My Fall/Winter Uniform

Even though I’m not a fan of the falling temperatures, one thing I do love about the fall/winter season is being able to wear endless amounts of plaid, stripes, quilted vests and boots! My daily uniform for this time of the year is some sort of sweater or long sleeved t-shirt paired with a printed quilted vest, some booties and a big oversize plaid scarf. I may not enjoy the cold weather, but I do like being cozy and these essentials help to make sure I’m comfy and warm all day long. Plus, it’s such an easy outfit to put together that it makes getting ready in the morning such a breeze.

Photo Dec 12, 12 55 30 PM

One thing that I especially love about this daily uniform of mine is how adding a scarf adds a pop of color to this outfit. I’m a huge fan of wearing black and white because you can pair any color with it for a pop of color. And, red is one of my favorites to add to this otherwise plain outfit. I love this using this oversized blanket scarf from Marley Lilly as an accessory to the stripes and polka dots in this ensemble. It’s fun to tie around your neck, or if you’re like me and get cold very easily, you can swap this out and throw it over your shoulders for some added warmth. And, an added bonus is the monogram on it!

Photo Dec 12, 12 55 50 PMAnd, what would an outfit be without some jewelry? I have some basics that I wear everyday but I loved adding this monogrammed cuff as a another accent color to my outfit. I love me some monograms and this bracelet is the perfect thing to complete this outfit!

Vest: Kohl’s – sold out (similar)

Shirt: Target

Booties: Kohl’s

Jeans: The Limited

Special thanks to Marley Lilly for partnering with me for this post.

 

How To Pattern Mix Your Wardrobe

One of the biggest fashion dilemmas I think working women face is how to look stylish and wear the latest trends while still looking work appropriate. You don’t always need a new piece in your wardrobe to look and feel great when going to the office. A big trend right now is pattern mixing and it’s easy to mix and match items in your closet to give your work outfit a fresh look. Here are a few tips on how to make the pattern mixing trend work for you and the office.

  • Stick to the basics

When pairing patterns together, I like to stick to a few basics. Stripes, polka dots, leopard and floral are my favorite ones to work with. Here’s a look that is nautical inspired and perfect for the summer. The blazer gives you a polished look but the polka dots and stripes add a bit of fun to this outfit.

Look 1

Look 1-Stick to the Basics

  1. Polka Dot Blazer 
  2. Blue Striped Shirt
  3. Blue Pants 
  4. Pearl Necklace 
  5. Gold Flats 

 

  • Choose a color theme

The key to looking put together with pattern mixing is to balance it out with a neutral color on the top or bottom. I love this look because the floral top adds some color to a neutral outfit. If you want to accessorize with a look that has pattern mixing, stick to a simple piece that accents a color in your outfit.

Look 2

Look 2-Color Theme

 

  1. Striped Blazer
  2. Floral Shirt
  3. Black Pants 
  4. Black Pants 
  5. Pink Pendant Necklace

 

 

  • Balance it out with a Neutral

With this look I wanted to celebrate the weather finally being warm out. I paired this sheer blouse with a pair of striped pants. Since the pants have a mostly neutral color, it was easy to pair the floral top with it. Sheer blouses are great to wear in the spring and summer because of their lightweight material and you can easily roll the sleeves up.

Look 3

Look 3-Balance with a Neutral

  1. Floral Blouse
  2. Striped Pants 
  3. Pink Tieks 
  • Don’t be afraid!

Try out different options by mixing and matching what’s in your closet. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

 

 

 

 

Sparkle and Shine

Happy hump day! I hope the first half of the week has been off to a good start for all of you because it’s only downhill from here until the weekend! I’m really looking forward to this weekend not only because it’s Valentine’s Day, but also because the hubs and I have some fun things planned for the holiday :)

Today I just wanted to share with you all one of the newest items in my Etsy shop. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how I opened my shop and was working on fun wine glasses. Well, now I’ve expanded my product line a little and am offering graphic t-shirts. This has been a 6 month project that my husband and I have been working on and I’m so excited to see my little idea come to life!

