July 2015 | Andie Ibanez
Hello beautiful babes!

I recently had one of my fabulous friends contact me about a site she had found to purchase some great items. The site is called Aliexpress.com and she has loved the goodies she has found from it.

Aliexpress is a massive shopping site where you can find anything from clothes to makeup. Its a site somewhat similar to Amazon, but they aren't as specific on who they let sell from their website (which means that you need to be a little more careful). Because of this, you can find some amazing, high-end knock offs.

Check out these Hunter boot knock-offs that she recently ordered. She swears by the quality and for the price difference she was thrilled.

The blue Hunters on the left are from Zappos and she spent $169. The black ones she purchased from Aliexpress for $45. Considering that she has been able to wear and compare the both of them, its amazing she loves the knock-offs just as much!

Here is a link for some hunter boots like the ones above!

She also told me about how she has been purchasing her Naked makeup palette from this site. I was curious if she felt as if the makeup palette she was purchasing seemed as if it worked as well as the Urban Decay palette that is available through Sephora and she said it totally was!!  The palette from Sephora is $54, whereas the palette on Aliexpress is $4.79...? ABSOLUTELY worth the try!!

Here is a link to the palette for $4.79.

Lastly, this is the knock off that i'm kinda freaking out about...

You guys, she got this crazy, perfect looking Kate Spade knock off for $35.... THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS!!!!! Don't worry, in less than 24 hours after finding this out I ordered one for myself!

Here's a link for the purse I purchased. 

A few things before I go... Be careful on this site, I'm sure there are some fabulous finds as well as some not so fabulous finds. Take a look at the feedback on the specific item you're looking at as well as the specific seller's rating. If lots of people weren't satisfied with their order, it's likely you won't be either. Lastly, take your time and don't make rushed decisions. Before I put my first order in I checked with my hubby and BFFs because a little guidance is always needed. 

Good luck and I can't wait to tell you how my order went! 

I'm a huge fan of dresses! Its pretty much like wearing a big shirt with no pants. No complaints here! Plus they can be super cute! However, sometimes I struggle finding the right dress with the coverage I want. Sooo when I found this number at J. Crew, I knew I had to have it! The length and sleeves are perfect for me! Its just an all around comfortable and flattering dress, perfect for these hot North Carolina days!

For a more casual look, I pair it with sandals.

My hair was not cooperating today. The struggle...

 I got this wrap around brown leather watch for Christmas. You can get a similar one here or here.

Its safe to say that I love this dress! You can find a similar style here 

Now go find your perfect summer dress. The only criteria is that you need to feel good in it! :)

Have a fab [rest of your] weekend, Babes!!
Xoxo, Andrea 

Braids are so much fun! Sure, sometimes they can be challenging but anyone can rock them! After my last post [Dirty Hair Hack] featuring a side swept braid, I got some requests to keep showing you some of my fave braids!

So I have no idea what this one is called. When I wear it my little sister thinks it looks like Elsa from Frozen. My boss thinks it looks like Princess Leia(?). I see a princess trend here. Maybe we should just call it that...

So the deal with this braid is that depending on how much hair you have and how long your hair is - you will need to play around with it!

1. Section off half (or a piece) of your hair and secure it. If you have shorter hair you need to start higher on the side of your hair. 
2. Give yourself a nice tight braid. You can always loosen it up when you're done.
3. Flip it around your head and secure. If you can tell its too short, try again. You have to find the sweet spot!
4. Braid the other half of your hair. Incorporate your existing braid into the new braid for a more seamless look. 

**You may or may not need lots of bobby pins! I usually do:)

 Add flowers for a fun look!

Give it a try and send us your pics!

Xoxo, Andrea

Hey babes!!

I'm super excited to show you this week's necklace of the week!! This weeks necklace is definitely a statement necklace and a little chunky. I've absolutely LOVED it and worn it multiple times since I got it. I feel like the pinks, oranges, and yellows play off each other really well and it lays beautifully!!! 

