Friday, October 31, 2014

Let's Be Cozy, Shall We? Back in a Minute!

Let's Be Cozy, Shall We? (Back in a Minute!)

Giesswein Vent Slippers? Yes.
Lately all I want to do in the evenings and on the weekend is cozy up. I have not been doing that, let's be clear. We have been on a whirlwind tour-from Houston to New Orleans, Charlotte, and beyond! Every weekend since September 25th has been travel, travel, travel. I'm taking a few days off from posting here for one more adventure to celebrate my Halloween birthday (today!!), but when I get back it's all about this: Let's. Get. Cozy.

I'll meet you by my fireplace in these incredible tights (on sale!) under the last of summer's maxi skirts with a fisherman's sweater on top. You wear these knit joggers and a funny sweatshirt-maybe studs? Or sparkles? No-no, the perfect cashmere sweater. It's a date. Bring the gluten free marshmallows. And the sav blanc.

Until then, you might enjoy some of this to read. The theme is mummies and mommies:

The Beauty Legacy I Want to Leave My Daughter
Halloween Hair Hacks
When Did "Looking Like a Mom" Become an Insult?
Monsters and Ghosts
And an oldie-but-goodie, In Defense of Single Mothers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Black Tie Dresses That You'll Actually Want to Wear & Holiday Dresses that Shine

Black Tie Dresses That You'll Actually Want to Wear & Holiday Dresses that Shine


There was a time when I was constantly being invited to black tie, formal events. I never knew what to wear! I've never been a big fan of buying one expensive dress when I could buy several for the same price-or less. Black tie events seemed to require a statement dress, and I didn't have one just waiting in the wings. I've often found acceptable ones at TJMaxx, Marshalls, and even Kohls in the past. 

However, if I were invited to any kind of formal event now, I would leap with joy and buy one of these. So please, send those invites! And, as always, if I ever have a sponsored post, I'll let you know. This isn't one. 

Left, Right similar in plus size here

The beautiful thing about these statement dresses is that they would require little to no other styling: simple shoes, hair, makeup, and accessories. Wouldn't that be the nicest way to travel to an event? Just bring the dress, wash your hair, and you're ready to go. Looking for something brighter or shorter? It's expensive, but man is this a gorgeous dress! I love that (or this in plus size) for an Indian wedding.

Speaking of statement dresses, if you're already anticipating getting invited to (or hosting!) a great holiday party, these dresses could be for you. 

For a holiday dress, I have two simple requirements: I need to be able to dance and eat in it, and I need to be able to wear it for more than one holiday season. That means I tend to look for dresses that are forgiving around the waist in a classic shape and/or fabric. The dress above, for example, is a classic black, and when have sequins ever not been in style? The sleeves temper the shortness so I think I could get away with it for awhile. I love these options, too!

I also have to mention this fun jumpsuit if you want an alternative to a dress. I wore a jumpsuit to my best friend's wedding in January last year, and I felt so comfortable and stylish at the same time. 

And I'm sorry to be talking about holiday parties so early on. I'm not an advocate of speeding the seasons past at all, but I do know that we women like to plan ahead so I thought I'd share these dresses yesterday and today in that spirit. 

Also, if you're looking for a bridesmaid dress that won't get shoved in the back of your closet, this is brilliant. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fanciful Dresses for Whimsical Events

Fanciful Dresses for Whimsical Events

Free People

Every so often, I get really excited about the dresses that a store has or that are out for a particular season. This is it! I'm excited. Today's dresses have me wishing that someone would invite me to a whimsical party-in a barn, at a library, on the steps of City Hall, or even a fall baby shower. 

I imagine each of them pulling off two styles: each could be worn "dressy" with quirky heels and a short bolero jacket or with booties, tights, and a felt Panama hat. Any dress that automatically brings to mind two styles is one worth buying if you ask me! And, of course, during this season's last warm days, you could wear these with sandals and a jean jacket. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Bold & The Bohemian: Go Boho in Two Steps

The Bold & The Bohemian: Go Boho in Just Two Steps

Add a Kimono

If you don't already have a kimono that you love, this is the place to start. I've been wearing my mom's vintage kimono from Japan for a few years, but there are also some great new ones out there. I purchased one this summer from TJMaxx, for example. The thing that I love about a kimono is that it's light and airy but also provides a light layer for a trip to the movies or on one of these fall days when the day is hot but the night is chilly.

Via Asos
Look for one with colors that you typically wear so that you can throw it effortlessly over jeans shorts and a t-shirt or a maxi dress. At this time of the year, I'd recommend that you look toward neutrals or dark colors because this is something you can easily wear over jeans or leggings in the fall and winter. See how the rest of her outfit is not boho, but she still just looks cool?

Or, go whole hog and boho up the whole getup!

Desert Wanderer Kimono

Layer on Necklaces

Part of the appeal of this laid back style is that it feels gathered, not pre-conceived or pre-fab. If you've got this much to layer on laying around at home, do it up.

Via Style Lovely
If not, or if you'd rather dip your toe in the trend instead of jumping in, look around for a couple of necklaces to wear at once.  This Etsy store has some real beauties.

Enjoy your Monday! I'm trying to get my voice back after a few loud nights in Charlotte this weekend and nursing my sunburned face. It was supposed to be cold at the football game, but joke was on us! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Friday! And-dressing for a tailgate?

Happy Friday! And-dressing for a tailgate?

