Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Year in Review: 2014 Edition

As another year winds down, so comes the time for another self-reflection. I've enjoyed re-reading 2013's with a mixture of surprise (completely forgot I had made a resolution) and laughter.

- If 2013 was the year of shoes, 2014 is the year of outerwear. Excluding blazers and vests, I pretty much doubled my stash in one year. I counted 7 (!) new ones this year: dark red anorak, sage green swing trench, pink trench cape, plaid short trench, green military jacket, lilac moto leather jacket, and gray toggled coat. Craziness. Only two (toggled coat and trench cape) were really on my wishlist; the rest were victims of window shopping -- but how pretty the victims were! I'm going to sheepishly admit that I may not be done yet as I have my eyes on a dark red puffer jacket.

- My favorite purchase this year is a tossup between the RED Valentino wildflower dress [left] and the Stella McCartney trench cape [center]. I relied on a combination of effort and luck to buy both, so I'm sure that played a role in how dear both items are to me. The surprise purchase of the year (in the best way possible!) is the J.Crew Downing brown tote [right]. It was a semi-impulse buy, one that I'm chuckling at now because I actually thought I didn't need a brown colored bag in my life. Welp, that mentality lasted about five months. The neutral color is great, the casual style fits me perfectly. How wrong was I?!
Favorite purchases of 2014

- Speaking of bags, a few new purchases this year upped my tally to 14. A few year ago, I randomly decided that 8 is the magic number for me to be happy and feel like I can cover all types of social situations. One new purchase would mean one old bag will have to go. The thing with these arbitrary rules is that I'd like to think I have the discipline to carry them out... but I really don't, lol. Should I just do away with this "rule"? Be flexible because one of these days I will be able to jump over the sentimental hurdle and donate a bunch? My New Year's resolution for the upcoming year will be to iron this out.

- My top 5 favorite outfits of the year are: [from L -> R] one / two / three / four / five
Favorite outfits of 2014

- I spent 13% of my salary on clothing/accessories/beauty this year. The percentage is much higher than in past years because a huge chunk was spent on a new Chanel reissue. The purchase was planned months in advance, so the hit on my budget didn't come as a surprise. I'm telling myself that this is my last Chanel ever -- so if my eyes start wandering, help keep me in check!

- Going back to New Year's resolutions real quick... apparently I had forgotten that this year's was to be better at oversharing on social media. If I were to evaluate myself, I'd say my activity on Facebook has remained steady, Twitter has taken a nosedive, and Instagram has seen a huge growth, but this blog is still my main source of online presence. Thank you for following via one (or more) of these different mediums!

- I've been experimenting with eliminating accompanying text on blog posts when I simply have nothing to say. I still put in the same (or more) effort to take and edit photos though... just words are harder to come by at times. So rather than bore y'all with the same ol' "Have a great day!", I'll let outfit photos speak for themselves. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have strong opinions one way or the other.

- For the second year in a row, I made the trek out to SF to spend time with blogging friends. It was another too-short trip, but we managed to squeeze in a quick visit to Yosemite and still had time to eat our way around the city (thank you SPG for recapping!) My streak will increase to three in 2015 (time to consider making the move out west?!) because DH and I are stopping by SF on our way to visit Asia! Cannot.contain.my.excitement.

On a final note (I know I sound like a broken record each year), a big THANK YOU to everyone who peruses my blog. All your support, comments, and critiques mean so much. I'm coming up on my 6 year blogiversary next month (holy moly) and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I may have started out blogging for myself, but the people aspect (reader interaction, friendships formed) is what makes this hobby worthwhile. Cheers to more fun and excitement in 2015! Have a happy new year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Orange / Plaid

plaid patterned trench jacket, camel sweater, orange tee, cognac brown tote, brown suede ankle boots
plaid patterned trench jacket, camel sweater, orange tee, cognac brown tote
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
necklace: Forever 21 chain (similar)
jacket: Coach Tattersall short trench (this season's sold here; similar)
sweater: Banana Republic piped open cardigan (similar - on sale; similar - extra 25% off w/code GOODIE)
bag: J.Crew Downing tote (sold here)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Red Accessorized

red cap, gray toggle coat, plaid shirt
gray toggle coat, plaid shirt, cognac brown tote, red loafers
red cap, gray toggle coat, plaid shirt, cognac brown tote, red loafers
hat: MLB Washington Nationals cap with 2014 postseason patch (sold here)
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
shirt: Gap fitted boyfriend plaid oxford (similar - $11.98; similar; similar)
tee: Vince Little Boy (sold at Last Call NM - on sale / Nordstrom)
bag: J.Crew Downing tote (sold here)
shoes: Gap driving moccasins (great dupe; similar)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Pink / Brown

pink trench cape, striped sweater, cargo pants, cognac brown tote, leopard flats
pink trench cape, striped sweater, cargo pants, cognac brown tote, leopard flats
pink trench cape, striped sweater, cargo pants, cognac brown tote
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: TOUS Colors in 02
sweater: Ann Taylor striped mock neck (sold here - $22 w/code ANN60)
bag: J.Crew Downing tote (sold here - 30% off w/code HOLIDAYTIME)
shoes: Nine West Shindig (sold here - on sale; similar - on sale)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tee Up