I scored his beauty for $3.39, free shipping. When I received it one of the metal loops had come off but it was super easy to fix (a tad expected when your getting this for so cheap)!! These necklaces run out quickly so this exact necklace isn't available anymore, but I found a white necklace for you that lays similarly and is $4.40 with free shipping. Take a look see if you love it and if not, see if there are some others you'd enjoy even more!! 

Xoxo, Marie 

A long time ago, I was indifferent towards consignment stores. I felt like most of the time I didn't really want to purchase someone's used clothes if I could find new ones for a similar price. Recently however, I've recognized the incredible deals you can get when you're willing to spend a little time at upscale consignment stores. Although different states have different consignment gold mines, I've recently found out about, "Fifi's Consignment" here in North Carolina. At this particular consignment store, everything is priced reasonably and if it doesn't sell within a month they cut this price in HALF!! 

The dress I'm wearing in this post is a Gianni Bini dress that I found for $24. In case your not familiar with pricing, these dresses usually go for at least $100. Although I usually try to wait a month to see if I can get it for half the price there was no way I was able to walk away from this dress!!

Along with this, I was able to grab some Kork-Ease wedges that retail from the Kork-Ease sight for $140. Through discount and fabulous beginning price, I walked out with them for $25. Oh, and these shoes had never been worn!! 

The point of my rambling??? Give upscale consignment stores a chance!! They are literally a saving grace for me considering all of the money we don't have is going straight to medical school expenses. 

Ask around and do your research because you never know when a gold mine is right across town!! Love ya babes!! 

Xoxo, Marie 

Hey Babes!!
So we obvs all know we shouldn't wash our hair everyday to avoid drying it out too much. BUT sometimes our hair gets dirtier a little faster than usual. If you're short on time but want to hide the shine - give this a try! It takes like 3 minutes and the extreme part will cover up the dirty hair with cleaner hair underneath. Boom!

1. Give yourself an extreme part on one side.
2. Pin the side back but leave a little piece of hair out
3. Curl the little piece of hair away from your face.
4. Braid your hair and secure.

Optional: Add some dry shampoo during step one if your hair is extra dirty.

Done! Now no one will know your dirty little secret!
Can you believe this day 3 of no washing for me?? Give it a try!

Xoxo, Andrea

Hey babes!!

Today I thought I'd fill you in on one of my absolute favorite make up products of all time. It's called Maskcara IIID Foundation and it will change your life!! 
This stuff is like magic in a little compact. I've never been super into foundation yet this stuff has made me a believer. The line was started by a SUPER cute makeup blogger who was able to chase her dreams and start her own makeup line. She released it a while back yet she re-formulated and is always trying to make this stuff as close to perfection as possible. 

Although there has been a lot of (good and bad) hype about contouring, this chick has got it all figured out. She has a way of turning any woman from beautiful into drop-dead freaking gorgeous!! The compact basically has four sections... Contour, highlight, blush and illuminate. I grabbed the lightest of each of the colors because of my skin tone and the fact that I didn't want to look like a drag queen and went for it. This stuff is super easy to apply and easy to blend with any type of beauty blender (or even your fingers)!!

Here's what it looks like when all the make up has been applied, but not blended yet: 

Then... You blend it with a Beauty Blender/Spounge: 

Lastly, it easily blends into this dewey perfection: 

The compact sells on her website for $42 and although this is kinda steep for poor students, it has been remarkable!! I was able to grab mine with a gift card because she's constantly doing fabulous giveaways and I'm so grateful I gave it a shot!! Plus, once you have the pallet, it's only $9 per refill (much more affordable)!! 

Do me a favor and think on it??? Plus you can spend hours on her website checking out her tutorials and her magic on women of all ages!!! 


