Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : July 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Liebster Award Pt. Deux

Hello lovelies!  So yet again I have been nominated for the Liebster Award! Hooray! Even though I've done this once in the past, I figure since I'm still a little baby blog and that Kelly of Into the Labyrinth was so kind as to nominate me, that I would rock it out!

The award is meant to help newbie bloggers (less than 200 followers) up their followers and for others to discover their blogs!  Here are the rules:

1-If you are tagged/nominated, you must write 11 facts about yourself
2-Answer the 11 questions your tagger has given you and write 11 questions for your nominees
3-Tag 5-11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers
4-Let the bloggers you nominated know they got the award! (through comment, personal message, etc.)
5-No tagsies backsies!

Simple enough, right? So here goes!

11 Facts About Me:

1. I am a proud Mixed Chick.  Half Puerto Rican, half...lets go with German.  My mom's side is all kinds of stuff so I usually just say German (since I'm the most German out of everything.)
2.  I am addicted to Discovery Channel, both History Channels, NatGeo, and the Food Network.  #guilty
3.  My favorite meal is Chicken Parmesan.
4.  I'm a Mermaid.  It's a thing.  And if I'm not one now for real, then I was def one in a past life. ;)
5.  I'm actually really shy.  When people talk to me, I'm outgoing and friendly.  But I'm really very reserved and am not one to approach another person.
6.  I am far from an athletic girl, but I've taken lessons in Swimming and Tennis!  I even was on a swim team and won some medals.  My tennis class was for school and I got an A!
7.  I am through and through a Gemini.  I'm torn in half for just about everything in my life, which makes it difficult to make decisions.  But I'm also double the fun, so we're not really at a loss here.
8.  Sarcasm is my second language.  If you haven't already figured that out.
9.  I hate to cook.  I'm horrible at it.  I don't think I'll ever be a good cook.  I've come to terms with eating Lean Cuisine and mooching off my parents for the rest of my life.  (My dad is an excellent cook, so there's that.)
10.  I'm a salty snacker, not a sweets person.  Although I do like sweet stuff, if I'm craving a snack, it's most likely salty. (ex. chips, Goldfish, pretzels...)
11.  I started designing clothes around when I was 10.  I recently found some old sketches from the beginning.  Not my best work, but pretty darn good for a 10 year old.

My 11 Questions from Kelly!

1.What kind of music do you listen to?  (name the top 3 songs on your ipod/iphone)

Honestly, I listen to just about anything.  I'm extremely versitile when it comes to music.  But like anyone else, I do have favorites!  I like top hits as well as acoustic and indie bands.  I'd say my favorite songs right now are Talk Dirty- Jason DeRulo, All About That Bass- Meghan Trainor, & Monte Carlo- U.S. Royalty.  Just to give you an idea of the range of my like, haha.

2. If you could have a free vacation anywhere, where would it be and who would you bring?

Either a tour of the Caribbean or of Europe.  Gemini me loves the beach but also love to explore beautiful, historic places!  I would bring my family and closest friends!

3. Who is your celebrity crush?

Ahhh this is a tough one! I was never one of those pre-teens who swooned over celebrities.  But I definitely do now!  There are so many to choose from, but I'm gonna have to go with Jensen Ackles.  He is muy calliente! ;)

4.  Have you ever seen the movie The Labyrinth?

I have not, but I've been told by tons of people that it is wonderful and that I must see it.  Therefore, it is on my list to watch.

5. What is your favorite TV series?

Supernatural.  No contest.  I do have a lot of shows that I love but I would be pretty devastated if Supernatural was cancelled or whatnot.  Such an awesome show.

6.  Where is your favorite place to visit?

New York City, baby!  I've been to a lot of places.  But not many of them more than once.  So when it comes to a multiple visit place, it would have to be NYC.  Every time I go, I find something new or go somewhere I've never been.  It's like going for the first time, every time I go.  It truly is a magical city.

7.  What’s the most unusual thing you've eaten?

Well, I've eaten some interesting things in my 23 years.  But this has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever eaten/has ever happened to me.  I tried a small appetizer listed as "sweet breads."  Now if you already know what this is, I know you're laughing at me. However, my friend and I were not so privileged.  We ordered it thinking it would be like, a basket of bread or something.  And out come these little balls, with some kind of sauce.  I tried it and hated it, and he tolerated it and finished it.  There was a good reason we thought it tasted "weird."  Apparently, sweet breads are CALF BRAINS. Freakin' calf brains.  I literally almost died when I found out.  I immediately called my friend and told him.  He responded, "excuse me while I go vomit..."  All quite funny in retrospect; not so funny at the time.  Now, however, I am LMAO.

