Wednesday, December 28, 2016

{romantic details & inspiration}

I've always loved the feminine, the romantic, the lovely, the dreamy. Here are some of my favorite romantic details and some inspiration for beauty, fashion and style.


                         Perfect for any girl's vanity: White Lilac's Tray with Mirror & Gilt is just too dreamy to pass up. It's just the right place to put your vintage rings and pearls.


This metal picture frame with birds and flowers is just rustic and vintage looking enough to make any romantic at heart swoon. 


This "Tricks of the Trade" Mauve Dress is dreamy, feminine AND versatile - you can wear it 4 different ways. LuluS has this stunning dress that echos the simple glamour of yesteryear.


I adore this lavender cameo earrings! Gives a pop of color AND a sweet vintage look all at the same time. Check out Missigirl Designs for this and more treasured pieces.


Anthropologie offers up this sweet chiffon ruffle romper perfect for bedtime! 


Some Inspiration: 


Barbara Stanwyck, studio portrait, 1933.


 Ann Miller / 1945

Rita Hayworth


Saturday, December 24, 2016

{when you don't feel the sparkle}




I remember as a child the Christmas season was bursting with sparkling excitement. All the shiny ornaments, the glittery snowflakes that fell on my white-blonde hair, the smell of pine, all the wrapping paper, the crackle of the fireplace - it all felt so warm to me. Going to Catholic School, I was deeply rooted in the story of Jesus and Christmas and we'd sing our favorite Christmas songs at my grandparent's house as one of my cousin's played the piano. I never wanted this time of year to end. I felt like I was inside a Tom Kinkade painting inside a snow globe. It was perfect, wholesome and oh-so happy. Then something changed. 

Growing older that magic slipped through my fingers like gold glitter or the warmest sand in the summer. For me, my parent's divorce made the holidays a time of stress and pressure even at a young age. My parents did the best for my brothers and I but as any child of divorce knows-  there are power plays around the holidays. As time goes on - my father dying, rebelling in my teenage years, moving out and away, getting older - all culminated into me not feeling the sparkle anymore.

I've learned to take joy in the simple things this time of year. I love decorating the mantle, for example. Last year I decided to learn how to gift wrap as beautiful and detailed as the pictures you see on Pinterest and Instagram. Taking the time to slow down and enjoy a new hobby made me feel more connected to the season. Earlier this month, my friends Sarah and Danielle and I made our own ornaments. We talked and listened to Christmas music. It made my heart happy.


I love this quote: "Watch your emotions during the changing of the season. The body is more open to depression during this time. Be aware and guard your spirit". That quote resonates me. In past years, this time of year has seen me at my lowest. My mind has gone to some dark, dark places. So dark I forget about the carousel of gold and white and sparkles and love and family. I forgot all that 4 years ago and only felt the darkness. I'm so glad I survived those thoughts and continued forward. 

(If you feel similar thoughts:   
1-800-273-8255 is a 24 hour Suicide Hotline. )


The stress of everything can be overwhelming.  The finances, the pressures to be somewhere in life that you aren't yet. Things can pile up and it feels like you can breathe. Trust me: it's temporary.

Breathe.
Take in all the glitter, all the joy, the Christmas carols.
Take in the love and if you need a break, take a break.
Don't forget to breathe. 







Thursday, December 15, 2016

{holiday dresses}

The holiday season is upon us which means a lot of parties and gatherings. Here's some of my favorite holiday dresses 2016:


LuLuS "Friend of the Glam" Silver Maxi Dress is not only affordable and gorgeous - but so perfect for New Year Eve or those holiday parties where you want to sparkle.


This sleek burgundy velvet dress also from LuLuS is perfect for making a classy and memorable statement.

ModCloth's "Candid Glamour Maxi Dress" is elegant with its stripes of silver beads and matte sequins. It's sparkly and beautiful and sophisticated, 

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I love how unique this dress is. ModCloth's "Mystery meets Luxury Dress" is lacey and full of intrigue. I love the detailing in this dress. It's not your typical holiday dress or typical dress, and I love that!


