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Top: SheIn c/o (on sale for $13!) | Shorts: Target (only $22 and so comfortable!) c/o | Shoes: H&M (sold out, similar) c/o | Sunglasses: Forever 21 (only $7!, also love these) | Necklace: Forever 21 (sold out, similar)

Race Wine Repeat: A 5K Run for the Non-Runner

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While I’m not the fitness junkie I should be, I do love meeting new people, a great glass of wine (or two!), listening to music enjoying the beautiful Florida sunset. If you follow me on Snapchat (username mash_elle) you’ll know that I attended Night Nation Run last Saturday, and it included all of the above. It’s almost as if 5k runs have an entire subculture of their own – with talks of training, timing and a bunch of other stuff that makes my head spin. Your girl loves any excuse to drink wine and mingle, and that is precisely why Night Nation Run caught my attention.

IMG_6568IMG_6786The festivities kick off at 5:30 – live music, photo taking, hot dog eating, mingling and wine tasting! Once we checked in, I made sure to hit the Seven Daughters Wine tent first. The tent was filled with fun activities, including a vending machine with prizes, temporary tattoos and wine samples! We had the opportunity to sample a red and white wine and let me tell you – they were fantastic! My favorite was their Pinot Noir (I’m a red girl!) as it was smooth and was accompanied with an unexpected sweet aftertaste! This brand includes an array of wines and expands to Moscato, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. After mingling with the super friendly Seven Daughters Wine team, I learned this brand not only knows great wine, but also celebrates a balanced lifestyle – fitness, health and of course – a little bit of fun! I loved this motto, and was also excited to hear Seven Daughters Wine has teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers (including Damel in Dior, Carrie Bradshaw Lied and Advice from a Twenty Something) to create a ‘Seven Things’ mini series, complete with tastes, tips, trends and how to get more out of everyday! I will definitely be keeping up with this series!

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Just as the sun was about to set, the runners began to congregate around the starting point. The DJ and dancers worked their magic to pump up the audience, and at 8:30 the first wave began. Every ten minutes, a new wave would take off – and soon everyone was on their way to celebrate the Night Nation Run! As opposed to other, more intensive runs, this event focused on the music – with an illuminated racecourse which featured on course DJ stations! Runners were encouraged to stop at each station and join in on the mini party – dance, mingle and enjoy the lights! I loved this portion of the race, as non-runners such as myself could take a break from the 5k and let loose!

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After the race, the real party began! I was told by the Seven Daughters Wine gals the afterparty got pretty wild, but I had no idea just how crazy it got! Once all the runners had returned from the 5k, the DJ turned up the music and began an electronic dance party! With the majority of attendants millennials, this group knew how to party!

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Glow sticks and flashing lights lit up the party, which luckily for me resulted in some pretty cool photos! The DJ mixed a variety of well-known pop songs and caused the audience to erupt in dance! Everywhere I looked attendees were having a blast and pulling off some questionable dance moves!

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One of my favorite features of the Night Nation Run was the glow in the dark selfie booth! Attendees slathered glow-in-the-dark paint on and snapped some pretty amazing snaps in the selfie booth! Genius!

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Overall, the Night Nation Run was the perfect run for the non-runner. Instead, it was for the young at heart. The dancer. The social butterfly. The music lover. The wine drinker. Unlike other runs which focus on competitive waves, timing and body strength, Night Nation Run values all skill levels and focuses on bringing people together to have a great time. And I am a fan!

Have you attended a 5k run? Would you attend Night Nation Run?

Have you tried Seven Daughters Wine?

*Thank you to Seven Daughters Wine for sponsoring this post. As usual, all opinions are mine alone. 

Create + Cultivate

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While I officially graduated from grad school last December, my love for learning will never end. As a self-professed nerd at heart, I am constantly on the hunt for new ways to improve my blogging game. When I stumbled upon a YouTube video on Create & Cultivate, a creative conference for female entrepreneurs featuring speakers such as Barefoot Blonde and Gal Meets Glam, I jotted it down on my blogging bucket list. When Create and Cultivate announced a conference would be held in downtown LA, I knew I had to attend. Any excuse to go to LA is a good one, right?! My blogging besties Ashley BrookeMoney Can Buy Lipstick and Boho Nouveau quickly purchased our tickets and began planning out our trip to SoCal.

