Monday, December 30, 2013

Bargain Dress

As you followers of Facebook & Instagram may already now, I scored this cute, easy-to-wear dress last week on clearance at Target.  I paid a whole $8.38 for it!

I had a reader ask if I could/would show different ways that I would accessorize & wear the dress, & of course, I'm happy to oblige!

One of my friends poo-pooed dresses the other day, saying "I just want to be comfortable". Ladies, do not assume that dresses are uncomfortable!!  In fact, I venture to say they can be more comfortable than pants or shorts, & easier to put together because the top & bottom are already in one piece for you ;-)

Ok, now that I've said my piece about that, let's get on with it.


 First, a quick snap shot of the dress itself.  It is a combination of red, blue, white & black.  It already has quite a bit going on through patterns & colors, so anything you add needs to on the "bolder" side so that it doesn't get lost in the mix.


This is how I wore the dress to the office one day. I wore it with layered gold neccklaces, a white & gold wrap bracelet, & Navy & Black heels.  Once again, my feet were killing me by the end of work, so I switched to my tall brown riding boots before we headed out for some Christmas shopping. Looked great as well (sorry I didn't snap a picture of those)!  I chose to wear opaque navy hose, but you could easily swap that out for tights or thin leggings if that's your preference.  Keep that in mind as you view the ensemble ideas below.


Can I just say I'm in love with this jean jacket & necklace!!  Both are definitely on my wish list... patiently waiting for good sales or clearance for them!


Profession Options for Bargain Dress


For this professional look, I added a belt.  The dress came with a tie belt of it's own, but that doesn't mean you're stuck with it.  Try switching it out for another belt you have.  I prefer the kind with elastic in them because they stay in place better for me, but you can certainly play around with any type in your closet.  In this case, I would probably wear the belt on the outside of the cardigan at the waist. Of note, Charming Charlie typically has a good selection of decently priced belts.




Spring Options for Bargain Dress



I know Spring is not exactly around the corner, but I did want to show how you can wear this dress in different seasons by changing out the footwear.  The fact that you can wear this dress in multiple seasons makes it even more awesome for the price!


So, there you have it!  Just some ideas on different ways you can accessorize the dress...of course, you can take bits & pieces from each example to create even more looks.  I've left the links on these items incase you are interested in the exact item shown.  I do apologize if they are no longer available.

Never be afraid to buzz me (see the contact page) if you have an item you'd like help with!  I'm always willing to throw in my two cents!

Have a Happy Day!



Friday, December 27, 2013

High Five for Friday

Hello all!  I hope everyone had an enjoyable Holiday!  It's crazy how all that hustle & bustle is suddenly over...but I'm not complaining. We had a great Christmas, but I'm ready for things to calm down a bit!

Here's just a few of my highlights from this week...
Winter Break:  I love breaks probably just as much as my kids do! I love not having to struggle with bed times, getting the girls up in the mornings, packing lunches & snacks, dealing with homework & rummaging through backpacks every night.  I love that we can go at our own pace for a while. Although, I'm sure I'll be ready to happily send them back in two weeks... I mean, you can have too much of a good thing. :-)

Grandma's Chocolate Cake:  The girls got to spend an afternoon with their Great Grandma just before Christmas learning how to make her famous cake. It was a special time for all involved...fantastic one-on-one time with each other doing something they all enjoy;  baking.   Priceless!  And yummy!

Wrapping Table:  As silly as it is, I was soo thrilled to have a designated space for wrapping gifts this year (clapping emoticon here)!!  Earlier this year we had our basement finished, & although its not huge by any means, I was especially excited for the extra space this year at Christmas time. I've always had all my holiday wrapping clutter all over the family room & would spend hours wrapping gifts on the floor.   Not this year!  I had a table that made for easy gift wrapping & could easily keep myself organized!Fabulous!!
Christmas:  Although hectic leading up to it, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day turned out great. We spent Christmas Eve with my Husband's family enjoying dinner out followed with dessert (Grandma's Chocolate Cake) & gifts at our house. Christmas Day we started the morning with just the four of us opening gifts. Then we were joined by my Mom, Step-Dad, & my Sister & her family for a quick gift opening session before we all head off to Grandma & Grandpa's house with all the extended family. All went very smoothly & Christmas 2013 was very enjoyable!!

