I don’t know if you follow me on Instagram (@toyinsmiles), but if you do, you probably noticed that I wear statement necklaces a lot.  Particularly, I wear this black and gold chunky necklace…it’s my favorite and works with almost everything!  The reason I do wear statement necklaces is because they instantly make me look put together without adding an extra layer.  An extra layer that I don’t need to be wearing right now in the humid heat of the South.

Plus, everyone needs a signature look!  I guess the statement necklace is mine.  This post gives tips on looking put together in the heat.How to Look Put Together in the Summer without adding layers

How to Look Put Together in the Summer

Nothing looks more put together than a stylishly layered look, with booties!  So many of the outfits I pin and admire are styled with beautiful layers that complement each other perfectly in a unique way.  But what about when it’s hot outside.  I live in the South and wearing more than one layer is not an option in 100 degree humidity.

I’ve noticed that it’s not necessarily the layers that make an outfit look complete.  It’s the addition of a third or fourth piece to a basic outfit.  It’s called the Third Piece Rule and it can help you look perfectly put together in the hot and humid weather!  Just call me Dr. Suess.

Typically, a third piece is utilized via a layering piece like a sweater, jacket, or scarf.  I refuse to pass out from heat exhaustion for fashion!  I’ve come up with a few items to add to your summer wardrobe to help you look more put together when it’s hot and humid outside.

5 Pieces to Add to Look Put Together

Chunky Jewelry

One of my favorite accessories in my closet is my Chunky black, gold, and pearl necklace.  It goes with almost everything in my closet and instantly makes a plain, all black outfit look amazing!  I get compliments every time I wear it.  Chunky jewelry is a great way to go from basic to glam!

A Hat

A hat is an accessory that I have always loved but never had the occasion to wear.  I feel like when I was in school, it seemed rude to wear a hat when I knew I would be sitting in classes all day.  I didn’t want to block someone else’s view and I definitely was not going to show off flat hat hair by taking one off.  But now that I am an adult and most of my events don’t include sitting in classes (even though I stand in front of one), I can successfully implement hats into my wardrobe.  It may just be me but when I see someone wearing a stylish hat, they look so cool!

A Headband or Bandana

I love adding a headband or colored scarf to my top knots and buns to add interest to my look.  Plus they help to hide tracks while keeping your hair off of your neck (#weavelife/wiglife). Le’struggle.

A Colorful belt

Adding a colored belt to a tucked in look also gives visual interest and shows that you took a little more time to think the outfit through.  My favorite belt is a skinny yellow belt and surprisingly, it looks great with most outfits.

A Shirt (to tie around the waist)

Wearing a chambray or flannel shirt around my waist is one of my favorite trends right now.  It helps to make a short dress or leggings look like an outfit with intention.

Have you tried any of these pieces to look more put together in the warm weather? 

Thanks for joining me on my blog Launch Week!  I will now be posting every Tuesday!  Remember…

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.


Starting a new career can be isolating and lonely because you are new and don’t really know any of your coworkers…but they all know each other.  It’s important to put yourself out there from the very beginning and network and make connections around the workplace.  When you are interested in engaging with others at work, it shows that you want to build relationships and are invested in being there.  You want to show that your position isn’t just a pitstop on the road to somewhere else.

One of my favorite things about blogging is the supportive community.  There are so many bloggers out there who have similar interests as me, we cheer each other on and help each other have the best blogs ever.  One of the best friends that I have made so far is Sheila a.k.a She, a beauty and lifestyle blogger from San Francisco.  Her blog is called She Smiles All Day where she posts about her life in San Francisco.  She’s style posts are perfect and her food posts will literally make your mouth water.  She is also having a blog re-launch this week, just like me.  So today we are guest posting on each other’s blog!  How fun right?

Today she will tell you about an awesome way to style an off-duty look.  Check it out below and don’t forget to pop over to Sheila’s blog to see my post.

How To Transition the Sneaker Trend From Summer to Fall

How to transition the sneaker trend from summer to fall

How to Transition the Sneaker Trend from Summer to Fall

How to transition the sneaker trend from summer to fallHow to transition the sneaker trend from summer to fallHow to transition the sneaker trend from summer to fallHow to transition the sneaker trend from summer to fallMy favorite time of year is right around the corner and while I’m totally ready for crunchy leaves and earth tones, there are still a few trends from the summer that I’m not ready to let go of yet. My personal favorite being the sneaker trend, specifically when paired with an ultra feminine dress to create a cool contrast. 

