10 December 2013

What to Wear: Holiday Party Edition Part 2

Happy Tuesday lovelies! Hope everyone's week got off to a good start yesterday. Today I am back talking about what to wear to holiday parties, and today's outfit inspiration focuses on another classic holiday trend: lace. In yesterday's post, I incorporated sequins into some holiday outfits that played up crimson, the quintessential Christmas color. But red isn't the only color that I think of this time of year; I think of the icy blue tones of frost and the navy blues of the increased midnight hours, as well as red's complimentary color green; decking our halls in emerald jewels and evergreen boughs; these are all colors and tones that I am drawn to this time of year. In honor of these blue and green hues, I have composed some outfits featuring gorgeous lace dresses in this pallet. As with yesterday's post, I have styled each color two ways, showing again how you can recycle your holiday outfits throughout the season.

Holiday Sparkle: Lovely in Lace

green outfit top: dress / clutch / shoes / earrings / bracelet / blue bracelet
blue outfit top: dress / clutch / shoes / earrings / bracelet
green outfit bottom: dress / clutch / shoes / earrings / belt / necklace
blue outfit bottom: dress / clutch / shoes / earrings / bracelet / necklace

When styling a lace dress, the dress should be the focal point, and all of the accessories should complement it. The perfect neutrals during the holidays, in my self-proclaimed "expert opinion," are silver and gold, and there is no shortage of metallic options right now! This brings me to accessory talk time: ok, I believe it is a personal style choice whether you think more is more, or less is more, but my preference for most holiday parties: work, family, church, etc. is that less is more. That being said, for this post I have chosen more delicate and subdued pieces that add a touch of sparkle and glitz, without leaving you looking like you are wearing an accident from the glitter factory. Also, keep in mind that you don't need a statement necklace, especially with a lace neckline. If you feel it's too much, skip the neck candy, the lace is enough. You can always add your sparkle elsewhere. I have styled these dresses both ways, just in case. And, if you are a more is more girl, that's fine too, just double up on things from each of the outfit options!

Will you be wearing lace this season?
What are your go-to colors during the holidays?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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09 December 2013

What to Wear: Holiday Party Edition

Hello Loves! Today I want to talk about one of my favorite type of outfits to plan: party attire! Now that December is in full swing, holiday parties will be popping up on our social calendars through the new year, and I, for one, could not be more excited. To me, no other time of the year is as rich with color, texture, and most importantly, SPARKLE. The entire month seems to be dripped in gold and dusted in glitter, from Christmas tree decor, to twinkling lights, to glossy wrapping paper; it doesn't seem like anything in existence can escape looking shiny and bright. I think you cannot help but feel that way too, a little more shiny and bright now than during the rest of the year. So, I think, if you feel it, flaunt it! Holiday apparel is very reflective of the mood this season ushers in with it, and it is almost impossible not to fall in love with all of the fancy party pieces on the racks. This week I will be posting some outfit ideas and pieces that I think are perfect for many of the occasions this holiday season where you want a little extra sparkle in your wardrobe; appropriately dedicated the "Holiday Sparkle" series. 

To kick off this series, I would like to introduce a holiday staple: sequins. Now, personally, I don't own a single sequined thing. GASP. Well, its true. I am not quite sure why, I guess I prefer my jewelry to sparkle and shine, not my clothing. That being said, I have been considering how I would incorporate a sequined item into my closet. I have been eyeing the numerous sequined tanks and thinking that would be a safe bet, not too much bling, an easy way to dip my toes into the sequin pool, but it is winter...and winter in the mitten is fierce. So, I started thinking about ways to incorporate a sequined piece as one of my signature layers (keeping in mind that I didn't want to look like a disco ball upon outfit completion), and thanks to the amazing line of winter apparel at J.Crew Factory this season, I was able to find two sequined pieces that I wouldn't be too intimidated to wear this winter. Knowing that many of us can't afford a new outfit for every party we attend this season, I put together two outfits for each piece, and since the color family is similar, the sets are pretty interchangeable, giving you plenty of outfit styling ideas with fewer individual pieces. I know I love to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to styling my clothes, and I bet you do too! 

Holiday Sparkle: Sequin Sets

So, as I mentioned above and you can see in the sets, all of the items I selected are very interchangeable, the color pallet is red, black, grey, and white, so three neutrals and one vibrant color. I think that this is the best way to achieve a cohesive look when mixing patterns, while looking polished and put-together. I would wear all of these outfits, and any combination thereof. As you may have observed, I am a big proponent of plaid and all of these outfits have the option of styling the more feminine sequin piece with a touch more rugged print and texture of a plaid or flannel. Pairing different textures, mixing patterns, or contrasting feminine pieces with masculine touches are all easy ways to create playful and interesting outfits that don't come across as too daring or too much of a hodge-podge. 

