We’ve moved!

Quite fabulously, to Essence of Erika! See you there!

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A Few of My Favorite Things x2

Last week I missed my weekly Sunday “A Few of My Favorite Things” post, and yesterday was Easter. I’ve been super busy moving into my new apartment and I have tons of stuff I need to post this week…like three fashionable ways to wear an adorable nautical striped tee from Lands’ End Canvas, some fab product reviews, I can’t wait to post pictures of my new apartment!

In the meantime, I have 6 things (a few, times 2) plus + 1…for being a day late that are making me happy this week and last week.

Disclaimer: Easter is one of my favorite holidays, and being an Armenian it’s very much centered around food…so there’s lots of food in this post!

I found this AMAZING chair at Homegoods today and I need to make it part of my apartment decor ASAP...but it's a little bit expensive this week!

There is nothing I love more than a steamy cup of coffee, and when I saw all the mugs at my aunt's house steaming with fresh coffee, I had to snap a shot!

This turtle cheesecake is honestly one of the tastiest desserts I've ever had and I need to find a recipe for one soon! Something about the sweet caramel with the tart cheesecake filling...

Fruit tastes so much better in season, and the sweet strawberries and blackberries we had yesterday reminded me that summer is (finally!) just around the corner.

I'm obsessed with this Morrocan-inspired candle-holder my aunt had on her counter, and am determined to find one just like it to accessorize my new humble abode!

I snapped this photo on my DROID while strolling in Carl Schurz park in NYC last week. I love how springy and vibrant this flower is! (Though, I don't know what kind of flower it is...)

I'm "that" person in the family who always insists on taking family photos at every holiday or gathering. Thankfully, my cousins enjoy being in pictures as much I do and willingly oblige. My cousins from left: Andrew, Sevan, Natalie, Me, and Ara. (We're missing Talene and Ani)

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Boutique of the Week: Cottage by the Sea

Another fabulous find thanks to Facebook Ads, Cottage by the Sea is my new favorite boutique of the week!

There is something just so soothing when I think about Hawaii, but I always felt like I had a connection there, since my mom used to live there many years ago. Liking a boutique based in Honolulu seems like an easy match! Cottage by the Sea was created to bring together the best jewelry designers, gifts and home decor in a cottage-style boutique setting. People loved the quaint feeling of the cottage atmosphere and where patrons could find unique vintage style furniture and fixtures. Cottage by the Sea sells brands like Free People, Velvet by Graham & Spencer, Adina and Gorjana, along with many others.

Victorian Garden Long Maxi Dress $60

While their online selection isn’t huge, their items seem to be well-curated and I’m dying for them to put more home decor from their store up online! (Even just photos of their in-store displays, which are apparently huge in Honolulu).

Free People "Wait For Me" Dress $117.60

There are also some major perks to having a boutique based in Hawaii, a place that has amazing weather year round…still scratching your head? Cottage by the Sea gets to shoot some of their great merchandise on the beach!

Even if you’re not planning a trip to Hawaii any time soon, you can shop online at Cottage by the Sea! They offer free shipping on orders over $100 within the U.S. and they ship internationally!

If only they could ship fresh leis with every order…..

Check out Cottage by the Sea, and you can find them on Facebook (that’s where I found them!)

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Fabulous Feet (all under $30!)

It’s been awhile since I posted a collage, but this one seemed necessary! Spring is finally here and the weather is getting nice enough to get a pedi and break out those sandals. In need of some new styles? No problem. Every pair on this page is under $30!

1. Women’s Studded Bead Gladiator Thong Sandals $15 at Walmart

2. Women’s Dolce Vita for Target® Rope Wedge Sandals – Cognac $29.99

3. Ditsy Floral Wedges at Forever 21 $22.80

4. Covington Women’s “Millie” – Black at Sears $19.99

5. Gem Shovel Sandals at Pink Ice $24.99

6. Buckled Leatherette Wedges at Forever 21 $26.80

7. Weave Strap Heels in Light Grey at Pink Ice $24.99

8. Women’s Merona® Makana Cutout Sliver Wedges – Yellow (available in 5 more colors) $16.99

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A Few of My Favorite Things

This past week felt like it took forever to go by because I had so much planned. South Pacific auditions, work, school, a Neutrogena breakfast for The Makeup Girl, a breakfast with Jeannie Mai from the Style Network’s, How Do I Look? A second day of auditions for South Pacific, a major apartment-hunting session with my mom & aunt,  and a birthday party for my friend Andrew! Phew….I’m exhausted just thinking back on it. Plus, how could I forget…I took up the first five minutes or so, of this week’s episode of The Look on The Pulse Network, without saying a word! A show I’m looking forward to filming an episode with next week, The Look is an excellent resource for helping women everywhere get “the look” we’re all trying to achieve–our best selves! They also have a great Facebook page that you can ask questions for the host of the show, Maggie ,on and I’m helping to answer! Head over there to ask all of your fabulous fashion and beauty questions.

