Lionesse Beauty Bar + Giveaway

When it comes to my everyday beauty routine, my time and focus is usually spent more on my hair than on what goes on my face. I thank the good Lord above for blessing me with the thickest, longest and most versatile hair possible. While it may look great most of the time, it doesn't come without a lot of upkeep and management. I mean my hair is literally as thick as a horse's mane... don't believe me, ask both of my hair stylists who get an arm workout every appointment. 

So when it comes to the types of tools and products I use, I always look for items that can tackle the thickness and length. I rarely straighten my hair, but when I do I look for a straightener that can get extremely hot and one that doesn't require my arm to fall off from having to go over the same strand of hair ten times. That is when I ditched the cheap straightener for a professional approved flat iron. 

Lionesse Beauty Bar has several ceramic irons to choose from, in a variety of colors. I received my new tool a few weeks ago and have been itching to try it out. Its been so long since I wore my hair straight, so I was even more eager to see how long my hair had gotten. I've used those cheap irons in the past, that leave plenty of creases and wrinkles in my hair. I hate having to go over a strand multiple times, as that weakens and drys out my hair. With my Lionesse iron, I cut the amount of time it took to straighten my entire head of hair... in half!

The inner LEO in me was ecstatic that the Lionesse iron saved me so much time. I even got a few extra minutes of Today Show watching in before work. The feel and look of my hair was even better... I literally couldn't stop running my hands through my hair. Probs not the best thing to do, but it was so smooth!

The Lionesse hair iron made such a wonderful impression on me, that I'm giving away ONE CERAMIC IRON (as pictured) to a lucky First Impressions reader!! Want your hair to be silky smooth and cut down on your primping time? Then enter the giveaway below!! Also be sure to checkout the whole slew of other Lionesse Beauty Bar products. Everything from hair products, makeup, skincare products and more!

Lionesse Beauty Bar is a luxury boutique offering high-end beauty products and professional makeovers. Their stores are located in California, Las Vegas, Canada and Singapore. 

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* This post is sponsored by Lionesse Beauty Bar. Product compensation was given for this post. Opinions, content and photos are that of the writer and are not associated with Lionesse Beauty Bar. Kristyn appreciates you supporting the brands that keep First Impressions going.

** Giveaway is only open to continental United States. So sorry loves, international shipping ain't cheap.

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Over the Weekend, Warming Up the House

If you followed along on Instagram last week, I shared some sneak peeks into my newly decorated (and new) apartment. All of this was leading up to the big house warming my roommate and I hosted Over the Weekend. About twenty of our closest friends came over for a fun night of hanging out and warming up the new apartment (not sure what that saying means anyways). We definitely broke in the new apartment with plenty of fall flavored foods and drinks, stocking the bar cart (thanks y'all), watching football and having everyone reassure our decorating decisions (double thanks).

In case you missed the sneak peeks via Insta this past week, here they are in all their glory (and much larger versions). 

Is there anything I missed last week? Let me know if there's a room or space you'd love to see!
It might just be featured next on Instagram! Happy Monday Y'all!

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Happy Fall Y'all!

For WEEKS I have been talking about my love for fall and how I couldn't standddd to wait any longer for the BEST season of the year. Well my friends, it's finnallly here! While some may argue the official arrival of Autumn was yesterday, my Kate Spade planner told me otherwise. So, according to the written word (cause we must abide by whatever Kate Spade says right?), today is the FIRST official day of Fall!! 

The next two and a half months will be full of fall Pinterest DIYs, trying to find any way possible to add pumpkin to every recipe possible, burning through numerous pumpkin scented candles, maxing out your credit card on PSLs from Starbucks, and taking as many trips as you can to the local Pumpkin Patch. Maximizing every minute of fall will be my motto, so I put together a list of things I hope to do before snow hits the ground (and I start whipping out the Christmas decorations... sorry Thanksgiving!).