Today's outfit inspiration of baseball tee + plaid + ankle boots is thanks to Pinterest. Plaid has been on heavy rotation lately with the upcoming holidays.

This time of year is typically low-key for me, as family all live close by. I plan on enjoying the day off, taking advantage of after-Christmas sales to prepare for next year's holiday season (all of a sudden I'm really into random home decor knickknacks, lol), and eating half my weight in food.

Hope you have a good one!
baseball tee, plaid shirt, cognac brown tote, brown suede ankle boots
baseball tee, plaid shirt, cognac brown tote, brown suede ankle boots
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: NYX round case lipstick in NYX (sold here)
top: J.Crew Factory stripe baseball tee (similar - 50% off; similar - 30% off w/code HOLIDAYTIME)
tee (underneath): Uniqlo heattech crew neck t-shirt (sold here)
shirt (tied around waist): J.Crew perfect shirt in ivory tartan (similar - 30% off w/code HOLIDAYTIME; similar)
bag: J.Crew Downing tote (sold here - 30% off w/code HOLIDAYTIME)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Olive / Leather / Plaid

oversized plaid scarf, leather sleeved military jacket, black boots
oversized plaid scarf, leather sleeved military jacket, black boots
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
scarf: Zara two-tone checked (recent - may still be in stores; similar - on sale; similar)
jeans: LOFT knit denim leggings (this season's sold here - 40% off)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Bloomingdale's / Nordstrom / NM)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gold Rush

Just a casually festive outfit for the upcoming holidays -- with decorations in the background to boot! Have a great weekend, everyone!
chain necklace, camel sweater, tweed skirt, tweed clutch, leopard flats
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
necklace: Ann Taylor estate shimmer (similar - 50% off w/code WINTER50; similar)
sweater: Tory Burch Deanna (similar - extra 40% off w/code WRAP; similar - on sale)
top: Ann Taylor jewel neck long sleeve tee (sold here - 50% off w/code WINTER50)
ring: Elizabeth and James Windrose (sold at Shopbop / Zappos; similar)
skirt: Zara fantasy mini (similar; similar)
tights: Gap opaque (similar)
clutch: Ann Taylor tweed (similar; similar)
shoes: Nine West Shindig (sold here - on sale; similar - on sale)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Navy / Plaid / Graphic Tee

Today's navy + plaid + graphic tee combo is inspired by Marissa Webb. I usually steer away from wearing navy and black together (hard to differentiate between the two colors sometimes), but really liked how my last outfit turned out. As for today's look? I'll give myself an A for effort... probably should've swapped out the faux leather pants for jeans instead.
navy peacoat, plaid shirt, graphic tee, faux leather pants, cognac brown tote
navy peacoat, plaid shirt, graphic tee, faux leather pants, cognac brown tote
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
shirt: J.Crew perfect shirt in ivory tartan (similar - 30% off w/code JINGLE; similar)
top: Old Navy "live laugh love" graphic tee (this season's sold here, here - both extra 30% off w/code DASHER)
ring: Elizabeth and James Windrose (sold at Shopbop / Zappos; similar)
pants: Blank NYC faux leather skinny (sold here)
bag: J.Crew Downing tote (sold here - extra 30% off w/code JINGLE)
shoes: Sam Edelman Felicia ballet flats (sold at Nordstrom / Shopbop / Zappos / Lord & Taylor)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fall to Winter Transition

A lot of my outfits look pretty similar to one another, ie: swap an item for another here, add accessories there. It may not seem like it because I space them apart in my blog posts (sometimes intentional, sometimes not.) So unless an outfit is an all-time fav of someone's, I doubt most people will notice.
warm weather vs. cold weather
[left outfit]: details here / [right outfit]: details below

I took an outfit from earlier this fall and swapped out the light layers for a thicker sweater. Both are business casual work appropriate -- practically the same, but different enough -- with the former being menswear-inspired and the latter giving off a preppy casual vibe.

