Brown Pencil Skirt and Studded Vest

by katyrose on September 19, 2014

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Skirt: Ralph Lauren Outlet
T-shirt: Target
Vest: Milwaukee boutique
Shoes: Target
Watch: DKNY
Bracelet: Nordstrom Rack
Earrings: Forever21

One of the most challenging things about the last month is coming up with new and creative ways to work the business casual angle. Before this I haven’t worked in any kind of formal business setting in well over 7 years. And while my closet certainly has a number of things that can be considered business appropriate, there are a number of things that are perhaps borderline. I’m trying to be creative and not fall into a uniform of sorts with a constant rotation of pencil skirts and tailored shirts.

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This outfit takes the traditional knee-length pencil skirt and then adds a very laid-back feel with the basic white t-shirt and then a bit of an edge with the army green studded vest. While the vest does add a layer of structure to the look it isn’t as formal as a jacket. Plus this combination is much more my style than a tailored jacket and pencil skirt combination would be.

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Most days I am in heels but on this day I was looking for ease of movement so the leopard print flats were an easy choice. While they have black tips, the leopard print still goes well with the overall color scheme and it all somehow balances out the black.

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Wading Through 30

by katyrose on September 16, 2014

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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Another year, another birthday. It’s days like today when I take a moment to look back at the last 365 days and I’m always astounded at what has taken place in that amount of time. 365 days isn’t a huge span of time. Sure, when you’re a teenager it feels like forever but then you blink and it’s over. Even more so in your twenties and now as I begin to wade through my thirties I realize this increment of time we call a year, is really nothing in the grand scheme.

And yet, in the last year, I did so many things…. I quit a retail job that was fun but draining. I almost started back to school and then changed paths at the last moment. I spent six months working full time on the blog. I traveled to California to spend three weeks in San Francisco. I, yet again, picked up, packed up and moved – this time from Milwaukee to Chicago. I jumped into a new career – leaping feet first into something completely unknown and thrilling. I welcomed my second nephew into the world. And of course there are a million other, little every day things that are significant only to me.

I’m a different person today than I was 365 days ago – and yet I’m the same too. I’ve also come to realize that the 30s aren’t as scary and daunting as I thought they would be. There is a new kind of freedom that comes from being more secure in who you are, where you’re headed, what you want and what you truly need. Here’s to many many more years.

 

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One last go with the hi-lo dress

by katyrose on September 15, 2014

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Dress: c/o Karen Kane
Sweater: Ann Taylor LOFT
Shoes: c/o DSW
Necklace: Stella & Dot
Bracelet: Tammy Spice
Watch: DKNY
Ring: Stella & Dot
Earrings: Shopbop

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Before the weather officially took its plummet toward Fall I got in one last wear for this Karen Kane hi-lo floral dress. While I’ve found a lot of hi-lo dresses can be difficult to wear because of where the hemlines fall, this was is the perfect length in front and in back, especially when paired with a set of heels to give the leg a little extra length. While I’ve worn the dress layered with a variety of sweaters and jackets, I think I like this coral sweater the best as it helps add a little more color and pizazz to the overall look.

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Now that the Fall weather is firmly entrenched – I almost wore a winter coat today – I’ve folded this pretty number up and put it away with my other Spring/Summer to wait a whole 6 months before they are allowed to see the light of day again.

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While this is a favorite of mine from the Karen Kane spring line – I’m so excited to be able to showcase soon a new favorite from the fall line. And I’m even more excited that Karen Kane is on again for being my grand prize sponsor for the Fashionista Event Giveaway Event at the start of October! You are going to want to enter this giveaway!!

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Chicago Architecture Tour – I’m on a Boat

by katyrose on September 12, 2014

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When I made the move back to Chicago – a city I have never lived in as an adult – I promised myself that I would explore all that the Windy City had to offer. Luckily I have plenty of family and friends who are willing to explore with me. So, this past weekend I went with my sister, aunt and uncle on a tour of Chicago’s architecture via boat. I’ve walked this city hundreds of times, I’ve even taken the Wendella boat taxi from the train to Michigan Avenue, but I have never had a guided look at the buildings in the city.

This 90-minute tour was organized by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. It takes off from 112 East Wacker Dr. and floats along both the North and South branches of the Chicago River as well as out toward Lake Michigan. The docent – who works entirely on a volunteer basis (she is a CPA by profession) – had so much wisdom and knowledge to share I was overwhelmed, in the best sense of the word.