Anthropologie's "Flounced Lace Mini Dress" pairs pink and black in a Victorian babydoll way with a modern twist. Pair a fitted black blazer and black leggings and you have a stunning Holiday look that's like no other. 





{my favorite cold weather fashions}

Here in Coastal Connecticut the temperatures are dropping to single digits. My first instinct is to layer, layer, layer and not worry how crazy I look. I do work in a professional office setting though with heat :) so it reminds me even in cold, bitter weather I can still dress pretty even if I want to crawl into bed!

I am loving this thermal and oversized scarf and bag! I'd trade in the jeans for some leggings and it's the perfect polished look that is so effortlessly easy. Shop the look at Sunsets and Stilettos



I adore the shades of pink in this outfit! The blanket scarf has become a trending must have lately. I'd personally trade the heels for boots and call it a fashionable more comfortable day.

These slouched over the knee socks from Anthropologie are heavenly. They are perfect for days cozying up by the Christmas tree, drinking coffee and wrapping presents.

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This beige, fitted and textured coat is perfect for the office - or outdoors. Shop the look at House of Fraser


I absolutely adore this fitted, swing-tied cardigan. Perfect for the office or going out or even lounging at home. Find it at Jane Norman




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

{these are a few of my favorite things}

I've been obsessed with lists as long as I can remember. 

What are your favorite things? The songs that move you? The cafes you could spend hours in? The private beaches or the florists shops or the bodegas you love?



Eyebrows
Sangini's Waxing and Threading Studio - Milford, CT : Not only have the ladies at Sangini's gave my eyebrows shape - but the henna dye gives it color to finally pop! I have light blonde eyebrows that never stood out. Finally I have an arch and it brings out my eyes. They do an amazing job
 

Nail Polish Color:
OPI's Skating on Thin Ice-Land

A lovely deep shade of purple. 
{Picture by: VampyVarnish }

 




Boutiques-
Online:
LOVEandFIT - For cute, comfy t-shirts and tanks (and other accessories) that are incredibly affordable but have amazing fit - check out LOVEandFit. Kellie is sweet, friendly and talented- she makes custom orders that are even better than I could have imagined.  It's hard finding cute workout clothes and I swear by them. I also love her t-shirts with sayings on them.


The Silver Wren  - The Silver Wren serves up gorgeous, personalized jewelry. I've gotten several bracelets and necklaces from The Silver Wren - some for myself, others as gifts - and always in awe of how beautiful they are. They don't just offer name plate necklaces either, they offer a gorgeous collections of layered necklaces.

Modcloth - Gorgeous array of clothing, home decor and accessories. I absolutely love their "Vintage-Inspired" line. 

Marissa T Designs - Marissa is an absolutely lovely woman who makes stunning jewelry. Instagram has really been a great community to meet artisans like Marissa. I ordered a custom druzy amethyst necklace and not only was it stunning but it was affordable and came with a personalized note and coupons for my family and friends. Little things like that will always make me come back and prefer our artisans over big department stores.





Polished Boutique in Branford, CT offers a wide array of clothing - gorgeous dresses for events, graphic tees for hanging around and jewelry to go with each and every outfit. The owner Lisa and her mom are the loveliest people. I love supporting local businesses especially friendly, warm owners.

 Earrings from Polished Boutique 


Graphic tank from Shop Polished




Instagrams
Moodygrams - The name says it all. Gorgeous photography that sets off a mood. Intense, dark, light, stunning. A gallery worth checking out!

Abby Capalbo - Abby's gallery of Rhode Island/New England coastal aesthetic makes my heart swoon. I need a trip to Newport, stat.

Cristina Fugaru  - Cristina isn't your typical fashion blogger - she posts food and books too! She has great style, hair, nails, makeup and the best part: she's incredibly sweet!

