Dec 19, 2014

Blogging Besties: Souvenir Necklace

Hi friends! It's time for another week of Blogging Besties! Inspired by Whitney's arrowhead necklace from Iceland, I chose a souvenir piece of my own! I bought mine at a Forever 21 in Indianapolis, so it's a bit less exotic, but I still think of my trip to Indy when I wear it! I paired it with this camel sweater dress, tights, and wedges!

I'd also like to mention that we will be taking a two week break from Blogging Besties! Whitney and I agreed that with the holidays coming up, we should skip a few weeks as we will both be traveling! So we will be back on our regular schedule for the New Year on January 9!

Dress: Old Navy
Wedges: Payless
Necklace: Forever 21

The elements of this outfit are: Sweater dress, leather accents, druzy jewelry, amethyst, tights, and suede wedges! Your move, Whitney!

Now link up with your "passed on" looks if you please!

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Dec 15, 2014

Hearts and Plaid

Ahh, the ever-coveted Zara blanket scarf (or the copy cat version, rather) makes its first appearance on my blog!  I purchased this scarf before the leaves started turning colors, let alone falling off the trees, because I was still upset that I had missed-out on the original version last year!  I'm so happy that this scarf is still the "it" thing to wear this season, even though I would have worn and loved it regardless!

From Pinterest to style blogs, there is certainly no shortage of inspiration as to how to wear this cozy scarf!  I've worn it a few times already with solid colored tops but I had so much more fun mixing the plaid with my new, heart-covered LOFT sweatshirt.  Although the prints are really different, I found that the cream colored hearts worked well with the background color of the scarf which tied the two prints together into a cohesive ensemble.

Do you own a version of this plaid blanket scarf?  What's your favorite way to wear it?

What I'm Wearing:
Sweatshirt: LOFT (exact)
Scarf: Cotton On (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Boots: Macy's (exact)

The Brandied Pair and Style Honestly- Fab Five Fridays
DC In Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Mondays
Greater Than Rubies and Tucker Up-The Lovely Lookbook
I Do DeClaire- Confident Twosdays
My Closet Catalogue- TARDIS Tuesday
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Dec 12, 2014

Blogging Besties: Arrow Necklace

It's one week later and I still can't get over how adorable Alex looks in this outfit!

While I wish I could pass on the exact dress that Alex has, I had to settle for wearing my arrowhead-inspired necklace.  I purchased this necklace as a souvenir during my trip to Iceland last year so it's a fun reminder of my travels and adventures.  Do you have any clothing items or accessories that remind you of trips you have taken?


So here are your choices of pieces to pass on for next week: a mustard boyfriend cardigan, striped dress, brown tights, cognac boots, an arrow necklace or a souvenir piece of clothing or jewelry!

But in the meantime, what did you pass on from Alex's outfit?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Hand Me Down (similar, similar)
Cardigan: Target (exact)
Necklace: From Iceland (similar)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Boots: Macy's (exact)

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Dec 10, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Part Two

I have a confession to make and some of you aren't going to like it: I don't like thrift stores.

I know, I know, you can find great pieces at low prices.  Typically these items are clean...and you can wash them again yourself if you want.  Blah, blah, blah.  Believe me, my friends have tried to convince me of this many times.  I just can't do it!  Something totally weirds me out about wearing something that was previously worn by some unknown being.

For this reason, I understand that I completely miss the point of a true Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  I know I'm supposed to pay pennies for such a sweater at my local Goodwill, but this just isn't something that I can bring myself to do!

Earlier this week, I showed you a cute and festive outfit that you can create even if you don't own such a sweater.  Today I'm back with a look featuring a *gasp* store-bought version!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties have become so popular that most major retailers from Target to Rent the Runway are selling these decked-out duds!  When I signed-up for an Ugly Christmas Sweater 5k, I turned to Etsy to find my costume!

I completed my look with some comfy reindeer leggings from White Plum and an adorable hat that was the gift I received in lieu of a t-shirt for signing-up for the run.  It was so much fun watching these hats bob up and down as racers jingled their way to the finish line (some with hot chocolate in hand).  It was a fun and healthy way to celebrate the season!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweatshirt: Etsy (exact)
Leggings: White Plum (similar, similar)
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Dec 8, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Part One

It seems like in the past couple of years, ugly Christmas sweater-themed events have been the thing to do during the holidays.  In fact, I can't think of a more fun way to celebrate the season than by sporting the most over-the-top, festive look imaginable while spending time with your friends and loved ones.

A few weeks ago I was invited to such a Christmas gathering but didn't own or have the time to find an ugly sweater to wear.  What's one to do in a such a situation?  Find as many festive pieces as possible and throw them all together in one ensemble!

