Semi-Annuals Are Here!

Ahh, this time of the year is like Christmas for some of us…the sales are THE BEST that they’re ever going to be and if you’re a savvy shopper you can score some major deals. A lot of brands are advertising sales at this particular time of the month but take a closer look at their actual sales. The stores that are giving an extra % off are where you are going to make out like a bandit. Right now LOFT is taking an extra 40% off their sale items, Saks is in the middle of their consolidation sale and Anthropologie just added 300 “fresh cuts” to their sale racks.

I think a great way to stay within budget during this time of sale frenzy is to really be on the lookout for specific pieces that you need for your wardrobe – pieces that are classic and will last into next fall/winter. It’s pointless to purchase a trendy, faddish item at a great price and never end up wearing it. Sales can be luring, wooing you to buy, but try to stay focused on the task at hand – classic pieces at a killer price.

2013 Trend Alert – Which is Right for You?

Happy New Year! This is always an exciting time for stylists as it screams new and fresh on the fashion front. What is everyone wearing for spring? What are the hot colors? What textures and fabrics are top of the list? It can be a bit daunting to try and navigate your way through the newest trends and then have to figure out which you can actually pull off – so…..to help out a bit we have collected some top trends for 2013 and some pretty fun ways to incorporate them into your everyday wardrobe. Lets trend it!

1. Metallics

I think metallics are such a great way to dress up any outfit, but this spring they are stealing the scene in casual wear, check out these sneakers from Asos shoes that will add some bling to any outfit:

If this isn’t really your “speed”, try adding a metallic as another accessory to your outfit – like a cool Michael Kors clutch or some fab nail polish seen here:

                              

2. Greens

The green palette is making quite a statement this season – shades ranging from mint to emerald are being spotted everywhere. Women with darker hair look stunning in a more jeweled-toned shade, these dresses from Michael Kors, Vera Wang and Reem Acra hit the mark:

Shades of Green

For an option that is a little more affordable, here’s a sweet dress from LOFT that won’t break the bank at about $80 or accessorize with this bubble necklace from J. Crew for $70:

Sleeveless Crepe Dress    J.Crew Bubble 18-karat gold-plated resin necklace

3. Bold Stripes

Ok, these guys are EVERYWHERE and I couldn’t be happier! I absolutely adore stripes! They scream nautical, classy, timeless and effortless to me. I think this trend could be my fave for this season. If you are full-figured then stay away from horizontal stripes as they could make you appear larger – opt for diagonal or vertical stripes which are instantly slimming. If you have a boyish body type then horizontal stripes could give you the illusion on curves – so go for it! I love stripes on skirts, camis, tees, blouses and blazers. They can be equally as eye-catching on smaller accessories like scarves and bags, too, though. Here are some great options from Banana Republic to choose from:

This diagonal striped tee is only $39.50

Striped skirt $89.50

The ultimate striped trench for $198 – major!

Dont be afraid of multi-colored stripes either…this little number is from Anthropologie for $148

Lauri Dress

4. Lace

This trend can be so, so feminine and chic but can quickly cross over to racy and risqué pretty quickly. A tip for keeping it classy –  if the lace is of a sheer texture then underlay it with an appropriate cami, it will look positively Grace Kelly-ish and leave a little to the imagination!

Loving this cardigan from Banana, drooling over this lace cuff from Stella & Dot for $98 and this lace skirt from Jolie Moi for $29:

Lace front cardigan                    Beige pencil skirt

So what’s your favorite trend for the season? Which will you be sporting this spring? Remember, make the trend work for your personal style, no need to wear something  just because its “on trend” – make sure you love it and have fun with it!

Stuff My Stocking

Well, shoppers – 13 days left for you to purchase those perfect gifts for your loved ones and friends. The holidays just seem to creep up on us every single year, no? Every year in October I repeat a mantra to myself …I will be done shopping by December 1…and, uh, every year, I do not even BEGIN until December 1. Oh well, I guess as long as the shopping is done by the 25th we’ve completed a major accomplishment!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE stocking stuffers- I would rather get smaller gifts in my stocking than one big gift…I’ve always been that way! What has been your favorite stocking gift that you have given or received? If you still have a “stuffer” on your list that you need to buy for here are some of my top picks with a little help from some of my favorite sites and stores.

