Category: Everything Else

An Intimate Chat with Raquel Harris: We talked about Lingerie, Body Image, Tragedy, Strength, Confidence and More…

Raquel Harris - Baiser MarsaiMeet Raquel Harris, a stunning young entrepreneur and owner of Baiser Marsai (be-zay mar-say) lingerie boutique, who is turning a tragic life experience into victory for every woman who feels their needs are ignored by the lingerie companies.

When Raquel first reached out to me to introduce me to her lingerie store, the first thing that stood out were her models, I thought wow, I can see myself wearing this and that model has my body type! I felt understood and a sense of belonging.

I later found out that this is part of her intention, when picking out her models Raquel wanted them to be representative of her clients and herself instead of models the fit the usual idolized idea of beauty because she doesn’t believe that beauty comes in a perfect size or perfect body type, she believes beauty is you and that what is perfect is you just as you are.  Beauty is “I am confident with who I am, I like who I am and like what I see in the mirror when nobody is looking” she said to me.  The passion in Raquel’s voice as she uttered those words during our phone conversation could not have sounded any more pure, it was clear to me that she holds herself to that belief and it translates into effortless confidence, grace and beauty that makes you want her around all the time.   

Hiring non-traditional models didn’t come without objections but Raquel stood her ground and hired models that are diverse in terms of race, size and shape defying the norms of the industry and rejecting all advice that went against the way she wants to do things.

baiser mersai lingerie models - multi cultural

Lingerie is not about sex is about intimacy

“I’ve always wanted a boutique and I knew that I wanted the boutique to somehow gratify the beauty of a woman.  I think as women we are most beautiful in our intimate moments.  Many think of lingerie as super sexual, however I want the intimacy of loving and knowing oneself to be acknowledged and embraced with Baiser Marsai.  When we start the day, it all begins with how we are feeling about ourselves inside, so feeling beautiful in your underwear sets a great tone. Lingerie is something I’ve always love and it is very personal to me and it represents all of this, always acknowledging that the first building block for becoming anything, from having self-love to be invested and be intimate in any kind of relationship whether it’s a friendship or love is Oneself.   The more you embrace your own skin and who you are genuinely and confidently the more your beauty will truly come out, it’s like domino effect.”

Finding strength in tragedy to fuel her purpose

Marsai is the name of my childhood best friend who was murdered at a high school football game our senior year in college.  I always wanted to do something that would somehow pay homage to her.  Marsai loved empowering her girlfriends and had the most amazing, bubbly, contagious spirit.  She’s my angel, and Baiser means kiss, so the name behind my brand essentially means Kiss Marsai, or Kissed by an Angel.”

The most exciting thing that has happened to her store so far

“The first day I launched I was able to sell out of two of the products (this one and this one). I wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t do a big marketing thing or anything paid, it was organic and I just used social media.  I also love that people comment on the high quality of my products often and they find that it is within their reach”

Raquel Harris - Young Entrepreneur - Lingerie Boutique -

And of course I know you want more so here’s our Q&A :)

Tell me a little about yourself

I am a Houston, TX native – born, raised, and schooled there.  I moved to Austin in March 2013 and have lived here since.  In my free time I can easily be found in a random coffee shops known for their affogato and bomb playlists :-)  I enjoy coffee and music so I’ll go into a coffee shop on a Saturday morning with my MacBook and before I know it I’ve spent the entire day there working, reading, and people watching.  It’s great.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, do you have any mentors?

I learned tremendous amount and some of my entrepreneurial skills from dad who is my very best mentor. He can look at a process and paint the full picture from beginning to end. That’s what I have seen and mimic from him, but most importantly I learned two things that are invaluable from him; which are to do everything with honesty and integrity. I worked for my dad through summers of my childhood and noticed that people always had wonderful things to say about him. Working for him I was able to see that the measure of a person is not what they have but what they do with what they have and he maximized every opportunity, bringing others along as he did so. I want do the same thing, and this business is just the beginning.*

Lingerie is fun so let’s get back to that…

Raquel Harris - Entrepreneur

What is your favorite lingerie color?

