daily outfit, denim, scarf, vest

Weekend Getaways

November 16, 2015


Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Shirt: Old Navy (similar to this one)
Vest: Kohls (from last season, but here’s a similar vegan leather vest)
Scarf: Nordstrom Rack
Boots: eBay (kinda like these)


I’m a big fan of short-little weekend getaways! Whether it is spending some time with friends, escaping for some quiet time, or even staffing a leadership program, I like packing a little bag and heading away for a day or two.

Wondering how I pack for a little weekend get-away? Don’t worry, there’s a post on that: How To Pack for a Weekend Away. Although I will admit I am the type that will pack 30 minutes before I need to leave, but it takes me at least a week to unpack. I’m trying to get better at the instant unpack, but it’s a chore.



Lucky me, got to do that this weekend. I headed up north to a gorgeous house right on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan. The weather was brisk and a few snowflakes fell on the ride up. The sun rose over Lake Michigan in a glorious manner on Saturday morning, and I was lucky enough to be awake to catch it breaching the horizon while sipping a warm cup of coffee bundled in layers of sweaters. Overall, not a bad way to spend a couple days.


Since it was a pretty chill weekend away, I went with clothing that was equally chill and comfortable. This black vegan leather vest is an easy addition to any look. And yes, I’ve fallen for the striped shirt and plaid scarf look that seems to be everywhere this fall. It’s cute, so why mess with a good thing?!

A few non-outfit related pictures from my weekend away….




animal print, boots, daily outfit, pants

Cropped Pants in the Fall

November 13, 2015


Pants: Alice + Olivia (similar to these.)
Shirt: ModCloth
Cami: NikiBiki
Booties: eBay (don’t remember the brand but similar to these pretties)
Necklace: gifted from a friend.
Watch: La Mer


I have to admit, I’m on the fence about cropped pants in the fall and winter months. Sure, they look cute with booties, but at the same time they are chilly and sometimes my feet and ankles crave socks. HA. At the same time, these cropped pants are perfect for the random autumn days in which the weather decides to reach into the high 60’s, like it did the day I wore this outfit. The air had a little chill to it, but wasn’t cold enough for all sorts of layers and whatnot.



I also love these cropped, MC Hammer-style pants but I have a hard time figuring out exactly how to wear them with the high waist and baggy hips. It’s especially challenging with my short torso. The high waist makes my torso look even more diminutive. Still I enjoy trying new pairings to find different ways to wear them.

boots, daily outfit, scarf, skirt, vest

Floppy Hat, Puffy Vest, Twisted Scarf, Booties = Fall Fashion

November 10, 2015


Skirt: Ralph Lauren (from last season but similar to this one)
Shirt: Target
Vest: Target
Scarf: ShopBop
Booties: eBay (Just like these)
Earrings: Charming Charlie (I think)
Watch: DKNY
Hat: Brooklyn Hat Company
Purse: Adora Bags



If I had to pick a classic fall look, it would probably be pretty close to this outfit. You’ve got the comfy but still heeled booties. You have a puffy vest, that is still tailored enough not to look like a blob. You have a scarf that is haphazardly draped around the neck with little thought but a fair amount of style. You add a felt floppy hat in a classic fall shade. Sling an large bag over your arm.  Put a few falling leaves and bare trees in with a brown-based background and ta-da you have fall in a nutshell. I suppose the only thing I’m missing is the fall-themed Starbucks cup.



I also feel a little like I belong in Arizona decked out like this. HA. Perhaps it is all the shades of brown in the look. Well and this house is just so out of place in this part of the world. Although I don’t really know where it belongs. It looks like a hobbit house to me. HA. The outfit pictures don’t do justice to the slopping odd rooflines that almost seem to weep off the edge of the house.


What is your classic fall outfit combination??


beauty, hair

How To Preserve Your Curl Memory

November 9, 2015


Guys! Curl memory – it’s a real thing.