Sparkle and Shine T-shirt

Now, you’re probably wondering, Sparkle and Shine? What does that mean? This is a fun phrase that my mom has told me ever since I was little. While I was growing up I competed in a lot of different competitions from pageants to baton twirling to dance. Sparkle and shine was always a phrase that my mom told me for good luck before I went out to compete. Although I’m a grown adult now, my mom and I still say it to each other.

Sparkle and Shine T-shirt

Wearing graphic t-shirts has always been one of my favorite go-to outfits. I love that you can be comfy and casual in a fun graphic t-shirt with some jeans and converse sneakers or you can dress it up with your favorite heels, a blazer and statement necklace. I thought it was only appropriate to add my favorite saying to a shirt so that I could sport it around whenever I wanted to.

Sparkle and Shine T-shirt

I’m working on some other t-shirt designs that I’ll be releasing shortly so keep checking back in my shop to see my new designs. If you want a specific shirt made, let me know because I’m more than happy to do custom designs as well.

Pattern Mixing :: Stripes and Leopard

I’ve become a firm believer that when it comes to fashion there are no rules anymore. The whole don’t wear white after Labor Day rule? GONE. Don’t mix and match black and white? DONEZO. I think that when it comes to fashion, anything goes these days, including mixing patterns.

Pattern mixing is one of my FAVORITE things to do lately. I’m like many other girls in the world when I look into my closet every morning and say I have NOTHING to wear. So untrue. With all of the different patterns and colors in my closet, there’s a world of possibilities for outfits.

One of my top go to patterns to mix is stripes and leopard. Over the past few years leopard to me has become a neutral and you can wear it with anything. Since it’s winter time, layering has been my go-to outfit these days to make sure I stay warm with these cold Midwest days. In this outfit I took a simple striped sweater and layered a thin leopard blouse underneath.

There’s so many possibilities when it comes to pattern mixing :: plaid with leopard, polka dots with stripes, solids with gingham. What’s your favorite way to pattern mix?

 

Pattern Mixing :: Stripes and Leopard

Pattern Mixing :: Stripes and Leopard

Pattern Mixing :: Stripes and Leopard

Pattern Mixing :: Stripes and Leopard

Pattern Mixing :: Stripes and Leopard

Sweater :: Ann Taylor – old (similar, similar, similar)

Blouse :: Target – old (similar)

Necklace :: Mindy Mae’s Market

Jeans :: Express

Bracelet :: Pandora

Watch :: Kate Spade 

Boots :: Kohl’s

What to Wear to Pure Barre

About a month ago, I signed up for 6 weeks of unlimited classes at my local Pure Barre studio. I’ve heard so much about this fitness phenomenon from my friends who live in big cities, so I was really anxious to give this a try because I love to try new fitness classes, I wasted no time signing up for a 6 weeks of unlimited classes. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE going to class! Being in a classroom atmosphere with the mirrors and barres, it reminds me of my days in the dance studio not only as a student but when I was a dance teacher in college too. It makes me feel like I’m home again!

If you haven’t heard of Pure Barre, it’s a low-impact, full-body, dance/pilates fusion class. You do small, isometric movements until your muscles reach fatigue and follow up each muscle group that you’re working on with a stretch. The result is long, lean muscles similar to that of a ballerina.

 What to Wear to Pure Barre

The mantra of the 55-minute Pure Barre class is to “lift, tone and burn.” You’ll notice while you’re fatiguing your muscles that you’ll start to shake. While it’s an odd feeling, it’s a good sign because it let you know you are really working your muscles.

Once I started taking classes, the fashionista in me decided I needed some new workout clothes. The majority of my workout clothes are running shorts and tank tops. Since there would be a lot of stretching in class, I figured I didn’t want everybody looking at my goodies so I needed to stock up on some basics. Here have been my personal favorites to wear the past few weeks during class.

What to wear to Pure Barre

  • Yoga Pants Capris or Yoga/Running Tights

Like I said, the majority of class you’ll be lifting legs and doing pulsating movements while also stretching. I personally like to wear capris because tights and pants make me a bit too hot. Your pants should be on the fitted side to help you see the movements you are making. But, make sure they aren’t too tight, as you’ll want to be comfortable during the 55-minute class.