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Unlike some other tours I’ve been on, this one mixed knowledge of both new and old buildings – offering a full view of the city’s skyline and what went into the creation of it. The architect and style of each project was highlighted as well as any interesting or relevant facts about the materials used, the time in which it was constructed, the politics, etc… The docent did an amazing job of linking like things throughout the tour – reminding us of previously mentioned buildings, styles or architects to tie everything together in a neat little Chicago package.

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Beyond the architectural wonders, I also learned so many random fun facts about the city and some of its major moments. For instance, did you know that Wrigley (one of my favorite buildings in Chicago) originally manufactured soap?? To make the soap more marketable they included a stick of gum in the packaging and from that a gum company was born. Crazy cool?!

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The tour was also perfect for people of all different backgrounds. With my understanding of real estate and construction I learned more about current projects under development and which buildings in Chicago are LEED certified – something I am highly interested in. My sister, who was an interior and environmental design major in college, cares more for the architecture and make-up of a building. She learned a lot from the tour. My aunt and uncle who were playing tourist – complete with the fancy camera and everything – enjoyed learning more about the city they have been exploring for years.

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The River Cruise costs $37.85 per person – a significant cost but well worth the money if you are interested in knowing more about the history of Chicago and the landmark buildings and events that made the Windy City into what it is today.

 

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Casual Camo at Work

by katyrose on September 10, 2014

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Skirt: Ann Taylor
Shirt: Wilt
Shoes: Target
Watch: Kohls
Bracelets: Forever21
Earrings: Claire’s
Sunglasses: Target
Necklace: Stella & Dot

Most days I like to get a little more dressed up – or at least that is certainly true since I started my new job. But there is still that occasional day that calls for a casual but still professional-looking outfit. That’s exactly what I consider this look. Simple but still chic. Classy in its structure while a little edgy in the material’s pattern.

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When I first got the skirt, I wasn’t sure if camouflage was considered work appropriate; especially since I am not in Wisconsin anymore (where camo is always apropro). But at the same time, I really like the lines of the skirt. Plus I reasoned that the muted gray color made it a much more subtle brand of hunter-wear. Further toned down with a simple black t-shirt and some flats I think this outfit works for both work and a whole lot of other occasions as well.

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Would you wear camo to work??

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Cropped High-Waisted Black Pants

by katyrose on September 9, 2014

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Pants: Alice + Olivia
Tank: Ann Taylor LOFT
Sweater: Ann Taylor LOFT
Shoes: Christian Siriano
Watch: Kohls
Bracelet: Forever21
Earrings: now-defunct online store

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Honestly, I try to stay away from high-waisted pants because I don’t have much of a torso. All my height is in my legs, which makes anything that high usually look extremely awkward. BUT I saw these pants on Shopbop and couldn’t pass them up. And I’m glad I didn’t.

These are my second pair of Alice + Olivia pants – and I LOVE both of them. The material is so easy to wear and move in. The lines and cut are flattering (even the super wide-leg pants from the company). And the pants help to really add a stylish finish to an overall outfit.

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Since these are cropped pants, and a little higher-waisted than anything I wear, I knew heels were a must. Need to add length and not chop myself off in the middle. While I wanted to show off the high-waisted look I needed something to add a little proportion too – hence the sweater which drapes in order to showcase the waistband while giving me the appearance of a little more torso length.

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Are you sick of seeing my classroom walls yet?? Sorry but between the train commute and the teaching hours there aren’t many opportunities to find a great outdoor location and the time for photos.

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Karina #Frockstar Nation September Giveaway

September 8, 2014

You guessed it! It’s that time of the month… again. Yup, it’s the Karina Dresses Frockstar™ Giveaway. Excited? One lucky winner will walk away at the end of the month with SIX Karina dresses! Yes, SIX dresses. And then we start all over again with another giveaway at the start of October. Did you see […]

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Meet Rita – the ultimate fall wrap dress

September 4, 2014

I was provided this dress by Karina in order to give my honest opinion as one of the Karina Dresses Frockstar™ Nation event bloggers. All opinions are my own, obviously. Dress: c/o Karina Dresses Cami: NikiBiki Shoes: Nine West Earrings: Stella & Dot Bracelet: Etsy (forget the exact shop) Watch: DKNY You know those dresses that […]

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First Month in Chicago

September 2, 2014

Wow! It’s hard to believe that I have now been a Chicago resident for exactly one month! How is that even possible? It still feels like just yesterday that I was in Milwaukee packing up my things and trying to pack in as many last-minute memories as possible. Before school started, and heck even now, […]

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Pulling Together a Hodge-Podge Outfit

August 29, 2014

This week has already been a whirlwind of adventures for me, including one day in which I couldn’t get home from school due to an accident on the train line! Instead of waiting until late that night to cram onto a train, I crashed at my parent’s house. Since they live close to the school […]

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