Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cheers to Summer Vacations!

Hello and happy 4th of July week! I’ve already made it to my vacation destination for the week (Petoskey, MI) but if you’re still in vacation prep mode and needing some inspiration to get you through the chore of packing I thought I would pass along a few quick tips to help.

Make a List – I know this seems obvious but it’s the first place I start so I thought I would include it. Basically, I make a list of every item I need to pack broken down into categories like toiletries, outerwear, tops, bottoms, etc. It helps me plan my outfits ahead of time so I don’t over pack and it also helps me to think through any items I might need for special activities we could be doing while on vacation (biking, going to the beach, going out to dinner, etc.). To make this process really quick and simple I’ve saved two packing lists on my computer – one for summer and one for winter – that I can pull up each time I need to pack and then I just tweak them as needed. As I pull things out to pack I then cross items off the list to make sure I don’t forget anything.

Pick a Color Combo – I don’t do this every time I go on vacation but when planning my outfits it can be helpful to pick a color theme and stick with it for the trip. Doing this allows me to pack just a few accessories that will go with everything and then my individual clothing items can mix and match interchangeably as well as the mood strikes.

For our 4th of July vacation this year I went with a navy and white theme. It's one of my favorite summer color combos and looks so great with the backdrop of a lake and sandy beach.

For our 4th of July vacation this year I went with a navy and white theme. It’s one of my favorite summer color combos and looks so great with the backdrop of a lake and sandy beach.

Edit – Once I’m organized and in full-on packing mode I always give my suitcase a final edit to be sure I’m really bringing only the items I’ll really use. For me, this is always the hardest part because I have a tendency to want to pack extra things just in case. But I really do make an effort to pare things down wherever possible.

One thing that did not get edited in my packing was a few bottles of bubbly that I picked up at a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe's. One of my favorite summer things is a crisp glass of sparkling wine and it's definitely something I'll be enjoying this vacation - preferably with good friends overlooking some fantastic scenery.

One thing that did not get edited in my packing was a few bottles of bubbly that I picked up at a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s. One of my favorite summer things is a crisp glass of sparkling wine and it’s definitely something I’ll be enjoying this vacation – preferably with good friends overlooking some fantastic scenery.

So that’s it. Some simple tips to keep you organized so you can get through packing quickly and get to your vacation destination with less fuss and stress. Happy packing and here’s to summer vacations!

Advertisements

Red, White and Blue…

Hello, All! Can you believe that the 4th of July is right around the corner? This is one of my favorite holidays and to me it always means that summer is officially in full swing. Besides the barbecues, fireworks, and other festivities, I always love the fun you can have with fashion around this time of year. If you’re looking for some last minute outfit inspiration for next week, check out some fun options below. Happy 4th!   

C Wonder - Striped Knit Drawstring Dress/$68

C Wonder – Striped Knit Drawstring Dress/$68

<
Old Navy - LIve Free Tank/$14

Old Navy – LIve Free Tank/$14


ASOS - Spot Tie Front Swimsuit/$42

ASOS – Spot Tie Front Swimsuit/$42


Mark and Graham - Striped Zip Jute Pouch/$35-$45

Mark and Graham – Striped Zip Jute Pouch/$35-$45


Target - Eyelet Shorts/$18

Target – Eyelet Shorts/$18

I Heart Fall

This graphic heart sweater from J.Crew has been a favorite of mine this fall. Looking for some similar? Check out a few options below.

Okay, so yes, I realize that it’s almost Thanksgiving and that fall is pretty much in the rearview mirror now, but I so wanted to get a great post up about fall fashion this year and it just didn’t happen. Between selling our house, moving to a temporary apartment, trying to get settled, and searching for a new home, my thoughts on fashion this fall just never made it into writing. Boo!

