that’s my girl-rachel:week 1

So much for keeping up with the blog over the Bachelor break. Thankfully, Rachel is back to charm us in her search for love. The first week is always low on story and high on men, so I want to highlight the four guys who I think have the best chance to win Rachel’s heart.

Rachel_week1_That's my girlsource

My Takeaways

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Number 1 in my power ranking is Peter. He was first out of the limo which is always a telling sign of someone lasting awhile. Although he didn’t seem to have much to say to Rachel besides that he was from Wisconsin, I’m going to chalk that up to nerves. From a quick poll of my friends, we all mentioned Peter as the cutest. I mean, they have matching gaps in their teeth – meant to be!

Rachel_Week1_Josiahsource

Josiah came in with the most touching story, and seems authentic and sincere. Rachel appreciates his honesty when he tells her about his rough background, and they seem to be beginning to build a genuine connection. Josiah loses some brownie points for being bombastic and a bit over confident in his belief that he will end up with Rachel. I’m hoping that being called near the middle of the pack at the rose ceremony will knock him down a few pegs, and he will begin to shine.

Rachel_week1_kennysource

Kenny is my dark horse pick. As a professional wrestler, I worried that he was just coming on the show to gain screen time and advance his career. However, seeing him interact with his daughter in his video package put him in a whole new light for me. He seems to truly want to build a family for his daughter, and he seems like a great guy (having sex with a woman while her husband watches not withstanding).

Rachel_Week1_Bryansource

Bryan got Rachel’s first impression rose, so I’d bet that he’s staying around for awhile. He seems a bit mysterious, and I think Rachel likes that. She also seems to like kissing him. In his video package he seems to be close to his family, but I want to learn about him before I give him front runner status.

Rachel_Episode1_Adam Jrsource

I can’t even comment on the Whaboom guy or that weird Adam Jr. doll. I hope we get past these ridiculous gimmicks soon (although Adam seems kinda normal).

Best Tweets

Best Dressed

Rach only sported one outfit tonight, a stunning Randi Rahm (the same brand that JoJo wore for her first night) gown. I loved her fur stole, and I’m looking forward to seeing Rachel’s outfits throughout her journey.

Rachel_Week1_Dress
source

What did you guys think of the premiere? Any front runners? Let me know in the comments!

rich girl – the best ways to earn extra cash

I’m going to skip the part where I apologize profusely for not posting more frequently and just leave it at – I’m trying. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for about a year, and still, haven’t found a way to fit it into my schedule on a regular basis. I’m here now, and I want to share with you, my favorite way to get a little extra spending cash!

free money

A friend at work introduced me to Swagbucks, and it’s become one of my favorite things in the world. Swagbucks allows you to earn points for things you do online anyway: perform searches, buy things, watch videos. The only point generating activity that you may not do every day already is taking surveys (unfortunately, these will get you the most points). My favorite way to use Swagbucks is to take a couple of surveys during my lunch break, and then run the video playlists in the background while I’m at work. You can even mute the tab if you don’t want to hear the videos! Then just sit back and watch the points roll in. They also have a Swagbucks Local component to the website. If you link your debit or credit card to the Local module, you can earn points for shopping at some of your favorite local eateries. One day, I went to get lunch and earned a surprise 160 Swagbucks, just by buying a sandwich I would have bought anyway! You can then redeem your points for gift cards at pretty much any retailer you can think of (I almost always choose Amazon). The points accumulate pretty quick – I’ve earned enough for a $30 gift card since Easter. If you’re interested in Swagbucks, you can sign up here.

Dollar bills

Another website that I use to generate cash is InboxDollars. InboxDollars works much the same way as Swagbucks, in that you take surveys and watch videos to earn points. The main difference between the two is that with InboxDollars, you earn actual cash. It takes a bit more time to accumulate money, but cash is king, as they say. During the video playlists on InboxDollars, they frequently present virtual scratch cards where you can earn extra cash or entries into their sweepstakes (for more cash). Therefore, it’s a little harder to have the videos playing behind your work screen, if you want to maximize your earning potential. You can sign up for InboxDollars here.

cash

The last opportunity is switching your search engine to Bing. I know, ‘google’ has turned into a verb, so why would you want to switch to Bing? Bing offers a point system, where you earn points for every search you perform on your computer. You can even default the search engine on your phone to use Bing.  Every time you’re at brunch and can’t remember who that background actor on Gilmore Girls is – well whip out your phone, Bing the answer, and earn a point. Bing points probably take the longest to accumulate, but there are levels to the program, so the more points earn, the quicker you can accumulate them (and there is an additional discount on the gift cards for which you redeem your points).