The reindeer t-shirt, the plaid skirt, the red tights and the sequined flats?  These are all pieces that I already had in my closet and that I would wear in daily life...just not all together.  But combined into one outfit they made for the perfect party attire!

Do you have an ugly Christmas sweater party to attend but don't have the sweater?  Look through your closet for the reddest, greenest and sparkliest items, then put them all on together!  I bet you will be the most festive party-goer of them all!

Check back later this week for another idea of what to wear to a holiday party!

What I'm Wearing:
T-Shirt: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Cardigan: Kohl's (similar, similar)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Tights: Target (similar, similar)
Flats: From France (similar, similar)

I Do deClaire- Confident Twosdays
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
My Closet Catalogue- TARDIS Tuesday
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Dec 5, 2014

Blogging Besties: Fit and Flare Dress

Hey y'all! It's my week to put together an outfit for Blogging Besties, passing on a piece from this look of Whitney's last week:

I just love the maroon one Whitney chose! So much, in fact, that I decided to style a "fit-and-flare" dress of my own. I ordered this little number off of eBay, and when it arrived I learned it was new with tags from ASOS! I got it for just $10, so it's a steal, and I just love it! I styled it for the chilly weather with tights, booties, and a hat.

Some elements of this outfit are a fit and flare dress, a hat, a pendant necklace, tights, booties, a cross-body bag, arrow inspired jewelry, cognac leather, and emerald green! 

Dress: ASOS (similarsimilar)
Hat: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Booties: Forever 21 (exact)

Now, if you please, link up your posts that incorporate one of the elements of Whitney's look from last week! We'd love to see what you have, even if it's an old one from way back!

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Dec 2, 2014

Class Reunion Style

Last week, I asked you all for advice about which of three potential dresses I should wear to my 10-year class reunion.  Merci to all of you lovely readers who provided your two cents!  You helped me to understand the look that I was going for as well as which features of which dresses fit with my desired outcome.

So, without further ado, here is the dress that I chose!

You helped me to realize that I wanted to feel a little bit sassy and sexy at my reunion.  While the lace dress was absolutely gorgeous, the emerald leopard print of this dress just had the right vibe!

I wasn't sure how dressy the event was going to be so I wore tights (also to combat the chilly Michigan air) and suede wedge booties to make the dress a bit more casual.  Hopefully someone will invite me to a fancy Christmas party so I can pair this dress with some glamorous heels next time!  I did add a bit of glitz to my outfit with a sparkly necklace (because I doesn't love a bit of shine?!).

I had an absolute BLAST at my reunion!  You know, I thought reunions were supposed to be kind of weird and awkward but I didn't find that at all!  A few of my closest friends also attended so I always had someone to talk to, even during lulls in activity.  But I really didn't need my "security blanket" too much and spent lots of time reconnecting with formerly familiar faces.  It's kind of crazy to have a conversation with a group of adults who know what you looked like when you were seven years old!  I also danced my pants off (can you do that when you are wearing a dress) to some pretty fabulous 90s music (MMMBop, anyone?) and brought out my rusty stunting skills with a few other former cheerleaders.  All in all, a successful evening!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: LOFT (exact)
Necklace: LOFT (exact)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Booties: DSW (exact)

Brandied Pair and Style Honestly- Fab Five Friday
I Do DeClaire- Confident Twosdays
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
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Nov 28, 2014

Blogging Besties: Mustard Cardigan

Happy Black Friday, my fashionable friends!  How many of you woke-up early this morning to hit those sales?  As much as I love shopping, Black Friday is not for me.  I prefer to sleep-in and enjoy a cup of coffee with my family.

Last week Alex wore this cute and casual look featuring a lace top, a mustard cardigan, an infinity scarf, skinny jeans and riding boots.

I don't know about you, but regardless of what Pantone says, mustard is a quintessential color of fall.  While it already feels like winter for many of us, fall really feels like it comes to a close with the Thanksgiving holiday.  So I thought, what a perfect day to pass on Alex's mustard cardigan!

The colors of this outfit just scream autumn to me (plus the stretchy material of the dress is accommodating to a turkey and cranberry sauce dinner)!

Some of you may recognize this dress from my line-up of choices for my upcoming class reunion.  While I won't yet reveal my ultimate choice, I will say that I did not decide to wear this dress...but I kept it anyway!  Some of you mentioned that it would fit in well with the rest of my wardrobe and I agree!

The adorable and fashionable (can you see her holiday collar?) Ruby, my sister and brother-in-law's pup really wanted to join in the fun...and how could I resist?

So the components of this outfit are as follows: a fit and flare dress, a mustard cardigan, brown tights, cognac riding boots, a pendant necklace, bangle bracelets, the color plum and lace.  You have lots to choose from for next week.  What do you plan to pass on?

