November 30, 2011

Ombré Nails

While I am often impressed and intrigued by the new nail trends that have emerged on the blogosphere I very rarely will get on board with them. Not because I wouldn't want to rock polka dot nails or the like, but because I lack the dexterity needed for it. However here is a nail trend that I can fully get on board with...Ombré nails.  We have seen Ombré clothes, Ombré hair but before you dismiss it as another step in the ridiculous Ombré trend train take a look.

The color is a purple grey with a sheer gold shimmer layered on top.

Extreme Nail Close-Up:  Ignore the ragged cuticles and see how the color progressively gets darker towards the tip.

I spotted this nail polish look over on the blog Cult of Pretty and I knew I had to try. I adjusted the directions in the post since I did not have two different shades of polish that would blend. Instead I used my inexpensive CVS Confetti polish in Moonstruck, which is very watery and needs a million coats to cover. I layered one light coat over the entire nail, then layered a second heavier coat on the top 2/3, finally I added another coat on the tip. With this look precision is not important keeping the edges uneven will add to the painterly effect of this look. The shimmery top coat was the final step and blended the three layers together. I used CND Gold Shimmer sheer polish go my top layer. Really easy, not at all precise, nail polish perfection.

What nail trends have you been loving? What color(s) are you wearing on you nails now.

November 28, 2011

Style Muse Monday: 1940's College Sweetheart


When I stumbled upon this photo from a 1940's issue of Seventeen Magazine I knew I had some red hot outfit inspiration.   First look you may see just a couple of college cuties, chillaxing after class, one of them has a guy in tow carrying her books, but look again these girls have some wicked style.   Both models are wearing a fairly standard issue plaid skirt, but I like how each is styled slightly differently.  The colors are similar right down to the red shoes, but the woman on the the left has a more sporty look with the drapey blouse and loafers, while the woman on the right has a dressier more feminine take.  
1947 Seventeen Magazine.   Image from here.


Working around the plaid skirt I decided rather than create two similar daytime looks I would create a look for work and a look for a night out on the town.  Either look is statement making and comfy cozy thanks to the plaid flannel draped on the lower half (like wearing a blanket out). Caution: While dolled up in a plaid swing-y skirt random men may offer to carry your books (not that you couldn't carry them yourself). 

Mad About Plaid: Plaid Day at the Office

Mad About Plaid: Plaid By the Moonlight

November 25, 2011

Black Friday Blahness: The Anti-Black Friday Shopping Guide

I know that being a budget fashion site I should have multitude of things to say and resources to share for the Black Friday sales happening this year. However I never understood the monolith shopping sojourn that took place in the wee hours of Friday morning. Yes there are savings to be had, but not everyone on you gift giving list want electronics or a cashmere sweater being peddled as big bargains. So what do you do when you come home from the shopping marathon and there are a few pesky people still on you list. Get creative and think outside the box, in fact some of these gifts might not need a box at all.

1) Small Business Saturday: If you still have that shopping thirst that was not quenched on Friday, how about shopping your local small businesses on Saturday.  This is the second year of small business Saturday a day designed to support small business on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Log on to to learn more and check out their Facebook page to make the pledge to shop small.

2) Gift Certificates for Services: In the same vein of supporting local businesses how about getting some of the recipients on your gift list a certificate at a spa, hair salon, or nail salon.  These pampering services might not be on the top of their list, but they will sure be thankful to cash in these relaxing rewards after the holiday rush is over.

Class at Beads in White Plains
3) A Class or Course: This one can be tricky, but if you know someone who is always looking to learn something new, this might be a good option. Maybe they have a new DSLR that they want to learn how to use, or they are always saying they want to learn a new language.  Then the learner in your life would definitely appreciate a non credit course at the local college or an evening workshop at a local craft shop.