Thankfully this is a trend that I don’t see dying out anytime soon, so all you need to take it from summer to fall are the right accessories! 

I picked out my favorite white sneakers (super affordable) with this girly blue bow dress that’s perfect for the warmer times of the year. I used this long, camel cardigan and matching mini satchel from Henri Bendel to play with the proportions and give this outfit an autumn inspired feel. 

I’m obsessed with simple gold jewelry so I have on some of my favorite every day pieces from Henri Bendel, including my bangles that rarely leave my wrist. I love shopping their bracelet selection because you can create your own arm party that’s true to your style!

If you’re just as excited for fall as I am then definitely check out my blog at www.shesmilesallday.com for more September ready outfit ideas!



In the last 5 years, I have become a huge advocate for adding coconut oil to my beauty regimen.  I started with using coconut oil to moisturize my (then) dry, brittle hair and now I use it for my hair, skin, and nails.  Below is a list of 4 of my personal beauty questions that have been answered with coconut oil.

How can I keep my hair moisturized?

Pre-Poo:  Before I shampoo my hair, I like to apply a pre-poo (pre-shampoo treatment applied to the hair and scalp before shampooing it out) for about 30-45 minutes.  I like to create my own little concoction with coconut oil, almond oil, and honey.  The coconut oil helps to restore moisture and shine to my hair as well as protect it from the harsh cleansing ingredients of my shampoo.  I’ve added my own personal recipe below.

After-Poo:  After I shampoo and condition my hair, I add a little coconut oil to my hands and work it into my damp hair, concentrating on my ends.  Once my hair is dry, I use another coconut oil concoction (with almond oil, rosemary essential oil, and peppermint essential oil) to seal (adding an oil to hair to lock in the moisture previously added) my hair.

Coconut Oil Pre-Poo
Write a review
Prep Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
586 calories
19 g
0 g
59 g
2 g
47 g
84 g
1 g
18 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 586
Calories from Fat 507
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 59g
Saturated Fat 47g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 18g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 4 tbsp coconut oil
  2. 1 tbsp honey
  3. 1 tbsp almond oil
  1. Add the coconut oil, honey, and almond oil into a microwave safe container (coconut oil is hard at room temperature). Microwave for 15 seconds or until the oil is liquified.
  2. Apply all over hair including your scalp. Cover with a plastic cap and let sit for 25-40 minutes. Then shampoo hair.
Minted and Printed http://www.mintedandprinted.com/

How can I gently remove my makeup without drying my skin?

I like to put a little coconut oil in my hands and rub it onto my face.  Then a take a damp washcloth or a cleansing towelette and wipe the makeup off of my face.  Using the coconut oil eliminates the need to scrub my face (especially around my eyes) to remove the makeup.

How can I keep my lips from peeling?

I personally struggle with dry lips and always had issues wearing lipstick.  I decided to go on a lipstick journey and tried many tips and tricks for keeping my lips moisturized so that they didn’t crack.  I discovered that using a lip scrub made of coconut oil and sugar before bed helped to remove the dry skin on my lips and keep them moisturized so that I could wear lipstick the next day without my lips cracking.

How can I get soft, touchable skin?

I got this last tip from one of my new blogging friends Sarah.  Whenever I decide to pamper myself and soak in the bathtub, I will add a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil into my bathwater.  The key is to already have clean skin before you add the oil.  Don’t worry, when you get out of the tub, your body won’t feel greasy.  And the next day, your skin will feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

I hope you enjoyed my 4 favorite ways to use coconut oil in my beauty routine.  Do you incorporate any of these into yours?  I would love to hear about how you use it in your beauty regimen!  Btw, here is my favorite brand. **Disclaimer:  This is an affiliate link, so if you purchase this item using my link, I will earn a small commission.**


Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.



That Moment You Realize You Aren’t Going to be as Rich as You Thought.

Raise your hand if you thought that signing your contract for $xx,000 meant that you would be getting $xx,000/12 each month?

I sure did…well not exactly.  I accounted for state and federal taxes which I so proudly looked up and calculated how much I would be bringing home each month.

But boy was that number wrong!  I didn’t account for benefits like health insurance, life insurance, or dental insurance.  I didn’t account for a retirement plan.  And apparently the monthly rate for my parking pass on campus comes out of my monthly paycheck.  Not accounted for.

So no, I’m not as rich as I thought I wold be but I’m making leaps and bounds more than I did as a graduate student.  However, after signing my paycheck away to HR, I decided that I really needed to take a closer look at my monthly expenses and I CHALLENGE (in my Cosby Show voice, pre-scandal) you to do the same.

