Friday, December 26, 2014

Year-long Gift Guide: The Hostess

Gifts for the Hostess

Well folks, I'm a day late and a dollar short. I was a tiny bit last minute on a few gifts, and I neglected to share the rest of my gift guide. The good news? There are reasons to celebrate and give gifts all year long. So get an early start on all of those birthdays, engagements, congrats-on-the-new-job/house/baby, or even the happy-tuesdays. You may even be able to take advantage of all of the post-holiday sales and stock up for the year! Maybe I should take my own advice and do the same. But regardless of if I ever get holiday gift guides posted on time, it's likely because I am spending the holidays away from my computer, cozying up to the people I love, eating sweets and drinking wine, and celebrating the real reason for this magical time of year. I hope you were able to do the same. Merry, merry everyone. xo

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Featured // monogrammed cocktail shaker: Mark & Graham // embroidered cocktail napkins: Letter Made // leopard coasters: L'Object // wine accessories: Kate Spade // decanter: Williams-Sonoma // reindeer topiary: Sur la Table // bottle opener: Fort Standard

Year-long Gift Guide: The Work-aholic

Gifts for the Work-aholic

We all love taking time off for the holiday season...but we also all know someone who can never quite seem to put down her iPhone for fear of missing an email or text from work. These little gifts might add a little fun to your friend's daily grind. Cute coffee mugs, desk accessories, and travel items will surely brighten her day.

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Featured // coffee mug: // travel phone charger: // designer pen/stylus: Henri Bendel (because who doesn't need one of these?!) // iPad case (for the verrrrry special girl): Valentino // cosmetic case (fill this will all of the things she might need during a long day: nail file, floss, tampons, mints, tylenol, lip gloss, nail clippers -- it will definitely come in handy!): Tory Burch // desk clock: Kate Spade // paperweight: Indigo

Year-long Gift Guide: The Bride-to-Be

Gifts for the Bride-to-Be

If you are between the ages of 22 and 32, my guess is you know more than a few people who have gotten engaged this holiday season. It is such an exciting time for the newly-betrothed, and I love picking out fun engagement/wedding shower gifts for my girlfriends. There are some great options above, but if all else fails, find something with the bride-to-be's new initials. Monograms are so fun, and seeing a new letter on the end is extra exciting...I would imagine :)  

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Featured // personalized wedding planner diary: May Designs (click on notebooks, design your cover and monogram, and at the end, scroll down and select "wedding diary") // personalized iPhone case: Minnie & Emma (obsessed with this site!) // gold foil stamped note cards (they also offer gold foil coasters - perfect for engagement parties!): Minnie & Emma // "Mr. & Mrs." clutch: Kate Spade // white bangle (a very special gift for a special bride, the white is perfect for bridal showers, engagement parties, and the rehearsal dinner): Hermes // ring holder: Kate Spade // "Mr. & Mrs." champagne flutes: Juliska

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: The Dog Lover

Gifts for Dog Lovers

I am pretty type-A. I plan. I organize. I prepare...except when it comes to Christmas shopping. For some reason, every year, December 25th creeps up on me and I am spending the weekend before the holiday shopping and wrapping. No surprise that I'm in that situation again this year. Chances are that some of you are facing the same dilemma. So I have a few last-minute gift ideas to share over the next week. And hey, worst case scenario, you send a nice little "Happy 2015" package. Presents on December 25? Totally predictable. Presents on January 3rd? A nice little surprise. 

Happy shopping!

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Featured // dog leash holder: Harry Barker // dog bone ornament: Mackenzie-Childs // dog mug: Creative Index // Frenchie dish: C. Wonder // dog bookends: Home Decorators Collection // Yorkie umbrella: the San Francisco Umbrella Company // holiday gift bucket: Harry Barker

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Copy Cat

Never have I ever claimed to be a fashion expert. I spend hours pouring over other blogs and magazines, getting inspiration and figuring out ways to copy the looks I love. Sometimes in a fit of creativity, I will walk into my closet and start throwing things together completely on my own, but nine times out of ten I have gotten some inspiration from other bloggers, my sisters, friends, or people walking down the street. I enjoy sharing my take on style, trying to leave my personal touch on an outfit, hoping to provide at least a tiny bit of inspiration for others out there. There's something very cathartic about writing and posting, mixed with some fear and hesitation about putting myself out there. Regardless, this little blog has turned in to something I really enjoy, but I don't take credit for it all on my own.

I have seen a version of this outfit throughout the holiday season, namely on one of my favorite bloggers, Atlantic-Pacific. I decided to make it extra girly with a fun headband and simple clutch.

Here's to all the women who inspire you on a daily basis, and to living your life in a way that inspires others. 

Wearing // skirt: The Girl That Loves // turtleneck: old, similar here // shoes: Steve Madden // clutch: Saint Laurent, similar here // headband: J.Crew (old) 

Photography: Katie Fiedler

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Seven other very enviable holiday looks to try: 
Gal Meets Glam, Yael Steren, Convey the Moment, Sequins and Stripes, Glitterary, the College Prepster, the Golden Girl

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Because I get to enjoy a South Carolina winter this year, there are still days here and there when I don't have to completely bundle from head to toe. So I decided to play around with showing a little extra leg with this short skirt and high over-the-knee socks. Usually I am pretty fearless in what I wear...or at least what I am willing to try on. But this one made me a little uncomfortable. (However, strutting down the gorgeous backdrop of Meeting Street gives a nice little confidence boost.) Whether or not this specific getup lives to see  another day, I am definitely down trying the knee-highs with more skirts and dresses...and the easy daintiness of the J.Crew tee  made it an instant fave.

Life forces you to push your personal boundaries and take steps (sometimes large strides) outside of your comfort zone. Whether that comes in the form of simply trying a new look, or trying out a completely new city or job, take it as a learning experience and an exciting opportunity to grow. 

Wearing // tee: J.Crew (now on sale!) // skirt: old, similar here // sweater: C.Wonder (no longer available, similar here) // socks: Steve Madden, similar here // booties: Steve Madden (now on sale!) // sunglasses: Ray Ban

Photography: Katie Fiedler
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Seven other great legwear options to try:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Skirt Revisited

It was another beautiful weekend in Charleston (shocking). My sister and I decided to stay in South Carolina over Thanksgiving, so I took full advantage of the relaxing long weekend. On Sunday afternoon, I met with my new photographer BFF Katie and we spent time walking along the beautiful streets of downtown and had ourselves a little photo shoot. I am so excited to be working with her and showcasing her beautiful work! My mom and sister have definitely been good sports about snapping pics, but Katie simply does a beautiful job. If anyone in the Charleston area is looking for a photographer for blogging, family pictures, lifestyle shoots, or anything else, PLEASE check her out!

My birthday is right around the corner, and my mom gave me this beautiful leather jacket a little early. It has been perfect for cool nights in South Carolina and will definitely be a wardrobe staple. While I still love my faux leather pieces from H&M and Forever21, the make and quality of this piece is worth the investment. I love the way the edginess of the jacket contrasts with the flow of the feminine skirt. I wore this skirt to a wedding over the summer (old post here) and am so happy to be getting use out of it in cooler months as well.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, celebrating all the blessings in your life. Make an effort to strengthen that gracious and thankful feeling in your heart all year long. 

Wearing // jacket: Michael Kors // tank: Express // skirt: Alice & Olivia (no longer available, but love this one and this one) // clutch: Clare V // booties: Steve Madden // rings: David Yurman // sunglasses: Gucci

Photography: Katie Fiedler

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While looking for my Alice & Olivia skirt, I scrolled through some other beautiful pieces - 7 of my favorites:
Meridian fur trim wrap coat (I die), Adel side cut-out dress, Abella ball gown skirt, twist back crop top, leather backpack, Emilia gown (anyone have a fabulous holiday black tie party I could tag along with in this dress?!), Mandy shift dress

Monday, December 1, 2014

tis the season

Happy December! As someone who vows to only celebrate one holiday at a time, I had to wait for Thanksgiving to pass in order to fully get into the holiday spirit. But on November 28, I brought out my grandmother's crystal candy dish, filled it with red and green M&Ms, played some Christmas music, and baked cookies. It was a perfect evening, just Ruby and me.

Now that it's officially December, I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you a wonderful holiday season and to sincerely thank you for following along with my little blog. This time of year is perfect for celebrations, and I wish you the best as you celebrate all the wonderful things going on in your life. Enjoy the last month of 2014, reflecting on all of the amazing things that this year brought to you. Hold on to that feeling throughout 2015 and make it your best year yet. Cheers to a beautiful future ahead.

Photo credit: Nina Skubiak, driving through Indiana roads last winter

Monday, November 10, 2014

Back in Black

Our view of the Ravenel bridge from Pitt Street. 

It was another gorgeous weekend in South Carolina. I spent Saturday morning lounging with my favorite little pup then spent a nice afternoon walking, shopping, and drinking coffee downtown...solo. I am a self-described extrovert, but sometimes all it takes is an afternoon alone to re-group and re-charge. This past year, there were a lot of times when my mind was flooded with worry and sadness and questions about the future - which didn't make it very easy to spend time alone. But with a lot of soul searching and a lot of support, I am finally making peace with the course of my life. I am finally enjoying spending some time alone, dreaming about the future and genuinely trying to be present in every moment (good or bad) that comes my way. 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and to push away problems and worries by occupying your mind with other things. We all do it - how else would we get out of bed every morning? But there is something to be said for taking some time to welcome all of those thoughts and worries and anxieties, acknowledge what they signal in your life, and work to move forward. Life is hard, but it is also beautiful - we wouldn't appreciate the good days nearly as much without experiencing the bad. Maintaining the balance of this cruel, crazy, broken, blissful, inspiring, incredible life is the essence of living it.

So I spent my day thinking about my balance - things that are coming together, and things that are inevitably still falling apart. After a vanilla latte, a few new sweaters, and the killer Forever 21 booties pictured above, Saturday ended up on the happy side of the balance. And lucky for me, Sunday did too. My sister took me to a beautiful part of Mount Pleasant and we spent the afternoon walking along the Pitt Street bridge. She was even nice enough to snap a few pics at the end of our walk.

So here's to a fresh Monday, and to wishing you some moments on the happy side of the balance this week, too.

Wearing // booties: Forever 21 (not available online, but just purchased on Saturday in store!) // jeans: J.Crew // shirt: Forever 21 (old) // draped jacket: TOBI // scarf: H&M (old) // hat: August Hat // sunglasses: Ray Ban // bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar here)

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Seven other great hats for fall:
ASOS, Express, Madewell, Urban Outfitters, Rag & Bone, Nasty Gal, Topshop

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More Plaid

Okay, I was going to start this post by apologizing for all of the recent plaid. But now that it's officially November, plaid just seems so festive and fun. So I'm just going with it...again. I snagged this little dress off the clearance rack at Nordstrom two winters ago. Hands down one of my favorite purchases ever. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, it's really hard for me to not pull this little guy out, throw on a turtleneck and boots, and call it a day. I love the slightly mod feel of the cut and the traditional pattern with a modern twist. Ya follow? 

Jumpers seem to be making a sudden reemergence this season and I'm loving it. I am also having fun getting this same retro vibe by throwing on a sheer long-sleeved tee under a shift dress. Try it - you'll bring new life to some of your old favorites.

On that same theme, work to breathe new life into something else that may be feeling a little old or worn. Change up a routine, call an old friend, try a new recipe. It may sound silly, but it's surprising how a tiny bit of effort in one aspect of your life can cause a chain reaction. You may surprise yourself. And anyway, what's the worst that can happen?

Wearing // dress/jumper: Rag & Bone (old, no longer available) // turtleneck: C&C California (old, similar here) // boots: Stuart Weitzman // clutch: Forever 21 (old, similar here) // sunglasses: Gucci // headband: J.Crew (old, similar here) // rings: David Yurman

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Seven great shift dresses that can be worn as jumpers:
Vineyard Vines, C Wonder, ASOS, Forever 21, Madewell, Marc Jacobs, Theory
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