Monday, October 31, 2011

Surprisingly Affordable: West Elm Monogram Shop

People who receive gifts from me in real life should stop reading this post right now.  Spoilers ahead!

I just got my winter West Elm catalog in the mail and was flipping through it while I sat shivering under an afghan (It was in the 40s outside! hooray!) and mourning the Rangers' World Series pitching meltdown.  I got super excited when I saw the new Monogram Shop, and the awesome prices that will let me give wonderfully personal (and affordable) gifts this year.  I can't believe it's time to Christmas shop, but I always start early and am excited to get my friends and family something they'll appreciate.

Here are some of my favorites:

Source: via Haley on Pinterest

Source: via Haley on Pinterest

The pattern and size of these cosmetic bags make them really practical, but still special.  Plus, they're less than half the price of Vera Bradley and (I think) more sophisticated.  The zipper cases would be great for makeup, as well, and storing small items like phone chargers while traveling.

Source: via Haley on Pinterest

A monogrammed iPad/Kindle/laptop case would be well received among my friends, and all three options are under $25.

Source: via Haley on Pinterest

I am so in love with this monogrammed piggy bank speaker - wouldn't it be a cute baby gift?

The catalog had all kinds of other items like cutting boards and dinnerware that aren't online yet, and I'll definitely be checking them all out in store before Christmas.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Found Necessity: Leopard Scarf

Happy Friday!  This week has been long, hard, and tiring.  I have hardly had time for my little blog, let alone visiting others, and I hate it.  I miss you, internet friends!!  I promise I'm not being a snobby non-commenter.  I'll be better next week. 

I even found myself stress shopping at lunch because I just wanted something to be happy about on a crappy day at work.  However, one good thing did come of that bad habit - I realized how much I would wear a leopard print scarf if only I had one.  Can you believe that I don't?!

Here are some options I found:

leopard scarves

And some ways to wear them:

With color!

Source: via Haley on Pinterest


Layered with a dress

Like Rachel Bilson

With classic silhouettes

On the weekend

In the summer

This is clearly one of the most versatile pieces of fabric you can drape yourself with.  I will keep looking for the right one that I can buy in person, but I may just break down and order that Topshop version -the color and scale of the print is just what I want.

In other leopard news, I finally broke down and got the BR leopard flats I've been pining for thanks to an in-store sale plus additional 30% off for card holders.  I'm happy to report that they're as comfortable as all get out and my friends will be tired of seeing them.

Banana Republic flat

Banana Republic flat   (see more ballerina flats)

Are you a leopard-holic like me?  What's your favorite piece to wear?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reader Request: Summer Stripes in the Fall

This week I received a reader request email from Julie, a new reader from North Carolina (welcome!) who is looking for a way to wear her favorite striped pencil skirt into the fall.  She is back to her pre-baby shape, and ready to create some fun and interesting outfits.  I'm happy to help out, and put together a few options:

Stripes in the Fall 1

I saw this photo on Pinterest and loved the combination of navy and gray with the rich brown leather.  

Stripes Skirt Fall 2

I'm also loving the combination of emerald green and navy, and I think this silk blouse would be really fun paired with the striped pencil skirt for a night out.

Stripe Skirt Fall 3

Finally, I think the skirt could easily be dressed down with a cardigan, belt and ballet flats for a day out shopping or a casual dinner.

Hopefully this was helpful for Julie and the rest of you.  I know I just got inspired to play around with my own pencil skirts and wear them in new ways this fall! 

If you'd like a post like this, send me an email and I'll be happy to help - it's free and I enjoy doing it!

P.S.  I'm also looking for guest bloggers to revive my Things Every Girl Needs series.  If you have a blog (and do not represent a company) and would like to post here, send me an email and I'll put you on the schedule.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Weighty Topic

Today I was going to write about something really important, like ways to wear boots, but instead I want to share something that's been on my mind since I overheard some high school age girls shopping at Nordstrom on Monday.  One girl asked the other if she saw a dress in her size, and answer was "Nope, just Large."  The other girl replied "Gross!" and both of them laughed. 

I'm sure they meant nothing by it, but I thought it was really sad that they think it's gross to wear anything larger than a Medium or Small.  Then, I was playing around online and read about how people consider gorgeous women like Cheryl Burke and Kim Kardashian to be fat because they have curves and there isn't a gap between their thighs when they stand up.

Source: via Haley on Pinterest

I think they're both beautiful, and would be thrilled to look as they do!   Curvy is not a synonym for fat, and I am sad that lots of girls can't tell the difference.

I'm not here to be preachy, but I wanted to pass on a great article that got a lot of attention a few months ago.  It's about being careful about how you speak to little girls, and I think it's so important.  You can read it here.  I think the two girls at the mall probably ended up with their perception of size and beauty thanks to the adults in their life and the media.  We all know that we're unlikely to see many size 10 sitcom stars and supermodels any time soon, sad as it may be, but we can set good examples now and not beat ourselves up every chance we get. A little positivity goes a long way!

And now that we're being positive, I challenge you to write down three compliments to yourself.  Do it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Currently Coveting: Chain Strap Clutches

Even though the last thing I need is another handbag of any size, I can't help but want a large chain strap clutch to fill what I now consider to be a huge hole in my purse collection.  Ever since I carried one around the store in J.Crew, I keep thinking about how great it would be to downsize and still keep my hands free.

Plus, look at all the pretty colors!

Chain Strap Clutches

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to sell some bags or start a Christmas list before I get one of my own.  But a girl can dream, right?

What's your take on this shape?  Are you a fan or do you prefer your clutches strapless?


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