1. Love this Knotty Ring, $14 from http://www.shop.cheek.ie.com/

Knotty Ring

2. The Little Dictionary of Fashion Book, $19.95 from http://www.shopbop.com/

the-little-directory-of-fashion-$13

3. Kate Spade Hello IPhone Case, $40 from http://www.katespade.com/

kate-spade-iphone-case-$40

4. Precision Cutter, $6.99 from http://www.thecontainerstore.com/

5. Cabledrop Cord Clips, $9.99 for 6 from http://www.thecontainerstore.com/

6. Tipping Teacups, $20 from http://www.uncommongoods.com/

Tipping Teacup

7. Glitter Case, $22.50 from http://www.jcrew.com/ 

I.AM.IN.LOVE.WITH.THIS!!

Glitter case for iPhone 4

8. Painted Amaryllis Measuring Cups, $38.00 from http://www.anthropologie.com/

Painted Amaryllis Measuring Cups

Oh, the possibilities are endless when talking of stocking stuffers…hope you get inspired by this little list and maybe pick up one of these for yourself! 😉

All I Want for Christmas Is…

Every year I tell my husband that I don’t need any gifts for Christmas. Every year. Then right around this time, uhm, every year, I start backtracking and throwing out little hints to him about some of the things that I NEED (aka want) this holiday season. My list seems to grow as the ultimate gift-giving day creeps closer but here are a few of my “must haves” right now.

1. Sweater Boots Socks / Legwarmers: totally obsessed with these this fall/winter! I think I will be making my own out of some old sweaters but if you’re not up for that project you can find some at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom’s and many other retailers but here are a few of my faves from Pinterest:

http://blogging2fun9785.blogspot.com/

Pinned Image

http://indulgy.com/do/from/83893443281

Pinned Image

http://www.mydailyrandomness.com/2011/11/fashion-leg-warmers-boots.html

Pinned Image

2. Ankle Boots: So many to choose from! Here are some that can be versatile for most of your wardrobe:

A fab pair from Anthropologie:

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/shoes-boots/25626169.jsp

Cableknit Booties

Nordstrom loveliness here:

http://www.stylesays.com/#!/stores/nordstrom.com/26346/?ch=h.pt.edaniels1&rf=11724

Pinned Image

And last but not least, Coach classiness:

http://copious.com/listings/coach-gabrielle-kidsuede-black-boot

Pinned Image

3. Winter Shorts: love these as you can dress them up with textured tights and trendy ankle boots or to-the-knee boots or even over-the-knee boots.

http://www.theblondesalad.com/2010/12/shorts-in-winter.html

Pinned Image

http://www.blondeepisodes.com/2011/11/we-wear-short-shortsin-winter.html

Pinned Image

4. Bangles – uhm, because a girl can never have too many of these 🙂

http://indulgy.com/post/2VybDCxVF1/tory-burch-hinged-bangles#/search/tory%20burch/page/3

Tory Burch hinged lovelies

Pinned Image

https://www.beyondtherack.com/auth/register?invite=type158&no_fb=1

Burberry Color block in Peacock

Pinned Image

http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/jewelry/hermes-set-of-3-bangles/13140//0&posCol=&posRow=&page=-1&a=1

Hermes stacked bangles

Pinned Image

Well, this is my short list – whats on yours? Do tell!