Apparently I also unintentionally recycle odd poses. What were the chances that two outfits worn weeks apart were taken with my left arm in the air, right arm on my bag, and legs crossed?
gray cowl sweater, striped button up shirt, blue suede pumps
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
shirt: Ann Taylor striped perfect button down (this season's sold here - 40% off)
ring: Elizabeth and James Windrose (sold at Shopbop / Zappos; similar)
pants: Ann Taylor ponte skinny ankle (sold here - 40% off)
bag: Chanel reissue in 226 (buy pre-owned; similar - 30% off)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Classic

I wear variations of today's outfit year-round. For warmer weather days, a striped tee + shorts + sandals are a no-frills, easy combination. In cold weather, swap out the tee for a sweater, shorts for jeans, sandals for suede ankle boots, and layer a navy peacoat for additional warmth. Voila! A put-together outfit that will stand the test of time.
navy peacoat, striped sweater, cognac brown tote, brown suede ankle boots
navy peacoat, striped sweater, cognac brown tote
navy peacoat, striped sweater, cognac brown tote, brown suede ankle boots
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar) 
lips: MAKE silk lipstick cream in taffy (sold here)
coat: J.Crew Majesty peacoat (this season's sold here, here - both 30% off w/code GIVETHIS)
sweater: Ann Taylor striped mock neck (sold here - $27.50 w/code MERRY)
bag: J.Crew Downing tote (sold here - extra 30% off w/code GIVETHIS)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Double the Checks

My obsession with gingham has finally waned. Taking its place are larger check patterns, ie: buffalo check (shirt below, ordered pants to try), Burberry-esque (scarf below), a mix of plaid with buffalo check (shirt here). Perhaps due to a few unseasonal winter-like days, I've been gravitating towards flannel fabric often, and as a result, been quite picky about the pattern as well as the fabric.

Speaking of flannel, I recently discovered microfleece sheets, which are amazing to sleep in! I stumbled upon them by accident and was sold when a few reviewers preferred them over even flannel sheets. I don't have trouble sleeping, but do sometimes get cold periodically throughout the night. We've been using regular ol' cotton sheets and just doubling up on blankets once temperatures drop. The microfleece sheets have been a life changer. Seriously.
checked scarf, lilac leather jacket, buffalo checked shirt
checked scarf, lilac leather jacket, buffalo checked shirt
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
scarf: Zara two-tone checked (recent - may still be in stores; similar)
jacket: Balenciaga original moto leather jacket in parme (sold here; similar - on sale)
shirt: Zara checked shirt with pocket (sold here; similar - 50% off; similar)
ring: Elizabeth and James Windrose (sold at Shopbop / Zappos; similar)
pants: Ann Taylor ponte skinny ankle (sold here)
bag: Chanel reissue in 226 (buy pre-owned; similar - 40% off)
shoes: Sam Edelman Felicia ballet flats (sold at Nordstrom / Shopbop / Zappos / Lord & Taylor)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Red / Navy / Brown

dark red jacket, gray open sweater, striped tee, brown suede over the knee boots
dark red jacket, gray open sweater, striped tee, brown suede over the knee boots
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar) 
lips: MAKE silk lipstick cream in taffy (sold here)
jacket: Burberry lightweight belted parka (this season's sold here; similar)
sweater: theory Ashtry F open cardigan (this season's sold here - on sale; similar - on sale)
top: Gap essential rugby crew tee (similar - $10 w/code WRAPIT)
bag: Balenciaga city (this season's sold at NM / Barneys)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Stripes + Tweed

tweed jacket, striped tee, red loafers
tweed jacket, striped tee, red loafers
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
jacket: UniQUEEN Malang tweed (similar; similar - both on sale)
top: Gap stripe luxe boatneck tee (sold here - $11.39 w/code FESTIVE)
shoes: Gap driving moccasins (great dupe; similar - $13.18 w/code FESTIVE)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Camel / Camo / Olive

camel sweater, camo printed belt, olive pants
camel sweater, camo printed belt, olive pants
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
bracelet: Ann Taylor modern classic twisted cuff (sold here - 40% off w/code GET40)
ring: Elizabeth and James Windrose (sold at Shopbop / Zappos; similar)
belt: crewcuts camo (similar - 40% off; similar - 30% off)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Bloomingdale's / Nordstrom / NM)
shoes: YSL Charlotte pumps in Millennium print (similar - on sale; similar - on sale; similar - on sale)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Navy / Gold

