Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life Lately + LucyMint Jewelry

The month of September was filled with jewelry making for the new LucyMint Etsy shop and joyful moments with family and friends. Not a bad way to kick-off the autumn season (even if it is still 90 degrees in Southern California). Here are a few of my favorite snapshots of September--I truly can't believe October is already upon us! Ronnie and I caved early and grabbed a slice of pumpkin pie at Marie Callender's last week.
So worth it. 

This wood geometric bead necklace quickly became my fall favorite.
Oh druzy stone necklaces, how I love you.
Did a little bit of room redecorating. Ikea, you have my heart and my wallet.
Purchased some succulents at Home Depot.
Attended and was a bridesmaid in my brother and sister-in-law's wedding!
Seriously, look at this bridal suite we got ready in!
It was an incredible day. We highly recommend their wedding venue, Twin Oaks Estate in San Marcos, CA for those in the San Diego area!

Monday, September 15, 2014

5 Instagram Profiles to Follow NOW

@BlushShop | Michelle Lee

It’s pink, parisian inspired, and oh so pretty. I stumbled upon Blush Shop owner Michelle Lee’s Instagram account and swooned with pink envy at her perfectly arranged vignettes and collection of girly vintage goods.

Michelle runs her store out of Ontario, Canada, but if you don’t live locally you can shop her simple yet sweet collection here. On any given day you can find outfit and home decor inspiration from her creative store displays and lovely “outfits of the day.” With over 66,000 followers, and growing, this small niche boutique has reached pink-lovers all over the world.

blush shop instagram.jpg

@GaryPepper || Nicole Warne

Known as Gary Pepper Girl on social media, Nicole Warne (who has over 850,000 followers) takes the phrase “elevating everyday life” to insane levels. This Australian-born girl/model/blogger/world traveler, along with her photographer boyfriend, travels the world in search of beautifully inspiring destinations while modeling clothes that appear to be made for a fine porcelain doll. Truthfully, besides feeling envious, you’re guaranteed to find yourself in a daydream while scrolling through this powerhouse fashionista’s IG feed.

gary pepper girl.jpg

@HeyGorgEvents || Rhiannon Bosse

Rhiannon Bosse of Hey Gorgeous Events is one of those women that seems to have it all: a caring husband, flourishing career, impeccable design eye, and the most adorable pup. But then, if you take a moment to read the thoughtful captions that follow her beautifully photographed images, you’ll notice she’s a flawed human with doubts, dreams, and challenges to face as well. There’s no doubt about it that Rhiannon is an incredible individual, whose feminine yet innovative eye for design has taken the wedding and events industry by storm. Still, what always draws me back to her feed is her relatability and charming sweetness. You go girl!

hey gorgeous events instagram.jpg


One thing I must constantly remind myself about is the power of simplicity and this next Instagram account reminds me of that exact sentiment. Clementine Daily is also a women’s lifestyle blog that seeks to inspire sweeter everyday life. Even if I don’t have time to browse their uber-helpful and inspiring blog, Clementine’s IG feed provides the just-right amount of motivation to give me a little boost throughout the day.

clementine daily.jpg


Is it just me, or have crazy and intricate nail designs become the new standard over the past few years? Maybe it is just that I never noticed how much effort people put into their cuticles! While there are several IG accounts that feature over-the-top designs, I’m partial to more understated, yet unique styles. Enter, Olive & June. A uber-sophisticated and urban nail salon in Beverly Hills--a destination for Hollywood socialites and celebrities like Drew Barrymore. Olive & June nail polish and designs are fresh, simple, and nail perfection. Browse their IG feed for an endless amount of nail inspiration!

olive & June instagram.jpg

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Poshmark Closet Crush // Kate of Wear in LA

Shop this sassy LA tee here
You know a friendship has reached insane heights when you and your best friend come up with the same silly adventures, you become comfortable booty popping in the vicinity of random strangers, and you can laugh and be vulnerable with one another within the same sentence. Who would have thought a friendship like this would've resulted from my random decision to sign up for the shopping and selling app, Poshmark. (Over a year ago I wrote a review about Poshmark here.)