In order to repair my damaged, half-hearted curls, I’ve been living according to the curly girl method for almost two years now. And while I’ve written a number of posts on the topic, I have to say I only half-believed in the idea of curl memory. If you aren’t familiar with the term it is basically the idea that your curls crave to twirl in the same direction all the time but you can force your curls to forget that twisting method, which leads to less than stellar curls.



My doubts came from previous experience that showed my curls tended to look better the day I washed them after they were pulled back or not allowed to curl after the previous washing. And that might have been true of my college curls, but it isn’t so any more. When I got my hair cut and colored almost 4 weeks ago, my stylist blow dried and straightened my hair. I love the occasional change like that, so I didn’t say anything as she worked to flatten out my crazy curls. But then a couple days later when I cleansed my hair and threw my usual styling product in my curls were blah, to put it mildly. My hair had lost its curl memory from three days of being straight.


It took almost two weeks and 5 cleansing moments in order to get my curls back to their usual wave. In the interim my curls were all over the place, zigging and zagging instead of spiraling as usual. So… that got me thinking about curl memory and how a single moment can ruin all the hair goodness I’ve worked hard at creating over the previous years.

How To Preserve Your Curl Memory:

Avoid Blow Drying Your Hair – If you need to diffuse your curls a little in the winter months, that’s fine, but don’t negate your curls by blow drying your hair.

Ditch the Flatiron – Even for the occasional event, a flatiron will make your curls forget all their springy goodness. Just say now to the sleek smoothness that comes with a flatiron and own the curls.

Let it Curl After Every Cleanse – Don’t immediately pull your hair back, twist it in a bun or tug it back in a braid. Let your hair dry and curl as usual and then style it as desired. I’ve started leaving it curly on day one and then styling it as wanted on days two and three.

Hydrate, Hydrate, oh and HYDRATE – I can’t say it enough, but your curls need moisture and a lot of it. Condition in the shower, condition out of the shower, condition some more while styling. You’re not likely to overdo the conditioning of a curly hair. (If needed stay away from the scalp area if that tends to get a little greasy.)

If Needed, Only Use Shampoo on the Scalp – Shampoo dries your curls out and can work to damage them. They need moisture and hydration, not agents that dry your hair out. So avoid shampoos whenever possible. (Need a list of curly girl method approved products? Here are some of my favorite Curly Girl Products.)

Use Hair Dye Sparingly – I stopped coloring my whole head of hair. I now have my stylist give me highlights and lowlights every 6-8 months and then only color my roots when needed every 4-5 weeks. By taking the extra time to focus on the roots, I’m helping preserve the health and curl memory of my hair.

accessory, daily outfit, hat, holiday, review

Gift Guide: The Perfect Floppy Hat

November 6, 2015

If your holiday shopping list includes someone, male or female, with a love for stylish, sophisticated hats, look no further…


A couple weeks ago I was in Milwaukee with my sisters. We were window shopping and just spending time together. At one point we stepped into a little boutique that had adorable floppy hats. I’d been looking for a winter-style floppy hat for awhile (over a year, actually) and thought perhaps these were exactly what I was looking for. But again, fail. The hats were too floppy, blocking my vision. Others I’ve tried were too small. Some are too stiff and don’t flop at all. Others are poorly made and seem to be falling apart already.


Finding a perfect floppy hat that is both laid-back but still chic and stylish is no easy task. But then I came across the Brooklyn Hat Co. and its felt floppy in wine, and I was sold! It fits like a dream and is just the right ratio of floppy and structured. It has an adorable little bow in the back that gives it a very subtle feminine feel. And the color – well, it is pretty much perfection this time of the year and with so many different colors.


Brooklyn Hat Co. aims to create hats that “…bring back the days when you tipped your brim with a smile before walking out the door…back to those days in which class, style and that certain panache was an essential standard in every wardrobe, no matter the generation.” And that’s exactly what this hat does! I slip it on and instantly love my entire outfit a little bit more. I wear it out with friends and feel chic and sophisticated. The wine color goes perfectly with black, navy, cobalt, hunter green, white. I’ve worn it with all those colors as well as a variety of patterns. It works will all of them.



