Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas lists & this week's looks.

'Tis the time to write Christmas lists!  How are y'all doing on putting yours together?  Are you having a hard time or do you know exactly what you want? 
I'm almost always in the latter group.  I think part of the reason is that when I first start thinking of what I "need", I come to the conclusion that I am so fortunate to have all of the really necessary things in life: food, love, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head. I don't need anything.  Not one thing. Ever again.  

But, then I get asked "Okay, well, if you don't need anything, then what would you like?" 
What would I *like*?  Well, I can think of a million things that I'd LIKE! Sweaters, boots, tennis shoes, stuff for the house, a new computer, a new phone… and then before I know it, I get overwhelmed with ranking which things things I'd like more than others and trying to predict what my gift-givers' budget is.  So, most of the time, I take the easy way out and just say "GIFT CARDS, please!".
But, there really is something so fun about receiving a gift that you didn't specifically ask for-- an actual surprise!  Because at the end of the day, you're receiving something special from someone that you love-- what could be better than that?!


Yellow top (Exact old; Pretty much exact hereCute ones hereherehere here)//
Tweed blazer ℅ Eden Revolution (Exact here)//
The Limited Skinny Pants (Exact old; Similar herehere herehere)//
Leopard print ankle boots (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet  Erika Lehman//
Watch  Wristology Watches  (Exact here)//
Sequin patch tunic & leatherette leggings ℅ Avery Lane (Exact here & here)//
Black jacket ℅ Sugar Love Boutique (Exact old; Almost exact here; Super cute here,  hereherehere//
Black riding boots (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Necklace from eBay
Teal dress ℅ Flourish Boutique (Exact here)//
Embellished scarf (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Skinny gold belt (Exact here; Similar herehere)//
Leopard print ankle boots (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)//
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet ℅ Erika Lehman//
Crystal serenity earrings ℅ Wild Butterfly Boutique (Exact here)
Off shoulder top and poncho ℅ Catch Bliss Boutique (Exact here & here)//
Black pencil skirt (Almost exact here; Similar herehere, here, here)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Black ankle boots (Exact here; Similar here, here, here, here)//
Wide stretch belt (Exact old; Similar here, herehere)
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet ℅ Erika Lehman//
Watch  Wristology Watches  (Exact here)
Top from Old Navy (Exact old)//
Dark-wash skinny jeans (Exact old, from Express; Very similar hereSimilar herehereherehere)//

Jean jacket (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)// 
Pink suede boots (Exact old; Cute pink wedges here)//
Chevron bangle set ℅ Wild Butterfly Boutique (Exact here)//
Necklace from eBay
Plaid button-up (Exact here; Similar hereherehere,  herehere)//
Green cardi (Exact old; Similar hereherehereherehere)//
Dark-wash skinny jeans (Exact here; similar hereherehere)//
Taupe boots (Exact old; Similar herehereherehere)//Pearl cluster necklace C/O T+J Designs (Exact here)//
Watch c/o Wristology Watches  (Exact here)//
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ali Oesch Jewelry Initial Charm Necklace Giveaway!!

I think it's pretty obvious that I have a love-love relationship with statement jewelry.  But, dainty jewels will always have a place in my heart-- they were my first love (in jewelry) after all!  Having a gorgeous simple piece can go a long way. Wear it to work as an understated accent, or layer it with other necklaces--the possibilities are endless!!

And what's better than a dainty necklace from the fab Ali Oesch Jewelry with your initial on it?!  
I love so many of the gorgeous jewels from Ali's line, but this initial necklace is so cute and personalized!  Plus, it goes with practically everything!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter app below.
(Remember, the more points you complete using the app, the more times your name will be entered into the drawing.)

Thank you for the awesome giveaway, Ali Oesch Jewelry!!


The small print: Giveaway ends on Sunday November 24th and is open to U.S. residents only. Winner must claim prize within 48 hours. If prize is left unclaimed within this time, a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

5 Tips For Creating a Gorgeous Layered Look.

Since the temperature has dropped and stayed consistently below 45 degrees I've found myself unable to do anything but layer.  So, today's post will be like a 'part 2' to my first layering post!  (Check out Part 1 here.)

But, before I begin, I just want to thank each and every one of you who read my last post and commented, emailed, or reached out to me in some way.  You ladies sure know how to make a gal feel good!  Your words were so encouraging and honestly meant the world to me.  That post was a small leap of faith, especially since I usually don't share a whole lot about my personal life on here.  This blog has always been pretty much a strict personal style blog, so I have mostly tried to keep everything else out of it.  But, I'm happy that I took the chance to open up a little bit more to all of you.  
So, a million times thank you for being so amazing!!

And now on to layering
Anyone can put a bunch of different layers on and call it a day.  But, honing your layering skills can lead to some really interesting and chic combinations.  Here's what I've found that works for me.  Hopefully it gives you an idea or two as well! :)

1.  Choose a main piece to be "The Star" of your look.  This is actually a great way to build an outfit-- start with a piece that catches your eye and build the rest of your look from there.  What piece do you want to have the focus on? -- Green pants? A bright red top?  A floral skirt? Leopard print shoes?  Decide on the "main feature" of your look and build the rest of your outfit with layers that compliment that piece.

2.  Choose the right proportions and fit.  Before I began layering like nobody's business I didn't fully understand the importance of this rule.  But, it's probably the most important layering advice that I could give.  (I like to think that this is why I own 3+ black jackets-- they're all so different!!)  For example: when you are layering a jacket over a blouse and leaving the blouse untucked, the jacket always has to be shorter than the blouse--to help "break up" the look.  In addition, jackets should always fit properly, otherwise they look sloppy.  And finally (but not really-because there is SO much proportion advice I would love to share!), oversized sweaters should be worn with sleek layers underneath (skinny jeans, tank tops, fitted tops) to keep you from looking like a giant blob.

3.  Include fun details in your layers to make the look more interesting.  A little patterned button-up (especially gingham, plaid, and polka dot) peeking through your layers is always a win in my book!  The same goes for using vivid colors that "pop" out of your layers.  --Because a layered look often times has many points of interest, it almost give you a bit more leeway to play with fun patterns, colors, and textures and get away with things you may not have tried otherwise!

4. Turn out your cuffs.  If you're wearing a button up under a sweater or a jacket, fold the cuffs over where the sleeves hit your wrist.  This little trick shows off the detail of your bottom layer and really adds to the prep factor of an outfit.

5.  Wear a completer piece --something that will finish off your look or help tie your look together. Blazers are great completer pieces; not only can they make a casual look more professional, but they help keep you warm, too. (Always a plus in my book!)  Accessories, especially statement jewelry and scarves, are also fabulous completer pieces--they're like the whipped cream on top of a delicious mug of hot chocolate!


Plaid button-up (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Color block sweater (Exact old; Similar here, here, here, here)//

Black blazer (Exact old; Similar here, here, here, here, here)
Green ankle pants (Exact here; Similar herehere, cute color block ankle pants here)//
Leopard print ankle boots (Exact here; Similar here, here, here)//

Watch c/o Wristology Watches  (Exact here)//
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman//
Necklace c/o Our World Boutique (Exact here, in navy blue)
Pink plaid button-up (Exact here; Similar herehereherehere)//
Khaki sweater (Exact old; Similar here, here, here)//
White skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar herehereherehere)//
Riding boots (Exact old; Similar herehereherehere)//
Pave link necklace & bracelet set c/o ILYCouture (Exact here)//
Alex Tortoise watch c/o Wristology Watches (Exact here)
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman//
Necklace via Etsy
"Wave to the Princess" dress c/o Flourish Boutique (Exact here)//
Leopard-print scarf (Exact gifted; Similar herehereherehere)//

Purple cardi (Exact old, via GAP Outlet; Similar hereherehere)//
Black open toe booties (Exact old; Similar here, here, here)//
Necklace ℅ Accessory Mercado (Exact here)
Black cami (Exact here)//
White skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar herehereherehere)//

Chevron sweater c/o Flourish Boutique (Exact here)// 
Grey scarf (Similar here, here)
Riding boots (Exact old; Similar herehereherehere)//

Watch c/o Wristology Watches  (Exact here)//
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman//
Tortoise bracelet c/o Sira & Mara (Exact here)//
Necklace via Etsy 
TJMAXX striped sweater (Exact not available online; Similar hereherehere)
White skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar herehereherehere)//
Black riding boots (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Striped blazer (Exact old; Similar here, here, here, here)//
Necklace via eBay
Top C/O Sugar Love Boutique (Exact here)//
The Limited Skinny Pants (Exact old; Similar herehere herehere)//

Green blazer (Exact old, via H&M; Similar hereherehere)// 
Tall black boots (Exact old; Similar here, here, here)//
Skinny black watch (Exact old; Similar here, here, here)//

Necklace c/o Our World Boutique (Exact here, in navy blue)
"Stripe Hype" dress c/o Flourish Boutique (Exact here)// 
Aztec Open Sweater c/o Catch Bliss Boutique  (Exact here)// 
Black riding boots (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//  
Necklace via Etsy
Grey button-up (Exact old; Similar herehere)//
Multi-color pencil skirt (Exact here;S
imilar herehere)// 

Yellow cardigan (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)// 
Navy round-toe pumps (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)// 
Necklace ℅ T+J Designs (Exact here)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Here's the story.