Kate, pictured above and below, was one of the first "posh friends" I met in real life. We hit it off in a fashion-trend minute and have grown closer everyday since. From photo shoots, double-dates, encouraging daily texts, to similar life goals, I realize how rare it is to find a friend who you're so compatible with. And, the fact that all of this came from a social shopping app continues to blow my mind!

Style, support, and shopping, are the three main reasons why Kate and I  first connected--the main reasons why the Poshmark app has soared to success and won't be slowing down anytime soon. Kate is one of the top Poshmarkers and I continually learn so much from her business-savvy mind, photographer's eye, and creative style. This girl right here is most definitely one of my top closet crushes, so much so that we've become accustomed to sharing clothes, regularly! 

Here are a few of my current favorites from Kate's closet. Be sure to browse and shop her entire curated collection here: @wearinla. Also, you can find her fulfilling her dreams and blogging about it over on 

Shop her gorgeous necklaces here
Shop @wearinla's adorable skater skirt here
Shop @wearinla's earring set here

Monday, May 12, 2014

Kimono Inspired

 Similar items: Black & White Kimono Cardigan // Tulle Skirt // White Tank Top // Gold Bow Heels // Sunglasses

Seeing as I'm half Japanese, this Kimono inspired look was perfectly suited for me. I balanced out the edginess of the cardigan's print with a feminine tulle skirt and gold bow heels. What I love about this outfit was its understated sophistication and its on-trend nature. 

Thank you to my amazing gal pal, Kate, of  

Splurge vs. Save // Summer Edition

As a regular thrift shop hunter, Target connoisseur, and coupon lover, you better believe my favorite finds this summer were all under $50. Recently, Erin from Credit Card Insider emailed me about being a part of their Splurge vs. Save campaign. She asked that I spotlight one item that I chose to purchase over a more expensive item. Though, true to my bargain hunter title, I found so many steals that I couldn't highlight just one. 

My splurge inspirations came in at a total of $1,244.00. *GASP*. But, my incredibly similar wallet-friendly fashions totaled at $113. Yippee!

summer splurge
summer splurge

Friday, April 25, 2014

Shop for a Cause

This week I've been gearing up for a spring pop-up shop with a couple of other wonderful vendors. The best thing about this party is that 15% of every purchase will be donated to Justice Speaks, an organization that seeks to put an end to human trafficking. This will be LucyMint's first venture into the Shop for a Cause market and I couldn't be more excited about it! Since I launched the boutique last year, I have prayed about the ways that God could use LucyMint to benefit more than just women's closets. Now, He has revealed a way for women to support other women across the globe through something as fun as shopping! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to partner with Justice Speaks, which has served as my reminder that God can work through us and through our passions in multiple amazing ways.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Simple & Affordable Luxuries

little luxuries

While I can't afford long days at the spa and exotic vacations, I always look for little things that can help me unwind from a long week or provide a small pick-me-up throughout the day.

1. SLEEP // A typical night's sleep for me is 7-hours long. But, preferably, I'd love an 8-hour night in order to feel my best in the morning. Knowing home much rest my body needs is so important. If I haven't been getting good sleep, my body reveals it in the form of headaches and sore limbs. Now, the best part about this little luxury? It's free! (Disclaimer: So, I'm nowhere near classy enough to use a sleep mask at night, but I thought this gold one above looked so luxurious and soft, I just couldn't resist adding it to the list.) 

2. Sweet Smelling Candles // What's not to love about lighting a lavender vanilla candle while you unwind from a long day at work? Currently I'm working on getting in the habit of lighting a candle, grabbing a warm drink, and sitting in bed to read Scripture everyday. Setting this soothing scene challenges me to rest and relax in the Word and creates an atmosphere that I look forward to coming home to. 

3. Adorable Tea Cups // This may be a personal preference, but I just adore antique pink or gold tea cups. I use them as display and to hold small trinkets, but filling them with my favorite hot drink (chamomile tea or coffee) always makes my daily routine just a bit more whimsical and fun. 

