Thursday, August 9, 2012

Six Random Beauty Tips

I've compiled a list of my favorite beauty tips that I've found on Pinterest, and I'm excited to share them with y'all. Enjoy!

5 uses for Vaseline: (from
1. Put some on your eyelashes before bed to make them grow longer and fuller.
2. Apply to your cuticles for softer and better looking nails.
3. Apply Vaseline to perfume points before you spray to make the scent last longer.
4. Apply under eyeshadow to create a shiny effect.
5. Use just a touch on the ends of your hair to hide dry and split ends.

How to clean out your hairbrush: (from
Hairbrushes that have lots of hair built up in them are giant traps for dust, conditioner, oil, germs, and even dust mites (EW). You should clean out your hairbrush once every week or two. Here's how:
1. Grab a pen or pencil and slide it under the hair in the middle of the brush. Pull up until the hair starts to loosen.
2. Go in with scissors and cut straight down the middle where your pencil was.
3. Peel the hair open and remove. You can go back in with your pen or pencil to loosen up any more tight spots.
4. If you have time, shampoo your bursh in a sink filled with warm water and a tablespoon of shampoo.

Whiten teeth with hydrogen peroxide: (from
Hydrogen peroxide is cheap and works just as well as expensive teeth whitening kits. Bleaching teeth with hydrogen peroxide is acknowledged as a safe practice by the American Dental Association. Use it as mouthwash twice daily. Swish it around in your mouth for 1 minute. The solution will begin to foam; this is how you know it is working. The hydrogen peroxide combined with oral bacteria cause bubbles to form in your mouth. Spit out the solution, and rinse your mouth with water. Brush your teeth as you normally would.

Homemade make-up brush cleaner: (from
You should clean your make-up brushes regularly because: it helps them to last as long as possible, dirty brushes become scratchy and don't work well, and dirty brushes can transfer bacteria, dirt, debris, oils, dead skin cells, and old makeup from your skin to your makeup products and back again. The best and cheapest product to use for cleaning makeup brushes is Johnson's Baby Shampoo ($2.99). You should clean your brushes at least once a month. To clean your brushes:
1. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup warm water with 1 tablespoon Baby Shampoo.
2. Swoosh one brush at a time around in the mixture to clean.
3. Rinse with water to remove all traces of soap until the water runs clear. Make sure to keep the brush hairs pointing down while rinsing. 
4. Reshape each brush and lay them on a clean paper towel to dry completely before you use them again.

5 uses for Q-Tips: (from
1. Use as disposable eyeshadow applicants to ensure that each color stays true.
2. Keep lip color from bleeding by using Q-tips to apply loose translucent powder along the outer edge of the lips.
3. To make mascara last all night, apply one coat of mascara, the dip a Q-tip in translucent powder and sweep over lashes. Then cover with a second coat of mascara.
4. Roll Q-tips in your eye shadow and store in a plastic bag for long days/nights out. Reapply when your shadow starts to look dull.
5. When your lipstick is down to the bone, use Q-tips to get every last bit out.

Homemade sea spray for beachy waves: (from
We all love beachy waves that you can only get from the ocean. Now you can get them at home.
Mix 1 cup warm water and 3 tablespoons sea salt in a spray bottle and shake well. Next, add 1 tablespoon gel or spray gel, 1/2 tablespoon conditioner or leave-in conditioner, and a couple spritzes of your favorite perfume. Shake well. Spray your hair generously and use your hands to scrunch.

Try these and let me know how they worked for you! Hope y'all have a great day. Wish me luck packing for my dorm today and tomorrow! I can't wait for my official move in post on Saturday or Sunday... stay tuned! Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Target: Favorite Finds Under $30

Yesterday's trip to Target inspired me to write this post! Every time I go in to Target, I spend at least $60. They just have so much cute stuff for so cheap! I get almost all of my bathing suits there. You can usually find cute dresses and shirts, too. Yesterday, I got a pair of skinny jeans for $22! Surprisingly, they are one of the most comfortable pairs of jeans I own, and they fit me great. Moral of the story, don't turn your nose up at Target jeans! I also got like, 10 things from that $1 section at the front. I got a little notepad, page tabs, a deck of cards, paperclips, push pins, hair ties, and other random stuff. And best of all, I got a super-cute, super-comfy bra on clearance for $10! This is why I love Target. I decided to create a list of my favorite finds from Target, all under $30! Hope you enjoy it!