8.  What is your favorite Movie?

This has always been a close fight. So I usually break it down by genre.  For length purposes I will tell you my favorite animated movie, which will forever be Finding Nemo. 

9.  Do you have a special talent or something unique about yourself?

To sound as least conceited as possible, I do have several talents.  My favorite, however is singing.  It's something I've done my whole life, been praised for, and still enjoy pretty much every day.  People truly appreciating your singing is one of the best feelings ever.  I'll never forget when my vocal coach told me that there were people crying while I was singing.  Moving people so truly really fills the heart. :) 

10.  How did you come up with your blog name?

Well then, I actually wrote an entire post on this, simply because my title is so unusual.  You can read that here.  But I'll give you the condensed version.  Basically, both things are meant to represent both sides of me and my life.  The Sequin Gowns represents my life in fashion.  The glitz, glamour, and fast paced city life.  The Mermaid Crowns represents my more laid back, whimsical side.  My mermaid side and the beach life.  The meaning to me has actually evolved since I created it.  But I really feel I made a magnificent choice.

11.  What type of drink do you order at a bar?

Probably the girliest thing on the menu, haha.  I love fruity cocktails that make me think of islands and the beach.  Margaritas, Daiquiris, Hurricanes, etc... Other than that, I love hard cider.  Particularly Angry Orchard. 

11 Questions for my Nominees:

1. What is your favorite color to wear?
2. What do you consider to be your spirit animal?
3. If you had to create a Chopped basket, what 5 ingredients would you choose?
4. What would your dream house look like and
6. Describe your personal style in 3 words.
7. What things do you doodle subconsciously on a paper?
8. What is your favorite thing about summer?
9. Have you ever been to Disney World?
10. What made you want to start blogging?
11. What is your go to, can't live without hair product?

My Nominees!

This time I decided to go with a nice rounded number of six!

Jessie- My Random Life As An Air Force Wife (My Bestie/Twin!!!)
Rishika- Rishika's Mommy Blog
Missy- Missy G: Everyday Glitterati
Crystal- That's So Crystal
Lindsay- Sequins & Style
Camille- La Petite Cams

Congrats to everyone I've chosen!  I can't wait to read your answers and I hope you have just as much fun doing this as I did! :)
XO, Briana

Friday, July 11, 2014

Obsessed: Fashion Favorites / Friday Link Ups

Hey everyone! I'm very excited to be launching my Obsessed series, where I list a bunch of things I'm obsessed with at the end of the week!  I'll often link up with the Friday Five, since five seems to be a reasonable list for one post! So without further ado, here is the first of I hope will be many!

1. Chanel Couture Fall/Winter 2015 Collection

O.M.G. I can not express in words just how obsessed I am with this collection!  First off, let me note that I am a huge fan of Chanel, Coco Chanel herself, and the incredible Karl Lagerfeld.  So maybe I'm a bit biased.  But I can't see how anyone could not be overwhelmed by the beauty of even just the fabrics in this collection.  Lagerfeld takes the classic, chic silhouettes that define the Chanel brand and kicks them up a notch.  He adds a modern twist by pairing coat style dresses with matching, visible knickers.  The collection is cohesive, feminine, classic, and elegant while still being new and fresh.  Again, I am obsessed, and I will take one of everything!  View the entire runway show below!

2. Henri Bendel Jetsetter Backpacks

I first saw these beauts on the Henri Bendel Instagram page and immediately fell in love! I love me a good, chic backpack, and I've been meaning to replace my 3 year old, tattered up rucksack I got a JCPenny's. (It's super cute, but it's definitely seen better days haha)  Then along came Henri.  I'm already obsessed with these bags and consider myself a Bendel girl, even though I only actually own one bag (which I have gotten a great deal of use out of!).  What I love about these backpacks are the sleek, modern shape and array of colors!  There are already a few selections out now, and more to come at the launch of the Holiday collection (hello, cute prints!).  Plus, after I looked it up on the Bendel website, I realized that they are also convertable! You can not only wear it as a backpack, but also a satchel or crossbody!  How cool is that?! Definitely a wardrobe staple.  But I'm totally saving up for one of these, since they ring in at a $278.  Not horrible, but still a bit of a splurge for me.  I'm what you call an, "I got it on sale" girl.  Ain't nothin' wrong with that! But, if I did have endless cash, I'd have at least three of these! Check it out for yourself on their website!