Pack It Up

I recently returned from a family vacation that was truly restful and relaxing. I really enjoy traveling – I mean, who doesn’t, right? But I mean, I really enjoy the whole process. I love the planning, scoping out the great deals, finding the restaurants and above all – I LOVE packing for the upcoming experience. Whether it’s a few days in a big city or a week at a beach there are a couple of packing rules that I try to live by. Trust me, I’ve come to embrace these rules the hard way – yes, I was that women that you wanted to murder in the airport line. I was hovered over my suitcase trying to catch runaway bras as I tried to lighten my load. Yes, the 50 lbs. luggage weight limit got me again. 50 lbs? Please, my shoes and handbags weighed in at just about that! Over the years my packing abilities have really blossomed and my focus has narrowed in scope. Here’s a little of my play-by-play before the big day:

  1. Where am I going? I think about my destination thoroughly (and research it if necessary). Canadian excursion? Beach trip? European tour? Cruise? Big city visit? After my decision is made I try to visualize myself there!
  2. When am I going? What season will it be at my destination? This will decide if I’m bringing a light sweater for the evenings or a head-to-toe down jacket to keep warm.
  3. What will I be doing? This probably takes up the majority of my thinking when planning for my trip. Packing for a hiking trip is obviously different from packing for a week at the beach.
  4. Who am I going with? Is this a work trip or a vacation with family? My wardrobe will vary accordingly
  5. How am I getting there? What type of transportation? Train, plane, car or boat? Comfort is key here.

Ok, let’s go with the family beach trip theme. Hmm, lets raise the stakes and stay at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, Hawaii for the week. Hey, this is a blog – we can stay wherever we want to! 🙂 I know that I will be at the beach (hopefully) every day of the vacation, probably with casual buffet breakfasts in the morning, poolside lunches and a few nice dinners. Ok! Ready? Now, I need to pack a fantastic wardrobe, stay under my 50 lbs. limit while still being practical with my clothing choices. Here we go:

–         Underwear, undergarments and light sleepwear

–          4 or 5 bathing suits, because I will be in them all day, every day

–          3 or 4 cover ups, same as above

–          2 casual dresses, but ones that I can dress up or down…ones that I could wear to breakfast or dinner (tons from Anthropologie that I adore)

–          1 pair of linen trousers

–          1 light sweater to pair over tops or dresses

–          1 pair of neutral shorts

–          4 or 5 tops and 1 tank, ones that will match with both my pants and shorts, my tank should work with all my tops

–          Flip flops, silver sandals, gold sandals, lightweight sneakers and 1 pair of heels

–          1 metallic handbag (I know, I know, but you can do it!)

–          A few light accessories – scarves, belts, sunnies or pins

That’s it! Now, I try to really strategize at the airport…I wear a comfortable outfit made up of some pieces that I will be wearing on vacation. I wear slip on shoes too so that the security process is quick and painless. I remember sitting down after a security check and literally spending about 10 minutes trying to get my strappy shoes back on (multiple buckles and zippers! Nightmare!) I pack on the jewelry – that is, the jewelry that I am going to wear with all my vaca-outfits. I love costume jewelry so my pieces tend to be heavy – so instead of packing them, I wear some of them. I also figure out what the heaviest things are that I’m bringing and get them into my carry-on so that my checked bags will not go over the dreaded weight limit. Jewelry case, makeup case, shoes and books usually come with me in my carry on. Well, at this point we’re practically oceanside at the Ritz! Remember, pack light, let there be a theme to your wardrobe so that your choices go with one another; then you can mix and match. Pick out some great jewelry pieces that with kick your outfits up to the next level. Above all, don’t get stressed over packing – remember, big picture, you will be relaxing with the people you love, that’s most important! See ya poolside! 🙂

Just GO with it

Ahh, one of my favorite things to do – plop down on the couch with my chocolate covered raisins from Trader Joe’s and watch the What Not To Wear marathon. Sure, I could spend this time better, but really, I look at it as an intense training session from fashion gurus, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly…so really this falls under the category of “work”. 🙂

If you’ve ever seen the show on TLC then you know that the transformation of every single individual is truly remarkable. It’s amazing how new clothes, a stylish haircut and makeup can change the person’s total attitude and outlook about themselves. They carry themselves completely different by the end of the show, such confidence, such pride – in a good way. A few small changes make the world of difference for most of the candidates. The other day I heard Stacy say something that really made sense…but is hard for me to actually do. She was telling a woman that her new outfits shouldn’t really “match”, they should look like they “go” together, though.  Now, for a person who is new to the fashion world that is quite a statement…I’m not supposed to match?? But think about it – the people who catch your eye on the street or in a store probably don’t have on a purple sweater with a purple belt along with matching purple flats. It’s too much of the same thing…and slightly obnoxious! Instead, when picking out your outfit for the day look for colors in your closet that complement one another. Here is a great color chart that can really help guide your daily picks:

