Saturday, September 29, 2012

10 Essential Closet Items

I still can't stop thinking about my closet staples... here is another fun way to remember the basics that every woman should own.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 28, 2012

save or splurge: cap toe flats

How much would you spend to get your cap toe shoe fix? 
Using some promo codes I was saving up, I just got these ShoeDazzle cap toe flats for under $20... can't wait for the post man to bring me my goodies!

Here&Now Closet Staples

This post has been on my mind for sometime. One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to I could chronicle my intentional process of building a functional wardrobe. Investing in classic and timeless pieces is an idea that is thrown around, but I want to actively pursue adding pieces to my closet that will work for me, solving my "I-have-nothing-to-wear" quandary for once and for all.

I have thoughtfully culled the 50 articles of clothing/shoes/accessories that do the most for me and my lifestyle. I hope that this can be a springboard for a regular conversation on my blog about how to sort through our urges to buy, buy, buy and instead intentionally add a few items that will be the most useful to building a timeless foundation of style.

Here & Now : 50 closet staples

Whether you use this list as a direct shopping list, or a spark for creating your own "closet staples", I hope to continue developing and talking about closet staples in a weekly series.

Find where to purchase these exact pieces, and others at every price point, on my Pinterest "Closet Staple Love" Board and Currently Obsessed Collection { here }

What are you go-to closet staples?
Any things that you are saving up to invest in for your wardrobe?
Have a great weekend!

P.S. I know you ladies are aware that building a functional wardrobe is such an integral component of feeling stylish and confident in your clothes. But in case you need some more resources, check out { this } article on The EveryGirl, and the { piece } that started it all for me from Matchbook Magazine

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 2012 Roundup

Happy September! 
This month I had so much fun testing out some of the big trends for Fall including:
 // peplum // camo // burgundy // leather //
I also enjoyed traveling to France, hosting some fabulous giveaways for my lovely readers (YOU!), picking up a piece that I have been on the hunt for, hosting amazing guest posters, and transitioning my summer clothes to Fall

9 months in, and my resolutions are going ok, but have definitely been a huge learning experience too!
Traveling caused my spending and eating goals to be thrown out the window... hurmph!
While Ty and I have been trying to get into P90X, we haven't gotten into a routine yet (i.e. more than 3 days straight)... but I have did actually enjoy it while we were doing it... and maybe once travel/wedding season is over, we can get into more of a habit... always a reason to procrastinate, right!?

The other resolution that has been nagging me is my plan to learn how to sew this year. Unfortunately my machine is infinitely complicated... I know that if I could just get that needle threaded, phenomenal things could be created... just. need. to. get. over. that. hump!

How has your September been?
Trying any new trends for Fall?
Making a second go at your resolutions?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

check me out & a giveaway

As I mentioned this morning, I moonlighted over on The Tiny Heart blog yesterday showing how I wear my favorite Fall skirt+sweater combo for both Day & Night.

But I also am giving away some more great stuff!
Head on over to see Sharon { here } and enter to win this statement necklace and adorable print from yours truly!

P.S. My brother-in-law is hosing a great project over on Kickstarter (you know how I love that site!), and needs some help reaching their goal in the next 7 days. With a little over $3,000 to raise, that means $10+ donations from $300 people will help bring theater productions to children in Costa Rica (and possibly more countries)
Show some love { here }

1 outfit, 3 trends

{ Night: boutique sequin collar necklace (similar) // Golden Ponies leopard clutch // Nine West pumps // House of Harlow cuff (love this statement cuff) // lipstick: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey }

{Get the Look}
leather skirt ($40) + burgundy sweater ($60) + collar necklace ($38) + leopard clutch ($30) + black pumps ($49) + gold cuff ($28) + lipstick ($15)
Three of my favorite trends for Fall in real life: burgundy, leather, and animal print. I love a little touch of leopard for both day and night. Checkout how I wear my favorite Fall/Skirt/clutch combo for day over on { here } The Tiny Heart Blog
How do you rock animal print?
Any adventurous ladies rocking tiger or even cow print these days?

P.S. Today I am linking up with MarionBerry Style for her Trend of the Month Challenge. This month's challenge is animal print, see the rest of the fierce looks { here }

I'm also linked up with Pretty Shiny Sparkly for her Bloggers do it Better Series. This time the theme is oxblood, see all the burgundy goodness { here }

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I can't help myself!