Xoxo, Marie 

My ladies and I have recently discovered one of Americas most well-kept secrets. Is called jewelry via Amazon... A few months ago I went through and ordered the cutest/cheapest necklaces I could find and the results have been better than I could have anticipated!! Throughout the next few months, I will be doing a necklace of the week, describing the benefits, price, as well as where you can get it for yourself!!  
This necklace is one of my favorites because it is so neutral and you can wear it with ANYTHING!!! This necklace was $3.95 with free shipping... Can you believe it?! Amazing!! I've checked around with the hubby and other ladies and it doesn't look super cheap (since I'm sure that's probably one of your worries). I've absolutely loved it and hope you will too!! 

Xoxo, Marie 

***They are currently out of stock right now, but keep an eye out because hey should be getting more. Also, take a gander at some of the other necklaces and maybe you'll find another necklace you'd love!! You'll probably see us posting about it within the next few weeks!!! 

We love parties!! Whether we are hosting or just enjoying as guests. If you invite us to a party, we’ll be there! We have some fabulous friends who share this passion as well so Marie and I are spoiled! My favorite part about these parties? They are themed! So we picked of our favorites to share with you. Here are 5 parties that you should host or co-host! This is part one of a two part series. Stay tuned for some of our fave party planning tips!!

Note: Since our husbands are studying at (the oh so pricey) Duke School of Medicine, we have pretty much mastered the art of hosting budget friendly parties (same goes for our friends). So yes, if you see paper plates in the photos, you are more than welcome to substitute fine china! #Goalz

1.     Slumber Party

For my birthday this year we had a Girls Night Slumber Party! Really you don't have to have a reason to throw one of these parties. What made this party: A variety of activities! We had a few different games and crafts. We also had music videos playing on the big screen. We had lots of blankets and pillows out and everyone came in their PJs!

2.     Favorite Things

Have you ever heard of a favorite things party? If not then you should host one ASAP. These are just a blast! A few of my amazing friends hosted this one it it did not disappoint!! So the idea is you bring a favorite thing (or multiple) to share and you leave the party with someone else's favorite thing. You can really structure it however you want but that is the general idea. For our favorite things party everyone brought 5 of their "favorite thing." We decided to do $5 or under. We displayed them all on the table and wrote our name on 5 pieces of paper and placed them in a bowl. One at a time, we got up and explained our favorite thing, why we love it, where we got it and how much it cost (so you could go buy one too!). By the end of the night, each of us left with 5 fab new gifts!

3.     Viewing Party

Alright, confession time. We are total Bachelor(ette) fans! We tune in every week for all the excitement and drama (and outfits). We always have food and an amazing time at our little viewing parties. But for the "Final Rose Ceremony" this past season, we stepped it up a notch. You guys, it was great and the best part is the main theme is whatever you're "viewing." Easy peasy!

4.     Dinner Party

Whether its to celebrate a holiday, or just because you want to throw a party, dinner parties never disappoint! For starters, they make you feel fancy! For this dinner party everyone contributed a side. We used paper plates, napkins, utensils, you name it! I think the plastic champaign glasses we're my favorite touch. The point was we wanted to keep it as low cost as possible but still feel like we were going out. What really made this party were all the details! The place cards, little hearts, candles, etc. Oh and everyone dressed up! We love dinner parties!

5.     Cultural Food Night

Diversity is such a beautiful thing! Many of my friends were blessed with the opportunity to live and work in foreign countries. Some even went to school abroad! So its fair to say we have a love for foreign foods. We had a cultured food night that focused on Latin American foods. Everyone brought a dish or side to share. We had a music video playlist of latin artists on the big screen and the food easily accessible. The highlight of the night? The food. (obvs)

Alright Babes, there you have it! 5 party ideas you can try:)
Stay tuned for part two!!

Xoxo, Andrea

Hey babes!! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Our weekend was full of friends, swimming, and new puppies! Today I thought I'd post a casual look I sported while on date night. These shorts have been killing me since the moment I saw them on sale at Jcrew. They are the perfect length and the perfect color!! I was able to steal them, from the Jcrew outlets for $20 and haven't looked back since!! 