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After a 5 hour+ flight, 3 hour time difference and baggage claim catastrophe (let’s just say LAX isn’t the most convenient airport) we arrived in California at approximately 3am our time. The bags under my eyes were larger than those I packed for the trip. However, we got the total princess treatment as our car (and handsome driver, I might add!) met us curb side LAX. We opted for a more convenient car service (we wanted to avoid the 1+ hour wait and headache at a rental car office) by using SKURT. Ashley (being the genius she is) did some research prior to our trip and discovered the SKURT app! SKURT allows you to select a car at the touch of your smartphone. With no paperwork, everything is done on the app, including selecting your vehicle and insurance coverage, scanning your driver’s licence and communicating via text with your driver! Y’all this service was the best treat we could give ourselves during a jam packed conference weekend.

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Since the three of us are self professed over packers, we opted for a large vehicle. While we admittedly didn’t need an entire Toyota Sequoia to ourselves, we enjoyed the extra leg room and felt safe navigating the “hills” in SoCal. If I could save Ashley a mini anxiety attack, it was worth it alone (I am still the baby cousin in her mind!).

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After receiving our car, we drove to the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, our abode for the weekend. We were greeted with a friendly staff and easy check-in. We were overwhelmed by the stunning luxury interior of the hotel, complete with a modern touches. Located on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard and across from the Beverly Shopping Centre, it couldn’t have worked out better as we were treated with great shopping and dining in close proximity. The Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has a Hollywood touch with a photo booth located in the main lobby, a glamorous rooftop swimming pool and cabanas and 24-hour room service (which we may or may not have taken advantage of at 1AM!).

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Our room was super cozy and hands down contained the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever slept in. The girls and I couldn’t get over how comfortable the mattresses are (important when you are a super light sleeper, like me!) and unsuccessfully devised a plan to sneak the mattresses out with us. After a 12 hour+ conference day, we were more than thrilled to return to the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, slip into our PJs, order room service watch SNL and fall into a deep sleep. Not trying to call anyone out (*ahem* Ashley and Teresa) but it is quite the sight to see two tiny beauty bloggers order a Filet mignon each at 1 in the morning. Perhaps this is why we’re soul sisters!

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Now on to the conference! I had super high expectations leading up to Create and Cultivate (if you check out their website, you’ll see why). The gorgeous (and I mean STUNNING) Meghan from Boho Nouveau met up with us to attend the DTLA Create and Cultivate Conference. The conference schedule was jammed pack from 9am-9pm and therefore knew we had to fuel up with coffee, coffee and more coffee! When we arrived at Create and Cultivate we were directed to the rooftop patio to enjoy a colourful selection of breakfast goodies supplied by Patina Restaurant Group, including miniature pancakes, yogurt parfaits excessive amounts of coffee and more! The rooftop patio had a stunning arrangement of decor, from pop-up shops in tee pees, hanging succulents and floral displays from Rolling Greens Home + Garden, and lots of networking opportunities. In between workshops and mentoring sessions, we would congregate on the roof top to take a breather, meet other creatives, and take in the stunning LA view.

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Our jam packed schedule consisted of attending a number of panels discussing the business of beauty, the future of fashion, the power of digital media and how to slay the digital content game. It was incredibly inspiring to hear from female entrepreneurs I look up to including Sarah Gibson Tuttle of Olive & June, Nikki DeRoest of Hello Beauty, Taylor Sterling of The Glitter Guide, Andy Torres of Style Scrapbook and Christine Andrew of Hello Fashion. These ladies shares their experiences growing their businesses in a male dominated world, and shared advice to us young entrepreneurs.

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One of my favorite aspects of the day was the mentor sessions. Each participant received 2 mentor sessions from a selection of mentors including Mara Ferreira of M Loves M, Paola Alberdi of Blank Itinerary, Natalie Willis of ShopStyle, Chloe Watts of choedigital and more! My favorite mentor session was with Paola Alberdi (one of my favorite bloggers!). She shared her experiences as a new blogger and spoke of the importance of having confidence in your brand. Female entrepreneurs will always face a series of road blocks, however if you have the courage and confidence in yourself and your work – you will come out on top.

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After the mentor sessions we spent time networking with other creatives, exploring the popup shops, getting touch ups at the beauty lounge and taking a million photos. Next on the agenda was the keynote speakers: #GirlBosses Jessica Alba, Rachel Zoe and Chelsea Handler. They shared their business experiences, along with tidbits of advice for female entrepreneurs. It was a humbling experience to know such strong, successful women had been through similar roadblocks I have been faced with at an early stage in my career!