4. Luscious Lipgloss // Adding a pop of color to your lips is an instant face brightener. Swiping on some Bobbi Brown lip gloss is something I regularly do that not only completes my beauty routine, but in some small way gives me an added boost of confidence. 

5. Gel Manicures // While getting a manicure once a month is a bit of a budget stretch for me, I try to fit it in when I can. There's just something about the look of freshly painted nails, typing away at a keyboard that brings me joy (remind you I'm a copyeditor). My regular salon charges $25 for a gel manicure (with a brief arm massage), which can last between 3 to 4 weeks. 

6. Fresh Flowers // My roommate has gotten into the habit of buying fresh white flowers to disperse around the apartment. She purchases one medium sized bouquet and separates it into three small vases to spread around the living room and kitchen. The bouquets, usually white daisies, never cost more than $5 and can last for up to three weeks. Fresh flowers can be a budget splurge, but definitely add to the appeal and happiness in your home. 

7. Tea Time // Though I'm also a coffee drinker, tea has become an essential part of my daily routine. As a woman, one of my favorites is chamomile as it drastically cuts down bloating on those days that, well, we'd rather not be a woman. Chamomile tea is both soothing and non-caffeinated, so you can drink it all day without the jittery veins and anxiety that coffee sometimes brings. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Healthy State of Mind


Those who are closest to me know I get really cranky when I haven't eaten for a few hours. I simply don't understand the type of people who forget to eat or skip meals. When my head hits that pillow I'm dreaming about what's for breakfast--and even though I have a solid meal at 7:30 every morning, without fail, I'm hungry an hour later. I've been blessed with a fast metabolism, yes. But each year I notice a subtle difference in my body type, energy, and overall health. I'm no longer the field hockey, eat-whatever-I-want, girl that I was in high school. 

My bad habits of crashing on the couch and meals full of processed carbs have slowly, but surely, begun to attack the energetic and fit girl I once was. With that said, I'm writing this blog to actually ask you a favor. To ask you what truly motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle? The hardest part for me is exercising. I just can't seem to get back into the routine I used to be so familiar with. 

Above are a few goals of mine. Sharing these with you is a way of holding myself accountable. What are yours? What has worked for you? I'd love to hear about them and add your advice to my list of motivation. Thank you for your feedback!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Essential Necklace Checklist

The delicate necklaces that every woman needs!
Shop these necklaces here: 1 | 2 | 3

The pink druzy stone necklace above is the perfect mix of natural and feminine. The raw edging of the stone adds a bit of pop to a simple outfit. Shop this necklace here.
This teardrop shaped jade pendant is the ideal delicate statement piece. Pair this elegant necklace with a sophisticated dress and it'll be all the jewelry you need. Shop this necklace here.
This chevron inspired gold hammered necklace may not be as simple as the rest, but it still has an innate delicate quality. Pair this necklace with an all black outfit of skinny jeans and a v-neck top, or with a bohemian floral sundress for a bit of a twist. Shop this necklace here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Introducing LucyMint

"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your strength..." 
{Ecclesiastes 9:10}

At 2013's end, I reflected on the S&P boutique's journey since its launch last July. Sparkles and Prays was a name that I had decided upon about two years ago without truly thinking through my vision and long term goals for my blog, and now boutique. The sentimental side of me will continue this blog under the same name of Sparkles and Prays. However, a tug on my heart and moments of prayer have led me to LucyMint, the new name for my quaint online shop. (You can read the Instagram announcement here and see our logo mock-ups.)

Many people don't know this, but my mother's nickname for me has been Lucy for as long as I can remember. (I still wonder why my parents didn't name me that in the first place.) It's the name I hear every time I call home and it's also the name I hear when my mom thinks I'm being too sassy (I get it from her). And then there's Mint. My favorite shade of green, the description of things in pristine condition (a reminder of how Christ's redemption makes all things new), and the distinct aroma of my grandmother's purse (since she always has menthol cough drops on hand).