I have a blog that talks about what your favorite/go to lingerie color says about your style (link here).    Mine was black for the longest.  For a few years I literally only owned black underwear.  I’d say I have two go to’s now; black and nude!  Both go with everything and look great!  

What is your favorite lingerie piece in your store and why?

My favorite piece is the Michelle V Lace Teddy.  It’s just hot!  It be worn intimately or even coupled with a high-waisted skirt or pant and worn for a night out!  I actually wore it to my first trunk show :-)

Can you build our lingerie wardrobe from Baiser Marsai?

Can you pick a bra for us to wear daily?
My daily choice is the Strapless Convertible Bra by Nubian Skin.  I love this bra so much that I have it in all the colors offered.  It fits true to size and you can literally do whatever you want with the straps, crisscross them, take them off and wear it traditionally.  It’s a go to bra.

What about sexy lingerie for date night/ special occasion?
I love The Crimson Satin & Lace Corset.  It’s flirty and feminine and I’ve seen it work beautifully on a variety of women.

My wedding is coming up, what lingerie piece should I wear on wedding night?
For wedding night I recommend something comfy to wear to bed – White Lace Kimono It’s lightweight and very angelic.  It gives just a peak at what’s under and you can wear it on wedding night and easily through the honeymoon.

And finally something sexy to wear to bed?
For bed I’m really feeling the Black and Chrome Camisole Set.  It’s feels great, really soft and silky, and it’s equally as pretty.  It’s a win-win because you go to bed looking good and feeling good too.  Only thing about this piece is it’s so comfy I love to lounge it longer than I should sometimes :-)

What’s next?

I’m working on designing my own line of luxury lingerie.  God willing, in 12 months it will be in Baiser Marsai as well as a few other retail shops.

##

I hope you guys enjoyed meeting Raquel as much as I have, and if you feel inspired, heard and understood I encourage you to support her small business.  She told me she wants to hear your suggestions and requests so please do reach out to her if you have any comments and finally follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  

Xo,

Leslie

*updated


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Our Engagement Photo Shoot at Fort Tryon Park, George Washington Bridge and The Little Red Light House, NYC

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

We finally had our engagement photo session and I am thrilled with them!  I cannot thank our photographer Ellen Hart enough for creating such a beautiful memory for us.

I started out a bit clueless about everything. I didn’t know where I wanted the shoot to take place, if I wanted to go with a theme or not, types of  props we would be using, what to wear and all things we worry about to make sure it is perfect.  I had many ideas and shared them with Ellen but a couple of days before the photo session I thought the best location would be (non of the ones we discussed but rather) Washington Heights where we both grew up.

From there it was easy to pick the locations since we have the beautiful Fort Tryon Park and Cloisters, The George Washington Bridge (GWB) and the Little Red Light House up here. And those were the locations we picked for our photos.  I had two looks, one dressy and one casual and wore them appropriately for each location.

My Favorite Photos

I love all the pictures on this post but my absolute two favorite photos were these underneath the GWB.  I think they are everything I wanted our photos to be.

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

I will be using them  for my Save the Dates cards.  They effortless, romantic, alive, real and so personal.

First Location / Formal Outfit

We started with the dressy look at Fort Tryon Park.  The original location was supposed to be inside The Cloisters in front of this amazing Chapel but we were not allowed, so we made the best of it and took shots in the park instead.