I was initially planning to wear my navy blazer with today's outfit, but the shorter length didn't look right with the skirt (no matter how much I experimented with the waist placement.) The navy peacoat turned out to be the better choice, if I may say so myself. How often does the backup trump the original?
chunky knit scarf, plaid shirt, navy peacoat, gold tweed skirt
chunky knit scarf, plaid shirt, navy peacoat, gold tweed skirt
chunky knit scarf, plaid shirt, navy peacoat, gold tweed skirt
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: TOUS Colors in 04
scarf: Zara cashmere-feel (similar - 30% off; similar - 40% off w/code BRXODAYS)
coat: J.Crew Majesty peacoat (this season's sold here, here - both an extra 25-30% off w/code MERRYMERRY)
shirt: Gap fitted boyfriend plaid oxford (similar - on sale)
skirt: Zara fantasy mini (similar; similar - 40% off)
tights: Gap opaque (similar)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Bloomingdale's / Nordstrom / NM)
shoes: Tory Burch Ludlow driver (similar; similar)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Simple Home Makeover: The Front Entry

As I predicted in my last home post, a year did indeed fly by without any new updates. My SIL recently moved out after living with us for a couple of years. With her (and all her stuff!) gone, our home suddenly looks and feels much larger. So much empty space that I couldn't wait to fill and decorate to my heart's content... much to DH's dismay, lol.

I'm a bit obsessed with mudrooms (darn you, Pinterest!) There's something about how everything is neatly organized that really appealed to me. And so first on my to-do list is our front entry.

Our foyer isn't very large and neither DH nor I are very handy, so a full-sized custom-built mudroom is a wishful dream. However, that doesn't mean we couldn't create a simple variation with key mudroom components -- hooks, storage, and seating.
entryway
Before: I took this photo right after we moved into our home. The previous owners took all the window treatments with them when they moved, so we were left with nothing to cover the long windows on each side of the front door. The quick and fast solution? Garbage bags to the rescue (as suggested by my MIL), LOL. Would you believe these stayed up for 2+ years?! So unsightly upon initial inspection, but I have to say, I stopped noticing them after about a week.

After: Gone are the garbage bags! Shortly after SIL moved in, she took us to G Street Fabrics to pick out material to use for both windows (her wedding present to us.) The DIY fell through the cracks as life took precedence, so the yards of fabric were left untouched until right before her recent move. A parting and belated wedding gift rolled into one? We loved the end result. I keep going back and forth on which way to display the patterned side. Right now it's facing the street, so from our point-of-view indoors, we're seeing the "faded" back side of the fabric. I'm thinking of flipping it so we see the sunny yellow and not random strangers passing by. We'd surely enjoy it more than they would.

For the "mudroom" portion, I briefly considered an all-in-one piece (ie: one, two), but I felt that type of furniture would look bulky and take up too much room in the small space that we have to work with.

I ended up going with something more modular, because that opened up more options (item, size, style, color) and gave me the freedom to mix-and-match varying pieces together. I used the Morrows' front entry (as featured on The Curtis Casa) as inspiration for our space. I loved their clothing rack with the moveable hooks and was happy to see that I could copy the setup using the IKEA Fintorp series. Unlike the Morrows' use of a boot tray, I wanted a bench below the clothing rack so DH has a place to sit and tie his shoes instead of using the stairs. A bench was a must, but a bench that also doubled as shoe storage?! Ahh... functional and practical. I really love our finished setup. Simple, aesthetically pleasing (goes with our home's style, I think), practical, and is porportional to the space (foyer still feels pretty airy.)

As Elle keenly observed, none of the shoes on the shoe bench are mine. I own wayyy more than DH's ~10 pairs, so mine are stowed away in a nearby coat closet (photos at the bottom of this post.)
entryway
Clothing rack: IKEA Fintorp (31" rail, 5-pack hooks, flatware caddy) / Art: from random street vendor in Rome / Shoe bench: IKEA Tjusig / Jacket: Gap (similar) / Hat: MLB Washington Nationals / Shoes: DH's

On a final note... a doormat for the front door wasn't on our radar at all. That is, until I literally laughed out loud the first time I saw this cheeky doormat. The saying is so true! And definitely applies to us.
entryway with doormat
Doormat: Reed Wilson Design Neighbors doormat (similar)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Green / Tan / Black

chunky knit scarf, green military jacket, black tee, cargo pants, leopard flats
chunky knit scarf, green military jacket, black tee, cargo pants, leopard flats
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N9 (sold here)
top: Gap pure body v-neck T (sold here - 30% off w/code HAPPY)
pants: Zara (similar - on sale)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Bloomingdale's / Nordstrom / NM)
shoes: Nine West Shindig (sold here - on sale; similar - on sale)
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