Friday, November 28, 2014

#SmallBusinessSaturday

Happy official holiday season 2014!  Tomorrow is small business Saturday and being that I grew up with my Dad owning a small business (#anglersall), I wanted to do a post about supporting small businesses this holiday season.  There are a few reasons I like to shop at small businesses. Besides supporting someone as they build their "American Dream", and the community that the business might be in, I really like it when I go into a store and the employees are very knowledgeable about their products.  Nothing irritates me more than going to a big store and I get the feeling I know more about a product than the person supposedly helping me. Now, this doesn't happen at all big stores, but when you walk into a small business, you're going to get better personal service. In fact, when I go into my favorite local running store, #coloradorunningcompany (crc), they know who I am and what race I may be training for. They even know what products I like and will show me things they think I may enjoy using for training.  Again, the level of personal service and knowledge are second to none at a small business. Besides local small businesses, there are many online stores as well.  I've listed a few of my favorites below.

SmallBusiness



Nickel & Suede:  I Love, love Nickel & Suede. They make leather accessories for men and women. I have several pairs of earrings, two cuffs and a scarf from them. The earrings make a big statement, but are super light.  I wear the large size all the time and I forget that I'm wearing them.  Did I mention I love this company?

I have on the large rose gold earrings.  

Nana's Crafty Creations:  Patrice at Nana's Crafty Creations makes the cutest flat iron/ curling iron travel cases. These are great gifts and very good quality. I love that each design is unique. I've bought a few of these now.

Canned Goods Co.:  Now this company is unique because it's a small online company, it's a local Colorado company, and they recycle?! They make jewelry out of recycled cans.  This all started with an anniversary gift for shop owner, Thomas Paul Althaus, to his wife of 10 years.  I haven't had the chance to try the jewelry yet, but an order is on its way!

I hope your Holidays 2014 are amazing!

Cheers,

Stacie

These opinions are my own.  I am in no way, shape, or form sponsored by any of the above mentioned companies....although I wish I was.  ;-P


*linking up with:  Fashion Friday, Lauren Elizabeth, A Little Bit of Everything, Fab Favorites

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shopping Mojo

In light of the mega sales that we will be seeing this week, I wanted to briefly review where I've been having good shopping mojo lately & pieces I've been loving.

One of my favorite go-to stores, especially for staple items, has been the LOFT.  First off, let me say, never ever ever pay full price for anything here!! They are constantly running great sales that make each piece much more affordable - seriously, if I find out that you've paid full price I may have to slap your hand (well, maybe not really).

One of the main areas I've have good luck with at the LOFT is pants.  From leggings to dress pants, I've found the fit to be spot on & the material to be of good quality.  Here's a sample of what I've been loving:
Again, with the changing of the seasons,  I replace some of the worn-out staples in my wardrobe, but at an average of $25-30 for each piece, it's hard to feel guilty.  Here is a small sampling of how I've worn the pants shown above (I'll link to the items still available):

Left: Pants, LOFT //  Scarf, Target 
Right:  Ponte Knit Leggings, LOFT // Scarf, Zumiez

Left & Middle:  Pants, LOFT // Necklace, Kendra Scott via Nordstrom
Right: Leggings, LOFT //  Graphic Tee, Old Navy

I'm loving all the leggings this year...the bottom right picture is the good old fashion simple legging for more casual outfits.  I also stocked up on the two ponte knit leggings (one with a faux leather stripe) to wear to work & with more dressier outfits.  Either way, all types are great.  

As for the dress pants, I have great luck with the Marisa fit...no adjustments needed.  They also have 3 other fit types so you can find what works for your body type.


The other store I've been finding tons of items at lately is Old Navy.  To be quite honest with you, this store has been very hit-and-miss for me over the years, but this Fall Old Navy has been spot on!  Again, here are some of my faves thus far.

Both of these pair of jeans have fit my needs for this season...they fit well & the price - & color & distressing -was right.  I have also found that Old Navy dresses work really well for me without a lot of effort on my part, so I love the versatility of both of these dresses (hello faux leather pockets!).  Here's a quick sample of how I've been wearing these items lately (more to come on the Chambray, eventually).

