Friday, November 17, 2017

holiday wardrobe checklist!

Holiday party season is upon us friends... and if you don't have a few pending invites for events, you are sure to very soon! I often feel like planning special outfits on top of all the other plans that need to be made this time of year can be overwhelming. Anyone else? I know I have to get myself to an event and wrap a gift and bring a dish to pass and pick up a bottle of wine on the way and... and... and... and the outfit comes dead last. So to avoid the "what am I going to wear to this holiday event?" question I like to keep a few items stocked in my wardrobe for whatever the event calls for.  A classic little black dress is a no-brainer, I love this velvet dress!   But a few other fun items like a plaid shirt,  some tassel earringsbow flats, a bow clutchvelvet jeans or a beautiful velvet blazer are great to have to have on hand to quickly pull together a festive look.

I personally tend towards the dressy-casual when attending holiday events and usually we don't have a lot of super "dressy" events on the calendar either. For events like a girls' Christmas luncheon, a book club cocktail hour or a white elephant exchange with friends there is no need to go overboard. Just a touch sparkle, plaid or other festive flair will do.  So for me a perfect outfit would be a plaid shirt paired with a metallic midi skirt and bow flats.  Or velvet jeans paired with a simple cream bell sleeve top and tassel earrings and heels would be great too! A velvet blazer easily pairs with skinny jeans and a pair of sparkly sequin mules gives the whole look a festive feel.  I try not to overthink a holiday party outfit and instead go for pieces that I know I will feel comfortable in for the entire event.

What is your holiday party style?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

holiday gift guide 2017: gifts for her!

Today I've got another awesome gift guide for you! And this time it's all about the ladies in your life... mothers, babysitters, teachers, bffs, sisters, nieces... or let's be honest - YOU! There is no shame in forwarding this blog post on to the guy in your life for inspiration. The guys usually need a little, ahem, 'inspiration' now and again!

When I pull together these gift guides I always like to make sure I am keeping it real... for my guys gift guide (here) I always run the gifts by my husband first.  I make sure to ask him if it's something he would ACTUALLY like to see under the tree for himself to make sure I am on the right track.  For the girls gift guide I always choose items that I love and also that I think are a good price point or are reasonable for what I would spend on a gift.  It's great to splurge on a gift from time to time but it's important to have a few budget friendly picks too!

These gifts here are some of my favorite to give and get.  A gorgeous scarf, the perfect pajamas, my favorite candle and candy, a few practical gifts like luggage or a cosmetic pouch,  a few beauty picks like my mini facial oil set or a lip gloss set and even a few home items like this cozy blanket or an aromatherapy diffuser (I use mine non-stop in the winter) round out the list. So whatever budget or lady you have to shop for, there is sure to be something here for her (and by her, I mean her and you, wink wink).

leopard walletkendra scott necklacepom pom hat (only $15!), polka dot pajamas (under $100!), faux fur/pom pom throw blanketlip gloss set (I love their minty scent!), pink scarf (under $25!), candy bento box (under $50!), 'she believed she could so she did' bracelet (only $35!), luggage set'make mine a double' insulated mugfleece lined slipper socksvolcano candle (my FAVORITE candle to burn!), nude eye trio (I'm obsessed with this eyeliner/eyeshadow combo!), polka dot cosmetic pouch (only $15!), convertible bow gloves/mittensrose gold wireless headphones (under $100!), pull over fleece (under $100), "hello" balloons shelf art (so cute!), aromatherapy diffuser (under $40!)

Scroll through the items below to see them all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

my everyday style: velvet for the holidays!

You guys! Velvet is so hot right now and I can absolutely say I am loving it! It's the perfect festive accent this time of year and I definitely plan on wearing it to holiday parties and gatherings from now until New Years. From velvet skinny jeans (gimme gimme!), to easy velvet long sleeve tees, to blazers, to festive dresses, bags and shoes.  You are really going to want to snag some velvet pieces for your closet this winter!

It was love at first sight with this velvet top I am wearing here. I love the drapey cut and the peplum is so flattering!  It's crazy soft and the peplum seam is elastic - elastic! - so it's incredibly comfortable too. This is the perfect wear to Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve top and it's available in a few colors too... although this pink stole my heart.

If you are loving velvet as much as I am this season then read on below... I've rounded up some super cute velvet pieces that you are sure to love this holiday season!

Shop the look here...

Outfit Details:
Jeans - on sale!

Shop my look here...

Shop my velvet picks here..

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

holiday gift guide 2017: for him!

I am kicking off my holiday gifts guides TODAY!  Cue the confetti!  I'm definitely starting my holiday shopping already because... hello, December is busy enough on it's own. I like to start early to take the stress out of it all and make sure I am still having fun with the gift giving process.

Today I am tacking the GUYS on your list - because if the guys in your life are like the guys in my life, they are the most difficult to shop for.  My husband admits that if he wants or needs something he usually snags it for himself, which I am totally okay with - until birthdays and Christmas rolls around and I am at a loss. Plus, he's a pretty low maintenance guy. Those two factors make him difficult to shop for - and guys in general can be that way... brothers, uncles, dads, grandpas can all be so tricky to buy for.