Crochet Flower Garland, BobbiLewin, $40
4) Something Crafty: Okay so maybe you aren't the most crafty person around, but there are probably quite a few talented people in your town.  Look for local craft fairs, or street fairs where you can snap up unique handmade items. None to be had in your neighborhood, then headonline and support artisans with online shops on sites like Etsy, Beehive Design Cooperative, Silkfair, ArtFire, or Shop Hand Made.

This is just a start to the alternative holiday shopping, did it give you any ideas or help with your planning?  Do you have any suggestions for different holiday gifts? Leave your suggestions in the comments box below.

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all!  I hope you have a special day planned with friends and family, eating and drinking to your hearts (or guts) content.  I just wanted to write a quick note to all the people who have supported my blog (and me by association) over the last nine months.   Through your repeated visits, your sweet and supportive comments, your e-mails, tweets and re-tweets, Facebook likes and more, you have bolstered my confidence and made me feel that my thoughts and words resonated with you.   This Thanksgiving I am thankful for all the supportive friends I have made through this creative blogging endeavor. Thank you for your support, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2011

What I am Thankful For: My Creative Self

This has been a year of change and making some tough decisions. Throughout this year I have rediscovered my passions, taken risks, reached out and made new friends.  The hard part was letting go of doing things the safe way and acknowledging the creativeness of my mind and personality. I said farewell to practical Jennifer and embraced her more impulsive and infinitely more interesting other half. In that vein, this year I am thankful for my imagination and my creativity. Both have sometimes made life more difficult and earmarked me as a little strange, but both I believe will ultimately will be my saving grace. I have striven at times to suppress both in favor of more practical life choices and common sense.

I have run into problems that only my creative side could tackle and find solutions for.  I needed an evening escape from a career that was proving too stressful, so I started my blog.  My imaginative mind allowed me to explore and envision other careers that would be more fulfilling, instead of focusing on what 'was' I was focusing on the what 'could be'.  Through exploring my creative side I discovered new passions, my new fondness for the written word and well crafted sentences.  I rediscovered old passions, music, art and fashion.  And I ultimately made a tough choice that my practical side would not approve of, but my creative side fully had my back.  I am thankful for the duality of my personality (practical and creative) and I want to strive to find balance between the two, without suppressing my creative side again.

What are you giving thanks for this year?

Outfit Chronicles: A Salute to Military Style

Here's a little outfit remixing for you.  Nothing that I am wearing in this post is new, most of it is things that I have worn in previous outfit posts.  The blue shirt, the olive green jacket, the black skirt even the red bag (love my Cambridge Satchel) were featured in my older outfit posts from the warmer months.  The key to making these lighter weigh cottons work for chillier November temperatures is layering. The long sleeve oxford is layered over a t-shirt for for insulation, I am wearing some heavy duty Hue tights, long socks pulled over the tights and lace up boots.  All the layers add up to warmth and extend the wearing season of these cotton duds.  Today's outfit post is decidedly military inspired in appearance, of course I kept it cute and feminine by wearing a skirt instead of trousers.  The look was inspired by this month's Blogger's Do it Better Challenge, Military Chic, over on Pretty Shiny Sparkly.  I had fun dressing around the theme of the military look.  I started with the jacket, which is decidedly military in style and I built the outfit up from there.  I hope you enjoy, if you have a sec leave me a note about your thoughts on this look.

November 18, 2011

How Do You Store Your Shoe Collection?

I was flipping through my Bloglovin reader when I came to Everything Fabulous' post dedicated entirely to different forms of shoe organization that real women have used.  I stopped, I stared, I was in complete awe of the creativity, the variety and the massiveness of these shoe collections. I say collections because once you have gone beyond ten pairs of shoes it seems fair to consider yourself a collector, a connoisseur in the fine art of footwear.   This was the photo from Everything Fabulous that initially drew me in.