Left: Dress, tights & booties - Old Navy // Scarf  - Target
Right:  Dress & booties - Old Navy // Scarf - Target


Left:  Jeans - Old Navy // Boot Cuffs - Grace & Lace // Buffalo Plaid - Old Navy
Right:  Wine Colored Skinnies - Old Navy // sorry, all other items are no longer available :-(

Once again, never pay full price at Old Navy either!  There will always be a sale or discount coupons/rewards that can be used - shop smart :-)


Both of these stores will be having sales this weekend, so let me know what you get!!

In other blog news, on Monday I eluded to a big announcement.  I'm happy to say that I've asked my sister, Stacie, to join me in this adventure.  I want to bring you guys more content more often & I can't accomplish those goals on my own (purely from a time standpoint).  Our goal together is to bring more variety (or viewpoints) to the blog, but definitely keep Fashion on the forefront as that's where my passion lies!  Stacie will have a post for you this Friday, & over the next week we'll work on more introductions & updates.  I like her - so I think you will too (lol) & I'm excited to have a partner in crime!!  Be sure to stop by & say "hi" on Friday & next week you'll get to learn more about her.

Happy & Safe Thanksgiving to all!

K

*linking up with:  Style Me Wednesday, The Pleated Poppy, I Feel Pretty, Because Shanna Said So, Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, Thursday Favorites

Monday, November 24, 2014

One Year Blogiversary

This week (tomorrow specifically) is the one year anniversary of my little piece of the web.  It's been a fun year -I have learned so much (& continue to learn something new about this craft daily), I've been blessed to have "met" some wonderful & supportive people (other bloggers), & I love that this is a creative outlet for me.  I'm happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone to give this a go.

In honor of the 1-year benchmark I thought it only appropriate to talk about the sweater that was the opener one year ago.  Here's a glimpse of how I've worn it since that original post (that I've snapped pictures of anyway):





Funny, as I was looking back at the original post this sweater was 40% off at the time.  Well, Target has done it again & all sweaters are 40% off this week too.  I still stand by what I said in that post & it's one of the main reasons for this blog - style doesn't have to be expensive!  This blog isn't meant to be about me - it's about showing you that you can do it too!  It's letting you know where I get my wardrobe from & how I get maximum use out of each piece.  It's about encouraging you to put time into yourself, to put something on every day that makes you feel something positive (pretty, sassy, confident, happy, etc).  I hope that this blog pushes you to try something new that you didn't think you could "pull off".  This blog is for you - & I hope that's how it comes across.

I thank each of you who comes by to read each post.  I LOVE it when I hear from you about new shoes you got that were different for you, or how you added a great statement necklace to an otherwise basic outfit because "I said you could", or how you bought your first leopard print piece, or you mixed stripes & floral for the first time!  Hearing those type of comments from you seriously makes me so giddy!!  See - you can do this too!

I also thank my family for dealing with the daily photos & "blogging tasks" - I couldn't do it without their support!  I look back at some of my early posts & cringe...ugh, they are just bad in my mind, but that's ok because this is how I continue to grow & get better.  This little blog isn't where I want it to be yet, but as long as I'm making forward progress I'm happy with the ride.

I'm excited for ie-style's next chapter - big announcement coming soon, so stay tuned & again, thank you for reading!

K

*linking up with: Manic Monday with Gina & Carylee, Marvelous Monday, How I Fall Link-up, Let It Shine, Monday Bloom, Trend Spin Link-up, Confident Twosday, Style Sessions

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Faves: Holiday Savings



Well hello there!!  I've not done a Friday post in quite some time, but since I missed Monday this week I thought I'd do a quick post today.

With the Holiday Shopping season upon us I thought I'd share just a few ways I plan on saving here & there while doing my Christmas shopping, because every penny counts, right?!

source

Favorite Ways to Save

1)  CardCash.com - This is a gift card discount site meaning you can buy gift cards from thousands of national retailers at a discounted price saving as much as 20%.  Now, these are not gift cards that you would want to give as a gift perse (because they are odd dollar amounts), but rather buy in advance to a store you know you will be making a purchase at.  For instance, if I know I'm going to buy the Hubby some snazzy tool from Home Depot I can buy a gift card from cardcash.com at an 8.5% discount (currently) & then use that gift card as my form of payment when I purchase.  If you combine this savings with other in-store discounts or coupons, it's even better!

