Thursday, July 31, 2014

Closet Organization



In our apartment, we have one teeny tiny linen closet right outside the bathroom. When we first moved in almost a year ago, it was nowhere near as stuffed as it is in the above photos. But somehow, this happened. Probably because the lack of initial organization when we moved in, but I digress. As this is some of our only storage space, we needed to make it work. There needed to be a space for the extra towels, medicine, cleaning products, and of course, my overflowing stash of beauty products and nail polish tower.

So, one weekend I got ambitious and dumped everything out. Before I got to organizing, I went through and sorted everything out. I trashed anything that had expired or we didn't use anymore, got together a pile of travel sized toiletries for donation, and wiped all the shelves down with some Clorox wipes. It was looking much better already!

After a couple of hours, here was the end result:




It's hard to really tell how vast of an improvement this is, but just trust me. It just took a bunch of little changes to make such a huge improvement. I'm quite pleased to say that a month and a half later, my closet still looks this good (so yea, I'm behind on posting)! Here are a few things I did to really tidy it up:

-I organized all of the travel-sized toiletries I wanted to keep into a pop-top container, and hid it in one of the blue bins. I don't reach for them frequently, so they didn't need to be easily accessible.

-After cleaning everything out, I was able to make some room in our laundry room for the Clorox wipes, which is where they really belonged anyway.

-Anything that was still in packaging got taken out of the packaging and recycled. I don't know how that saved so much room, but it really did.

-The white bin (filled with my craft supplies and odds and ends) got moved to the top shelf, as I almost never need anything in there.

-Refolded the towels so they fit the shape of our closet better.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Versatility



Dress: Lilly Pulitzer
Shirt: Delia*s Warehouse Sale
Shoes: Vera Wang
Earrings: Neiman Marcus Last Call

As I mentioned in my last post, I really try and make the most of my extensive dress collection. I don't really like buying them just for special occasions, ideally, I want to make them work for a variety of different occasions: work, play, and more formal events. This dress, originally purchased for my college graduation two years ago, is no exception.

Though I wear this pretty frequently in the summer when I'm not in the office, I wanted it to work double duty. Normally, no problem, but as this dress was strapless (and I'm sick of wearing my jean jacket when it's 90 degrees out), I went for a simple swap: a faded chambray button up. It's much lighter weight, and when tied in a little knot, provides a form fitting and sleek look. Pin It

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dresses and Tees



Shirt: Theory
Dress: Nine West
Necklace: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Shoes: Coach

I love dresses. They are easy to throw on, comfortable, and so feminine. However, I tend to find that I get stuck in a rut wearing them the same way over and over again. I'll either wear it on its own with coordinating jewelry and shoes, or with a jean jacket thrown on top. Simple looks that are easy to put together, but it can definitely get boring.

I've been trying to get better about mixing it up when it comes to wearing my dresses. One easy way I've found to do that is by throwing on a t-shirt on top! As long as the t-shirt is dark and the dress is pretty form fitting, the end result usually turns out really well. In this case, a lot of people thought this was a skirt - which is exactly the look I wanted to achieve. It's not a huge stretch, but it helps me make the most out of my wardrobe. 

P.S - Here's what the dress looks like on its own. Pin It

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Return of the Silk Pajamas



Jacket: J.Crew
Tank: Pink Tartan
Pants: Pink Tartan
Shoes: BCBG Max Azria

I know it has only been a few weeks since I've last worn these, but I couldn't resist pulling these silky pajama style pants again. They are so comfortable and lightweight - the perfect combination for sticky, hot, and humid weather. However, they have the coverage you need for when you're in the office, that way you're not freezing while you're sitting at your desk.

This time, I wore them with a loose fitting canary yellow tank, and navy blue jacket (have I mentioned it's been so cold in my office). In addition, I had overslept yet again, so I had to put my hair in a sockbun. Thank goodness it's nearly the weekend!
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patriotic Stripes



Jacket: DKNY
Dress: J. Crew
Shoes: Vera Wang
Bangle: vintage

Since returning from my vacation, I've felt so refreshed and relaxed and have actually felt like putting a little extra effort into my day-to-day wear (plus, taking the time to snap some photos, too). On the other hand, it may be the fact that I've been at my new job for nearly 6 months now, and feel like I am finally learning to manage a large client load without being overwhelmed.

I snagged this patriotic tank dress over the Fourth of July weekend while J. Crew was offering an additional 50 percent off clearance, and I am so happy I did. Not only was it a great price (about $20), it's comfortable, light weight, and the perfect piece to wear just about anywhere - on the plane, while running errands, and even to work! To stick to a simple red, white, and blue ensemble, I swiped on a little red lipstick, and wore my nude ballet flats. 
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A week in Instagram





I spent this past week on vacation with my fiance in Denver, and we had the absolutely best time! Take a look to see some of the great sights we were fortunate enough to see.

P.S. - Stay up to date with me and follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

1. On the plane to Denver!

2. My first glimpse on the city skyline.

3. Taking a day trip to Estes Park.

4. Touring the Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King was inspired to write the Shining.

5. Hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park, and checking out Sprague Lake.

6. Taking in amazing views at Red Rocks.

7. The Monet garden at the Denver Botanical Gardens.

8. Indulging in the ultimate tourist treat - Voodoo Donuts. They were DELICIOUS.



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Monday, July 21, 2014

Pinto Bean Salad


In the hottest days of summer, the last thing you want to do is stay in the kitchen by a hot stove. So, for a simple side dish, I love cold bean salads. This pinto bean salad is incredibly easy to put together, and is great atop a crisp bed of romaine lettuce, or on its own. 