Overall, I’ve earned about $240 worth of gift cards from Swagbucks, about $25 from Inbox Dollars, and $70 from switching my search engine to Bing. If you ask me, it’s not a bad haul for doing things I would do anyway.

Do you guys have any ways to make some extra money? I’m always looking – so let me know in the comments!

(gifs source of Giphy – they had so many amazing cash ones)

 

stronger-10 fun sports bras for your next workout

Hi guys! I know I’ve been completely terrible about connecting on this blog, and I’m really going to try and show up at least once a week. #goals

Speaking of goals, I’m trying to get my fitness in order this spring/summer. I’ve been keeping up with my trainer about 2 times a week, and really want to try and add a few more morning cardio sessions in the mix. I am just NOT a morning person. In this vein, I headed out to a SoulCycle class 2 weeks ago with one of my besties, Hannah. We’ve been to SoulCycle together before, but the real draw here was it was a PSPCA fundraiser (sadly, there were no puppies in attendance).

About halfway through the workout, I realize that I am dripping buckets of sweat. It was SO hot in there and I was working my butt off. So, I decided to do something that I’ve never done while working out before. I took my shirt off.

fitgifsource

I wasn’t the only one in the class who was pedaling in just a sports bra, so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable in the dimly lit room. However, as soon as our instructor turned up the lights for a song, my instant reaction was to critique my body in the mirror. Were my hips, more pronounced due to my leggings, offending people? Were people judging me thinking, “there is no way that girl should be taking her shirt off”? Can I pull my leggings up a little higher to suck my belly in?

All these thoughts are running through my head, but SoulCycle has a calming effect on me (it must be something about all of those positive affirmations the instructors yell out). So, I decided to just let all of those negative thoughts go. I decided, if I was comfortable enough to sweat it out in a sports bra in the dark, then I’m confident enough to sweat it out in a sports bra in the light.

In honor of this revelation, I’ve rounded up 10 fun (although maybe not functional), cool, and strappy as all hell sports bras for you to flaunt during your next workout.

Sports Bra3Clockwise from top left: Forever 21, Under Armour, Forever 21, Forever 21, Old Navy, Lululemon, Fabletics, SoulCycle, SoulCycle, Fabletics

Do you guys have any workouts that you swear by? Or any gym clothes that make you crush your workout? I’d love to hear about them, let me know in the comments!

 

 

summer girls-10 one piece bathing suits under $100

I took a quick break from blogging after The Bachelor wrapped up, but I’m back and have some fun things in store. My life has been pretty crazy as I get ready to move apartments, but I’m planning some fun decorating posts! I’m even hoping to add in a few recipe posts here and there as I take full advantage of a kitchen for once. Today, I’m easing back into blogging with a fun bathing suit roundup!

I have a ton of trips planned this summer, most of which are Bachelorette party related. I’ve loved the recent trend of one-piece swim suits coming back into style so I rounded up 10 of my favorite options, each that come in under $100!

10 One Pieces Under 100Clockwise from top left: The Bikini Lab, Billabong, H&M, Private Party, Forever 21, Target, MiYang, Out From Under, Asos, MINKPINK

I honestly can’t decide which one is my favorite! There are just too many unique things about each of them. I think the Private Party ‘Poppin’ Bottles’ suit would be SO fun for a bachelorette party and The Bikini Lab suit is actually reversible. That is two suits for the price of one. If I had to choose, I think I’d go with the Out From Under suit – it comes in a bunch of different patterns and the back is to die for! Crazy tan lines be damned!

