what to wear to an office party, where you want to be a little edgy, but sparkly, too. (And maybe even a little irreverent;)

12.19.2014



Photos via Jennifer Cummins
℅ Lulu*s sequin skirt; Old Navy plaid top; Lauren Conrad for Kohl's heels (similar, only $22!); Sparkle box necklace (not seen.)

I've always been a sucker for taking a "fancy" piece of clothing and pairing it with something unexpected. And what is more unexpected and decidedly un-fancy than a plaid button down? I mean, my dad wears one of these shirts every single day of his life! (Hey, Dad!) A lot of times when I am perusing Pinterest at night I find images of the sequin pants that were all the rage last year, paired with a simple tee, or a skirt similar to this with a chambray top, and I love that! It's something you don't see everyday, and it's not a look I see around in my small town life. I can envision this skirt paired with both of those items and worn year round. (I WILL have a knotted, basic grey tee moment in this skirt when it warms up…how cute would that be?) 

I adore wearing something sparkly and shiny this time of year in particular, because when else can you get away with it and not get a weird side eye look?  I envision this for a holiday work party, where you want to stand out a little yet still be covered up and modest. It has a lady-like vibe with the cut of the skirt, but still says, "Hey, I'm fun," paired with the plaid top. (At least I HOPE that's what it conveys, ha!) 

On that note, I wanted to wish my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season! I am taking the next week off of blogging to spend time with my family, but I will be back with a vengeance for the New Year. I have some AWESOME things planned, I promise;) Thanks again for coming back daily to read, and for being such a special part of my life. 

This post was sponsored by Lulu*s (make sure to check out their amazing holiday dress shop!)! Thank you for supporting those that support this blog;)

What to wear on NYE (when you want to be fancy, but not stuffy... you know?) + a HUGE giveaway!

12.18.2014

 ℅ Lulu*s dress, clutch, headband, and statement necklace (and, similar!)

New Year's Eve for me is rarely fancy or event-filled anymore, more often than not I am tucked up in my bed with my husband, bundled up to my eyebrows in fleece. (Sexy!) Before kids I used to always go out, we either threw parties or went to one thrown by friends, and I loved it! Being able to get dressed in something fancier than usual, and celebrate the New Year with friends and my love is the BEST. 

I'm not sure what my plans are in the next couple of weeks, but I can envision going to a quietly romantic dinner with my husband, and maybe for a little after dinner drink out in this super fun fringe dress from Lulu*s. Isn't it fun? It has the best movement, it makes you want to shimmy your hips a bit and make it move;) Add in this gorgeous pearl headband (love this, too), bib necklace, and sequin clutch, and it felt party perfect. And maybe a little Gatbsy-esque? I'll take it!

In honor of the holidays and the upcoming New Year, Lulu*s is giving one lucky reader a chance to win $150 in store credit! (The possibilities are endless for what you can buy with that!) This giveaway will run for a week, and is open to U.S. residents only. I will notify the winner on Christmas Day, you may even have time to grab something fun to wear by New Year's Eve! Good luck, friends;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



This post was sponsored by Lulu*s (make sure to check out their amazing holiday dress shop!)! Thank you for supporting those that support this blog;)

what to wear when you have a basic black lbd (or jumpsuit!), and don't want to break the bank with a bunch of new stuff...

12.17.2014

Photos by Jennifer Cummins
℅ Lulu*s clutch, headband, and drop necklace.

It's that time of year when we need to come up with a dressed up look or two, and more often than not I want to do it on a budget. (You can call me cheap, it's OKAY!) I have a TON of black dresses, (and one fun jumpsuit!), that are the perfect jumping off point for a glam holiday look. Accessories are what I don't mind going out and looking for, especially when they are fun and a little bit quirky. My main thought when putting an outfit together is comfort, I hate tugging on straps or fiddling with my jewelry. Daintier necklaces that are layered together are my favorite way to go, as is wearing a bedazzled headband to jazz up my hair (I am hopeless at coming up with new hairstyles…) 

I also discovered that I have two clutches that I have owned for 10+ years, and I am tired of them (I MAY have brought one of them to prom, YIKES.) I adore how this sequin one from Lulu*s is big enough to carry my phone, lipstick, and other necessary items, but that it's sparkly enough to stand out, yet the color makes it work with everything. Winning!

To switch this look up, I would also belt it with a sparkly gold belt, and swap out these heels for caged peep toe booties. And add in a crazy beautiful statement necklace, just because;) 

Tell me, do you usually buy a new outfit for the holidays, or just jazz up one you own?

P.S. Stay tuned for a HUGE giveaway tomorrow!

This post was sponsored by Lulu*s (make sure to check out their amazing holiday dress shop!)! Thank you for supporting those that support this blog;)

Sorry, not sorry

12.16.2014





Lands End coat; Old Navy jeans (similar); Target hat; Ray Ban sunglasses; Lamo boots (LOVE these!)

While getting dressed last week, I felt I had two choices. I could TRY, or I could just let it go (let it go!!!!), and be completely, happily boring (Yet comfortable. Clearly I chose the latter.) I mean, sometimes, I just want to be basic and simple and not put on anything more than I need to. I want to blend in and just focus on life, (or keeping warm.)