Ah well…. In any case, before we officially move on to winter and the holiday season I thought I would at least post something fun from this fall – – and put a plug in for fun graphic sweaters in the process. As you can see from the photo above, my family and I did manage to make it out to a pumpkin patch and cider mill one afternoon this fall and of course I had to wear something fun and festive for the occasion – – enter in J. Crew’s super cute heart sweater. I actually found this one at the J. Crew Factory store earlier this fall and I believe it was on sale for about $45. It’s been a great addition to my closet and has helped to up the fun factor in a few different outfits. You can go casual like I am in the photo with boyfriend jeans and a vest or jean jacket, but I’ve also loved incorporating this sweater into more dressy looks as well. I think if you work in a creative or less formal environment you can definitely make it office appropriate. I’ve paired it with a black button-down shirt, my black Minnie pants from J.Crew, and a pair of heels or cute flats and it’s worked really well to give a more traditional outfit a fun twist.

Unfortunately, this particular sweater is now sold out at J.Crew but I see they have a few new graphic sweaters that might fit the bill if this look is catching your eye. If you love the heart idea, then check out their new Heartbreaker sweater ($98) that is dotted with lots of smaller hearts instead of one big one (I like the version in dusk/navy). Or, if you’re feeling the graphic thing but just don’t want to look too cute-sy, try the Abstract Diamond sweater ($98). I really like this and can see wearing it for some fun winter activities – sledding, skating, or maybe just curled up with some hot chocolate? For some reason it seems sporty to me, not sure why, but it’s a great break from the norm and certainly catches the eye. For one last option – and admittedly, my favorite – the Giant Bow sweater is super cute and a fantastic option if you’re looking for something to carry you through the upcoming holidays. This sweater would be so perfect with a pair of velvet pants and heels for holiday parties and get-togethers. I love it in mist/black but the burgundy/black version could be just as striking as well.

So what are your thoughts on graphic sweaters? Love them? Leave them? Or any fall trends you were loving this year that you’ll be wearing into winter? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway, that’s it from my end for now. I hope everyone had a fantastic fall and is ready for the holiday season. I know I’m ready for fun party outfits, good food and great friends! 🙂

My Holiday Home

I've had so much fun decorating my home for the holidays that I wanted to share the fun in a special post. Happy Holidays!

Hello, All! I hope your holiday shopping is coming along well and that my post from last week has given you some inspiration for finding the perfect gift for the family and friends on your list this year. My shopping actually took a back seat as I scrambled around last week to ready myself for a holiday open house that my husband and I hosted at our house this past Saturday. As I was planning for the party, and in need of some inspiration myself, I began searching some blogs on home decor for fun and inexpensive holiday decorating ideas. And inspiration I found! I know we’re focused on fashion over here, but those home decor bloggers have it down! And what a connected bunch they are too! I had a great time exploring their sites and peeking into their homes and DIY projects. I found some fantastic ideas for my decor and even my menu (check out this fun Santa Hat Brownie Bite recipe – I made a revised version with pre-made brownie bites and store-bought frosting and my guests loved them!) and all of the research definitely put me in a festive mood. So festive that I thought I would share my holiday house with you all. Now, I know this isn’t really fashion-related, but it’s the holidays and I’m figuring if you’re into fashion you probably also have at least a bit of interest (or a lot of interest) in decorating as well. I’m linking this post up to the official Christmas Home Tour that is being hosted over at The Inspired Room, a blog on all things home design and decor.  If you’re interested in checking out more holiday homes, please visit the site and check out the homes of the other participants. I am quite sure that my home will pale in comparison to those of the savvy decor experts’, but I love the holidays and am excited to share some little Christmas-y touches around my house. So come on in, take a look and enjoy the festivities!

Welcome! I agonized a great deal over what sort of wreath to hang on my door this year – usually I buy one made of real greens – but I decided to go with one that I could reuse again in the coming years. In the end, I found this one at Joann Fabrics and Craft Store and I added in a few red embellishment pieces to make it more Christmas-y. After the holidays I’ll pull those out and leave just the silver and gold for the rest of the winter season.