For the first session I wore a blush color French Kiss Frock Monique Lhuillier dress  from RTR, an Ann Taylor statement necklace and Steve Madden gold high heel sandals.  Antonio wore a gray checkered Giovanni Bresciani jacket, gray pants from Zara and a purple tie.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. Rent the runway dress. ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER French Kiss Frock. Pink engagement dress. lace engagement dress. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. Rent the runway dress. ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER French Kiss Frock. Pink engagement dress. lace engagement dress. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. Rent the runway dress. ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER French Kiss Frock. Pink engagement dress. lace engagement dress. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. Rent the runway dress. ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER French Kiss Frock. Pink engagement dress. lace engagement dress. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. Rent the runway dress. ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER French Kiss Frock. Pink engagement dress. lace engagement dress. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. beautiful latino couple.Blush Lace (100% Nylon). Cap sleeves with scallop edge. Crew neckline with illusion yoke and keyhole. Fitted skirt. Hidden back zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Lined. 37’’ from shoulder to hem. Imported.

Second Location/ Formal Outfit

We then moved on to The Little Red Lighthouse for a couple of other shots still wearing our formal wear.  I love the first picture below so much!

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. kissing couple engagement photos. Nose kisses.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. Rent the runway dress. ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER French Kiss Frock. Pink engagement dress. lace engagement dress. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot.

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

Second Location/ Casual Outfit

Still in The Little Red House which is right underneath the George Washington Bridge, we changed into a more casual and comfortable look.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge.

I kid you not when I tell you I went in the bushes to change into this outfit because there was no public restrooms or businesses in sight.

I wore black ripped jeans from Zara and a white crochet boxy sweater. I was barefoot.  I love how Ellen captured this 3-shot moment.

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top. honduran and dominican couple.

Makes me want to sing.. “Leslie and Antonio sitting on a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g..” Here are couple of other cutesy ones:

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top. engagement photos ideasleslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

We waited a while for the sunset, which happened around 8 PM and that’s when the real magic happened. By then we were relaxed, adventurous and more natural.

leslie and antonio engagement photoshoot with Ellen Hart Photography --1-17

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top.

 

And I will end it with the photographer’s favorite which is breath taking…

leslie and antonio engagement photos with Ellen Hart Photography --little red lighthouse, washington heights, nyc, uptown manhattan, latino couple, happy couple, sunset photoshoot nyc, george washington bridge. casual engagement photo session look. what i wore to my engagement photoshoot. Zara jeans, black knee ripped white crochet top. kissing couple engagement photos. sunset photoshoot george washington bridge.

If you live in New York City, check out Ellen Hart Photography.  She was so incredibly sweet and good spirited.  She made us feel so comfortable and was very flexible from beginning to end.  I absolutely love her energy and she is incredibly talented.

I enjoyed sharing my personal life with you.  If you are planning on doing a photo shoot in any of these locations I hope you found this post helpful.  I you are just looking for ideas I hope you found inspiration.

Xo,

Leslie


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Week 3 Giveaway: Hourglass Angel A Miraculous Cincher Waist Trainer Giveaway

Ever find an amazing little dress that fits in all the right places except it does nothing to hide your problem area (ahem.. mid-section)? Depressing isn’t?

I definitely know the struggle because that is my problem area too.  When I gain weight, it is noticeable on my booty (awesome!), my hips (bring it!) and my belly (womp, womp).  But you know what, why worry and be down about it when there’s a solution for that.  What’s the solution you ask?  Of course the gym and a healthy diet my fiance and everyone in their right mind would say, BUT what you really want to know is what is the QUICK FIX  when you have a wedding or event to go to and no time for all of that? the answer is a waist cincher!  Yep, you’ve heard of it before and  it is nothing new (it’s older than your great grandmother) and it gets the job done.   If used correctly it can be more than just a quick fix, I just learned that if you wear the waist trainer for 30 days + you can actually have long lasting results, hence the name waist trainer.  Jessica Alba knows the deal and the Kardashian sis are loyal fans.

