Cold Hands, Warm Heart Blogger Swap!

This holiday blogging season I was super excited to participate in Much Love, Illy and Sandy A La Mode‘s Cold Hands, Warm Heart swap!

I was paired with Stephanie from Sand and Starfish! Stephanie, her hubby and their beautiful little girl live in Panama City Beach, Florida, so I was initially stumped on what to get for her. I love Stephanie’s breezy beach babe style, amazing and sweet crafting skillz, and covet her long, shiny blond locks.

When her package arrived in the mail, I definitely squealed. Who wouldn’t? A sweet note written (legibly, even! Sorry, Stephanie! My chicken scratch is an ineffective communication tool at best) on the back of an awesome Florida postcard (currently living on the fridge – I love me some postcards!), packages tied up with vintage bed sheets dyed pink, pink and red tissue paper… It’s as though she climbed into my brain and took a look around.

I love EVERYTHING in the package. The gloves are probably the best gloves I’ve ever owned, and go perfectly with my current outerwear obsession – puffy vest over denim jacket. And the sparkly yarn and ombre look is fabulous! I will get a whole lotta use out of these gloves because they are so fab… but also nice and toasty!

The bright running socks are going to get a lot of use, especially since they are so cushy and comfortable – I even have a jacket that matches the teal socks perfectly – fitness outfit! I am thrilled to have two new pink lip glosses, an adorable candy pink lipstick and nail polish to pinkify my life, too. One can never have enough lip gloss, and I always forget to transfer my glosses from one purse to the next – now, I can put one in each bag I use regularly, and never have to worry about winter chapped lips again.

The cats adore their new Santa toy – Norman couldn’t stay away for any of the pictures I tried to take, and that’s exactly the way it should be. Cats are so much cuter when they’re playing!

Thank you so much, Stephanie! I love everything, I’m so pumped to have a new blog friend, and this swap was great!

Psst: Check out all the wonderful posts from the other 148 participants of Cold Hands, Warm Hearts by clicking on the image above, or here!

I’m bringing peplum back.

Outfit deets: Gold stud earrings, Claire’s; Velvet jacket, Gregory (from 1997); Dress, BCBG; Gold heavy link chain bracelet, Francesca Romana; Ring, Smart Set; Purse, Mexx; Nylons, Joe Fresh; Grey patent leather almond toe pumps, Arezzo.

Roomie Aarron and I went to his company Christmas party on Saturday night. I love this dress. I love this dress. It is unlike anything I’ve ever owned, anything I’ve ever worn, from the colour, to the shape, the neckline… And how sexy I felt in it. And a peplum skirt! One of the main reasons why I adore it so is the peplum skirt. It felt like my tush was wearing a cape. It was very dramatic, in a blue Severus Snape kind of way.

I’m not generally pro-nylons. For the most part, I wear opaque tights or nothing with skirts, but this dress called for some black nylons. I really like how they look in this context. The hint of skin showing through the sheer black adds another bit of sexy to the equation.

My hair was incredibly easy to style, and I adore how it turned out. I watched B. Jones Style‘s Side Bun Swoop (with a side of messy!) tutorial video, and bought – for the first time in my life – hairspray to pull it off. Hairspray is amazing. I’m convinced it can solve all my hair style woes, woes that generally have to do with my hair being too slippery. The Side Bun Swoop (with a side of messy!) is a super easy, effortlessly chic hairstyle, I highly recommend it, for the self-updo experienced and inexperienced alike.

I also have to give a big nod to Aarron, who was easily the most dapper person at his Christmas party. Like last year’s Christmas party, there was a photobooth, but we wound up having a bit more fun taking a few ridiculous outfit shots after we got home from the party than we did taking our pictures in the photobooth… Although, the photobooth was pretty fun.

I am a butterfly bursting out of a cocoon of velvet.

Photos taken by Aarron (except this last one, taken by a timer).

Everybody, Everywear, Sequins on a mermaid’s tail.

Outfit deets: Earrings, Estasi; Scarf, M; Blazer, H&M; Sequined top, Laura; Belt, Warren’s; Skirt, Renner; Tights, Stolen from my mom; Boots, Town Shoes.

Sequins + Sparkles | Everybody, Everywhere

Another Everybody, Everywear! I was super excited when the options were presented for December’s EBEW – fur, holiday sweaters or sequins. Unsurprisingly, and much to my jubilation, sequins won!

I like sequins here and there. Generally, I prefer my sequins to be a small part of a more casual look, with a cargo mini skirt, or a cotton maxi and oversized cardigan. Who doesn’t love an added bit of sparkle and shine to their day to day wear?

I built this outfit around the skirt. I had to take out the tie belt that came with the skirt, and this grommet belt was the only one I could find that would cinch on my natural waist (all my other belts I bought to fit around my hips, and I haven’t gotten around to adding different sized belts to my wardrobe for my natural waist). Once I put the belt on the skirt, the outfit came together easily. I was especially happy to see that the black tights I pulled out actually have a subtle pinstripe pattern to them.

It was also fun as I was running around knowing that I was wearing a sequined tank top under all my layers, but no one else knew but me. Kind of like wearing sexy underwear, only less racy.

In my continued obsession with wearing a denim jacket under a puffy vest, I give you the look with the outerwear also:

I may or may not be dreaming up my outfits to compliment denim jacket/puffy vest outerwear combination. I may or may not continue to post pictures of the combination, and how said combination works with different outfits. You may or may not have been warned.