I hope this helps inspire you when deciding what to wear this holiday season, either by remixing pieces you already own, or adding something new, with numerous styling possibilities. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for more outfit inspiration and styling ideas for your holiday soirees this year!

Will you wear sequins this holiday season?
What trend are you most excited for this holiday season?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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02 December 2013

Holiday Gift Guides - The Guy's Edition

Happy happy Monday (night) loves! It never fails that there are just too many things to do, and so little time to do them in! I really wanted to get this up last week, but life had other plans (we plan and God laughs, right?). Though, I'm sure you were all rushing to prepare for Turkey Day and the madness that was Black Friday, so hopefully you can relate and forgive me, pretty please; I am posting now, after all =) I shall try really hard to post again with a Thanksgiving day recap later this week (fingers crossed)! But, until then, I would like to share with you some items that I have been perusing for the men on my shopping list, in case you need a little inspiration! Confession time: I hate, loathe, dislike, etc. the word 'man'...and its plural 'men.' Its so weird and formal and gross to me (hello new bucket of issues to discuss with my non-existent therapist). I much prefer the word 'guys' to 'men' so that is what I shall try to stick to going forward. Now, there are significantly fewer gift guides for the guys than for the girls, since, in my experience and opinion, guys are much easier to shop for. Get them the newest electronic toy, latest movie release, new socks to replace the ones lost to the monster living in the dryer, and they are happy as a clam. Sweet and simple right? Well, I have rounded up some duds, toys, and other fun things to keep the guys in your life stylish and entertained heading into the new year. 

Gift Guide: Guy's Apparel

plaid shirts: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
striped sweaters: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
comfy cardi's: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
slippers / belt / moccasins / messenger bag / grey beanie / green beanie
knit scarf / wallet / fair isle hat / plaid scarf 
plaid tie / stripe tie / grey stripe tie / check tie / dot bow tie / check bow tie / watch

Gift Guide for the Guy's Guy

Gift Guide for the Preppy Intellectual

I hope this gives you some inspiration for the special guys in your life, or your weird uncle, or your distant relative you are not even sure is related to you, but you feel obligated to buy something for (we all have them, right?). I mean what guy doesn't love when they don't have to go clothing shopping for an entire year, because you do it for them at Christmas? And, although they will not admit it, they like to feel a little pampered every now and then too, so a few manly 'beauty' items never hurts either. Did you see those beer mugs?? Now our love of monogramming can be shared by our counterparts in a way that makes beer actually sophisticated and a little cute (but don't tell them that, of course). Whether he's a guy's guy, the sports aficionado, the brainy guy in a tie, a hipster, the strong silent type with a pipe and a book, or just a goofy guy who stole your heart, there is something for him on this guides. With that, I wish you all happy shopping this holiday season ladies!

What's on your guy's wish list?
Are the girls or guys on your list easier to shop for?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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26 November 2013

What to Wear: Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Tuesday loves! Today was such a hectic day with work and a big paper due for school that I seriously have been looking forward to escaping and posting here ALL day. Total distraction, but I couldn't help it, I am just so gosh darn excited for Thanksgiving and most importantly, planning what to wear ahead of time so that the day of, I can focus on how grateful I am. For today's post, I have created three outfits to help you plan what to wear on Turkey Day. All of the items featured are from Target, because holy moley are Target's sales this week OUT.OF.CONTROL. We're talking boots and handbags buy one get one 50% off, 40% off sweaters, 40% jeans, and price cuts on tons of statement jewelry, and that's not even looking at Cartwheel, which if you haven't heard is now available to everyone, even if you don't have a Facebook account, yippee! That being said, don't be surprised if the outfit below featuring the chevron sweater shows up as my #ootd on instagram, because I caved and bought it yesterday, it was such a steal! So run, don't walk, to Target if you are in a rut planning your holiday outfit =)