What to wear to Pure Barre

 My Favorites ::

Old Navy Compression Capris :: Comfortable and stretchy, this is a great and affordable option to have. They come in multiple colors and prints as well as a tights option in case you want your legs fully covered.

Lululemon Wonder Unders :: I know, they’re pricey but so worth it! I’ve had these for years and they hold up well and are really comfortable to wear not only for working out but as loungewear too)

Athleta Chatarunga Capri :: I have become OBSESSED with these. They fit the same as the pants listed above, but best of all is this print! I love black and white stripes and it’s fun to pair bright colored tops with these. It helps to make you stand out in a sea dark colors!

  • Tank Tops

I’ve worn both fitted and loose fitting tank tops and both have worked well for me, it just depends on your preference. One quality that’s important to have in a work out top is for it to be moisture wicking. While you’re working up a sweat, you don’t want to feel wet the entire time. And with any type of workout, I recommend wearing a sports bra or making sure your ta-tas aren’t bouncing around.

What to wear to Pure Barre

My Favorites ::

Lululemon Power Y Tank :: I love these tanks because they’re form fitting but are also comfortable enough that when you move around, they don’t ride up on you. These come in a variety of colors and prints. An added bonus-it has a built in bra.

Athleta Chi Mesh Tank :: These tanks are nice to wear on days you just don’t want something totally form fitting. The mesh helps it stay breathable which means you stay less sweaty. And while it’s loose fitting, it’s not baggy and still has a feminine shape to it so you don’t feel frumpy wearing it.

C9 by Champion Racerback Seamless Sports Bra :: Target has the BEST sports bras. Not only are they affordable and moisture wicking, but they hold up to the wear and tear of me working out 6 days a week.

  • Grippy Socks

Pure Barre is done on a carpeted floor so grippy socks are must. Many of my classmates purchase the $12 pair available in the studio, but I have seen other yoga socks available at sporting good stores and on Etsy.

What to wear to Pure Barre

My Favorite ::

Pure Barre Sticky Sock :: Available in multiple colors, they help you get a good grip while doing the moves throughout class.

  • Long Sleeve T-Shirt or Quarter Zip Pullover

While you will work up a sweat during class, it’s nice to have a lightweight pullover on before class starts especially on these cold, winter mornings. You can wear it before class starts and during warm up to make sure you don’t get too cold.

What to wear to Pure Barre

My favorites ::

C9 by Champion Long Sleeve Seamless T-Shirt :: These are light weight enough that you won’t get too hot too quickly.

C9 by Champion Pullover Zip :: I’ve had these for a few years now and I LOVE them! They’re lightweight but also are thick enough to keep you warm. I also love to wear mine during runs outside when it’s still chilly outside in the spring and fall.

  • Water Bottle, Towel, and Headband

A water bottle is an absolute necessity to have with any type of workout to make sure you stay hydrated. I also like to wear a headband during class to keep hair out of my face and I like to bring a towel to wipe off any sweat beads that form.

 Disclaimer :: A few affiliate links are included above and, as always, I sincerely appreciate your support!

QUESTION // Have you ever done a barre or Pure Barre class? What other fitness classes have you tried that you liked?

Rue La La :: Handbag 411

I have always been a girl on the go. As a kid I was constantly going from school to practices to games and that lifestyle hasn’t changed now that I’m an adult. These days my schedule involves work, meetings and dinners after work then traveling on the weekend with my husband. With such a hectic lifestyle, I really need a purse that can adapt to any situation.

When I was in high school I adored purses so much that I actually matched my handbag to my outfit each day. While I had a closet full of different colored purses, my taste has changed a little bit since my teenager days. These days I opt for a purse that is classic and timeless, goes with any casual or dressy outfit and is large enough to hold the endless amount of things I carry with me.