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Overall, I am so glad I attended Create and Cultivate! I left feeling totally inspired to take my business to the next level. I loved being surrounded by so many like-minded, ambitious female entrepreneurs. I had the chance to meet and network with an assortment of individuals including small business owners, public relations representatives, photographers, bloggers, YouTubers and more! Not only was I inspired to advance my career, I also left feeling inspired to re-decorate my house! Every inch of Create and Cultivate was visually stunning and Insta-worthy. I was in awe of how detailed and well thought out the decor was!

Did I leave Create and Cultivate feeling more inspired than ever to build my company? Absolutely. Was Create and Cultivate an amazing blogging learning experience? Not really. Since Create and Cultivate attracted a plethora of creatives (as opposed to only bloggers/YouTubers), the workshops did not touch on specific tactics to furthering a career as a blogger. I was surprised to discover us bloggers were actually the minority of attendants! It was only during my mentor session with Paola Alberdi of Blank Itinerary I learned worthwhile blogging tips and tricks! It would have been extremely helpful to have a more in-depth question and answer period with established bloggers during the conference!

 

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So, why should you attend Create and Cultivate? Well, sometimes it’s just nice to be surrounded by a group of strong, independent, ambitious women. I met so many amazing women, all with different careers, with one common mindset: I can do this. I am so grateful to be living in 2016…an age where young women have the courage and drive to follow their dreams. At the heart of Create and Cultivate is a celebration of young entrepreneurs uniting to support one another. And that is one powerful thing.

 

*Thank you to Sofitel Los Angeles for providing us with a complementary stay and Skurt for a vehicle for the weekend! As usual, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting companies that help Mash Elle continue to flourish!

Cheers to 3 Years!

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Three years ago, I chronicled my trip to Los Angeles in the form of a blog post. Little did I know that post would be the beginning of a life changing blogging experience – and later become the career of my dreams. Last week, I celebrated my third blogiversary where it all began – in sunny California with my blogger besties Ashley, Teresa and Meghan. This past weekend, we attended the blogger conference, Create and Cultivate (full recap to come!). After a long weekend of networking, learning and being inspired, I decided to spend the week with Meghan. Meghan and I were in the same communications program in Ottawa, Canada. She is my Canadian babe – now living in sunny LA attending FIDM. Her life is basically #goals, and I try to bum it out in her apartment for as long as possible whenever I visit. Thankfully, her fiancé and adorable pup Biggie love me just as much!

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For this reason, I wanted to celebrate my 3rd blogiversary with her and share a taste of my favorite new delicious liqueur! I prepared a fruit infused drink topped off with VINIQ Ruby. It’s a super easy cocktail recipe:

  • Chill all ingredients prior to serving
  • Dice 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 2 oz of Viniq Ruby
  • Dash of orange juice

I love how this cocktail blends the orange and lemon fruit with the berry notes in VINIQ Ruby. Meghan agreed my drink making skills were impressive – but she was even more impressed by the beauty and insta-worthiness of this shimmering cocktail!

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Today, I want raise a glass and thank everyone who has ever read a blog post, tweeted me, commented on an Instagram photo, and most of all – supported my career path. Blogging continuously pushes me out of my comfort zone. It has allowed me to travel North America, meet amazing people and work with my all-time favorite brands. Ultimately, blogging has made me a more confident version of myself. Sometimes, I still have to pinch myself when I wake up. I am a blogger and I couldn’t love my job any more than I already do. On my third blogiversary, I am making a toast to you, my amazing readers! I am so very blessed by you!

What exciting milestones have you met? Share your shimmering moment pics with the hashtag #bringtheshimmer to see your post alongside mine on bringtheshimmer.com!

 

Have you tried VINIQ Ruby Liqueur?

 

Thank you to Viniq for sponsoring this post. As usual, all opinions are my own.

Get Ready With Me: Date Night

Thank you to Target for sponsoring this post! As usual, all opinions are my own.

Sometimes a girl’s gotta get all dolled up and go on a date with a gorgeous man. As a newly single gal (wahoo!), I’ve been experimenting with a few date night looks. First dates are a horribly awkward, totally tantalizing experience. Both parties are (admittedly or not) nervous, as first impressions are so crucial to an initial connection. Ladies, have no fear! If I can do it – so can you. Today I’m sharing not one but two first-date-appropriate hairstyles, as well as a makeup look! If you have an upcoming date, make sure to bookmark this page for later!