Picture:  This is one of my favorite pictures from Christmas. It's of my Mom, my Sister, & I....the 3 "ie's". See this post if you have no idea what is talking about :-). We got my Mom to humor us with a picture because we all have the same sunglasses.   It's special because Mom actually let us do it (she does NOT like to have her picture taken), & I think it turned out to be a great photo!


That wraps up my week...how about you?  I hope you had some good High Five's this week!!  I'll be back next week with more posts...check back often! :-)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Just a quick "hello" to wish all of you a very...




I hope you all have safe travels, many laughs, & joy spending time with the ones close to your heart!

I can't thank you enough for stopping by to read this Blog.  It's been a new adventure for me & honestly, I'm loving every bit of it!  I'm amazed at what I've learned in such a short span of time.  But truly, I hope that each of you enjoy's stopping by & my goal is to keep inspiring you in any way I can!

From my family to yours....


Happy Holidays!

p.s. I'll be back Friday with a new High Five for Friday, then hopefully back on track the next week with all new posts!  Forgive me for no new content this week...it's just a crazy busy week, as I'm sure it is for you too!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

High Five For Friday

Today I'm going to do my first High Five For Friday post. It's a link up post hosted by Lauren over at TheLaurenElizabeth.com. It's meant to post 5 highlights from your week to share with your readers.

I felt compelled to give it a go because I'd like to focus on the "little things" in life that create those feelings of appreciation, love, happiness, gratitude, excitement, joy & pride. I feel, for myself, that looking for these "jewels" throughout my week will help remind me of life's blessings, & perhaps make the "not so great moments" fade into the shadows.

With that said, here's my High Fives For Friday...
1.  Have you seen the movie Frozen yet?  My girls & I loved it! I would definitely recommend seeing it if you have been thinking of doing so!  It has great music, lots of humor, & the story line is great. It's extra special for those of us who are sisters (if you ask me).  Anyway, the girlies & I downloaded the soundtrack & have been obsessed with it all week!  Our faves are "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel, "Let It Go" by Demi Lovato, & "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" by Kristen Bell & Idina Menzel.

2.  Check out this beautiful sunrise I caught the other morning!!  Gorgeous!  In good ol' Colorado fashion, we've had 3-4 days this week of beautiful weather....in the 60's & 70's!  Love it!!

3.  We had our Christmas Nail Night this week. You may recall from this post that my girls & I get together with some dear friends every year for manicures & dinner. The night was successful & I'm reminded what a blessing it is to be able to spend time with those close to your heart.  Thanks KP, R, &J...we love you!

4.  This one makes me giggle pretty much every morning. I love the excitement she brings to the house this time of year!

5.  I'm pretty excited about this one!  I was FINALLY able to get a new phone...been living with this cracked one for 4 months. Let me tell you...I was about to snap (just ask my hubby)!!!  Super glad to have a fresh new pretty screen to look at!

That's all from me today, but what are your High Fives this Friday?  It does the heart good to stop & think about it.   Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chambray Continued...

Let's continue our options with Chambray Shirts, shall we..?

If you missed Part I you can see it here.

Today's post will talk about how you can use a Chambray Shirt in layers.

Layers-Outer:

You can use a Chambray to layer over the top of shirts & dresses. This can be done by leaving the shirt open, buttoning just a few of the lower buttons, wearing a belt over it, or tie in a knot around the waist. This makes a lot of your Spring & Summer pieces wearable all year long too!  Just be sure it doesn't leave you "boxy" looking...that's why I typically don't leave mine completely open; I prefer a belt, a knot, or buttoning the lower 3-4 buttons because its creates shape at the waist.


Layers-Underneath:

Chambray's can also be worn to layer underneath pieces. One of my favorites of the season is to wear a Chambray underneath a sweater, exposing the collar & cuffs for more interest. Did you know you can also wear a Chambray under a dress too?  Cool, eh?!







Once again, here's a few of my own looks when I've worn a Chambray Shirt.




As I mentioned in the first Post, Chambray shirts are a staple for every wardrobe (in my opinion). However, that doesn't mean you have to break the bank in order to get one. I've listed some possible options below. When hunting for one, be patient & be sure it fits you well...you don't want it to be too loose & not give you the right shape.  You'll notice that they also come in different shades...lighter & darker.  You'll have to decide what will give you the most versatility & wear time.