I ask you to just take one moment to allow the beauty and creativity of this shoe storage to wash over you.  Have you absorbed it? Good.  This person has taken a beautiful French style display cabinet and converted it into a completely practical storage solution.  The cabinet loses none of it's functionality or beauty and the shoes get a pretty perch to view and be viewed from.

Here is my current shoe storage solution, I say current since shoe storage in my home is always evolving to accommodate my growing collection.  It doesn't have any of the glamor (sigh how I wish it did) of the above cabinet, but it serves it's purpose of making my footwear visible and easily accessible.

OK I showed you mine now I want to see yours, shoe storage of course (what else would I be talking about).  I want to continue this voyeuristic peek inside other people's closets, so shoot me an email with a picture of your current shoe storage solution and I will create a post of all the pictures I receive (make sure you include your name so I can credit you in my post).  Try to have your pics in by next Friday December 1st.

November 16, 2011

In Search Of A Higher Rise

I really believe that knowing your proportions can help you find clothes that flatter, you know emphasize what you love, down play the stuff you don't.  I am petite, but my proportions are longer torso shorter legs.  If you saw me sitting you would swear I was taller.  For some time now because of personal preference and availability I have worn my denim low slung.  This may not have been the most flattering choice for someone with a long torso - short leg combo, but the low rise denim was what was widely available (unless you count the dreaded mom jeans with elastic waists). 

Now more denim labels are embracing the natural waistline which was treated as a no man's land for so long (sniffle).  Introductions; denim meet waist, waist this is denim.  Given the rise (pun completely intended) in higher waist denim I have decided to embrace the trend and seek some pairs out.  Something affordable, under $100 preferably and something with a rise somewhere between rid cage lovin' ridiculous, and ass crack baring shameless.  Here is a roundup of my six favorite pairs.  I also included different cuts in the legs (for you skinny jeans haters) and different washes.  Have you embraced the high waisted jean?  If so what make/model are you rocking?

High Rise Jeans Under $100

November 15, 2011

The Finer Things in Fashion

When I go into a museum, I expect to revel in the exquisite detail, the profound beauty and contemplate the meaning behind these magnificent works of art.  I have no expectation of actually owning any of these paintings, just a great appreciation that I am allowed to gaze on them for a short period of time.  When I recieved the Nordstrom November 2011 Unforgettable Gifts catalog I experienced a similar sensation.  Exquisitely beautiful fashions, lovely details, in a lavish glossy presentation.  The items in the catalog are completely beyond my reach, but sometimes it is just as nice to admire as it is to own.

Prada "Baroque" Sunglasses, $290,
Valentino "Rock Stud" Platform Pumps, $895,
Roberto Cavalli Metal Sunglasses, $450,

Jimmy Choo "Pearl" Wedge Sandal, $1095,
Is it just me that likes to flip through catalogs for the visual beauty, even when I can't afford the product?  Do you have a favorite item amongst the bunch here?  I personally love the shot with the Prada Sunnies.  The red lips, polkadots and pixie haircut are perfection. 

November 9, 2011

Small Size Shoe Event

Small footed ladies rejoice! This Saturday the Nordstrom Rack at Union Square, City Center and Bergen Town Center will be offering an enhanced selection of women's shoes sizes 4-6. Sadly I won't be around on Saturday so I am asking you to check it out and report back. I want to hear about your shopping finds, footwear fights, triumphs and tragedies (it would be a tragedy if you went home empty handed). I am living vicariously through you, remember to report back here and leave a note in the comments section.

November 7, 2011

The Leo In Me

I often find that when I am stuck for inspiration turning to the blogging community almost always provides me with an idea.  This week I have had a lot of other things on my mind, so when I sat down to blog this morning it was just me, the computer and a blank post.  Rather than force something I began looking at what other blogger's were writing about, I looked at my Twitter feed and surfed over to the Independent Fashion Blogger's page.  Viola! Right there on the homepage was an IFB challenge for the week.  The challenge was to write about your astrological sign, identifying common traits for that sign that you possess and write about horoscopes and predictions.  I was excited, I pulled up Photoshop and created a collage to serve as the artwork and I began researching characteristics for my astrological sign.

