3 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Life, Shopping in Buffalo, Uncategorized, Wedding

Going wedding dress shopping can be stressful and exhausting…. I mean you are searching for your dream gown after all. It is hard not to get overwhelmed between all of the planning on top of finding “the gown” but there is no need to go bridezilla! There are three simple tips that you can follow to make your shopping experience quick and stress free! Make this time memorable, not a horrible experience. Keep calm and find the gown, xoxo.

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Don’t knock it ’til you try it

Being women, we all have a vision of our ”perfect wedding gown” before we are even engaged, but realistically how are you positive it will look good on you? Maybe you love the idea of a form fitting gown, but have you actually tried one on to make sure you love the fit? Absolutely hate empire waist? Don’t knock it ’til you try it! You might be surprised with what you end up with ladies. You need to keep an open mind while shopping and not reject dresses without actually trying it on.

Find the kindest cut for your figure 

Before you start dress shopping, make sure you have an idea of what works for your body type. A dress that may look good on a curvier girl might not flatter a slimmer girl. There is the perfect silhouette for each body type, again you just need to try on different styles to figure out which one works for you! Most bridal consultants are very helpful when it comes down to determining which style is the most figure flattering. The staff is there to help, feel free to ask them for their expertise!

Bring a trusted advisor

Yes it is fun to bring a whole load of your friends shopping with you, but it can also get extremely overwhelming with so many different opinions weighing in. The fact is, your best friend may have a completely different taste than you do when it comes to fashion. Don’t let her opinion sway yours. Sometimes only bringing people who’s opinion you value is the easiest route. For example, I know my sister would never let leave the house looking bad, I value what she has to say and she would 100% be someone I would take wedding dress shopping! You don’t need to invite you entire family, just the important people.

Stylish Ways To Wear Leggings In Winter

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Life, Shopping in Buffalo, Uncategorized

I am very guilty of wearing leggings all winter long, they are just so comfortable I can’t help it! Not only are they comfortable, but you can dress them up or down for whatever your plans are for the day. From a night out with the girls, grocery shopping, to just lounging around on the couch, they are perfect to wear basically anywhere. Below I am going to share with you a few stylish ways to wear leggings for the winter time. Happy reading, xoxo.

 

Layers, layers, layers. During the winter, leggings are the perfect fashion staple to wear with a ton of layers. Wear a button up but pull a cozy sweater on over to keep you warm during the cold days. Or take a long sleeved shirt and layer it with a cardigan for another stylish winter look! Accessorize with a scarf to add some more layers to the look!

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Patterned Leggings. From animal print, Aztec, floral or just textured leggings, you can always find a new outfit with patterned leggings! My personal favorite are the Aztec with a big comfortable sweater and knee high boots. For extra warmth, if you have a pair of ripped jeans, wear patterned leggings underneath for a extra trendy look.

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Over Sized Sweaters. My personal favorite! Nothing keeps your quite as warm an a large cotton or knitted sweater. Seriously, if you find something warmer please let me know, because I am convinced they are the greatest invention ever. From going out shopping or just lounging around the house with your girl friends, you will be so comfortable! Once you start buying over sized sweaters, they will become your obsession like they are for me.

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Beware Of Counterfeits!!

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Life, Shopping in Buffalo, Uncategorized

Working at a dress boutique I have seen my fair share of customers who fall for the online dress boutique scam. They will fall in love with a dress they find online (and the price is so unbelievably cheap naturally) only to realize they have fallen victim to a worldwide scam, counterfeit websites. While online shopping can be both a cheaper and faster way to shop, it can also be very dangerous because it is difficult to know if the site is counterfeit or not. If you are going to be spending good money on a dress, shop at local dress shops to ensure you aren’t going to be scammed and left without a dress and out several hundred dollars. There are so many scamming websites out there that will take your money and you will never receive your dress, therefore forcing you to go out and purchase a new one from the store. There are counterfeit websites for prom dresses, wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and cocktail dresses. Below is a list of confirmed counterfeit websites who copyrights pictures to post on their sites, be safe and buy dresses from legit companies and not ones that will scam you! TT New York is an authorized retail location who work closely with each designer who houses their designs in our store. Be a smart shopper and remember, a deal that looks too good to be true probably is. xoxo