1. Totes Rose/Mango Bubble Umbrella - $16.99. I'm absolutely in love with this umbrella! Love the color blocking and the fact that it comes so far down to really protect your face and hair from the rain.

2. Gold Wavy Enamel Bracelet - $16.99. These bracelets are super-cute and would be great for stacking. And, there were like, 5 color choices! 

3. Mossimo Supply Co. Red Corduroy Pant - $22.99. These skinny corduroy pants are great for fall! There were 4 other color choices. I could see these paired with a cotton tee, riding boots, and infinity scarf.

4. Merona Double Rope Tabs Belt - $16.99. Love this belt! It has such a nautical look. Perfect for summer, but could still be worn during fall with the right outfit!

5. SOHO Palm Springs Weekender Cosmetic Bag - $24.99. In my opinion, Target has the best cosmetic bags. They're cheap and come in a very wide variety of sizes and patterns. I know my Target always has a large selection of them. This bag is big with lots of compartments, and I love the print!

6. Privet House at Target Set of 3 Journals - Clearance $14.48. Love these prints. Perfect for back to school. I'm OCD, so I always had a different notebook for every class. Plus, they are 50% off!

7. Xhilaration Juniors 2-pc. Must Have Pajama Set - Tank/Cropped Pants - $16.99. These PJ's are too cute! Now that I'm about to move into a dorm, I should pay more attention to what I wear to bed (just in case the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night, or something). I love the colors in this set. They look really comfy. 

8. Women's Tartan Plaid Rain Boots - $29.99. I love this preppy print. If you don't have a cute pair of rain boots, I suggest going to right now to buy some! I think they had over 80 pairs of rain boots on their website, all different colors and patterns. It's about to be hurricane season, ladies!

That concludes my list. I'd love to know what y'all think! Do you have any of these items? Is there a must-have item from Target that you'd like to share? Let me know! Hope you all have a great day. Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Merona® Double Rope Tabs Belt - Whi

Gold Wavy Enamel Bracele

Xhilaration® Juniors 2-pc. Must Have Pajama Set - Tank/Cropped Pants - Assorted Patterns/Colo

Privet House at Target® Set of 3 Journal

Monday, August 6, 2012

Checking Up

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days! I have been so busy getting ready for school that I haven't had time to blog :( On a more exciting note, I'm moving to Raleigh on Saturday!!!!! For those of you who don't already know, I am going to be a freshman at NC State University! I'm stressing out about getting everything I need for my room, getting all the new clothes I'll need now that I'm a college girl, and spending time with my family and friends that aren't going to the same school as me. This summer has gone by so fast, and I can't believe I'm moving in in 5 days! Before Saturday I still have to get my hair highlighted and trimmed, get my nails done, pack ALL of my clothes, shoes, jewelry, toiletries, etc., and go shopping for last minute dorm room items (snacks, water, paper towels...). And I still haven't ordered my books... oops. I know y'all probably don't care about my "getting ready for school" problems, but I needed to vent to someone! My stress level is through the roof, and I'm breaking out because of it... YUCK! Anyway, I'm babysitting tomorrow so I will have lots of free time, which means I will have time to make a new post! And this one won't just be about my issues... haha. Thanks for listening! Love you all, have a great night! Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jewelry Wants

Ok, I've mentioned it before, but I am a serious jewelry whore. I love big, colorful, girly jewelry. I'm currently in freak out mode trying to figure out which jewelry to take to school with me next week, considering I have limited space in my dorm (fresman probz). I'm always on the hunt for the next best jewelry piece, so I'm going to share my wish list with you all!

