one makeup product I cannot live within each of the categories listed below. It was quite difficult but I wanted to pick products that I have reached for the most often as of late!

BLUSH  NARS Blush in Mata Hari
BRONZER M·A·C Mineralize Skinfinish
CONCEALER Kevyn Aucoin Beauty 'The Sensual Skin Enhancer' Makeup
EYELINER Kohl Power Eye Pencil In Feline
EYESHADOW Bronze by M·A·C 
FOUNDATION All-time favorite
HIGHLIGHTER Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Luminizer in Stardust
LIP BALM Dior 'Crème de Rose' Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm SPF 10
LIP GLOSS Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Nectar
LIP LINER M·A·C Lip Pencil in Spice (literally goes with anything!)
LIPSTICK Estée Lauder 'Pure Color' Long Lasting Lipstick in Bois De Rose
MASCARA Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Excess Mascara 
MULTI-TASKER Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
NAIL POLISH / TREATMENT Dior Vernis Nail Enamel in Red Royalty
POWDER Rimmel London Stay Matte in Transparent
PRIMER / SHINE CONTROL Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SF 15
TOOL BeautyBlender

Apr 25, 2014

Holy Grail Hair Products

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my hair routine has changed quite a bit in the past year; however, there are a few staple products that have remained. I wanted to share the products I use to keep my hair shiny, healthy and heat damage free! I will talk about my hair routine in more detail in an upcoming video. Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post on makeup products I cannot live without.


Aubrey Organics Blue Camomile Hydrating Shampoo (here)
Influance It's Natural Organic Shampoo (here)


Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner (here)
Influance It's Natural Organic Conditioner (here)
MOROCCANOIL® Restorative Hair Mask (heresimilar)
Influance Leave-In Conditioner (here)

Heat Protectant:

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray (here)

Finishing Aids:

CHI Silk Infusion (here)
Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum (here)
MOROCCANOIL® Treatment (here)

Styling Tools: 

CHI Ceramic Flat Iron (here)
WIGO Straight & Smooth Ceramic Straightening Brush (here)
CHI Pro Hair Dryer (here)

Apr 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday #TBT

I figured I would do a fun & random blog post for today! If you are on Instagram, you will know that #tbt has become very popular. So I am throwing it back today with these ancient photos...Enjoy!

Back when babe & I went to Las Vegas! We were both quite a few pounds heavier at the time.

The year I went to the NBA Finals game in Miami with my husband and my father-in-law. The blonde hair and the makeup was a disaster! I have come such a long way. Note to myself...to never get bleach blonde hair again.

Back when hubby and I were boyfriend & girlfriend...we did the Boyfriend Tag video on YouTube. 

Back when I had my had curled pretty religiously. Sometimes I miss it and then other times...I am thankful it was just a phase so that I do not look like Annie when I am 27 years of age.

I am going to visit my family [in Maryland] for Mother's Day in a couple of weeks and I hope to scan in some throwback photos from when I was younger! Be on the look out for those!

See you in the next blog post...tomorrow!

Apr 23, 2014

Newest Addition: Shop my Favorites!

I do not know if many of you have took notice but I now have a 'shop my favorites' in my sidebar! I will try to keep this updated weekly with either things that are on my wish list and/or things that I am loving at the moment. My highlight for this week are the Tory Burch Reva ballet flats that are currently on sale at Nordstrom for 25% off! You can shop them from my sidebar, if you would like! 

Here are some other favorites also on sale this week at Nordstrom: 

Tory Burch Miller Logo Thong in sand patent, black patent or gold
Rebecca Minkoff 'Amorous' Satchel in black, metallic rose gold, navy or white
Tory Burch Small Logo Stud Earrings in either silver or gold

Monday Blues? Just play dress up!

Here is how I overcome the Monday blues! I play dress up! I pull something out that I would not normally pair together and make it look amazing (in my eyes anyway)! Yesterday morning I pulled out this skirt from Target that I purchased on clearance months ago. I have never been one to be afraid of wearing prints. I just feel that they have to be paired with more subtle pieces so that the print is the stand out of the outfit. I paired the skirt with my Merona Popover Top in fresh white and with my Tory Burch Reva ballet flats in Royal Tan that are currently 25% off at Nordstrom. For jewelry, I wore my gold monogrammed necklace (check out some personalized necklace options here) and some stud earrings (here). 

Just a note...while I love my expensive items...I am a sucker for a good deal. You do not have to spend a lot of money to pull together an outfit, whether it be for work or leisure. This is why I have always described my style as classic & timeless. I purchase pieces that I can wear years from now...no matter what the price point or where they are from. 


Ended the day with some yummy Froyo! My newest combination is cake batter, pecans and fresh strawberries! Its dessert in a cup! 

How do you cure your Monday blues?

