Mara, From HTX to PDX

Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

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Jun 27, 2017


One of my favorite trends this summer is gingham. I have been eyeing a few cute pieces from Shein but its so easy to fall into that website for hours. This print works well with any piece: tops, pants, or skirts. I think its a great print to infuse into your wardrobe this season. Its so easy to find at thrift stores and is a classic print. Modern versions are just a larger size of this stripe pattern, but still soooooo cute. 

With it being summer I have 5 style tips for the summer sun:

1) Wear Loose Clothing: This is common sense, its more comfortable and lets your body breathe. Portland is not humid, and this dry air calls for loose breathable tops. In Houston, nothing is worse than that humidity. Tight clothes just start to feel gross after a while in the sun. 

2)Wear Natural Fabrics. Most synthetic fabrics are made from a oil or plastic chemical base. Both of those just automatically sound uncomfortable in the sun. Unless this synthetic fabric was treated with special coating that is dry wicking, anti microbial, uva/avb--skip it! Cotton really will be your best friend.

3)Hats and sunglasses are your other best friends. I didn't wear that many hats in Houston but in Portland I find myself throwing on a baseball cap every now and then. Sun glare is real here. Sunglasses have always been a wardrobe must but you need to protect your eyes! The sun really is damaging.

4) I know backpacks are a trend, but a crossbody will take you pretty far. Who wants a sweaty back? Unless the purpose is utilitarian, leave it at home. Crossbodys are so simple and easy to carry, they come in many sizes and colors! 

5)Wear light colors. My mom told me this when I was really young, but it's very true. Why do you think Chefs wear white? It doesn't absorb as much heat, and helps keep you cool. It also looks great on tan skin! 

With all of these tips, don't forget sunscreen! Especially for your face, your body will thank you as you get older. Hope you're having a great week so far! 

Jun 21, 2017

Congrats, We made it to Summer.

Living in Texas when the calendar said "First day of summer" I always scoffed because it truly is summer year round. By June we would have at least 2 months of "hot" already so I never really understood what June 21st really meant.


Four seasons really is life changing. The fact that its actually FINALLY hot blows my mind. Last week I wore a sweater and was like, WHY THE HELL AM I IN A SWEATER?Well, coming home to an 80 degree apartment is not what I consider a relaxing moment. At least outdoors its beautiful! I like doing outdoor workouts and going on long walks. I'll take it in because I know the rest of the year here is trash.

Where have I been? I've been a little MIA on the blog lately.

Stay Tuned.


Jun 15, 2017


I had a fun week driving around the Mazda 3 in Portland this past week! I haven't done a car review yet out here and it was a new level of driving. We have hills! Its not flat like Texas so these windy roads really were a treat. 
I got to drive the Grand Touring which retails for $27,930. It averages between 30 and 36MPG.  The Mazda 3 starts off at $19,960, the particular model I drove has every feature added. This one was a 4 cylinder with skyactiv technology. With 18 inch wheels this car surprised me with how smooth it was to drive. Typically that feels a little stiff, but on this build I was mostly comfortable. It has the normal features of being keyless and having a rearview camera. I am glad these features are becoming standard in a lot of new cars. A fun delight was rain sensing wipers! It sure rains a lot in the Northwest. Other fun features were the heated seats, lane departure warning and smart brakes.
As a commuter, the infotainment system is always what I lean on in cars. Exactly mentioned in my Mazda 6 reviewWhen it comes to the interface, its pretty user friendly. The 7 inch display can be controlled through a rotary center console to drill down submenus ( basically a knob/joystick), as well as touchscreen option on the display screen. the interface was less cluttered than before! It still does not feature android auto or apple car play. I dove into the Sirius XM menu since in my real car I only use Spotify. XM was great, but in terms of connecting to Spotify or your phone, its a lackluster experience. The functionality is kind of wasted. Major improvement. There was also a 9 speaker Bose system included in this build. This made my commute very enjoyable!!! I also love the hologram display on the dash (this was featured on my instagram stories, be sure to follow me there to catch behind the scenes on all of my posts). The camera system is update and not as bulky as it used to be. The camera not only captures the alerts for lane assistance, but also reads street signs. The hologram is updated to show speed, signs, and lane assist cues. 
This was such a fun car to drive around Portland. Its also in the compact/mid range, so finding parking was so much better! This is also an exclusive new color, Eternal blue Mica. I actually really like it and was the only one on the road with something like it. With a sunroof, I got to enjoy the great weather we were having. Its nice to open the roof and not have humidity leak in! There is another version with a hatchback which is popular here for snowboards and other outdoor things. My version has a 60/40 split rear seat. It also comes with a spare tire (you would be surprised how some cars do not these days).
Overall this car gets my stamp of approval! My only other complaint is it was a little noisy in the cabin while driving, some of that might attribute to having an 18 inch wheel but it made me enjoy the 9 speaker Bose system a little more. Also, if you are looking for cabin space, it is on the small side. You will want to size up to the Mazda 6! If you are a commuter who is into urban living, this might be a good option for you.

Thank you Driveshop and Mazda for allowing me to drive this car around Portland for a week!



Jun 12, 2017

Konifer sent this watch a while back and its the perfect stylish touch to any wardrobe. There are many wood watches on the market but I like how this company has a history with this natural material. The founder's grandfathers both worked in the forest. Think of dad in style for fathers day this year! You can find this particular watch here.
Do you have any Father's Day plans this year? Again, this is probably my first Father's Day away from my family. We usually either cook or go out to eat and just hang out. Father's day is also close to my dad's birthday. Are you still searching for gift ideas? Some easy gifts for dad:
Tickets to a Game or Show
New Sports Jersey
Car Detailing 
Tech Gifts ! New tablet, phone, smart watch
New Cologne 
I always get hung up on gifts bc I try to give gifts that people use. 

Jun 5, 2017


If you have seen my lipstick collection I have 2 classic reds, 2 deep wines, and 9823473285762 shades of nude. I don't care if it is one gradient of a difference, I am just obsessed with them. I am getting better at not getting everything that looks pretty... but my friends at Glamtag just enabled me.
My good friend that I used to work with in Houston started her own makeup line! I was so excited to support her business. Not only is she a Girl Boss, Glam tag is also black owned.
My favorites are unclad and birthday suit! Buff is so similar to my Mac shade FAUX.  These are all easy everyday colors and the formula is smooth. They will be on rotation all summer! 

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