Apr 29, 2016

Fashion Illustration Winner

Happy Friday, lovelies!  To kick-off the weekend, I'm super excited to announce the winner of a custom fashion sketch created by the beautiful and talented Kristine Steiner!

Gucci Look

Congratulations Alison!  I know that you are going to love your sketch!  E-mail me for the details!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogging Besties: Midi Skirt

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ Undergraduate Style and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Maricel was bright and sunny in her spring pastels:

The prompts she gave me were "a midi skirt, yellow, comfy shoes, or a splurge item."
The timing was perfect as I am currently pulling my summer items out of storage, including this coral skirt. The shortest part hits me just below the knee and the longer portions make it a true midi skirt.
I paired my asymmetrical skirt with a floral blouse, pearls, and nude sandals.


Whitney's prompts are: asymmetrical hem, pearls, coral, floral, or a rhyming outfit ( :lol: ).
Floral Top: Dressbarn (Similar)
Skirt: Walmart (SIMILAR)
Sandals: BAretraps via Marshalls (EXACT)
Bracelet: Hand-me-down (SIMILAR)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Apr 27, 2016

Style Perspectives: Plaid

I'm so excited to be participating in Style Perspectives with The Blended Blog for the second week in a row!  This week I'm joining the fifteen lovely ladies of TBB to show you how we wear our plaid!

I actually found this prompt to be a bit of a challenge because I usually consider plaid to be a colder-weather staple.  Not that it's been super warm around here lately, but I've been opting for pieces that feel more like spring.

That being said, I think the plaid look that I created is totally seasonally appropriate!  What do you think?  I went with this particular buffalo plaid shirt because the colors are the softest and felt the most spring-like to me.

And I was totally inspired by the lovely Shea Lennon when creating this outfit to wear my plaid shirt open over a shirt with another print.  Thanks for the idea, Shea!

What I'm Wearing:
Buffalo Plaid: Gap (similar, similar)
Striped Tunic: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

How are you wearing your plaid this spring?  Us ladies over at The Blended Blog want to know so please join our link-up below!  And join us next week with looks that consist of leggings and a scarf!

Apr 25, 2016

Blazer Love

Earlier this spring I made a goal to wear my blazers more.  I noted that I have plenty of blazers that I really like just hanging in my closet, but I hardly wear them.  I've set about to change that!

I've worn a couple of my blazers since making this goal but am finally documenting an outfit here on my blog!  It helps that Bri's Third Thursday Threads prompt this month is "Blazers!"

Of the blazers currently hanging in my closet, this is one of my oldest.  A few years ago, a friend of mine had a very similar blazer and I absolutely loved it.  It took me almost a year to find my very own but I finally tracked one down!  Once I had it, though, I had trouble styling it.  Do you have any tips for styling a navy and white striped blazer?

What I'm Wearing:
Blazer: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Blouse: Banana Republic Outlet (similar, similar)
Necklace: Rocks Box (get your first month free with code whitneybff3)
Pants: Gap (similar, similar)
Shoes: Born (exact)

Now it's time for the Lovely à la Mode Link-Up!  And with mixed feelings, Carrie and I would like to announce that this will be the last of our Monday link-ups.  Both of us are increasingly involved in link-ups through The Blended Blog and want to make sure that your energies are being devoted to quality not quantity.  TBB hosts link-ups every Wednesday so we hope to see you there instead of here!  But link-up with us one last time below.

Apr 22, 2016

Blogging Besties :: a Spring Cardigan

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!
Last week, Alex ramped up her layering mojo by doing that oft-envied accessorizing trick: belting a cardi. And she left me with an almost improbable challenge.


Because this week is brought to you by: “a belted cardigan/jacket/outerwear, coordinated leather pieces, a tortoiseshell accessory, or a spring cardigan". And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: the spring cardigan.

  Image (32)

What's so improbable about a spring cardigan, you say? Well, nothing. It was just the rest of the components that threw me for a loop. I don't really belt since my short-waistedness prevents that option from being attractive, and the other bits don't easily lend themselves to outfit creation in my current aesthetic. So, huzzah for the spring cardigan! Because they had both spring and cardigans back in the day, right? And by pairing this sunny yellow number with a coordinating silk button down and midi skirt, not to mention my latest uber comfy footwear from Hotter (yes, I splurged and bought these Donnas), I'm compliant with both the Blogging Besties mandate and my own 1940s style niche.

