what’s in the bag | shoot day edition

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travel bag

Happy near the end of the week fashion friends. In working with some amazing brands the past several weeks, I found it funny getting back into the mode of regular shoot-days to pack all the goodness in a short timeframe. In doing so, thought you guys might like to see what’s in the bag on shoot days.

what's in the bag

photography:KRISTINA PETRICK | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | leather travel tote c/o:DAGNE DOVER | water bottle c/o:TEATANK | sneakers:ADIDAS ORIGINALS | scarf c/o:LULUS | lipstick c/o:BITE BEAUTY | sunnies c/o:WYETH

First matter of conversation, the bag itself. Just in from Dagne Dover, this beaut is a supple leather, multi-pocketed masterpiece of design. Why I love it? It has pockets. for. everything. iPad, laptop, cords, lipsticks, sunnies, phone – you name it. It has a place. In fact, it even has a nook for a water class or umbrella. Took it with my to NYC (and carried it around this very day) discovering that nook also makes a great carry area of cushion for a camera lens or other items you want to stay secure. Again preaching on quality over quantity, if you’re looking for an investment bag this could be your pot of gold. Check out the shots below… tried to get some deets of the pockets so you guys can really see it in use.

While on this particular journey, the contents are more work orientated (work keys, notebook, computer) I thought I’d focus this bag dump on what comes with for a fashion shoot for a day out. So check it out. These is the complete roll-out from shoot day!

what's in my bag bite beauty lipstick

When shooting multiple outfits in a day, my bag is primarily stuffed with every sort of accessory you can think of. Jewelry, sunnies and lipsticks for a quick change of looks for different outfits. Just got this new collection from Bite Beauty so it’s been play time for me on the daily. PS… no I don’t usually take my passport on shoot day… but it looked cute in the shot. Don’t judge.

adidas originals

No matter the look or accessory, you can bet I have my Adidas originals packed along for the ride. You’d be surprised how much walking around happens between shots, and comfort is always a priority. Phone is kept at easy access… you never know when there’s a story you might need to share.

Fun fact, shoot-days usually lead to grocery shopping (apparently photos make me hungry?!) and I always pick up a fresh bunch of flowers on my way out the door… also tossed into the bag. As many of you already know, I also totally freak on water… so a bottle is never too far from grasp.

travel bag


Outside of shoot days, it’s been my go-to grab for the office, and it’s large enough for a weekend bag if you pack smartly. It’s held entire outfits, shoes, sweaters, smaller bags, laptops (yes plural) makeup bag and more on a single go. Bet my bag is bigger than yours.

That pretty much wraps up my shoot-day grab-bag essentials! What do you cram in your bag? Between stuffing shoes with accessories and twisty-tying jewelry to hangers, sometimes the blogging life calls for some creativity. I’m still a work in progress, but at least this tote is helping me get there – one pocket at a time. And any accessory that’s going to help me stay organized, gets an up-vote from me.


tria laser hair removal review

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tria 4x laser hair removal review

Smooth leg’s and goodbye to razors for life? Who wouldn’t be lured in by the temptation. I was, way back when the Tria was first introduced to me back in 2013. After much debate and a twinge of buyer’s remorse for the $449 purchase from Sephora, I ordered my first Tria laser hair removal 4X in March of 2013. I was the first of my circle to jump on the bandwagon, and have actually been wanting to do this review for quite some time because honestly – I was pretty surprised with the results.

This review will be a blend of experiences from that first trial, to my most recent undertaking in collaboration with Tria to share with you all my personal journey with their laser hair removal system. In case you’ve been wanted to give it a try, here’s what you need to know (from one blogger’s perspective).

tria 4x laser hair remover

photography:KRISTINA PETRICK | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | laser hair removal system c/o:TRIA BEAUTY

First off, how it works. The Tria 4X is the first FDA approved at-home laser hair removal device. It works by targeting hair follicles and preventing them from ever growing hair again. Note that much like laser hair removal treatment centers, the Tria targets the pigment of hair follicles in contrast with the skin. Once the laser takes effect, the hair should begin falling out from the root, never to grow again. Sounds great right? Here are the points I wanted to share with you all:

