4.19.2015

You Learn By Living

On my birthday last year, I made a commitment to myself to start living. This was prompted by the book My Year with Eleanor and You Learn by Living.

In this time, I have accomplished things I never dreamed of. I went skydiving, ran my first 5K, went to Mardi Gras and began taking care of myself better than I ever have. My mantra has been,

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."-Eleanor Roosevelt 

The quote has meant so much to me, I recently had it tattooed:


A photo posted by Arielle (@beautybyarielle) on

Each time I have been struck with fear or thought I can't do this, I repeat this quote to myself over and over. This has lead me to living in a place where I am happier than I believe I have ever been.

Through my living, I have learned a great deal about myself, realized what's important to me and have taken serious ownership over my life. The experiences I threw myself into, gave me gifts far beyond what I could have imagined. This was mostly because I have chosen to be present in my life and show up for myself.

During this time, I gained the strength to move on from a relationship that had not been serving me for quite some time. Yup, I got a divorce. It is part of the reason I have slowed down my posting over the past six months.

The other reason I have slowed down is because I have been out among the world living my life. While I love writing this blog, I had felt an obligation to "keep up" so to speak. I was getting overwhelmed, found myself comparing to others and just genuinely not happy with the experience anymore. About 3 months ago, I decided to blog when I felt like it and to allow it to flow how it would. 

If you want to keep up with me, I am on Instagram, Twitter and snapchat (arielle217). Some of you I know we have communicated quite a bit, so feel free to shoot me a message on my personal Facebook, if you want to be friends.

I hope you all examine your life and go out there and live, too. It's an amazing experience.

xo, arielle

3.22.2015

100% Pure Vanilla Bean Body Wash and Lotion Review

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Let's talk about body care for a moment. For me, having soft supple skin is really important. I'm not sure how or why it's been this way but I have always found a need to use a nourishing body wash and lotion to achieve this. If not, I'm scale city. 

Last May, I picked up 100% Pure's Vanilla Bean Hydrating Body Wash and Body Cream. My Ulta was running a BOGO sale, so that's why I picked them up. Otherwise, they're $16+ a pop, which is way outside of my budget.

100% Pure is a company that derives their products from natural ingredients. The tout that their products are free of toxic ingredients. They are a cruelty free company. The products are available online or at Ulta. 

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

The body wash is still in my shower and has yet to be completely used up (I have a few more pumps left). I'm on 10 months with it! This was a huge surprise to me because body washes typically see 3-4 months in my shower. This wash pumps out into a foam. I need about 2-3 pumps to cover my whole body. The scent is a light vanilla and smells quite a bit like ice cream. It dissipates rather quickly, though. I don't find it particularly hydrating. It's a very average body wash. Due to cost and it not being a holy grail, it's not something I'm picking up again. The body wash is $16 for 17 ounces.

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

The lotion, on the other hand, lasted me only through summer. I had such mixed feelings about it. There were days I loved it and days I loathed it. When my skin was very thirsty, it absorbed this so quickly I couldn't spread it around. Therefore, I would have to use a ton of product. When my skin was fine, I had no issues. Either way, I did not find this moisturizing enough. For summer weather, it worked but I feel in the winter I would have been scaly. The scent is the same as the wash and doesn't linger on the skin. I chose not to purchase another bottle. The lotion is $17 for 8 ounces.

Overall, I really love 100% Pure's philosophy and ingredients. These are very safe products to use for those who prefer a more natural lifestyle. I won't be purchasing them again due to the fact that I can find products that are just as good for less money. If you happen to run into a BOGO sale on their products, I recommend giving them a shot at least.

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.

3.02.2015

Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Perfume

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I know I haven't been updating at all lately. I have a lot going on in my personal life that has prevented me from doing so. I'm going to try to post when possible, so know that I haven't forgotten about BBA!

When I switched to natural products, I knew that perfumes were one of the most chemical laden product out there. I was shopping at Ulta and the only thing I could find that was remotely close to being clean was the Pacifica Roll-On Perfumes. I took a sniff of the available scents and went with Indian Coconut Nectar.

Pacifica Perfume

Pacifica's roll-on perfume comes in 14 scents. I picked this one up for $12. The full size are $22 and there are 18 scents. 

Pacifica touts that these are 100% vegan and cruelty free as well as paraben, phthalate and propylene glycol free. EWG rates this as a 4 (moderate hazard).

Pacifica Perfume

I chose Indian Coconut Nectar because I prefer spicy scents. Of what was a available, this one had the least floral or sweetness to it. There are times I have caught this smelling a little like cotton candy, though. For the most part, it's light but a little sultry. I plan to pick up the Island Vanilla next (I absolutely love it!!) but it's been out of stock every time I'm at Ulta.

Pacifica Perfume

I have been happy with the roller-ball application, too. It makes it very simple plus, it's been very easy to travel with. I have been using it since June and still have at least half of the product left. It's not the longest lasting perfume I have ever used, though. 