But for now, show us what YOU passed on from Alex's outfit next week!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Target (exact)
Cardigan: Target (exact)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Boots: Macy's (exact)
Necklace: Gift (similar, similar)
Bracelets: Alex and Ani

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Nov 24, 2014

Help! What to wear to my class reunion?

I'm having a hard time believing it myself, but I'm attending my ten-year class reunion on Saturday!  How is it possible that I graduated from high school ten whole years ago?!  I'm feeling pretty excited to spend some quality time with good friends and to catch-up with acquaintances I haven't seen in a decade.  Before the festivities begin, however, I need your help!  What should I wear?

After trying-on countless dresses, I have narrowed the choices down to three frocks:

Which would you choose and how would you style it?  Let me know in the comments section!  I will let you know which dress I chose next week!

I Do DeClaire- Confident Twosdays
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Nov 21, 2014

Blogging Besties: Lace Shirt

Hi friends! You may remember Whitney's look from last week:

It's super cute! I was a little stumped, though, because I don't have a white tee, blue scarf OR blue flats. But I DO have a lace shirt that I LOVE and wear all the time, so I reimagined Whitney's lace-overlay tee as my cream-colored lace blouse.

The elements of this outfit are: lace shirt, mustard cardigan, infinity scarf, black pants, black boots, and tribal print! 

Please feel free to link up below with any posts that have elements from Whitney's look! 

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Nov 20, 2014

Channeling Jane

Alternate Blog Post Title: When Your Dress Matches the Restaurant, and Other Blogger Problems

You may remember, about a month ago I was feeling inspired by the quintessential flapper, Zelda Fitzgerald.  Well, these days I'm letting my inner Jane Austen decide what to wear!

My dear blogging friends Maricel and Selah are once again hosting their monthly link-up, encouraging us to create an ensemble inspired by a literary work.  Sometimes they choose a specific theme for us to follow but this month they are allowing us the freedom to choose any book our hearts desire.  And what does my heart desire?  A little bit of Pride and Prejudice!

When thinking about my favorite books, Jane Austen and her works immediately come to mind.  I'm a sucker for the romance found in a good Austen novel but I am also encouraged by her intelligent, independent (and a just little bit sassy) heroines. Can I please be Elizabeth Bennet when I grow-up?  Especially if this situation involves a certain Mr. Darcy?  (Don't even get me started on the merits of Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy).

Now please allow me to explain my rather loose interpretation of Regency Era fashion.  Shall we start at the top?  A popular accessory during Jane Austen's time was the bandeau, a band (sometimes made of ribbon or pearls) worn around the head.  What better than a sparkly headband to mimic a bandeau?!  Moving on down, the silhouette of a regency gown involved an empire waist and a slim skirt.  For evening wear, a lady may show bare arms and an open neckline.  I wore my outfit to happy hour so I think this counts as evening wear, right?  And finally, I decided that the bird print of the dress was rather feminine and romantic, keeping with the feel of an Austen novel.

I even think of Jane as I look around my apartment, where I've collected bits and pieces of her and her work.  This print featuring one of my favorite Austen quotes hangs in my living room:

And of course I need an Austen nook in my bookcase!

And in conclusion, I leave you with my favorite quote from Pride and Prejudice:

"In vain have I struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." - Mr. Darcy


What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Hand me down (similar, similar)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Booties: DSW (exact)
Headband: Gift (similar, similar)

Other Fun Link-Ups:
Literate and Stylish and The Modern Austen- Pantone Week: Cognac
Work Clothes, I Suppose- Fall Footwear
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Nov 18, 2014


Today I'm excited to be participating in two of my favorite link-ups!  Sometimes it takes an extra push to really use your clothes creatively, which is why I look forward to some of these blogging challenges.

Heidi from Literate and Stylish and Marissa from The Modern Austen are hosting their yearly Pantone-inspired fall color challenge.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pantone, they are the ultimate authority in color.  They declare a color of the year as well as the seasonal "it" colors.  Heidi and Marissa have chosen to feature one of the fall 2014 colors each day this week, and today we are celebrating cypress, a dark olive color.  While olive is a really versatile neutral, I don't own much in this color.  Thank goodness I dug-out this cypress Everlane tee upon which to build my outfit!
literate &  stylish

I'm also excited to link-up with Andi of Just Another Smith and her co-host Danielle from Goodwillista for one of Andi's famous theme weeks.  This week blazers are in the spotlight.  Can you believe that I didn't used to like blazers?!?  I am now convinced it was because I was choosing the wrong fits and fabrics for my shape.  This is the blazer that changed my mind!  The fit is feminine and the fabric is oh so comfy...not stiff at all!