  1. The ratings are in, and they’re pretty good. The product has a 4 out of 5 stars on their website, with several hundred reviews. Not too sure about the authenticity of retail site reviews? The 4X on Amazon also has a 4 star review. Sephora also continues to retail the Tria with (you guessed it), 4 out of 5 stars… plus… 10K “hearts.” which seems to stand for something. If you’re taking the advise from the crowd, 4 stars for the 4X is starting off pretty good. Plus, the device scored the 2016 InStyle best beauty buy award. I like reading the comments, because it gives some inside into what other users have experienced.
  2. It’s cheaper than the alternatives. Though $450 seems to be a pretty big investment, so is a lifetime’s worth of razors, or laser hair removal in a studio.
  3. It hurts like h***. Ok maybe not that bad, but I’d compare it to somewhere between a fly bite and quick-burn. The good news is, the prick is fast.
  4. What you’ve been all waiting for – does it work? In short, yes. In fact, I was so impressed I started sharing my excitement, and one of my close friends became the second in chain of buyers. After 3-4 treatments, the areas I focused on literally began shedding hair. Kind of gross, but the excitement of the potential of never shaving again was pretty well worth it.
  5. You need to stay consistent. The laser point is pretty small, so covering both legs is going to take you some time. Sometimes consistency is difficult with busy schedules, but I urge you to stick with it till the end.
  6. Lasting results? The reason I so wanted to share this review with you all – 3 years after my first Tria experiement, I can still tell exactly where I have used the Tria. I’m not totally hair-free (mostly because of not following rule #5) but the results were enough that said friend from point #4 bought the device because she was so impressed with the difference.
  7. Would I buy it again, absolutely (Though thanks to Tria for sending me a new one, I won’t need to for a while). My old one is actually still kicking from 3 years ago, so take care of your things and hopefully they will continue taking care of you.

hand held hair removal

tria soothing gelgrey tria 4x laser

Confronting my commitment issues full-force, I have started treatments again, and again noticing the same results. With consistency and a growing pain tolerance, I’m hopefully to be hair-free (or nearly so) in the upcoming months!

So how do you use it? The Tria comes in simple, clean packaging and requires a quick call for registering the product. After the device has been activated, the next steps are pretty easy.

using the tria 4x

  • Each time before use the Tria requires an “unlock” function as a safety feature (in case you were worried about your kids or pets getting unexpected zap from the glowing red light. Yes, the laser is red.
  • Unlock the Tria by placing the bottom end against the skin area you want to purge of unwanted hairs. Note that you should be cautions of areas that the laser might be a bit too powerful for, which brings me to the next point…
  • Read the directions. All of them. And follow the guidelines for safe, effective user of the laser hair remover.
  • After the Tria is unlocked, you can select a power setting from 1-5, depending on your personal tolerance for the intensity of the laser. You might find certain areas are a bit more sensitive than others, so take it at your speed.
  • The point is placed flush with the skin, you’ll see a red flash, the laser will do its work, and you’re ready to move to the next area. Think of it as vacuuming. Cover the area thoroughly, and if you’re not sure if you’re over or under doing it, follow their guide to approximately how many flashes you need per different various angles.

Tip for the pain, I kept an icepack close by, and lifted it just long enough for a quick zap. I also try to do it with distractions (Netflix worked pretty well for me). Tria also has some pain relief creams that are meant to be calming, though I haven’t found them necessary. Though I expected irritation, my sensitive skin didn’t even flush from the treatment. In fact, after the quick flash itself, there didn’t seem to be any lasting effects other then smoother skin!

tria 4x

tria in the bag

So what does this blogger think of the Tria system: honestly guys, I love it. And I’ll continue using them as my #1 choice for at home laser hair removal. If you want to know about my continued progress feel free to drop me a line. If you decide to make the purchase, do let me know how you like it! Remember consistency is key, and often the hardest part, I know you babes are all busy. But it’s definitely worth the time if you’re able to make the investment. Hope this review was helpful to you if you were curious about the Tria system! Until next time, stay smooth.

fashion tips for monochrome mavins

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monochrome fashion tips

So you like monochrome fashion. Great, me too. I’d call it more of an obsession from personal experience. I think we can all relate to finding that new top, pant, boot, (you name it) – and think to ourselves, “it just looks better in black.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. Black, white, grey and other neutrals provide comfort and balance without the opulence or over excitement that colors may evoke. Understated is a culture as well as a fashion trend. And the good news is, it’ll probably never go out of style. It is a distinct advantage of monochrome fashion. The ease of pairing looks that always seem to match on the fly.