Apple Picking at Butler's Orchard // Ever since I moved to D.C., it has been a fall tradition of mine to head 45 minutes outside the city to this hidden-in-the-woods farm. You can pickup all the fall essentials... everything from home grown produce, colorful mums, fall decorations, homemade apple pies, and you can even pick your own apples or pumpkins.

Roast Homemade Pumpkin Seeds // One day I will get these darn things right. I attempt every year to roast my own pumpkin seeds, but to no avail they're always burnt, dry or taste terrible. After scouring Pinterest, I hope to finally make an edible batch this year.

Burn as many Yankee candles as possible // My favorite scent for fall? Spiced Pumpkin

Pumpkin Everything // I will swear by this pumpkin bread recipe, which was first introduced to me by my dear friend Ashton. First and foremost, the recipe belongs to the queen of the kitchen herself, Ms. Paula Deen. It has all the right flavors, mixed with plenty of that good ole butter. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it into a pumpkin loaf, cupcakes, pumpkin bars or mini bread loafs. I've made each one using this recipe, all you have to do is adjust the cooking time.

Carve pumpkins with friends

Find a creative costume for DC's Nightmare on M Street and Halloween // If you live in the area or will be in D.C. on Saturday, October 25th, you most definitely cannot miss this bar crawl through DuPont. The LARGEST East Coast bar crawl, Nightmare on M shuts down half the city. More than 30 bars in the area deck out to the nine's in halloween decor, going all out for one of the largest Halloween parties in the country. Purchase your tickets here.

Watch Hocus Pocus // Most of all, I look forward to those cool fall nights in, sipping on some spiced apple cider and watching my favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus. It's only the best Halloween movie ever made... uuuhh duhhh (well besides Halloweentown). #DisneyWeLoveYou Sorry to tip over your cauldron, but the rumors of a sequel are unfortunately not true.

Host a Friendsgiving // This little event keeps getting more popular each and every year. Last year, about thirty of us packed into a friend's house, potluck style, to celebrate Thanksgiving a few weeks early before heading home or out of town. It's a fun way to get all of your close friends together, enjoy a smorgeous board of food, and truly be thankful for the good friends you've made. 

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

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Over the Weekend, DC's Wine Country

Over the Weekend the new apartment finally started to look like a home. My roommate Liz and I spent most of our Saturday afternoon shopping at some of our favorite stores, stocking up on all the home essentials. We are gearing up for a fun house(apartment)warming party next weekend, so we had to pickup the finishing touches. Now that things are finally starting to come together, I plan to share some peeks into our new place via my Instagram this week. So make sure you follow along for some home decor inspo and to see what made us #homegoodshappy! 

Now on to the regularly scheduled programming... an all new Over the Weekend.

One thing I love about living in Washington, D.C. is how centrally located I am to so many places. Whether you head north to Philly or South to Richmond, there are plenty of cities that are within a few hours drive. Once such city is Leesburg, Virginia. Over the Weekend, my roommate and I decided to take an impromptu day trip to " DC's wine country." I mean Liz and I do love a good glass of wine, so why not sample some of what the local wineries have to offer.

We first made a stop in historic downtown Leesburg. This quaint little town reminded me of Tennessee; with the white picket fences, town square and colorful homes. The entire downtown area, about three or four blocks, was shut down Sunday for an afternoon art fair. There were lots of mom-and-pop shops and cute little cafes to eat lunch in. After a necessary food break, Liz and I headed off to our first winery.

Breaux Vineyards is about 20 minutes from downtown Leesburg and one of the largest vineyards in Virginia. The 404 acre estate is nestled between the hills overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The  main house, where the tasting room is located, has an Spanish feel to it and the landscape makes you feel like you're hundreds of miles away from D.C. We sampled eight different wines made right there at Breaux Vineyards. My favorite was their Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

The next vineyard we went to was Hillsborough, which is only about a five minute drive from Breaux. I thought it was nice that they were so close together, which made it super easy to visit more than one. Hillsborough was the smaller of the two, but was situated a little higher up on the hill. The views were a little more impressive at Hillsborough and I thought the decor resembled that of Napa Valley or a vineyard you'd see out in California. I loved the draping vines that covered the sitting areas and porches. We did a wine tasting at Hillsborough as well, and my favorites were the Rose and their dessert wine.