But if the thought of wearing a waist cincher makes you cringe because it sounds like torture (that’s definitely me) or you think they don’t actually help the problem that’s probably because you haven’t found the right one.   Not all cinchers are made the same or held to a high standard and that’s why  I’m really proud to introduce  my giveaway sponsor for week three HourglassAngel.com,  an online shapewear boutique that has made quality a priority and carries an incredible variety of shapewear and body solutions for every women’s “problem area”.  For this giveaway they will be giving away the Classic Cincher Waist Trainer By Amia A102a best-selling waist-shrinking garment and ultimate everyday midsection shaper.

The idea of doing this giveaway came from a real life experience when I was tagged on this picture for my birthday.

11742856_10155870311140565_5348328930868859514_n
With my girls, don’t mind the gut!
I could not help but to direct my attention to my gut pouring out of my dress (This is actually one of the better pictures, there is a least two others that I chose not to post). I knew the belly was visible because when I complaint about it after dinner, my friend’s husband joked “fajas girl!”, that’s Spanish for cincher.  He didn’t mean this in an offensive way and of course I didn’t take offense but the point is that he’s not the first to mention the sneaky little “faja” (not-so) secret (anymore).
My fiance went to school with the Ruben Soto, the founder of Hourglass Angel and he encouraged me to reach out to him for my blogiversary giveaways. I’m very excited that Ruben has agreed to generously gift the lucky winner with this amazing fixer-upper and confidence booster.  I will be buying mine this weekend when I’m caught with my work and can make time to leisurely browse.
 So let’s get to the fun stuff – here are the details for the giveaway:

You are entering to win (1) Classic Cincher Waist Trainer By Amia A102 from HourglassAngel.com  of size and color of your choosing (more details about this cincher at the bottom of this post)

hourglassangelClassic Cincher Waist Trainer by Amia A102 - Are you ready to have all of the targeted mid-section support you need for a slim and sexy look for any style? This best-selling waist-shrinking garment is the ultimate everyday midsection shaper. Wear it under almost anything with the bra and panty styles of your choice.  You'll feel confident and poised as you instantly sculpt 1-4 inches from your midsection while wearing it, improve your posture and enhance your curves. You'll also increase thermal activity and perspiration in your core. Add time, plus a healthy diet and active lifestyle, and you’re going to love the edge Amia gives you toward reaching your goals. This cincher stays with you along the way: as your body slims, two columns of hook-and-eye closures allow the cincher to size down with you, ensuring a precision fit.  RESULTS  Visibly reduced waistline of 1-4 inches Firmed and flattened midsection Posture improvement Increased thermal activity and perspiration in core FEATURES  Power latex and flexi-boning for firm compression with flexibility and comfort Hook-and-eye closures for precision fit Versatile strapless design Materials: Outer lining: 75% rubber covering, 25% cotton lining  Size Chart: Find your natural waistline, dress size and hip size on the chart below to select the correct size for you. Your natural waistline is three fingers above your belly button. If you are between sizes, we recommend you choose the larger size.

 

 

***Please allow the Rafflecopter widget to load.  Mobile users click on the rafflecopter link to be taken the rafflecopter website in order to enter the giveaway***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

There’s no purchase necessary to enter this giveaway, simply complete any of rafflecopter actions above. The more you actions complete the higher your chances of winning. Raffle opens on Thursday 8/20 and closes on Thursday at 8/27 at 11:59 pm.  Winner will be randomly selected via the Rafflecopter app and announced on Friday morning via email social media!  Winner will also receive an email confirmation. Valid only in the U.S.

 

 

Good luck! -Leslie

 

Media Partner:

Please follow my media partner and friend Olga Maria on her travel and fashion adventures documented on her blog www.dreamsinheels.com and earn extra entries!  