The issue – becoming too boring or predictable. Walk into my closet, and you’ll quickly see why I’m often accused of “not breaking out of my color shell.”

The solution: incorporate pieces that yes, may be elemental in color – but are rich in details and provide other areas of interest. The mentality: essential verses basic, simple but not the same. Think luxury materials, stitch details, and subtle patterns working together to add depth and intrinsic value, without having to be all over the color board. Geometrical designs and high contrast offer another great way to keep simple palettes interesting and fresh.

all white monochrome fashionflowing monochrome top

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | poncho top c/o:CHELSEA AND WALKER | geometrical skirt c/o:SIMPLE RETRO | timepiece c/o:BARBAS & ZACARI | sunnies c/o:TRIWA

Looking for new ways to wear your neutrals? Here are a few fashion tips for all my monochrome mavins:

  • Focus on texture: That might mean a coordi set if you’re into matchy texture head to toe, or layers of silk, knits and embellishments (like studs or stitching) for a more complex style
  • Mix materials: Think luxury materials like silk, velvet, leather and lace mixed with essential basics (like t-shirts and sneakers) for an interesting take on casual luxe
  • Play with patterns: An advantage to monochrome is the ability to mix patterns with no less risk of a fashion faux pas
  • Combine your neutrals: The actual definition is anything of the same color (yes, even red can be worn monochrome by definition), but it’s often interpreted as basic colors (black, white, grey). If you’re monochrome of the later definition, mix it up by pairing blush with black, nude with white, grey with… well other shades of grey
  • Wear an accent piece: No, that doesn’t mean we’re talking about red again. If you’re wearing monochrome black, try a white shoe or a nude bag to add a point of focus.
  • Accessorize: Of course, one way to make any outfit a bit more special is by accessorizing. You don’t have to reach towards the chunkiest necklace you can find. Simple and subtle is all that’s needed for tastefully elevating

This pencil skirt by Simple Retro is a nice transitional piece that has a classic cut, but added interest with a geometrical construction. The sectional lines play off the patchwork trend of the 70’s. Subtle, but noticeable. Especially when paring with other basics. The material is a matte synthetic leather, giving it a warm feel with a dull shine, making it a winning match for thick knits and boots once the chill starts to set in. And the classic cut makes it great for office to cocktail (win).

simple retro basics

simple retro skirt

For this look, the emphasis is on contrast with a flowing Chelsea & Walker blouse. Fashion tip for any color combo: if you’re going big on the top, go small on the bottom. Pairing two loose flowing pieces may look great on the runway, but for us normal folks in real life – it can tend to look a bit frumpy rather than feminine. Think skinny jeans, pencil skirts or leggings when pairing with ponchos and oversized sweaters. Avoid wide-leg, a-line skirts or loose fitting culottes with loose, large or flowing tops.

Adding an unpredictable element like these sneakers keeps the the look young and fresh in today’s normcore and atheleisure vibes. I’m a pretty big fan of white sneaks with everything, but if you’re a classic gal, boots and heels also suit just fine. (Some things never go out of style).

one way monochrome fashion

Have another monochrome fashion tip that I’ve skipped over? Do let a girl know, because monochrome is my way of life and you guys always inspire me to do things differently. Let’s mix it up while keeping it the same together shall we?

what to do with 24 hours in san francisco

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what to do in san francisco

Because “yes let’s go tomorrow” just isn’t the right approach.

Let’s go today. The month of September has been an absolute whirlwind with a grand total of about 7 days spent at home and the rest jet setting from NYC to San Francisco, and a couple places between. The chill of fall has set in and I found myself staring into uncharted waters… my first time laying eyes on the west coast. So what do you do with 24 hours in San Francisco? Well here’s how one story went with some must-do adventures and suggestions on what not to do to avoid west coast blues.