I am such a fan of Apple products... sorry but I'm not sorry!
My iPhone4 has seen some better days (probably should have put a cover on it from the beginning... whoops!) - in fact I can't even take pictures with it anymore (AKA why I have been quiet on Instagram as of late)
So when the iPhone5 announcement went down, and I was PUMPED. Unfortunately I was in France when the sales went live, so my new technology baby { white iPhone5 } won't be here until October 10th (cross all your body parts that there are NO delays in its delivery)... but I am already picking out its first outfit to give it some stylish protection from Day 1.
Society6 is an amazing site, and I am OBSESSED with pretty much every single case.
With much anxiety I have narrowed my favorites down to these 9... and I think my favorite (for this hour, until I change my mind again) is the middle one in the middle row.... but of course I need your feedback before I pull the trigger!
Winners? Losers?
Did you jump on the iPhone5? Or are you still rocking the Nokia block phone?
Which case would you get?

for those that wait

{What I Wore: Zara tweed jacket // Genetic Denim skinny jeans // Nine West black pumps (similar, $40) // Everlane tee // boutique necklace (similar, $25) // Target sunnies}
Here it is: my souvenir from some recent travels around Nice, France. I enjoy picking up special items for my wardrobe to remember trips by... and this might be my favorite clothing souvenir to date. A tweed jacket is something that has been on my wish list for like EVER... and I have talked about my desire to get a classic tweed jacket in no less than 5 posts {herehere, here, here, and here}... see, not lying!

Monday, September 24, 2012

trends that make you go hmm... daytime sparkle

As the weather cools down, the ability to wear sparkles during the day increases, culminating with the Holidays and New Year's Eve. Are you ready to pull out your bling for daytime? I am hoping to add some excitement to my chunky sweaters with sequin collars, and glitzy clutches.
{via PeopleStyleWatch Magazine}
What are your thoughts on sequins, glitter, and shine for day light hours?
Need to add some sparkle to your daytime looks? Shop my favorite picks here:


weekend wear

 {What I Wore: Oasap tote bag (c/o) // J.Crew baseball tee (similar $15, similar $29), maxi skirt (similar $39), gladiator sandals // Target sunnies ($15) }
Not much is more satisfying than heading out on a Saturday to get some work done on the list of errands that inevitably piles up every week. Comfortable clothes and shoes are a must for making this icky but necessary errand running comfortable - but it is a functional bag that is the hero of tackling my to-do list. 

This bag from Oasap is not only easy on the eyes (look at those fierce studs!) but big enough for farmer's market goodies and my laptop (yes, grad students even work on the weekends!), has pockets for my keys and phone, and 3 strap options make carrying it all a breeze!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Fall & a giveaway

Happy Fall y'all!
I have a giveaway to ring in this beautiful Fall weekend. Alyssa from the lovely Etsy shop that is Olive + Birch is giving away 2 (customizable) prints to one of you lucky ducks!
Winners will be announced Tuesday September 25th.
And even if you don't win, or can't wait to find out, all Here&Now readers can get 10% off their orders until the end of the month (code: Hereandnow10)

What do you have planned for this first Fall weekend?

Thursday, September 20, 2012


As I mentioned before, my 24 hour journey to France was a bit draining, but once there, I was invigorated by all exciting prospects of exploring and eating my way through the week along the French Riviera. There were highs and there were lows, lots of awkwards, and many awesomes. Here is but a small bit of my daily life while at both the scientific conference, and holiday in Nice following.

1. When you aren’t able to speak the native language, one has to excel at gesturing and smiling… good thing I was always a Charades winner

2. 4 options for water (room temp, chilled, still or sparkling), and yet none of them involve ice (and I am a serious ice cruncher)

3. Stalking pugs through the streets of Nice… Good thing Pug owners are just universally nice people!
George the pug
4. When you ask a French person to photograph you, you are open to tips, criticism, and laughs… well, at least I will never see them again!
Here I am reacting to the suggestions of the person I asked to take my photo... who told me I looked too stiff & serious!
5. Scientists… skinny dipping…. AWKWARD! I was the on shore lifeguard, remaining fully clothed at all times

Nerding out with my science!
Ok the top 5 awesome things were beach, food, beach, shopping & food... but I thought that was a little boring, so here are the next top 5!