Once I settled on a wreath I could finally turn my attention to the focal point of my holiday decorating – the Christmas tree. Last year I went with a silver and gold theme but this year I really wanted to bring back traditional red and green. So I wound red plaid ribbon (found at Target) around the tree and then used red and green Christmas bulbs throughout. To add in some sparkle I dotted the tree with glittery-gold reindeer ornaments that I found at The Dollar Tree last year (2 for $1). All in all, I think the tree came together really nicely and I’ve been enjoying it since we put it up. (Note: My almost-two-year-old son has been enjoying it too and so far we’ve lost two bulbs and one reindeer leg, but fingers crossed, I’m hoping the novelty has worn off now and we’ll make it through the rest of the season without mishap…)

We don’t have a fireplace so the oversized mirror in our front room is home to our hand-knit stockings. This year I also decided to make it the landing place for all of the holiday cards we receive as well – notice the nice collection I’ve started along the bottom of the mirror.

Finally, although I don’t have plans for dinner guests I pulled out my fine china and reindeer napkin holders to create a fun red, green and ivory tablescape on the dining table.  Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Holidays!

Sarah’s Finds…A Fun Collection for Home, Wardrobe and More

"Sarah's Finds" from Sarah Richardson (of HGTV) offer great ideas on everything from home decor to fashion.

Hello, All! I wanted to dash off a quick post to pass along a fun link that I just came across while searching out info on one of my favorite HGTV personalities, Sarah Richardson. If you’ve been following my blog you know that I wrote a post about Richardson last fall regarding how I love not only her home design/decorating style, but also her fashion sensibility. She always looks so great with such cute clothes that fit really well and I love how she uses a lot of color in her wardrobe. So the other day I was checking out her web site for info on her latest shows and I saw that she’s got a section on her site called, “Sarah’s Finds.” It’s a collection of regularly updated items that Sarah likes including a variety of home decor, fashion and beauty/bath products. I thought it could be a fun source to check from time to time since I love her fashion and design styles so much. I thought others may want to check this out as well so I wanted to pass along the link. Enjoy!

White After Labor Day?

Does the old rule of no white after Labor Day still apply? I think not. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Photostock)

So, another summer has come and gone, Labor Day weekend is in the rearview mirror, and the kids in my area are officially now back to school. Fall has really begun. I’ve already read the September issues of my favorite fashion magazines (always the most exciting issues of the year!) and with the chill in the air I’m feeling today it seems that fall fashion must now be in full swing as well. Along with the passing of Labor Day and this transition to fall though comes the age old question, “Do we really need to banish our wardrobes of all white now?”  When I was a kid it seemed that yes would definitely be the answer to that question. You would pull out the white articles of clothing you had right after Memorial Day and then store them away again as soon as Labor Day had passed. No question. But over the last decade or so, as designer fashion has become more mainstream and accessible to the masses through online shopping and discount retailers like Target partnering with some of the fashion industry’s most well-known designers, I think society as a whole has become more daring with their wardrobes. I think people are much more open to venturing beyond the basics and tried-and-true. Heck, just look at J. Crew and how the style there has changed over the years. When I was in high school I shopped J. Crew (through their catalog because I lived in a small town worlds away from an actual J. Crew store, and no, there was no Internet back then) for wool rollneck sweaters and something called a “barn coat” if I recall correctly. J. Crew was about conservative basics – khakis, cords, and cardigans. But today if you visit J.Crew in store or online you’ll see a lot more.  The real key here though is that it’s not just about the individual items, it’s how they’re styled and pulled together.  Traditional fashion “rules” don’t apply. I think a lot of these so-called “rules” are going out the window today – just like the “no wearing white after Labor Day” rule.  Style is all about expressing your best self and your personality through the clothing that you’re wearing and how you’re wearing it. If you think that white is an amazing color on you and you’ve got items in your closet that you think show off your figure in the best way possible then who cares what time of year it is, you can make those items work for you any time.  I for one have a pair of white jeans that will definitely be seeing more wear time in the coming months even though summer is over.  It was way too hot to get them out this summer but I love how they fit and how they can make other items in my wardrobe really shine. So I’ll be wearing those jeans more as the temps continue to drop and you can believe that I will definitely NOT be worried about whether or not it is appropriate to be wearing them. For those of you who want to read up on this topic a bit more, check out this article on Yahoo’s Shine section. And if you want to see some actual examples of how white can work after the summer, see these great photos from Lucky Magazine. Have some more ideas on white? Send me your thoughts, I would love to hear them!

New Year's Resolutions

My new sewing machine - the Project Runway edition!