Sponsored by:  

hourglass angel

 

 

 Classic Cincher Waist Trainer By Amia A102 from HourglassAngel.com:

hourglass angel faja

 

 SOLUTION:  WAIST SLIMMING
LIFESTYLE: EVERYDAY USE; WAIST TRAINING; NIGHT OUT; BACK SUPPORT; POST PARTUM

 

Are you ready to have all of the targeted mid-section support you need for a slim and sexy look for any style? This best-selling waist-shrinking garment is the ultimate everyday midsection shaper. Wear it under almost anything with the bra and panty styles of your choice. You’ll feel confident and poised as you instantly sculpt 1-4 inches from your midsection while wearing it, improve your posture and enhance your curves. You’ll also increase thermal activity and perspiration in your core. Add time, plus a healthy diet and active lifestyle, and you’re going to love the edge Amia gives you toward reaching your goals. This cincher stays with you along the way: as your body slims, two columns of hook-and-eye closures allow the cincher to size down with you, ensuring a precision fit.

RESULTS

  • Visibly reduced waistline of 1-4 inches
  • Firmed and flattened midsection
  • Posture improvement
  • Increased thermal activity and perspiration in core

 

FEATURES

    • Power latex and flexi-boning for firm compression with flexibility and comfort
    • Hook-and-eye closures for precision fit
    • Versatile strapless design

Materials: Outer lining: 75% rubber covering, 25% cotton lining Size Chart: Find your natural waistline, dress size and hip size on the chart below to select the correct size for you. Your natural waistline is three fingers above your belly button. If you are between sizes, we recommend you choose the larger size.


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$25 AMIclubwear + $20 BaubleBar Jewelry Giveaway

Week two of Lucky Seven Ten’s blogiversary giveaway will make you look stylin’ on your next night out without blowing your budget.

AMIclubwear, an online fashion boutique that specializes in sexy club dresses is sponsoring a $25 gift card to their store to join the celebration.  About a month ago they kindly sent me some really cute stuff, including this little black dress that I posted on IG which I adore!  It is so slimming and flattering.  I also received this little number in the picture  which can be easily dressed up or dressed down and it’s very comfy.

amiclubwear

I was very impressed with the quality considering how inexpensive this store is.  You can now find both the LBD here and the olive jumper here, at 50% off the already low price.

I noticed that AMIclubwear updates styles frequently so I will definitely keep an eye out on this shop for parties, events and travel shopping.

And of course a cute little dress is not complete without the right accessories so to  add some glam to your outfit I’m also giving away a $20 BaubleBar gift card.  I love this store and if you decide to check ’em out keep an eye out for their 24-hour $10 buried baubles every Friday,  you can sign up to get notified here.

So now the giveaway rules and details:

You are entering to win (1) $25 AMIclubwear gift card + (1) $20 BaubleBar gift card.  Total giveaway value is $45.

***Please allow the Rafflecopter widget to load.  Mobile users click on the rafflecopter link to be taken the rafflecopter website in order to enter the giveaway***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There’s no purchase necessary, simply complete any of rafflecopter actions below. The more you actions complete the higher your chances of winning. Raffle opens on Wednesday 8/12  and closes on Saturday at 8/15 at 11:59 pm.  Winner will be randomly selected via the Rafflecopter app and announced on Sunday via email social media!  Winner will also receive an email confirmation. Valid only in the U.S.

Good Luck!

XO, Leslie

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

 

 


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Enter the Maple Holistics Giveaway: Argan Oil Shampoo and Silk18 Conditioner!

In celebration of luckyseventen.com’s  1-year anniversary I will be hosting a weekly giveaway during the month of August.

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Maple Holistics, a US-based cosmetics company focused on offering natural beauty products that are cruelty free.  I’m clearly obsessed with natural hair products and currently on the hunt to find the best non-toxic hair products out there so MH sounds great to me (ingredients are listed below).

Giveaway Details

You are entering to win: 1 Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo + 1 Maple Holistics Silk18 Conditioner valued at $25.