Bubble Necklace
I have a bubble necklace that is coral and red, and I absolutely love it! I almost hate that it's such a stand out piece because people definitely notice when I wear it a lot (oops... I can't help it). I really want a turquoise one like in the picture! You can find these at J. Crew for about $150, or I got mine on etsy for $50! I can hardly tell the difference between the two.

Kate Spade Bangles
I want them ALL! Fun, colorful, and great for stacking! Plus, most of them have cute little messages written on the inside. What's not to love about that? They start at around $50.

Gold Monogrammed Studs
How freaking cute are these?! I love studs, especially when I'm wearing a big necklace because big earrings would just be too much. These are super preppy and chic. When is Christmas, again?

Gold Sideways Cross Necklace
I think these are so pretty. A new twist on the classic cross necklace. I've seen tons of celebrities with these necklaces. I just love it.

Tiffany Twist Bow Ring
This ring is absolutely precious! It combines two of my favorite things: Tiffany's and bows! I seriously need to find a rich boyfriend like, now.

That's all of my jewelry wants... for now. Let me know what y'all think! What is on your jewelry wish list? Hope you all have an amazing Thursday :) Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Hey y'all! Sorry for the no post yesterday, I was busy all day. I laid out at my friend's pool all day, then got ready and went out to eat and to see The Dark Knight Rises. The movie was AMAZING! I'm about as girly as they come and usually hate action movies, but I loved this movie! If you haven't seen it yet, spend the $10 and see it in the theater. Ok, on with my post.

Pinterest inspiration = pinspiration. I'm just going to share random pins that caught my eye. I'll probably do this every week or so, because there's so much on Pinterest that inspires me!

Olympics drinking game... just thought this was funny.

Fall outfits. These are all so cute! I especially love the two middle outfits. Great guideline for fall clothing shopping. You can buy each individual piece at

Great healthy alternative to ice cream! Will be so yummy these last hot days of summer. Here's how to make: 
1. Get some ripe bananas.
2. Peel the bananas, cut them into approx. 1/2" slices, and put them on a tray.
3. Put the tray in the freezer for a few hours until the bands are frozen. (Once they're frozen, you can also put them in a bag to use for later.)
4. Put the bananas in a food processor or blender and start mixing. As you keep mixing and scraping down the sides, it will get creamier.
7. You can eat it immediately out of the blender for it to be like a soft serve custard, or you can put it back in the freezer for it to get harder like real ice cream. Enjoy!

How to clean your make-up brushes using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Directions:

I'm a sucker for looking at wedding dresses and rings on pinterest. I'm only 18 and I'm sure I won't be getting married for at least like, seven more years, but I seriously love wedding dresses! This one is phenom! Obsessed with the huge bow in the back. I always tell my mom that my wedding dress will have a giant bow on it. I would so love to be a wedding dress designer. Hello, Vera Wang?

Completely obsessed with this headboard! I can assure you, the first bed I buy for my own house will have a fabric headboard much like this one! It's just so chic and different. I'll probably add my monogram to mine. 

Hope you all enjoyed my pins! Tell me what you think about them! Have a great day :) Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monogram Monday!

Is Monogram Monday a thing? It is now. This post is about all things monogrammed! Here's some of my favorite monogrammed things, from one OCD freak to another!

My cream colored acrylic monogrammed necklace... love. So preppy.

Hot pink Lacoste laptop case! How cute

Ok, this is probably my favorite thing I made in my crafts class in high school (best class ever). It's a floor mat. It's made out of a big scrap of vinyl floor covering. I used Lilly inspired prints for the monogram. Can't wait to use this in my dorm room!

New Scout cooler. Got this as a graduation gift. Can't wait to use it.

Floppy hats. Left hat is from Marley Lilly, and I think my mom got the right hat at Forever 21 and got it monogrammed. Love these hats.

Monogrammed bathing suit bottom. It's little details that make me happy :)

My towels for my dorm room. My mom got me these for my birthday, and I love them! They're so fluffy. Also, love the color combinations.