Are you guys loving the one piece trend, or do you like to stick to bikinis? Any cute suits that you’ve come across that I’ve missed? Share them in the comments!

xo Em

blessings-nick:week 10

We’ve done it guys, we’ve made it through an entire season of Nick as the Bachelor. Vanessa was the big winner, and walked away with a fiance and a large Neil Lane ring. Let’s see how we got there.

Vanessa After the Rosesource

My Takeaways

Both Vanessa and Raven meet Nick’s family, and in my opinion Raven made a better impression. She may have had a leg up as she had already met them back in Wisconsin. Nick’s sister Bella even told her she hopes that Raven would be the winner.

Raven is all in on the relationship, and has no hesitations about getting engaged to Nick. Unfortunately, Vanessa is the queen of hesitations, and has no problem sharing those hesitations with Nick’s family. She is worried that love is not enough to make the relationship work, and even tells Nick’s dad that exact thing. Nick’s parents are understandably reserved when it comes to Vanessa, as they have seen Nick get his heart broken a million and one times.

Even though I thought Vanessa’s visit went worse than Raven’s, I thought this was the first sign that she might be the one. In Andi’s book, she mentions that she had Nick meet her family first, so that their expectations would be lower, and she could really impress them with the guy that she wanted to marry.

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For their last date, Vanessa and Nick take a sleigh ride to Santa’s hut. Santa gives them a really cool wooden carving that is meant to bring happiness and fertility. It’s actually pretty sincere and cool how excited Vanessa gets about Santa, as she really is just being a kid again in that moment.

Vanessa Santasource

At night, Vanessa wants the answers from Nick that can make her confident in her decision. Unfortunately, Nick isn’t able to give her the answers that she wants. I liked that Nick knew what she wanted to hear, but refused to tell her just because its what she wanted to hear. He wanted to be sure he was confident in his decision before making any rash decisions.

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For his date with Raven, the two of them went ice skating, reminiscent of their first one-on-one date at the skating rink. One thing about Nick’s relationship with Raven that I have always enjoyed is that they always seem to have fun together. His relationship with Vanessa is intense, full of questions, and serious discussions. With Raven, Nick is just able to let loose, have fun, and enjoy life.  Plus this date involved puppies, so it was an automatic win.

Raven Puppiessource

There was substantially less drama at night with Raven and Nick, as her confidence was through the roof. Raven was convinced that Nick was the one for her and she would be engaged the next day.

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Unfortunately for Raven, that was not to be. After a record 4th meeting with Neil Lane, Nick is ready for the proposal. Raven gets out of the limo first, and we now know that Vanessa is the one. I applaud Raven for keeping it together in the face of rejection. The best line of the night was Nick saying, “I’m going to miss you,” and Raven saying, “I know.” What a bad-ass confident girl.

Raven I'm Going to Miss you gif

Also, you could have at least given her her coat to walk her to the rejection car, Nick.

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The music swells as Vanessa gets out of the limo, and she walks in to meet Nick. Oddly, Nick talks first, telling Vanessa all the reasons he loves her before she professes her love to him. There is nothing wrong with this, it just goes against the normal script of the show. As she’s stated many times, Vanessa is skeptical and not sure if she’s ready to get engaged. However, when Nick gets down on one knee and flashes that Neil Lane diamond at her, she says yes right away. Congrats to the happy couple!

Vanessa and Nick Proposalsource

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At After the Final Rose, Raven looked amazing and announced that she was going on Paradise. She is such a quintessential southern belle that she didn’t have anything bad to say about Nick, and even said she thinks that him and Vanessa will get married. After their appearance together, I’m not sure I can agree.

When Nick and Vanessa are brought out together, their interaction is so awkward. They both admit that the relationship has been hard, and they are excited to have a normal relationship. While I don’t doubt that, I think it has been a little harder than they admitted. The two of them didn’t seem to be that excited to take their relationship public, and focused on the difficulties they’ve been having instead of the exciting things they have to look forward to. I really don’t think these two are going to make it.