Ingredients
-2 cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
-1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
-1 small red onion, finely chopped
-2 small jalapenos, seeded and chopped
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss pinto beans with red bell pepper, red onion, jalapenos, garlic, and and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and season with salt and black pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Now Press Repeat



Dress: Kate Spade
Earrings: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Belt: Target
Shoes: Coach

On my laziest mornings, there's nothing I love more than pulling on great fitting dress. It's the kind of piece that makes it look like you put a lot of time and thought into what you're going to wear, when it really requires minimal effort. You don't even have to worry about if the rest of what you're wearing matches!

Although I don't wear this Kate Spade number frequently, it's the perfect piece for those kind of mornings. All it needs is a skinny belt to emphasize my waist, a pair of dangling earrings, and classic black wedges to pull the whole look together. It's an outfit I've worn before, but one that bears repeating. Pin It

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mermaid Inspired



Dress: Kate Spade
Earrings: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Shoes: Cole Haan

Normally when I get promotional emails from Kate Spade announcing a sale, I can't help but check it out. However, I don't usually make any purchases - there's never usually anything that I just have to have, and I am always a little leery about buying something online that I haven't been able to try on and can't return. This time, was a bit different. While browsing, I found a dress and a top that I just had to have. Still, I was hesitant, so I decided to hold off.

The next week, I was indulging in a little retail therapy at the local mall after a particularly trying day at work, and somehow stumbled into Kate Spade (whoops). I really wasn't planning on buying anything, but then I saw the dress and shirt that I had been eyeing. Only one left of each, and both conveniently in my size. I made a quick trip to the fitting room, and shortly after was walking out of the store with another shopping bag.

So! Here's the dress. While relatively plain, I know it's the kind of piece that can be worn many different ways, and I will grow to love more and more. The first time I wear anything, I like to keep things really simple (maybe a weird thing that I just do), and let the new piece shine. When I finally decided to wear this dress, I added some turquoise drop earrings, and gold gladiator sandals. I kind of feel like a mermaid! I know it's not a mermaid style dress, but the vibrant aqua color just gives me that vibe (not that I'm complaining)! 


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Late Fourth of July



Dress: Jessica Simpson
Shoes: Vera Wang
Earrings: Charter Club

This year, my plans for the Fourth of July were up in the air. Usually, all of my holidays have rigorous schedules involving travelling to visit both my parents and my fiances parents, having big sit-down dinners with the whole family, and doing some sort of event together. So, when I found out we didn't have anything going on for Independence Day, we decided to embrace it (for once).

After getting in a good work out and showering, I actually felt like putting a little more effort into my appearance. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I love any opportunity to sport a little red, white, and blue, so this was an easy day to get dressed for. This vintage cut navy polka dot dress was the perfect little number for a warm summer day spent shopping downtown, enjoying lunch al fresco, and catching the fireworks by the lake. I wanted to keep accessories to a minimum, so finished off my look with a bold red lip, and pearl stud earrings. I hope everyone had a great holiday!     


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A week in Instagram







Holy moly, I haven't done one of these in forever! I somehow go a full week without posting anything on Instagram, and then post a bunch of photos all on the same day. Looking back at these photos, it's turning out to be one heck of a summer!

Oh, and good news - after three years with my iPhone 4, I finally upgraded to the iPhone 5S. I'm so impressed by the photo quality. All of my photos look a million times better!

P.S. - Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with me!

1. Nothing like a smoothie in the morning in my new Lilly Pulitzer (Lobstah Roll) tumbler.

2. Working on the balcony at work and taking in my amazing view of the Potomac. 

3. Celebrating free doughnut day with a perfect glazed ring from Krispe Kreme.

4. Influenster perks: my Influenster champion box after completing the Rimmel London moisture renew challenge.

5. My fiance fishing at the pond across the street from my parents house.

6. Picking fresh raspberries from my dads little garden.

7. Bad days call for retail therapy (in the clearance section) at Kate Spade.

8. Grabbing a late Sunday brunch with one of my closest friends.

9. My Fourth of July look (a full post with my outfit to come)!

10. Hiking at Patapsco Valley State Park this past weekend.

11. Squeezing in for a shot with everyone at the end of a perfect weekend.
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Gingham Style



Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Pants: Eileen Fisher
Shoes: Vera Wang
Bag: Kate Spade

After a super busy (but fun-filled!) three day weekend, I was in no mood to think about what to wear this morning. Oddly enough, I did have enough energy to do something with my hair, so that was a little weird. But as for my outfit? I needed something simple and comfortable. For days like these, I love a good fitting button down and dark denim. Easy and cute!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sunday Brunch



Shirt: J. Crew
Scarf: Delia*s Warehouse Sale
Pants: Mavi
Belt: Gap
Shoes: Cole Haan

I don't go out for brunch very often. I find that it tends to be frequented by a stuffier crowd, and it's always noisy and cramped. Also, I wake up way too early most weekend mornings to wait around until it's an acceptable brunch hour to eat. Every once and a while though, I like to camp out in an old diner with a good friend, and enjoy a lazy morning start with a tall stack of fluffy pancakes and a comfy outfit.

Though I like to go for a comfortable feel, I certainly don't want to look like a slob. For occasions such as these, I love v-neck tee's, circle scarfs, and worn-in denim. The perfect outfit for lounging around all day that doesn't take much effort, but is a step above sweats.
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