Here is what I am completely sorry (not sorry) for nowadays:

-These boots. You guys! I swore I would never wear Uggs. I hated them! They seemed bulky and ugly and so NOT cool. Also, Uggs are way too expensive. So, when I saw these Lamo boots on QVC last month and heard the description, (AND saw that they were under $45!), I had to bite. They were worth it. They have cozy fur all throughout, I can slip them on without socks and run out the door in a hurry, and I adore them. I'm not saying I wear them everyday, but I love that they can be so easy to slip on, and also MAY HAVE bought a cobalt blue pair, too. Ha!

-Something else I never thought I would own? A long, fur hooded black jacket, just like every other woman in the Northern hemisphere seems to own. And you know me! I love my leopard fur, (and my plaid jacket, and my gray faux fur…) But one winter in Northern Michigan told me that I needed a really practical and warm option. After looking and looking, I found this beauty on Lands End for 40% off on Black Friday. I love the tulip hem and the belted waist, and better yet, it is WARM! There is something to be said for a basic and warm jacket, it really goes with everything. Sometimes following the herd works, my friends;) 

Lastly, I think the moral of this post (and yes, there is one!), is that sometimes we can't be afraid to follow the crowd when it comes to certain things. This world tends to be more trend driven, with newer and cooler stuff showing up every second. And I DO like to show that stuff off here more often than not, but for every 1 or 2 cool outfits I may pull out, there are 5 or 6 that are completely basic and simple and just not remarkable. And I'm okay with that! While I tend to feel my best in something a bit more, er, styled(?), I can be simple, too. And basic. Because basic is OKAY, and normal, and oh so comfortable. Take my word for it;)

Tell me, what was the last basic thing you bought? 

What drives me nuts about Christmas

12.15.2014


I love the idea of the holidays. The specials on tv, a tree all lit up in a darkened room, reliving memories from my past with my family, the 24/7 Christmas music radio station. It really is delicious. Christmas Eve is my absolute favorite, with the possibility of all this magic so close. My children are feeling the spirit at manaic levels, all the tasks of the season are done, and the house is at its Christmas best. I love sitting on the couch, with only the lights of the Christmas tree lighting up the eyes of my babies, as they snuggle close in brand new pajamas opened right before bed. It is pure magic, I tell you, and I eat it up each year.

Yet,

The month leading up to Christmas and all it entails is not magical for me. It's like there is something missing, I see all the things that should mean joy and happiness, yet I can't see past my to do list and enjoy them.  I know I SHOULD be happy and feel joy and all that, except there is something holding me back. Something called STRESS. I don't know about you, but in my world, and the world of my women friends, the joy of Christmas is built upon our backs. Every single detail, from the most minute details (present labels! postage stamps!), to large (did we order the Prime Rib for dinner? Did I spend too much? Do the kids have the same amount of presents? Will everyone be happy?), are up to me. 

Let me see if I can explain this better.

The Christmas season for me is:  teacher presents (three to be exact, all appropriately wrapped and well thought out); gifts for my children (five each, and stocking stuffers, wrapped and hidden really well); presents for all of my extended family, AND my husband's extended family (wrapped and shipped just in time); wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, gift bags, labels, etc., purchased (and repurchased when you run out right before the last gift…grrrrr); cookie baking organized so the kids can have a great holiday experience, and also a gingerbread house expedition, Polar Express train ride, movie tickets bought in advance for the Polar Express movie showing on Christmas Eve, and every other event that needs to be planned and booked in advance); all holiday party and events scheduled in and planned; classroom party supplies bought (including those surprise 12 dozen cookies you forget to make and have to purchase last minute); all meals planned, shopped for, prepared (including special Christmas Day pancakes with red and green sprinkles, every detail for the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, and the Christmas Day Prime Rib dinner); special pajamas and an ornament for the kids to open on Christmas Eve; and the house perfectly decorated, (yet kept clean and clutter free for house guests.)

Should I go on? There's more, I promise you, my mind is just too full to think anymore. I think what makes the holiday season so magical and wonderful for everyone else are in the details that bring everything together, but the details that bring the magic are mainly orchestrated by myself, and the women around me. It's simultaneously the best and worst time of the year for stress and crazily packed schedules for us all, and it falls primarily on my shoulders. 

I know I'm not alone, and this fact does make me feel a teensy bit better. See, I thought I was weird, a little bah humbug and Scrooge-like. It seems selfish to complain, and certain husbands out there (cough, cough,) would say to do less, don't worry so much. (Ha!) YET, if I don't worry and stress and plan each detail out, who will? Christmas doesn't just happen, it is built, piece by piece, by the women in your life. I sometimes envy my children (and husband, if I'm honest), who get to experience only the best part of this time of year and not have any of the worry. That sounds selfish, I know.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go grab a glass of wine and work on some deep breathing skills. And try to remember that the little moments, when my kids see how wonderful this season really is, is totally worth it. And luckily, I'll have another 365-ish days to plan for NEXT Christmas;)

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