3. Mara Hoffman Spring Prints

Every time I come upon one of these prints, I'm always squealing over how great they are.  Then I look at the tag, Pinterest link, or the details on my Covet Fashion game (yes, I'm addicted) and see that it's a Mara Hoffman.  I'm a sucker for bright, interesting prints and Hoffman's seem to always catch my eye!  They have a fun, bohemian vibe that's great for summer!  As if the prints weren't already fabulous, the clothes that wear them are just as wonderful! I have become a huge fan of the brand, and I also really love their blog! This collection was actually one of the shows I got to watch live on the TVs in Lincoln Center!  Loved it then, love it even more now!  Here are some of my favorites and things that caught my eye ;)

4. Zuhair Murad Dresses

Once upon a time, I was pinning my life away and I came upon this glorious dress:

I immediately fell in love and vowed that if/when I get married and make my way to a sample size (unlikely) I will buy this dress for my wedding day.  Ever since, I've been obsessed with just about every dress by Zuhair Murad.  I've pinned dozens on dozens of them and I'm honestly blown away with just how intricate and beautiful they are!  I'm in love. So for your viewing pleasure, here are a few of my other favorites by Zuhair Murad!

5. Tulle Skirts and T Shirts

So I keep seeing fellow bloggers and instagrammers donning those adorable tulle skirts accompanied by simple, graphic t shirts and I'm obsessed.  I love love this trend.  I think it's so cute and feminine, while still chic.  You'd think wearing what is basically a grown-up tutu would look childish, but it really doesn't!  Styled correctly, adult children can let out their inner princess without looking like you were dressed by your 6 year old niece, or what have you.  Plus, the t shirt can give it a bit of edge with sassy sayings and pop culture references!  So cute! My favorite tulle skirts I've seen come from Space 46 Boutique!  They make them in several different colors and lengths and they also do custom sizes!  So even us "Plus Size Princesses" can rock them! (Had to steal that phrase from CeCe of the blog Plus Size Princess because it couldn't have been a better fit!)

So that is what I'm obsessing about right now!!  What do you think? I want to read your comments so leave 'em below! :)

XO, Briana

Linking Up With:


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SGMC Book Party!- Panic by Lauren Oliver

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to introduce the first post of my SGMC Book Party!  Whenever I finish reading a new book, I'll post my review right here under the sgmcbookparty label.  You can also find all of my posts by clicking the SGMC Book Party link at the top of the page!  As well as book reviews, I'll also sprinkle in a variety other "book lover" posts.  So without further ado, here is my first official book review! :)

Panic by Lauren Oliver

First off, I received this book from my cousin who had it as an Advanced Reader's Copy from before the book was originally released.  It wasn't up her alley, but when I read the summary I knew I would like it. Boy was I right!  I absolutely loved this book!  As you probably have seen me write before, I have a very short attention span; but this book kept my attention and I finished it less than a week.

In a short spoiler-free summary, the book covers an interesting group of main characters and focuses on a game called Panic.  Every year, the graduating seniors of Carp's high school participate in the risky game of Panic to win a large sum of money.  The challenges all lend themselves to the name of the game, which will have you wide eyed and frantically reading to find out who makes it to the next round.  Following a relatable and complex group, you will make a connection with the characters and find yourself rooting for all of them.

I don't want to say much more about he plot because I don't want to give anything away!  But overall the book was wonderful: a quick read, easy flowing, and made me want more! Panic gives the reader an interesting, clever plot line and some great lessons as well.  I actually want to quote the author's website because it sums up the themes precisely: " extraordinary novel of fear, friendship, courage, and hope."

I'm going to give this book 4.5 stars.  I only docked it a half of a point because I wish it had slightly more depth in the characters.  I found myself wanting to know more about certain events and emotions from the mind of a particular character.  But as a whole, it deserves those 4.5 stars 100%!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes Young Adult novels, and a little bit of suspense!

