Valentine’s Day Date

valentines day

This is a tough shopping time of year. There are still at least two cold weather months ahead of us (Yes, April, I am talking to you, too!). However, stores are busting out their resort-wear like we are in the middle of a heat wave! The result? You end up buying something that is not weather appropriate and freezing your cute little fanny off. It is the plight of many girls who think they need to wear something new for Valentine’s Day. Spoiler: You don’t. Valentine’s Day isn’t even a real holiday so just wear something you already have.

Here’s a fun Valentine’s Day hack. If you are going somewhere fancy, recycle your old holiday dress. Unless it is bright green, your holiday frock will make the perfect Valentine’s Day dress.

Why?

Because the dress you bought in December is probably heavier weight and has just enough special details to make it perfect for a V-Day date night.

So save the money you would have spent on a dress and buy more champagne. And also more chocolate. And send some flowers to yourself. And also get some ice cream.

Hmmm, maybe just change into sweatpants and eat ice cream and watch The Walking Dead?? Kidding… sort of.

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valentines day 3

gradient maniShoes: Nordstrom (similar) | Dress: Zara (old, but love this) | Jacket: J.Crew | Sunglasses: Amazon

You guys, I wrote an ebook!

Actually I can’t decide whether to call it an ebook or an eguide. All I know is it is nearly thirty pages of amazingness, if I do say so myself.

ebook

So here’s the thing, before I had Hannah I worked in the beauty industry in NYC. It was a crazy, glamorous, frustrating, fun, stressful, insane, lovely time. One of the most common questions I got was, How did you get that job?? Literally, I got asked that at least once a week. The answer?

It’s complicated.

Then I started asking some of my friends who either work or have worked in fashion or beauty. We all had similar, complicated, roundabout stories of how we got that first coveted job in ‘the business’. However one thing was common: There was a lot of hustling. We weren’t sitting behind the computer submitting our resume to job boards.

So I decided to sit down and decode the process, and thus this e-book was born. Unlike some of the e-courses circling around Facebook right now, this book actually gives you real answers. From super informative (and eye-opening) interviews with current or former fashion and beauty professionals, to actual e-mails I sent to form my first contacts in the business, this book is everything you need if you dream of working in fashion or beauty.

You can find it in my newly launched estore! I plan to add more content here (both freebies and more in-depth guides) over the next few months. However, now I need to get some sleep. Making this book took forever and ever.

 

Red Accents

red accentsIt’s Valentine’s Day week! Valentine’s is not my favorite holiday, but I like wearing red — so I have an excuse to bombard all of you with tons of red this week.

Annnyyyyway, I put together this look to show that you don’t have to get super dressy to look great this Valentine’s Day. If your Valentine’s Day plans include something more low-key or drinks with your girlfriends, you might not want to pull out your best cocktail dress. You can take an everyday outfit, add some festive accessories and have a perfect, comfy Valentine’s Day outfit that looks great but doesn’t try too hard.

red accents

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valentino shoesShoes: Amazon | Pants: Gap | Shirt: H&M | Cardigan: Trunk Up | Sunglasses: Amazon | Clutch: Amazon

Friday Fab Four

blue-drapy-maxi

I love this bag so much. I am not sure if it is the bag itself or the adorable tassels. Whatever it is, it’s so cute and it’s on sale, too! Woot!

Banana bread is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make. This version is oil-free and looks extra delicious (please note the chocolate chips). I have two overripe bananas on my counter so I am planning to give this recipe a try asap.

Did you know that there is a scientific reason babies are so cute? Basically babies are so hard to take care of they have to be physically irresistible or everyone would be like, Nope! Not worth it. The species can just die out. That’s fine. This BBC article gives a fun (and cute!) explanation for why baby humans and baby animals are so adorbs.

Help me solve this Internet mystery! Which of these woman is the mother? The article doesn’t say and it is a TRUE mystery, y’all. Truly. I will not rest until it’s solved. Or I stop being lazy and just do a Google search.

The Bandage Dress, Revisited

bandage dressI wore this dress when I was pregnant because it was surprisingly comfortable and showed off my bump. I wanted to wear this dress again because I saw model Taylor Hill wearing a bandage dress at a Victoria’s Secret press event and she looked so good I was inspired to wear my bandage dress again.

I think it’s safe to say that I look exactly like Taylor when I wear this dress. I am sure Victoria’s Secret will be calling at any moment to sign me up for their next show. I can’t wait to wear the fancy wings! I’ll just sit here on the couch quietly eating chips while I wait for the call…

bandage dress 3

bandage dress 2

Dress: The Kewl Shop | Shoes: C. Wonder (love these) | Sunglasses: Nordstrom | Clutch: Michael Kors (similar)

The Books I Read in January

Guys, I have been kicking around the idea of starting a YouTube channel. However, unlike this blog, I don’t want the YouTube channel to be about fashion. Fashion photography is one thing, but fashion videos are a whole different ballgame. I am not ready to undergo the Oscar-worthy production process it will take to get me fashionably video-ready every week.

Instead, I was thinking of making these reading review posts videos. Thoughts?! I mean, I love reading and talking about reading but would video reviews be too boring?

I need your advice. Also, if you have a YouTube channel and want to give me any tips, I will gladly take them. I will pay you in heaps of gratitude and genuine admiration (YouTube content creation looks tough.).

