Happy New Year!

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{Kate Spade agenda, J.Crew passport holder, Dolce&Gabbana lipstick in BonBon, paper straws + confetti from Target}

Happy New Year! I am so excited for all the new adventures 2016 will bring. I’m spending the holiday in Massachusetts with my boyfriend and his family, and then kicking off the new year later this month when I leave for my semester abroad. While I am overcome with nerves for my study abroad, I know that this is my only chance to drop everything and travel the globe.

The mark of January 2016 also makes me recognize my gratefulness for this blog. I started Rise + Shine last January and posted weekly, with each post only getting a few views. I am so thrilled with how far it has come. This blog has evolved and met milestone after milestone, and for something I simply do as a hobby, it is always lovely to see something you create succeed.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve filled with champagne, sequins, and confetti. I wish you a blessed new year… bring on 2016!

xx, Laina

Holiday Snapshots

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Here are a few snapshots of how I’ve been spending the holiday season.

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{the candle obsession continues}

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{hot cocoa + holiday movies}

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{tried a new cookie recipe: sea salt caramel chocolate chip}

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{prosecco + ruffles for our Christmas party}

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{beautiful food table at our Christmas party}

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{loving our chic dining room decor}

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{much needed after finals week: relaxing face masks}

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{gingerbread tea latte, presents, poinsettias}

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{our beautiful tree}

xx, Laina

Monthly Muses | December

That’s a wrap! By some Christmas miracle, my planning, shopping, and wrapping is officially done! This year I was feeling inspired by many different creative wrapping ideas on Pinterest, and Target had everything I needed to make the gift wrap as beautiful as the presents themselves! Now I can finally curl up with a cozy blanket and a cup of mint hot chocolate for a Christmas movie marathon.

Enjoy!

xx, Laina

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All About: Skincare

Though I manage to survive finals week each semester, my skin definitely takes the toll. A combination of late nights studying and too much coffee leaves my skin suffering. Luckily I have mastered a skincare product routine that works for my skin and keeps it smooth, acne-free, and moisturized.

Clean + Revitalize 

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Dolce & Gabbana Cleansing Water: Gently takes off makeup.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: My all-time favorite face wash! This is good for people with sensitive skin.

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power Scrub: I use this after cleaning my face with Cetaphil. The cooling microbeads always wake up my skin in the morning and keep acne out.

 

Tone + Balance

 

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SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion + Essence: This pair is what helped save my skin last year when I had a lot of acne. It completely balances the skin, perfectly drying out the acne while also getting rid of excess oil.

SK-II Power Essence: I use this serum when my skin is really suffering and is in serious need of moisture. It is so soft!

Sephora Pomegranate Face Mask: This mask always assists in balancing the skin, as well as energizing my pores.

 

Eye Rescue

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My eye bags have really been struggling lately, and a lack of sleep during finals week plus a mass-cleaning of my dusty apartment left my eyes puffy and my eye circles dark. The Sephora Green Tea Eye Mask  helps calm the puffiness and redness, and the SK-II Signs Eye Mask adds an abundance of moisture. I use the SK-II Essence Eye and Boscia Avino Eye Treatment  daily to prevent getting large eye bags.

 

Moisturize + Soothe

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This is by far my favorite part of my skincare routine! These masks, scrubs, and lotions keep my skin feeling super-soft and moisturized. I would recommend each of these products, they are so worth it.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

Dolce & Gabbana Aurealux Mask

Clay Masks in Acai + Avocado Oatmeal (available at Drugstores)

Lush Face Scrub

Olay Sculpting Cream

 

Final Touches

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In addition to my usual skincare routine, sometimes my skin needs some serious rescue and attention. I use the SK-II Mid-Day Essence to give my skin a boost when its suffering during the hustle and bustle of the day. The Dolce & Gabbana Cleansing Milk also adds intense moisture for extremely dry skin. Lastly, my Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue energizing body wash and mint Eos lip balm help keep me feeling refreshed, especially during the winter months.

I hope you enjoyed my skincare routine!

xx, Laina

There’s a Snake in My Boot

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{Free People sweater + scarf, Zara booties (similar), Forever 21 hat}

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{Always in love with Georgetown}

I felt like exploring a city this weekend and was delighted that my sister Gianna, who attends Georgetown University, was finished with exams so we could enjoy a girls day. We indulged in yummy holiday lattes from Dean & Deluca and spent our Sunday shopping for Christmas gifts for the rest of our family. After a few days of wearing my usual winter break pairings of flannels and leggings, I was so excited to dress up for a day on the town.

These snakeskin booties from Zara were exactly what I needed to spice up my outfit, and I can’t wait to wear them around Europe. Worn with my cozy Free People sweater and scarf and chic Forever 21 fedora in my favorite shade of the season, I felt stylish and chic for a day of shopping.

xx, Laina

A Time for Change

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{Free People tunic, on sale here!}

I was in the mood for a spontaneous change when I visited the hair salon this week, prompting me to tell my hairstylist to “cut it all off!!” I’m thrilled with the way the long bob (“lob”) turned out, and I’m excited to have simple, manageable hair while I’m studying abroad in Europe.

For the next couple of weeks my hair will probably be swept up into a ponytail because our household will be busy with hosting holiday parties, wrapping gifts, running errands, and baking yummy treats.

Have a great weekend!

xx, Laina

Weekly Recap

Phew! This week has been quite the whirlwind. An abundance of projects, papers, and tests has occupied my every waking hour these past few days, and mostly everything is FINALLY done. With the exception of one paper due next week, I will be spending the weekend recouping from the busy week, Christmas shopping, and getting myself into the holiday spirit now that the majority of my Junior year stress is behind me. Here are some snapshots from my week!

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{Berry Means Business: my outfit + lip color for my big client presentation this week}

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{Gucci Gucci}

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{Finals Week uniform: Cozy Free People scarf + sweater, with a touch of gold}

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{The launch party I planned for Zipped Magazine}

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{Small gift baskets I made for friends… everything was purchased at Target!!}

Have a relaxing weekend!

xx, Laina