Understanding Your Expenses

Step 1:  Check Your Bank Statement Regularly

With the over-abundance of auto-drafts, auto-pay, and online subscriptions, so much money is coming out of our bank accounts without us knowing exactly how much we are paying or when we are paying it.

My AT&T wireless bill and internet bill are due on different days and I do paperless billing with auto-pay.  I believe that it’s important to track what day of the month each bill is paid.

Step 2:  Keep Track of Your Expenses

I have created a little worksheet for you to keep track of your expenses each month as well as when they are due.  So, throughout the month, continually check your bank statement and add your expenses to the list as they come.  If you have been working for more than a month, you can just look at the previous month’s bank statement.

Click the link below the picture to download the worksheet.

Monthly Expenses Worksheet | Benefits, Retirement and Taxes: That Moment You Realized You Aren't Going to be As Rich as you Thought Monthly Expenses Worksheet (6 downloads)

Step 3:  Evaluate Your Expenses

Once you have completed your worksheet of monthly expenses, it’s time to evaluate your bills.  Is everything that you are subscribed to worth the extra cost each month?  I have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  Do I need all three?  No.  Will I keep all three?  Yes, I love watching TV and movies.  I ain’t sorry!

Step 4:  Make a Plan

The 4th and final step is to make a plan for the next month.  What subscriptions will you cancel?  How many times will you go out to eat?  How much will you drive?  The answers to these questions lead us to making a monthly budget.

I will discuss budgets at a later date here on the blog.  So make sure you are subscribed to know when that happens.

Related Post:  How to Save $1,000 Fast

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.


P.S.  It would be so great if you pinned this picture for others!

FREE Monthly Expenses Worksheet | Benefits, Retirement, and Taxes: That moment you realize you aren't going to be as rich as you though

When I started grad school, I had a fellowship that covered the cost of school and gave me a monthly stipend for living expenses. This was the first time in my life that I had ever made money on a monthly basis. I decided that I needed to learn how to manage my money, develop practical financial skills, and make smart financial decisions. So I picked up The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

After learning how to set up a new budget each month, he talks about starting an emergency fund. And to do that, Dave suggests to save $1,000 fast. That is the focus of today’s post.  I’ve listed 5 ways that you can save $1,000 quickly (within 2 months if your salary is >$40,000). Don’t worry, this won’t last forever! You only need to utilize these tips until you save $1,000.

How to Save $1,000 Fast

1. Payday = Save Day

When you get your next paycheck, take note of the amount of money that you had in your bank account before your direct deposit hit. Do you need that leftover money for bill? If so, use it for your bills. If not, put all of the previous balance of your account into your emergency savings fund.

2. Shop Less, Save More

When you get the urge to impulse buy, and ultimately talk yourself out of a purchase.  Use the money that you would have spent on that new purse or DSLR camera and put it in your savings fund.

3.  Sell Stuff

There are so many websites and consignment shops out there that will pay you for quality clothes that don’t fit your lifestyle anymore.  So clean out your closet and sell some of the pieces that you don’t wear anymore.  Here is a list of popular online consignment shops.

List of online consignment shops to sell used clothes | How to save 1000 dollars fast

Check out this post by Lizzie at October June to get ratings on some of the most popular sites.

4.  Eat at home

Even though, with a busy schedule, it is so easy to order your food to go, try eating at home while you save $1000 fast.  There are so many cheap, easy, and delicious recipes floating around Pinterest right now.  The easiest way to save money while cooking for yourself is meal planning.  Plan out all of your meals for each week.  That way, you will know exactly what you need to buy and will have a plan for each night…and no need to order in.  

I love cooking in my crockpot!  My favorite is Chicken Taco Chili.  I can make it while I sleep and the recipe makes so much that I like to freeze half of it for another week.  You can find the recipe here!

5.  Go Vegetarian

…for a while.  Meat can be very expensive.  Try to plan a couple of vegetarian meals each week.  This is also a great way to change up your cooking style and try new recipes.

Once you save this money, use it for emergencies only! Not for a shoe sale or new diy project!  When I was in grad school, I had to replace the alternator on my old car.  This cost me $400 that I had to put on my credit card.  If I had implemented Dave’s strategy, I would have had the cash to pay for it!

Remember, if you do use your $1,000 emergency fund, make sure to reimplement these tips to replace the spent funds.

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips and tricks for saving quickly for a rainy day.