Believe it or not, I have even more planned for this week…but we’ll save that for next weekend’s post. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite things this week…

 

My ballroom/character shoes that I hung on the back of my door to remind myself I need to register for dance classes again soon!

I had the opportunity to read from "Next To Normal" for an audition for a company, and it happened to be a perfect scene to show off some attitude!

The flowers at the Neutrogena event were a mix of orchids, calilies and white roses...perfect for spring!

 

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Drugstore Deals: Zotos Diamond Shine Products

As you may or may not know, I’ve had quite the trials and tribulations with my hair the past few months after using a very nasty product you should not ever use. I found a miracle product in this a few weeks after I killed my hair, but almost 3 months later, my hair was just not the same until the last couple weeks…

When I was in Massachusetts visiting my parents a few weekends ago, I wandered into my local Sally Beauty Supply store to get my usual tub of L’oreal Professional deep conditioner. As I grabbed the conditioner off the shelf, some bright blue bottles called “Diamond Shine” caught my eye. Even though my hair was in much better shape, it was still lacking its old luster and shine. I first read the Diamond Shine Rinse-Out Glaze bottle, while promised my lackluster locks 2x the shine they deserved. I was so convinced by the glaze that I grabbed the gigantic bottles of moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that went along with it. (I do firmly believe that using an entire product line together works better than when you separate them).

The products were everything I needed: They promised shine, moisture, strength, they were formulated with UV protectants, and they were color-safe, so they’re weren’t going to wreck my recent dye-job. Plus, the bottles are practically Tiffany blue and they have diamonds all over them (not real ones obviously)…but I was hooked into buying them.

So far, the glaze is definitely my favorite product and I use it every day, following the conditioner. The one day I didn’t use it, my hair was still shiny, but as much as when I use the glaze. It’s also worth noting (and I just found out when I visited Zotos’s website) that the glaze was a 2010 CEW Award Insider’s Choice Beauty Finalist. The product contains actual diamond micro-particles plus keratin and panthenol. These highly reflective ingredients help create a mirror-like surface on the hair, providing substantial and long-lasting super high gloss shine.

Clearly my purchase was the best $25 I ever spent (I bought salon-sized bottles) because I’m now addicted to this line and it’s super affordable! My hair isn’t dry anymore and looks just as shiny and smooth as it did before I damaged it.

I’m so obsessed, that I want to get the hairspray, gloss drops, and the mousse from the line…but since we don’t have Sally Beauty in NYC (what’s up with that, by the way?), I’m going to have to either order it online or wait until the next time I head to MA to buy it.

The full line, which also includes volumizing shampoo and conditioner (which since the moisturizing worked so well, I’m willing to bet also works, but my hair is very voluminous allllllll on its own, so I have tried) as well as color-protecting shampoo and conditioner, the mousse, gloss drops, and hairspray, is available here. The glaze is a mere $7.29, which happens to only cost slightly more than my morning latte here in NYC (and is even less expensive if you have a Sally card) and the regular-sized bottles all cost under $10.

The products are also available on many other salon-supply websites, as well as one in the UK for my international readers looking to get their hands on these products!

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A Few of My Favorite Things

…I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad

It’s true. Starting this column a few weeks ago has helped my focus on the things that are making me happy even when negative things are happening around me. This week was interesting…it snowed, sleeted, rained, and now it’s 60 and sunny outside, and I’m hoping it stays spring-like for the long haul.

Today I decided to give up pursuing my dream apartment because all the things the landlord wanted before even telling me if I was eligible for the apartment was like giving up my first-born child. It was insane…last year’s tax return, a letter from my boss saying that I have a job, my bank account #s and credit cards, $90 for a credit check…I could get my yearly credit check for free and give it to them; and isn’t the fact that a check gets deposited into my bank account every week enough proof I have a job? What a pain. Hopefully I’ll find another beautiful, sunny, spacious apartment with an eat-in kitchen in a convenient location with less crazy requirements soon.