Apr 22, 2014

Easter Sunday 2014 + Brunch at Hattie's

Happy Tuesday friends!!! I just want to say thank you to each of you who come to read my blog daily and also leave comments. You encourage me to continue sharing my life with each of you so that we may grow together, inspire one another and most importantly, live in our purpose. I felt incredibly grateful on this Easter Sunday for my faith and family. I feel incredibly grateful for the steps that God & Jesus Christ have ordered for my life and all of the family members that continue to pray for me daily that I am able to live & fulfill my purpose. My pastor discussed predestination today and it is more powerful than you may think. There is an incredible difference between foreknowledge and predestination. I will not go into detail about the difference using this platform...but I encourage you to study the differences for yourself if you are interested. 

Sometimes I have to acknowledge that not everyone will respect your faith...even if it radiates from you.

I wanted to share a few photos from Easter Sunday with you and brunch at Hattie's with my husband and mother-in-law ("MIL"). 

Apr 21, 2014

Happy Monday friends! I hope that your week is off to an awesome start and that your spirit was renewed during this beautiful Easter Weekend. Friday was a day of celebration and Saturday was a day of relaxation. On Friday...after work, we had a reservation at Ocean Prime to celebrate hubby's job offer that he accepted. I am so very proud of him for this new beginning and I know that it will open a lot of doors for us. 

I wore a girly floral romper from Nasty Gal to dinner with some heels from Chinese Laundry. I wanted to dress comfortable but at the same time...feel dressed up. I believe I was able to achieve both of the things I wanted. Prior to dinner and at dinner...we took lots of pictures. I shared a few in the collage above. The highlight of dinner was the crab cake entree, broiled oysters and the 10-layer carrot cake. I had only ever heard good things about Ocean Prime but this was my first time actually trying it. 

Clutch / J. Crew 
Shoes / Chinese Laundry 
Earrings / Tory Burch
Sunglasses / Similar 
Romper / Nasty Gal (No longer available)

Fast forward to Saturday morning and I went on a 1.92 mile run. It was very pretty outdoors and even though I am still battling allergies...Claritin D seemed to keep most of my symptoms at bay. I did not do much else on Saturday other than catch up on some magazine reading and paint my nails with Essie 'DJ Play That Song'. The most interesting article I read was in the April 28, 2014 issue of Time Magazine...in which the author of the article discussed how individuals find God in the darkness. Acclaimed preacher Barbara Brown Taylor argues that strength, purpose and true faith are found in the shadows [or darkness]. I encourage you to stop by your local bookstore if you are interesting in reading the 4-page article. You can preview the article here.

Hope you enjoyed this post! I am trying to post on a more regular basis and I have a meeting with a Fashion Photographer next week to discuss collaborating with her to take photos for my Erika's Style Diary posts. I want to ensure it is done correctly and I would rely on a professional than have hubby do it every weekend. He will be super busy with his new position so I want him to be able to relax on the weekends.

See you in the next post...tomorrow! 

Apr 20, 2014

As I mentioned in this blog post, I have always enjoyed combining fragrances. I like to do it most with my Jo Malone fragrances because they usually pair so perfectly together without overpowering one another. When I went into the Jo Malone counter at the Nordstrom Northpark Center (BEST Jo Malone counter in Dallas next to the counter inside of Neiman Marcus), I had the pleasure of being taken care of by the brand rep. She was very knowledgeable about the fragrances and once I told her that I had a few favorites by Jo Malone…she recommended I combine my beloved Nectarine Blossom & Honey with the limited edition Wisteria & Violet cologne. Oh my goodness! It is heavenly. When I got ready in the morning for work and used the pairing for the first time, my husband commented on how amazing I smelled. He usually mentions that he likes my fragrance but he paid particular attention when I tried this pairing. Needless to say [since he noticed], it’s all I wear now. 

You can pair the colognes together or pair as I have done...with the body crème and cologne. Personally, pairing the body crème and cologne together is my favorite way to ensure the scents linger all day! 

Wisteria & Violet is described as: Soft morning showers, drenching gardens, wild mint and images of wisteria cascading over London stone walls inspire Wisteria & Violet cologne by Jo Malone. The intoxicating fragrance is infused with the wet-petal scent of violets and water lily.

Nectarine Blossom & Honey is described as: A youthful and fruity fragrance, Nectarine Blossom & Honey is inspired by the delicious scent of just-ripening nectarines and a taste of refreshing peach sorbet. Mouthwatering nectarine and peach with hints of plum, blackcurrant and vetiver are combined with the sweet warmth of acacia honey in this truly seductive combination.

Are there any fragrances that you love to combine that I should try whether it is my Jo Malone or another brand?

Hope you are having a beautiful Easter weekend! 

Apr 19, 2014

Spring Dresses in Blue

I wanted to share two recent additions to my dress collection (while they are still available for purchase)! I love wearing dresses during the spring, summer and early fall months here in Texas...but particularly in the spring. I needed to find a dress to wear for Easter Sunday and since I love wearing blue...I ended up ordering both. One is dressy and the other can be either dressed up or down. I cannot wait to wear one of these dresses tomorrow for Easter Sunday service at church and then brunch following church.

Dress #1 / Eliza J (here)
Dress #2 / Ivy & Blu (here)