Both wineries made a wonderful impression on me and I already cannot wait to go back. If you're looking to take a day trip of your own, make sure you checkout the Visit Loudoun guide for everything you need to know on DC's wine country.

Disclaimer: I HIGHLY recommend you charter a bus, take an Uber or find a designated driver for this day trip. You may plan to only "taste the wine," but sometimes it's more fun and safer to let someone else do the driving for you!

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Big Orange #OOTD Friday

Button Down / Jeans / Necklace (old, Eastern Market) / Mocs / Bag
Photography by Meaghan / Makeup by Angela from Bluemercury

#TGIF friends!! Even though my Volunteers are experiencing a bye week with no game tomorrow, I decided that I could still celebrate Big Orange Friday today. Every Friday of football season, VOLS fans across the country don their orange and white in celebration of that weekend's game. It's a tradition that has grown over the years, and one that I carried with me all the way to Washington, D.C.

I found this perfect checker print button down from Nordstrom (secret: it's actually a boys shirt in the largest size available) and paired it with my favorite Levi skinnys. We're still experiencing some summer like temps, so it's still a tad early for the faux fur vest or boots. For a warmer weather approach, I threw on a fun pair of flats and a bold necklace. I am obsessed with these cheetah print mocs and have already worn them to death. Maybe I should have bought two pairs for when these are worn out? I digress. I just love this outfit combo, which is perfect for early fall - all the way to end of season games. Throw on a white sweater or fur vest for cooler weather and slip on your fav pair of boots! When it comes to game day attire, or Big Orange Friday in this case, I like to go for something versatile and choose pieces that can be mixed and matched throughout the season.

Do you show your school pride the Friday before the big game? Comment below... would love to hear how you tie in your school colors on this casual Friday!

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A New Found Love, Leather Everything


A year ago you probably couldn't pay me to wear all leather leggings or ever find me in a faux leather midi skirt. It just wouldn't have been an article of clothing found in my closet. However, the more I get into the DC fashion scene and the more I listen to my dear friend Meaghan, I have quickly hopped on the leather bandwagon train. I recently filled my Ann Taylor cart with this beauty, these gorgeous pumps and the ultimate leather jacket, growing my leather collection by three. Okay, so I didn't own any before this, but I now have a new found love!! This Southern girl is widening her fashion spectrum and adapting a little more of an edgier side. Don't worry, you won't be seeing any of those darn ear cuffs or dark lipstick on me... like ever. So maybe when I say widen, it's more like an inch than a mile. Any who, as the leaves begin to fall and the temps get cooler, I look forward to implementing as many leather pieces into my wardrobe as possible. 

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Over the Weekend, She's Adding the E!

Over the Weekend I helped host an engagement party for two of my dear friends, Ashton and Ryan. I've known Ashton since birth, and Ryan was one of the first people I met when I moved here to DC. So I couldn't be happier that two of my best friends will be tying the knot!

To help celebrate their engagement, several of us got together to organize a night to remember at one of our favorite places in the city, Mission DuPont. They had the whole top floor reserved for us, tables setup for food and cookies, and plenty of space for the 70+ guests. Almost everyone that Ashton and Ryan knows in this city attended the party. We all enjoyed some great chips and salsa, delicious margaritas and melt in your mouth cookies. Guests signed their well wishes for the couple on photo mats, that my friend Alex then framed with photos from their engagement.