I was almost on the verge of tears when I decided not to go any further, but I took a walk, got a bagel from my favorite bagel shop and hit the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market for the first time since Fashion Week back in September. All of this weekend’s favorite things come in the form of sparkles and shine, except for one!

 

It's rare to find vintage earrings in this good condition that aren't clip ons. I got these and...

And these for just $25 altogether. Another fab vintage find from the same vendor..a steal!

And if we're talking bargains...a separate vendor had this in her sale bin for $2. Yep two bucks! Tags and everything still attached!

I'm kicking myself for not buying this late 60's era mini-dress. (P.S. it wasn't on sale, that's the dress behind it.)

 

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A Few of My Favorite Things

This weekend has been a tough one, and based on the events of last week, I should’ve seen it coming, but I chose to deny it instead. My great-aunt, who I was very close to, finally passed away after a long battle with pneumonia. Even though she was 86 and had a great life, it never gets any easier to lose someone you love. She was truly a very special person, with a wonderful, wonderful heart, and she cared about everyone who crossed her path. The only thing that worked out well about this unfortunate situation, is that I happened to be in town this weekend and am able to spend time with my family.

Knowing that she’s no longer suffering, along with a few other things, is making me as happy as possible, considering the circumstances.

 

This photo of my Great-Aunt Nina and I at my cousin Corey's graduation party will live on forever. I'll always remember how much fun we had that day.

I spotted these "LOVE" bookends while out shopping yesterday. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge to remember that love is everywhere.

My cousin picked up this grey nail polish from GAP, which happens to be made by Chanel (because it doesn't say so anywhere on the bottle, they're selling for just $6!!! Scoop them up while you can!). The color is perfectly appropriate for spring, and is conservative enough for the wake and funeral I'll be attending today and tomorrow.

 

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Emmy Rossum wants to know, "Can You Tell?"

Tomorrow, actress Emmy Rossum of “Shameless” will ask New Yorkers to take the Suave Challenge and guess the difference between hair styled with new Suave Professionals and salon hair care products. The challenge spotlights the re-invented and re-formulated line of Suave Professionals products that are proven to work as well as top salon brands.

In addition to taking the Suave Challenge, attendees will receive one-on-one hair consultations and stylings, as well as free Suave Professionals styling products.

The Suave Challenge will also be available online at CanYouTell.com, where consumers can evaluate Suave Professionals for chances to win prizes. The website will compare Suave Professionals products with top salon brands through virtual hair tests, from hurricane wind fans and cyclone water showers to dancing and other daily wear.

Additionally, the first 200,000 people to visit Suave Beauty’s Facebook (Suave Beauty) page will receive a FREE full-size bottle of a new Suave Professionals styling product to try for themselves.

New Yorkers—you’re invited!

Who: Emmy Rossum & Suave

What: Take the Suave Challenge and get your hair styled with the all-new Suave products by celeb hairstylist Theodore Leaf and his team!

Where: Suave Professionals Lounge, 866 Broadway (between 17th and 18th), New York, NY 10003

When: Thursday, March 24th, 2011 1-4pm

Cost: FREE!

Not in New York? Visit Suave.com/CanYouTell to take the challenge today for your chance to win prizes, product and more!

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Emmy Rossum wants to know, “Can You Tell?”

Tomorrow, actress Emmy Rossum of “Shameless” will ask New Yorkers to take the Suave Challenge and guess the difference between hair styled with new Suave Professionals and salon hair care products. The challenge spotlights the re-invented and re-formulated line of Suave Professionals products that are proven to work as well as top salon brands.

In addition to taking the Suave Challenge, attendees will receive one-on-one hair consultations and stylings, as well as free Suave Professionals styling products.

The Suave Challenge will also be available online at CanYouTell.com, where consumers can evaluate Suave Professionals for chances to win prizes. The website will compare Suave Professionals products with top salon brands through virtual hair tests, from hurricane wind fans and cyclone water showers to dancing and other daily wear.

Additionally, the first 200,000 people to visit Suave Beauty’s Facebook (Suave Beauty) page will receive a FREE full-size bottle of a new Suave Professionals styling product to try for themselves.

New Yorkers—you’re invited!

Who: Emmy Rossum & Suave

What: Take the Suave Challenge and get your hair styled with the all-new Suave products by celeb hairstylist Theodore Leaf and his team!

Where: Suave Professionals Lounge, 866 Broadway (between 17th and 18th), New York, NY 10003

When: Thursday, March 24th, 2011 1-4pm

Cost: FREE!

Not in New York? Visit Suave.com/CanYouTell to take the challenge today for your chance to win prizes, product and more!

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