I am always trying to think one step ahead of them... what is something they don't know they want yet! You know? Fun techy gifts like a new nest thermostat (my husband totally geeks out over ours), a turn table and his favorite 90s LP, new wireless headphones (my husbands are always breaking!) or a bluetooth speaker for his office or the garage are great ideas. Practical gifts for the traveler like my husband include new rolling luggage set (LOVE this set!), packing cubes or a new YSL Homme cologne set that has a travel size (I can't tell you how many times my husband has left his full size cologne in a hotel - sob!).  I always like to include a few more practical ideas too... like a gorgeous watch, a half zip fleece pullover (this is my husband's favorite style) or leather gloves.  And for the kid at heart I love this funky pair of sneakers, an smart phone projector (so fun!), dark chocolate bourbon bears or a fun "geeky" board game. I always love to throw in a few books as gifts too... I've heard awesome early reviews about Artemis, a sci-fi space adventure, and what guy doesn't a compendium on whiskey?

I hope you find something here for the special guys in your life... there will be more gift guides coming over the upcoming weeks and of course a huge Black Friday shopping guide coming at you soon too!  So stay tuned!

Browse the gifts below by scrolling left or right...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Instagram Lately!

I always love pulling together my favorite Instagram looks together here on the blog every month. It's one of my favorite posts to pull together and it's one of your guys' favorite posts too.  It's a great visual overview of the past month as far as outfits go and also doubles as a great reference for outfit ideas... don't know what to wear? Recreate one of these looks!  How easy is that?

If you don't already follow me on Instagram... what are you waiting for? Head on over! There is lots of extra content there that you don't see on the blog and also some behind the scenes stuff that is fun too! I hope you will join me there!

I'm all about the cozy sweater and scarf pairings these days! (sweater, scarf, boots, jeans)

I love a good cape! This past weekend was so freezing it was all the warm knits all weekend! (cape, jeans, similar boots, similar hat, mittens)

A pom pom hat is definitely a part of my mom uniform these days... they are so warm and perfect for protecting that blow out from rain or snow! (sweater, hat, bag)

One of my favorite parts about colder temps? The cozy pajamas of course! These thermal pants are so soft and I buy a few new pairs each year - they are under $20 and are available in the cutest patterns! (sweatshirt, hat)

Neutrals are perfect for cold and gloomy days! (similar jeans, flats, sweater, scarf, bag)

I've gotten an unbelievable amount of wear out of this quilted jacket. It's just so cozy! (less expensive version of jacket, sweater, ankle bootssimilar jeans)

I've got scarves and sweaters on repeat... and repeat. (sweater, scarf, jeans, flats, purse)

I'm obsessed with this striped sweatshirt! It's perfect for Saturday errands and lounging. (jeans, sneakers, tote)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

my current beauty routine!

I've been getting a lot of questions on Instagram Stories lately about what makeup I am using and loving right now... I answer all the questions I get - or try to! And to make it way easier for you and me I'm just pulling together a quick post to review the beauty products that are currently in my makeup rotation.  As you probably know, I've been using a lot of Beautycounter lately because I just love the products so much and I am committed to using safer products any where I can in my life - both in beauty, self care and even household cleaning products.  But that being said, a product has to be 110% effective for me to use it. It can't just say "safe" but then not really work for me.  So there is a mix of Beautycounter AND the products that I either haven't replaced yet in order to avoid being wasteful and then a few products that I love so much I just can't quit (like this mascara).

Feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions... I'm always happy to answer them!

from left: 
lip gloss (from this set), foundation (I wear #1 color, but the color is very forgiving and I could easily wear #2 also), mascara, under eye highlighter/conceler, brow pencil, liquid eye shadow & liquid eyeliner (available for a limited time), blush, highlighter (available for a limited time)

If you are interested in adding safer beauty products to your routine - this is a great set with a pretty hefty discount included that I highly recommend! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

my everyday style: leopard print vest!

Each holiday season I like to snag a few quintessentially "festive" pieces for my wardrobe.  A plaid scarf (I'm loving this one), something a little glittery (how about these beauties!?!?) or something that is over the top and wintry like this leopard faux fur vest. I can see this getting pulled out for LOTS of holiday parties and events this year.

I loved pairing it with a long sleeve striped tee for a mild late fall day, but I can also envision wearing it with a sweater for cooler temps or even layered over a leather jacket for very chilly days. Wouldn't that be so cute? And the best part is that while it looks festive and fun it feels super comfortable and easy to wear.  That is the best combo in my opinion. This outfit would be a great Thanksgiving Day look... or perfect for tackling those Black Friday deals.  Or dress it up with black pants or leather-look leggings for Christmas party season.

Outfit Details:
Jeans - on sale!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

decorating the home for the holidays with Gordmans!

This post is sponsored by Specialty Retailers, Inc. All opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

I am pretty excited about getting in the holiday spirit here at my house these days and today I'm partnering with Gordman's to pull together a super cute and wintry holiday mantel at my house! If you've never checked out a Gordman's near you... put it on your holiday to-do list! I recently stopped by our local Gordman's store (it's in Grandville for all you local ladies and it's HUGE!) and had a blast pulling together some holiday decor for my home. Gordman's mission is to thrill and delight every guest with  unique finds and great deals at every turn.  There's no "hunting" for deals at this off-price retailer.  The good deals find you... or at least they found me!