 

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www.udresses.co.uk

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Kitchen Tips Everyone Should Know

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, Food, How To, Life, Uncategorized

I love figuring out new tricks and tips to make everyday chores or activities easier. In the kitchen sometimes there are way too many things going on at once and you just need a few little tricks to help speed up the process… or maybe you just need to know how to easily determine the freshness of some of your foods! Either way, I am going to share with you some of the little tricks I have figured out throughout the years that help me and hopefully will help you too! Xoxo

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Egg Freshness Test

To easily determine how fresh your eggs are, all you need to test is if they float or not! Eggshells are porous and allow air to slowly in over time. As more air enters the egg, it gets lighter and lighter, which explains why it will eventually float. Eggs that stay at the bottom of a water are the freshest!

The easy way to store your freeze pops

In the freezer place the freeze pops standing up through the shelf bars. Keeping the freezes laying down makes cutting the tops off messy if sometimes the freeze isn’t melted all the day. Having them stand up leaves room at the top for a clean cut when you are ready to eat them!

Reheat sauce the easy way

If you want to easily freeze/reheat sauce there is a smart and easy way to do so. Poor the sauce into ice cub trays and freeze them. When you making a small pasta dinner and want to heat up some of the sauce, take a few of the frozen cubes and zap them in the microwave for instant sauce! (I love using this trick to make a quick pasta dinner if I’m having a busy day)

Reheat pasta is a doughnut shape

To reheat pasta quickly, leave a small circle empty in the middle of your plate so the pasta will cook more evenly. It works much more effectively than stirring the pasta several times. (Then add a ice cub of your frozen sauce and you’ve got a meal!)

Store ice cream in a zip-lock bag

A plastic freezer bag keeps the cold air from making the ice cream rock hard. Try to push out as much air as you can before putting it back in the freezer. You won’t have to run your spoon under warm water to melt the ice cream anymore!

Make yogurt freeze pops

It is so easy to turn your favorite yogurt into a cool treat. Take popsicle sticks and poke them through the top of the yogurt, but don’t push them to the bottom of the yogurt. Refreshing and healthy!

Keep lettuce fresh longer

Drape a dry paper towel over the top of a bowl of salad, and then cover it with plastic wrap to keep the lettuce fresh for a while week. Wonder how it works? The dry paper towel absorbs moisture from the lettuce, which is one of the main reasons why it wilts and turns soggy so fast. It is also important to get the lettuce as dry as possible before storing in the first place.

Chill wine without ice cubes

Frozen grapes placed into a glass of wine with keeping it chilled without watering it down. They are always delicious to eat once you finish your wine. (I use this trick about 3 times a week… or 4)

12 Ways to Look More Awake Without Makeup

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

There are some mornings where I do not have the patience to sit down and do my makeup perfectly, so I’ve come across different ways to naturally make myself look more awake without makeup. Put down the contouring brush, you won’t need that after you read these quick and easy tricks. From simple tasks of choosing the right color to wear, or just night time routines to do, you’ll be thankful that you read this blog. xoxo

 how-to-look-more-awake


 