So, let's talk Thanksgiving day outfits. Now, I don't know about you, but growing up, Thanksgiving was always a dressy holiday. My mom would make my sisters (I have 3 younger ones) and I special dresses for Thanksgiving and Christmas, braid our hair the night before so we would all have long wavey hair under our giant bow barrettes, and find the most ridiculous tights (white with red heats, anyone?) to wear with our little patent Mary Jane's. We were like a set of Russian nestling dolls at Thanksgiving, and at Christmas, and at pretty much every holiday for that matter. But, as we grew up, the fanciness inevitably began to fade. My sisters and I now text each other ahead of time to make sure its okay not style our hair or wear makeup or even to wear our yoga pants over to my mom's house. "We're not taking pictures, right?" someone will text. We all conspire to get out of looking nice. We look nice everyday (seriously, I work at an Architectural Engineering firm, two of my sisters are teachers, and my baby sister works at a library, it's like a fashion show every freakin' day), Thanksgiving is a holiday, holidays are for resting, we want a break, hence the conspiring. Now, there are some holidays when we decide to not look like a bunch of rag-a-muffins, mostly anytime we are not celebrating at my mom's house, so...like when we are out in public, bahaha. You are welcome world.

I digress...Anyways, this year Kevin and I will be making the lovely, scenic, 3 hour commute across the state to spend Thanksgiving with his family (its going to be awesome and I am excited to spend my first holiday with his family!), sadly though, this means I will be in public, which means no yoga pants for me (you can just hear my disappointed sigh, right?). BUT that also means I get a new outfit, its only fair if I have to wear make-up and brush my hair on my day of rest, right? ;-) So, after seeing a few ladies snag the aforementioned chevron sweater shown below, I ran out to Target to get one. First trip = fail, didn't even have them at my store. Second trip = success, only one in the store was in my size = happy dance! Since I have been told that the atmosphere will still be fairly casual, I will probably pair my sweater with dark denim and red and leopard details. Since its apparently winter in Michigan (its in the 20's, eek!), I will also be wearing a coat, and this one just happens to be on my lust list! Now, knowing that other families still maintain a sense of decorum that my own has lost, I also put together a dressy-casual and dressier outfit that I would also wear if warranted. 

What to Wear on Thanksgiving

casual: jeans / sweater / coat / shoes / purse / scarf / belt / bracelet / essie
dressy casual: pants / sweater / coat / pumps / purse / necklace / bracelet / essie
dressy: dress / coat / booties / purse / belt / necklace / bracelet / tights / essie 

If I were not going to wear jeans, a pair of dressier pants, like those pictured with an amazing window pane print, would definitely suffice. I added a little print mixing with the polka dot sweater (also on sale with the chevron one for 40% off) and a plaid coat. All the pieces feel cohesive because of the color story: cobalt, black, and cream. Since there are a few patterns at play here, I decided to keep the accessories monochromatic and chic, all in black. If dress up for Thanksgiving, a sweater dress with booties and colored tights is a must! Again, the color story here is three part, black, tan, and burgundy. The burgundy is so festive and really pops against the black. I added an edgier cut-out bootie to add a touch of hard in contrast with the softness of the dress. Whatever you wear, I think the most important part is feeling comfortable, especially if your family makes enough food to feed an army =)

And now, for your viewing enjoyment, I have decided to share a family picture from a few years ago when the sister who is an art teacher, decided we needed to do a "family Thanksgiving craft," made us make hand print turkey sweatshirts. Yeah, I know, you wish you were this awesome.

Olivia, Me, Stacy, Tina

Do you have any Thanksgiving Day traditions?
What is the dress code for your Thanksgiving?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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25 November 2013

Holiday Gift Guides - Under $50

Happy Monday Lovelies! Today I have put today some gift ideas for the variety of ladies you may need to shop for this holiday season. I love shopping, and shopping for others is by far my favorite kind of shopping to do. Having 3 sisters and several other special ladies and girlfriends in my life, I know that I have already began searching high and low for the perfect gift for each of them (Christmas is just 30 days away after all!). I love to find personalized gifts for each person on my list, tailored to what I think they will enjoy. It can be easier sometimes to get a "blanket gift," or the same gift for lots of people on your list, but I don't really like the generic-ness of that, so I tend to favor highly individualized gifts selected for that person and no one else. Keeping this in mind, I have grouped my gift guides thematically and selected gifts all below $50 with a variety of price points, knowing that some (like my sisters) will be allotted more money, while keeping all the items affordable. Since it's t-minus 4 days until Black Friday, I hope this gives you some ideas for the special ladies on your shopping lists!

