Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring Style!

I love that the weather is getting warmer and the cute shoes and tops are coming out of the closet! Here's a few of my fave outfit ideas for when the sun's out!

I am obsessed with anorak's right now- you can wear them with leggings, flats and hoops for a 'safari chic' look- or dress it up with wedges and a nautical dress!

From Wendy's Look Book!

This look reminds me of France for some reason. I love the feminine ruffled top with the sassy wedges! Add a chunky 'sailor' cardi when it gets chilly!

The top here is from Old Navy (on sale now!).
I found similar pants at Marshall's for $19.99. 
I've seen similar jewelry at Forever 21. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ombre nails!

Today I decided to experiment with the ombre nail trend. It's kind of grey and gloomy outside (in typical Seattle fashion) so I figured, let's keep with that theme. I chose a kind of purple-y greige color palette. 

New York Color in Park Ave, Essie in Cocktail Bling, and Zoya in Megan.

I started with my shellac base (a base and a top coat) and then painted my pinkie and ring fingers with the darkest shade. Then I did my middle and pointer with the middle shade. Then my thumb with the lightest.

Here they are after just the first coat.

Then I did a second coat and finished with a shellac top coat. It took way longer than a typical one shade manicure because I was trying not to smudge any of the wrong color polish on the wrong nail...but it turned out pretty well!

Love that shellac shine!!!

I love the ombre look but I'm not sure how I feel about wearing it around for an everyday look. It's a little much for my taste, but it'll do for today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sheer, blousy, lovely

The sheer blouse look is definitely trending right now. I love how it can immediately make you look classy and feel sexy. And there's so many different places you can take it... vampy, professional, fun & flirty, girly...oh, the possibilities!

I recently went on a blouse-binge and bought up a bag full of sheer blouses in a variety of styles from Forever 21:

This one is just barely sheer and has a fun, masculine vibe to it. I love it with jeans and flats or heels- tucked in just like this.

This one is my favorite! It's so flirty and girly. I love the idea of doing a top-knot with it and some chunky jewelry, too. I like to imagine this model is wearing espadrilles.

This one is super trendy and a little edgy!

This one is perfect for work! But please, wear a nude cami underneath. Peak-a-boo's are inaprope for the office.  

This one is also great for the office (under a bright colored cardi!), but I love how they jazzed up the  model here with leather pants and gave her a little edge. This could also be great with colored jeans.

Here's a few more I found that I adore...
Also from Forever 21.

The sheer polka-dot look is so classic. You can do a 60's look like lovely Miss Lively here, or you can update it with a chunky necklace and bangles.

My absolute favorite ways to wear a blouse right now is to pair with either skinny's and heels or wide legs and chunky wedges. Add a clutch and you're set for day or night.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Target trip!

Did anyone else ever used to be embarrassed when they went to Target, like as a kid? Because it was a 'discount' store and kind of not cool to go there? Maybe I was a shallow child but there was once a time when I hated going to Target.

Obviously those days are gone and now I basically consider Target the mother-ship. So many adorable things at affordable prices! (Not to mention you can also snack on fresh buttered popcorn while you shop. Double win.)

I recently went to Target and made out with, what I think, is pretty good loot. I went with the intention of finding a fun watch but I got distracted by this scarf and had to have it!

floral Target scarf

And then I found my watch! I love tortoise- faux of course...

Target tortoise watch

I also got a few pieces of jewelry, some fun clearance earrings and a basic white tee for jeans and flats in the summer.

Clearance jewelry! These were both less than $4/pair.

And of course...I had to hit up the dollar spot on the way out. :)

I love to have note cards/thank you cards on hand. Super cute and $1 for each pack!

Sigh...Oh Target, I promise never to doubt you again. 

Friday Faves: beauty products!

I have a myriad of beauty products (thanks in part to my monthly BirchBox) but I have a select few that I'm fairly certain I couldn't live without. And if I had to, I probably wouldn't leave the house.

My morning 'laboratory'. 

I think most women have heard the question..."if you had to choose just one beauty product to have with you on a deserted island"... I could never choose just one. Why put yourself in such a cruel dilemma? But I will tell you which five are my most crucial.

     1. Moisturizer. You absolutely cannot afford to skip this step if you're 25 or older. It's just life. This is the product I spend the most money on because for me it makes the biggest impact.

Vichy is hands down the best moisturizer you will ever use. The LiftActive Night is literally youth in a jar.

Kiehl's is also a great option.