Today is the definition of a lazy Sunday for me.  They don't come around often.  But, when they do, I try to take complete and full advantage!  (I literally did not get out of bed until 11 am this morning--It was incredible.)
And sometimes, on days like this, I find myself getting introspective.  I pour myself a cup of tea and think about life, work, love, direction, improvement, things I want to do, things I should do, all the dishes I should wash.

And that brings me to how I started this blog and what it's turned into.  The conception of this blog came the year after I finished graduate school; during the time when I was desperately seeking full-time work.  You see, the field that I studied is very specialized and my specific job is somewhat hard to come by.  So, I spent my days applying for any job I could find, just to get myself out there.  When I wasn't filling out my umpteenth application of the day, I decided that I would become the perfect homemaker.  I broke out all of the recipe books that we'd gotten as wedding gifts and attempted to bake and cook my way through my jobless misery.  (I also gained 10 pounds, courtesy of 'I'm sad that I don't have a job, so yes I will have one more cookie!')  During this time I also briefly considered joining a choir, becoming a make-up artist, and turning into a full-time Cat Lady (much to my husband's chagrin).  But, one day it dawned on me: anyone who knows me knows that I love taking pictures and I love fashion.  The obvious thing to do was to create a blog that captures all of those things!  I could dream up a fun look, get dressed up, do a photo shoot, edit the pics, and post them on my blog--and so, "Hello, Gorgeous!" was born.  My little blog gave me a certain satisfaction that I wasn't getting anywhere else.  It was amazing.

Then came the day when I actually landed a job.  And not just any job, but THE job that I had been searching for, right in my field!  The only downside of it was that I had to commute almost an hour each way.  After a tiny bit of contemplation, I decided to go for it, and here we are today.  
I am proud to say that although it's a little challenging at times, I have been able to keep up with my work, life, and still maintain my little blog.  However, my blog has really evolved from what it was when I first created it.  Sometimes, when I'm feeling a little negative, I think that it has de-evolved.  I don't post every day--at most, I find time to post a few times a week.  And don't often have time to take the lovely photos that I see on so many of my favorite blogs (but, I did this weekend.  So, YAY!).  BUT, I do post what I actually wear to my job every.single.day.  And I am very adamant about staying within a very real-world budget.  Most importantly, I take pride in shopping at "normal" places and putting together outfits that any woman can wear in real life and not be looked at like she has four heads.  I love high fashion, but, how many of us can really spend $400 on a sequin sweater and wear that to work?!  
[Side note: One of my personal goals when I first began my career was that I work hard and that I try to look my best while doing it-- and to show, through my blog, that dressing fashionably at work is possible for everyone.]

So, my darlings, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I may not always be able to take pretty photos of the outfits I'm wearing and make daily posts.  But, I promise to do my best to stick to the personal goal that I mentioned earlier and to be true to myself and to all of you.  I am eternally inspired and humbled by all of you, and I hope that this little blog always interests you in some way and keeps you coming back.  
______________________
Outfit details:

Black sweater | Exact here; similar here, here, here
Dark-wash skinny jeans | Exact here; similar hereherehere
Ivory tweed jacket | Exact old; similar here & here; not tweed but cute here; grey tweed jacket here
Faux fur collar | Exact old; similar herehere, here, here
Riding boots | Exact old; similar herehereherehere
Watch c/o Wristology Watches  | Exact here
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman
Tortoise bracelet c/o Sira & Mara | Exact here
Earrings c/o T+J Designs | Exact here

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

playing outfit catch up & a late Halloween.

Sometimes I get in certain outfit moods.  I wear similar looks over and over again and don't tire of them.  Last week, for instance, I was all about dresses.  I just couldn't get enough of them!
And this week, well, I've been all over the place. ;)

On a completely unrelated note, I kept meaning to share my Halloween outfit from last week, but other things kept getting in the way.  So, at the end of this post I've posted what I wore for Halloween!  

Bakit Up Dress c/o Molly Suzanne's (Exact here)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Black high heeled boots (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//
Skinny gold belt (Exact here; Similar herehere)//
Gold bib necklace (Exact old; Similar here, here, here)//

"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)//
Bakit Up Dress c/o Molly Suzanne's (Exact here)//
Long black cardigan (Exact old; Similar here, here, herehere)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Black high heeled boots (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//
Skinny gold belt (Exact here; Similar herehere)//
Gold bib necklace (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//

"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)//
Bakit Up Dress c/o Molly Suzanne's (Exact here)//
Long black cardigan (Exact old; Similar herehereherehere)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Black high heeled boots (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//
Skinny gold belt (Exact here; Similar herehere
Gold bib necklace (Exact old; Similar here, here, here)//

"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)
"Tribal Writings" dress c/o Flourish Boutique (Exact here)//
Navy opaque tights (Exact here)//
Statement necklace (Exact old; Similar here, here)//
Navy round-toe pumps (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Stella & Dot Gilded Arrow Bangle and Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman//
"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)
"Tribal Writings" dress c/o Flourish Boutique (Exact here)//Navy cardigan (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Navy opaque tights (Exact here)//
Statement necklace (Exact old; Similar herehere)//
Navy round-toe pumps (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)// 
Stella & Dot Gilded Arrow Bangle and Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman//
"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)
"Tribal Writings" dress c/o Flourish Boutique (Exact here)//Navy cardigan (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Navy opaque tights (Exact here)//
Statement necklace (Exact old; Similar herehere)//
Navy round-toe pumps (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)// 
Stella & Dot Gilded Arrow Bangle and Renegade bracelet c/o Erika Lehman//
"Be Present" bracelet c/o Ali Oesch Jewelry (Exact here)
Black Floral Sketched dress c/o Catch Bliss Boutique (Exact here)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Red pumps (exact here; similar herehere, here)//
Pearl cluster necklace C/O T+J Designs (Exact here)//

Bracelet c/o Sira & Mara (Exact here)
Black Floral Sketched dress c/o Catch Bliss Boutique (Exact here)//
Yellow cardigan (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Red pumps (exact here; similar here, herehere)//
Pearl cluster necklace C/O T+J Designs (Exact here)//
Bracelet c/o Sira & Mara (Exact here)
Black Floral Sketched dress c/o Catch Bliss Boutique (Exact here)//
Yellow cardigan (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)//
Black opaque tights (Exact here)//
Red pumps (exact here; similar hereherehere)//
Pearl cluster necklace C/O T+J Designs (Exact here)//
Bracelet c/o Sira & Mara (Exact here)
Striped sweater (Exact old; Similar herehere, herehere, here)//
Dark-wash skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)// 
Pearl cluster necklace C/O T+J Designs (Exact here)//
Bracelet c/o Sira & Mara (Exact here)//
Alex Tortoise watch c/o Wristology Watches (Exact here)//
Taupe boots (Exact old; Similar here, here, here, here)
Striped sweater (Exact old; Similar hereherehereherehere)//
Dark-wash skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar hereherehere)// 
Pearl cluster necklace C/O T+J Designs (Exact here)//
Bracelet c/o Sira & Mara (Exact here)//
Alex Tortoise watch c/o Wristology Watches (Exact here)//
Taupe boots (Exact old; Similar herehereherehere)

Off the shoulder top c/o Catch Bliss Boutique (exact here)//
Leather pencil skirt (Exact vintage; similar here, here, here, here, here)//
Pink leopard print pumps (Exact old)
Off the shoulder top c/o Catch Bliss Boutique (exact here)//
Leather pencil skirt (Exact vintage; similar hereherehereherehere)//
Pink leopard print pumps (Exact old)

________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________

And finally, my Halloween costume:
My friend/co-worker and I dressed up as a a couple of "Cool Cats"--complete with leather jackets and cool-cat glasses! ;)

Forever21 black blouse (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//
Black skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar herehere, here, here)//
Black leather jacket (Exact bought in Florence; Similar here, here, here, here)//

Pave link necklace & bracelet set C/O ILYCouture (Exact here)//
Skinny gold belt (Exact here; Similar herehere
Forever21 black blouse (Exact old; Similar hereherehere)//
Black skinny jeans (Exact here; Similar herehereherehere)//
Black leather jacket (Exact bought in Florence; Similar herehereherehere)//

Pave link necklace & bracelet set C/O ILYCouture (Exact here)//
Skinny gold belt (Exact here; Similar herehere