Maple Holistics Giveaway - Enter to Win!
Mobile users click on the rafflecopter link

a Rafflecopter giveaway
RULES There’s no purchase necessary, simply complete any of rafflecopter actions below.The more you complete the higher your chances of winning. Raffle opens on 8/1 at midnight closes on Friday at 8/7 at 11:59 pm.  Winner will be randomly selected via the Rafflcopter app and announced on Saturday via social media!  Winner will also receive an email confirmation. Valid only in the U.S. Good Luck! XO, Leslie   Maple Holistics Product Ingredients Argan Shampoo: Water, Sodium cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Acrylates Copolymer, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Polysorbate 20,  Argania spinose (Argan) Oil, Phytokeratin, Prunus Persica (Peach Kernel) Oil, Prunus Bulcis (Almond) Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Pseudocollagen, Camellia sinensis (Camellia Seed) Oil, Pseudocollagen, Natural (Vanilla/Honey) Fragrance, Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil.

Silk 18 Conditioner: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Phytokeratin, Propanediol, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Argan Oil, Shea butter, Certified Organic Blend Pomegranate, Hibiscus, Green Tea and Sea Buckthorn, Silk Amino Acids, Jojoba Oil, Natural Vanilla Fragrance, Panthenol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride,  Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.
Disclaimer:  MapleHolistics is sponsoring this giveaway.  I have  not tested these products.  

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LuckySevenTen’s 1 Year Blog Anniversary!

Can you believe It has  been 366 days since I registered luckyseventen.com  on wordpress? My very first blog post was published 364 days ago and just in time for #throwbackthrusday here’s my first Instagram photo:

I started my blog right after coming back from this cruise where I got engaged to the love of my life.  Since then, I got a new job where I am much happier, we bought a house in the Bronx and we set our destination wedding date to the beginning of next year.

If you are curious about why I started blogging, you can read more all about it here.

What I’ve Learn in this year of blogging: 
I built this blog from scratch, so I learned to do everything… from my finding my webhost, to choosing wordpress.org as a  blogging platform, to designing my logo and website to managing my google analytics and pretty much everything else.  I learned how to do most of it in one year.

Connections I’ve made with fellow bloggers:
I’ve interacted with some amazing bloggers including Pauline Cabrera and did a Blogger Spotlight Q&A on The Closet by Christie, my first collaboration.  I also received 20 inquiries via my contact me page from brands and bloggers requesting to work together.

Who I’ve worked with:
Minted.comWoodchucks Hard CiderMorroco MethodYarok HairCalvin Klein and more are in the works.

My favorite blogging secret weapons:
Canva for editing my blog images.
Evernote for writing my blog drafts.
Pocket for saving articles (or anything online) I want to be able to read when I have no internet connection.
Bloglovin to keep up with other blogs in one email.

Accomplishments:
You guys seem to be enjoying my blog and I couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.  Here are some stats:

About 1,700 -2,500 of you visit luckyseventen.com every month and each of you view approximately 2 blog posts every time you visit, an average of 6k-7k views per month.  During the month of January 51% of you guys came back to view more, however by June 75% of my visitors were here for the first time, which is awesome because that means that you are probably sharing this blog with your friends and helping luckyseventen.com is reaching new heights!

On Social Media…
@luckyseventen now has over 1 THOUSAND of you following on twitter, love ya! And it’s almost getting there on facebook and instagram.  If you enjoy my blog but are not following, please do!

Special Thanks:
I want to thank K. Hernandez-Aviles of Honey Shot Photography who took amazing shots of me at the NYBG for a beauty post not yet published (my twitter profile picture is one of them).  Thanks to Burt’s BeesEco BellaGressa Skin for sending me products to review, expect those on the blog soon.  And Giuseppe from Ornella Trattoria for inviting me to dinner in Queens.  Also AMIClubwear who recently reached out to me and sent me the lovely back dress I am wearing in this picture and other gifts.  And last but most definitely not the least, my fiance for supporting me in every way possible.

Goals for the next 6 months:
I will be mostly blogging about my destination wedding planning and our new home.  Expect some Latin recipes coming this way!  I also want to get a fun signature, make design improvements to the site as well as make it run faster.