One of my favorite aspects of the event were the cookies that we had made from Monumental Sweets. Brie, the creator and baker behind these amazingly delicious creations, owns her own cookie business right here in Washington, D.C. Brie pretty much had free reign on the design of the cookies, but I gave her a few details about the couple. I mean the end result was just wonderful. Everyone at the party raved about the cookies, so much so that no one wanted to eat them, ha! Brie hand does every single cookie, and has an entire arsenal of designs she can create. Please checkout her Facebook page and reach out to her for your next event if you're in the area! Trust me, these Monumental Sweets will definitely make a great impression with everyone at your gathering!

The evening's hosts with the Future Mr. and Mrs. Davies!!

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Midweek Treat: Favorite Things

If you're an avid follower of this blog, you probably know that I do a monthly series called "My Favorite Things." I have done one every month since the blog started, and it's quickly becoming one of y'alls (no pun intended) favorite things. So I decided to offer up a midweek treat, featuring some of my favorite links of the week. It has been an amazing month so far, with lots of exciting announcements and lavish events #NYFW. Yes, I realize we're only a week and a half in, BUT my favorite season is upon us, so there is no rushing September along. Okay, so here are some things y'all should definitely checkout right meow...

Ralph Lauren Polo SS15 4D Fashion Runway Show
Okay so most of you know, unless you live under a rock, that the past few days every fashionista has flocked to New York for a week of fashion and fun. #NYFW What could be better than sitting in a room full of A-list celebs, watching the Spring/Summer 2015 trends walk down the runway before you can even snag them off the shelves?! Watching one of these shows in 4D! That's right, Ralph Lauren Polo held the FIRST 4D Fashion Runway Show EVER. I mean it's unbelievable and you really have to see it for yourself. Click the link to see the amazing 10 minute show. Photo via

Rent the Runway is coming to Washington, D.C.
Y'all already know my obsession with Rent the Runway. In case you forgot, here are some reminders... like here, here and HERE!! So naturally I shrilled with excitement when I saw the news on Washingtonian yesterday. A showroom will be arriving to Georgetown sometime mid-November.

Bluemercury Celebrates 15 Years
Speaking of Georgetown, for all my friends in the DC area, come out to Bluemercury's flagship store this Saturday, September 13th, at 9:00 a.m. for a huge celebration and anniversary soiree. For those of y'all in the dark ages, "Bluemercury is the nation's largest and fastest-growing luxury beauty retailer and spa in the country!" There will be lots of fun giveaways, goodie bags for the first 100 attendees, complimentary makeovers and of course the infamous Georgetown Cupcakes will make an appearance.

Not from the DC area?! No problem! Bluemercury isn't just throwing one fab party, NOO they're hosting celebrations all across the country at each of their 55 stores. Find a location near you here, and head out for a fun morning on Saturday. Get there early so you can snag one of those goodie bags!!

**Bluemercury is located in Georgetown at 3059 M Street NW. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. and celebrations last till the doors close at 7:00 p.m.

I mean how does she outdo herself every time?! Ann Taylor's newest collection features a lot of black (holllaaa) and loads of leather (oh my goodness). I just can't get over her pieces... like this one, or this insane leather jacket or the freaking fantastic leather booties I just snatched up. Confession... I bought all three (whoops... they were half off, how could I not?!).

So my fellow VOLS fans might kill me for this one... but Ohio State's marching band is insane! Like seriously freaking fantastic. While my amazing, not to discredit them, Pride of the Southland Marching Band does a killer circle drill, the Ohio State band took a halftime show to a whole nother level y'all... showcasing songs and formations honoring legendary TV shows. You just have to watch to believe - it gets real good about three minutes in.

Happy hump day loves! Let the countdown to the weekend begin!


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Looking Ahead to Chicago

Alright my friends, the countdown to fall break in the windy city has begun!! In exactly one month, my friend Liz and I will be jet setting to Chicago for a fun girls weekend. This will be my first time in the city, and I couldn't be more excited. Chicago has been on my travel bucket list for some time now, and a place that I have just been itching to go to in the fall. When the opportunity came for a fun fall break getaway, we couldn't pass it up! My friend Liz and I agreed that we were looking for a relaxing and fun weekend getaway. So it'll definitely be several days full of great food, shopping trips, experiencing the nightlife and seeing the hot spots of Chicago. Planning for the weekend is in full swing, so I decided to share with y'all what we've come up with so far. My hopes are that y'all can help fill in the gaps by recommending some of your favorite spots and things to do in Chi-Town!

