I Made the Statement Tuesday, Jul 10 2012 

I attended a happy hour last night for the Jr. League of Collin County (I will start my provisional year next month). The event was held at the new Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio in Plano, so clearly, this was not an event I would be missing. After mixing and mingling – and sipping on champagne – I took some time to browse.

First of all, this store is fabulous. Not at all the messy, disorganized, slightly smelly image you get when you think of a luxury store discount/outlet store. It has sort of an industrial vibe to it and is bright and open. It’s well-organized, neat and clean.

Last Call was having a 4th of July sale, plus they gave the League ladies an additional 10% off anything purchased. My main focus was to find some new black peep-toe pumps. My current pair are well past their prime. While I struck out there, I did find a statement necklace, almost exactly like the one I posted from JCrew a few weeks ago.

I ended up getting $30 off of the necklace after all was said and done. (Nice boob shot, huh? Oh well.)

I’ve been admiring this style of necklace for a while now and have desperately needed some colorful jewelry in my wardrobe, so I really scored. It’s a statement necklace for sure – bold and bright and can’t be missed – so I wanted to pair it with a more conservative outfit for work:

I kept the colors mostly muted and the rest of my accessories subtle. I think this is a great way to wear a bold necklace for the office. I still want to get more creative with it and maybe pair it with coral or purple – we’ll see.

Have you bought anything new recently?

A-Z Monday, Jul 9 2012 

I saw this on one of the many blogs I read daily and am stealing it. After a Monday back at work after a full week of vacation, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things and my mind has been blank all day on a fun blog topic. So here you go. Plus, it’s always important to cherish the small things.

The Small Things – A-Z

A: almond butter – YUM! I can’t get enough.

B: Brett – my hubby. He makes everyday better.

C: champagne – I went to a happy hour tonight and enjoyed the bubbly.

D: dresses – easy to wear and always flattering.

E: eggs – one of my favorite foods and oh-so-healthy.

F: family – I just love my fam and enjoyed spending time with them last week.

G: girlfriends – no explanation needed

H: house – okay, so maybe this isn’t a small thing, but I love our house and after living here 2.5 years, it really feels like it’s ours. Plus, we take for granted that we have a safe, secure shelter over our heads every night.

I: Internet – because, let’s face it, we live in the online world

J: jewelry – I love to accessorize

K: Kate Spade – still loving her line.

L: lazy – let’s face it, I enjoy being lazy

M: macaroni & cheese – YUMMMMMMMMM

N: nail polish – I’ve been thinking about adding a minty green-teal color to my collection, so that will probably happen soon.

O: orange – one of my favorite summer colors

P: Pirate’s Booty – so yummy! I enjoyed it alongside my whole wheat bagel thin smeared with almond butter for dinner tonight

Q: quiet – I appreciate living in a quiet suburb

R: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – my absolute favorite candy

S: spinning – my Tuesday/Thursday a.m. workout – I love the sense of accomplishment I get from this

T: The Bar Method – I have already professed my love for this (side note: S & T necessary because of my immense love of R ;))

U: umbrella – because it’s a stylish, functional accessory

V: vase – I love a clear, chunky vase – such a statement piece

W: wine – no explanation needed. (Coincidentally, girlfriends and wine go well together, and no explanation is needed for either.)

X: XM radio – although, technically, we subscribe to Sirius, but since they are one in the same now, it counts.

Y: yard – I love our yard

Z: Zoey, of course!

What are some of the small things you appreciate in life?

Line I’m Loving Thursday, Jun 28 2012 

A fairly new line of shoes has caught my eye over the last few months as I’ve browsed through Nordstrom: Ivanka Trump. Yes, she the daughter of the Donald. Regardless of your thoughts on Donald, I’ve always though Ivanka was smart and stylish. Now I haven’t tried on her shoes yet so I can’t speak to the quality, but simply based on style and price, I think she has knocked it out of the park. All of her shoes at Nordy’s are stylish and chic. She has a range of heel heights, from flats to kitten to high. They are reasonably priced and would be a great addition to the everyday working wardrobe. I’ve snagged a few pics:

 

Ivanka Trump “Perri” Sandal – $144.95

Ivanka Trump “Indico” Pump – $129.95

Ivanka Trump “Margo” Pump – $139.95, currently on sale for $69.90 (but in limited sizes)

I think when I’m ready to update some of my pumps in my wardrobe, Ivanka’s line will definitely be in consideration. Which is a good reminder to look at my classic pumps and see which pairs are still hanging in and which pairs need to go to shoe heaven.