Rue La La :: Handbag 411

I always opt for either a tote or satchel type of bag. My current handbag is the Tory Burch Robinson Tote. I got it last year for Christmas and I haven’t switched to another handbag since. I love a good leather bag because I know it will be able to stand the wear and tear I put on it. Another quality I like in my handbag is that it’s in a neutral color. Black is my go to color and when you have a neutral handbag it goes with any outfit you put on. The last, and most important, thing a handbag needs for me is to have multiple compartments. I’m pretty much like a modern day Mary Poppins when I pull items out of my purse. Having different areas that I can organized my necessities into helps keep my large bag a bit less like a bottomless pit.

So what does a girl on the go carry in her purse? Well, anything and everything but the kitchen sink! Since I’m the kind of girl that likes to be prepared for emergencies, I carry with me what I consider to be “the essentials” even if I don’t put a lot of these items to use very often.

Handbag Essentials

Handbag Essentials

Handbag Essentials

Handbag Essentials

  • The “just in case” kit :: The essentials I carry with me in case there’s a mini emergency. I often carry multiple different lip colors, you know in case my mood changes throughout the day. I also can’t live without a nail file, Vaseline, hair ties, Advil, Tums, Oil blotting papers, lotion and some cough drop. Oh, and don’t forget my sparkly mirror compact that I use to make sure I don’t have salad stuck in my teeth after lunch. Other essentials include lotion for my dry, winter chapped hands, Kleenex, hairbrush and my work id. (I am such a sucker for a cute makeup bag. I love the Orla Kiely line at Target!)
  • Sunnies and glasses :: I love nothing better than putting on my sunglasses on a bright day. And my glasses go with my anywhere since I can’t see very far without them.
  • Winter gear :: Since it’s cold in the Midwest, I always carry a pair of ear muffs with me because you never know when the temperature may drop to below zero.
  • Mints + Hand sanitizer :: Aren’t these items just a given in every girls’ purse?
  • Business Cards :: Because you never know when you’ll need to hand one out.
  • Pens :: Not one, but 3 pens. You’re bound to use this more than you know. Guilty confession..I always have a hotel pen in my purse too. Ever see that Friends episode where Ross takes all of the freebies from the hotel room? Yep, that’s me. I have quite the collection of hotel pens from around the world.
  • Wallet :: My hot pink Kate Spade wallet makes me smile every time I take it out. I love having it in a bright color because I never have a problem finding it. And all of those pesky store reward cards and gift cards? They’re stored in my small card case just in the instance I don’t want to carry them with me, they’re easy to pull out and leave at home.

Handbag Essentials

I also carry with my my iPhone wherever I go and my iPad comes with me most places because I never know when I might want to pull out a magazine or book to read.

See what I mean about carrying everything in my purse? If you’re in the market for a new handbag, check out Rue La La’s handbag guide. They have the 411 on what type of bag is perfect for you.

 

QUESTION // What essentials do you carry in your handbag?

The Perfect Christmas Outfit

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only a week away! I feel like we all anxiously await this time of the year and it always goes by so quickly. Does anyone else get depressed after the holidays? For some reason I think the days between Christmas and New Years are just sad days because the magic of Christmas is over and we have to wait a whole year for it to be here again.

Around this time of the year, I love to wear gold and plaid and I’ve incorporated both into what has become one of my favorite holiday casual looks to wear! If you couldn’t tell by my blog design, I love gold polka dots. The shiny, metallic makes things seem a bit more chic and luxe. And well polka dots are just adorable on anything!

And plaid is just the thing to wear during the holidays. There’s something so festive about green, white and red together in any form! Although today’s look is casual, there’s a variety of holiday events you can wear it to..out doing last minute Christmas shopping, gift exchange with your girlfriends or while you’re traveling to see your family.