Additionally, the Bachelor did something crazy and had Rachel meet some of the men that are going to be vying for her heart in the upcoming season of the Bachelorette. This choice, while interesting, may have been made to take some of the attention of Nick and Vanessa. In all the other After the Final Rose specials I can remember, the episode ends with the happy couple talking to their friends, fans, and family in the audience. At the end of this episode, the happy couple was replaced by Rachel. I think production is ready to sweep this relationship under the rug and get the focus on the potential that Rachel has as the Bachelorette.

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I think this was an OK season of the Bachelor. Corinne was great TV and a real stand out reality TV star. I’m excited to see a few of the women in Paradise (Alexis, Sarah, Raven – but I have no idea if any of them besides Raven will be going), and happy for Nick if he truly has found love. Getting your heart broken is hard enough, but being ready to propose twice, being rejected, and doing it on national TV is even more difficult.

Best Tweets

Best Dressed

Raven After the Final Rose

Raven was in full out revenge mode during her appearance on After the Final Rose. Her dress is STYLESTALKER (a favorite among the women this season) and can be found here.

Raven Finale Sweater Dress

I thought Raven’s sweater dress was a little different, as it has a pattern that is more normally found on a cardigan. It was perfect for the Finnish weather. Raven’s dress is Woolwich (not surprising, I even said to my roommate, “do you think Woolwich is sponsoring this, considering how much they are making sure Nick’s tag is showing?”). You can find the dress on Amazon here (I just bought it).

Rachel After the Final Rose

With that Bachelorette budget, Rachel looked great to meet some of her guys. I loved the bold choice of a jumpsuit, with a cape, and she pulled it off flawlessly. Her caped jumpsuit is Jovani, and you can find it here (it allows you to search for a store near you where they carry it!).

And that’s a wrap on Nick’s season of the Bachelor! Are you guys as excited as me to see Rachel as the Bachelorette? Do you think Nick made the right choice? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments, or you can always find me @third_and_girl.

firework-nick:week 9

Short episode last week, hella long episode this week. Most of this post is going to focus on the actual episode (both parts), and then I’ll cover some of the outfits from the Women Tell All. I really don’t want to write about that, as it’s just a bunch of people trying to talk over each other.

Nick Chambongo.gif

My Takeaways

The episode starts with the Andi/Nick “confrontation” that was teased at the end of the last episode. I know you were all shocked to discover that this confrontation was really just Andi giving Nick advice as he heads into the Fantasy Suites. I question the choice of the producers to bring Andi back, as she didn’t have the kindest words to say about her personal Fantasy Suite experience with Nick in her book. That being said, we did get to see Andi bring up Nick’s infamous, “if you weren’t in love with me why did you make love to me?” quote which makes me laugh every time I hear it. Sorry, Nick.

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The rose ceremony had very little drama for me. With Rachel being announced as the Bachelorette so long ago, I didn’t have any doubts that she made it to the top 3.

Nick’s goodbye to Corinne was kind of bizarre. He seemed to really like her, but know that she was not ready to be married, but simultaneously seemed happy to send her packing. In her exit interview, Corinne went on a rant about how she no longer is going to try and act a certain way to impress a man. Take your own advice Corinne, and we’ll see you in Paradise!

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Vanessa, Raven, Rachel and Nick are heading to Finland, somewhere I personally have always wanted to go.  Seeing the Northern Lights is definitely on my bucket list. Raven has the first Fantasy Suite date, and I really love her and Nick together. Their conversation seems so natural, and I think the two of them could really build a life together. I also like that Raven is not afraid to give Nick some of her sass.

Raven Folding Clothes Gif

As much as I love Raven, I really wish we hadn’t spent such a long time hearing about how she had never had an orgasm. I have to believe there were a few too many alcoholic beverages and a bit of producer goading that got her to admit that on camera. Although this is the girl who admitted to beating an ex with a stiletto so maybe she truly has no filter. The first half of the episode ends with Nick and Raven cuddling in this ah-mazing skylit room, so we had to wait a whole week to see how Nick stacked up to Raven’s ex.

raven wine gif

The next morning, Raven gives the impression that Nick really satisfied her needs. I’m a little sad that that was the least gross way that I could put that. Kudos to the producers for the extended montage of Raven skipping through Finland after her night with Nick.