Change jar that I painted in crafts. It's almost full... which means a shopping trip in my future :)

Monogram sticker on my car. Love this color

Also made this in crafts. It's two plates and a bowl glued together with candlesticks in between. As you can see, I use it to hold some of my jewelry, but I'm sure you could find many uses for it. Of course, I had to add the monogram at the top (even though it's covered up by all my rings). I should probably organize my jewelry...

Background on my laptop. Made this myself. I'm so crafty with a computer.

Monogrammed waffle wrap. Love the color combo - turquoise and coral.

Phone background. Also made this myself, go me.

Monogrammed long sleeve pocket tee. I've worn this to bed the past three nights, haha. I love it, though. Got it on etsy! 

Little wooden box, also painted in crafts. I use this to store my bobby pins and hair ties. Super cute.

My new bookbag for this year! Love the color. The monogram is navy, not black. Can't wait to use it.

I painted my monogram on this cup. I love it - I use it all the time. Great way to make sure no one steals your drink.

And last but not least, my bed! (Don't know why this picture is so dark.) It just adds a girly touch to my room to make it perfect! Simple and classy.

These are a few of my favorite things! Sorry the post is so long, I just couldn't bear to take anything off. Let me know what you guys think and if I've inspired you to get anything monogrammed! Have a great day. Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Crossbody

One big girl prob: when you're at a football game, party, the mall, etc. and it's a huge pain to carry around a giant purse. Thankfully, some very intelligent woman (just assuming it was a woman) created the crossbody bag! It's small enough to not get in your way, but big enough to hold your wallet, phone, and lip gloss. You buy a super cute cross body, and now you're hands free! Which means you can hold two beers... ha kidding. If you don't have one, I seriously recommend getting one, especially if you're in college. Here are some of my favorite crossbody bags:

Tory Burch Amanda Crossbody
This is the ultimate crossbody bag. However, it does come at a price ($435 to be exact). I have a red Tory Burch crossbody and I LOVE it. It's a year or so old, so I put the newest Tory on my list. Hey, Christmas is only 5 months away...

Kate Spade Flicker Tenley
I love the pattern on this bag. I bought this in black a few months ago, and I wish I would have gotten this pattern. This crossbody is a little more affordable than the Tory Burch at $178. I love my black one. I highly recommend this bag!!!

Michael Kors Crossbody
I've always been a huge Michael Kors fan. I'm loving the snake texture. The fun thing about this bag is that it is more like a wallet than a purse - it doesn't have one large area for everything to get lost in. It has two sections, instead. This bag is priced at $188 at Bloomingdales ( 

Dooney & Bourke Nylon North/South Triple Zip
For the girl on a budget. I don't think you can beat getting a Dooney & Bourke bag for $58. This bag is the perfect size and will last you a long time. I love the fact that it has three different zipper compartments, and the fun summer colors. You would be getting the most bang for your buck with this bag!

Well, that concludes my list! Y'all let me know what you think! Hope everyone had a great weekend, I know I did. Be on the lookout for another post tomorrow! Stay fab! xoxo, CA

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back To School Wardrobe!

I move in to my dorm two weeks from tomorrow (woah, where has summer gone?), so it's time for BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING! This is quite possibly my favorite shopping trip of the year. This year, I'm planning on doing a bit of online shopping along with shopping at Cameron Village in Raleigh, and I absolutely can't wait. I'm seriously like a little kid getting excited about going to Disney World. Ok, so here is what I plan on buying!

1. Pocket T-shirts or "Frockets"
I know I'll only be wearing t-shirts to class. I love the monogrammed pocket tees. I already ordered a white long sleeve one with a red monogram. You can find them on etsy. I also love t-shirts. You pick what pattern you want the pocket to be, and then you choose the shirt color. So genius. Lastly, the classic Guy Harvey t-shirt. You can never have too many of these.

Nike shorts. I only have about 4 pairs, so I'll definitely need a few more before heading off to school. They're just so comfy and cute! And yes they have every color imaginable. I personally like the patterned ones, just something different. Wear norts with your frockets, and head to class.