Christmas Outfit :: Plaid and Gold

 Christmas Outfit :: Plaid and Gold

  Christmas Outfit :: Plaid and Gold

Sweater :: Kohl’s last year (similar, similar)

Vest :: Land’s End (similar)

Necklace :: Shoplately

Jeans :: Express

Boots :: Kohl’s

Purse :: Tory Burch

A New Frame Of Mind

When I was a kid, I always wanted a pair of glasses. I remember when a classmate would show up to school in their new frames, I’d get jealous wishing that I could be wear glasses. Since I attended private school growing up and had to wear a uniform everyday through 8th grade, I thought that kids who had glasses had a little bit of extra pizazz added to our plaid skirt ensembles. Clearly, I had a thing for fashion accessories early on!

My time did come to get glasses once I was a sophomore in college and now I need them on a daily basis at the office so I can see my computer and get work done. I always look forward to getting a new pair of classes to help jazz up my everyday look. I think glasses are a great way that we can show off our personality and individuality. The one problem I always encounter when shopping for new frames is that I pick the most expensive glasses ever. While I want to look fashion forward with my spectacles, I realize that it’s probably a wiser decision to go with a pair that’s a little more affordable.

However, I recently realized that being fashion forward at an affordable price is an option when it comes to eyeglasses. Meet Warpy Parker. This brand of eyeglasses aims to make eyeglasses available at an affordable price ($95 and it includes prescription lenses!). They have tons of fun, trendy frames and for every pair of glasses sold, one pair is donated to someone in need. While we don’t have a store here in the Midwest, one great feature of this brand is they offer a Home Try-On Service. Pick out 5 of your favorite frames and they’ll ship them to you for FREE! You have 5 days to take them for a test spin and once you pick your new favorite, order them online.

Recently they reached out to me to preview their new Concentric Collection. Featuring new styles and colors in both eyeglasses and sunglasses, these newest frames are all about complement and contrast, with a little bit of luxury and a subtle dash of color. I don’t know about you, but if glasses can make me feel a little bit more luxurious when I wear them each day, then I’m all for it!

Here’s a closer look at some of the new Concentric Collection paired with some of my favorite looks to give you a better idea on how I would style each of these new frames.

Benchley

Oak Barrel with Flint

Warby Parker - Concentric Collection

 

I love that these glasses have a tortoise shell color to them. Normally I lean towards frames like these that are in the neutral color family because I think they’re a nice complement to my hair color. These frames would go great with one of my go-to winter outfits which features stripes and leopard print.

DSC_5348_2

 

Murphy

Crystal with Hazelnut

 

Warby Parker - Concentric Collection

When I laid my eyes on these, I immediately started to swoon over them! I love the clear frames with the hazelnut accent color. I’ve never seen anything like these before and I think these would look great on almost anyone. This pair would look great with my go-to fall uniform. Since I have a lot going on with this outfit, having a pair of classes that are more simple and chic would pair well with this look.

Fall Fashion :: Stripes and Plaid

 

Everly

Whistler Grey with Fjord Blue

Warby Parker - Concentric Collection

Since I have always stuck to brown neutrals when shopping for eyeglasses, I thought this pair was really interesting in this gray textured color. It’s still a neutral but it stands out from the sea of brown and black frames. Since it has a blue-ish tint to it, this pair would look great with a chambray top.

Fall Fashion :: Black and Chambray

Murphy

Cognac Tortoise with Vulcante
Warby Parker - Concentric Collection

 

Another new style from the Murphy frame is this pair of sunglasses. I think having a good pair of sunglasses is a great piece to have in your collection. Just like with my eyeglasses, I like to stay neutral for my sunglasses so it doesn’t clash with my outfit. This pair would look great with a sweat and a quilted vest, making it a great option to wear while you’re out and about doing errands or shopping.

Winter Fashion :: Polka Dots and Plaid

The new Concentric Collection is available both in-store and online today with pairs starting at $145.

QUESTION // Do you wear glasses? What color frames do you normally wear?

 

Gift Guide Personalized Gifts

One thing I can never get enough of, is anything with a monogram on it. I’m not sure what it is but I can never resist ordering something when it has an adorable cursive monogram stamp. I know that I have one too many pullover sweatshirt and water bottles with ARE printed on them, but I can’t help myself!