Caitlin / cmcoving - Caitlin is one of my favorite fashion bloggers/IGers. Why? She has a style I love and relate to. Sure I love tutus and faux-leather jackets but Caitlin wears amazing clothes I'd actually wear to work, to see family or around the house. Just like Cristina, Caitlin is sweet and responsive.

Fashion Inspiration :

Classic Hollywood 20s-50s
I love Classic Hollywood. The stars and starlets led such complicated lives behind all the glitz and glamour. There was so much pain behind their eyes. reading about what they went through and how bad they had to hide their pain is heartbreaking. Celebrity culture may be annoying now but it's refreshing to at least see stars come forward and talk openly about once taboo topics such as mental illness, miscarriage, divorce. 
Some of my greatest inspirations come from these classic Hollywood stars. The hair, the dresses, the makeup - such glamour!

Gene Tierney
Gene is my favorite actress and her beauty and style is something that inspires my everyday fashion. I also would recommend anyone to read her autobiography "Self Portrait". Gene had a hard life full of heartbreak and mental illness and writes so clearly about it. She was charming and gorgeous and once dated JFK! She also is someone you can relate to.  






 Grace Kelly 


Grace, the Hollywood Starlet turned Princess is a great icon of style of glamour. I love her simple glamour and regal waves. I love going over pictures of her to use as reference for a certain look I'm going for. 



















Rock & Roll / Boho/ The Glittery 70s Style 


Stevie Nicks


One of my favorite musicians of all time, Stevie's 70's style was that of a dream. She was a rockstar that was sexy but didn't rely on her sex appeal. She had black lace dresses and top hats and gorgeous scarves. She's a master of layering and that leaving something to the imagination can be very, very sexy. 



Bianca Jagger

I adore Bianca's 70s style. Chokers, elegant headpieces and fantastic jumpsuits and dresses perfect for backstage at a rock show or Studio 54. Bianca is different than your typical blonde, fake girlfriend. She does a lot of great work now and is a Goodwill Ambassador. Very inspiring 

 







Others

Paper Goods: Rifle Paper Company
Work Attire: Venus

Coffee shops:   

Small Point Cafe - 
Terrific breakfast and lunch, coffee and tea - all organic all good. 
Providence, RI

The Coffee Pedaler  - 
 An artisan coffee shop focusing on attention to detail. Rustic French-based baked goods made in house daily.
New Haven, CT

Amazing Vegan food:
The Common Bond Market  - Located in Shelton, CT, Common Bond offers a grocery store selling natural and organic offerings and also offers hot & cold food. 

GZen  - Sophisticated vegetarian, vegan & raw food is paired with organic wine at this stylish spot in Branford, CT 
 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

{ christmas decor & ideas }

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of my favorite things to do. I often wax nostalgic over ornaments of yesteryear. The sparkly bulbs now dimmed over time that still shine in your heart. The memories of wrapping of lights or the one year you decided to use tinsel. This time of year I take inventory of my life. Who's in my life, who I lost. Sometimes I can be sadness biting at me, but I remember the task at hand and how grateful I am.

The mantle is my favorite part of the house to decorate and stores like Target, TJ Maxx , Michael's and Hobby Lobby offer great prices for very cute decor.  Here's a few snapshots of our Christmas decorating:






 
 
Some cute Christmas ideas.
 




 
Christmas themed cookies:
Not only delicious but super cute to look at! Dollar stores have cookie cutters shaped like Santas, Reindeers, Christmas Trees and a lot more!
 
 
Gift Wrapping:
Starting last year I really got into artistic wrapping. Sure it's instagram worthy but it's also fun to do! Check out Craft and Creativity for more details on these stunning, expressive packages!
 
 
 Get your bar(cart) ready:
Life on Virginia Street gives you everything you need to know on how to stock up your bar/bar cart perfectly for the Christmas season.
 
 
Get Creative!
Get creative. Who needs blogs or pinterest when you have your own beautiful, creative mind? I love how Life on Virginia Street used Hunter boots as hallway décor.
 
What are some of your holiday season décor must haves?