On the other side of things, if you have gift cards sitting around that you're probably not going to use, you can sell those to cardcash.com for cash (via check or paypal) for up to 92% of the face value.

Now, a couple of things to be aware of - their supply of available discounted gift cards changes daily, so they may not have the retailer you want or the exact amount you want available, but check back regularly.  Also, they send you the gift card via snail mail, so take the delivery time into consideration if you are wanting to use it for a gift purchase.

2)  Ebates.com - This one is new to me but I fully intend on using it now for all of my online purchases.  Jenna mentioned it earlier this week & then my 9 year old daughter told me I should also use it because I had mentioned I planned on doing a lot of my holiday shopping online this year (she saw it on a commercial, lol).  It's simple - go to ebates.com & sign up, then anytime you are going to make an online purchase go to ebates.com & from their site, go the the retailer you want to shop at.  Ebates will then give you cash back on the purchase you made with that retailer - just looking around at retailers I typically buy from, it would be anywhere from 1%-6% cash back on my purchase price.  That may not sound like a lot, but it would definitely add up throughout the year.

So, given the same example from above with the tool for the Hubby - say I pre-buy a Home Depot gift card from CardCash.com (8.5%) discount, then I use that gift card to buy the item online through eBates/Home Depot, I'll get an additional 3% cash back!  Double whammy!

3) GroopDealz.com - I just discovered this one myself, but this site has everything!  It's an online boutique that has a large variety of trending clothes, accessories, home goods, childrens goods, etc. at a fraction of regular retail prices.  The deals vary daily, so it's a great site to check daily.  It would be a great site to grab some great gifts for the holiday's at a great price.  My only warning however, is that both items I have purchased through them have taken a while to actually ship - we're talking 2-3 weeks.  Again, something to keep in mind if you need your item by a certain date.

4) The "non-gift" Gift - last year I talked about "time" being a gift rather than a physical present. You can read more about that here.


Hopefully some of these ideas will bring you extra cash/savings during the Holidays.  If you've used any of these before, I'd love to hear your experience too!

source

p.s. All opinions expressed are my own - I was not asked to sponsor any of the companies above (they have no idea who I am, let alone that I'm mentioning them here), I simply wanted to share how I plan on saving :-)


*linking up with:  Lauren Elizabeth, Fab Favorites, The Diary of a Real Housewife, Manic Monday with Carylee & Gina, Monday Bloom

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Black on Black

Sorry for the lack of a post on Monday - I got the opportunity to spend time with the Hubby at the Beer & Bacon Festival (say what?! Yep - never been so sick of bacon in my life!) followed up by a movie on Sunday, so the blog took a back seat.  But I'm back today, so on with the post...



I'm not typically one to be monochromatic in my attire.  However, as I was telling Carylee the other day, the thought of dressing all black has been on my mind lately, so I took the plunge.  I came up with two different outfit ideas to share with you.  Then you can tell me which one you prefer.

First up, I've been feeling like I've neglected to give my black Portofino wear time, so this was the perfect opportunity to wear it again along with my Moto Jacket.  As you can see, I just couldn't resist adding a touch of leopard print too :-)






Top - Express, option // Leggings - LOFT // Jacket - Target, option //  Booties - Target, option, option // Necklace - LOFT, option // Sunnies - Coach, option


The second outfit was inspired by Gina when she mentioned pairing this Baroque Tiered Lace Tank with a blazer.  Coincidentally, I have both of those items in black so it was meant to be tried for this black on black experiment.