There's still much to be done in terms of branding, but my goal was to let everyone know about this rebrand before the change actually happens, in order to minimize confusion. 

I do apologize for any confusion this change may create, but I promise this labor of love and joy will create an even better experience for you, our lovely shoppers. Thank you in advance for sticking with us as we enter into this new season--a season that's still as chic, sparkly, and fanciful as ever.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teacups & Baubles

Teacups from my favorite vintage-chic online retailer
Life lately has been a series of juxtaposed moments. From attending a funeral and wedding ceremony in the same day, to feeling so far yet so close to our loving Creator. January was a month of contrasting highs and lows, to say the least. In college I felt I learned and gained new insights everyday about a variety of topics. Now, two years post-college, God has pressed the "hold" button on those constant new experiences, and has been encouraging me to wholeheartedly focus on the basic foundations of life: faith and friendships. I've seen God's hand slowly yet tightly knit together those two things for me and it's been a gradual and beautiful process to witness.   

These past few months I took advantage of the holidays and took a break from the boutique (though my busybody mindset did keep me active on Poshmark). Now, I'm back in the game with a handful of new items in the shop (see below). I'm also working on a complete re-brand of my boutique, which may even bring on new name. . . . Something that I have been thinking about and preparing for months. Below are a few snapshots that display my new love for the VSO cam app and white background photography. I can't help it, I'm addicted.  

New Jewels in the Sparkles & Prays Boutique 
Aqua tassel bracelet. One of my favorite new arrivals
Learning to partake in ceaseless prayer with my Maker.
Prints available at this lovely Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Splurge vs. Save Round-Up

I've rounded up my top three favorite trends right now which include tortoise prints, high-waisted midi skirts, the faint blush color of garden roses, and ,of course, some major savings. Would you rather splurge or save on these items?

splurge vs. save

1. Karen Walker Number One Sunnies || Splurge or Save
2. Blushing Pink Midi Skirt || Splurge or Save
3. GILT Candy d'Orsay Flat || Splurge or Save

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Balance + Full Energy Breakfast

Not only have I been focusing on my journey to better skin, I've also been diligent about learning about the nourishing foods that benefit my body the most. I have always been a breakfast person. I just can't start my day without something in my belly. I'm used to eating Kashi brand cereals or your basic Cheerios with some almond milk, in addition to a cup of coffee. Normally, if I ate my bowl of cereal at 7:30 AM, by 9:00 I was starving. I realized that relying solely on carbohydrates to kick-start my day after 8+ hours of sleeping and not eating was not going to cut it. 

Now my morning meals consist of a glass of lemon water and almond buttered toast with goji berries and chia seeds. I purchased the berries and seeds on Amazon from the Navitas Naturals brand. Their bags are filled with organic foods and are a bit pricey, but are worth every cent as the bags can last you several months. The chia seeds help your body stay hydrated and with the feeling of fullness. The goji berry super food is packed full with essential vitamins and antioxidants. Combined with the almond butter protein and the healthy carbohydrate of omega 3 seed bread (I purchase mine at Fresh & Easy, it's in the bread section wrapped in green), I typically feel full until my 10:30 AM snack!



Friday, January 10, 2014

New Cut + New Complexion

Yesterday I got a haircut (which is irrelevant to my post) and today I'm on a mission to master the Ayurvedic approach (a holistic Eastern medicine practice) to better health and clear skin and I'm hoping you'll join me in the journey--whether you have unruly skin or not. Last year I blogged about my battle against acne. I also blogged about a few products that seemed to help me get on the road to clearer skin. While all the methods I previously talked about helped immensely, a new obstacle arose that I wasn't prepared for, of which I'll discuss a little more about below. 

All-in-all I've realized that I've been targeting my skin as a single entity and haven't truly understood that the war isn't happening on the outside, but it's taking place internally and the results of that battle lost is visible on my face day after day. In past years I've attempted and failed to overhaul my diet. Admittedly, sodium-filled foods and Sour Patch kids have always gotten the best of me. Thus, this year I'm rooting myself in prayer, discipline, and love for the body that God gave me in an effort to truly make 2014 the best year yet.