3. Dark Skinny Jeans
I'm a jeans freak. I wear them all the time. I need a few more pairs of dark wash skinny jeans. From left to right, these are 7 For All Mankind, Hudson Jeans, and J Brand. I found all of them on However, my all time favorite brand of jeans is Joe's Jeans. They're just sooo comfy. Skinny jeans look great with flats, heels or wedges, and boots in the fall. 

4. Rain Jacket 
Everyone needs a good lightweight rain jacket for walking around campus on yucky rainy days. I've been on the hunt for a red one, but I do like the light blue color. From left to right, these are Vineyard Vines, The North Face, and Patagonia. They all look super cute. (For rain boots, I suggest Hunter. They come in all colors.)

5. Killer Cocktail Dress
I need a great cocktail dress to wear during rush week! I love the first dress. You can never go wrong with an LBD, plus the ruffle makes it super girly and fun ( This one shoulder red dress is simple, but I'm a jewelry whore and would be able to really dress it up with a big necklace ( The middle dress is super cute - hot pink, chevron, and a bow, what more can you ask for? ( I think the next pink and orange dress is my favorite. I love the color blocking and the bright colors - so in right now ( And last but not least is this chic blue dress. It looks like a Lilly dress, but it's Trina Turk. A very classic look ( 

Well, that's about it for my list (for now). I hope y'all enjoyed reading it and maybe got some ideas for your back to school shopping. I'd love to hear feedback on my clothing choices! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay fab. xoxo, CA

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Yummy Summer Drinks

Summer is slowly but surely coming to an end. We all need to live it up before we have to go back to school or work. I've compiled a list of delicious fruity drink recipes that only reach their full potential while being sipped slowly by the pool with your best girl friends. I found all of these concoctions on Pinterest.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Daiquiri - Put 1 cup freshly frozen pineapple chunks, 2 splashes of naturally sweetened pineapple-coconut or coconut sparkling water (like La Croix), 2 handfuls of crushed ice cubes, 1 oz whipped cream vodka, and 1/2 oz pineapple rum in a blender and blend until smooth. Next, mash two large fresh strawberries and spoon into the bottom of a glass. Pour the pineapple mixture over the strawberries and enjoy!

Pink Grapefruit Margaritas - Combine 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice, 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes), 1 cup triple sec orange liqueur, and 3 cups of ice in a blender. Pour into a large pitcher (or just keep in the blender) and pour in 1 cup silver tequila, stir. Add salt and/or a lime wedge to the rim if you'd like. Makes 4 drinks.

Blueberry Infused Vodka Lemonade - Put 1/2 cup fresh blueberries in the bottom of a mason jar or a cup about the size of a mason jar. Pour vodka over the berries, filling the mason jar. Use a fork to mash up the berries in the bottom. Put on the lid and store in the fridge for at least 12 hours to allow the blueberries to infuse into the vodka. The vodka will turn cloudy right away, and will become purplish the longer it infuses. Once the 12 hours are up, strain the vodka. Save those liquor-soaked berries for garnish! In a small bowl, thaw out 1/2 cup frozen berries and mix with 1 teaspoon sugar. In a fresh mason jar (or serving glass of your choice), pour in the sugared berries (divided between two jars) and add a bunch of ice. Pour in one part blueberry vodka and two parts lemonade. Give it a good stir. Add a few of the vodka-soaked blueberries and a slice of lemon for garnish. Makes 2 drinks. Enjoy!

Rum Punch - In a large pitcher, combine 1 1/2 cups light rum, 3 cups orange juice, 3 cups fresh pineapple juice, 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tablespoons cranberry juice, and 2 tablespoons grenadine. Stir until well blended. Serve immediately over ice with a lime for garnish.

