Friday, July 14, 2017

Be Fabulous Always

Seven years ago tomorrow I started this blog. Since then I've written more than 1,850 posts on everything from button down shirts to pom pom bracelets. More than two million people have read this little website. When I started, I was living in a studio apartment, working a 5am shift, and on the hunt for a dog. Today I am married, I have health insurance, I have Norman, a husband, and I'm on the hunt for a home. So much has changed, but this blog has stayed my creative outlet and consistent place to channel my love of writing and fashion.

Staring this blog was originally a place to find trends under $100. But as I've grown up, I've learned more about myself and what this world demands. When I think about growing into a personal style, I often grapple with the dichotomy between collecting classic pieces versus the trying the trends. We are taught to invest in classics, but also test the adventurous trends. This philosophy is also how I think about life. It's ingrained in our brains to be timeless, approachable, to smile, and at the same time be fearless, challenge the norms, and try anything once.

I don't know about you, but it can get exhausting. My daily  hourly struggle is balancing the perfect outfit, resume, presentation, dinner recipe, and weight while also challenging my salary level, leaning in, figuring out if I want to have a kid, maintaining a vibrant social life, and trying to figure out how to enjoy kale. That's a lot of work. How do you navigate that sort of pressure?

Classics are forever and whether it's a string of pearls or standing up for something you believe in, save up for it and it will be worth it. As for the adventures? Sure statement earrings aren't exactly moving in with someone you love, but no matter what the leap is, you've got to try it, and when you try it, you'd better work it.

Fashion and life overlap for me in many ways because I have been taught to dress for the job I want, never wear sweatpants on a plane, and always iron your blouse. The classics are expected, but often forgotten. A focus on personal style can seem materialistic to some, but to me, it is a portrayal of your personality to the world. What you put on in the morning is how you want to present yourself - how you feel, and how you would like to be treated. That is a big deal.

Personal style doesn't come from a magazine, blog, or anyone else, it's called personal style because it's you. When I defined this blog's tagline I meant every word. Shoulders back, walk with a purpose, and smile. And on the days that you don't think you've got it together, follow the same instructions. Seriously. Fake it. You'll start to believe yourself and the rest will follow.

This blog has had some pretty fantastic posts, if I do say so myself. You've learned a bit about me, you've met my sister, and perhaps my favorite - the All In posts . Oh, and not to be left out: Friday Foodday!

It's time to end this blog. I know, I know. I've been thinking about this post for forever and there is no magical way to summarize seven years of skirts, shoes, and suede. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I so appreciate your love, support, and your readership.

There's no majestic philosophical statement I'm going to make that is going to be good enough to end this blog.

 So, I'm going to leave you with this: be fabulous today.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Take it to Another Level

Summer is dress season and I love that. So many colors, patterns, and styles to choose from and one look I'm especially loving is the tiered skirt. This detail give a dress a little extra something. It's sculptural without adding bulk.

This dress is stunning. A crochet knit, illusion neckline, tiered in a crisp white hue.

A simple babydoll shape that would look great for a BBQ and add a jean jacket for evening.

Beautiful pastel stripes with a barely thee neckline and straps. Perfect for a hot summer night.

Saks Off Fifth, Cynthia Steffe Lace Tiered Dress, $69
Got a wedding this summer? I've got your dress.

Add tiers to make a statement. Mix it with lace, crochet, strips, or a print to really have some fun. 

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Startling Statement

I love a statement necklace but so often they are full of jewels and baubles that can dominate an outfit. So let's look at some eye-catching statement necklaces that don't rely on the usual chunky baubles but still make an entrance.

See what I mean? Pow.

Something totally different. Earthy feel to it but still dressy.

A beautiful mix of nautical colors with a layered look.

This piece has a regal look to it. I love the mix of materials with this powerful red.

Sure a blingy statement necklace is always a go to piece in my closet, but try to mix it up with something powerful that is also unexpected.

Be fabulous today!

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tool for a Mule

Mules have been trending all year long, we've looked at stacked heel versions, tassels, you name it. Today let's bring it down to ground level. The ultra comfortable and so chic flat closed toe mules. It's easy and versatile as a slip on shoe for summer and fall.

40% off right now and I'm just in love with this twist on a classic penny loafer.

Something a little more resort wear is just what you need for summer.

Sneaker version! Size up half a size because of the lip in the back.

This is what we call a statement shoe. And it's 50% off right now.

There is something so 'cool girl' about a mule. Not trying too hard but still making a statement.

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Boiling Bows

Its hard to look cute when its this hot outside. I get it. That's why I love the feminine sleeveless blouse. But let's dress it up a bit. Add a big ol' bow to that mix and you've got an eye catching look.

Hello monochrome class. What a stunner. Also comes in the reverse white and black.

A lovely peachy red that really pops with a tan and a white skirt. 

A classic staple that you will wear that crap out of. Add a blazer, you're covered through fall.

A great scallop print that you can style for work or play.

Did I mention these blouses are all under $50? Yeah. A easy piece to add to your closet this summer.

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs!

Here are my favorite recipes this week.

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade
c/o The Kitchn
Ingredients
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 cups lemonade
1 1/2 cups white rum
Ice


Directions
Muddle the strawberries in a pitcher. Stir in the lemonade and white rum. Serve in ice-filled glasses.











Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry
c/o A Taste of Home Cooking
Ingredients
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 12-oz package udon noodles
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound pork loin chops, sliced thin
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrots
1 8oz bag snow or snap peas
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Directions
In a two cup measuring cup, whisk together the cornstarch, chile garlic sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and chicken broth.

Cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry the pork, ginger and garlic until almost cooked through. Remove the pork from the wok and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and carrots. Stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes, until the veggies start to soften.

Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables, bring to a boil and cook for a minute more. Add the pork and snow or snap peas. Cook for another minute, then add the udon noodles and sesame oil. Toss to coat the noodles evenly with the sauce. Serve.


White Chocolate Brownies
c/o Shugary Sweets
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 package (12 oz) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles, optional

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine butter and white chocolate chips. Heat for one minute on high. Stir until well blended (it's okay if there are a few bits of white chocolate).
  3. Add in sugar, flour, eggs, and salt. Stir just until combined (do not over stir).
  4. Pour into prepared baking dish. Add sprinkles on top if desired. Bake for 30-34 minutes, top will be lightly browned. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. These are great refrigerated too!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Knot Mad

One of my favorite things about women's fashion is that it's always improving on itself. Flares become culottes, platforms become stacked heels, you get the idea. And just when you get bored with one style, a new one pops up. I love a pencil skirt but, let's be honest, it can get tired. So when I found the knot skirt, I knew I found my new love.

Bloomingdale's, Lush Tie Front Mini Skirt, $32
See what I mean? So adorable.

Nordstrom Rack, Socialite Side Knot Bodycon Skirt, $22
A going out skirt with flare. Dang girl.

Lord & Taylor, Kensie Love Poetry Knot Skirt, $29
As if it could get more interesting, a high low situation for the win!

Something super soft and casual. Love this side knot.

These skirts have personality without being loud. Great color and pattern options to make you smile!

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Growin Up Gingham

So Fourth of July has come and gone, which means we are in the thick of summer. You know what print just slaps you across the face with summer? Gingham. It's eye catching. It makes for a sweet all over dress print or a preppy piece to mix and match.

A very grown up gingham. Great for a lunch meeting or a dressy brunch with the in laws.

Simple pedal pushers that are easy to dress up or down.

JCrew Factory, Gingham Skirt, $19
Can't beat the price! Love the elastic waist and wait for it...pockets!

Weekend wear acquired.

Sure I love a good polka dot, and a stripe is always nice, but why not gingham for summer? 

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, July 3, 2017

All In: Fireworks

Happy All In Day! I've got your Fourth of July look all in for under $100!




Be fabulous today!

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Foodday

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Here are some festive recipes for you.

American Sidecar
Ingredients
2 oz. bourbon 
1 oz. Triple Sec 
3/4 oz. lemon juice
Blue Curacao

Directions
In a shaker filled with ice, combine ingredients and shake. Strain into a sugar rimmed coupe and add a Blue Curacao float. 



Jalapeno Popper Hot Dog
Ingredients
4 All Beef Hot Dogs
4 High Quality Stadium Buns
4 Tbsp butter, for toasting hot dogs
6 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
12 Frozen Jalapeno Poppers, prepared according to package directions
Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crunched up
4 Fresh JalapeƱos
Directions
Prepare jalapeno poppers according to package directions. When slightly cooled, sliced into large chunks.
While the poppers are baking or frying, prepare hot dogs on a preheated grill, that has been reduced to medium-low. Grill until cooked through. While the hotdogs are grilling, on the other side of the grill, roast the fresh jalapenos until blistered on the outside and slightly soft. Remove from grill to rest.
During the last few minutes of the grilling process, butter the hot dog buns, and toast on the grill until golden brown.
To assemble::
Spread cream cheese over the toasted buns. Place the hot dogs into the buns. Top hot dog with chopped up jalapeno poppers. Top with crunched up jalapeno kettle chips.
If desired, slice up fresh roasted jalapenos for an added kick. Remove as many seeds as possible to reduce the heat.
Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle
c/o Skinnytaste
Ingredients
  • 10 oz angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced
  • 2 pints blueberries
For the cream filling: 
  • 6 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk (I used Borden Eagle)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 (4 oz) package white chocolate or cheesecake instant pudding mix 
  • 12 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed 
Directions
Whisk the condensed milk and water in a bowl. Whisk in the pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set; fold in the whipped topping.
Arrange half of the cake in the bottom of a 14-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Spread half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread (I piped it using a plastic bag and cut the corner off). Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries, then add more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a pretty pattern. Cover and refrigerate at least one 1 hour.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Holiday Hat

Headed on vacation this Fourth of July weekend? If so, you're going to need a fantastic straw floppy hat. I've got you covered. These casual to fancy toppers will keep you cool and go with any outfit.

The brim has great shape to it and the simple flower tassels are just enough detail.

Something a little more bohemian that is perfect for the sand.

Ted Baker, Two Tone Straw Hat, $47
Something a little more fancy? This beauty will work.

Express, Pom Straw Hat, $34
You know I love a pom pom. This hat is tropical and so much fun.

Whether you are headed to the beach, the lake, or a festival, these hats will look stylish and be functional. Oh and they're also all under $50.

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Needlepoint

Remember when embroidered shorts would bring up a slew of critter cotton shorts from JCrew? Those were the days. I'd like to think we've matured a little bit from those (don't get me wrong though, I still rock mine). But for a casual alfresco dinner, let's try something a little more mature.

Can't beat this price. I also like the pin tuck pleats at the waist.

Anthropologie, Pathway Embroidered Shorts, $39
Embroidery from Anthro for under $40. Don't wait on these shorts.

Topshop, Dotty Shorts, $65
Hands down my favorite of this bunch. I love the mix of colors and patterns.

Now these are something special. A lovely landscape of colorful flowers with a matching belt.

Spice up your shorts with something beautiful embroidery. These soft shorts will go great with a simple tee or dress it up with a cutaway back blouse.

Be fabulous today!

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