Target - although I do believe I've seen more than just this one in the stores.

Old Navy - many different styles to choose from here. 

American Eagle Outfitters - This is one of those stores that you NEVER want to buy anything unless they are having a sale or you have a coupon.  Not because they are overly expensive, but because they run sales all the time, so to buy something without a discount is just silly!

J. Crew Factory - I like this lighter color for a different option.

The Loft - Again, these are more expensive, but they often run great sales.  In fact, I know just last week they were doing 50% off all tops. 

Gap - Again, many different styles to choose from.  The prices on the website are more than I would want to pay, but again, watch for sales & clearance!

Other places worth searching would be Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, & Ross.

Let me know your thoughts, & of course, if you have any questions, contact me!! 

Happy Chambray-ing!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Many Ways of a Chambray

First, what is a Chambray?  "Chambray" is a fancy word for a Denim Button-down shirt. About 1-2 years ago we started to see these shirts become very popular. Currently they still have a heavy presence in "fashion", & in my opinion, Chambray shirts are a staple for every wardrobe.

That being said, let's talk about the many ways they can be worn. 

Once again, I find myself with so much to say & so many examples I'd like to share, that I will split this into two posts.  This post will focus on pairing a Chambray with different types of "bottoms" (by bottoms I mean clothing for the lower half...wink wink!). 


Traditional Button-Down Shirt:

Chambray shirts are a neutral color, which means they can really be worn with pretty much anything. For starters, wear them as a typical button-down blouse with ANY pant or short. This could be a colored pant or short, or one with a soft or loud print.  Leggings are very popular with Chambray shirts too.  Add jewelry, belts & scarves for more interest.




Skirts:

Another great thing about Chambray's is they can be dressed up or down.  You can pair it with a skirt & accomplish any look you desire from casual, to professional, to party wear.






Another great option not shown here that would work with any of these "bottoms" - try leaving the Chambray un-tucked & place a belt around the waist rather than tucking it in.

In an effort to save myself time, I took these images off the web rather than doing a photo shoot of myself.  However, these are some of my outfits you have already seen in other posts or will be coming soon in a new post. (Just so you know I "walk the walk" & not just "talk the talk".)  :-)

Both of these pictures were from the same day.  The first picture was what I wore to work, then changed into more causal pants & shoes after work (mostly because my feet hurt!!)

To Be Continued...check back soon where I'll be talking about Layering with Chambray Shirts!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throw Back Thursday


In light of the popular "Throw Back Thursday" trend, I thought we should put a twist on it. 

I challenge you to dig through your make-up collection & pull out an item you haven't used in quite some time.  Perhaps a blush color that has been forgotten, or an eye-shadow color you don't remember getting, a lip gloss at the bottom of your make-up bag...??

I did this recently with my lip-stick collection*.  I acutally re-discovered 4 colors that had been in hiding.  It was like getting a brand new item, except it was FREE (gotta love that word)!  I was excited to use them again & it changed up my look going into a new season.



1. MAC-Syrup  2. MAC-Berry Boost  3. MAC-Dubonnet  4. MAC-Sophisto
  
I know I'm guility of forgetting about what's in my make-up case.  I get so excited about getting new items to change things up for me, that the older items get pushed aside.  It's fun to go back & pull those items out again...after all, you've already paid for them, right?!

What other "forgotten" items can you pull out & use again?  It doesn't have to be cosmetics...how about a pair of earrings, or a bracelet or two, or maybe a scarf or belt, or even nail polish?  The possibilities are endless!

Leave me a message in the comments about what items you re-discover!

*A side note a bout me:  I actually don't keep my lip sticks/glosses in my cosmetic case.  They all go in my purse.  Why?  Because I know I'll want to touch up my lips throughout the day, so I make sure they are all with me.  Plus, they wouldn't fit in with my other cosmetics...apparently I've accumulated a small collection over the years.  :-)  That being said, when I run out of space in my purse, I take the "less used" colors and stash them in storage...hince the reason I forget about them. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The "Non-Gift"Gift

With the Holiday Season upon us, I wanted to share one "gift" that I truly look forward to each & every year.  We all know that this time of year is hectic & conquering the never-ending list of gifts to get seems impossible at times. So I thought I would share what I've come to enjoy during this Season.