So, another Christmas has come and gone and a new year is about to begin. A new year which means new beginnings and new resolutions.  And as I look forward to what a new year will bring, I’ve got some resolutions of my own for 2011. I won’t bore you with all of them, but in regards to fashion and style my new year’s resolution is to learn to knit and to sew. That’s right, I’ve decided to tap into my inner craftiness (although I’m not quite sure if this part of me really exists…but we’ll find out) and I’m going to try to make myself a few articles of clothing.  I think I’m drawn to these activities because the last few years of my life have been so crazed with completing an MBA and becoming a new mom, I’ve just had little to no time to pursue any activities that aren’t absolutely necessary to my life (like eating and sleeping…ha!). Pre-graduate school and baby I have always loved taking part in lots of different activities – from tap dance classes to creative writing seminars to golf lessons – and I’ve always loved trying new things. Now as a new year starts, although I’m still busy figuring out how to be a mom and to raise my infant son (and at some point incorporate my career back into the mix), I’m excited to try my hand at these crafts.

So to kick things off I’ve decided that my first goals will be to knit an infinity scarf and to sew a tunic I can wear in the summer. And I’m already on my way because for Christmas I received knitting needles, two skeins of yarn, and a brand new sewing machine (the Project Runway edition by Brother no less!). So I’m off…sort of. Now I just need to learn to knit and sew! This should definitely be interesting as I go along, but I’m bound and determined to wear something that I made myself this year so if determination has anything to do with my success, then hopefully I’ve got a shot. In any case, as I journey through this adventure, I’ll be sure to post updates on my progress here on my blog. And by all means, if anyone has any tips or encouraging words for me, send them my way, I’d love to have them.  And for those of you with resolutions of your own for 2011, share them here if you want and we’ll cheer you on. With that, here’s to a happy new year! See you all in 2011!

Designer Style

Sarah Richardson on HGTV's "Sarah's House"

Ever since I became a homeowner a few years ago, HGTV has become one of my favorite channels to watch. Whether it’s a show about hunting for vacation homes in the Caribbean (a girl can dream!), sprucing up a home that needs to be sold, or re-designing an existing space to better match the owner’s style and needs, I love the programming because I get so many ideas for my own home. But recently I stumbled upon a show that I love not only for the home design but also for the host’s own fashionable wardrobe. Sarah’s House on HGTV is hosted by Sarah Richardson, a Canadian designer and owner of the Sarah Richardson Design firm who has carved a niche for herself in the popular arena of design TV programming. She has been wildly successful in Canada and her HGTV shows are now airing in the U.S. Her show, Sarah’s House, follows her through the design process as she purchases an existing home and then updates it with remodeling and new decor. I love her sense of style and the results of the homes I’ve seen her complete so far are fabulous. But in addition to the homes, the show is fun to watch because her fashionable wardrobe is just so darn cute! She always looks so hip and put together, even when stomping around through sawdust and plaster. Trendy fitted blazers and stylish jeans seem to be a favorite of hers, but she also sports super cute printed tops and funky jewelry as well. And for the expectant mommas out there who need inspiration, in some of her episodes Sarah is pregnant and even her maternity clothes are sharp and on trend. All in all, the shows are just plain fun to watch if you’re into home design, and the cute wardrobe is the cherry on top. Sarah’s House airs on HGTV at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturdays. Enjoy!

About this blog…

No, this isn’t a blog about my fourth grade crush. This is a blog devoted to something else I’m passionate about – fashion and style – and of course shopping! Over the years I’ve spent countless hours scouring fashion magazines and the Web for style ideas and the latest trends. While my own personal style tends to remain fairly classic, I love keeping up on what’s hot at the moment. Throughout it all, I’m particularly keen on finding items and pieces that offer a great value. I love fashion but it has to fit within my budget, and since I’m no Ivanka Trump that means seeking out deals and carefully editing my purchases. This blog is meant to be a forum for anyone with similar interests. Each week I’ll write about news and trends, as well as the deals and bargains to be had out there – because let’s face it, everyone loves a deal. Please be sure to chime in with your own thoughts and ideas. This space is all about fun conversation around a topic we all can love. So with that said, let the fashion and style conversation begin!