2. Concealer. This evens out skin tone in the worst areas (under the eyes, around the nose), and really, it makes me look less scary.  I swear by the brand below and will never use anything else. It's full of vitamins to improve your skin, so it doubles as a treatment.

Miracle Skin Transformer. The name is accurate. 

     3. Blush. Simply put, blush makes you look alive. I'll use anything for blush- lipstick, lip cream, cream blush, rosy eye shadow. Anything works as long as it gives your face color.

Right now I'm using Physicians Formula 'shimmer strips'. 

    4. Eyeliner. Eye liner automatically takes you from 12 to 21. Or 27 in my case, but who's counting? The point is, without it, I look like I'm in middle school. I don't go crazy with it for an everyday-look, but a thin line on the top lash line and a tiny bit on the bottom does the trick.

I don't splurge on liner- a drugstore buy works great. Right now I'm using Prestige Soft Blend Kohl Pencil in Black. 

    5. Mascara. Everyone knows that mascara opens up your eyes and makes you look awake. In my opinion it's more about the brush than the actual formula, but it's different for everyone. This one works best for me...

Clinique High Impact Mascara in black is my fave!

....there you have it. If I absolutely had to live with a select few, this would be it! What are your must-haves?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stella & Dot

I am loving Stella & Dot's jewelry right now. It's the perfect combination of boho chic with a delicate feminine touch.

Serenity Stone Drops
I wore a pair similar to this for my wedding!

Capri Chandelier Earrings in Coral
I would pair these with long flowing hair and a maxi skirt for day or night!

Signature Clover Necklace
LOVE. I am obsessed with clovers right now and this necklace is perfect. Pair with jeans and a white tee, or get fancier with a black tank and black blazer. 

Initial Charm Silver
I got these as gifts for all of my bridesmaids at my wedding (and one for myself of course). I put them on a silver chain and put them in a cute little box from Michael's craft store. :)

Nugget Wrap Bracelet
I love to stack boho bracelets like on a hot summer day!

Of course, we can't all afford some of these pieces (the prices can get pretty steep) but they're a great source for inspiration when I go out shopping elsewhere!

What Stella & Dot pieces do you have (or dream of)??

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I have a serious obsession with wedges this season. Here's a few of my favorite finds:
Pandora Color Block wedges @ Asos

Crown Vintage wedge sandals @ DSW (I just had to have these).
I recently paired these with black wide leg pants and this top from Forever 21

Rampage Bastian Suede wedge @ DSW.
I like that these are a little less chunky than  most wedges...they can be more feminine and paired with a dress for a wedding, or other special occasion.

The splurge: Jimmy Choo's. Cute? Yes! Affordable? No.

Gotta love Payless! These are a much more affordable version of these Steve Madden's

I'd love to hear where my fellow fashionista's are finding their fave wedges this season! Leave a comment with your fab finds and what you're pairing them with!

Nailed it.

Yep. I totally did nail it. I have mastered the fine art of doing my own nails. But I hate doing them myself because they never last- they chip almost immediately and all that hard work is lost... super frustrating, right? (Sigh).. I know... Even after getting a salon mani my nails tend to chip quickly, so I almost always get shellac'd. I love how long they last- and OH the shine... However, as we all know, keeping a nicely shellac'd look on the regular gets pricey fast. Major dilemma.
A shellac manicure typically costs between $40-$60 and lasts for up to two weeks.

Recently, a coworker of mine was admiring my meticulously self-polished nails, and suggested that I was so good at it, that I should do my own shellac.

My immediate thoughts:
1) Why have I never thought of this before; and 2) how can I make this happen, like immediately?

Of course, super impulsive me got online right away and purchased all the necessary tools for shellac-ing myself to kingdom come. It took a couple practice rounds, but I eventually mastered the art of self-shellacing. I wanted to share this knowledge with whoever is brave enough to jump on the DIY train!

What you'll need:
  • UV light (I purchased a Thermal Spa brand one on You want one that has at least 36 watts.
  • Shellac base coat & top coat (I purchased CND brand)
  • Shellac color (or regular nail color- see variations below)
  • Rubbing alcohol (90% + solution)
  • Typical mani tools=Cotton pads & q-tips, cuticle stick, nail files, acetone polish remover, eyeliner brush
  • Cuticle solution (CND Cuticle Away is a miracle product!!!) 