Water Architecture Tour // Probably the most recommended activity to me, I cannot wait to park my butt on a boat and sail around the river, taking in all the gorgeous sights of Chi-Town. I love the water, I love boats and I love to be able to tour a city via sitting down. No tennis shoes packed for this trip!

Snapping photos in front of the Bean // This iconic symbol has quickly grown to become an extra in a lot of movies/TV shows, as well as the popular Insta photo-op by tourists. How can you not look into the shiny mirrored bean and think, "I must take a pic!"?

Downing some delicious Chicago Style Pizza // I love pizza... there's no doubt about that. Ever since I lived in New York City, my taste buds have adapted to what real pizza is supposed to taste like and I have since avoided fast food delivery options. I'm sorry, but jumbo slice and Dominos have nothing on a good, thin slice of NY style pizza. I am anxious to see if deep dish can compete. 

Staying in the River North Area // Almost everyone I spoke to recommended we stay in this area of the city. Apparently it's the best area to be in, with plenty of food and shops within walking distance.

Standing on top of the world // Frankly I am terrified of heights, but I will face my fears head on and stand 1,353 feet above the city on Chicago's Skydeck... all in the name of great Insta photos.

Filling an entirely separate suitcase // I mean how can you go to Chicago and not shop till you drop? Between now and Chi-Town weekend, I am going on a no-spending moratorium. That is easier said than done, but the thought of filling up an extra suitcase with all my amazing Chi-Town finds, is motivation enough to at least try.

Taking in the gorgeous fall foliage // I've heard from many that Chicago is gorgeous in the fall. The cool weather, colorful trees, fallen leaves and perfect weather for touring around, all combine to make this city a tourist's dream. Lots of outfit photos are in the works, as well as post vacay posts lie ahead. 

These are just a few things I'm looking most forward to, but like I said, I've never been. Have you? Recommend some things I need to do and good restaurants to try! Would love to know what y'all think!

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Over the Weekend, Wine and Cheese Party

If there is a combo I love more than Pumpkin Spice and Latte, it would be cheese and wine. I mean you can't get much better than a great glass of Pino and some high calorie dairy. Over the Weekend, okay so it was Thursday night and I'm really stretching this here (we were just starting the weekend early), I hosted a few of my good friends for a relaxing night of porch sittin' and some wine sippin'. It was a great way to enjoy my new apartment building, and hangout with friends after a long work week. The night was so simple to put together, and very inexpensive. Here's how I did it...

Choose a night and invite some friends // Keep the group small. That way there aren't mini groups of people chatting and everyone is contributing to the convo. Pick a night that works well for everyone and send out a quick email. Nothing formal or fancy about it!

Bring a bottle to share // I always love being introduced to new things... so ask everyone to bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share. Who knows, maybe you'll find a new favorite to add to your bar cart

Hit up the Joe // I tell you, my love for Trader Joes just keeps growing and growing. Not only did I get my 2 Buck Chuck wine, but I got a huge assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers and fruit for less than $30!! Yes, everything you see in the pic above... all from the Joe and all for less than $30.

In the same regard, I recommend a wide selection of munchies... a few different types of meats, cheeses, crackers and fruits. That way there is something for everyone. I picked up a few of the more well-known meats and cheeses, but threw in a few odd balls for people to try. It's always fun to try new foods and hopefully add new favorites to your party repertoire. 

Find a nice spot to chill // Whether you hangout in your apartment or find a nice spot outside, pick the best area for you all to just relax and hangout, away from other groups of people (so there is less noise around).

See, I told you it was easy! Sometimes it only takes a few small steps to host a fun event. It doesn't always have to be difficult. The cheese and wine party will make a great impression on your friends, and leave you feeling less stressed and provide a fun evening for everyone!