The hues that are opposite each other are complimentary towards each other and look really fabulous together. Think of mixing a purple blouse with a lime piece of jewelry…or a navy blazer with a fantastic red belt. Mixing up outfits like this really shows that you are not afraid to work with color and try something new. This week try and change-up one of your “go-to” outfits with a statement piece that really makes your whole look pop.  Also, play with different textures…mix a soft blouse with a structured jacket or place an open vest over a dress and finish the look with a cute belt. Remember, your style is exactly that, YOURS! So put on what you feel looks best on you! We would love to see some pics of your best “goes-together” outfit!

Also, I think  Anthropologie, The LOFT, The Gap and Banana Republic always do a great job of showing different textures and colors in an outfit – you can get great ideas from their sites.  Have fun!

Keep that Summer Glow Going

All of us are feverishly getting ready for the upcoming holiday season. We’re shopping, decorating, cooking, baking – all this on top of our daily workload. It’s so easy to neglect our skin during this season of hustle and bustle. As I was winding down from a day of shopping this week I caught a glimpse of my face in a floor to ceiling mirror and had to do a double-take. Whoa…I said. I really need a facial. Then I looked down at my hands. They looked as though someone had dusted them with flour or chalk. Whoa…I said. I need a paraffin dip in a major way. But who has time for that right now? Not to mention the budget…
Well, if your fortunate enough to have the time AND the budget you should really go splurge at a fantastic spa in Northern New Jersey called Depasquale The Spa. They have amazing facials and skin therapies available from anywhere between $50 and $300.  Definitely an enjoyable treat for yourself or… it would make a fantastic Christmas gift from your significant other (hint, hint). However, if you don’t have the time, energy or money to sit down and actually relax until sometime in March of 2011 here’s some quick tips to keep your skin looking young, fresh and healthy during these winter months.

1. Try not to take a scalding hot shower. I know, its tough – especially when that bathroom tile floor is so miserably cold. The hot water really dries out your skin and removes the moisture from it more quickly then luke-warm water.

2. Get yourself a great exfoliator that you can use on a weekly basis. I just tried St. Ives Apricot Scrub and I LOVE it! It is not greasy and smells delicious. Totally in my price range, too – about $4-5.

3. Moisturize your skin daily. Make sure your lotion’s top ingredients have some sort of butter in there…cocoa, shea, etc. Avoid creams that have alcohol in them – this defeats the whole idea of  “moisturizing” your skin…alcohol REMOVES moisture. L’Occitane has some amazing shea butter products that are as low as $15.

4. Drink a lot of water…I mean, A LOT! Even if you think you are drinking enough, drink more. Your body needs this water in the winter months as much as it does in the warmer months. In the winter we experience much drier conditions due to a drop in humidity outdoors so we need to really keep ourselves hydrated in order for our skin to remain smooth and supple. If the thought of drinking MORE water makes you want to bury your head in your itchy, dry hands then try drinking herbal teas. Not only are you drinking water,  you can choose some that have immune boosting properties to fight those nasty germs that are lurking all around us this time of year. The Republic of Tea has a great one you can grab for about $10.

5. Purchase a bronzer – but not one that makes you look as though you were just spray-tanned orange. I love the one from bareMinerals because it does not have any harsh chemicals in it that would damage my skin. They have bronzers for $18 and $30.

Ofcourse, I could not talk about skin without showing at least one picture of an item that could cover my skin! 🙂 Here are a gorgeous pair of gloves from Anthrolopolie that you NEED to have on your wish list.

Oh, and remember – you would be surprised at how lovely smiling makes your face look…it takes away years! So go ahead, smile on!

A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day. Proverbs 15:13