This entire outfit was inspired by the cypress t-shirt and the blazer.  At first I wasn't sure about such a boring, neutral outfit (not that neutrals have to be boring).  Then I discovered that this jeweled necklace pulled-out all of the right colors in the ensemble!

You may notice that these are not my typical type of blog photos.  I took advantage of a trip to LOFT and used their humongous mirrors for an impromptu photo shoot.  The sales girl probably wondered why it was taking me so long to try on the clothes!  Check back next week to find-out what inspired this fun afternoon shopping trip!

What I'm Wearing:
T-Shirt: Everlane (exact)
Necklace: LOFT (similar, similar)
Blazer: Anthropologie (similar, similar)
Pants: Gap (similar, similar)
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Nov 16, 2014

October Budget

Whoa!  How did it get to be November 16th already?!  I have to admit, I'm ready for the holiday season.  Bring-on the Thanksgiving feast, Christmas carols and time spent with loved ones.  I can't wait!  But before we get there, I still have to tell you about my October budget purchases!

I have to admit to having already blown my quarterly budget and we haven't even made it to December yet.  It doesn't feel good to tell you this, but I want to be transparent about what I have to work with in my wardrobe.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have taken on some extra responsibilities at work lately.  The extra work also comes with some extra money.  With my first larger paycheck, I allowed myself a little splurge.  After this, though, I'm using the extra money for responsible tasks like saving.  You know you are a grown-up when you are more excited about saving than spending.  Hello, adulthood!

On to my October purchases:

1.  Cognac Purse: Original Price- $49.99 Price Spent- $37.09
I have been in the market for a "use for everything" cognac bag for several months now and found the perfect one at the Nine West Outlet.  You can see the purse in this post.
2.  Skinny Cognac Belt: Price Spent- $15.85
I went to Anthropologie to return a dress and "accidentally" found myself in the sale section.  I don't feel too terribly, though, because I got this belt for a great price!
3.  Wide Belt: Original Price- $58.00 Price Spent- $29.95
I purchased this belt during the same Anthropologie trip to replace my beloved wide cognac belt that finally fell completely apart.  While I will miss my trusty friend, I'm excited about the quality of this new belt!
4.  Pink Cardigan: Original Price- $26.94 Price Spent- $17.59
I saw this cardigan on Danielle and immediately fell in love with the blush pink color.  If I had a signature color, this would be it!
5.  Striped Tee: Original Price- $19.94 Price Spent- $13.39
See my above comment about blush pink.
6.  Buffalo Plaid Shirt: Original Price- $54.95 Price Spent- $32.97
I have been loving buffalo plaid shirts on other bloggers lately so I decided to try one for myself.  I really liked the muted tones of this one.  I think it will make for pretty winter layering.
7.  Black Wedge Booties: Original Price- $104.15 Price Spent- $74.15
This exact pair of booties is what I've had in mind to purchase all fall.  I looked around and couldn't find a pair that fit the image in my head any better.  This is a bit more than I would prefer to spend on a pair of shoes but I'm hoping that the quality makes them a smart purchase.

Total Spent October- $220.99
Total Spent this Quarter- $220.99 (Total Saved $108.84)
Total Remaining- $29

As you can see, I bought several wardrobe basics.  It feels like I spent a lot of money this month but I think I will get a lot of wear out of these staples.  Tune back in at the end of this month to see how I overspent my budget.  Haha.

As usual, linking-up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers.
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Nov 14, 2014

Blogging Besties: Plaid Skirt

Happy Friday, loves!  When Alex wore this amazing DIY plaid skirt last week, I just about died.

Okay, okay.  That might be a slight exaggeration.  But I was super excited because I own the skirt that she modeled her homemade little number after!  I nailed this "take one, pass it on!"

As of yesterday, the holiday season has begun, in my opinion!  I don't know about you, but this girl rocked-out to Christmas music all the way to school and all the way back for two straight days now!  I'm even writing this post while burning my beloved Winter Candy Apple candle from Bath and Body Works and drinking hot chocolate.  It's the most wonderful time of the year, y'all!

That being said, I refrained from creating the Christmas spectacular ensemble that could be made with this skirt (my initial outfit involved red tights and a red shirt, I'm not kidding).  I toned down the holiday explosion by working with the blue tones in the skirt...but you better believe that the red tights and reindeer tee are just waiting to be paired with this plaid beauty!

This weeks outfit: white lace tee + blue scarf + plaid skirt + blue sparkly flats.  I can't wait to see which of these pieces you and Alex pass on next week.

And don't forget to link-up with your version of Alex's ensemble from last week!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: LOFT (similar, similar)
Scarf: Gap Outlet (similar, similar)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Shoes: France (similar, similar)

Previous Editions of Blogging Besties:

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