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When One Door Closes, A New One Opens

Well my friends, it has been exactly two weeks today since I moved into my new apartment. Ever since the movers left, all I have done is unpack, put things in their place, decide I didn't like said things in that place and moved them somewhere else in the apartment, built furniture, buy what seems like a million wooden hangers, get several blisters, and freak out that Comcast didn't download DVR on our television. It has been a whirlwind of emotions and physical ailments, but things are FINALLY starting to calm down. Now that I have the time to reflect on how the actual move went, I figured I'd share some tips on things I wish I knew before moving, that will hopefully make your life easier (if or when you move).

Don't commit to anything // This was probably the biggest mistake I made, not knowing what I was getting myself into. The week leading up to the move, and the few days immediately following, I committed to attend several events and made plans with friends the evening of my actual move. While I am a huge advocate of not backing out of something you already committed to, there comes a time when you simply have no choice. 

The whole week leading up to the move, I was stressing about making sure everything was ready for the movers, boxes packed and all the utilities switched over. The to-do list was a mile long and there never seemed to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. So I highly recommend you save your nights and weekends to dedicate to the move. That way you aren't stressing about getting ready for an event, being too tired, or in the end having to cancel on a commitment. 

Hire it done // Initially I was going to rely on my friends to help with moving furniture and borrowing their cars to make millions of trips. As the move got closer, I finally took the plunge and hired movers. Boy am I glad that I did!! With an excellent recommendation from a coworker, I hired My Truck Buddy. These gents had the entire move done in less than two hours, were very professional and efficient, and the price was very affordable. If I ever move again, which hopefully isn't for a long long time, they'll be the first to know. **If you're in the DMV area, I highly HIGHLY recommend My Truck Buddy. You won't be disappointed!

Rome wasn't built in a day // You are not I Dream of Jeannie... you cannot wiggle your nose and everything be unpacked, put up and exactly how you want it, in a day. It just isn't going to happen. The sooner you realize this, the less stressed out you'll be.

Moving isn't cheap // I thought by taking certain measures to save money, like painting the living room ourselves, purchasing apartment essentials months in advance (to spread the money out over time), and other cost saving steps I took, would save me a butt load of money in the end. That's not the case. While yes, you are saving money in certain areas, unforeseen things come up. You also don't realize how much you will throw away when packing, that will have to be purchased again when you move.

Also, depending on your moving situation, you most likely will have to pay two rents and utilities for two different places... all in one month. If you know you're going to move or even contemplating it, start saving now.

Something will break // Say bye bye to half a set of wine glasses, or that favorite lamp that sat in your kitchen. All now, in a million pieces on their way to trash heaven.

What can go wrong, will // No matter how prepared you are, no matter how much you plan... something will inevitably go wrong. Like finding out the night before you move that you had to have a cashiers check for the first month's rent, and every freaking store is closed. Or the fact that your bank wont let you withdraw several hundred dollars from an ATM. Last minute problems will arise, so be prepared to deal with them.

Patience my friends, patience // Sometimes the patience level is at about a two... you're gonna need to bring that on up to about a seven. Or life will.be.miserable (at least for those around you).

Moving isn't fun // Contrary to what I thought moving would be like... reflecting back to my college days moving into my new dorm, MOVING IS NOT FUN! In the real world it is nothing like "move in day" in college. More than likely your parents aren't here to help and neither are the cute frat guys who carried your dorm essentials up ten flights of stairs. You will more than likely do most of it yourself... and it is NOT fun. Just saying. 

All of these tips are things I wish I had known or done differently during my recent move. So glad that it's over, now all I have to worry about is how many more clothes I need to buy to fill up my spacious and very large walk-in closet. 

P.S. Stay tuned over the next few months, as I share with y'all peeks into the new pad and photos from completed projects. Lots of fun decor and #styleyourhome moments, coming your way!

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