What is your favorite natural perfume?

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.

2.16.2015

I Went to Mardi Gras

Since my birthday falls on Fat Tuesday this year, I wanted to cross Mardi Gras off of my bucket list. This past weekend I did!











xo, arielle

2.02.2015

My First Stitch Fix and Review

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In the past year, I have seen about a bajillion Stitch Fix posts. Every time, I was extremely skeptical (and judgey) about it, solely due to the cost of the items. I remember once someone received a t-shirt that was about fifty bucks. Which, honestly was crazy to me.

Since I was being so crappy about it, I thought I really needed to try it for myself before I could truly make a decision. I was on Amanda's blog and loved what I saw from her box. I completed my style profile and order my first fix on a Wednesday. It arrived by the following week.

Stitch Fix

In case you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, let me explain. Stitch Fix is a styling service. You order a fix as often as you wish and a stylist picks 5 items to send you based on your style profile. You pay a $20 styling fee with each box. If you choose to purchase anything from the box, the $20 comes off the total. If you don't buy anything, you lose the $20. The shipping is included. You are billed for what you keep, after you choose. Whatever you don't want, you send back in a pre-paid shipping bag. If you purchase everything from your box, you get 25% off. 

When you sign up, you complete a style profile with your preferences and sizes. You can even select if you're ok with expensive or budget friendly items or exclude certain items (I requested they not send jewelry). They also recommend you send in your Pinterest style board, as it gives your stylist a better idea of what you wear. Each box is tailored to you and your style. After you receive a box, you can send your stylist notes about what you liked or didn't like so they can make better choices for you next time.

In my first box, I received a sweater, two tops, skinny jeans and a clutch.

WHAT I KEPT:

Stitch Fix
RD Style Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan - $74

Stitch Fix
Market & Spruce Corinna Striped Dolman Top - $48

WHAT I RETURNED:

Stitch Fix
Urban Expressions Richie Asymmetrical Clutch - $40

Stitch Fix
Kensie Jeans Sophia Tall Length Skinny Jean - $88

Stitch Fix
Skies Are Blue Bruno Split Neck Blouse - $69

TOTAL: $319

I loved everything I received in my box. I returned items only due to fit. The jeans fit my butt amazingly (probably the best fit for skinny jeans I have had) but they were too long. I just don't use clutches, that's why I returned that. The Bruno Blouse didn't hang well once on. The items I kept I absolutely adore. I had been looking for a sweater with that draping for a while. I would never normally spend that much on a sweater but since I had a hard time finding one, I decided to keep it. I also love the fit and pattern of the top. They look great paired together, too.

I was really shocked at how well my stylist got me. I didn't expect to love all of it. When I go to the store I'm mostly meh about items, so to get 5 things that I would wear, was fantastic.

As for the price, I did request my items to be on the lower end of things so, I was surprised at how much my box cost in total. I would never spend that much on clothes. I never see myself buying a whole box. I felt pretty guilty about what I did keep as it was over $100. Having said that, I am a super duper budget shopper. I thrift nearly everything I own, so this was a total splurge. For those who don't shop like I do, the price really isn't going to be that big of a deal as it's on par with department store prices.

I will say, these items are much higher quality than I would normally invest in. So, it's not like it's cheap junk that you're dropping a load of cash on. To me, that did justify it slightly.

Since the price is up there, I decided to schedule my fixes every other month. I really like the idea of not having to shop, trying on items in my home and ending up with pieces that are uniquely styled to me. I'm also over my judgey stage with Stitch Fix. I still think they are overpriced but it's not a deal breaker as I loved my pieces. 

Overall, I think it's worth trying at least one box just to see if it works for you and your style. If you hate it, you're only out 20 bucks. If you like it, then you just added some great pieces to your closet.

Here are some examples of some other fixes from blogs I read: Rebecca Lately, Notes from a Newlywed, Pumps and Iron & One Little Momma

tl;dr
Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that will send you items as often as you wish that are tailored to you. The cost is $20 a box + the cost of the items you keep. If you have the budget, the pieces will be great to add to your wardrobe. If you're more of a thrifter or clearance shopper, you probably won't like the prices of pieces. 

PROS
  • Received 5 high quality pieces that were perfect for my style
  • Like not having to shop and trying on at home
  • Only get charged for what you keep

CONS
  • The pieces are pricey

If you would like to give Stitch Fix a try, here is my referral link (I get a $25 credit if you schedule a box). Please don't feel obligated to use it but I really appreciate if you do!

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase I receive a credit towards my own Stitch Fix.

***Update 3/22/15***
I ordered another box because I had a credit. I ended up hating everything I received. It was like the box wasn't even for me. I was a little frustrated because they didn't listen to my comments from the previous box. My friend ordered a box, too, and had the same issue. It was very strange. I have yet to order again due to this.