Friday, December 19, 2014

My Christmas home tour

Who said fake trees can't be pretty? Mine is full and tall and to get the Christmas tree scent I use plug-in scents. It also has candles on them which is a European tradition. And if one light goes out, the other ones stay lit!  My tree is filled with pink ornaments, ribbon, pearls, snowflakes, icicles, and roses.  Earlier this month I posted about some of my favorite Christmas things and here's a list of my favorite Christmas songs. Another tradition of mine is to watch the movie Elf before Christmas. I also love to do Christmasy nailart, click here to see last year and here's this year's snowflakes:

I just got a bottle of my favorite light dairy free eggnog by Califia Farms!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Light up the Season

Baby, It's Cold Outside (feat. Nick Lachey) by Jessica Simpson on GroovesharkOn the shopping list for the Winter Fashion Challenge was a poncho sweater which is something I never would have thought to buy, but I had this outfit on my pinterest fashion board and thought let me give this trend a try. It's been said that you should never wear white after Labor Day but it's also been said over and over again that times have changed and that rule is no longer true. Come winter I love wearing my winter white pants for winter looks! I recently picked up some off-white corduroys that I love. I got my purple poncho sweater from the Limited but it's no longer up on their site but they have a few others to choose from. Old Navy has one too.

One of my favorite desserts are a macarons and I'm not talking about the coconut macaroons with 2 o's. I'm talking about the little pillows with cream in the middle that come in every flavor yet so delicious it's hard to describe! If you're ever in New York City start with the best at Laduree. They fly their macarons in straight from Paris! I once took a baking class on how to make lavender macarons and it's not easy, any slight temperature in your oven can ruin the whole batch. Trader Joe's sells frozen pumpkin macarons that are delicious! I stopped by my favorite macaron shop in town over the weekend and they had eggnog and gingerbread flavored macarons! Plus silver and gold dusted macarons, how pretty is their window display?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Sweater

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by The Temptations on Grooveshark It's that time of year when you're either looking for a festive holiday sweater or an ugly Christmas sweater. Look no father than JC Penney, they have a ton of themed sweater including a make your own ugly Christmas sweater kit! I have Lisa to thank for showing me a sweater on the stylish side. Here a bunch for you to decide fugly or not?
Christmas Sweater

And check out my favorite Christmas songs.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Gym Fashion

Just because the weather is drab, doesn't mean you have to resort to wearing all black. There's nothing like walking by twinkling lights everywhere you go to get you into the holiday spirit. Wearing bright colors make me smile so let the festive and decorative winter months inspire me to keep the celebrations going by wearing bright colored workout clothes. Can you tell purple is my favorite color? lol I have to wait all year for clothing manufacturers to decide this season they will release purple clothing. I don't need new sneakers as I'm still wearing my neon ones but I'm snatching these up to have on the shelf in my shoe closet for when I'm ready for them. I'm loving the shine on the crackle pants, definitely a unique look! How cool is the sequin sports bra?! It's not actual sequins but a print of sequins. Hope this inspires you to brighten up your gym wardrobe.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Fashion Challenge

I'm doing December a little different this year, I declined the invite to a cookie exchange party and am reinventing my fashion style as well. I enjoyed the Fall Fashion Challenge so much that I signed up for the Winter Fashion Challenge. Thanks to the previous challenge most of the items on the shopping list I already owned and here is a picture of my capsule. Some of the new items I've added to my wardrobe in the past couple months are a poncho sweater, herringbone vest, embellished sweater, dark wash skinny jeans, grey jeans, plaid shirt and riding boots. I've admired women wearing riding boots for the last few years but never got around to buying my own pair. This year I've really noticed that the fall/winter "uniform" is skinny jeans with tall boots over them and then a scarf. Funny how everyone is dressing in the same outfit now. lol

Yesterday I reviewed Nicky Hilton's - 365 Style book which is something I never would have thought to pick up had it not been for these fashion challenges. I always knew how to dress myself, but I wanted to be better at it, just having a more pulled together look and to always feel good about my daily outfits. In her book she lists her must have fashion items for each season, and I smiled when I saw it was some of the same staples the fashion challenges had me purchase.

sweater dress (bought new ones this year)
dark wash skinny jeans (click here)
boyfriend sweater (you can see it here)
scarves (only wore them for cold weather, now obsessed with infinity scarves)
large envelope clutch 

cashmere sweater
fleece lined leggings (bought my first pair of leggings)
sparkly box clutch
bib necklace

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nicky Hilton - 365 Style

I borrowed this from the library not knowing if a book from a socialite would appeal to me, but I have to hand it to her she knows fashion and I think we can all benefit from her tips of finding your personal style. She says that "no amount of money can buy style" which I have observed with some celebrities. The 31 year old heiress has had her own fashion line, designed handbags, and costume jewelry. She's obsessed with cats and buys anything that has a cat on it. Unlike her sister's obsession with pink, you're more likely to see Nicky in blues and neutrals. The book also pays homage to Hilton's favorite models and includes tons of pictures of Nicky over the years. I can't say I share her style, but did like her practical suggestions.

As a clothes hoarder I've been trying to do a closet-cleanout and donate items I no longer wear. I thought 365 might show me what is now "current" and how I might incorporate that into my (limited) shopping for fall/winter. Limited because every since I started using the stylebook app I realized I have too many clothes to wear. So I've slowly been working on attacking my bursting at the seams closet by re-wearing the clothes I own. Nicky says to "recognize your wardrobe needs, when you consider a purchase ask yourself if it is something that would truly benefit your wardrobe or if it would just take up space in your closet. Because there's nothing less gratifying than seeing countless unworn articles of clothing hanging in your closet, with price tags still on them. This clearly shows a lack of judgment and a waste of money." She recommends going on a shopping strike when you reach this point. And to make a rule for yourself to not buy anything new until you get rid of equal amounts of clothing. "Just because you like something does not mean you need to own it. 