As you may know our home has recently gone under a full renovation on our main floor.  Last year we had contractors in our house until the week before Christmas and we couldn't really decorate around their work (brutal!) so this is the first year we actually get to decorate the new house! yay!  Our fireplace and mantel is the centerpiece of our family room and since we didn't have a very big mantel at our old house I was sorely in need of some supplies to decorate it for the holidays.

So off to Gordmans I went!  First I snagged a gorgeous faux garland for under $25. They had a great selection of garlands and I love how real this one looks without the mess of needles everywhere.  The BELIEVE swag was a must have, I mean, I LOVE some glitter this time of year, and it and white mini trees were all under $13 each if you can even believe it!  I picked up a number of these pinecone ornaments for under $3 each - they are SO beautiful in person and since they aren't glass there is no worries with kids in the house. Then finally I snagged a bright red fleece blanket that was under $8 and a wire basket that was only $12 for all our families' Christmas books. To set up a cozy reading nook by the fire.  In the end the entire looks was a breeze to pull together and I absolutely love how it turned out.  Bonus, the grand total was under $100!  Please note I was provided with a gift card to purchase the above mentioned products. A big thank you to Gordmans!

Outfit details: top, jeans, shoes, similar earrings

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

my everyday style: a classic peacoat!

When it comes to outerwear you can't go wrong investing in a new coat (or two!) every winter. Especially here in the midwest where the winters can be bitterly cold and endlessly long.  I like to have a few super warm and more utilitarian coats in my closet like the one I wore here and then a few dressier options like this navy peacoat. The red details on the button holes and the gold buttons made this coat so irresistible - I just knew I had to have it. And the best part is at $125 it's a great value as well. While it's not the warmest coat in my closet right now it sure wins the award for the most beautiful and I'm wearing a size 2 with plenty of room underneath for a sweater to keep warm.

I loved pairing it with a plaid scarf with red accents (red and navy: swoon!) and a simple camel sweater which I also wore here - it's quickly found it's place in the rotation. From now until about February I use any chance I can get to sneak some plaid into my outfits. Plaid lovers unite! And this plaid scarf is only $26! Snag one now if you love it, because this baby is likely to sell out quickly this year - it's too cute and at that price, such a deal!

Outfit Details:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

holiday gift guide: best of the beautycounter holiday sets!

As you know, I'm a huge Beautycounter fan and their new holiday sets this year are pretty awesome. I love that they not only make great gifts (I mean, how cute is this packaging?) but that they are also the perfect size and price point for trying some new Beautycounter products yourself.

Beauty products are one of the top holiday gifts to give and get and I love that when you gift these items you are not only giving amazing and high quality pieces to those you love, but you are also giving SAFE products too.  Beautycounter's mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone and these affordable options make it possible.  Giving the gift of beauty is perfect for nieces, cousins, sisters, daughters and friends. I love that I can gift these items to my daughter or my nieces and I don't have to worry about them putting potentially harmful ingredients on their skin.

But also note... these products are SUPER popular and definitely sell out quickly each year, so if you see one you are interested in, snag it now!  Read on to see why I love each of these and then feel free to ask any questions if you have them!

I love these natural highlighting sticks... they come in three colors: a bronze, a pink and a creamy white. You can see them sampled on several skin tones here and even watch a quick video on how to use them.  They are super smooth and glide on your skin so effortlessly... these are perfect for party season! (edited to add: looks like these are on backorder until 11/21... order now so that you can get them when they are back in stock!)

Nude Eye Trio (above)
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not so great with eye makeup.  That's why I love easy sets like this one... with a liquid eye shadow that goes on dry (LOVE this product), a sample size of our mascara and a liquid eyeliner... this set is perfect for any teens that are just beginning to experiment with eye makeup or anyone like me that is a little clueless and doesn't know where to begin. 

This is by favorite set... and at only $28 it's a steal too! I am a huge fan of Beautycounter oils, in fact they are my number one favorite BC product and I use them constantly.  This set is the PERFECT way to try them all.  I also love this set because with three oils to choose from, this set is perfect for ALL skin types. So snag one for a friend and one for yourself.  I also love this size oil for traveling. They are perfect to pack in your carry-on to avoid packing full size beauty products (which always makes me nervous).

I love these long lasting lip glosses for a few reasons... one they have SAFE ingredients since let's all face it: we are guilty of accidentally licking our lips with lip gloss on one too many times and they have a great minty flavor/scent that feels and smells great. These pinks are perfectly neutral and I love the bold color for holiday parties! (If pinks aren't your thing there is also a nude set as well! Or if you are more of a lipstick gal, I've heard great things about this set.)

For more fun Beautycounter gifts sets... click here including lots of sets under $50! 

Intrigued by the idea of getting safer beauty products into your life and the lives of those around you?  I'd love you to join my team! Email me for more info!


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