Image (30)

Unfortunately, I don't have anything more pithy or clever to say about this ensemble. (I find that when the weather starts to warm, the clothing becomes simpler. And the simpler the clothing, the less I have to comment on.) But we can talk a bit about my new 'do? Did I Photoshop it properly? Can y'all tell that I went from blondish/caramel highlights to red?! I was feeling tired and washed out with my old color. When you don't pay the money for regular upkeep, even the best treatment takes on a brassy, cheap hue when the color fades, which is what happened to me. Now, I dunno about you, but I believe bad hair starts you on that slippery slope that leads to bad makeup then bad nails, and finally, bad outfits. And I was having none of that! So I took advantage of Spring Break to spend a good four hours with my stylist, and voilà! I feel like a new gal. And a sassy redhead at that. Who knows - this could be the gateway color to my being a true ginger someday. For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: a midi skirt, yellow, comfy shoes, or a splurge item. Vive le vendredi!  
:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Top – Diane von Furstenberg via eBay Cardi – Merona @ Target Skirt – American Eagle via Poshmark Heels - Donna @ Hotter
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Stuck by Caro Emerald

Apr 20, 2016

How to Style a Graphic Tee with the Blended Blog

You guys, I have some really exciting news this morning!  I have been invited to be a contributor to The Blended Blog!  TBB is a collaboration between fifteen (now sixteen!) lovely women.  Each writes her own unique fashion or lifestyle blog and also creates content for The Blended Blog. I haven't worked with them for long but I have already found them to be a warm and encouraging group of women who have a lot of interesting things to say!

The ladies of TBB are in the middle of a personal style challenge called Style Perspectives, so today I'm jumping right in!  Each Wednesday, all of us will feature an outfit that follows weekly prompts that you can find below.

This week, the ladies of The Blended Blog are styling our favorite graphic tees!  Since I just joined this collaboration, I didn't have time to take new outfit photos.  Instead, I've compiled several of my favorite graphic tee looks as well as some of my favorite tips for styling them!

I've mentioned it before, but graphic tees are one of my favorite ways to express my personality through my clothing!  I love supporting my favorite restaurants, showing my state of Michigan pride, cheering for my favorite sports teams and showing my Frenchie-ness through my graphic tees!

As I teacher, I also find myself wearing shirts to support my school rather frequently as well as in a work setting.  I think this is where I started getting a bit creative in how I style my graphic tees.

Here are my top three tips for wearing graphic tees so that you aren't just wearing jeans and a t-shirt:

1.  Graphic Tee + Skirt

This is definitely my favorite way to style a graphic tee!  Instead of pulling on a pair of jeans, just throw on a skirt instead!  I've found that tucking the tee into the skirt looks best because it defines your waist.  And in terms of choosing a skirt, almost anything will work!  I've matched a color in the tee to the skirt, I've chosen a bold contrasting-colored skirt and I've even gone with patterns!

2.  Graphic Tee + Dress

The key to this look is to wear the graphic tee over your dress to create a t-shirt and skirt look!  I find that this works best with more fitted tees and dresses that have a-line skirts.

3.  Graphic Tee + Over Layer

If you really are just a jeans and tee kind of a girl, that's alright!  You can spice up your outfit just a little bit by adding a layer over your tee.  This works with patterned tops (plaid, gingham, etc.), chambray shirts, cardigans or blazers!  Here are a couple of other over layer looks for your inspiration.


And now let's talk a little bit more about the Style Perspectives series!  You can find the schedule below and we hope that you will play along and link-up your looks every Wednesday!

Here is how the ladies of The Blended Blog styled their jeans, tees, cardis and statement necklaces from last week!

DAILY STYLE FINDS: The Personal Stylist
FOXY’S DOMESTIC SIDE: The Crafty Engineer
SIMPLY SHAUNACEY: Reformed Frumpy Mommy
TWO TEENS AND THEIR MAMA: Stylish Midlife Mama
RSQUARED: The Not So Nerdy Accountant
SHOES TO SHIRAZ: The Shoe Hoarding French Teacher
PUPPIES AND PRETTIES: Cube Dwelling Fashionista
MAKING THE MOST OF EVERYDAY Classic Yet Current Over Forty
NICKANDNIK: Mama with Curves
LIVING ON CLOUD NINE: Blissful Fashionista
WHITNEY À LA MODE: A book-loving French Teacher

Apr 18, 2016

Rose Quartz April + Link-Up

Happy Monday, friends!  Before I launch into my post for today, don't forget that you have an opportunity to win a super cool, custom fashion sketch by my good high school friend, Kristine!  Enter the giveaway here and take a look at a few of her pieces (including a sketch she made of me).  A custom illustration would make for a fun gift or personal gallery wall piece!