Okay — now on to the reviews! And a cute photo of Hannah because oh em gee she is the sweetest. Also, notice how much happier she is when she isn’t in the snow (lol).

tulle twins

The Fates and The FuriesI don’t want to say I didn’t like this book because that would be untrue. I appreciated this book. I thought the book was beautiful and poetic. But Fates wasn’t something I really enjoyed reading. It’s like going to an office potluck. I appreciate the effort, and I admire the presentation and the thoughtfulness — but I am still not eating food from a random person’s kitchen.

Let’s start with the good. Unlike a lot of popular books, this book was not a thinly veiled screenplay trying to disguise itself as a novel for six months until Hollywood buys the movie rights. This book is the closest thing I have read to modern literature in a while. It is Dickensian in scope (aka: long and detailed as all heck), the language is beautiful, and the character development is amazing. I can definitely see why critics lost their minds over this one. HOWEVER, this book is just dripping with pretension, y’all. The language is almost too flowery at times. Don’t get me started on some of the dialogue. Also, the book was too long (kinda like this review). Like Gone Girl, this book is divided into two parts with the two lead characters narrating each half. The first half was such a chore to get through that I was almost like, Nope! I’ll stop now. However, I kept going because I’m no quitter. The second half is much more interesting which saved this book from being  total dud for me.

The Best American Short Stories (2015)After reading The Fates I decided I needed to continue reading more high-brow pieces. So I got this book of short stories. Apparently they publish one ever year! Who knew? It was really great. The stories were truly amazing, each one better than the last. I am definitely going to get the 2014 volume.

The Walking Dead Volume 7 & 8How do people read comic books on the regular? Are they always this violent? I still love this series, though. I can’t get enough of the zombies! I just have to take breaks between volumes for my sanity.

The Paper Magician: I take my magic fiction very seriously. I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The concept is amazing. The idea was right there. However, a critical mistake was made in this book that killed it before it got started: The lack of exposition or character development. In order for a book about magic to work, you have to establish a world that makes the magic credible (i.e. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc — they all establish, sometimes in great detail, why the reader should believe in the magic presented). The author of The Paper Magician ignored the exposition step entirely and just jumped right in with her little story. I had no idea why I should care about the magic or the magicians in this book. Also, the lead character constantly complained that ‘paper magic’ was dumb. By the end of the book I had to agree. Paper magic is dumbMaybe it wouldn’t have been so dumb if a) the paper magic concept had been more fully fleshed out or b) the author hadn’t set the climatic battle scene right beside a body of water. Call me crazy but water isn’t exactly the best place to showcase paper’s winning properties. But what do I know? I’m not an author.

Alas, this wasn’t my best reading month but I am hopeful for February. Any recommendations??

Winter Hodgepodge

winter fashionWinter is a bummer, but it is also a great time to taken fashion risks in the name of staying warm. This look is a hodgepodge of some of my favorite black and white warm pieces. Also, the boots are a post-blizzard necessity. The city of Richmond is not the best with snow removal and the residual patches of ice are no joke. The last thing I need is to slip and fall and get run over my Hannah’s stroller.winter styleShoes: L.L. Bean | Dress (worn as a skirt): eShakti, love this one | Sweater: J.Crew Factory (old, but this one is adorbs) | Coat: J.Crew Factory (very old, but this cape is a must) | necklace: J. Crew Factory (similar) | Sunglasses: J.Crew Factory

Friday Fab Four

 

y'all sweatshirtSweatshirt: Kentucky For Kentucky | Shirt: J.Crew  Factory| Jacket: J.Crew (similar) | Glasses: Warby Parker (similar)

Is it just me or is it sometimes hard to find cute, dressy shoes in the winter? In the spring and summer it is all about the cute strappy sandals and pumps — there are so many options. In the winter it’s like — I guess I’ll wear these boots again? Anyway, I found these shoes and they are dressy winter perfection. The little velveteen bows, though. I can’t!

These Asian lettuce wraps are so easy and quickly becoming a dinner staple around here. The dish is so flavorful! If you are a carb junkie like me, you can also add a little white or brown rice to the dish.

I got a few requests for where I got Hannah’s snowsuit. Here is the link! It is also majorly on sale (like, less than $30 on sale). Also, I realize the suit is technically blue, but it works for both boys and girls in my opinion. Chambray is gender neutral.

Need to send a Valentine’s Day card? Don’t want it to be boring? Well these are anything buy boring. Prepare yourself for all of the lol-ing.

Hannah vs The Blizzard

snowyWe took Hannah out to experience her first snow, Mr. Blizzard Jonas. The second the wind and snowflakes hit her little face she was like, ‘nope’. We were able to snap a couple photos to commemorate this occasion before she was completely over it.

She’s a summer baby. Snow just isn’t her thing.

blizzard baby

blizzard

Hat: Gap (similar) | Jacket: J.Crew (similar) | Sunglasses: J.Crew Factory | Hannah’s Suit: Gap

Snow Day

winter style

This little girl is not here for the snow life. Her snow day stank face is the funniest, though.

Also, did you catch Hannah’s flat-out kiss rejection in the photo above? *Insert sad face*

winter styleBoots: Hunter | Skirt: H&M (similar) | Sweater: Nordstrom (similar) | Scarf: Etsy | Sunglasses: Amazon