  1. Be active in the morning. From an early morning walk with your dog, or simply getting up earlier to do household tasks, getting moving in the morning wakes you up. I love doing a quick 15 minute workout routine before my morning shower, you feel way better throughout your day once your body is wide awake. It gets your blood pumping, giving you a rosy, healthy, awake-looking glow.
  2. Wear color clothing- but it has to be the right color. We all love black as our go-to color, but it can cast dark shadows on your face and make you look more tired. Instead, choose colors that are going to make you look more awake. Choose colors that flatter your skin tone and give you a healthy flush. Here’s a cheat sheet: if you’re cool-toned choose jewel tones (ex. blues, pinks, purples, magenta, reds, or whites) If you are warm- toned, choose earth tones. (ex. yellows, oranges, browns, army or deep greens, or ivory)
  3. Use ice-cold water. Old school trick, but still very effective. Splashing cold water on your face wakes you up instantly. You could also turn the shower very cold right before you get out and wake your entire body up, only if you’re brave enough to.
  4. Grab earrings. Wearing the right pair of statement earrings can help take unwanted attention away from your tired eyes. Small dangle earrings with a soft gem like mint, emerald, or amethyst will reflect your skin tones and make you look more awake.
  5. Drink as much water as you can. Keeping a large bottle of water at your desk to sip on throughout the day hydrates your skin and brain. Basically, you’ll not only feel awake and hydrated but also look like it! (Find plain water boring, add some lemon slices or other delicious fruits to spice it up!)
  6. Put down the cell phone at night. Laying in the dark looking at your phone all night results in squinting, which results in bags under your eyes in the morning. Put your phone away and get your beauty rest.
  7. Remember the 20/20/20 rule throughout the day. If you’re unfamiliar with the 20/20/20 rule, its pretty simple. Take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. Doctors say it reduces strain and redness in the eyes.
  8. Eat fruit. Citrus fruits are pack with vitamin D and pick you up when you’re feeling sleepy. Grapefruits, oranges and lemons are the best! Sometimes just smelling citrus fruits can trick the brain into waking up your senses too.
  9. Wear dark sunglasses. Best way to hide those big puffy eyes? Big sunglasses! Not only are they fashionable, but they also help your eyes from squinting, tearing or swelling as a result of the bright sun outside.
  10. Get an allergy test. If you often wake up with puffy, tired, watery eyes then allergies may be the problem. Getting tested can reveal an allergy to something seasonal like pollen, which can make eyes perpetually tired-looking.
  11. Do some DIY acupressure. Putting pressure around your hands, feet and abdomen are said to wake you up and give you an energy boost. Now I am not advising you go crazy and pinch your entire body, but sometimes just a little pinch or two can perk you up. (Another little trick, if you squeeze and rub your palm in between your pointer finger and thumb, it sometimes can kill headaches.)
  12. Use eye drops, but sparingly. Over the counter eye drops shouldn’t be used on a daily basis, unless proscribed by a doctor. But on the days you are zoning in and out, a few drops in each eye can help wake you up and reduce puffiness and redness in the eyes.

My Favorite Autumn Treat: Apple Pie Cupcakes

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, Food, How To, Uncategorized

 

One thing I love about the autumn season is all of the delicious foods you get to eat! Fall is the best time to cook with my favorite fruit… freshly picked apples! I love making homemade apple cider or apple crisps paired with vanilla ice cream. One recipe I stumbled upon adds a new twist to an old recipe that everyone loves, but instead of plain apple pie, its apple pie cupcakes! Seriously try them out, they are amazing. Happy baking readers, xoxo.

 


Apple Pie Cupcakes 

Ingredients: For cake 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp backing powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated apples (2 granny smith, 2 gala)

Instructions: For cake 

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners
  2. in medium bowl combine dry ingredients; flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  3. in large bowl combine eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla and whisk together
  4. gradually add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until combined
  5. fold grated apples into cake mixture
  6. fill cupcake lines 2/3 full with batter
  7. bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  8. let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling

Ingredients: For apple pie filling 

  • 3 apples, finely chopped (2 granny smith, 1 gala)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions: For apple pie filling

  1. place chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in medium size pan and cook over medium heat for about 18-20 minutes, until apples are tender. Stir occasionally.
  2. allow mixture to cool
  3. use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcakes and fill with apple pie filling

10 Tips To Get Rid Of Old Clothes

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Life, Shopping in Buffalo, Uncategorized

One of my worst habits is that I just don’t know when to let go of clothing. I probably still have shirts with tags on them that I will probably never wear… but I can’t get rid of them!! With a little fall cleaning motivation, I decided to clean out my closet and get out with the old and in with the new. I am going to share with you my process on how I determined what I should get rid of and what I decided to keep. You will feel so much better once your closet is cleaned and organized!! Xoxo