Check out the author's summary --> HERE!
Buy it on Amazon --> HERE!

XO, Briana

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Things Ahead!

Recently I've come into some time to dedicate solely to blogging, so I've decided to implement some new things!  I'm really excited to start up some new series, adding pages to the blog, and more!  So here is a list of the new things I'm planning to start up in the next month or so and a brief description!  I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

The SGMC Book Party!
This is going to be a new page linked at the top of the blog!  Here, I'll post book reviews and other book related things!  In case you didn't already know, I am a bookworm.  So I figured I could share my love with you all!

The SGMC Boutique

This one I'm super excited about!  I'm opening a store where I will be selling my new/lightly used clothing!  I have so many great pieces that haven't been worn and are just chillin' in my closet, so I figured they were dollars sitting in my drawers, and things someone else would get more use out of than myself!  I'm not sure of the technicalities of it yet (basically whether it will be a storenvy store or an Instagram store) but I will make an announce it when it is ready to go!

The "Let's Talk About This..." Series

One of my most used phrases is, "let's talk about this for a minute..."  Thus comes the "Let's Talk About This" title for this series!  Basically, the series will be short posts that will cover just about anything: news, entertainment, ideas, and of course the fashion/beauty category.  I'm hoping this series will get everyone chatting, since I love interacting with all of you!

The "Obsessed" Series

Last, but not least, is the "Obsessed" series. For this one, I'll decide on a day and every week I'll do a post on what I'm obsessed with that week.  As I've mentioned several times before, I have an obsessive personality.  I get really enthralled with things for a period of time and then I'm onto the next thing. Sometimes.  Other times, I'm forever obsessed (haha).  I'm thinking most of these will be in the fashion/beauty category, but I'll probably stray off of that on occasion.  

I've added all of the headers/logos for each thing so if you see these, you'll know what you're in for!  Now it's your turn!  What do you think of these new additions?  What are you excited for? Do you have any suggestions for posts or other additions?  I really love hearing your thoughts so comment away!!  I'll be back soon with a follow up on the bigger projects!

XO, Briana

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Birthday America!

So as you well know, yesterday was the 4th of July!  Hurray America!!  So naturally, my family had an old fashioned, American BBQ.  There was tons of food, games, and laughter, as there is at most of my family get together.  Also, as always, I had to dress up!  Independence Day and Memorial Day are really the only times when I feel confident no one will judge me for looking like an American flag.

I have to note that this is my new favorite dress.  It's probably the most flattering dress I've ever worn, hands down.  The ruffles are girly, but draw attention to my smallest part, and the petal style skirt covers my middle problem area.  It's the perfect length: right above the knee.  Honestly, if I wear anything much shorter I look hoochy, since I'm literally all legs, haha. Plus knee length is forever classy!  Then the sleeve is just enough to slim my arms and adds a really cute detail to the neckline!  Basically, I could go on all day about how much I love this, but you can see in the picture just how adorable it is!

Dress: City Chic at Nordstrom Rack | Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction | Necklace: Amazon 

After our huge dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, etc (I could go on for days!), it was time for dessert! My dad and I decided to make what I like to call "boozecicles," which in layman's terms is an alcoholic popsicle.  Perfect for a hot summer day!  This is the first time we made them, so they were a little on the strong side, but I think with the proper tweaks in the recipe they would be perfect! (And they were delicious, regardless.)  Here is a general recipe of the special patriotic ones we made. I've name them the "Red, White, and Booze" Boozecicle:

Red: Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, White Rum, Sprite
White: Coconut Rum, Sprite
Blue: Blue Curacao, Sour Mix

They are super easy to make too.  I mean, if I can do it, I can guarantee anyone can (#cantcook).  All we did for the six we made was poured the ingredients for each color into separate cups (or you could just do one at a time) and mix them as if you were making a drink.  Then we poured about the same amount into each mold.  To do the stripes, we popped them in the freezer for a bit in between until they were frozen enough to keep the colors separated.  There's not really an exact science to it.  It's more based on your preferences!  Keep your eyes out for more "boozecicle" recipes this summer!  I plan on making different ones for different occasions.  When I make them, I'll post the recipe!  If you make these or try your own, let me know!! I love to see what everyone is up to! :)

Hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July!