Although I wasn't able to find these exact shorts on their website, they are having some crazy deals right now on all of their shorts and 30%-60% additional discount on final sale items with various codes on their website. This can cause some crazy good deals when you find a piece for a fabulous deal in the first place. Last season I was able to grab a few tees for under $7, no joke!!! 

As far as the rest of the outfit goes, the shoes were from the Jcrew warehouse sale (details coming soon!!), the top was from the loft, and the necklace was such a crazy deal it will have its own post within a few days!! Promise!! 

Below are a few things I thought you might like. Most of them are an additional 60% off at checkout with code GOSHOPPING. enjoy! 


If there is one thing every girl needs, it's a good floral dress. Floral dresses are kinda like chocolate, they just make the world a better place. I've had my floral dress for a while now and I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of wearing it!!

I mean, think of all the happiness you could have by just having your own floral dress! Promise me you'll think on it?!?!

Although I can't tell you where you can find this exact dress, I found another site where you can find a fabulous dress like it for under $40.

>>>>Country Outfitter<<<<

Hope you enjoy! 

Xoxo, Marie

Ok so this isn't a new obsession or even a "current" obsession, this is a lifetime obsession! Coconut Oil is seriously magic. You can pretty much use it for anything. My favorite use for it? My hair! I try to take really good care of my hair and have spent time and money on products that were just OK. Then I found coconut oil and I've been hooked ever since!

Not only is it a detangler and conditioner but it seriously makes my hair grow. I cut off about 6 inches of my hair every 6 months. Its pretty great, babes!

You can find this stuff at pretty much any grocery store and its going to cost you between $5-$9 depending on what brand. I would definitely get the organic extra-virgin. The other kind will be cheaper and you might be tempted to buy it - but don't! It won't work! I've tried both over the past few years and the organic extra-virgin is the way to go. Its worth every penny! 

So how do I use it? Well I personally like to keep my coconut oil in a warm spot (in a bathroom closet) so its kinda melty (is that a word) and always ready to go. Coconut oil in the store will be solid and white but when you melt it, it just looks like an oil. So yeah, I use it as a deep conditioner, a detangler, and on a daily basis to make the ends of my hair smooth and sleek.

Conditioner - There are so many ways to do this but here is my fave. An hour or two before I shower, I will apply the oil all over my hair (mainly massage it in my roots) and tie my hair up and sometimes cover it with a plastic bag. Then when I'm ready to shower I just rinse it off with shampoo and proceed as usual. 

Detangler/daily use - I have really thick hair so tangles are an everyday occurrence. So I just apply the coconut oil anywhere directly on the tangle and brush it through. I also apply it to my ends and brush them through.
So in conclusion, go to the store and buy this stuff!!! You'll thank me later!

Xoxo, Andrea
Grab your passport, and my hand....
Hey Babes! If you're anything like me, every so often (like all the time) you have this burning desire to pack a bag, grab a bae and GO! Wanderlust is a serious illness, and if not treated within a reasonable time, can lead to consequences. However, sometimes you may just not have the funds to do so... Sooo today we're talking about how to travel on a budget! I've broken it down to 4 areas where you can save. Honestly, whenever I go somewhere I save on all 4 - but mix and match as you please!

1. Getting There
2. Food
3. Lodging
4. Fun

Getting There
Road trip! Obviously cheaper than a plane ticket! Some of my favorite adventures have been in a car with rad friends. Split the gas or work something out! But if airfare is necessary than try and be as flexible as possible. My two secrets for cheap airfare are both powered by Google. Google Flights and Matrix. They both will pull all airline info and show you tons of options. Play with these sites a little and you'll get the hang of it. Checking out flights is like a hobby for me! I LOVE finding good deals!