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  1. It’s truly stained. The fact is that with a little effort, most stains can be removed whether it’s from a professional or clever tricks you may know. However, there are things that can’t be fully removed like ink stains, bleach, dried paint, oil stains and many more. Sometimes you need to just suck it up and say goodbye to that piece of clothing.
  2. It smells old. Certain materials hold onto smells longer than others no matter how many times you wash it. While there are ways to remove musty odors from fabrics, there’s no guarantee all scents will disappear. If your clothing smells of must, food, or body odor even after you’ve washed it, it’s time to throw it out!
  3. It’s damaged beyond repair. While a seamstress can replace a zipper, a button, or even the lining of a coat, they can not fully fix a gaping tear on the side of your silk blouse.
  4. You wouldn’t buy it right this second. When it comes to getting rid of clothes, the true test isn’t whether you’ve worn an item in a year, but rather if you were out shopping right this second, would you buy it? If the answer is no, out it goes- even if it is only a month old.
  5. It doesn’t fit. Sometimes I hang onto clothes that are too tight in hopes that maybe one day I will fit back into them.  Realistically that piece of clothing will probably hang in my closet forever. Sure every woman likes to keep a pair of their favorite jeans that are too small as motivation, but if you have multiple clothes that don’t fit….get rid of them and make room for items that do fit!!
  6. It doesn’t convey the message you want it to. We all use fashion as a means of sending unspoken messages about who we are, or at least who we want to be. Often times that message changes as we mature. Certain pieces simply no longer remain relevant to the image we want to portray and that’s okay! Sometimes it is good to let go of old clothing to buy more appropriate ones.
  7. You associate it with bad memories. If you have clothing that reminds you of a terrible night out with your friends, or you have your ex’s clothing…. it is time to throw those things in the trash! Purging your closet of bad memories can be powerful, and it’ll force you to buy new things you really love!
  8. It’s simply not trending anymore. We’ve all bought super-trendy items that simply don’t stand the test of time, like that pair of chunky sneaker wedges you swore you’d wear every day. If you’re over them and know you won’t reach for them, its time to let them go.
  9. You keep trying it on but never actually wear it. You know those pieces that you always seem to try on at home, but never seem to grab when you’re actually getting dressed? Odds are, you’ll never wear them outside your bedroom, so why are you still hanging onto them? Better to use the space in your closet for things you’ll actually reach for regularly.
  10. It’s totally stretched out. One way to not look chic and pulled-together? Wear clothing that is stretched out. Sure, the laundry can help certain pieces retain their shape, but when you wear items often, they do stretch.

8 Foods To Make Your Hair Grow Faster

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

I have to say, one thing I love about being a girl is being able to have long hair that I can play and mess with. Being able to style my hair in so many different ways is fun and you can always make new styles up as you go! My friends always ask me how I keep my hair long, even when I get it cut regularly… and the honest answer, it’s the food I eat! Forget taking Biotin every day, or squeezing lemon in your hair, just try some of these food and you’ll get that long hair you’ve been dreaming of! (To note: not only will you get beautiful hair from eating these certain foods, but you will also become healthier and leaner due to the how healthy each one is! Talk about a double wammy)8 foods that make your hair grow faster. Wonder if it really works?


Salmon- Now this is one food that I do not eat, but I have heard that salmon is a great food that helps make hair grow. Fish is loaded with Vitamin D and protein, but it also contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote hair growth by keeping your scalp healthy. Instead of taking fish oil pills, why not treat yourself to a nice salmon every once in a while.

Yellow Peppers- Yellow bell peppers have nearly five and half more Vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens your hair shaft and hair follicles, and also prevents breakage. Nothing is more delicious to me than stuffed peppers, and they are so healthy for you too! It is like you’re getting not only a healthy meal but also an intake of nutrients for your hair all in one!

Oysters- If you don’t have enough Zinc in your body, you can suffer from hair loss and poor scalp conditions. Whats an easy and yummy way to get your dose of Zinc? How about some oysters!

Eggs- Hard boiled eggs or just cooking up the yolk is a great way to help with hair growth. Stay away from eating too many egg whites though, because it can actually block the absorption of biotin into your body. (My little healthy trick is to use the egg yolk and a little water for some scramble eggs in the morning.)

Sunflower Seeds- There is nothing like sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and eating sunflower seeds. Just a few seeds can supply you with a load of Vitamin E that enhances blood flow to the scalp and promotes faster hair growth.

Sweet Potatoes (minus the honey butter of course)– Baked sweet potato in the oven is so delicious and filling. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A that not only promotes a healthy scalp but promotes hair growth too.