XO, Briana

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mascara Wars

As a makeup connoisseur, I know that I have tried so many different mascaras it isn't even funny.  I haven't found one I hated, but I am still on the quest for my favorite!  So I decided to duke it out between my 4 current top mascaras!

So far, most of the one's I've tried have been from Maybelline.  It all started when I bought one of the new ones to try and  the cycle continued; every time a new one came out, I bought it.  For a while I preferred the Maybelline Cat Eyes mascara, but then I tried the first mascara on my list: the Maybelline Volum' Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara.

Shown in the first picture, this mascara works pretty well!  It gives my lashes volume and length like a good mascara should.  I like it because it gives my lashes a natural look.  My favorite thing about this mascara is the double wand.  I find that the small wand is perfect for the bottom lashes.  It makes it so much easier to grab those baby lashes without smudging it under my eyes.  Also, it retails for about $8 and it comes in waterproof as well! Can't beat that!

Second up is the Benefit They're Real Mascara.  I kept hearing so much about this mascara: that it was the best premier mascara on the market and that it was basically "magic".  So obviously, I had to try it for myself.  I am pleased to say I really love this mascara and I agree with all of the hype it comes with.  It not only lengthens and volumnizes, but also darkens your lashline, so you almost look like you're wearing eyeliner as well.  The coolest thing about this is the wand.  Again.  The shape allows you to not only apply as you normally would (lift and wiggle!) but also use the wand vertically.  It gets all of those little lashes you didn't even know were there and curls them even more, post-eyelash curler.  My only negative about this one is that it's really hard to get off.  I don't actually use "eye makeup remover" persay.  I just use a facial wipe to remove my makeup, so it takes a while to get it off and most of the time there's still some residue.  But a good oil-based remover should get it off.  If not, Benefit does sell a remover specifically made for the "They're Real" products.  I have to say, as much as I feel like it may be a marketing ploy, I still really want to try it. But overall, the product is wonderful. Price wise, this is a premier company, so it's a bit on the higher end; it retails at $23.  However, they also sell a mini version that's only $10!  So if you want to try it and are still skeptical, the mini is your BFF!  The small sizes are also great for travel!  A+, Benefit!

The third picture shown is the Cover Girl Bombshell Volume Mascara that I got to try, courtesy of my Influenster Surf's Up Vox Box.  This one is similar to the Maybelline mascara in that it has a double wand: Step 1: Volumize. Step 2: Intensify.  I really like this one for when I'm wearing darker eyeshadow, because it really does intensify the lashes.   You can see even by the picture that my lashes are thicker and darker, especially near the lashlines.  I like using this for a night out or if I'm just feeling like being a little bit glamorous!  This mascara retails for about $12, depending where you go.  For brands like Cover Girl and other drugstore brands, keep your eyes peeled for coupons!  They often pop up at Rite-Aid, CVS, Target, and even Ulta sometimes does deals.  Overall, I really like this mascara.  It looks great and I hardly can tell I'm wearing it! Way more comfortable than wearing false lashes, and it looks just as good!  Thanks Influenster!

Last, but not least, is the Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara that I received in last month's Influenster Vox Box.  So if you read my blog regularly, you've already seen this one in action!  Since I got it, I noticed that I've been using it quite a lot.  I really like the easy, natural look it gives my lashes.  As a natural makeup kind of gal, it goes great with my variety of neutral brown eyeshadows and still looks great sans eyeliner.  This one doesn't pump up the volume as much as the Bombshell, but it separates your lashes really well and gives you a nice, finished look. Price wise, this one is in between retailing at $15.  You can get it on line, or through your personal Mary Kay consultant!

So after trying all of these different mascaras, I can't say I favor any one of them!  They're all great and work perfectly for different occasions and looks. I think you should have more than one favorite to go with your mood, look, or occasion! I would recommend all of them to every one of you!  All of them work wonderfully and look great.  Who needs falsies when your natural lashes can look just as good!

So have you guys tried any of these? What do you think?  Leave your comments below!! :)

P.S. I feel like I should explain the difference of color in the photos.  I took a picture of each mascara on different days at different times!  So the two center photos were in full natural light, the others were a combination of natural light and the light in my room.  Oh, and that's my actual eye color, no editing!  They change ;)

XO, Briana