Not in the market for a floppy hat? No worries. The company makes a wide variety of hats for both men and women. So, if your holiday shopping list includes someone with a great sense of style or a penchant for hats you can find Brooklyn Hat Co. creations at Fred Segal, Kitson, Free People, Rulala, and Urban Outfitters.


animal print, clutch, daily outfit, denim

Camo and Hunter Green

November 5, 2015

Pants: Mother denim via ShopBop
T-shirt: Target
Jacket: Jessica Simpson (from several seasons ago, but similar to this one.)
Boots: eBay
Clutch: Oliveve Anastasia via ShopBop
Earrings: House of Harlow via ShopBop
Sunglasses: Sundried


Have you ever had a couple things, you’ve owned for years and have never considered putting together, until one day inspiration strikes and you try something new? That’s exactly what happened with me and the creation of this outfit. I’ve had this camo-like t-shirt for more than a year. I’ve had this green and black jacket for almost two years. And I have never once considered combining these two. Until the other day when I had the t-shirt on and needed something for the cool weather. Since I was already wearing denim, I couldn’t put on my jean jacket. It was a little too warm for my black leather jacket, so suddenly this one seemed the perfect compromise.



For me this is typical weekend wear, a laid-back outfit that still has some structure. Combine that with a point of interest or contrast, like the leopard-print clutch, and the look is complete.


Can I also give a shout-out to this draped jacket? It is pretty much one of my absolute favorite fall items. It really goes with so many things. Plus I love that the sleeves are long enough for my weird long arms, but also easy to push up in the constantly changing temps.


boots, daily outfit, dress

Cranberry and Gray

November 2, 2015


Dress: Modcloth
Jacket: New York & Co. (bought years ago but this one is similar)
Booties: Modcloth
Tights: Target
Scarf: H&M
Earrings: online retailer that is now defunct.
Sunnies: Kohls
Watch: Kohls (similar to this pretty)


As I transitioned my closet for the fall and winter I realized one thing was seriously lacking – winter dresses. It took me a day or two to remember I purged my collection at the end of last year, getting rid of anything that looked really worn or that I didn’t love. That’s all great, except it left me pretty slim on dresses for this year. I’m now on the lookout for new dresses with some bulk, sleeves, etc… to build up the collection again.



This dress from ModCloth called my name as soon as I saw it on the site. Isn’t it adorable? I love the gray pattern of the skirt and the fact that it can be worn as a stand-alone when the weather is still warm in the middle of the day and it can be layered with jackets, scarves, sweaters, whatever. Really a number of ModCloth dresses have been calling my name these days.



And of course, these booties are pretty much my favorite shoe right now. I reach for them almost every morning, even before I pick the outfit I want to wear that day. The cranberry color goes with pretty much everything I own. And let’s be honest, they are just too cute. They certainly get more random compliments and comments than any other pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. I think it’s something about the shape, the color and the fringe that is just so classy and eye-catching.



gifts, holiday

Gift Guide for the Hipster Guy in Your Life

November 1, 2015

I hate to say it but Halloween is over and November is here; and that means you need to start thinking about all your holiday shopping. So, for the month of November I’ll be creating gift guides, offering reviews, and hosting giveaways to get you thinking, planning, and purchasing gifts for your family and friends. Tis the Season. (Scary thought.)


Shopping for the guy who is up on all the cool trends and a shirker of all-things mainstream can be a tough task, so I’ve outlined some items even the most unaffected fella will appreciate. Even if you’re not fully versed in hipster fashion, you can find a gift that your hipster dude will love.

Make It Modern

If you’re shopping for the modern man you love, play to his high-tech tendencies while appealing to his hipster preferences. If he’s a shoe hoarder, you’ll find debonair, unique kicks he will try on immediately. Maybe he needs a functional bag to lug around his stuff while he roams the town on his fixed gear bike—find a modern option with clean lines that will last him for years. Ironic wall art and watch styles you won’t find anywhere else are sure to impress him, no matter the occasion.