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The next date is Rachel, and SPOILER ALERT she’s the new Bachelorette. So I had to imagine this would be her and Nick’s last date. As much as the Bachelor producers don’t mind spoiling part of their show, I don’t think they would want to spoil the final rose.

Nick and Rachel go cross-country skiing, and I was LOL-ing at Rachel’s ineptitude at this activity. As she is my ultimate girl crush I imagine she is good at everything, but apparently she is good at everything but cross-country skiing. They ski into a lodge where they have their heart-to-heart which is always about Rachel’s fear of being rejected and opening up.

At night, Rachel finally drops the bomb that she is falling in love with Nick….uh duh. Nick is giggling like a school girl at this news and I still can not for the life of me figure out how she is not the one. The two spend the night in the fantasy suite and then spend an adorable morning making breakfast together. Rachel’s penguin onesie just makes me love her even more.

rachel onesie gif

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Vanessa and Nick spend their date jumping from an ice bath into a sauna. Nick seems to be a bit of a baby and unable to stay in the ice bath for more than .5 seconds, while Vanessa is ready to set up camp.

Vanessa Ice Bath gif

Luckily for Nick, the Bachelor producers have blessed him with a hot tub, so that he can have a heart to heart with Vanessa about their futures. I found it weird Nick kept calling Vanessa’s family traditional….as in they just had a lot of family traditions. To me, traditional harkens back to more of traditional family values aka June Cleaver and the families of the 50’s. Am I the only one?

For some reason, Nick and Vanessa’s relationship seems combative to me. They always seem to be arguing, which I think Nick likes because it keeps him on his toes. However, their arguments never have a resolution. For example, they talk about the fact that they currently live in different countries and where they would live if they got engaged, but never actually come to any type of decision or meeting of the minds. It’s very odd to me.

That being said, Vanessa is obviously in love with Nick (I don’t see it, but of course she is, it’s the Bachelor). She tells him at dinner, and he has a seriously odd look on his face. I’m not sure if it is the camera angle, but it seems like he’s not even looking at her. It could be producer manipulation of the actual conversation or Nick is just a weirdo, I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

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At the rose ceremony, we know Rachel is going home but that doesn’t make it any less hard to see her go. Nick seemed really broken up about it, mentioning that he selfishly hopes that this isn’t the end of their relationship. Uhmm, maybe don’t break up with her then Nick? He really missed out on a good one with her.

rachel kickoff gif

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Best Tweets

Best Dressed

Danielle M Women Tell All Jumpsuit

I am obsessed with the jumpsuit that Danielle M. wore to the Women Tell All, as well as her new platinum hair color. She looks amazing. Unfortunately for us, Danielle’s jumpsuit was custom made by Cavanagh Baker, who made her jumpsuit that I loved in this episode. I found a few that were comparable here and here.

Sarah Vendal Romper Women Tell All.jpg

Sarah has been a style favorite of mine throughout the entire season, and she didn’t disappoint at the Women Tell All. She looked adorable in a lace Stylestalker romper, which can be purchased on their website here. If the price point isn’t for you (don’t worry, me either), this romper can be rented through the Stylist LA, which works a lot like Rent the Runway. I liked how she paired it with a criss-cross undershirt to amp up the deep v-neck.

Rachel Women Tell All.jpg

When Rachel came out for her time as the Bachelorette, we knew she was going to be looking great, she’s got that Bachelorette budget now. Rachel’s dress is by Dion Lee and can be found here. I found a few more cost effective options here and here.

The next episode is the finale, and we will finally find out who Nick has decided to break up with in a few months….I mean get engaged to. Who do you think it is, Raven or Vanessa? Let me know!

xo
Em

source for gifs not made by me

my town-nick: week 8

We’re so close to the end! This week we had hometowns (and no rose ceremony), which included a lot of heartwarming and fun moments! Let’s get to them.

racquel-hometown-1Us too, Nick

My Takeaways

In my opinion, we started the week with the most successful home town date, which was an interesting choice by producers. I guess it was low drama so best to get the normal date out first. From the beginning, Raven and Nick’s chemistry was out of control. That make out in the rice field was HOT!