Why 24 hours? It was actually more like 36, but long story short it was a much needed weekend away, and with NYC sandwiching on both sides, it had to be a short and sweet. Want to experience life? Don’t complain when time is short, make the most of it and go when you can go. If you were watching my Instagram stories you already got the first look… here’s what to do in San Francisco.

travel blogger in san francisco

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | cold shoulder top c/o:AGACI | crossbody bag:YSL | timepiece c/o:BARBAS & ZACARI | travel location:HORNBLOWER CRUISES SAN FRANCISCO

Pack Warm

The first tip for abbreviated travel to San Fran (or anywhere), pack layers. It’s easy to forget that just because you’ll be somewhere for just 1-2 days, you might still want to bring options. This lesson was learned the hard way, as an unexpected (uninvited) fall breeze swept the coast, and I found myself stranded with one lightweight knit and a pair of shorts. That knit later was christened by an unfortunately placed bomb from a seagull, and needless to say – I was living in my boyfriend’s oversize shirt for the rest of the stay (lucky for me I wasn’t traveling alone!). Pack a couple sweaters, it gets cold!

cold travels in san francisco

Sightseeing Considerations

As for making the short time otherwise well spent, we first considered a day trip to see some of the landmark sights… considering the National Park, the famed Lombard Street drive, and of course wine tasting in Sonoma. The problem – a short trip just doesn’t let you see it all, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck in transit for half of your trip. Instead, we decided to stick to the city itself and see what it had to offer. There’s plenty to enjoy, especially if it’s your first trip from the amusement of what seemed to be 90° inclined roads to cablecars, shopping and dining. We hardly knew where to start.

san francisco cable carsan francisco stadium

hornblower cruise in san francisco

Hornblower Brunch Cruise

A winning choice, we spent the first half of the day on a brunch cruise by Hornblower While at first undecided if we made the right choice to be water-locked for such a large portion of the trip – it was the best choice we made all weekend. And no, they didn’t pay me to say that (they don’t even know I made post). In short – it was incredible.

travel view from san francisco cruisegolden gate bridge

In deeper, we got to enjoy seeing many of the landmark sights we didn’t want to miss including the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island and the Pier area of San Fran – all from the comfort of a gorgeous ship catering a huge HUGE assortment of foods (all delish by the way), live music, a cheery crowd, excellent service and bottomless mimosas (I mean really, what more could you want). The menu also included traditional breakfast and brunch items, carved meats, and vegetarian (which is important for my passenger number 2). It was the most perfect way to spend the half day, and we left promising ourselves that if we ever went back, we’d do it again.

what to eat in san franciscomimosas in san francisco

Dottie’s True Blue Cafe

If you’re not a cruise person, there is also the option for a breakfast/brunch solution at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe that we found thanks to Yelp. Though we ended up taking a pass and I can’t tell you if the food was as good as the reputation, the line was about a block outside the door, so apparently someone’s loving it. The environment was a bit less than expected, so also be prepared for a bit grungier atmosphere and a few panhandler’s perusing the streets.

Make Reservations

Another lesson learned the hard way, our evening out was spent a bit shall we say, more comical than spectacular – but an adventure none the less. The tip here – make reservations. Unlike the small-town atmosphere I was used to, San Francisco isn’t so friendly for those looking to pop-in on find dining (or even mediocre dining). We spent about 45 minutes popping in and out of Mexican restaurants, and the last few popping in and out of anywhere we could find that wasn’t fast-food. All were either fully booked or 45+ minute waits… and this was after 8:00PM. So do some planning here if you’re a foodie looking for a relaxing bite and glass of wine to wrap up your 24 hours in San Francisco. You’ll be happy you did.

golden gate bridgesan francisco bay bridge

As for us, let’s just say we found some Mexican food. The tip here, don’t eat at empty restaurants in San Francisco. We left with empty stomachs and a lot of laughter over the the food about as good as the number of its cliental.

What would you do in San Francisco for a short visit? I’d love to know your favorite hotspots for the next west coast adventure, or what you take along to be prepared for short-stay jet setting. Let me know in the comments babes, and until next time, happy travels.

