Thursday, January 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Reflections on 2015 (And a Few Favorite Beauty Products, Too)

Heading into California at the end of my long cross country road trip. Can you tell I was excited?
So it's a new year. And I have to say, I'm pretty happy about it. I don't know about you, but 2015 was immensely challenging for me. Heartbreak, loss and overall struggle seemed to run more rampant for me than in years past. But at the same time, 2015 brought wonderful people and exciting new adventures into my life, which I think helped to make up for the bad.

I always find it interesting that the end of an old year and start of a new one cause us to reflect so much on what happened and make plans and goals for the future. Even if we don't end up following through on our resolutions -- because, let's be honest, how many of us are actually going to the gym five days a week and only eating salad -- it's always the perfect time to think about what's important and try to move forward.

For me, 2015 was an uphill battle. I lost love, I lost my grandmother, I lost my job, and in effect, I partially lost my sense of self. But through it all, I tried to remain positive, because if nothing else, I definitely have a glass half full personality. All of these occurrences helped me move forward ... and, by the end of the year, across the country to Los Angeles! Along the way, I gained new insight into who I am and what I want, which I think is the best eventuality.

And of course I'd be remiss not to mention a few of my favorite beauty products from the past year as well. It is Throwback Thursday, after all! So I hope you'll journey with me through the collection of photos below, featuring both wonderful moments from 2015 and fabulous products I now can't live without. Happy 2016!


Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24Hour Eyeshadow in Bold Gold. Otherwise known as THE. BEST. EYESHADOW. EVER. Read my review here.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick was all the rage in 2015. I tried it out, and I'm here to tell you it's worth the hype. Read my review here.

Balenciaga Florabotanica and Rosabotanica fragrances. The packaging alone makes them worth it. Read my review here.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in Porcelain is my concealer holy grail. You're welcome. Read my review here.

The Amika Switch Base and Bombshell 1" Barrel Wand CHANGED MY LIFE. Read my review here.

I'd heard of Paula's Choice, but never tried any of the products until this year. Well, color me (and my skin) impressed. Read my review here.

Tired eyes? Thanks to Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox De-Puffing Eye Cubes, no one has to know. Trust me. Read my review here.


I turned 35 in 2015 (and celebrated three times, in three different cities). During my trip to NYC, my brother surprised me with this cake at the Gansevoort Park Hotel ... all the way from London, since he couldn't be there in person!

My best friend, Katie and me during our NYC birthday trip. Our birthdays are only 17 days apart!

Another city, another birthday celebration ... this time in Los Angeles!

My life wouldn't be complete without two things -- my bestie (and former roommate) Todd and Disneyland. Thanks for duck bombing us, Donald!

I would not have gotten through the year without these two. David (on the left) was my college roommate and we're best friends all these years later. His partner, Rich, is just as wonderful. I visited them in April and had the absolute best time.

My brother and I had the great fortune to meet the incomparable Bonnie Herman of The Singers Unlimited in April. Do yourself a favor and listen to her sing immediately. (And read all about the weekend here).

Spending time with my mom and brother is always a highlight for me. This was taken during a trip to Boston in April.

I've loved The Bangles since I was 5 years old. And I finally got to see them perform at The Troubadour in May! Susanna Hoffs is incomparable.

During my trip to LA in May, I hiked at the Griffith Observatory. I may be sweaty and red faced here, but it's one of my favorite pictures EVER. I was so proud of myself for finishing the hike and this moment completely cemented my desire to move to LA.

This girl. My friend Mindy is one of my favorite people in Pittsburgh and in life. I miss her.

On the ferry to Martha's Vineyard with my best friend of over 25 years. If you can't tell, we were happy.

My best friend's son makes me truly happy.

I may not get to see my cousin Matt that often, but whenever I do, life gets better.

Frolicking in the surf at Laguna Beach in August. This was a pivotal emotional moment.

This lovely lady is my friend Bri. She's one of my very favorite people in Pittsburgh and I've known her since my first trip there in 2010! This was taken on the last night we hung out before I left for LA. (I cried right after.)

With my amazing friend Caren and her equally amazing dog, Kali. We spent the whole summer together and took this right before I left town. You can't tell, but I was crying here.

Just kickin' it on Route 66.

Heading toward Cadillac Ranch during my cross country road trip. One of the best moments of my trip for sure.

Okay. How could I NOT stop at the Uranus Fudge Factory during my cross country road trip?

The Grand Canyon was totally awe inspiring. All these months later, I still am at a loss to describe its sheer awesomeness.

New apartment. New keys. New life.

Want to hear a reason why I love waking up every day? Working for Splendid and Ella Moss would be it. Beyond happy I moved to LA for this opportunity.

My friend Gerold is one of the best people you could ever hope to meet. Here we are at an event for Toms at Harper Salon in West Hollywood.

Going as Liza Minelli for Halloween. This. Makeup. Took. Forever.

Another night, another gorgeous LA sunset. Seriously, this never gets old.

Steve Madden floral lace-up heels. AKA my favorite shoe purchase of 2015.

I've had the immense fortune of connecting with brand new (to me) family members in Los Angeles. Here I am with my cousin Eden during high tea at the Montage Beverly Hills.

After years of debating, I finally took the plunge and got a tattoo. I am beyond excited about how it turned out. My artist, East, works at Shamrock Social Club on Sunset and is an absolute genius at beautiful handwritten script.

New city, new life, new hair! Done by the fabulous Jesse German at Martinez-Samuel Salon on Sunset.

My awesome friend Felicia visited me over New Year's! This was taken right after I picked her up from the airport.

I had to celebrate my first New Year's Eve in Los Angeles in style -- and what better way to do that than by wearing the Alice & Olivia Shary V-Neck Dress and Jana Embossed Snake Wedges? Also, I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I live directly around the corner from the A&O store in West Hollywood...


  1. What an amazing journey, and my absolute favorite Throwback Thursday so far!

    1. Awww, thank you so much, Helen. :) I can't wait to meet you in LA SOON!!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like you had a blast! And I'm obsessed with the Color Tattoos too!

  3. You are too adorable. You came through a year with so many changes and ended up with such a positive attitude. You always seem to have a smile on your face. Thanks for sharing all of this.

    1. Marcia, I really do appreciate your kind words. Thank you so much.

  4. We all had shares of ups and downs in 2015 so we'd rather close the chapter and begin a new one in 2016. Cheers to a better year!

    1. YES!! What the heck was it about this past year?!?! Onward and upward!

  5. I love your smile, so infectious! Here's to a great 2016 :D

    1. Thank you so much, Bailey! Hear hear!

  6. OMG I love all the photos and snippets to go with them! You always look so adorable!

  7. Reading this just made me smile, all over. Your smile is so infectious and your pictures and writing radiate all of your inner joy. Thank you for sharing your year and the people most important to you with us.

    1. Erika, thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind words! :)



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