New haircut! I chopped off 5 inches on a whim and I'm loving it so far. (Disclaimers: 1. I'm sorry for my weird stare in this awkward selfie 2. My skin looks 100x clearer in this picture than it is in real life. I'm thanking the light from the window behind me for that extra ethereal glow.)
Now back to this obstacle I mentioned. Earlier in 2013 I began getting these large, cyst-like bumps around my jawline and cheeks. They felt like golfball-sized tumors that were hot to touch, painful, and truly alarmed me since I've never gotten them before. Two doctors have diagnosed the lumps as cellulitis, a common skin infection within the deep layers of tissue under the skin. I was prescribed antibiotics and topical gels, which helped temporarily, but the cellulitis has continued to come back month after month. So what can I do to stop it? (For two months I took birth control pills to help regulate my hormones, but in the end I was only doing my body a disservice by being on the pill. More on this topic to come.)

As I learn more about my body, I know that my acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance. But what is causing this imbalance? For one, I haven't been exercising nearly as regularly as I should be. I'm also not filling my body with the nourishing foods that it needs. I believe that this lack of nutrients and exercise has decreased my skin's immunity to fight off these infections and I only have myself to blame. 

So, here's where I'm starting and I hope that you'll join me. From rosacea to eczema ridden skin, the journey I'm venturing into has proven to benefit all skin types. The two resources I'm pulling from are the blogs Holistic Vanity and Joyous Health. Below are some of their easiest tips to kick-start this adventure. 


1. Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well without Dieting available for pre-order. You can find amazing recipes and tips for holistic wellness at nutritionist Joy McCarthy's website 

2. Drink lemon water all day, everyday. Don't have the time to get fresh lemons every week? A  teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your water does the same thing!

3. Eat.More.Kale. Pinterest, of course, has a bunch of great recipes to try. Just stay away from the sodium-rich recipes!

4. Take these three vital supplements daily. Omega 3 (fish oil), vitamin D, and probiotic supplements. See Joy's video here for the good reasons behind taking these three super supplements.

5. Beauty Pure + Simple: The Ayurvedic Approach to Beautiful Skin by Kristen Ma. I just ordered Kristen's book and can't wait to dive into it. I've been reading every article on her site and am excited to give her methods a try!

How do you feel about holistic approaches to health? Have you tried it before? I hope to post regularly about my progress. Please let me know if you decide to give it a try! 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

S&P Holiday Boutique Sale

The S&P Holiday Boutique was a last minute idea to bring my online clothing boutique to life. Held in my small apartment's living room and dining room, it was exciting to see all my inventory displayed and to chat with family and friends while they shopped. It was a cold and rainy day, which made it the perfect day to come inside, sip on some tea, and shop! I can't wait to host another one later this spring. In the meantime, I'll be working on adding more to the boutique (however I promised myself to take a 1-month break in January). My goal for the S&P shop this upcoming year is to add more unique jewelry pieces, ladylike dresses, and simply to have fun with it all! 

I have so many things yet to be listed in the boutique. I hope to add some of the items you see in the picture above to the shop soon!

A party isn't complete unless there is a set of striped straws!


Monday, January 6, 2014

DIY Jewelry Branch Display


The wall behind my dresser has been bare for a while and I've been searching for the perfect simple yet functional piece to complement my dresser vignette. I happened to find this gold dipped branch set by Threshold at Target for $5.99. (Though, I'm sure you could also find decent branches around your home to paint!)

I wrapped the branches is some twine and placed my delicate jewelry pieces around the branches. I'm so happy with how this simple little art piece turned out!

I also found these mini trifle dishes at Wal Mart for $2 and knew they'd 
make fun jewelry holders.

Can you tell I have a love for candy and jewelry? I put my favorite candy colored jewels in this glass apothecary jar. {Similar here.}