Have you tried Ivanka Trump’s shoe line? Do you like this style?

All pictures pulled from Nordstrom.com.

Make a Statement Wednesday, Jun 27 2012 

I love accessories and firmly believe that a statement necklace can make an outfit. You can wear them with just about anything in any situation. Adding a statement necklace to a suit expresses your personality and confidence. Pop one on with a classic tee, jeans and flats for an upgraded casual look. The statement necklace broke into the style scene several years ago, and has morphed from a trend to a classic accessory.

Most of my statement necklaces fall in the “metal” colors – they are either all gold, or all silver or a mix of one of those with lucite or other textures. I have been trying to incorporate more colorful jewelry into my wardrobe. If I were adding some more statement necklaces to my collection – and although I always want to be adding more clothes, handbags, accessories and shoes to my life, I’m trying to make more thoughtful purchases and fill holes in my wardrobe – I would definitely snatch up these two:

kate spade new york “paisley park” necklace – $178 at Nordstrom

 

Bubble Necklace – $150 from JCrew

This one comes in a variety of colors other than “azalea pink” – turquoise, black, navy, white and a bright yellow.

Although these necklaces aren’t cheap, I typically find that when I buy a piece of jewelry that’s this unique, I wear it constantly. So I always get my money’s worth.

Do you wear statement necklaces? Have you been eyeing any to add to your collection lately?

Orange & Leopard Monday, Jun 25 2012 

I’m not a fan of Mondays. It’s hard to get up and get back into the swing of things. So I consider it an accomplishment anytime I put together a cute outfit on a Monday. This morning I mixed two pieces from my closet – a fairly new top and an older skirt – and loved the result. It was another pop of bright color – I’m clearly enjoying the trend.

Between the leopard skirt and bright orange top, this is definitely not a subtle outfit, so I stuck with some neutral shoes and minimal jewelry. This skirt has shown up on this blog before – it’s clearly a favorite. I believe that animal print has transitioned into a classic – just make sure it’s in classic colors and use sparingly. (It’s like turquoise jewelry – you only need it in one spot on your body.) And orange and brown are great complements.

Do you have a favorite piece in your closet? Do you like animal prints?

P.S. Check out my most recent article on Glass Heel about working your business suit into your everyday wardrobe!

Little Moments Thursday, Jun 21 2012 

I’ve been in a negative funk lately about some personal aspects of my life. It’s not worth discussing, but I will say that I’m so blessed to have a husband who is supportive and such a great listener. He lets me vent, almost on a nightly basis, and listens patiently and tries to provide advice. What’s so frustrating is that when something of this magnitude bothers me, the negativity seeps into other areas of my life. It’s so much easier to spiral into that then to stay focused on all the positive things.

For instance, I enjoyed another great work-out at The Bar Method today. It was definitely a kick-you-in-the-butt type of work-out, but I loved it and always feel so good when I leave. After dinner, my husband and I watched a video of me and I was appalled at how I looked in the video. It was evident throughout the whole video that everything was distorted – squatty and wide. So rationally I knew that it was an optical illusion, but it was such a punch in the stomach to watch myself looking 9 months pregnant. And I’m not at all pregnant.

Naturally, that video has spiraled me back into negativity again. And I’m trying hard to climb out of that hole and focus on good things, even little things, like this cute little face that stared back at me while I was catching up on HGTV Design Star.

My chubby and adorably spoiled English Bulldog, Zoey

It’s hard not to smile when I look at the cute, wrinkly face and that chubby body. She’s a good reminder to not let one negative or unhappy thing pull you down. I need to focus on the little moments that make everything worth it.

How do you pull yourself out of a funk? What little moments have made you smile lately?

Umbrella, ella, ella….. Tuesday, Jun 19 2012 

Today was one of those weird weather days. There was a chance of rain, so I made sure to have an umbrella with me. (It never actually rained in my area, but there was a dark, menacing cloud in the sky on my way home.) I love having cute umbrellas and treat them as an accessory. I have two that I love. One is a black and white hounds-tooth print and the other is a combo of yellow, navy and white in a cute pattern. My navy, yellow and white umbrella is currently lost. I know it’s in the house somewhere, I just have to keep hunting. So I made sure to put the hounds-tooth umbrella in my purse.

I realize that umbrellas serve a more functional purpose, but I feel like a cute umbrella is a bonus accessory. Plus, they make great gifts – my yellow, navy and white one was a gift from Leslie, owner of Dress Shop. There are so many options today that you can find one to fit your style perfectly. I perused the web for just 5 minutes and found 3 that are cute and affordable:

This “Futai Tina T Argyle” print umbrella can be found at Target for just $19.99. Argyle is a classic print and looks current with the popularity right now of graphic prints.