Recently Marley Lilly sent me a beautiful scarf as part of being in their Blogger Review Program. I’ve been a HUGE fan of this company for awhile. Not only do I have a number of monogrammed items from their website but I love browsing all of their new arrivals. They always have the cutest things from clothing to jewelry to home decor that can have a monogram added to it.

Marley Lilly Monogrammed Scarf

When I opened up this package I was so excited to see this scarf. Since I live in the Midwest, I’m always in need of winter accessories to keep me warm. This scarf is so soft and feels almost like cashmere. I love that it’s in a dark gray color because it can go with a lot of things, including my red pea coat that I wear almost everyday. The other great thing about this scarf is that it’s not too bulky that it only has to be worn outside. You could easily pair this scarf with a sweater and wear it as part of your outfit too.

Marley Lilly Monogrammed Scarf

 

Marley Lilly Monogrammed Scarf

Marley Lilly Monogrammed Scarf

I think this scarf, as well as anything monogrammed, would make the absolute perfect gift. Having a monogram on an item just shows that you’ve gone a little above and beyond to make something ordinary a little extra special for that person. I wish I could order EVERYTHING on the Marley Lilly website, but instead I’ll keep lusting over some of my favorite items below. Any of these would make a great holiday gift for your mom, sister or bestie in your life! Gift Guide Personalized Gifts

Glass Bead Bracelet :: $35
This bracelet looks so luxe and beautiful. It comes in a variety of different colored rhinestones and is the perfect accent piece to any outfit.
Monogrammed Ballet Flats :: $34.99
Ballet flats are pretty much the only shoes I ever wear. I love how the monogram on these dresses them up a little bit and makes them a little bit more personal than the normal shoe.
Glass Cutting Board :: $49.99

Cashmere Feel Scarf :: $22.99
There are so many options on how to personalize this scarf. Lots of different colors and prints to choose from..it’s hard to make a decision on which one to get!
16 Oz. Tumbler :: $16.99
I always have a water bottle or tumbler with me. These are great to have because it keeps your beverage hot or cold and it doesn’t sweat and get everything wet!
Monogrammed Baseball Hat :: $24.99
These baseball hats are great not only for a bad hair day but also for those hot summer days that you spend by the pool.
Monogrammed Sunshine Satchel Duffel Bag :: $94.99
I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag! As a frequent traveler, this bag would make a great carry-on bag or as a weekender duffle.
Teardrop Stone Bracelet :: $29.99
Anything that has rhinestones on it makes me happy and this bracelet is no different! It’s small and dainty but the rhinestone adds some sparkle and shine to your outfit.
Luxe Cross Body Bag :: $36.99
These clutches come in a TON of different colors so you’re sure to find one that matches your next night out on the town outfit.
Monogrammed Pullover Sweatshirt :: $49.99
Since I don’t like to look like a total bum on days I’m not in the mood to get dressed, reaching for a monogrammed pullover is the best option. I have these in multiple colors and they’re so soft and cozy that I can’t get enough of them!
Disclaimer :: This post is sponsored by Marley Lilly as a part of their Blogger Review Program.. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Fall Fashion :: Chambray and Black with a Pop of Pink

Last week I shared my essentials for your Black Friday outfit and wanted to show you another look that would be great for hitting up the sales starting tomorrow night. I’ll be honest when I say that I struggled for awhile to catch onto the chambray shirt trend. It wasn’t until late winter last year that I started to embrace a denim shirt and start to wear it. One way that I love to wear this shirt is to pair it with black jeans. I love a good skinny pant and the dark pants help to offset the top.

To add some color to this outfit, I paired it with a small statement necklace and for shopping, instead of carrying a crossbody purse, I’m taking my handy Tory Burch wristlet. I love using this little wallet, especially when I travel because it has just enough room for a few credit cards, some cash and has a place to hold my phone.

Fall Fashion :: Black and Chambray

Fall Fashion :: Black and Chambray

Fall Fashion :: Black and Chambray

Fall Fashion :: Black and Chambray

 

Top :: Loft

Pants :: Loft

Shoes :: Tory Burch

Necklace :: Charming Charlie

Wristlet ::  Tory Burch