My friends know that I'm a bit of a foreign exchange student when it comes to "typical" American things. I was born and raised in Vermont, and certain things (popular TV from before 2001, many movies, all Westerns, professional sports...) just weren't a part of my upbringing. Other things were (books! theater! cooking!), mind you, but sometimes I find myself experiencing things for the first time now, in my thirties. 


This weekend is one of those times: I'll be attending my first ever tailgate before my first ever NFL game. I've never attended a college football game, let alone a pro game. And, frankly, I wasn't sure who was playing until last week. I don't (care to) know how football works, really. I'm there for Team Fun. Or team Hooray!

And what to wear? I'm thinking I'll pass as a regular American with a jersey, right? Lucky for me I picked one up in New Orleans. Too bad it's from Tipitina's and not an actual sports team. Classic me. My friend suggested wearing tutus, and I have one from my unicorn costume so I think this is going to be awesome all around. 

I hope your weekend is just as fun(ny)!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Finds: Plaid, Fall Skirts, Capes, and Wool Panama Hats

Fall Finds: Plaid, Fall Skirts, Capes, and Wool Panama Hats

Since coming back from the perfect summer weather of New Orleans, it feels like fall is officially really here. I found myself feeling a little unprepared, did you? I went from wearing a few fall things to suddenly needing an extra layer in the mornings and even later. 

I've gotten many requests for personal shopping so I know lots of you are panicking about not having the clothes you want to be wearing for fall. Here's my thought: look through your clothes to see if you already have some fall basics, the things that are in style every fall. If not, I've got some affordable ideas for you. But don't feel like you need an entirely new wardrobe every season-that can get very expensive! Instead, look for basics that last year to year and top them off with a few fun pieces. 


Plaid. My husband's reaction to a new plaid shirt the other day was to say "don't you already have that one?" I panicked for a minute thinking that I might have actually bought two of the same shirt. Silly guy! What he meant was that I had another plaid shirt. A few other ones more accurately. If your collection could use another plaid shirt for fall,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Learning to Love...

❝ I’m still learning to love the parts of me that no one claps for. ❞
Rudy Francisco 

How to Stay Warm with Lean Layers for Fall

How to Stay Warm with Lean Layers for Fall

Come winter, I'm fine with bulkier layers. A girl's gotta stay warm, right? However, this time of year I'm still mourning the loss of warm weather, and I'm just not ready for wool. However, as previously mentioned, my office is freezing, and I need to be warm! So, I had a great idea: I'm focusing on lean layers that still pack on the heat. It's almost like taking lean meat and rubbing spice all over it before grilling it. Hmm...sorry. Maybe I need some more dinner! 

Wear a thick sweater over a long, lean dress and pants.

I went to the Leesburg outlets here in Northern Virginia the other day to put my plan into action. I was on a mission to add long, lean layers to my closet in place of the light shirts I typically layer with. This fall, I decided that they just aren't going to cut it. My office is too cold! My apologies in advance for the changing room selfies. Here's how I showed up (gotta love my unicorn nails still done from the party, right?)

This is an American Eagle cardigan, and I'm going to wash it by hand and as little as possible, frankly. I love the print but don't expect the quality to hold up for very long. It's fairly thick, but it flows away from my body so much that I could layer on a thicker, long top underneath. The bottom layer is this long dress/tunic thing from Target. With my high waisted Old Navy jeans, I felt nice and tucked in around the middle. When I got too hot shopping, I could still wear the whole outfit minus the sweater. And yes, those are my good-for-my-back Danskos.

Treat a Light Sweater Like a T-Shirt

At Banana Republic Outlet, I found several light sweaters that I've decided to wear in place of the cotton button downs and long-sleeved t-shirts that I typically pull out around this time of year.  These sweaters are warmer, but they're still light enough to layer up. I imagine wearing them under blazers for long, lean layers. I love the look of a sweater poking out on the arms, longer than the rolled-up arms of a blazer. I also liked these pants from Banana in a size down from here to avoid that bunching.

Match Similar Weights and Colors

Here, I put together a thicker sweater with a thicker jacket. However, the jacket is lined so it doesn't pull on the sweater, and the cut of the sweater is narrow enough that it works. Frankly, this sweater isn't typically one I'd wear to work since it was quite close to my body (ie my chest was too prominent), but with the idea of using it as a layering piece, it suddenly became the perfect thing.

And yes, I wanted the sweater to be longer below. You don't have to do that if it's not your style, but it's absolutely fine for the two not to "match up" in length.

Happy layering!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Trip to New Orleans in Images

Our Trip to New Orleans in Images

What an incredible trip we had to New Orleans! I can't wait to talk with you more about it, but for now I have two big Bernese Mountain Dog babies who won't let me type for too long without plopping their huge heads on my laptop. I'll leave you with some favorite images-and a few previews-for now. I hope you had a great weekend and start to your week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why I'm in Love with High Waisted Old Navy Jeans

Why I'm in Love with High Waisted Old Navy Jeans

I'm posting these pictures of a recent day out with the dogs to a dog event and romp in NOVA for one purpose: to remind myself to tell you about the best skinny jeans ever.  Old Navy's The Rockstart Super Skinny jeans in the high waisted fit. Yes, they come in talls and petites. And they're the best. Look at my smile-doesn't it look happy?

And yes, the day was gorgeous and the dogs were happy so I was, too, but those jeans! They tuck in the bottom of your stomach instead of pushing it out and over like many skinny jeans do. I highly recommend that you try on a pair. I wish they came in more colors and washes!

Not paid to say so-just love 'em.