1. Traveling alone - while I was lonely at times, the fact that I flourished and actually came to enjoy my alone time was quite amazing to me. I navigated my way through a country, of which I had ZERO understanding of the language, I found my way through the city's winding paths, I discovered hidden gems, and out of the way restaurants, and I took the time to just sit and enjoy
Dinner for 1: scallops & linguini, local red wine, and bottom-less bread. Definitely took a break from my gluten less lifestyle!
2. Sunsets on the beach - it was amazing to have been so close to the water for a week, appreciating how the light changed the color of the water throughout the day, watching the birds and the fish circling above and below, and dipping my toes into the waters everyday.
3. The conference I attended brought an international attendance, and I had the great pleasure of meeting fellow scientists from around the world. Seriously, I must say the Cyprus girls were a beautiful & fashionable bunch!

4. Somehow French dogs are just more chic than other dogs (well, except Doug)!

5. At lunch, when you wanted to get something to drink (since iced water, and diet coke were out of the question), you just walked up to the wine barrels, pulled the tap and took your fill... all the time, no matter what... I could get used to that!

What are you favorite parts of traveling?
Any awkward and awesome stories in your life lately?

c'est la vie

My second full day in Nice was beyond amazing. The mornings are a bit chilly there this time of year, so I dressed up my favorite blazer a bit, and went out for a cup of café (coffee) at a fancy bistro... trying my best to emulate the amazingly fashionable French women I had seen over the previous few days
{ What I Wore: J.Crew Factory Blazer // J.Crew Blythe Blouse // Genetic Denim skinny Jeans // Sole Society Heels // Cole Haan Purse (similar) }
After stuffing myself on delicious pastries, I (switched into flats) then walked along the fresh market vendors, up to the top of an old fortified look-out, down into the port, and then back along the Old Town shops... definitely burning off maybe one bite of croissant!

See the rest of my adventures after the break...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

hard to say goodbye

Well, the time has come. My favorite summer sandals are no longer appropriate for wear outside the house... I have officially loved them to death! At least they got a send off in style - walking around for hours in Nice, France wore the soles right down to the nub (not even salvageable by the cobbler I'm afraid).
This is something that I constantly struggle with - getting rid of a much loved item from my closet. Even though the item is no longer useful, it was once loved and holds sentimental value. I worry that if I toss it, I will miss it, but keeping it around means that I will just be tempted to wear it. One of those times that I wish I had had the foresight to have bought multiples! But, this is all part of the evolution and refinement of my closet.... or at least what I keep telling myself to make the parting easier.

How do you go about exfoliating the items in your closet that are no longer in use, flattering, or treasured?
Do you keep around items for sentimental value only?
Or is parting such sweet sorrow... only to be healed by the hunt of an equally fabulous piece?

fashion meets technology

I feel like I truly am a child of the internet. When I was born the internet simply did not exist, and over my 25 years, I have seen its rise in our lives from something that was a nice convenience, to an indispensable part of my daily routine - increasingly so since I have started this journey as a "style" blogger.

While it seems that my tickets to Fashion Week were lost in the mail this year, I was able to sit front row to many shows while snuggled up on my couch, through the amazingness that is live streaming. Technology bringing me closer to fashion.

My phone, laptop, and camera have almost become fixations on my body and I am always looking for new and fashionable ways to organize my tech gear. Fashion bringing me closer to technology.

While my dream of having sunglasses with a built in camera is not currently available, there are some amazingly stylish accessories out there that make lugging my necessities around trés chic.
{ images of HP Ultrabook™ Bags via }

HP is currently running an amazing contest where you can help pick out the new bag design for the ultra sleek and ultra fashionable HP Ultrabook™. The top 40 designs have been chosen, and now it is your turn to vote for the winning look! Along with the fierce panel of judges: Mondo Guerra, winner of Season 8 "Project Runway", Jill of Inhabitat.com, and LinYee Yuan, Executive Editor of Core 77, you can vote for the design winner and be entered to win $10,000 and a HP Spectre XT Ultrabook™, Inspired by Intel!
Head over { here } to see the designs and cast your vote now 

What is your favorite convergence of fashion and technology?
What makes your technology more fashionable?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

isn't it Nice

{ What I Wore: H&M white lace dress (or here)  // Shop Suey Purse // J.Crew Chambray top // Target sunnies // Steve Madden sandals }
{Get the Look}:
white lace dress $29.00 + chambray button down $27.80 + studded neutral bag $20.00 + statement sunnies $16.99 + bow sandals $40.00

Well I am glad that I let the Jessica fresh off 2 days relaxing on the beach in the French Riviera write this post, instead of the jet lagged Jessica who landed in France last week thirsty, hungry, sleepy and lost in the language barrier... jet lagged Jessica had all kinds of nasty things to say, but fresh off the beach Jessica was all kinds of impressed with France.

