Need A New Book? My Latest Picks.

If you’re like me, you’re always on the hunt for a new book. I go through books pretty quickly because I read constantly – and there’s so many benefits to a page turner on the reg. Did you know only six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68%? If you have trouble falling asleep, read for 10 minutes. Trust me, you’ll pass right out. Here’s what on my nightstand right now.

Essentialism, Greg McKeown: Normally I don’t buy into self-help. But this book has actually changed and improved my life. If ever feel sucked into a dinner you don’t want to be at, or tired of doing things that don’t bring you joy, or overwhelmed, well… ever, this is the book for you. A pretty quick read, Essentialism’s premise isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s a guide for focusing on what’s necessary in your life and spending your time and energy there. The good part, it doesn’t tell you what should be important in your life (since we all have different priorities!), it let’s you figure it out for yourself, and gives you the tools to focus on those things. A must read for the working girl, or literally any mom.

Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng: A fly-by-night mom and daughter move to a small town where residents pride themselves on following the rules. This is a story about families, friendships and what happens when worlds collide. Per the blurb: “Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity.” A real page turner, Celeste’s way of writing is poignantly engaging, but not so flowery you get bored. The characters are interesting, and you can’t help but want the best for all of them – even when they are making terrible decisions. Good for the beach, before bed or on the subway.

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt: A single tragic accident changes the course of a young boys’ life and brings into his possession a captivating painting, as we follow the aftermath into his adulthood. This is a legit piece of literature (it won the Pulitzer) – a long, hard read, but totally worth it. The writing is powerful and vivid. The characters are complicated, frustrating, and simultaneously irresistible. I read it months ago and still find myself dreaming about the characters and what’s happened to them since. Don’t pick it up if you prefer lighter, fluffy books. Read it before it’s turned into a movie in 2019.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen: You probably read this classic in high school and haven’t thought about it since. Give it another look – I’ve read it a dozen times and always realize something new. A powerful love story and a reminder that women should never settle in love or life. And my third favorite movie. (I mean, the part where Mr. Darcy is laying it all on the line for Keira Knightly by the white column building in the rain, ugh, chills!)

Have any good book recos? Send them my way!

xo Alaina

Five Things I Can’t Live Without Right Now

IMG_2824reformation dress.jpg1) Summer dresses from Reformation. I could happily buy every dress they make. Mine is sold out in blue, but it does come in four other equally exciting colors. Find me on insta for more style pics: @thechampagnechic Continue reading “Five Things I Can’t Live Without Right Now”

Our Destination Wedding in Puerto Rico

AlainaTimothyWedding_0278copy.jpgI can hardly believe that we got married two years ago! Time has gone by so fast. As we celebrated our anniversary yesterday, I was feeling wistful for our wedding weekend and in an effort to relive that glorious time, I wanted to share moments from our special day with all of you! Warning: rainforests, champagne and dancing ahead…  Continue reading “Our Destination Wedding in Puerto Rico”

My 10 Favorite Sunnies for Spring

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New sunglasses are the easiest way to spruce up your style for spring. I love that you can pop on a fresh pair to go from glam to funky in seconds. And you don’t have to spend a fortune either – my white sunnies from River Island got me feeling sooo 70’s, and they are under $25! Retro not your vibe? There’s a whole world of classic and colorful options to choose from… Continue reading “My 10 Favorite Sunnies for Spring”

Plaid Blazer + My Anine Bing Obsession

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IMG_4767I have been on the hunt for a plaid blazer for months now.  I was longing for a boyfriend style with a bigger check, but not super boxy, so it was still feminine and appropriate for the office. My months of “hard work” finally paid off in the form of this little number from Anine Bing. The fit is perfect, and the fabric is a versatile medium weight with a hint of red. Tt looks great with jeans and a cami, or a simple dress and heels. I might wear this 2-3 times a week now, don’t judge me… Continue reading “Plaid Blazer + My Anine Bing Obsession”

Women with Fierce Jobs: Jenny, Healthcare

I’m gonna be honest, I don’t really understand what other people “do” for a living. When someone says, “I am a consultant” or “I work in technology”, I have no idea what that means – what do they do all day? What education do they have? What do they like about their job, and what could they do without? Would I like that field of work? Even in a world inundated with technology, there’s still no app to input, say, “data scientist”, and get a firsthand account of what that job is like. I’ve always felt that there has to be a better way to learn more about the different jobs available to us, especially BEFORE we graduate or go back for advanced education.

A few weeks ago, I looked around at a party and realized all my friends are successful at very interesting, diverse jobs. There’s doctors, marketers, pilates studio owners, and Googlers. I had a moment of inspiration: what if they could share their stories so other women interested in these same fields can learn more? Thus, I was inspired to start a new part of my blog called “Fierce Jobs”. I’ll feature successful women who work in a variety of jobs, and the details of their careers, so if you are just graduating or looking to change fields, you might be inspired by them too. Women sharing information with other women, it’s what we must do!

For our very first Fierce Jobs, we are talking to Jenny, who works in Healthcare. She currently lives in Minnesota, loves pop culture and moscato, and is getting married to the man of her dreams in a few short weeks! Jenny is known for her honesty, smarts, and hilarious stories. You’re gonna love her too, I just know it…

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Alaina: Hi, Jenny. Thanks for being one of my best friends. Let’s start with some fun stuff to warm up. You’ve travelled so much, where is your favorite place in the world? 

Jenny: The south of France. French wine, Italian food and a beach!  With best friends, obviously.

What is the one beauty product you would never give up?

The Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Masks. Continue reading “Women with Fierce Jobs: Jenny, Healthcare”

Tuesday Tip: Instantly Radiant Skin

Ever just wake up in the morning and for whatever reason your skin looks dull or flat? Like you drank too much, but you didn’t? (Or maybe you did, I don’t know what you’ve been up to!) I’ve found the short-term cure: L’Oreal’s Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Mask. I love this product because it takes only five minutes and results are immediate. You apply, leave it for 5 minutes (while you sip your coffee), then gently rub it into your skin briefly to exfoliate, before rinsing off. I like to rinse the mask off with a damp towel rather than my fingers for better exfoliation. Voila! Instantly perkier morning skin. I’m not sure about any “renewing cells”, but my skin is rosier and brighter looking, which is all I can really ask for. You can pick it up at any drugstore including Amazon and Target.

Tip: Make sure you get the “mask” and not the “cream”, they are different, but look the same.

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xo Alaina