Some years back I started doing things differently with a couple friends & family members (family members = my sister).   Rather than buy & exchange gifts we plan a time to get together & just spend time with one another. We have gone to get mani's & pedi's, gone to dinner & a movie, met for a run followed & up with a visit to the coffee shop, or even planned to meet up & conquer some Holiday shopping together. The time together is the "gift" (unless we happen to pick something up for ourselves along the way) & we get to have a moment of fun amongst all the Holiday rush. 

Once my sister moved back home after living out-of-state for 10 years (so glad to have her back!), we started our own tradition of exchanging gifts with each other.  We pick a theme (usually something newly trending that we have been eyeing) & we plan a time to shop together for the "just right item". When we each find our mission item, we buy it ourselves. Sometimes we get the exact same item, other times we just get similar items.  The year we did boots, we got the same boot but in two different colors. Then came the jeans - same store/brand but different cuts. This year we got identical "shades". Again, even though we are still buying something, we really look forward to spending the day together & hunting for our mission item (well, I guess I'm speaking for my sister here, but that's the way I feel). Last year we actually waited until January to have our day, & this year we conquered it in November. Being flexible during this time of year is key.

Another example of the "non-gift" gift is one that includes kiddos.  My girls & I plan an evening every December to get together with a friend & her daughter for "Girls Night".  We all go get manicures & have dinner together.  Once again, we don't exchange any other gifts other than the gift of friendship (& pretty nails), but it's something we all look forward to doing every year!  Of course the activity can be different to accommodate all ages involved.

So, amongst all the hustle & bustle of the season, perhaps you can start a new tradition this year with a friend or two?  Don't you think that you'd both get so much more out of spending one-on-one time together vs. exchanging gift cards? Food for thought....





Friday, December 6, 2013

Shirt Dress - Part II

I hope you found some inspiring tidbits on Shirt Dress - Part I.  Part I focused on more casual looks you could do with this Shirt Dress, while this post will focus more on professional & Holiday looks.

To achieve a Holiday Party look all you really need to do is add some bling, sparkle, and/or shine!  This could be through jewelry or by adding jackets, sweaters, or scarfs with sheen or metallic elements to them.  You'll see below that I also added patterned tights & heels, but you could easily achieve the same looks with non-patterned tights & flats or a kitten heel shoe.

All of these looks will also work for the professional environment, but I would recommend toning down the "glitzy" pieces for the office.



  1. For a quick & easy "wear to the office" look, I simply added a long teal cardigan, large black belt, peach statement necklace layered with a gold chain, patterned tights & dark teal pumps.  Comfortable & easy to achieve!
  2. I kept it simple again for this Holiday Party look.  I added a yellow & crystal statement necklace & layered that with a long strand of pearls knotted with a silver chain.  Again, I stuck with the black belt & patterned tights to add texture, & I wore my platform ankle heels.  I keep saying "Holiday Party" look (due to the time of the year), but of course you could wear something like this for a night-on-the town, cocktail party, or similar occasion.
  3. I'm torn between this look & number 4 as my favorite!  This look would be more for the Party situations because the jacket really dresses it up.  The jacket is a gorgeous champagne color with a sheen finish & it's one of those pieces I truly LOVE!  I have the pearl & crystal necklace on again (seen in Part I as well), & kept with the patterned black tights.  I know you can't see it, but I choose to wear the same animal print wedge you see pictured in number 4.  Although, typically I would want to wear a heel to a party occasion, I loved how the animal print shoe mixed with the jacket.  Again, I know I'm a big fan of mixing colors, & this ensemble lacks that, but trust me, the mixing of the patterns & textures made this a beautiful outfit! (The picture doesn't do it justice at all!  Just saying!)
  4. Sweater look familiar here?!  Yep, you got it...its the bargain sweater from this post!  Yet another way you can wear it (clapping emoticon here)!  Have you ever thought about putting a sweater over a dress?  Look how great it works!  Just be careful that you use a "fitted" sweater rather than one that is too "boxy".  Everything else on this outfit is the same as number 3, I just changed out the jacket for the sweater, & I love the outcome!
Accessories & Shoes


Long story short - there are a ton of options for this dress & any dress that is similar.  I could have kept going with more options, but I think you get the point. 
I'd love to hear from you about what these examples may inspire you to put together!  Please also leave a comment below if you'd like to know any specific brands of anything you see pictured. 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Seek & Ye Shall Find...