Homebrew Your Own Kombucha

Coffee is over as the drink of choice—kombucha is in for the hipster guy you love. If you haven’t seen him partake in this supposed magical fermented tea quite yet, he soon will. It’s now served on tap at select restaurants and bars, and its purported benefits include better digestive health and immunity boosters. Make it easy for him to indulge in his new favorite drink with an at-home kombucha brewing kit.

A Subscription Box

Make your gifting process easy on yourself with a subscription box. Check out the Trunk Club and get stylist-approved threads sent to him every month. If your guy is a foodie, sign him up for a subscription to the Mantry, a monthly box filled with guy-approved snacks and cooking necessities.

A Trip to Hipster Mecca

If you’re looking for a gift that will really blow his hipster mind, take him to the mecca of hipster activity. If you haven’t guessed it, I’m talking about Brooklyn. This quintessential hipster borough is sure to provide both of you with a good time, and he’ll be planning his move to hipster heaven in no time—or at least truly enjoy the visit.

Beard Oil

If he’s sporting some distinguished facial hair, make sure he always looks good with a hipster-approved beard kit. Send him a subscription to The Dollar Beard Club, which will deliver all the essentials he needs to keep his face looking debonair.


A Vinyl Me Please Account

If the hipster in your life is a vinyl lover (and they’re not a self-respecting hipster if they say they don’t care about vinyl) then you need to get them a membership to Vinyl Me Please. This cool subscription service delivers a special edition vinyl to their door each month, along with an album art print and custom cocktail drink recipe. It’s definitely a unique gift they’ve never received before, and the prospect of a special edition album every month is sure to titillate.


We’re not sure what it is about mustaches that appeal so much to the hipster population, but you’re guaranteed a hilarious present with any mustache memorabilia. Whether it’s a flask with mustached designs to contain their favorite adult libation, or a watch face with a sleek mustache imprinted onto it, it’ll be a gift they’ll cherish—or at least get a good chuckle from.

Vintage Cameras

Hipsters love to show their artistic side, so give him a way to use it. With a vintage camera like the Polaroid, they’re sure to be able to take pics and channel their inner Ansel Adams. Be aware that they’ll probably be preoccupied with their new camera for a while—you may even have to model for a bit, so practice your poses.

Get Graphic

No hipster outfit is complete without a collection of semi-ironic graphic t-shirts. Whether it’s a comic book character they loved as a child (or still do), or an ironic image that screams their name, a graphic tee is sure to be a practical gift they’ll get plenty of use from.

Music on the Go

If they’re obsessed with The Smiths, and listen to bands you’ve never heard before, play to their musical interests with a nice set of headphones. Go with some retro-style headphones that will mesh with their outfit, or spring for a pair of Beats by Dre to make sure they hear their tunes in the best quality possible.

When you’re shopping around for this hipster guy you love, make it easy on yourself with any of these hipster-approved gift ideas he is guaranteed to love.

boots, daily outfit, dress, scarf

Gray Dress Outfit on a Blustery Day

October 29, 2015


Dress: Drew
Sweater: ModCloth
Scarf: H&M (ages ago)
Boots: Steve Madden (similar to these, although I can’t find this pair anywhere anymore.)
Earrings: NYC street vendor
Sunglasses: Sundried
Watch: Charming Charlie



What’s up with the weather lately? It’s hot, it’s cold. It’s sunny, it’s raining. The wind is gusting and blustery or nearly non-existent. Let me just say taking these pictures was a lesson in dealing with the bluster. Half the images had my hair, my scarf, my sweater and my dress seemingly blowing in several different directions. Every time it would die down for a moment, we’d hurry and take a bunch of pictures, only to be caught in the gusts again.


