Thursday, February 27, 2014

read the directions

As a graduate student, I had 2 categories of clothes: 
1. jeans + button downs + flats, for school
2. short skirts + heels, for going out on da town
It worked for me, it was easy, I didn't put much thought into it.

Now, now… I'm going to be a teacher (part time currently, full time starting in June) & I need to add professional attire into the mix. Part of my recent style paralysis is due to the fact that I want to find professional attire that not only works for wearing to teach, but also for my everyday lifestyle as a 26 year old - going out with friends, date nights, running day to day errands, etc. This goal is as much for budgetary purchases, as it is about maintaining a well curated closet.
{ What I Wore: dress ℅ Muse Apparel (now on super sale!) // Urban Outfitters blazer // Steve Madden Pumps (similar) // Daisy Gem chunky chain necklace (similar 1 // 2 // 3) }

all photos | Zipporah Photography
Muse Apparel gifted me this dress for Christmas (thanks y'all!) & I thought it was perfect to wear it to work. However, as I was getting ready to put it on, I noticed it had the cutest tag with an illustration of three women on it. One woman was wearing a chevron peplum dress, another had on just a chevron top & the third one just a black skirt. I gave it a double take - the chevron peplum dress made sense, but what about the other two?

Spoiler alert: this dress is a transformer!
{ What I Wore: Banana Republic trench (similar) // Le Tote tank & necklace // ShoeMint heels // skirt, detached from the Muse dress }
The peplum top zips off, leaving behind this gorgeous black pencil skirt. I love that it has a bit of a leather look to it & the zipper detail is my favorite! Two completely different work outfits from 1 dress (& I can dream up so many more)!
{ What I Wore: Gap cardigan // chevron peplum top, detached from Muse dress // Chip & Pepper for Belk denim (these are flattering for age 15-75!) // ShoeDazzle heels (similar 1 // 2) // tassel necklace ℅ GroopDealz }
And then the peplum top can be worn on its own as well. This outfit suits my general day to day activities perfectly!
Moral of the story - if your clothes come with directions, read them!
What piece is easily transformed in your closet?

P.S. Today is the last day to enter to win 1 of 2 custom prints!

P.P.S. My school is heated by radiators that make every room the temperature of the Sun & by this point in the Winter tights make me ragey… so I just run from my car to the building. Not perfect, but it works. Kindly excuse my blindingly white, bare legs!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


{ What I Wore: H&M {faux} leather jacket (real leather version) // Everlane tank (the only tanks I own now) // Wallis trousers (get the look with pink denim) // NineWest pumps }

all photos | Zipporah Photography 
Personality, it's a funny thing. I have twin almost 2 year old nieces & they are FULL of personality. Despite their twin-ness, completely different personalities at that. But where did it come from? They haven't had many "character building" life experiences, they didn't take a Summer to backpack across Europe to "find themselves", they haven't really even spoken a full sentence yet. So, it's just been there all along??

Before I blow your mind with lots of existential ramblings, let me just say this - I have been thinking about personality a LOT lately. Tyler & I just completed a pre-martial counseling course. No, there aren't any lovers spats, just a recommended series of classes aimed at starting your marriage off on a strong, logical foundation. We talked about things like budgeting, hopes & dreams for the future, splitting holidays with our soon to be blended family, & how our personalities aligned.

Side note: if I had to do it again, I might have majored in Psychology in college. I remember staying up & reading my Psych book cover to cover for FUN one night. I elected to write a Psych thesis (on birth order - fascinating stuff) & continue to hold a fixation with the subject. So getting to take an official Myers-Briggs personality test during our pre-marital course was RIGHT up my alley.

All my life I have been told that I'm loud, outgoing, talkative, boisterous even. And I made that my own. I was the talkative one. The loud one. The outgoing one. But where I fall on the Extroversion-Introversion scale turned out to be dead center, & after thinking about it, I think it is dead on. I really am a little bit of both. I am a internally reflective people person. And I'm currently going through a bit of an extra introverted period of my life… & loving it.

Just of note: I was ALLLLL the way on the J (Judging) end of the spectrum - very organized & a planner, spontaneity killlls me… to maybe a bit of a fault. Whereas Ty was ALLLL the way at the other end, with his P (Perceiving) personality… but otherwise we are the samsies. 
… but these pants are definitely extroverts!

What part of your personality is your most defining?
Anyone else a Extrovert/Introvert personality dweller?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ready. set. swap.

Y'all I am swap obsessed! I have always wanted to host a clothing swap, but I have discovered something better. Swapdom

Swapdom isn't like your typical swap concept though. From the Swapdom website: 
"What makes Swapdom distinctly different is the fact that you swap in groups & don’t need to negotiate for your swap. Users simply request items they love, tell Swapdom what they'd offer in exchange, & then sit back and let Swapdom organize a multi person swap for them."

And incase you were like me, thinking a MULTI person swap!? Yes, yes that is correct. They have all the fancy computer algorithms in place to set up swaps across states & with multiple people. Everyone gets what they want!