After 5 days of my scientific conference, priority number 1 was shopping! First stop Zara
Seriously, those of you who have access of one of these amazing stores on a regular basis - I am jealous... but not for your pocket book! I could have bought every single thing in there, but instead chose 1 item to be my France souvenir... can't wait to show you!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Good morning America!
I landed safely back on American soil last night from my trip to the French Riviera.
I had a wonderful time abroad, but as always, enjoyed coming back to the comforts of home.
Thank you all SO much for your support of my site and my guest bloggers while I was away!
I loved reading every comment on the rare occasion I could check in (le spotty internet)
and if you didn't get a chance to read the amazing content that my blogger friends provided last week, 
here is a recap:
Molly showed us how to travel in comfort & style (I was taking notes!)
Julia transformed her LBD into outfits for 3 occasions (so smart!)
AJ rocked colored denim (huge Fall trend) from daytime chic to all out Fall cuteness
Grace styled up some fabulous polka-dots shorts (end of summer fabulous!)
Ashley nailed college gameday style with a Southern girl flair

Also, I am ecstatic that the giveaways were so popular. I am working to make them a more frequent occurrence over here (stay tuned!)
The winner of a mini 4 pack of Essie nail polish is Joann Newport
The winner of the BlueBird Shop Bubble Necklace is Sarah Cooper from Cooper's Closet
Congrats ladies, check your inboxes :)

Ok - now I am off to sleep... silly jet lag, but I promise to fill you in on all the deets of my trip soon!

Friday, September 14, 2012

don't forget to enter!

TGIF from Nice, France! 
I hope you all had a wonderful week and are headed into a fabulous weekend!

Just wanted to remind you to enter the two giveaways running, before Sunday night (winners will be announced Monday!)


game day fashionista

Wow- this week is flying by! Today I have the pleasure of hosting Miss Ashley over here on my little slice of the internets. She is such a doll, I will even forgive her for being a Georgia fan :)  (Go Razorbacks!)... 
so without further adieu... 

My name is Ashley and I live in Atlanta and I work in Advertising. Yep, that's a lot of A's. The three things I enjoy most are food, fashion, and fitness...in that order. I love hopping around the city trying out different restaurants, finding trendy style on a budget, and biking or running the trails. When I'm in a great mood, I wear cute outfits and take pictures in them. The other 6 days of the week you can find me cooking up a mess in the kitchen wearing Nike running shorts. You might call this the glamorous life...or you might call it a decorative piece of citrus zest

College football season is in full swing and I just have to say one thing...Go Dawgs!
Okay, I'll say more. At the University of Georgia (and many other SEC schools), it's traditional for girls to dress up for games.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

styling session: polka dot shorts

Ladies, Grace... Grace, ladies... If you weren't acquainted before, be prepared to fall in love with this stylish gal. I love me some Grace - A Southern, sassy, brunette who is also an undercover smartie... long lost twins I tell ya!

Well hello, fab readers of Here&Now! I'm Grace from A Southern Drawl.  I'm an awkward bioengineering major and a gal that has a passion for style. I absolutely love Jessica's style, so being able to guest post on here is like eating a surprise funfetti cake (aka it's pretty awesome).  Jessica's wittiness, nerdy studies, awkward quirks, stunning style, and southern charm always make me comin' back to read more. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall trend alert: colored denim reigns supreme

Bonjour ladies... I am ecstatic that my friend AJ is filling in for me today. I think AJ and I have my favorite blogger friend connection - we met on Instagram y'all, and you know how much I love those tiny little pictures! She is also an Arkansas girl, shoe connoisseur and lover of pugs (even has her own little pug cutie!)... long lost "sole" mate I tell ya!