 

I found this “totes Morocco Slender ‘brella” on the Totes website. It’s just $20. The pattern is bold but the colors are muted and sophisticated enough to keep this from being flashy.

 

This pocket umbrella from JCrew is the perfect spin on animal print – the black, white and brown keeps it classic. It’s also a steal at just $26.50.

Do you have a cute umbrella? If not, what color and/or pattern would you love to have to top off your style?

 

Mixing Brights Monday, Jun 18 2012 

While going through my inbox last night, I came across this email from Ann Taylor.

I subscribe to a lot of marketing emails from brands I love. Sure, it’s nice to know about sales that might be happening, but I really like them for outfit inspiration. In this particular email, I loved the mixture of the range of blues with the pop of chartreuse. I pondered the picture for a bit wondering if I had anything similar to those colors in my closet. A few pieces popped into my head, so this morning, I put together my own outfit mixing bright teal and that green-y yellow.

Obviously, I swapped out the shorts since that’s not really office-appropriate. I went with brown pants to anchor it a bit. I also kept my jewelry simple and light – there was already enough going on with the bright colors. (Sorry for the washed-out face – this was at the end of the day. And yes, that’s my bathroom in the background.) I really liked how this color combo turned out. It’s not too over-the-top or edgy, but it was a great way for me to interpret a trend – brights! – and fit into my lifestyle.

Here’s a close-up of the two colors together to give you a better idea:

So, what do you think? Is this a color combo you would wear?

Ann Taylor pic pulled from marketing email sent by the company.

Inspired by Bethenny Thursday, Jun 14 2012 

You may remember that I’m a big fan of Bethenny Frankel. I love her honest, frank personality and I think her personal style is fantastic – definitely classically chic. And I absolutely admire her perseverance and business acumen. So it comes as no surprise that I have been DVR-ing her new talk show (which, sadly, is only showing in a few markets right now). The show is great – funny and honest and constantly crossing the line – exactly what we want from Bethenny. As I watched her first show on Monday evening, I fell in love with her outfit.

The combination of the A-line skirt, simple white tee and black blazer is so current and fresh, and can be adapted for almost any situation. I decided to put my own spin on it for work the next day. I switched out the t-shirt for a blouse to keep it “business casual,” but the version with a tee would be great for dinner and drinks out or just a girls day. I paired the following from my closet:

Rolling up the sleeves of the blazer keeps it from being too stuffy and “suit-ish,” and I tucked the blouse in for some extra polish. A blazer is a great finishing touch for any outfit and always works well in an office setting. It always makes me happy to put together a new outfit from clothes I already own.

Have you mixed and matched any clothes in your closet lately? Are you a fan of Bethenny and her new show?

Image from bethennytv.com.

Zella & The Bar Tuesday, Jun 12 2012 

I’ve never been the type of person to buy nice, cute work-out clothes, despite my love for fashion and shopping. I think it was due in part to the fact that I didn’t want to spend money on something that I would sweat all over and also partly due to the fact that I didn’t make exercise a consistent routine in my life. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve embraced, and even enjoy, a regular work-out routine. It’s become more than just trying to lose weight. For me it’s about overall health, energy, attitude and maintaining my weight.

My husband is always encouraging me to buy myself some nice work-out clothes. (I think he’s embarrassed by my super old sorority shirts. 31 might be too old to be sporting letters.) So I finally took the plunge and bought some Zella Booty pants with a Nordstrom gift card…and my life was changed forever. Dramatic, yes, but these pants completely transformed the way I feel about cute work-out clothes. They are the most flattering pair of tight, fitted pants that I have ever owned. They increase my confidence and inspire me to get to the gym. At $62 a pop, they aren’t cheap. However, I was always raised to appreciate quality and invest in long-term pieces.

No, this is not my body.

My newest fitness obsession is The Bar Method. Yes, I know that a ballet barre is not spelled bar, but this is the name of the studio. It is undeniably one of, if not the, hardest work-out I have ever done. Since I grew up dancing my entire life, I understand and enjoy the fundamentals behind it. I tried it for the first time this past weekend and I’m hooked. The classes during the week don’t quite work well with my schedule, but I’m already signed up again for this Saturday. And you can bet I’ll be rocking my Zella Booty pants.

What’s your current favorite form of exercise? Do you treat yourself to cute work-out clothes?

Image courtesy of Nordstrom.com.

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