Step 1: Makeup

 

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A rule of thumb for makeup on first dates is – don’t overdo it, less is more, red lips is best, wear what makes you feel beautiful. Want to go all out and rock red lips? You go, girl! Want to show off your cute freckles and skip the foundation? Work it! Don’t want to wear makeup at all? You do you, babe. I’m sick and tired of being told what makeup appeals to men on first dates. Don’t wear makeup for a man. Wear makeup for yourself. Flaunt it. Own it.

With that being said, this is my version of a date night look. Adopt it or not – at the least I hope you are introduced to one or two new makeup products!

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To create this look, I first applied full coverage makeup and foundation to even out my skin tone. Next, I filled in my brows with a brow pencil and brushed them out with a spoolie tool to create a more subtle look. To create definition, I used my new favorite contour palette aka The Pixi Book of Beauty. Do yourself a favour and pick up this palette ASAP. This palette includes 3 highlighters and 3 contours that contain silky, micro-milled powders and make blending a dream! To add a bit of color to my cheeks I used the Pixi By Petra Beauty Blush Duo for a light-diffusing effect. To create a winged liner, I used Pixi By Petra Cat Eye Ink, which is actually a great liner! I am a liquid eyeliner snob, however this one definitely makes the cut with a highly pigmented formula. After applying my favorite mascara, I finished off the look with Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Baby Bare for a pop of color! See below for the finished look! 

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Step 2: Hair

If you’re anything like me – you aren’t adventurous with your hairstyles. In fact, my hair is down in beachy curls 85% of the time. When it comes to experimenting with hairstyles… I am always on the hunt for effortless styles for long hair. I have created a foolproof tutorial for two effortless looks for a date night!

 1| Begin with Straight Hair

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If you’ve got beach waves on repeat, switch things up by wearing your hair straight! For this look I used my hairdryer to create straight hair. Using a round brush, I angled the dryer down as I brushed from roots to tips.

2 | Gather 1.5″ Section of Hair

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Now for the fun part – braids! Braids are on trend this year ranging from fishtails to plaits! As I mentioned before, this is an easy, foolproof hairstyle – so we are sticking with a traditional braid. Gather a 1.5″ section of hair to create your braid.

3 | Braid Section

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Once you’ve sectioned off a portion of your hair, create a traditional braid and secure with an elastic. I used GOODY Ouchless Black Rubberbands for a discrete look.  

 

4 | Loosen Braid

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For this look you will want thick braids. To thicken braids, grab the outer pieces of your braid and tug in the opposite direction. This will create a fuller, more vibrant braid!

5 | Repeat Step 2-4 to Create Braid on Opposite Side

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7 | Apply Hairspray To Braids

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To complete this look, apply hairspray to secure braids. I’ve been using and loving the Nexxus Frizz Defy Finishing Mist Hairspray for a long-lasting hold. This hairspray also smells like heaven, as does the majority of the Nexxus hair care line. Addicted!

 

Final Look:

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This is a cute and fun hairstyle that takes less than 10 minutes to accomplish. If you want to wear your hair down, but spice it up a little – this hairstyle is for you!

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Next up is my rendition of a side pony! I’m not one to wear my hair “up” often, however I love a great side pony. Keep reading for a foolproof side pony tutorial!

1 | Create Loose Curls

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For this look, we’re going to create loose curls. I’m using my Nu.Me® Classic Curling Wand to create volume and loose, beachy waves. I’m using a 3/4″ barrel to create soft waves. This wand is super easy to use – and even comes with a heat protected glove for new users! 

2 | Create a Side Pony

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Gather your hair into a side pony and secure with an elastic band. I’ve been using Goody Ouchless Elastics for years, as I can rely on them to secure my hair, without causing pain or ripping out a chunk of my hair I’m removing them. #GirlProblems. 

3 | Gather 1″ Section of Hair

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Now we’re going to conceal the hair elastic! Gather a 1″ section of hair from the outer portion of your ponytail.

4| Use Hair to Conceal Hair Elastic

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Next, wrap the section of hair around your elastic, concealing it completely.

5 | Secure with Bobby Pin

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Secure with 2-3 bobby pins. I use black Goody Bobby Pins to ensure my hair stays in place.

6 | Secure Pony with Hairspray

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To avoid slip aways, apply your favorite hairspray! Again, I am using Nexxus Frizz Defy Finishing Mist Hairspray to ensure a long-lasting hold!

Final Look:

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I hope you enjoyed these date night looks! Let me know what your go-to date night look is in the comments below!

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