I am back today with the fourth installment of my series about how to wear Rose Quartz (Pantone's color of the year) all year long!  For a quick review, in January I suggested a pretty top with Rose Quartz detailing for a simple look.  I used this pretty pink hue to create a romantic and feminine outfit in February.  And in March I paired Rose Quartz with pops of bright colors for a fun spring look!

This month, I'm actually wearing rose in the stone!  I received these dangly Kendra Scott earrings in my most recent Rocks Box and knew that they would be perfect for this month's RQ feature!  So for April, I challenge you to wear Rose Quartz jewelry!

I wore this outfit for a fun day out!  I went to brunch and saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 with my parents.  The first film is one of my all-time favorites so it was so fun to revisit all of the characters in the second movie.  I think it is so cool that all of the actors from the first one were on board for the second project.  What a fun group of people!  After the movie, I spent the afternoon and evening with one of my best friends.  I swear we laughed the entire time.  Have you ever eaten such a terrible meal at a restaurant that you had to leave and go to another restaurant for a second try at dinner?  We did and we had the best time cracking-up about it!

I really wanted it to be spring-like for my day of fun but alas, there was snow on the ground.  As usual lately, I went with light and bright colors so that I could at least channel the more cheerful weather!

But let's get back to those earrings for a minute!  I don't usually wear dangly earrings because I don't feel like they are very "me."  But one of the joys of Rocks Box is that you can borrow jewelry you wouldn't usually purchase, wear it for a little while and then send it back!  If you are interested in trying Rocks Box, use my code, whitneybff3, to receive a free month!  I've been using this service for about two years and I couldn't speak more highly of it!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: Gap (similar, similar)
Earrings: Kendra Scott (exact)
Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

Now it's time for the Lovely à la Mode Link-Up!

Apr 15, 2016

Blogging Besties: Matching Necklace and Shoes

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Whitney looked adorable and rain-ready in her spring outfit! She had a matching necklace and shoes, which I chose to pass on! I matched my tortoise shell necklace, which I matched to my cognac boots (and cognac belt to boot!)

Tank: LOFT (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)
Boots: Target (exact)
Necklace: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilar)

For next week, I challenge Maricel to pass on a belted cardigan/jacket/outerwear, coordinated leather pieces, a tortoiseshell accessory, or a spring cardigan! 

Apr 13, 2016

Fashion Illustrations with Kristine + A Giveaway

Figure 1        Gucci Girls        J.Crew FW16

Good morning, lovelies!  I'm so excited for today's post because I'm collaborating with a talented, wonderful friend of mine from high school!

Technically, Kristine and I went to school together since second grade.  We always had mutual friends but truly became buddies during middle school and high school.  Some of my favorite memories with her involve board games with our friend Justine, seeing some of her clothing designs on the runway in Detroit, and our unique fifth-year French experience (but you'll read more about that later).

Kristine has always been a talented artist (I remember watching her doodle during class) with a passion for the fashion industry.  Recently she's really found her niche in fashion illustration!  Today I get to share with you some of her super cool illustrations (like the ones above) as well as a little interview with Kristine.  We are also hosting a fun giveaway and Kristine is offering a special discount for Whitney à la mode readers.  Keep reading for the details!

Apr 11, 2016

Diner Cool + Link-Up

You guys, this is my 400th post!  Whoa!  It sure has been a fun journey so far.  Here's to the next 400!  Anyways...

I always admire personal style bloggers who seem to find the coolest backgrounds for outfit photos!  I'm lucky to live in an apartment complex with old brick buildings that make for pretty backdrops, but I'm always excited when I find a new location for pictures!

I (re)found a fun photo shoot spot during Spring Break last week!  I spent the week with my boyfriend in St Joseph, Michigan (my hometown) and had been craving a milkshake for several days.    I remembered a restaurant called Roxy's that I haven't been to since I was in high school!  Roxy's is a 50s style diner with delicious burgers, fries, and of course, milkshakes!  We had such a fun afternoon date and we got to take some really fun pictures!

A colorful and comfy graphic sweatshirt, my stretchiest skinny jeans and a pair of Converse made for a fun getup...perfect for an afternoon at a diner.  And by the way, I can't stop, won't stop with this new jacket of mine!  I'm finding that the bright, spring color adds the perfect pop to so many outfits!

And yes, I finally got that milkshake!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweatshirt: Washington D.C. Boutique (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Jacket: Gap (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

And now it's time for that weekly Lovely à la Mode Link-up!