Baroque Lace Tanks - Express // Scuba Leggings - Express // Blazer - Target, similar // Necklace - J.Crew Factory (on sale) // Shoes - Apt 9 via Kohls, option, option (love these!) // Bag - Michael Kors, similar


The key to wearing an outfit that is monochromatic is to be sure you mix up the fabric textures and/or patterns.  This will keep the outfit visually interesting & far from boring. All in all, my experiment went well I think.  It's always refreshing to break out of your normal fashion routine once in a while...it gives you the confidence that you can pull off something outside of your traditional patterns.  I will say one thing - wearing all black does make you feel like a bad *&^, heehee.

We have a night out this coming weekend to celebrate a friends birthday & I figured that would be the perfect time to wear one of these out.  So, what do you think...option 1 or option 2??  Or a mix of the two?  Feel free to speak your mind :-)


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*linking up with: Style Me Wednesday, The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, O, Hey Girl Link-Up, Thursday Favorites, Spotlight Weekly Link-up, Little Friday, How I Fall Link-up

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chunky Knits

Well, just like that it's full out freezing here!!  We went from 60 degrees Monday morning to snow Monday afternoon...wow!  The next few days high temps max out in the teens, so it is time to bundle up!  Lucky for us, a hot trend right now is the chunky knit cardigan!  I've been seeing a lot of them on the racks all over stores this Fall, but until now, didn't have the desire to "go there" with the warm Fall weather we had been enjoying.

Today, however, I'm super thankful for these layers of warmth!  Here are a few that I love lately...

Chunky Knit Cardigans



I really like the faux leather leggings with these chunky knits (as you can see in quite a few of the models here).  Colored, white, or distressed skinnies would also be fantastic with these.  I have one of these chunky cardigans from last year, originally shown here.  In light of the recent freeze, however, I pulled it out again making it appropriate for the office.




Cardigan - last year's version of this one // Cami // Cobalt Pants - Target (old), option // Boots // Long Necklace


I'll admit, I stayed nice & cozy warm in this cardigan!  I can't wait to remix it again with a graphic tee & faux leather leggings!

What's your favorite way to stay warm?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Battle

I go through phases where I realize I haven't worn a certain article of clothing recently, so I make it a goal to pull that piece out & give it some wear time.  Late last week I realized that I needed get at least one more day out of my Olive Cargo pants before the snow starts falling.  The following mind battle ensued...everything I reached for was stripes, or black & white, or a neutral color.  Now, some of you may say "what's wrong with those options", but those just seemed "too easy" to me personally.  As you can see from the original post with these pants, I wore it with a striped black & white top - so, been there done that.

Also, since I see this blog as a place to inspire others to try new things, find versatility in all things, & maximize your wardrobe, I felt that I couldn't go with stripes or black & white again

So, there I stood shuffling through my closet trying to feel inspired with a new idea.  Nothin.  So, where do you go when needing inspiration?  Pinterest!  Nothin (all black & white or neutrals).  I was frustrated!  So, I walked away - retreated from the battle in my head since I was getting nowhere.

I came back after getting the girls off to school & it hit me (finally) & the outfit came together like this:






Dot & Bow Blouse // Sweater // Pants - Forever 21 (old) option, option // Shoes - Old Navy (old) option

I picked up this blouse on super sale from the LOFT mostly to use as a peek-a-boo layering shirt.  I didn't really love, or even like, the tie at the neck but still purchased it because it was less than $8.00!  Imagine my surprise that I actually ended up liking the tie in this outfit!  Go figure!  I love the cranberry & olive color combination that came together, especially for Fall.  

In fact, here's a second outfit using the same blouse & my olive military vest - this time with bordeaux colored skinnies.




Dot & Bow Blouse // Vest - Old Navy, option // Skinny Jeans // Shoes - Nine West, option // Clutch // Bracelets - Target (old)

What I love the most about both outfits is the yin-yang of the ultra feminine blouse with the more "masculine" vest/cargo pants.   In the end, I won this battle (albeit a small battle) - not only with one outfit, but it easily transitioned into two outfits!  Double win!

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p.s.  A super huge "thank you" & hug to my Sis for taking these photos!!  xoxo


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

K.I.S.S. - Tunic

Back with another K.I.S.S. (keep is simple, silly) post - this time it's all about the Tunic.  Tunics are a great staple for Fall.  Not only are they comfortable, you can toss one on with skinny jeans or leggings & be out the door in no time wearing an outfit you can be confident in.