As I am figuring out my personal style, the hardest step for me is parting with the clothes that I once loved & paid good money for. So knowing that they are going to a good home, & I can get something in exchange that I truly love, well that is just about perfect!

The final piece - Swapdom is a free service! Sign up here & be sure to check out my items available for swapping! 
This post was sponsored by Swapdom, but all thoughts, opinions & reviews are my own.
Thank you for supporting the businesses that I have had the pleasure of working with!

Monday, February 24, 2014

wrap it up

{ What I Wore: Le Tote faux wrap dress* // boutique boots // Bip & Bop initial necklace + asymmetrical heart necklace // Michael Kors "Selma" purse }
* I received a complimentary subscription to Le Tote.

all photos | Zipporah Photography
I'm experiencing a little bit of style identity crisis. I look at my closet & see what I want it to be, but it isn't there yet, & I'm finding myself freezing up over every decision. As a budget shopper, I don't have unlimited funds to play around with, & I want every purchase to be amazing. Not just a one hit wonder, but a major player in my dream closet - a functional, mix-and-match love fest.

So I've found myself over thinking every decision. Paralyzed by indecision. 

I wasn't on a shopping ban this month, but I didn't purchase anything. Nothing stuck out to me. There are things on my "wardrobe completers" list, but I couldn't find the exact right items. Going shopping & being unable to find anything to bring home is a special type of torture.

While I waffle in the purgatory of an overactive "what if" trigger, my Le Tote subscription is an extra awesome treat for me. I love the freedom of enjoying a stylist-selected tote of clothing for a week or so, & then sending it back. Without having to weigh the decision of whether of not the piece belongs in my forever closet. Seriously, it's the best!
After I received this gorgeous leopard printed faux wrap dress in my latest Le Tote bag, I remembered that a DVF wrap dress should really be topping the list of my next purchases. I love the classic wrap silhouette & the flattering jersey of her famous dresses. Now, to decide on a color!

Gah, a think wedding planning has officially zapped my ability to decide!
Has anyone else been suffering style paralysis?
How did you get out of it!?

P.S. Today is the last day to enter to win a $500 shopping spree from Boden.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Shopping: fine jewelry

A part of my new embracing of a more minimalistic style is coming to terms with the fact that I don't wear much jewelry. I have a large collection of really fun fashion jewelry, & despite it being very visible in my bathroom, I just don't find myself reaching for it. Like ever.

On a normal day I wear my engagement ring & a gold watch. If I'm feeling particularly crazy, I'll add a dainty chain necklace + pearl studs. To think of all the money I've spent on $15 necklaces here, $20 bracelets there… it adds up & I barely wear any of it! Shameful really.

I can't believe it has taken this long for me to come to terms with the fact that I really am a quality over quantity person. Less is more. Fewer, better things. Including jewelry.

What are the fine jewelry products that you enjoy wearing? If you are on the lookout for high quality pieces to add to your collection, be sure to visit Anjolee. Gold & diamonds are always classics. 

1 diamond hoops // 2 three drop pendant // 3 birthstone bracelet // 4 tennis bracelet diamond // 5 gold chain bracelet // 6 journey diamond pendant // 7 forever timeless diamond studs

Saturday, February 22, 2014

weekend reading: 02.22.14

1 // 2 // 3
This weekend why don't you :: make a monochromatic statement

{what you might have missed on Here&Now}
{1.}  Be sure to enter to win 1 of 2 custom prints. 

{2.} A $500 Boden shopping spree up for grabs here

{3.} New favorite color combo: black + navy

{4.} Winter layers, on a budget! 

{5.} Talking Winter to Spring translational style

{posts I'm loving around the internets}
{1.} Loving these blogger photography tutorials from A Southern Drawl (installment 1 & 2). 

{2.} A beautiful post about changing your dreams

{3.} It's official - I have a new blogger crush

{4.} Such a gorgeous (& FREE) vintage key art print.  

{5.} The difficulty of shopping with an eco-conscious 

Friday, February 21, 2014

my gallery wall + a giveaway

As a serial renter, I have a hard time putting down roots & really feeling like I am home in the apartments/townhouses/houses that I lease. I mean, with two dogs I can pretty much go ahead & kiss that security deposit GOOD-BYE, but for some reason I still have a hard time putting holes in my walls - laziness might begin to describe the problem.