What's my sign?  I am a Leo (July 23 to August 22).  I find astrology interesting, the ability to identify the inherent traits of a Leo in myself makes me feel somehow connected to other people who share my sign.  Of all the signs of the zodiac there is not one I would rather be than a Leo.  Granted not all the characteristics written about Leo's are true for me.  Here's a little list of traits that are true to me and traits that I feel don't quite match up.

Slightly Dramatic
Playful, Enjoy Having fun
Need for Approval

Not So Much:
Need to Be Center Stage

I used to check my horoscope daily, now I'm lucky if I remember.  Personally I thought it was more interesting to check at the end of the day so that you could make connections with what happened during the day and what the horoscope predicted.  Honestly I have never had a horoscope that I remembered, so I don't know if they were ever that spot on. Maybe I will have to go back to checking. 

So what's your sign (I'm not being cheeky, I really want to know)?  Have you ever had a horoscope prediction come true?

Style Muse Monday: Pat Benatar

I grew up as a child of the 80's.  I wore leggings, with over-sized splatter painted t-shirts, I had a collection of scrunchies and I belted out 80's rock ballads while decked out in ballet leotard.  I had a few favorite songs, but the albums that were always on constant request were by Pat Benatar.  I loved her tough chick persona and the way that she could belt out a fantastically catchy tune.  Looking back at some of the clothes that Benatar wore; the leotards, the leggings, the oversized blazers, most might seem a little dated, but they were certainly precursors to the ostentatious costumes that some pop divas wear today.  However fun her glitzy glam rock looks were I chose this photo for the outfit's simplicity and wearability.  Today's Style Muse Monday is dedicated to the rocking-est rock chick, with the killer voice and model looks, Pat Benatar.

The Inspiration

The Recreation

Treat Me Stripes: Inspired By Pat Benatar

November 4, 2011

Friday Commandment: Stop Trying to Do it All

This post is dedicated to the multitask-er, the work horse, the person that can't say no,  I know your pain and the swirling dizziness that goes on inside your head.   I find it hard to say no to an idea or task, even if it's my own, I have multiple projects started and not one near finished.  Despite the frustration of these projects and tasks piling up, I know that I will start something new if I get an idea or if I'm asked.

While being helpful, or being productive is empowering, taking on too much is overwhelming and could have the opposite effect, feeling powerless.  Powerless to tackle the multitude of things you said yes to.  There is away out though, remember it's okay to say no, or if possible renege, politely of course.  You are valuable and you are not going to be productive or helpful if you are overwhelmed.  If you feel put on the spot by someone asking a favor politely tell them you will have to think about it, give them the day that you will get back to them and then follow up.  By stepping away from the situation you can analyze if you can realistically accomplish the task. Plus it takes the pressure off of having to give an answer right away.  

When I started this blog I was looking for a fun distraction from a job that was making me miserable.  My blog baby was born.  It provided a creative outlet and welcome distraction from my day job.  I fed it words, pictures, video, nurtured it and corrected it when it was wrong.  Day by day it grew.  Sometimes I had to reign it in and refocus it on the things near and dear to my stylish heart, but it listened. You listened reader, so to you I have to say thank you for your words of encouragement and kind social media support. 

I do believe I have overindulged my blog however, I starting writing five posts a week and I may have gotten in over my head.  Feeling pressure from myself is nothing new, but combined with maintaining a blog, looking for a job and working part time and I realize that my expectation of writing five days a week is not realistic.  To this end I am going to be cutting back on the amount of posts I write each week, from five, to three.  I want to continue to write high quality fashion and style content, it will be much easier for me to do that when I am not spread so thin.  I hope you continue to follow and read.  You can always catch me on Twitter, who knew I would be such a social media chatterbox.