Two words: Street food. Use discretion with this one if you're in a foreign country. Do a little research about the food and water conditions and use your better judgment and you'll be fine. Restaurants will add up SO fast and don't give you the same cultural experience. Don't be shy, ask locals where they like to eat. I do this everywhere I go! Buuuut just for backup, bring some pilly pills!

If you're up for adventure and meeting new people then I would definitely recommend CouchSurfing or Youth Hostels. In my experience with Couch Surfing, I've had 100% free lodging, made new friends, and had an overall more authentic experience. Youth Hostels also give you a way to make new friends from around the world who make great trip buddies. If neither of these options are for you then look no further than Airbnb. Affordable, safe, private(er). But if you REALLY want a hotel then I would use Priceline.com's Express Deals or Name Your Own Price tool. You can pretty much always find a good deal! Ok the last option is camping! Its not for everyone or every situation/trip, but if you go to a place where its possible -> DO IT!

Whenever I'm in a new city, I look into their city pass program. Pretty much every tourist-y city has one. For example, when Daniel and I were in Copenhagen, we bought the 72 hour city pass which was 200 DKK (roughly around $30). We got WAY more than our money's worth! When we did the math we would have spent more than triple the amount to do everything we did in those 72 hours. Also note that most city passes include public transportation! With "fun" and other miscellaneous spending, just make sure you set a budget and stick to it!

So there you have some of my budget travel secrets and tips. You guys, these really work!

My husband and I went to Puerto Rico (and surrounding islands) in February for our 3 year anniversary. I found round trip tickets for $160 each! We brought our light weight camping gear and camped on the beach for FREE! Our 6 days in paradise cost less than $500 ALL TOGETHER! In comparison, my friend went 2 weeks before I did and he spend about $2,000 for 1 person.

Our trip to Europe is another example where we utilized all 4 areas of savings. Our flights were $700 each (which is SUPER cheap for Europe). Our 11 day Christmas/New Year getaway cost less than $2,500 for everything. Hostels, street food and city passes changed the game!

Our most recent trip to South America came in at $2,000 for both of our RT flights, food, lodging, activities, etc. Used every trick in the book for this one!

These are just some examples of my budget travels. I'm not kidding when I say traveling on a budget is a hobby of mine! I'll update this post as needed, but seriously try some of my tricks and let me know how it goes! Feel free to comment if you have any questions:) I would love to help anyway I can!

Happy Travels!

Xoxo, Andrea

Ever looking for that fabulous lip color but not willing to pay $39.99 for it??? Well I sure have. If there is anything that instantly makes you look more put together, it's lip color. Totally transforms you from a total mess, into a beautiful mess. 
Throughout my makeup days, I've tried to balance myself between spending loads of money on products and getting the cheapest/not so great looking products. Recently, I've found a little secret treasure. Wet N Wild lip color is not only the cheapest, but also the best lasting. Because let's get real, the LAST thing you need is to get home and realize that half of your red lipstick is smudged from your bottom lip and the rest of it disappeared approximately 3 minutes after you put it on. Total letdown.... 
So check it out, here are my favorite colors and they are cheap.... UNDER $2... I purchased all of mine from Target! Happy Lipsticking!!

Just Peachy:

I've definitely gotten the most use out of this one!! It's so versatile and I can throw it on with whatever I'm wearing. I love how it doesn't look like I'm caking on the lipstick, yet it helps me get a little more color on those lips! 

Dollhouse Pink: 

Could the name for this color be any more perfect!? This is one of those colors I love to pull out when I'm ready to be noticed and have a good time. It stays on beautifully and is suck a fun pink!! 

Smokin' Hot Pink 

This one is more of your classic red/pink. Perfect for date night or when you're just feeling like you need a nice lip color! 

24 Carrot Gold:

Although I can't say I have a favorite, I lovvvveeee this color!! It's bright, spunky and has just enough of the orange tint. I wore this color to church a few weeks ago and loved every minute of it!! 


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