First, what is a tunic?  Well according to Wikipedia it is:

"A tunic is any of several types of garment for the body, usually simple in style, reaching from the shoulders to a length somewhere between the hips and the ankles. The name derives from the Latin tunica, the basic garment worn by both men and women in Ancient Rome, which in turn was based on earlier Greek garments."

So there you have it - the key points being "simple in style" & a length typically longer than the hip.  Furthering my point of easily being able to wear them with skinny pants & leggings.

I browsed some of my frequently shopped stores & came up with these great options for Tunics:


Tunic Love


Chiffon skirting, baseball sleeves, side zippers, plaid, chevron, chambray, lace - oh my!!  What's not to love?!

If you go with a more simple, solid color tunic then have fun with the printed legging trend currently happening.  A distressed skinny jean would also be fantastic.  You can also quickly add a scarf for more pattern, or a vest for more depth.

If you go with a patterned tunic, pair it with a colored skinny jean or faux leather legging.  Tunics also look great with a long statement necklace as a focal point.

Here's a quick look of how I've been wearing tunics lately -



This is my favorite tunic from last spring & I wore it more times than I care to admit.  Unfortunately, it's no longer available but the Grey tunic with the black chiffon skirting from above is very similar & it's only $12.00!! (I may need that one too).



This is my favorite tunic from this season (same style graphic print).  I picked it up from Charming Charlie & of course, I love the wide stripe!  I also adore the high-low hemline, the delicate seam for waist definition, & the slit in the back.  I will very easily be able to add a cardigan or vest for warmth as the weather gets colder as well.  I've also worn this tunic with distressed skinny jeans, white skinnies, & scuba leggings (faux leather leggings).


Simple & easy & stylish...perfection!  Tunics are definitely an item I reach for when I'm in a rush or feeling uninspired.  What are your favorite tunics this season?

For other K.I.S.S. posts click here.

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*linking up with:  The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Style Me Wednesday, Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, Thursday Favorites, Spotlight of the Week, Little Friday, Throw Back Thursday Link Up

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pinspired

As you know from this post last week I'm absolutely loving the fur vest trend again this season.  I recently purchased this one, so of course I've been happily pinning pins on Pinterest for outfit inspirations.  I've taken two of my faves & recreated the looks with what I have in my closet.

Pinspiration:

Fur & Red:

Vest!!

I loved the statement red in this outfit.  When I saw this pin it immediately reminded me of a red pleated blouse that I have so pinning it was a sure bet.  Here's how my recreation turned out.






Blouse - LOFT (last season), option, option with fun zipper detail //  Fur Vest - Wet Seal, identical option // Black Denim - Banana Republic (last season), option, option // Leopard Booties - Target (last season), option, option

Although my ultimate fur vest would be more the colors in the original pin, I was still happy with how my version came together.  I added the leopard booties for pattern & to bring some of the light color downward.  Confession: I had actually forgotten I had these black textured pants, so I was happy to see them again too.

Side note: if you love the earrings in the original pin, you can find them here.  My Sister owns a few pairs & LOVES them!


Faux Fur & Faux Leather:

We heart blogger FashionHippieLoves in these Oasis skinny jeans.

Two of my favorites (well actually 3) came together in this pin, so again, it was a no-brainer. I liked the use of black & gold accessories in the original pin as well.  Again, just using what I already own, I came up with this version:




Chambray - J.Crew Factory // Fur Vest - Wet Sealidentical option // Faux Leather Leggings - Express // Belt - Target // Nude Pumps - Madden Girl // Necklace, watch & bracelets - Charming Charlie

Personally I felt that I needed more definition at the waist, so I added a thin black belt.  Other than that, I used what I had for accessories & nude pumps to recreate the look.  Although I like the necklace much better from the original pin you make what you already own work, right?!  


Thus far I'm very pleased with the use I've gotten out of this vest - & it's only been a couple of weeks since I got it.  Although I will continue to look for one that has a darker/multi-tonal look, I've very happy to have this one (especially for the price-point).

Are you fur vest obsessed like me?

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