Avocados- Avocados are an age old beauty secret. Aside from being delicious to eat, you can also use them as a shampoo remedy. Mix a little avocado with sour cream and apply to your hair and scalp for about 10 minutes before washing it off. The avocado helps to keep your scalp smooth while the sour cream exfoliates dead skin and cleans up the buildup on your scalp. Seriously… it works!

Almonds- Almonds have a high biotin content and make your hair grow super fast and thick. I love keeping a little container of them on my desk to snack on throughout the day. If you eat a small amount each day, within a month you will see results!

My Favorite Summer Nail Polish Colors

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Life, Uncategorized

If you are like me and always need to have your nails painted, then you understand when I say summer is the time to stock up on the nail polish!! With the warmer weather, I have to have my toes painted for all my open toe shoes and I always match my toes and nails! Here are my favorite nail polish colors for the summer!! xoxo

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Coral- Coral is hands down one of the most popular colors this summer. I love it because it darkens your tan and just screams summer time.  

Shimmery Pink- Pink is one of the most popular colors no matter the time of year. It is a soft and sweet color that doesn’t stand out but doesn’t leave your nails bare.

White- I always love my toes painted white because its a color that helps you look tanner and it also can be paired with everything! White is another color that you can basically wear year-round because you can rock it with any color or style of clothing.   

Deep Blue- Even though dark blue isn’t a bright color, it is still popular for summer. Royal’s and indigo’s really stand out next to a black article of clothing. If you wear matching colored jewelry, you can turn an outfit into a totally different look! 

Orchid- Light purple, or orchid, is a nice summer color if you’re looking to branch out from the traditional pinks and corals. This is another color I like to leave on my toes all year since it is subtle and light. 

Bright Red- To me, red is a color that always gives off that classy vibe. Wearing a little black dress out? Red nail polish, red lipstick and red heels pair with the dress with have heads turning your way! 

Nude- Nude is one of the most popular colors this summer and I LOVE IT. You look like you aren’t even wearing nail polish but the nude gives your nails a healthy and glossy look. Add some sparkles to the tip to create a every-day look that you don’t need to change for every outfit! 

Get A Work-Ready Look In 10 Minutes Or Less

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

I am not a morning person and sometimes I find it really difficult to actually get myself ready for work each morning. Due to my failed attempts at waking up earlier to get ready, I have got myself down to a 10 minute routine that gets me out of the house in a snap! From both makeup and hair, I’m work ready in 10 minutes or less!!! Follow my tips to help you get out of the house in no time! Xoxo

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HAIR: 

2 minutes: If I wake up with a serious case of bedhead, I brush out my ends to remove any obvious tangles. Then, to make up for the lack of actual shampoo, I apply dry shampoo to my roots. (TRESemme Dry Shampoo is my personal favorite)

2 minutes: Step away from the hot tools, there isn’t enough time for that.  If I’m looking for a quick and easy look, a braid or sock bun is a good and professional look I can get away with. My other trick is to shower at night and put my hair in either a low bun or braids. In the morning, I take down my hair to get natural beach waves. Any type of hairspray will help to hold the look all day.


 

MAKEUP:

1 minute: Wake up your complexion with a good old-fashion splash of cold water. As long as I thoroughly cleansed the night before, I can get away with just a rinse in the morning. Clean & Clear face moisturizer is something I like to apply after to keep my face nice and hydrated. (You can either exclude the moisturizer, or use your own product you prefer)

1 minute: While your chosen complexion is sinking in, I take a moment to apply mascara. (Here’s my little secret… Combine two different mascaras to thicken and elongate your lashes. Maybelline Colossal Volume and Maybelline Great Lash are my two favorite to combine.)

1 minute: Despite my love for pencil eyeliner, I always find that liquid works better and stays on longer. With one solid line, you will have hours or dark, bold eyeliner. (Revlon Color Stay works amazingly, and will last all day long)

2 minutes: I am not big on foundation, but sometimes office lighting can be unforgiving, so I do apply it under my eyes to get rid of the bags. If I feel like putting in a little more effort, I highlight my T-zone (Above the eyebrows and down the nose) to highlight my face. Rub on a small amount of bronzer to help highlight your T-zone.

1 minute: Take a final minute to make your finishing touches. A dab of blush on the cheeks, a dusting of finishing powder or bronzer, your signature perfume- and you’re off to work!


 

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes