What I Wore: Easter Sunday

I was so excited to wake up Easter morning to find that it was warm enough to wear this white dress.  Brett and I went to church together, and then had some friends over for brunch.  I originally bought this dress for one of my bridal showers, but I've been searching for the perfect white sundress for ages and I know I will get a lot of wear out of this one!

Dress: Cynthia Steffe, Shoes: Steve Madden,
Bag: Michael Kors, Necklace: Dress Barn,
won in a giveaway from
Just B  (it has a pearl strand, too,
but I looped that around back for the day!)

What did you wear for Easter? 

Links à la Mode

I'm SO excited to be featured again this week in IFB's picks of the week!

More than Meets the Eye
Edited by Fajr Muhammad at Stylish Thought

When you visit a fashion blog you often see a stylish blogger posing in a perfectly, put together outfit with gorgeous scenery. What you don't see is the work that goes into curating and maintaining a fashion blog. This week the theme across IFB was outfit posts: what deems an outfit worthy, what goes into creating a stunning visual post and ultimately the comments (some not so nice) that we receive as style bloggers. Ultimately, blogging is a way to express our love for fashion and personal style but as this week's links can attest to, there is much more to fashion blogging than meets the eye.

Links à la Mode: April 28th

New Sunglasses at Shopbop: Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Ray Ban, YSL, Marc Jacobs, Carrera, DITA, Gucci, Phillip Lim & Super Sunglasses

Wardrobe Emergency Kit: 10 Essentials Every Girl Should Have

We've all been there. You're getting ready for a big event, or even just brunch with the girls, and some sort of wardrobe malfunction happens. Unfortunately, we don't all have personal Rachel Zoes to help us get ready for every day life!  From shoes that don't fit or don't match to getting deodorant all over your brand new little black dress, here are some tips and tricks I've picked up through the years. I find it handy to keep all of these items together in my house (I store most of these in a hole in my shoe rack), and if you really want to be prepared, keep duplicates in your car or purse (a lot of these things have mini versions, too!) 

1. A full length mirror in a well-lit area. Obviously, a full length mirror will help you find out if something fits well, and a well lit area will ensure that your dress/top/pants are not see through or that you need to change undergarments. 
2. A lint roller. Duh, I know. But, if you're like me, somehow, the sweater you put away clean last week always seems to wind up with little lint balls all over it! A quick swipe with a lint roller will do the trick. (Another helpful hint: if you're wearing dark colored bottoms in a nicer restaurant with linen napkins, ask your hostess for a black napkin. They usually keep a bunch in stock, and it will ensure that you won't spend the rest of your day or evening trying to pick lint balls off your legs!)
3. Fashion tape. I'm no Jennifer Lopez (remember that dress?) but I still keep fashion tape (I've even used double stick scotch tape in a pinch!) around. What do I use it for, you ask? Well, if I'm wearing a button up, I always put some between those two buttons that always manage to gap open! Works like a charm. I've even used it to hold up a hem in a pinch. 
4. Blister block. This stuff has saved my feet from painful blisters more times than I can count, and I've gotten my sister and all of my friends hooked on it. Swipe a little on on the "rubby" areas of your feet, and toss the little tube in your bag for touch ups later. 
5. In keeping with the feet theme, shoe pads. These little lifesavers come in all kinds of shapes, brands, prices and sizes. You can pick up a pack at anywhere from Walgreens to Nordstrom. Personally, I'm a big fan of the heel pads because I have narrow heels that seem to always slip out of pumps (they kind of "fill in" the heel area, and add some cushioning, to boot!), but if the balls of your feet always ache, I'd try the cushions that are made to fit there! 
6. Nude pumps. Ok, so this is more of a wardrobe item than a wardrobe "help" item, but if you've ever felt like no shoes matched your outfit, you definitely need to invest in a pair of these babies. They seriously go with anything from a LBD to a floral mini, and they make your legs look miles long as an added bonus. 
7. A sewing kit. This may be the most obvious item on the list, but it's probably also the most helpful. Keep some extra buttons, as a precaution! 
8. Dryer sheets. These aren't just for throwing in the dryer! If you smear deodorant on your clothes, use a dry dryer sheet to rub it off (trust me, it works). 
9. A tide to go pen or shout wipes. I know I'm not the only clumsy one that's ever spilled lunch. These will get a stain out before it has time to set in and ruin your favorite top!
10. Well fitting undergarments. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Go get fitted for a bra by a professional. It'll change the way you look in your clothes. Make sure you own a well fitting strapless bra, and a great skin tone colored regular bra, too. A skin tone colored bra can be worn under anything, and you won't see it! Also, make sure you have some skin tone colored underwear, for when you wear light colored dresses. I also like to make sure I have a black slip, and a nude slip, and some Spanx for when I'm wearing something tight. Yes, I just admitted I wear Spanx sometimes. I think I'll end the list there! 

What's in your wardrobe emergency kit? 

Adventures in Domesticity: Great's Easter Nests

In today's Adventure in Domesticity, I made a recipe that I've watched both my mother and my Great Grandmother (whom my sister and I adoringly called "Great") make year after year. This is the first year I'm not going to be home in Phoenix for Easter, so I've decided to entertain myself and throw an Easter brunch for some new friends that also didn't go home for Easter, and make all of my traditional favorites. My sweet Mom sent Brett and I an Easter basket, complete with that grass stuff, and the ingredients to make these nests, along with the recipe. It was so thoughtful, and today, I made chocolate nests. They are a tasty and adorable treat for Easter! 

You'll need:
1 Package Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon Crisco
1 Cup shredded coconut
Jelly Beans or Cadbury eggs (I used Cadbury Milk Chocolate eggs) 
Wax paper lined cookie sheets

First, melt chocolate and crisco together either in a glass bowl in a microwave (on half power) or in a double boiler (I used the microwave). Stir frequently and microwave until completely melted, but do not let the chocolate burn! 

Next, add coconut and stir well. 

Spoon the mixture onto a wax-paper lined  cookie sheet (Mom's note: You absolutely need wax paper. No amount of cooking spray will make the nests not stick to the pan!), forming a "nest" shape, and make a little dent for the candy "eggs" to go in. 

Place candies in the "nest" and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve!

What is your favorite Easter treat? 

Links à la Mode

I'm thrilled to be featured in Independent Fashion Blogger's weekly roundup of the best of fashion blogs. Check out the post below to see all of the other great posts this week, too! (Please note, I am not having a tummy tuck on Monday, the editor of the roundup is, and she wrote the below paragraph)! 

Things Are Gonna Change... I Can Feel It!

Edited by Jessie Thorpe of Denimology

On Monday morning, my life will change. I am having my muffin top and all of my shiny silver stretch marks removed from my fleshy, live-giving form. I'm having plastic surgery, a tummy tuck to be exact, and yes I'm talking right out loud about it. This decision has had my head in a tizzy fashion wise, sending me searching for some fashion guidance to compliment my new figure. I've really been inspired by nostalgic what-comes-around-goes-around fashion trends, feel good fashion and a variety of "Top (insert number here)" lists. 90's trends seem to be popular in the fashion blogosphere; you kids are talking about sheer clothes, color blocking and threads ripped to shreds. I'm really appreciating the inspirational instruction given by all you clever e-journalists. We've been instructed on how and what to wear for the season, how to pamper little ol' you and feel good about it too!

Links à la Mode: April 21st

New at Shopbop: McQ, Dsquared2, Three Dots, Monrow, DVF, 7's, RLX, DKNY, Havaianas, Missoni, MAXAZRIA, IRO, & VPL

What I Wore: Red and Black

Yes, it's April, and yes, last week, I was still wearing tights! Yikes! Never thought that would happen. I wore this outfit for a little date night with Brett to celebrate his oral argument being done (basically, a project he had been working on this whole year). It was cold and rainy, so I also tossed my Michael Kors raincoat over this, but forgot to snap a picture with that, too. These May flowers better be pretty impressive with all these April showers! (Bad joke. I realize).

Blazer: rag & bone, Dress: Urban Outfitters,
Belt, Uniqlo, Booties: Joan & David, Tights: Express

What do you wear when April weather doesn't feel like April weather?

What I Wore: Leopard (and new shoes!)

I wore this outfit out to dinner with some new friends. And, a little confession: when I haven't known someone for very long, my getting dressed resembles a 16 year old's on her first date. I may have tried on six different shirts and driven Brett absolutely crazy, but I was really happy with what I wore. And when you look good, you feel good. I won these awesome shoes in a giveaway that Elizabeth over at In Between Seams recently did, and I love them. They're the new Pierre Hardy x Gap shoes, and they may be one of my favorites in my closet already. They have super cute little bows on the sides. Next time I wear them, I'll definitely try to take better pictures of them by themselves! I DIY'ed these jeans last fall- I meant to do the project for the blog, but got a little carried away and forgot to take pictures.

Blazer: Gap, T: J.Crew, Scarf: Gift from Brett's mom,
not sure where from,
 Jeans: Uniqlo/DIY, Shoes: Pierre Hardy x Gap
 Bag: Gap, Watch, Michael Kors

What did you do this weekend? 

12 Ways to Look Great on a Budget

I know that we all want to look like a million bucks, even when our shopping budget isn't nearly that...generous. Here are some of my favorite tricks and tips I've picked up over the years on shopping smart and looking fabulous, without spending your entire paycheck. We've all heard the "shop at Target, H+M, and Forever 21" advice countless times, but these take that advice a little above and beyond. 

  1. Look polished.  Learn how to give yourself a great manicure (and pedicure, too) and the next time you get your hair cut, ask the stylist to teach you how to do a perfect blow out. Looking polished isn't something that has to cost a lot (or anything, if you already have the necessary supplies) but it goes a long way in boosting your self confidence, which will make you carry yourself better, and can make even the most bargain-y dress look amazing. 
  2. Accessorize. Even if it is just a few bangles from a street vendor, accessorizing really can take a look to the next level and make that $20 outfit look like it cost WAY more. 
  3. Switch it up. To me, one of the quickest ways to make a less expensive dress look like a really nice dress is to switch out the boring fabric belt (or cheap plastic one) that the dress came with for a great leather (or other funky material) one. You can find great belts on sale at a lot of places- one of my personal faves came from the Gap, on sale for just $3 from around $40. Another great place to look for belts is the thrift store- it's easy to find a "vintage" looking men's belt on the cheap! 
  4. Shop your closet. Yes, we've all heard this a dozen times. I'm going to take this a step further, though. Invite a friend over for the afternoon (you can make a day out of it, and return the favor!) and have your friend look at your wardrobe. Sometimes, we look at our pieces as the "same old things" but with fresh eyes, you just may be able to come up with lots of fun new looks. Additionally, you can even take pictures to both help you remember those outfits (for when you're trying to get ready in a rush) , and see which ones are the most figure flattering. 
  5. Consign, consign, consign. After you shop your closet, chances are, you'll find a few pieces that are in excellent condition, but that you've never worn for one reason or another. Take those to your local consignment shop-you may be able to make some of the money back for those items, and voila, more money for stuff you'll actually wear. 
  6. Make a list. I can't stress this enough. One of my favorite things to do is to make a written list at the beginning of the season of things I really want to buy, and that my closet is currently lacking. If something is super trendy, I try to buy it on the cheap. If it's a classic staple that's missing, I'm willing to spend more for a lasting piece. 
  7. Buy less. Simple concept, but it can save you a bundle. After you make that list, try your very hardest to stick to it. You're a lot more likely to love your wardrobe with the pieces you really wanted, rather than a bunch of things you just randomly bought in the meantime. 
  8. Fit is everything. Yes, this isn't necessarily a way to save on clothes, but, let's face it. You won't wear clothes that don't fit, or are super unflattering. I know how tempting it is to buy clothes to fit the size you want to be, but do yourself a favor, and find clothes that fit the body you have now. Clothes can always be taken in, but there's no use in looking like you actually gained weight, especially when you're trying to lose, just because your clothes are too tight. Remember: no one ever sees the size tag except you! 
  9. Maintain, maintain, maintain. Take care of the stuff you do have. Yes, it may be more expensive to take that silk dress you got at 75% off the original price to the dry cleaner, instead of washing it in the sink, but if it gets ruined, the money you spent (even if it was a bargain!) goes straight down the drain (or into the donation pile).  Same goes for shoes. Take care of them. Nothing looks tackier than heels worn down to the metal inside the shoe. And that noise when you walk is similar to nails on a chalkboard. SO not chic. Take them into a cobbler or shoe repairman, and your heels will be good as new for about $10. 
  10. If you crave designer clothes, but can't stomach the price tag, shop sample sales. If you live in NY, Chicago or LA, Racked is a great online resource for seeing which sample sales are worth fighting the crowds for, and which are a waste of time. If you're like me, and don't live in one of those cities, Gilt Groupe, Haute Look, and Rue La La should have a bookmark home on your computer! 
  11. Buy stuff from chain stores only on sale. Yes, this sounds like such a simple thing, but here's a little trick I've figured out from years in the trenches  of shopping experience. Stuff at stores like Gap go on sale so frequently, it makes no sense to pay full price. Many stores have 30% off days, and it seems like Gap.com has a 30% off sale going at least once a week. So check online before you buy in store. If it's a bigger ticket item, the $5 or $6 shipping is a small price to pay when you're saving a ton. Places like Gap are great for buying closet staples, and buying them on sale frees up more of your wardrobe to buy splurge trend items. 
  12. And last but not least, only buy what you love. If what you love is a $10 striped shirt, or a $200 dress that you have to save for months to buy, you'll be so much happier with that item than 20 random ones. It's worth saving for something you adore, and something that you can pull out of the closet at a moment's notice and know you'll feel amazing in that outfit. 
What are your favorite ways to shop on a smaller budget? 