7 things bloggers wish brands understood

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7 things fashion bloggers wish brands understood

To all the bloggers that have felt the same frustrations, and to all the brands that want a meaningful relationship with their blogging partners. This is not a rant, rather a guide to a healthier relationship. I must admit I’ve had the most amazing partners in the past couple of years, so to all of you that I’ve worked with – this isn’t for you. But there are many unspoken secrets that just need to get out for everyone’s sake – so let’s set the record straight shall we? Here are 7 things bloggers wish brands understood for a happier, healthier, more beneficial symbiotic relationship.

happy fashion blogger relationship

#1: Please don’t auto subscribe me to your newsletter. Not because I don’t love you. (I truly do!) Because I get 100 emails a day from brands and partners… you just made it 101.

#2: I know you think I’m crazy to turn down a post in exchange for your product… and the truth is I may not want to say no, but it just doesn’t always work that way. Aside from popular belief, blogging is not just a bunch of kids playing on social media and getting buckets of free stuff and money in exchange for basically zero effort – it’s a lot of work. Just like any other creative outlet – It takes time, an artistic eye, hundreds of maintained connections, media creation, copywriting, PR outreach, the list goes on… so don’t expect me to hand that out so freely. While I personally and admittedly do not, some individuals make their living from their blog. And no one wants to live off ramen forever. If you don’t have respect for the time and effort that I’m putting forth, I won’t have respect for yours.

blogger tip - it's a lot of work

#3: Oh you want to send me a “gift”? How lovely… the 2 dozen follow-up emails asking if I’ll be posting it soon? Unnecessary. I do understand that you’re hoping for a free feature by sending these gifts. And honestly it just might work if I end up loving your products. But if you harass me… you can forget about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that, and frankly – you’re stressing me out.

#4: Even though it may not sound like it right now… bloggers are actually pretty reasonable. Remember we’re all just people at the end of the day. Don’t have the budget for sponsored posts but we’re honestly a match made in heaven? Talk to me, bloggers are their own business owners and we’re often flexible, just remember to be flexible in return.

#5: If I don’t like your products, we won’t be working together. I don’t care if the deal you’re offering me is down right smashing – if the product or service isn’t something I would buy, I will not consider accepting. A blog is a brand too, and forcing an unwanted match won’t do you, the blogger, or the blogger’s network any good. It’s fake, and we just won’t have it.

fashion blogger fashion blogger

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | dress c/o:BYELIANNE | boots c/o:WINDSOR SMITH | vest:TJMAXX FIND | sunnies c/o:WYETH

#6: Don’t ask me to include a giveaway or promo code. If coupon sales is your only measure of success – you should probably just run a PPC ad campaign. Blogging is much more personal. It’s about resonating with the community and speaking your voice directly from the mouth of your consumer. And coming from a marketing background, that’s worth a lot.

#7: My objective is not to sell, it’s to share. Sure, as a brand or service your objective may be to sell, but it’s not mine, so please don’t try to make it mine. If I wanted to sell something I’d open my own retail store. Don’t worry, if I like your products, my friends over here on the blog will probably like them too… so sales is a natural response. But blogging is my passion. It’s where I share the thoughts that inspire me, life experiences, the places I visit, and things that I love. It’s a magical and curated story of life, a day in my dreams. One I hope that inspires and connects people in a much deeper way. It’s not a sales gimmick, your personal ad space, or some strange social brainwashing platform. This is my life. It’s real. The people I’m connected with are real. We’re a family.

fashion blogger photography process

Sound like the opposite of what you’re looking for in a blogger? That’s ok. This space isn’t for everyone. These are the things that I’m passionate about. Life. Experiences. Travel. Happiness. Truth. Family. Fashion. And a little bit of luxury. And as soon as a blog becomes what a brand wants instead of what it is – it’s no longer a blog, it’s an infomercial in disguise. If we end up working together think of it as a film – not a commercial. We’re doing it because I love you, you love me, and because I believe others will love you too. Because the passion and the storyline are so good they must be told. Because this is a beautiful moment when we come together. Because you fit into the lifestyle of a real moment here on this earth or one fleeting moment of imagination. A perfect day – a day in my dreams.

blogger's work is done

Want more fashion tips? Here’s how to be a fashion blogger without an Instagram husband.

Want to know how to be a girl boss behind the scenes? Check out this insider’s interview with the awesome team from Where to Get and learn how to stay motivated and active on the go.