The Mint Julep Boutique + $25 Gift Card Giveaway

The sweet girls from The Mint Julep Boutique sent me this Aztec Print Geo Top a few weeks ago and I couldn't wait for the weather to cool down in Charlotte so I could wear it! My bestie Margaret and I had a girls day on Sunday (Mani/Pedi, Sushi, and non-stop episodes of The New Girl) and this was the perfect outfit to throw on. I was comfy all day in my Aztec print top, some black leggings, and my favorite boots from Target.
 The Mint Julep Boutique has some really cute, stylish and affordable pieces. Some of the things I'm currently lusting over are this Just Be Free Top ($38)
and this Night Out Dress ($59)
And because the girls from The Mint Julep Boutique are so awesome, they've offered to give a Just Bri reader a $25 gift certificate to their store, so you can add a cute piece to your wardrobe for the holidays! Enter below for your chance to win by Friday 11/21/14 at midnight, good luck!
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Honest Hazel Review + Giveaway

As most of you know, I travel 30+ weekends a year for my job as a PR rep in motorsports. Our races take place all over the country, and as soon as the race is over we fly home. This means that sometimes I'm getting back from a race weekend at 4 a.m. or later, and most of the time I'm exhausted.

The telltale sign of how tired I am has always been my eyes. I notice that after long weekends at the race track I'll have dark puffy circles under my eyes, so I was thrilled when Honest Hazel sent me a sample to try out.

Honest Hazel is a product you place under your eyes to instantly revitalize, relax and refresh the under eye area. After racing in Phoenix this weekend and getting very little sleep, I knew it would be there perfect time to try them out.
Each packet comes with one treatment for each eye and clear instructions on how to apply them, as seen below.
 
You place the gel molds under your eye and leave them for 20-25 minutes. I instantly felt the cooling effect of the aloe, and I felt like my eyes were brighter and more open. The only caution I would say is that they probably work best if you lay back and relax while you have them on, I was trying to watch TV and every time I laughed they would slip off (you can tell in this picture).
  
After 20 minutes I removed them, and I was really impressed with the results. The puffiness had decreased significantly, and the skin under my eye felt tighter and bright. I definitely will be ordering more to use after long race weekend.
I've got great news for "Just Bri" readers! Honest Hazel wants to send one of you a 3-pack to try out, an yoou can enter below for your chance to win. The contest ends Friday 11/14 at midnight, good luck!
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Wake Foot Sanctuary & Shop

I was recently introduced to an awesome concept, a "foot sanctuary & spa". At Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina, guests can spend some time relaxing over a luxurious foot soak. How great does that sound? I would love to plop down on one of their comfy couches with a good book and just soak and let my cares melt away. What I really love about this concept is that unlike when you get a massage or a facial, you can enjoy a foot soak and then continue with your day without being covered in massage oil or grease.
 {pictures above c/o Wake}
The next time I'm in Asheville I am definitely going to stop by for a soak! Since I'm not there however, the lovely ladies of Wake sent me an eco friendly gift box filled with a bar of all natural, handcrafted Wake natural soap; a lip balm; and a jar of luxurious whipped shea butter. As soon as I opened the box my entire room was filled with the relaxing scent of lavender.
If you're not in the Asheville area you can order all of their products online. I'm lusting over these bath salts, because after a long race weekend nothing relieves my aching muscles quite like a soak in some bath salts. If you're looking to get some Christmas shopping done early, I definitely think they'd make a great stocking stuffer!
If you stop by Wake make sure you tell the ladies I said "hello"! I can't wait to pay them a visit soon.

The Man at Waffle House

A few months ago we traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for work. We had some time to pass before the race track opened so we stopped at Waffle House for breakfast. It was packed when we walked in, so we settled for some seats facing the kitchen. To my left sat my teammates and to my right sat a gentleman whose face I'll never forget.

The man appeared to be in his 50s. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans and an old worn out t-shirt. He had the biggest smile and most welcoming eyes I've ever seen. As soon as I sat down his eyes lit up and he greeted me with a big "hello!"

I was immediately uncomfortable. I looked to my left and saw my teammates smirking. They got lost in their own conversation and I was mad at them, mad at them for leaving me with the weird stranger who insisted on talking to me.

I clutched my purse close to me, in the ridiculous way that we so often do, even though nothing about this man was threatening. He continued to ask me questions about my job, what were doing in town etc. and I continued to give him short, cold answers and ignore him the best I could.