Two generations of sisters

She says that "no matter what the size of your closet, you have to be able to see everything in it in order to know exactly what you're working with. The same concept going for shoes, always display them on racks or shelves, for jewelry lay it out in drawers." That's exactly what I did last year when I build my shoe closet and jewelry organization.  By the way did you know that Kim Kardashian used to be Paris Hilton's closet organizer?   

I was surprised to read that Nicky resoles her shoes over and over again even if that costs more than the price of the shoe just to keep her favorite pair. She replaces the rubber on all of her shoes regardless of how cheap they are. She takes the time to do this because it makes shoes water resistant and skidproof and then they last forever. She'll wear shoes for 6 years by having them repaired when they start looking shabby. She says that "if you invest the time, energy and a little money, shoes can seriously stand the test of time. Even your cheap gladiator studded sandals can stay in rotation for years."  Her mother gave her a lot of her vintage clothing that she had updated them to her liking so the pieces are now contemporary. I never thought to do this with my mother's clothes, who is quite the fashionista.  

As a world traveller myself I was interested to read what Nicky had to say about what she wears when she travels. I've talked about how I pack when I travel but I didn't mention that my go to travel outfit is a stylish velour sweatsuit. Nicky specifically says not to wear velour sweatsuits on planes! lol She says "there are chicer things to wear when jetting to and fro. Start with a loose fitting, breathable top. Accompany that with a pair of fleece lined leggings. Add a chunky, knitted cardigan. Bring your own eye mask and socks." She goes on to say that "when flying long distance apply heavy moisturizer and eye cream to a clean face and be sure to drink extra water throughout the travel day. Most importantly don't forget to pack a positive attitude, be open to new adventures, act street savvy, be safe and take lots of pictures." Great advice! 

My go to outfit for first dates is a dress and heels, but Nicky has a different idea. She aims to look attractive but not overly sexy, and that she didn't take hours to get ready. So her go to outfit is leather pants or skinny jeans with a not too femme but pretty top and a fitted blazer with heels. 
"Always dress like you're going to meet your worst enemy" - Kimora Lee Simmons
I think this is a great rule to live by, the idea is to look your best as often as you can. My mother is queen of dressing down if it's cold outside or pouring rain and without fail she will run into someone she hasn't seen in a long time and feel bad about the way she looks.  Nicky says to "put your energy into looking and feeling your best because people are going to judge you no matter what, feel good about how your presenting yourself." That includes when you're running errands to the grocery store which may be tempting to roll out looking sloppy, but she says you've got to pull it together. She recommends "taking two minutes to throw on a loose fitting button up or boyfriend cardigan and a pair of leggings. Ditch the uggs and put on ballet flats." The idea is feeling amazing in your own skin and exuding that confidence no matter where you go.  She says that "the easiest way to put on a successful front is to dress the part, if you feel comfortable, then you will radiate a new kind of energy that is irresistible.  Dress the way you want to be perceived.  The first opinion people have of you has to do with what they see. We are constantly making first impressions, even when we don't realize it." 

Nicky's five style goals:
1. Smile at a stranger every day, easy way to brighten someone else's day.
2.  Always wear something that reminds you of someone you love.
3. Give give give, be generous in any way you can, donate your closet.
4. Go one day a month without makeup.
5. Write your own style rules.
I don't think women need another black bag. Everybody has a black bag already, so I thought this season needs color - carolina herrera.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Wild - the movie

The book Wild was on my summer reading list and it was an Oprah bookclub selection and now is a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Seems like Reese is on a roll this year with three amazing movies under her belt:  The Good Lie which I also enjoyed and then she produced Gone Girl which honestly was the best movie I've seen this year!

Wild is the memoir of Cheryl Strayed's (she legally made up her last name after her divorce) 1,100-mile hike alone along the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 when she was 26 years old.  She had never hiked before but embarked on this hard journey for reflection on her life after grieving the untimely death of her mother and her divorce due to her promiscuity and heroin use. She travels with a backpack too heavy she can't even carry and shoes the wrong size which cause her to lose toenails. Her physical problems are no match to the emotional baggage she carries as this becomes a journey of redemption and salvation.

The book is completely honest and open about her faults while still having some humor to it. While all the details of every story couldn't be completely put into a film, I was glad I read the book first to have the back story to the scenes. While reading the book I googled a lot of the names to see the beautiful scenery, which made me want to go to Oregon to do some day hikes. The film brought all the beautiful scenery to life. The loneliness of the trail was met with wild animals like elks, wild cows, fox, black bears, frogs, rattlesnakes on top of intense heat and record snowfalls. She also managed to meet the generosity of so many strangers on the PCT that she was nicknamed the Queen of the PCT for being recipient of so much  kindness from others.

Cheryl was raised by a single mother who escaped an abusive marriage. Her mother worked as a waitress to support the family and later attended college with Cheryl. Both were avid readers and fans of poetry, this comes out in the lyrical style of her book. I needed a dictionary so many times while reading it.  Once her mother died she basically had no family left as her brother and step-father distanced themselves.  She read books during this solitary journey but couldn't bring herself to burn them afterwards to lose the weight in her backpack. The book Wild, is what it means to be fully alive, even in the face of catastrophe, physical and psychic hardship and loss.

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