Gift Guide for the Glam Girl

row one: one / two (in stores only) / three / four / five / six
row two: one / two / three / four / five
row three: one / two / three / four / five
row four: one / two / three / four 

Gift Ideas for the Christmas Crazed

row one: one / two / three / four / five / six
row two: one / two / three / four / five
row three: one / two / three / four / five 
row four: one / two / three

Gift Guide for the Eclectic Creative

row one: one / two / three / four / five
row one and a half: one / two / three 
row two: one / two / three / four / five / six
row three: one / two / three / four / five / six

Gift Guide for the Girl on the Go

row one: one / two / three / four 
row two: one / two / three / four 
row three: one
row four: one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight
row five: one / two / three / four

Gift Guide for the Crazy Cat Lady

row one: one / two / three / four
row two: one / two (in stores only)
row three: one / two / three / four / five / six
row four: one / two / three / four / five
row five: one / two / three / four 

Gift Guide for the Girlie Girl

column one: one / two / three / four
column two: one / two / three / four / five
column three: one / two / three / four / five
column four: one / two / three / four

Hopefully this helps you locate things you were already thinking of buying, or answers the "what the heck am I going to get for so-and-so?" question. I realize that a few things are not currently available online, but most are available in stores, so take advantage of the locate-in-store functions on websites or check back to see if the item is restocked for cyber Monday. I also included several etsy shop finds, I try to support local business whenever possible and there are so many cute and unique items, finding the "right" gift for someone is made easier. I am working on gift guides for him, they will be up soon. That's all I have for now, happy shopping!

What is on your shopping list for Black Friday?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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21 November 2013

Oh, Deer!

Happy Thursday Lovelies! Sorry for the disappearing act the last week, but school has been insane, I mean, like beyond insane! I hope you can forgive me and can relate to what I'm going through since it's also the beginnings of the bustle of the holiday season and I'm willing to bet you all feel like there is just not enough time ever. My sincerest apologies. So, while the semester is winding down the next month I will try my hardest to find time to post, but bear with me, I am a grad student, and an incredibly foolish one for taking 5 classes this semester; begrudgingly, school comes first. Even though I would rather spend my time talking fashion than wind energy applications for the built environment...weird, right? ;-)

That being said, I have a plan for the next few weeks and I am actually really excited about it! I am hoping to post 3-4 times a week and will be starting a recipe feature weekly, outfit posts as usual, holiday gift giving guides, and of course, ideas of what to wear this holiday season! So, I hope to be able to follow through on my plans and I hope you enjoy this direction for the next few weeks. 

Today, however, I want to share with you my current style crush: everything and anything deer. I can actually pinpoint the thing that pushed me over the edge to adoration of this gorgeous animal: this Old Navy sweater. Prior to seeing this sweater on their website last weekend, I sort of thought the whole deer and reindeer everywhere thing was just eh. I was feeling very ambiguous towards the docile creature gracing the fronts of tee's and sweaters, and popping up as a major theme in holiday decor this year. Give me Thumper over Bambi any day, were my thoughts. Keyword: were. All this has changed, and much to Kevin's chagrin too. I am 100% team Bambi now (don't worry I am still team Thumper too, like I could actually choose just one, psh, child please). So, having fallen for the sweater, I went a little crazy, as is my nature, and started stalking all the deer related things that I now "need" (hence Kevin's chagrin). So, I put together a little sample of all of my latest obsession. 

Oh, Deer!

row one: one / two / three / four
row two: one / two / three / four
row three: one / two / three / four

AND, being the crazy, overly enthusiastic type-A that I am, I even put together some outfits show how I would love to style some of the items featured above, so you all can be obsessed with me. You. Are. Welcome. =D

Oh Deer Outfit 1

Is there anything better than a slouchy, cozy sweater? One with deer of course! I love this sweater and my favorite way to wear an over-sized sweater is with leggings and boots. I also love unexpected layers, like adding a preppy gingham button-up under a loose, bohemian style sweater, so that is exactly how I would wear this one. To add a pop of color to this outfit, I would toss on some bright orange, simple stud earrings and orange satchel. Beanies are everywhere this season and this outfit is a perfect mix of styles and textures to add a navy beanie over my long, unruly hair. Lastly, these boots - perfect to wear from fall into winter, and oh my gosh, the Sherpa lining peeking over is perfection!  