The stranger finished his coffee and wished me the best of luck over the weekend. Before he got up to leave he gave me this coupon and reminded me not once but twice to use it. I immediately crumbled inside. This coupon was worth so much more to him than it was to me, but he wanted to share something with me, his new friend.
All this man wanted was to enjoy a conversation with a stranger, and my pride and ego were to big for that. It would have cost me nothing but would have meant so much to him if I simply answered his questions with a friendly smile, and it's a lesson I'll never forget.

I've carried this coupon around in my wallet ever since that day. It serves as a reminder that people are good and to never consider yourself better than anyone else. It helps remind me to smile at that passerby on the street and to take the time to have a conversation with the stranger next to me. You never know how much those few minutes of kindness can mean to someone else.

The Makings of a Gallery Wall

1. "God Bless Cowboys" (antique store) 2. "B" Hobby Lobby 3. "2 Corinthians 12:9" print (LilyandVal) 4. "Meet Me in Paris" print (The Wheatfield) 5. "Love Is How We Got Here" print (Oh Brooke) 6. "Your Home Is Where Your Heart Is" print (Lily Gene) 7. "Paris Print" streets of Paris 8. Key (antique store)

We moved into a new apartment last weekend and I knew that I wanted to create a gallery wall in my new room. I've been collecting parts and pieces for a few months, and when I brought it all together I was so happy with the look! I think the key to a good gallery wall is making sure that all of the pieces are a reflection of you and your personality, if you do that, I don't think you can go wrong. I also have to thank my amazing dad for his patience, and for hanging every single piece just the way I had layed it out.

Most of the prints above came from Etsy, and I've included links to the shops you can find them at. What do y'all think? Have you created a gallery wall before?

Fake It

Warning...you might need sunglasses to look at the following picture...
No folks, I didn't use a filter for this picture, I am actually THAT pale. After posting this on Instagram a few weeks ago I decided I need to do something to make my skin glow during theses gloomy months.

Tanning beds just aren't an option after a few skin cancer scares in my family, so I went on a search for the best products to help you fake that "sun-kissed" glow this winter.

1. Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer (Fair/Medium) -I like to use the daily moisturizer in the morning, and my regular moisturizer at night. The fair to medium color gives my skin just enough glow without looking orange.

2. BeneFit Hoola - This is my absolute favorite bronzer. It has a matte finish so you won't look like you're going to a club, and the color is light so you can build the perfect tan to match your skin. It's great for the winter months when it's easy to look like a pumpkin if your bronzer is too dark.

3. Karora - Tinted Self Tan Mist - Radiant Goddess Light-Medium - Karora was nice enough to send me this self tan mist and I have to say that I will be buying it once I run out. I'm a fan of spray tans but can't afford to get them very often. This Karora self tan mist was easy to apply, and the color looked better and lasted longer than any spray tan I've ever gotten. This is a product you definitely need to try this winter! You can learn more about the Karora products here.

These are some products I love. What are some of the products you use to fake that sun-kissed glow?

Writers Block, and How I Found The Words Again

I haven't blogged in over a month. An entire month. I have seven drafts sitting in a folder. Posts that I started and just couldn't find the words to finish.

As a "writer", one of the most frustrating feelings is not being able to find the words to express yourself. I realized that my problem was that I was feeling uninspired and I didn't have a place to create. I couldn't write in my bed without falling asleep, and writing at work just isn't an option. Our dining room table makes me want to poke my eyeballs out, and lugging my computer to a coffee shop every time I'm feeling inspired just isn't very practical. So, this weekend I was determined to create my own space, one that was warm and inviting.

I present to you...my new little magical corner....
Our patio seems to be the spot where we throw everything we can't find a place for. I lugged all of the junk to the dumpster, and since I'm on a budget, I spent the rest of the weekend bargain hunting for the perfect pieces. Between Target, Home South and World Market I was able to put together the outdoor space you see here. 

I sat down tonight with a glass of wine, soaking up my new space and determined get a new post up on "Just Bri", and it worked.
My dream is to be sitting at a cafe in Paris drinking Café Crème and smoking a cigarette (a la Earnest Hemingway) while I write, but if you can't be in Paris, you can attempt to re-create it. Right?

My life on the road, traveling the NASCAR circuit. (Daytona, Miami, Martinsville, Charlotte & Kansas)

On  keeping with my promise to share more about my life on "Just Bri", I'm starting a new series of posts about my life on the road. I work for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. If you don't follow the sport, it's comparable to the minor leagues in baseball. Our schedule has 22 races a season, which means I'm on the road a lot. I love what I do because every day is different, which I think is something that helps keep me passionate about my career.

I've been involved in the sport in some way, shape or form since I was 17, so it's easy to take for granted how cool my "every day life" can be. With these posts I'll try to give you a behind the scenes look at what you can't catch just by watching the sport on TV.