raven-hometown_1

I was genuinely moved by Raven’s dad telling her about his clean bill of health. I know first hand what its like when one of your parents is battling serious health issues, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. You can tell that this is a tight family, and Raven is looking for a love like her parents’. Nick got the stamp of approval, but was Raven’s dad worried about a shotgun wedding?

ravens-dad-hometown

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During her hometown date in Dallas, Rachel takes Nick to her church. I loved how welcoming all of the congregation seemed towards Nick, especially the lady who tapped him on the shoulder while the minister was addressing him.

rachel-hometown-church‘Hey, he’s talking about you’

At home, I think America was collectively disappointed that Nick didn’t get to meet Mr. Lindsay and accidentally call him Sam to his face. We did get to meet Rachel’s mom and sisters, and talk a lot about the fact that Nick and Rachel are an interracial couple. I understand that this is a serious issue, but I hope that Rachel’s entire season isn’t spent discussing interracial relationships in America. As far as I’m concerned, love is love.

rachel-hometown-gif

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Corinne’s hometown date actually made me like her – kinda. I’m starting to see why Nick has been keeping her around – who wouldn’t want to spend time with that friend who is willing to throw down her credit card for a $3,000 shopping spree. I’m kidding (a little), it is evident that Corinne really does like Nick and he enjoys having fun with her. I don’t see them having a sustainable grown up relationship, but I don’t think Corinne is quite as diabolical as I did at the beginning of the season.

corinne_1

Finally, we are graced with the infamous Racquel’s presence. It was really heartwarming to see how excited Racquel was to see Corinne, and I do think Corinne sees her as a member of the family. As exciting as it was to meet Racquel, the real star of this date was Corinne’s dad, who we never see without a drink in his hand.

corinne-hometown_2

I thought it was an interesting look into post-Bachelor life when Corinne’s dad asked her what Nick did for a job and she said, “he was a software salesman.” I don’t think Nick has been a software salesman since he was on Andi’s season. Corinne’s dad is very concerned that Nick won’t be able to support his daughter’s lifestyle on Instagram ads and paid appearances.

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I think Vanessa wins for best “date” portion of the hometown dates as she takes Nick to meet her students. You could really tell how much she means to them. It was a real ‘I’m not crying you’re crying’ moment when a few of her students started to tear up.

Vanessa’s parents aren’t together, so Nick gets to meet both parents separately. Vanessa’s family seems very hung up on what will happen to this relationship once it enters the real world. Where will they  live aka Nick will you move to Canada because Vanessa is not allowed to leave? While in the actual real world I don’t think anyone should be forced to move unless they are absolutely certain and ready, Bachelor world is not the real world. Of course Vanessa will move to L.A. to be with Nick, and perhaps to sit in the audience while he competes on Dancing With the Stars. (I think Kaitlyn is the only lead in recent memory to move for their fiancé).

vanessa-hometown_1

Vanessa’s dad is having none of Nick’s attempts to charm. He continuously questions Nick on whether he is serious about his daughter because there are still 3 other girls in the process. When Nick asks Vanessa’s dad for her hand in marriage, he scoffs at the request. He can’t give his blessing (happily) when Nick also asked three other dads the same question.

The rose ceremony will be back in New York City, and all the women are nervous. Not as nervous as Nick is though, when he opens his hotel room door to see ex-lover Andi Dorfman standing there.

Best Tweets

Best Dressed

Raven Hometown Outit

I loved the camisole Raven wore to her hometown date. I’m pretty sure it was the Zoe by CamiNYC, and I can’t find it in stock anywhere. You can find a similar top here (same designer) and more similar camisoles here and here (lower price point!).

Vanessa Hometown outfit

I also really liked Vanessa’s hometown outfit. The lace-up of the top adds some sexiness, but the fur vest makes it acceptable for that Canada weather. I found some similar lace-up tops here and here, and (faux)fur vests here and here!

I think Raven is my favorite going into the rose ceremony (besides Rach, obviously), although Vanessa is equally impressive. There is just a fun side of Raven that I like that I haven’t really seen in Vanessa Who do you guys think is going to take home Nick’s final rose? Let me know in the comments!

xo
Em