An Anniversary Gift for You!
For the next 4 weeks I will be hosting a weekly giveaway so come back on Saturday, August 1st to enter to win:

Week 1:  Argan Shampoo and Silk 18 Conditioner from Maple Holistics Giveaway.

Week 2: $25 gift certificate from Amiclubwear.com Giveaway.

Week 3: $25 gift certificate from Morrocco Method Giveaway.

Week 4: It’s a surprise!

XO, Leslie

 


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How to Get a Great Deal on Plane Tickets by Dealspotr

The price of plane tickets is often the determining factor as to whether many people can fit a vacation into their budget. Luckily, there are several techniques you can use to cut down on flying costs. Below are five ways Dealspotr has found that are sure to help you get a better price on plane tickets.

Shop for Tickets on Tuesday or Wednesday

When airlines have a sale, it’s traditionally on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Buying your tickets on those days, especially Tuesday, will generally yield you the best price. Keep your eye out for flash sales on those days as well. Every so often airlines will offer amazing prices for a short period of time as a means of guaranteeing revenue for future dates that might look a bit soft. Just make sure you are ready to pounce if a flash sale hits, because they don’t last very long and are regularly followed up by really high prices once they end as airlines hope you’ll pay the higher price since you’ve already gone through the hassle of finding a flight.

Shop At Least a Month in Advance, If Not Longer

While it’s possible to get a great deal on a last-minute flight, it’s certainly not very likely. In fact, it’s common for last-minute flights to cost three or four times the amount it would have cost had you bought tickets a couple months ahead of time. This is especially true during popular travel periods like holidays or spring break. The other nice thing about shopping at least a month out is that you can plan your trip around the flight. For example, if you are able to get a spectacular deal on a flight, then you can book the rest of the trip based on the plane tickets. It’s much easier to get a good price on the plane tickets if you buy them first and then plan the trip around the flight as opposed to setting up all the other trip details and worrying about the flight later.

Join Airline Loyalty Programs

You should make it a habit not to fly with a particular airline until you’ve first signed up for its loyalty program. These loyalty programs are almost always free and reward you for giving the airline repeat business. Some even provide incentives when you first sign up that you can use to get seat upgrades or a free checked bag. If you’ve heard of “frequent flyer miles” they refer to these loyalty programs. The more miles you build up with an airline, the more points you get in their loyalty program which you can later redeem for free flights or other perks. Even if you wind up not using the airline again or getting anything out of the program, there is no downside as you don’t usually have to pay to join.

Find a Credit Card With Travel Perks and Always Use it to Fly

If none of your current credit cards offer points or cash back for traveling, then you should either considering signing up for one that does or call one of your current credit card companies and ask them if they can switch you to a card that provides benefits for traveling. Even if you don’t anticipate traveling or flying very much, it still makes sense to dedicate one of your credit cards to this purpose, so you can have in case of potential unexpected future trips you might have to make. Similar to loyalty programs, credit cards with travel perks allow you to build up points that you can then redeem for discounted flights, hotel stays or attractions. Sometimes you can even get a free flight. Other travel cards offer straight cash back, rather than points, so once you spend up to a certain threshold on flying and other travel-related expenses, the credit card company will give you cash back, typically in the form of a check or gift card, but occasionally as a refund applied to your statement.

Consider Two One Way Flights Instead of Round Trip

For those of you not interested in joining any loyalty programs or getting any new credit cards, this is the best option. The more flexible you are as a traveler, the better chances you’ll be able to score a good price on plane tickets. By researching all of the airlines that travel between your host city and your destination you can compare the prices for one-way tickets with all of them. Should you be flying into and/or out of cities with multiple airports, then you can also research how much he one-way flights are from those various airports. Odds are you’ll find that the best price involves you flying to a different airport than you return from using a different airline each way.

About the Author:

Jason Feller is the Director of Marketing with Dealspotr.com and writes tips and advice articles for the site on how to save money on a broad spectrum of items. He’s a former journalist with The Washington Post, NFL.com and the Times Record News.

 


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