I know I'm not the only one who is pushing fall. The stores have sweaters out, the boot fairy has visited my house at least three times in the past week, and I'm ready to trade in tank tops for scarves and despite the temps still being in the 90s, I'm ready for my pumpkin spice latte, dang it! One thing I'm not ready to give up from summer is colored jeans, though. So I'm styling these JustFab teal skinnies three ways for fall...because trust me, everyone is still going to be wearing them (and they look awesome with boots! wheeee!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

secret beaches

Good thing I have all of the Blogger buttons memorized, because these are in French... and I don't even know enough French to get my internet back into English! (whomp whomp)
These are some shots from my first full day in France (jet lag does horrible things... so we are just going to mulligan the first day I was actually on French soil...  all of the coffee in the world couldn't have made me function normally that day)
The Conference I am attending is on a private resort outside of Nice... and after a full day of scientific lectures (actually I loved them... nerd alert!), I snuck away to find a beach of my own... gorgeous! Even though I was in my conference clothes, I splashed around in the water, took pictures of myself (typical) and picked up some sea glass!
Ok off to breakfast... the promise of warm croissants and fresh café have this non-morning person up with the sunrise!

1 item 3 ways: the LBD

Good morning! I am so happy to introduce you to Julia! Finding her blog was a joy, and since the initial discovery I go back day after day to see her cute and approachable style... several times she and I have picked up a similar piece, and seeing the unique way she styled the item provided me with inspiration galore! 

Hello Here&Now readers!  I'm Julia from Cup of Tea.  While Jessica is away, she asked me to fill in with a guest post about a topic of my choice.  And who doesn't need some Little Black Dress inspiration?  That's a topic that never gets old.

The other day I was digging through my closet looking for something I hadn't worn in a long time.  Buried way in the back was this shift dress I bought five years ago from Forever 21.  The Little Black Dress is so versatile it's almost funny.  Seriously, you can go anywhere in a LBD.  It's all in the styling.  I've created three looks: one for the weekend, one for business-casual, and one for a night on the town!

dress: Forever 21 // boots: Civico 10 // belt: Target // jacket: American Eagle // hat: American Eagle

Monday, September 10, 2012

trends that make you go hmm... combat boots

Growing up I loved the retro clothing seen in family photos - the bell bottoms my mom wore in the 70s, the beaded clutches from my grandmothers' hay days in the 50s... but never did I think the era of my childhood, the 90s, would come full circle so quickly (show what I know!)
I can remember well begging my parents for a pair of Dr. Martens (a la Daria) and being denied over and over. I guess now is my chance - combat boots are back!
Wear Now // Wear Later }
I actually am digging the look of lace-up boots with tights and dresses for Fall.
Are combat boots on your Fall shopping list?

traveling chic

Guys, meet Molly... she doesn't need much of an introduction, because you will fall in love with her in about 2 seconds... but she rocks, cracks me up on a daily basis, and has a so much spunk that shines through her happy posts... ok, enough from me.... take it away Molly

You guys, I am SO SO SO SO SO excited to be guest posting for Jessica today!
My name is Molly and I blog over at still being [molly] - I blog about things like fashion, and burritos, and diet coke, and my faith. It's a fun time. 

Anyway, I was really honored when Jessica asked me to guest post for her while she's on her AMAZING trip. I stalk read her blog daily so, needless to say, I was getting pumped up for this. Anywho. Since Jessica is traveling, and since I, personally, traveled last week for work, I thought I would share with you my TRAVELING outfit!

Friday, September 7, 2012

transatlantic flights... & a giveaway

Oh my goodness - I am getting SO excited... I leave the country headed to Nice, France
{ via }
One of the <few> perks of being a grad student in biomedical research is that scientists know how to throw a legit conference - so I will rubbing elbows with premier frog researchers, and presenting my findings, all while hanging out along the French Riviera. 
Hmmm - that doesn't suck!
Seriously, on the conference schedule is a dance party... 
Um yea... can't wait to join the nerd fest that that is going to be!

Don't you worry your pretty little heads though, I have some amazing blogging buddies who are going to be filling in while I am away (peppered with some of my own content - I don't know how to quit you guys)

These ladies are bringing the awesome - 
I might have to step up my blogging game when I return after a week of their amazingness.

Also, to buy your love, I am giving away a set of Essie's new Fall collection nail colors.
Score a mini four pack including: Stylenomics, Don't Sweater It, Skirting The Issue and Head Mistress

a Rafflecopter giveaway
** if your email address isn't linked to your GFC account, be sure to include it in the comments so you can be reached if you win
** contest is open until midnight on Sunday September 16th.
** 1 winner will be selected, and announced on Monday September 17th.

Thanks for being such a wonderful audience y'all! 
"See" you when I get back!

Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway { here } for a fabulous bubble necklace too!
But seriously, as far as perks go, there aren't many in grad school... you think I'm kidding... check out this site for the hilarious truth **warning: contains explicit content**