We've had three races already this season, plus a media tour in Miami and a test here in Charlotte so this post is a bit of a catch-up. Moving forward I'll try to post once per race. I hope y'all enjoy!
  1. As a PR rep you sometimes wear lots of hats. At Daytona in January this included lugging around an extra firesuit and helmet for media availability.
  2. It rained the entire race-day in Daytona and I prayed for it to stop so we could race and so I could get back to Charlotte to see my parents. I snapped a picture of the most beautiful sunset over the race track as the rain began to clear.
  3. Boarding a plane to Miami while I finished some post-race work from the weekend before. Sometimes our trips are back to back so you learn to use your time wisely.
  4. Behind the scenes at Telemundo filming a segment for "Titulares y Mas.
  5. At the Yahoo! Deportes offices in Miami. As a Hispanic PR rep this was one of my favorite moments.
  6. Waiting for the Sprint Cup Series race to end at Martinsville Speedway so that we could finally race. It had rained all weekend long.
  7. Celebrity chef Lorena Garcia cooked some delicious Mexican food for the race track that our team was able to taste test.
  8. Two of the drivers for my team about to be introduced at Kansas Speedway before the race.
  9. Two crew members from my team watching the final laps of the race at Kansas Speedway. After what had been a long and eventful race all of us were holding our breathe at the end.

10 Things People Love Saying To Latinas

I get all kinds of remarks when people find out that I'm Hispanic. The fact that I don't "look Mexican" (whatever that means) sends people into a state of shock and evokes a nasty case of diarrhea-of-the-mouth.

By this point I've heard it all. I know that the majority of the time people don't mean to be offensive with their comments, but sometimes they make me cringe. I've compiled for you a list of the most frequent things I hear as an American-Latina...

"You don't look Mexican"...What does that mean? What am I supposed to look like? Latin American people all look different, just like people in the United States do.

"Can you say something in Spanish?"...Yes, I can say almost as many things in Spanish as I can in English. Do I want to stand here and say random words to you in Spanish? Not really.

"Do you mean New Mexico?"...I always get this comment when I tell people I grew up in Mexico City. No I don't mean New Mexico the state, I mean Mexico, the country directly south of us.

"You probably made straight "A's" in Spanish class"... I wish I would have. Did you make straight "A's" in English class?

You're not really Mexican, so you don't get it....I've gotten this comment from both Hispanic and non-Hispanic people. Because I'm multicultural (American-Latina) people assume I can't fully relate to one culture or the other.

It shouldn't take you long to translate that document... If you want me to literally translate it word for word then no, that shouldn't take long. If you want the document to make sense, then that might take a while.

You're probably really good at salsa dancing... This one makes me laugh because I consider myself to be rhythmically-challenged, I wish I could move like Shakira but unfortunately "my hips don't lie".

I bet you tan really easily... Nope. I actually have relatively fair skin and burn to a crisp if I don't wear sunscreen.

Is your family Spanish?...Spanish people are from Spain, the country. My dad is from Mexico, so he's Mexican.

Don't you just love J. Lo?...Whyyyyyyyy does it always have to be J. Lo? Let me tell you about Julieta Venegas, Belinda or Paulina Rubio.

Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville

I've been feeling a bit frustrated with the blogging world. Lately it seems like you're not a "real blogger" unless your pictures are perfectly staged and splashed with gold glitter, fancy quotes and fresh flowers. I have fun sharing makeup finds and outfits I've styled, because let's face it, I'm about as girly as it gets. Honestly though, I've never been one for following the crowd. So pictures of macaroons and peonies, although beautiful to look at, aren't an honest reflection of my daily life, which is what I want my blog to be about. I've realized that the most unique thing I have to offer to the blogging world is my life, and my experiences, so that's what you'll be seeing a lot more of around here. Life isn't perfect, so I don't want to make my blog look that way in order to feel accepted.

Now that I got that off my chest...
One of my "little sisters" from my college sorority days is getting married in a few weeks, so we headed to Nashville for her bachelorette party. Jordan and I lived together my senior year of college, and we have one of those rare friendships where you can not talk to the person for a few weeks or months but quickly pick right back up where you left off. I wouldn't have missed her special weekend for the world, but I was a little nervous because I didn't know some of the girls going on the trip. Such a girl thing to be worried about, I know.
Well, it was a great weekend! Nine of us piled into two rooms and did all the typical things you do during bachelorette weekends. We found the best brunch spots, which included lots of Bloody Mary's and the most delicious breakfast I've ever had (a quesadilla covered in scrambled eggs and salsa from Jackson's). We walked along the river, wandered in and out of all the country bars and some girls even bought boots. When in Nashville, right?
We tried to visit The Bluebird Cafe, but I think it's become pretty popular since the show "Nashville" and kind of hard to get in. A picture in front of The Bluebird still counts right?
Lately I've realized that the friends I have now will be the ones who will be there for me during the next milestones in my life - weddings, babies, etc. It's so cool that I've known these girls throughout different chapters and I can't wait to support each other during these next ones. Jordan is the first one of my close friends to get married, and I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of her bachelorette weekend. I can't wait to watch her walk down the isle in a few weeks!
Nashville, you're pretty fun. This Texas girl can't wait to visit again soon.