RSPAC: French Cuff Denim Duty.

lululemon items:

Non-lululemon items:

This jeans jacket has become a huge wardrobe staple for me over the last year. I wear it frequently – if you read this blog even semi-regularly, you’ll probably have seen it worn here before (here, here, here, here, here, here… to name a very small few). I always wind up being sad when it gets too cold to wear it in the winter. Happily, this year I’ve been able to wear it longer than I normally do as we’ve had such a mild winter so far (well, not really so happily, I don’t love a mild winter, if only because it is such a dramatic shift from the temperature norms in winter), but this weekend, I decided to layer my jeans jacket under this puffy vest after watching an introduction video of Katie, the lead accessories designer at lululemon athletica, who layers a denim vest under a puffy vest over her lululemon hoodie.

I don’t have a denim vest (yet… I might wind up turning this jacket into a vest in the spring). I opted to create French Cuffs on the jacket under the vest to add a bit of a different look to a jeans jacket. I really like the look, both of the French Cuffs and of the denim jacket layered under a puffy vest, and this will definitely be making it into a regular outerwear pairing.

For today’s Recovering Sweat Pants Addict Challenge outfit, I entertained myself by wearing two of the same pieces as last week, but styling them completely differently. Such basic pieces are great to own for total wardrobe basics. The perfect tee shirt and a good pair of legging can be the basis for many chic looks, and many funky looks, feminine looks, sexy looks, athletic looks… Basically, a wardrobe blank canvas.

How would you style your tee shirt and legging combo?

Photos by Aarron.

Never leave the concert until the tearing down begins.

Outfit deets: Earrings, Out of the Blue; Chambray shirt, Shoulder; Wrap, H&M; Black jeans, Banana Republic; Boots, Rocketdog; Ring, Francesca Romana.

I was so excited in this outfit.

Wanna know why? Let’s see if you can guess from this picture:

You guessed it!

PRINCE CONCERT!

Aarron managed to score tickets to the show, and what a show it was! I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in, I’ve only ever heard wonderful things about Prince in concert, but he and his band blew me away. Countless encores. Two of the encores happened after they turned the house lights back on, but the crowd refused to stop cheering at the top of their lungs. The first time the house lights when back up after the second encore, I have never heard a louder collective noise of disappointment. The cheering started back up almost immediately.

Tip for concert-goers who don’t know this already: never leave a show until the techs start tearing down the gear on stage. If you do, you’ll probably miss something. I was surprised by how many people left the show before the 3rd, 4th and 5th encores. 6th encore? I don’t know.

Guyliner, lucite high heels, tight flared white pants, pompadour… Never has that combination been so hot.

Pictures by Aarron!

“Hello, Wisconsin!”

Outfit deets: Floppy brim hat and brown lace cardigan, Le Chateau; Scarf and brown tights, Mom’s Closet; Ruffle front knit vest, Anthropologie; Sweater dress, Suzy Sheir; Loafers, Aldo.

Without really trying, I wound up wearing an outfit that reminded me quite a bit of Jackie from That ’70s Show. Of course, if Jackie was wearing this attire, she would be wearing it with a pair of cognac knee high stacked heel boots, not flat loafers. If I owned a pair of cognac knee high stacked heel boots, I would be wearing them in this outfit.

I’ve noticed that lately I’ve thought to myself: “This outfit would really be elevated by a pair of cognac knee high stacked heel boots.” More so than I’ve thought similar thoughts about the black boots I’ve had my eyes on. I think I have a hole in my closet, and I didn’t even know it.

However, I do enjoy having an outfit in my head, and not having all the components to that outfit. Forces a sartorial creativity, I think. Yesterday, while playing Outfit Telephone, I didn’t have all the components to Daena or Kasmira’s outfit – but that is what made it fun, really. I had to make it my own, reinvent it a bit, from within the confines of my own closet.

What do you do if you’re missing an integral part to your envisioned outfits? Run out and buy the missing piece? Find something else in your closet that works, even if it doesn’t look as great? Wait-list the outfit until the missing piece finds its way into your closet?

Your mom killed the Hanta Virus under Miles’s big toe?

I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe!

Outfit deets: Earrings, Claire’s; Glasses, Hakim Optical; Blazer, H&M; Button down, Gregory; Cardigan, Shoulder; Antique pressed violets brooch, Christmas gift; Jeans, Seven for all Mankind; Peep toe pumps, Melissa’s by Vivienne Westwood.

This outfit is like a game of style blogging Telephone. First, Daena wore this warm and wonderful combination of corduroy blazer, sweater vest, patterned button up/jeans and colourful shoes that looks phenomenal. Then, Kasmira took inspiration from Daena’s outfit, and wore her interpretation of Daena’s outfit, in cool tones that make her red hair POP! I took inspiration from Kasmira. Like Kasmira (and Daena), I am wearing a bright coloured shoe (these fabulous Vivienne Westwood Melissa’s – first time on the blog), a pair of flared jeans and a cord blazer. Unlike Kasmira (and Daena), but inspired by, I am wearing a plain button down and a patterned cardigan (originally worn on the blog here, before I actually owned the cardigan… took a full year of campaigning to convince my mother that this cardigan was going to be happier in my closet before she gifted it to me, likely just to shut me up). Instead of statement earrings, as in Kasmira’s case, or a statement necklace, as in Daena’s, I opted to wear this fabulous antique brooch (a Christmas gift from one of my best friend’s grandmothers) with REAL pressed violets inside. And as an added nod to Kasmira, I wore my hair inspired by her hairstyle.

Apparently I've forgotten how to keep my eyes open in pictures, but look how pretty Daena and Kasmira are!

Daena, the Telephone Trail Blazer; moi; Kasmira, and her interpretation!

Who is next on the outfit Telephone call? It would be awesome to have a chain of bloggers creating outfits inspired by the last person to interpret the original look. Daena, Kasmira, Rebecca… Who is next?