But I digress… this dress is one that I have owned for several years, and for some reason I’ve always seen it as a summer dress. (I suppose it is the color and the sleeveless nature of it that makes me think warm weather. But I didn’t wear it at all this summer. It sat in the back of my closet, looking forlorn but I never reached for it. So as I went to pack up my summer clothes to make room for the winter stuff, I had a mini-little brainstorm. Why not turn this dress into a layering piece this fall. So far, I’m loving this dress as an easy layer to create a number of different looks. (Check out another gray dress outfit from earlier in the month when I wore it with an oversized grandpa sweater.)


But seriously, I mustache you a question…. How are you feeling about fall fashion this year?


home, how-to, life

6 Tips for Finding an Apartment

October 27, 2015

Right now my brother and sister are both on the hunt to find apartments to call their own. The search is a gruesome and grueling task for even the seasoned apartment hunter. It’s become an all-consuming task for both of them. Because, after all if you’re on the hunt for a new apartment, you’ve got a host of steps to take before signing that lease. Guarantee yourself the best deal and live in the place of your dreams by following the following tips and guidelines…


Figure Out a Budget

Figure out your budget before you go on the hunt and don’t be surprised if it turns out you can’t afford exactly what you want—rising prices and a competitive rental market can make it hard to find everything on your list, at least right away. Keep in mind the things you can do to a place to make it feel more like yours, and contemplate using money saved for renovations or décor items. Once you have the right budget, you can really start to look for housing. Be sure to add in renter’s insurance to this number, as many landlords have started to require it, plus, it’s a great thing to have should anything happen.

Expect a Credit Check

You’ll be hard pressed to find a landlord who doesn’t require a credit check before allowing you to move into their rental property. They will often ask for your social security number and other personal information, so if you want to ensure your information stays safe, use a company like Smartmove for a protected and easy way to let your landlord run a credit score.

Utilize Housing Websites

While many people have found quality housing through websites like Craigslist, it’s in your best interest to scour other housing-specific websites if you’re on the hunt for a dream apartment. Apartments.com is a great place to start, simply type in the maximum amount of rent you’re willing and able to pay each month and they will pull up a variety of homes for you to peruse. A website like Hotpads.com allows you to interact with a map of the area you’re seeking a space in, and gives you a bird’s eye view of your options. Yet another option for any sticklers out there is Rent Jungle, a site that will allow you to type in the amenities you simply can’t live without, including fireplaces, pools, and more. Don’t be afraid to go on tours, even if you don’t think the apartment will work out based on the photos you see.

Talk to Potential Neighbors and Tenants

If possible, check out the neighborhood closely and get a handle on the types of neighbors you can expect if you move in. If anyone is sitting outside, try to strike up a conversation. Bad neighbors can make even the most beautiful apartment feel unlivable. If you can, ask to talk to current tenants. Ask why they are leaving, find out about their interactions with the landlord, and ask if they would recommend you live there. Theirs will be the most honest opinion you get during the entire process. After hearing what they have to say—fingers crossed that it’s positive—imagine yourself hosting holiday parties, lounging in the living room, and relaxing in the bedroom. If you can see it clearly, then it’s probably the apartment for you.

Documentation Priorities

There are a few key documents you should bring with you on any tour. Bring any old pay stubs that will prove to the landlord you have enough to afford to live in their rental. If you’re self-employed, bring along tax returns in the absence of pay stubs. Other beneficial documentation to bring to your meeting with a potential landlord are reference letters from past landlords outlining their good experiences with you, and a letter of employment (if applicable) on company letterhead outlining your salary and how long you’ve been an employee.

A Final Walk-through

Before putting your signature on that lease, do a walk-through of the apartment with your landlord. Take inventory of any issues the place might have to ensure you won’t be blamed for them in the future. Make sure all lights, faucets, etc. are working correctly, and that there is no indication of rodents or other pests that may become a problem. Have your landlord show you the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors—it’s illegal for any rental property not to have them. Take pictures of any issues and keep them in a file to use should your landlord try to charge you for pre-existing problems when the time comes for you to move out.

When you’re searching for the apartment of your dreams, make sure you follow these essential tips to save yourself time and money. The keys to your new home are only a few steps away, so get out there and get started.