Banana Babe - Blend 2 oz vodka, 1 oz lime juice, 1 tsp. honey (or almond syrup), and 1/2 banana (peeled and sliced) with crushed ice on medium for 15 seconds and pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Watermelon Mojitos - Arrange 2 1/2 cups watermelon (cubed seeded, seedless) in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for 2 hours. Combine watermelon, 1/2 cup sparkling water, 1/2 cup white rum, 1/8 cup chopped fresh mint, and 3 oz frozen limeade concentrate in a blender. Blend and pour. Garnish with whole mint sprigs and lemon slices. Serves 4.

Yum, they all sound delish. I personally can't wait to try the Banana Babe and Pineapple Upside Down Cake Daiquiris. Give me feedback if you try any! Have a great day. Be fab! xoxo, CA

My Checklist

If any of you watch Miss Advised on Bravo (my new favorite show... it's on demand so go watch it now) then you know about precious Julia's "checklist". It's a list of 73 qualities that she would like her future husband to have. I was inspired to create my own checklist while I was watching MA yesterday. Of course, I'm not going to live religiously by these rules. My list is more of a wish list, qualities that my perfect guy would have. It also just seems fun to write down. Maybe one day when I get married, I can look back on this list and see how many of them my husband has, haha. So here it goes...

1. Tall and tan (emphasis on the tan)
2. Blue or green eyes
3. Dark hair
4. Muscular but not a beef head
5. Intelligent - graduated from college
6. Great sense of humor
7. Manly man, cannot be a wussy
8. Likes my cat
9. Doesn't have gross feet
10. Adores me
11. Understands me and my sarcastic sense of humor
12. Makes lots of money for my outlandish shopping habits
13. Wants kids, but not too many (2 or 3. MAYBE 4)
14. Social and outgoing - life of the party
15. NC State fan (not a deal breaker, unless he's a Carolina fan... barf)
16. Parents that I love and love me back
17. Has a sister that I become insta-bffs with (because I have no sisters... tear)
18. Dresses well, but still looks manly (Christian Grey, maybe?)
19. Will never stop surprising me; I'd never get bored with him
20. Romantic and charming
21. Kind and thoughtful not only to me, but to everyone
22. My friends and family love him
23. Adventurous and fun
24. Loves to travel
25. Ambitious - wants to keep moving up in life

So, there you have it. 25 points. Although these qualities would be great in a man, my number one point is that me and my future husband love each other. Nothing else on this list really matters (awww). But seriously he cannot be a Carolina fan. Kidding. No I'm not...
What would you guys add or change about my checklist?
Hope you all have a great day! Be fab! xoxo, CA

P.S. I have a giant list of post topics that I'm going to write about in the very near future (it's on the notepad of my phone, and I'm continuing to add to it). Some of the ones I'm most excited for are: Looking Back on Summer, New Back to School Wardrobe, My Jewelry Obsession, and Thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey. But keep in mind, my list is over 20 topics long, and I just started it yesterday, so y'all are in for a real treat! I can't just give out my fab ideas for anyone to steal. Bye now!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting To Know Me

Hey y'all! Not sure how many people will be reading this considering I just started my blog today, but I feel like I should introduce myself. My name is Claire Austin Hooks. I go by Claire Austin (it's a double name, like Mary Elizabeth). I'm thankful for my mother's obsession with finding the most original, southern name for her baby girl, because I love my double name. I'm 18 years old and I'm an upcoming freshman at North Carolina State University majoring in industrial engineering. Go Pack! I've lived in the Raleigh area, NC my whole life. Blonde hair, blue eyes, complete shopaholic and fashionista. I have an out of control obsession with monograms - I monogram EVERYTHING. I created this blog because I hope to inspire other girls to be more fabulous, much as other blogs have done for me. I plan on posting about clothes, shoes, hair, make-up, accessories, books, TV shows/movies, DIY/crafts, health and fitness, college life, greek life/sororities, current events (real news and E!-type news), southern lifestyle, preppy lifestyle, and anything else girly that I can think of! No matter how many people follow my site, I will continue posting because I love gathering all my thoughts and putting them out there for someone to read. It makes me feel witty and confident. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I promise I will have fabulous posts in the very near future (I'm aiming for one a day). Hope you all have a wonderful day! xoxo, CA