Shirt Dress - Part I 

As I mentioned in this post, I went into this Fall having a few items on my wardrobe wish list.  A black shirt dress was on that list, & guess what...I found one!  Or, I should say that I found one for a good price! I ran into Old Navy last week & as I rounded the corner towards the registers, look what was right in front of me (cue angels singing)!!  Old Navy also had this shirt dress in gray, dark blue, & teal...I had my mind set on black though! 

I'm a big fan of dresses because you can typically dress them up or down, & they transfer from season to season well because you can layer them.  I plan on wearing this dress for anything from running errands, to going into the office, to attending Holiday gatherings...its truly that versatile!  You can wear it with a scarf, statement jewelry, sweaters, jackets, tights or leggings, & many different variations of footwear. 

I have so many ideas for this dress, that I'm actually going to break it into two posts!

So, today I'm showing the more "casual" looks.  I would wear these particular outfits for running around, meeting up for lunch or dinner, casual gatherings, etc.  I would actually wear any of these looks on any given day because I actually find dresses super easy to wear.

Warning:  the photos you are about to see are FAR from perfect & leave a lot of room for improvement, so you'll have to bear with me.  The concepts still come across though & that's what's most important, right?! 



  1. Large statement necklace with a patterned flat.  This is super simple & easy to "throw-on", but presents a put-together look.
  2. This look is great as we head into colder weather.  A nice fluffy scarf, long simple necklace to add shine, & a mid-calf flat boot.  Of course, you can easily change the look by simply wearing a different scarf, or add leggings or tights to stay warmer.
  3. Throw on a Chambray!  Chambray shirts are great because they can be used so many different ways!  I layered the chambray on top of the dress & added a large brown belt, crystal & pearl statement necklace, & brown riding boots.  (Let me just add here that black with brown boots is one of my favorite combinations...love, love!)  You'll notice that there isn't a ton of "color" in this ensemble, but the different textures of the fabrics & different finishes of the jewelry add visual interest. 
Close up of the accessories used above.  Leave a comment if you would like to know the brand or where they are from.

The next post will have more looks with the same dress.  It will feature "dressier" looks for the Holiday Season & business, so be sure to check back!

In the mean time, I hope I've given you something to think about.  What might you already have in your closet that would work with a shirt dress??









Monday, December 2, 2013

Infinity Scarves


As you probably already know, the recent trend with scarves is the Infinity Scarf (or the loop scarf).  I had a reader ask the other day for suggestions on other ways to wear an Infinity Scarf besides the traditional "double loop".  Thanks "Lin with an Ora" for the question, & here are my suggestions.

First, just a quick review of the traditional double loops:
Traditional Short Double Loop

Traditional Long Double Loop
Now, on to new possibilities:
 
Single Knot (shown with embellishment)
To achieve the Single Knot, place your head through the loop - essentially creating one long loop.  Then gather the scarf & tie a single knot.  The knot can be higher or lower depending on where you gather & tie it. 

Pull Through
To achieve this Pull Through look, make the scarf into a straight line, then place behind the neck.  This will leave you with one loop on both sides.  Put your hand through the loop on the right side & grab the scarf that is on the left side.  Retract your hand back out of the loop on the right, pulling the left side through as well.  Adjust the tightness & volume to achieve the look you want. (Obviously you can achieve the same look by starting on the left side as well).

Pretzel (that's what I'm calling it anyway)
To achieve the Pretzel, you will start by placing your head through the scarf - again creating one long loop.  Then gather the hanging scarf just below the collar bone & give it about 3 twists.  You can either just grab & twist, or hold one side of the scarf in each hand & actually twist them around each other, as if you were braiding with only 2 pieces.  Once you've twisted, bring up the lower loop & place around your head as well.  You've essentially created a double loop with a twist, which adds visual interest.

I think these are great additional options to choose from so that you can work with any collar line or neck line.  I chose to demonstrate with an Infinity Scarf that is a bit "thinner", so using a "thicker" one will give each of these methods a different look as well.  (I got this scarf from Charming Charlie...a great place to look for scarves because they have a huge selection!  They have pretty good sales on their scarves too!)

I hope this give you something new to think about & try!  As always, let me know if you have a favorite way to wear your Infinity Scarf.

I kept hearing this in my head as I wrote this post, so I had to share it!