Oh Deer Outfit 2

plaid shirt / necklace / watch & bracelets / jeans / sweater / booties / fur vest / purse

For this deer sweater, which I am currently swooning over the mostest, I would definitely wear it out for lunch with girlfriends on the weekend. Again, layers are my best friend. Here, I would play with bordeaux details, because I am love, loving it this season! Plus it pairs well with gray tones and brown tones. These buckle ankle booties are on my lust list, but as I have gotten a few pairs this season already, a chocolate colored pair such as these, will more than likely have to wait til next fall to enter my closet. However, my future booties would be worn with this sweater, dark wash jeans, a plaid and statement jewelry, as is my weekend uniform as the weather is cold and I need to layer up. As a finishing touch, I would throw a fur vest on, for fun, for warmth, and for my love of fur. I mean, really, do you need a reason to add a faux fur vest over anything? Nope, you don't. 

Oh deer Outfit 3

blazer / belt / cross-body purse / scarf / cords / tee / necklace / watch / shoes

For this outfit, I decided to style this JCrew Factory deer tee for work. I would wear it with a pair of wine colored cords and this fabulous plaid blazer from Target. Yes, I am still obsessed with deep reds, sue me. AND, navy and bordeaux just happens to be one of my favorite color combinations for fall, so rich and classic, complementing the white and gold tee beautifully. Right? I know you love it too! I would play off the deer on the tee and wear this cognac colored quilted cross-body purse, which is also the perfect textural pairing with the knit scarf and corduroy pants. Lastly, for the details of this outfit, I would throw a little pattern mixing in with leopard heels and belt, I just can't help myself! Since the deer on the shirt is sparkly, I would keep my jewelry tastefully minimal, I am at work after all ;-) so I don't want to have too much going on in my business casual environment, a simple pearl statement necklace and this adorable bow watch are the perfect accessories! 

So that is how I would style deer adorned pieces if I had unlimited funds. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she? 

What are you obsessing over this week?
What are you thoughts on deer; yay or nay?
Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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11 November 2013

Weekend Recap + Stripes, Bordeaux, & Vest

Happy Monday! How was everyone's weekends? Lovely I hope! Mine was swell =) I worked late Friday night due to some car trouble in the morning and didn't arrive home until 8 pm. This meant a quite night in with some mags and a mani, which was fine by me. Saturday morning was an early one, since I had class on campus at 8 am. Let's just say I will be very glad after our last Saturday meeting a month from now! After class, Kev and I headed home and while we had the best intentions of being productive...we instead had a Sons of Anarchy marathon, thank-you Netflix for enabling our obsession with watching a ton of TV show episodes in a row. Anyone else binge on TV shows? 

Kev started watching SOA like two weeks ago and got through season one in like two days. Well, in that time I caught like an episode or two plus the finale, and that was all I needed. I was hooked. So, as he started season two a week ago, I insisted on watching it with him. Of course he was mad. We have this thing were we get mandatory alone time away from each other to keep ourselves sane and that means we each have our own TV shows (we have a TON we already watch together as they air weekly), and then in our alone time we have shows that we watch because the other has no interest in seeing. I thought SOA would be a show I wouldn't want to watch, but I was very mistaken. Oops. Sorry Kev. So, now we watch it together and he has been watching the B, C, and D-list action movies on Netflix during his alone time. Anyways, we finished off season 3 on Saturday night and it.was.awesome. 

Due to our being incredibly terrible students Saturday, we spent all day Sunday cleaning and doing homework. Very exciting, no? 

Shirt - Old Navy / Vest - Old Navy / Leggings - Target / Shoes - Target
Purse - Target (similar) / Necklace - Groopdealz (similar) / Nails -Essie SoleMate

Okay, so today I am posting an outfit from a few weeks ago. I wear this olive vest from Old Navy pretty much whenever I am not wearing my herringbone one from JCrew Factory, I am quite addicted to vests right now. Well, until it starts to snow, which is projected to this week, then I will be trading them in for winter puffers and peacoats. 

In addition to this vest, I also found this striped long sleeve tee at Old Navy. I love that its light weight and not too tight. I am really weird about my clothing being breathe-able, especially during the winter when I wear a million layers, I don't like to feel think my skin is being smothered by fabric. That being said, I love this tee. Plus its striped, and I am a bit of a striped clothing addict, its the perfect print to pattern mix with and is pretty much acceptable to wear all year round! 

This Groopdealz steal and JCrew dupe is making another appearance today. It was seen last week here, and I am positive it is the "color mix" necklace of the fall. Its the perfect combination of colors that make it very wearable and add a pop of color to an outfit. Lastly, I accessorized with Bordeaux lips, tips, and flats (told you, I'm in love!) which I think complement the grey and olive green nicely. 

I'm keeping it short and sweet today since I have a busy week ahead. Hope you all have a great Monday!

Do you have a collection of vests?
What's your go-to accessory this fall?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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