How to shellac yourself:

  1. Remove all existing polish and make sure you're starting with clean hands (IE- wash them).
  2. Place a small dab of cuticle solution on cuticle area and let sit for a few minutes. Scrape away the residue that comes off with cuticle stick and push back remaining cuticle. Clean off any left over solution.
  3. Shape each nail to your liking with nail file.
  4. Soak a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and cleanse each nail. This preps the nail for the shellac polish.
Now you're ready to start painting!
  1. Paint each nail with the shellac base coat and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes (my light has a setting for 2 minutes and for 3 minutes).
  2. Paint each nail with shellac color and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes. Make sure you are detailed during this part because once you dry under the light, it's permanent.
  3. Paint each nail with shellac top coat and let dry under UV light for 2-3 minutes.
  4. IMPORTANT last step: You must rub each nail with an alcohol soaked cotton pad to get off the tacky top layer and give it that trademark SHINE!

I find that there's not a very wide selection of colors in shellac, and I have a few normal polishes that I love, so I found a way to use normal polish with shellac!


  1. Do all your nail prep work, same as above.
  2. Paint each nail with the shellac base coat and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes.
  3. Paint each nail with shellac top coat and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes. Rub each nail with an alcohol soaked cotton pad to get off the tacky top layer.
  4. Paint each nail with your chosen non-shellac nail color and let dry completely. Do 2 coats.
  5. Use an eyeliner brush to dip in polish remover and touch up any mistakes. Run the brush along the curve of your cuticle to get a clean, professional finish.
  6. Once fully dried, paint each nail again with shellac top coat and let dry under UV light for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Rub each nail with an alcohol soaked cotton pad to get off the tacky top layer and give it shine, and voila! Personalized shellac mani!

This is my own hand that I 'sandwich' shellaced (this is on the 6th day so you can see it lasts for quite a while)! The color is Sinful Nails- Big Daddy.

Now that you know how to get a shellac mani using regular polish, you can do all sorts of nail art that will last for at least a week!

Currently obsessed with gradient nails. Here's a great tutorial from Makeup Withdrawl!
This technique has worked for me, but I am definitely not a professional. Take these tips with a grain of salt, and a glass of wine.

Okay! Now you know how to give yourself an at-home shellac for the fraction of the salon price, and with even more color and design options. Use this power wisely!

Bags, bags, bags!

Okay, almost every woman I know has at least a slight obsession with handbags- myself included. Not only can a bag complete an outfit like no other accessory, but they allow you to carry your life around with you on your shoulder. I myself usually prefer large bags so I afford to jam it full of anything I might need. But I digress...

I love finding the perfect bag- that essential piece that will definitely complete your wardrobe! But I majorly dislike looking at the price tag and realizing that I will never be able to afford it (unless I buy it two years from now on EBay when it's tattered and stained). So what's a fashion-forward girl on a reasonable budget to do? Duh, off-price stores!

I love me some off-price merchandise.

Now I don't mean to brag, but I always have people asking me where I get my bags and the answer is usually Marshall's! Yes it requires a bit more patience than Nordstrom- you have to sift through a few more piles and you might not find your dream bag right away BUT the payoff is so worth it.

I tend to head to the store with a color and general style in mind (chances are you won't find an identical bag to the Marc Jacobs you are drooling over, so if you go expecting to find something too specific, you may end up disappointed). I recently found with these two gems:

Black Fiorelli satchel made in the UK!
Very summer-y white & tan Valentina tote made in Italy (genuine leather)!

I also found my FAVE bag ever from a deal on the Today Show segment called 'Steals and Deals'. The segment runs every other Tuesday and features different luxury items at deep discounts for 24 hours. Full price this bag was $400 but I got it for $80...steal!

Kristen Bell for Erica Anenberg Sutton Tote @ $395.
(I got the grey one- in the upper left corner).
So what have we learned? You don't have to go into debt to get your perfect bag. There are fabulous deals out there! Go find them and show them off proudly. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Maxi Dresses

Vertical wave dress- just one of the fabulous maxi's from ModCloth.
Maxi dresses and skirts are the best way to be comfortable and cute for spring and summer! For a casual look, wear with flats or strappy sandals and a denim jacket. Polish off with a top knot, and a scarf if it needs an extra pop of color!

For a more formal look, pair with wedges and a statement necklace- and maybe a fun envelope clutch! I like to wear hair down with this look.

Stacking Rings

Find the rings above on Etsy. I found similar options at Old navy for less than $6!

I'm loving stacking rings right now! Wear a bunch together or just one by itself for a delicate look. It's a great way to mix metals, too! I have a white gold wedding ring, so when I want to wear yellow or rose gold accessories, I'll mix a few bangles or stacking rings to blend the look!

You can also get playful with shapes and textures...