Apr 8, 2016

Blogging Besties: Heather Grey

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Selah wore this outfit when we met in real life during my recent trip to North Carolina.  I love that she wore an Eiffel Tower shirt just for me!  From this outfit, she gave me the following prompts: heather grey, pattern mixing, resurgent trend, and waffle knit!

I really tried to think of a resurgent trend to work with but ended up opting for heather grey (and I incorporated the stripes)!

I've only worn this tunic over skinny jeans in the past but I like how it worked tucked into my favorite skirt.  Plus, I usually wear black and white stripes with this skirt so I like how the heather grey created a softer look!

A colorful necklace and matching flats really pulled this outfit together!  I've been loving bright colors lately as I'm trying to channel spring!

Alright Alex, here are your choices for next week: spring outerwear, matching necklace and shoes, or a tunic not as a tunic!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Necklace: Gift (similar, similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Flats: Hand-Me-Downs (similar, similar)
Jacket: Gap (exact)

Apr 6, 2016

Currently: April 2016

making: plans for a fun collaboration later this month.  I have a super-talented friend from high school and I can't wait to tell you more about her fashion illustrations!  There might even be a giveaway involved...stay tuned!

wishlisting: a sleeveless or short-sleeved chambray dress like this one from Shopbop.  If you've seen any cute ones lately, let me know!

cleaning: everything!  There's something about the spring sun streaming through the windows to help you notice all of the dust that's accumulated during the winter months.  I haven't mentioned it here before, but I've been using and loving Essential Oils since January.  I've made my own homemade cleaner from water, Thieves, and Purification oils and it smells divine!  Let me know if you would be interested in posts about how I use my Essential Oils.

posting: all the colors!  I'm so ready to emerge from the winter slump that I've been feeling that I have been dressing colorfully to try to convince Mother Nature to warm things up a bit.  You'll see this outfit later this week!

tasting: Greek Gyro Salads from Lou and Harry's.  I've been loving the flavorful lamb combined with a fresh greek salad lately.  It's a good thing that I can take a quick walk across the street to pick one up!  Although maybe I should try to create my own via this recipe.

As usual, linking-up with Anne and Jenna.

Apr 4, 2016

Spring Dress Wishlist + Link-Up

Good morning, y'all!  (I don't know where that "y'all" came from...perhaps my recent trip to North Carolina?)  In any case, I hope that you are having a wonderful Monday morning!  It is officially Spring Break in my neck of the woods so I'm enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee with my cat, Izzo.  If only all Monday mornings were this pleasant!

My post today is a bit different from my usual outfit posts because I need your help choosing a new spring dress!  I have two special events to attend this month.  I will be going to a "Heels and Hats" Tea Party hosted by my local Junior League and then at the very end of the month I will be attending my niece, Eloise's, baptism.

Special occasions call for a new pretty dress, right?!  I've set aside a portion of my quarterly budget to go towards a new frock and here are the choices from which to choose!

Please leave a comment below letting me know which I should purchase!  Tune-in later this month to see which I've chosen!

1. Moonlit Garden Dress
2. Dolly Dress in Green Paisley
3. Feeling All Bright Dress
4. Dolly Dress in Caligraphy Graduated Tile
5. Eyelet Poplin Shirtdress

And now it's time for that weekly link-up!

Apr 1, 2016

Blogging Besties: Stripes

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ Undergraduate Style and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Maricel looked fabulous in her retro nautical look:
The prompts she gave me were "stripes, nautical, navy blue, sensible shoes, or a dog" (she had a canine photobomber in one pic).

I knew that I wanted to wear whatever I chose to my meet up with Whitney, and I really wanted to wear this graphic tee, because I know Whitney likes it. How to make an Eiffel Tower graphic tee challenge compliant? Layers! It didn't hurt that we had a sudden cold snap that necessitated long sleeves. ;)

I dug up an old styling trick from 10-15 years ago for this look - layering a tee over a fitted long sleeve top. Apparently, this look is trending again. Who knew?


Whitney and I had a wonderful time chatting about blogging, books, teaching, and life in general. Obviously, she has already seen this outfit, but I haven't told her the prompts yet. They are: heather grey, pattern mixing (which is completely different from pattern matching), resurgent trend, and waffle knit.
Graphic tee: Old Navy (Similar)
Striped top: Old navy (similar)
Skinny Jeans: signature by levi strauss via walmart (exact)
faux chucks: target (exact)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties