Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Menswear Inspired

I have seen a lot of pussy-bow blouses our there this winter (not being vulgar, that's legit what they're called). But I haven't tried any of them because I have found that it's really difficult for me to find a good blouse. Sometimes, in order to fit my bust, it gets too tight in the shoulders. When I get a blouse to fit my arms and shoulders, I'm swimming in it in the chest. So I was super excited when I saw this little bow available on Nasty Gal -- it's JUST the bow. It has an adjustable neck strap, and you just slide it on with your favorite blouse. Genius right?! I threw it on with simple black skinnies, the most comfortable Cole Haan pumps, and I was really pleased with the result!

What do you think?!



 seven styles

Friday, December 25, 2015

A very, merry Christmas



This morning was the first of all my Christmas mornings that I didn't wake up at my parent's home in my childhood room. I didn't pretend like I was still sleeping while my older sister peeked her head through my door at 7:30 am. I didn't run downstairs with my sisters to drink a big cup of coffee and open gifts.

This morning, I woke up in JR and my apartment downtown. It was different...but it was so nice. I have to admit, I was really sad to find out my parents were going to fly to Charleston on Christmas Day this year. To add insult to injury, my older sister decided to stay down in South Carolina for the holiday. I childishly complained to my mom and she simply replied, "Ab, this is good. You are all settling into your own lives, and Christmas will change a bit. But it's good."

You see, in my mind, Christmas was supposed to be about tradition and keeping habit and not stirring the pot. But today, after a wonderful Christmas with the man I love and our little pup, I realized that Christmas isn't all about the traditions and habits and making sure things stay the same. It's about celebrating the love and peace in life, no matter what stage your life is in. It's about taking time to be present in the moment and relishing the time with the people you love. And at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter if that time is spent together on the 24th or the 25th.

We had a great time with JR's mom and family yesterday morning, and with my mom, dad, and younger sister yesterday evening. JR and I woke up and started our very own Christmas traditions at our place this morning, then got to see his dad's side of the family all day today. And as I sit here and try to put into words how full my heart is, I realize that we are so lucky to have so many loving, caring, wonderful family members in our lives. And that the time that we spend together - no matter when it is - is the real gift and the real blessing this season. Christmas celebrates faith and love and peace and joy -- and although this Christmas was so different from my past 29, it has been one that is the most full of appreciation and all of those wonderful feelings.

I wish you faith and love and peace and joy during these last few hours of Christmas Day, and in all the coming days that 2016 will bring.

Merry Christmas.

xx.


wearing // scarf: Simply Kelsey Boutique



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Style






I had been looking for a really good, basic crystal necklace and this one is PERFECT. Check out the exact version here ! I highly recommend it. 














Nothing gets the holiday vibes goin' like a little plaid and bling. You guys  might get sick of the red plaid by the end of December, but I can't help it. It's so easy and festive. Throw on a little crystal necklace, a red lip, and I instantly feel like I should be an extra in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Every year I tell myself I'm going to work on a new holiday look, something fresh and crisp, but then I think about what so often defines the holiday season: tradition. So I guess red plaid is like my own little style tradition. 

I'm so excited for the New Year and have been thinking a lot about my 2016 resolutions. I can't wait to share them with you! But until then, I hope you enjoy this lovely season. 

Photography: Caroline Grace


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Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Favorites


When I find a good shoe, I tend to go a little crazy. I either buy it in multiple colors (see above) or I literally buy 2 pairs of the same shoe: one to keep 'nice' and one as a 'bar' shoe. Okay, okay...so maybe this was more of a college thing. But whatever. The point is, when I find a shoe I like, it's hard to let it go. And my new obsession is Ivanka Trump (not Ivanka as the former model and daughter of the questionable GOP candidate, but Ivanka as the shoe and accessories designer).

I have already purchased the "Chic" flat in 2 different colors: black and leopard print. It is comfortable, sleek, and, well, chic! These flats look great with skinnies, skirts, and my J.Crew dressy track pants. I was worried that snow and sub-zero temperatures would keep me from wearing these beauties during the winter, but the weather has been quite perfect for flats and a pretty coat. 

The fit true to size and are very good quality. I wore them for three days straight at one of our national meetings, and only at the end of the third day did they begin to rub the back of my heel. I am hoping they release a nude version for the spring, but until then, it's black and leopard on repeat. Or at least until there's snow on the ground.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hello, 28.

For those that follow along on IG, you might have noticed I celebrated a birthday this week! The big 2-8. I thought a lot about what I wanted to say and write to ring in this next year, and then I realized  that I don't really need to say anything at all. I have said and shared quite a bit over the past year (it's been a big growth year for me), so for this birthday, all I want to say is...BRING IT ON 28! I'm lookin' forward to seeing what you have in store!

And. I also want to ask if being 28 makes me too old to shop at Urban Outfitters? Serious question. Because sometimes I go in there and wonder why they are marketing pre-teen training bras as actual shirts. However, they do have some really great flowy dresses and sweaters that (ironically) hide everything that those teeny, tiny tops are meant to show off. It's confusing, I know. But I did find this great hi-lo dress that will be perfect in the summer over denim cut-offs, and super cute for winter with my favorite leather jacket. Check out a few other (age-appropriate) dresses below. 

Photography: Caroline Grace
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Plaid


I can. not. believe it is December. I feel like I have started a lot of my posts like that lately..."I can't believe." But it's true -- life just happens way too quickly. One minute, you're enjoying a beer on the patio in the August sun, and the next thing you know, it's snowing. And then you blink, and you're celebrating another birthday. ANOTHER year down. 

I will be 28 in one week. Scary, right? This quickly approaching birthday has been haunting me for a while. I think it's because I am absolutely no where near where I thought I would be at 28. Not married, no kids, and working a crazy job. But it dawned on me the other day that 28 is not scary, or terrible, or anxiety-inducing because...I wouldn't change one thing about where I am. I have a wonderful boyfriend, a loving pup, great family and friends, and a job I am so thankful for. If 27 has taught me anything, it has taught me much more about being present and about (attempting) to slow down and enjoy whatever life throws at me. And if I'm having a bad day and can't muster the energy to enjoy it, I at least try to acknowledge whatever that day feels like: sad, nostalgic, happy, elated, lazy, crazy...these are all emotions that play into the personality that defines who I am. 

So today, on this first day of the last month of 2015, I think it's appropriate to ask you to take some time to acknowledge and appreciate where you are. Whether you're studying for finals, preparing for a baby, dragging at work, getting ready to walk down the aisle, reeling from a break-up, or having the best GD day of the year, just take a minute to appreciate the feelings in your soul (ALL of them), the breath in your lungs, and the beats in your heart. 

I wish you all what I wish for myself in this coming year: a happy heart. Life can be really hard and really unfair, but keeping happiness and love and graciousness in that crazy little heart of yours makes the whole ride worth it.

Love to you. Happy December!

Photography: Caroline Grace

Oh! And I'm absolutely obsessed with this sleeveless jacket. I spotted it on a few bloggers a couple of weeks ago (holla Pink Champagne Problems!) and had to order it. Unfortunately, I think it's sold out, but check out a few other similar styles below.




 seven styles

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SKB


When the weather gets cold, it's super easy for me to throw on a black dress, black tights, black boots, and a chunky scarf. This tends to be my outfit of choice for work and nights out with boyfriend. But if it warms up a bit, or if a group of people is just heading to a local bar to watch a game or grab a drink, I sometimes have a little bit of trouble pulling something together. Jeans, blouses, and jackets come to the rescue. And I found a new online boutique that offers options that fit that bill.

Simply Kelsey Boutique is a new, online boutique full of affordable, cute, casual pieces. Owner Kelsey is an absolute doll to work with, and has worked hard to pull together a shop that offers a variety of pieces. And at great prices, it's easy to stay on top of ever-changing trends. So much of what SKB offers would be great for a casual afternoon out with friends or dressed up for a night out. 

Plus, I find it really empowering to see women fulfilling their dreams by starting their own small businesses. I have a lot of respect for Kelsey, her work ethic, and her spirit of entrepreneurship. So as Black Friday approaches, officially kicking off holiday shopping season, do me (and yourself) a favor and check out Simply Kelsey Boutique. Continue with the theme on Saturday the 28th for Small Business Saturday. Some of my absolute favorite stores are small and local. 

#shopsmall, support fellow entrepreneurs, and get some super cute things along the way. 

Photography: Caroline Grace

wearing // shirt: Simply Kelsey Boutique // jeans: old, similar here // jacket: TOBI (old, similar here) // clutch: Matt & Nat // necklace: Urban Outfitters (old, similar here) // sunglasses: Ray-Ban

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I'm dying to order these other pieces from SKB...
plaid blanket scarf // ripped black denim // off-the-shoulder blouse // duster // Jack by BB Dakota knit jacket // knit beanie // Romane suede bootie

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall in Indy

Things have been busy lately! Fortunately for her, my girl Caroline has been busy traveling around the globe. So we haven't had time to go out and get some pics. So today I bribed boyfriend with some tasty snacks for the Colts game, and he (surprisingly willingly) went outside with me me to take a few shots. He even stepped out during the game (that's love...seriously). Granted, the whole excursion took about 4 minutes (barely more than a commercial break), but I'll take what I can get! He's definitely a keeper, for more reasons than one. 

What's the rush? Well, none, really. But I wanted to get out a post to showcase one of my favorite fall jackets. In case you haven't taken a peek lately, Forever 21 has some amazing, affordable jackets. Perfect for this in-between weather when you need more than a little sweater, but not quite a full-blown winter coat. Take a peek at some of my favorite styles down below. The one I'm wearing comes in 3 colors -- it's made to fit a little bigger and boxier, but I love it because it easily fits over heavier shirts or layers for fall. And...it was only $35. I know, right?!

Now get out there and enjoy these crisp, sunny days while they last. Happy Fall!


 seven styles

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Monica & Jeremy :: Naples, FL

On a Thursday morning in late October, JR and I rolled out of bed at 3:15 am to catch a 5:15 flight to Florida. As someone who highly values at least 7 hours of sleep, this was not an easy feat. But we figured that if we were going to take a day off work, we might as well make the most of it and get to the beach as soon as we could.

And I am so happy we did. Because we definitely made the most out of extending a wedding weekend to a 4-day mini-vaca. We made so much out of the weekend, and spent so much time relaxing in the sun and drinking fruity beverages with friends, that I only took a handful of pictures (I know,  that's basically blasphemy for a self-described style blogger). But you know what? There's something to be said for putting the phone and the camera down (something I rarely do, according to boyfriend) and enjoying the warm sun and cool company of friends. 

However....

I did manage to capture a few pictures of the stunning bride -- my dear friend Monica -- and her (pseudo)Indian prince. Monica and Jeremy have been together for years, but you would never guess that by the way the interact with each other. They make each other smile and laugh as if they're still in that giddy honeymoon (dating) phase. We had an absolute blast celebrating the amazing couple, their beautiful family, and the beginning of a lifetime of love.

Monica on her wedding day. Isn't the photography from Carretto Studio absolutely beautiful?!

Photo credit:  Carretto Studio

Some of the beautiful decorations and favors at Monica's mehndi.

Lauren getting her henna done!

The beautiful bride, the day before the wedding.

More henna - Hi Em!
Jeremy before the ceremony at the Baraat. 

Doesn't he look handsome?!

The gorgeous ceremony took place on the beach. Then we headed over to the Bayside to dance the night away!

Photo Credit: Carretto Studio





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Heading south for the holidays? Here are seven cover-ups for sunny winter afternoons:
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