Searching for the Perfect Shoe

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like the perfect simple wardrobe staples can be the hardest to find! With spring weather upon us, I've resumed my yearly hunt for the perfect sandal. What is the perfect sandal I'm in search of? Well, I'm glad you asked! I looked all last summer to no avail, so I'm trying again this year, with hopefully better luck. I'm searching for a basic black leather wedge that is fun and strappy, and with a manageable heel (somewhere between 3-4 inches). I love a super high heel as much as the next girl, but I'm looking for these shoes to be a little more wearable/walkable. While there are plenty of black wedges out there, I really am looking for a brown stacked wood sole in lieu of cork or espadrille, which makes this search a little tougher. And I don''t want to spend a ton, either, since summer sandals tend to die after a season or two. Here are my current faves right now (and Piperlime is having a sale, to boot)!

This pair, by Restricted, is my current front runner. It's cute, simple, and currently on sale for only $59 at Piperlime. I love the color of the wood, and fewer straps usually means fewer pinched toes, which is always a plus. It comes in right at 4 inches, and is a very classic look. 


I also really like this pair, $110 by Seychelles, also at Piperlime. It's a super funky take on the classic peep toe, and is 4 1/2 inches tall. It's a little tall and a little too covered for what I'm looking for, but I still really like it, nonetheless! Bonus: A lot of reviewers claim it is super-comfy! I always think it's a good idea to read reviews before you buy online, for what it's worth! 

Next, there is this super boho pair, $79 by Hive and Honey at Piperlime. Although my personal style isn't very hippie-chic, I'd reccomend this shoe for anyone that loves that look. The cutouts add a ton of interest, and the four and a half inches will boost you up! 

My second favorite pair in this roundup is this pair by Gap. It retails for $69, but Gap.com currently has a promotion going on for 30% off any full priced item! So these are definitely a steal. The patent glams things up a bit, and the light colored wood is fun, too! The only downside is, Gap doesn't list the heel height of these guys! 

Which of these are your favorites? Help me pick! 

Adventures in Domesticity: BBQ Chicken Pizza

OK, I'm going to be real honest here. Brett pretty much made this whole dinner. I just wanted to play with my new camera, so I took pictures while he cooked. So when I say "we" I pretty much mean "he". My friend Angela taught me how to make this super-easy pizza when I stayed with her this summer. Here's step by step instructions, along with a bunch of pictures (I'm still learning, I literally picked the camera up this afternoon, so bear with me while I learn!).

What you'll need:
Store bought pizza crust (we used the uncooked kind, not the Boboli type, and I used a gluten free crust, Brett made his with a regular Kroger brand crust found in the refrigerator section by the cheeses).
Fresh Cilantro (rinsed and chopped)
Fresh red onion (also chopped)
Jack Cheese (shredded)
Chopped and cooked chicken breast (we just cooked ours on the stove, or you can use a rotisserie chicken to eliminate this step)
Barbecue sauce (we used Stubb's Smokey Mesquite variety)

And here is the how-to:

Cook the chicken breasts on the stove top and cut into pieces

Get your crust ready! We cook ours on a pizza stone, but a cookie sheet totally works. 

Get your BBQ sauce ready! 

Smooth the sauce on, and sprinkle cheese on top

Add cilantro...

....and the red onions...

...and the chopped up chicken...

...and bake at however long the pizza crust directions say! Yum, delicious! 

And, a gratuitous ring shot since I'm learning to use the new camera!

Are you a fan of BBQ chicken pizza? Any new camera tips for me (I bought a Canon Rebel)? 

What I Wore: Bright White

There are certain pieces in my closet that I've had forever. Some of them are much worn favorites, others are things that I don't really wear much, but made it through closet cleaning after closet cleaning because I know that I'll "eventually" wear them. These white jeans are one of those items! I'm trying to mix up my wardrobe a bit and wear more of it- I tend to wear the same things, over and over. I've had these jeans since  my junior year (I think) of HIGH SCHOOL. Yeah, kind of nuts, right? I spotted a few pairs of white jeans in recent spring mags, so I decided to bust mine out again and wear them in a new way. I love how crisp and clean they look, and the bootcut shape is more flattering, which is always helpful when you're wearing a light color (since it's not as slimming as say, black). I definitely think I'll be sporting these a lot in the months to come- it's technically spring in Virginia, but it's still too cold for this Arizona girl to wear dresses and skirts without tights, but the white jeans make everything feel lighter and more spring-y! 

Jeans: Honestly, too old to remember where they are from,
 and the tag name is a brand I've never heard of,  Shirt:
American Eagle,
Sweater: Nordstrom, Belt: Uniqlo, Shoes: Soft,
Watch: Michael Kors

Do you have any white jeans? 

Adventures in Domesticity: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

If you've been following along, you may know that as of yesterday, I've been married to Brett for a month. If you know me in real life, you'd also know that I pretty much have no skillz in the kitchen, and don't really like to cook. Honestly, I'm totally content eating a grilled cheese for lunch every day, or even hummus and veggies and pitas. But I decided that after we got married, I'd try to give cooking a shot. So this week, I decided to make red velvet whoopie pies (I also made "real food" Monday- my friend Courtney's honey mustard chicken). I used this  recipe,  and they turned out amazingly delicious. I've never made my own frosting before, but I did last night, and Brett said, "this frosting is as good as Sprinkles." If you've never had a Sprinkles cupcake before, I'm sorry, but if you have you know that's a big compliment. Here's a couple pics I had Brett snap throughout the process. Should I keep my adventures in domesticity on the blog, or should I leave it in the kitchen? Thoughts? Have you ever tried a whoopie pie? 

Pureology Love

I'm going to tell you a little secret. I never believed my hairstylist when she told me that expensive shampoo and conditioner really would make a difference in my hair. I figured, what could REALLY be the difference between my drugstore bottle, and the salon stuff? I've mentioned in the past that I've had some health issues, with my back and my hands, but I never mentioned that the medicine I take sometimes makes my hair fall out. I'm not saying this to get sympathy, but to tell you what I'm working with. A few weeks before the wedding, I was taking more medicine, and my hair was getting thinner and thinner. Not exactly what a blushing bride dreams of, right? I happened to take a shower in my parent's bathroom one morning, and I used some of my mom's new Pureology super smooth shampoo and conditioner, got out of the shower, and let my hair air dry. I'm not exaggerating when I say this: my hair had never looked better (smooth, fuller, shiner) with just an air dry. The formula is sulfate free, which I'm sure helps, and it also protects hair from heat styling and color fade-out (which is huge for me, since I'm a color addict). I'm not going to lie and say it made my hair stop thinning out (full disclosure: I wore extensions for the wedding), but it really has greatly improved the health of my poor thin, dried out hair. The only issue is that it is super expensive (you can buy it on Amazon for $45 for both conditioner and shampoo, which is a little less than at Ulta), but in my opinion, it's worth it to have hair that looks so much healthier. And you seriously only need to use the TEENSIEST amount of both products, since they are ultra-concentrated. I'd venture to guess that my bottles will last around 3 months, vs. the 3 weeks of a drugstore bottle. I'd love to try out the Pureology volume shampoo, and conditioner, too, at some point, just to add some  extra volume. 

Pureology Super Smooth Shampoo 10 oz & Conditioner 8.5 oz

The day I bought the shampoo, I also picked up this Pureology pure volume blow dry amplifier lotion, which adds a ton of volume when I actually blow out my hair, and this pureology pure volume thickening mist , which I usually add when I blow my hair out, too. 

Pureology Pure Volume Thickening Mist 4.2 oz (125 ml)Pureology Pure Volume Blow Dry Amplifier 7oz

I promise, I'm not being paid by Pureology, I just really love their products, and wanted to share this info with my readers! If you're in the market for a new hair product, check them out. They have a whole line of products to address different issues (volume, dryness, frizziness, etc). 

Have you ever tried Pureology? What's your favorite hair products? 

What I Wore: Weekending

This weekend, one of my dear friends and her husband came out to visit us for a few fun filled days. We spent lots of time catching up, eating yummy food, wine tasting, and exploring Charlottesville a bit more. Here's some pictures to share:

blazer: rag & bone, dress: LNA, belt: vintage,
boots: Frye, watch: Michael Kors, bag, Gap

At Monticello: Trench: Michael Kors,  Boots: Frye
(I swear, there is a cute outfit on under there, but it was FREEZING!)

What did you do this weekend? And, what did you wear?