What You're Really Celebrating On Cinco De Mayo...


Happy Cinco de Mayo friends!

I know that the fifth of May has turned into many American's favorite day of the year. The holiday where it's acceptable in the United States to consume large amounts of Mexican food and drink Margaritas without feeling one ounce of guilt. Now, I'm a big supporter of any reason to celebrate, but as a Mexican-American I feel the need to correct a common misconception among many people.

Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexico's Independence Day. Are you shocked? Independence day in Mexico is actually the 16th of September. What you're really celebrating on Cinco de Mayo is the Battle of Puebla, when Mexican armies defeated French forces (in Puebla, a State in Mexico), on May 5th of 1862.
So friends, I hope you're consuming large amounts of guacamole and enjoying a margarita or two this evening (I know I will be) and enjoy celebrating the real reason we have a holiday known as "Cinco de Mayo".

Want a little extra cheer to make your Cinco de Mayo that much brighter? How about 25% your entire order at Heels.com? Hurry because this flash sale only lasts until 5 p.m. ET. What better reason to buy those fabulous summer shoes you've had your eye on than a pretty sweet discount!

Three Beauty Products I'm Loving Lately

Before I rant and rave about three beauty products I'm absolutely loving lately, can we talk about how badly I need a manicure in this picture? Trust me, I realize how ironic it is that I'm dishing out beauty advice with nails looking like that but what can I say, it was one of those weeks.

Now that we got that out of the way...I have to share three fantastic finds with y'all that have become staples in my makeup bag. As many of you know, I don't discriminate when it comes to beauty products. I'm willing to spend good money on skin care products, but I also don't believe that higher price always equals higher quality. In some cases you can find beauty products at your local drugstore that work just as well, if not better, than ones at the department store. I have two products for you today to "save" on, and one to "splurge" on...

Too Faced Lip Injection Color Bomb - I'm loving the colored lip trend right now, but I'm not a big fan of cherry red, so I went in search of the perfect "berry" colored lipstick and found it. I love this product, it's a balm/lip stain/lip stick so it goes on smooth but doesn't dry out your lips or run. Bonus, it also has a lip plumping effect. If you don't like the tingly sensation that you get from lip plumping products I wouldn't recommend this, but I don't mind it.

Cover Girl Last Blast Volume Mascara - This is my absolute favorite mascara, it's better than anything you can find at the high end beauty stores. My lashes look long and voluminous, and for $7 you really can't beat it.

Maybelline Instant Pore Eraser Primer - I can't believe more people don't use this last product, it's a hidden gem! If you're a fan of the Smashbox Foto Finish Primer, then this Maybelline Baby Skin primer is for you. The consistency is identical to Smashbox, but for a third of the price. I love how smooth my makeup looks over this primer, and it seems to last just as long as any other product I've used. Quit wasting money on the more expensive versions and give baby skin a try, I think you'll love it!

The lip color I'm wearing in this picture ^ is the Too Faced Color Bomb in "Bigger Berry" and it's described as a "deep raspberry wine". You won't regret having this color in your makeup arsenal, I promise.

Black & White

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend, and are refreshed and ready for a new week. The weather was perfect in Charlotte, so I spent some time laying by the pool and enjoyed one of those perfect spring nights sitting out by the lake, cold beer in hand.

Today's outfit was inspired by two things, my size and my trip to Europe. I love colors (particularly pinks a reds) but I'm petite and look really young. I feel like I don't do myself any favors when I wear bright colors, especially when I'm in a professional setting. While we were in Europe I noticed how the women in Paris and London tend to stick to dark tones (black, navy etc.) and they looked so polished and chic.

When I first saw these pants I was a bit intimidated. They're black on one side and white on the other, funkier than I typically wear. I paired them with a sheer black and white top and some black pumps and now it's safe to say I love them! I kept the accessories simple and added some berry red lips for a pop of color, to turn this outfit into one you can feel confident wearing in any setting.

All pictures courtesy of Andi at My Beautiful Adventures.
You can shop some black and white pieces below to create your own unique look! Also, come back later this week because I'll be sharing how you can get berry red lips like I have in this post.
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