My trick, use existing nail holes (thank you previous tenants), paired with washi tape to create renter friendly gallery walls! Allie, the lovely lady behind the adorable Etsy shop Craft & Candor contacted me about her darling prints & I just couldn't resist!  With major wedding planning going on, my head is swirling with beautiful wedding/love inspired quotes & Allie whipped up me up some custom prints that I couldn't wait to add to my always evolving bedroom "gallery wall".
"That which is loved is always beautiful" - shop it here.
"Love the one you hold, and I will be your gold, to have & to hold" - shop it here.
As pretty as this art is, these dingy yellow walls just KILL me… sorry for the assault on your eyeballs… the renter life.
And because it is Friday & because Allie + moi love you, we are letting two lovely ladies increase their gallery wall by 1 with a little giveaway.
Open to everyone! Enjoy :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

seasonally appropriate

{ What I Wore: shrug ℅ GroopDealz // J.Crew Factory tank // Old Navy jeans (all jeans currently on sale!) // Sole Society heels }

Well, I'm at a loss. 70 degrees in February!? I am simultaneously thrilled & completely unsure of how to dress. Please excuse my scandalous exposed shoulders & toes, I couldn't keep them under wraps any longer! I honestly felt like the season police were going to arrest me for early bearing of skin. If it feels like Summer, is it ok to dress like it, even in Winter?
Yesterday was the first really SPRING day & I had to indulge myself - bust out the open toed shoes! (I would have worn a dress, but I can't remember the last time I shaved my legs… so there's that.)

There are a few key "transitional" pieces that are making this awkward weather pattern more bearable, including this super soft cream shrug from GroopDealz (I call it my cocoon). It was such a great price & I seriously wanted it in every color! In fact, there are quite a few GroopDealz pieces currently topping my translational closet wish list. But thing thing about GroopDealz, is that the items are so great, at such amazing prices (dealz…hardy har har) that you have to pounce on them when you see them, or miss out! Check out my favorite picks below:
GroopDealz deals
From top: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8
What items are topping your translational wardrobe wish list?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

around town

Once upon a time I met a wonderful friend through blogging. We had mutually stumbled upon each other's blogs & started a conversation through back & forth comments. Both of us were named Jessica, worked at the same school, hailed from the same home state, were obsessed with our dogs, style & the city of Nashville. Together we made our dreams of starting a Nashville blogging community come true. Jessica has since moved away from Music City (tear), but she will always be the co-founder of BlogNashville. It is amazing to have blogging friends all over the country, & even some spread across the globe, but getting to met up with said blogging friends for brunch, & chat/giggle/Instagram over the best chicken & biscuits ever made, that's a game changer.

I love being able to call Nashville home & am constantly amazed at the wonderful opportunities this great city holds. I swear my list of MUST DO things grows daily. I of course enjoy sharing my personal style with you guys, but I want to start injecting a little more "Nashville" into my blog.

If you are a Nashville blogger, I hope you will get involved in our shenanigans (find BlogNashville on Facebook). But even if you are not a Nashvillian, it is my wish that you will enjoy these peeks into my favorite local spots. Maybe they will even inspire a trip to visit someday!

Today though, is just for my Nashville peeps - 3 things to look forward to in the coming weeks (dare I say it, this SPRING!?):

{1.} Swap & Style at The Impeccable Pig, February 25th, 6:30-8:00 pm
Join BlogNashville for a clothing swap & shop event. Find "new to you style" during the swap & then complete your looks with new spring pieces from The Impeccable Pig. If you are interested in joining, please email BlogNashvilleTN@gmail.com for more details!

{2.} Purim Masquerade Party benefiting the Jewish Federation of Nashville, March 8th at the Musician's Hall of Fame.
This is going to be a great opportunity to pull out your masquerade attire & meet other fabulous Nashville young professionals. There will be live music, food & libations! Buy tickets here & be sure to use the special code BLOG at check out. (comment & let me know if you are going, I'll be there!!)
3. Sip & Shop at Mocha Boutique, March 22nd.
Complete details haven't been formalized, but email BlogNashvilleTN@gmail.com with your blog URL to get added to our Newsletter & find out about this & all other future events first!

Be sure to follow BlogNashville on Facebook to stay up to date with all the exciting events/shops around town!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Black & Navy

I would like to think that I am color combo adventurous… but black + navy has always scared me. My fears stem from the fact that my pre-coffee eyes often have a hard time differentiating navy vs. black in the first place, & I live in fear that I will show up to work in a color mis-matched outfit.

But now that I made myself try it on purpose, I have overcome my fears & must say, I love it!
{ What I Wore: J.Crew coat // Le Tote blouse & earrings* // Old Navy jeans // ShoeDazzle pumps // Rebecca Minkoff purse }
*I was gifted a Le Tote subscription

all photo | Zipporah Photography 
Are you black + navy pro?
What color combos give you the chills?

P.S. Be sure to enter the 2 great giveaways going on right now:
- Enter to win a $50 credit to the gorgeous jewelry store, Starletta Designs, {here}.
- Enter to win a $500 Boden shopping spree {here}

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bloggers Who Budget: Winter Layers

I am so excited that the Bloggers Who Budget series is going to be a monthly thing from here on out. Budget fashion makes me excited. Regardless of what "budget" is for you, getting the most bang for your buck in general really gets me giddy. Whether it be a $300 purse that you wear everyday & lends an extra polish to anything you pair it with, or a $50 {faux} leather jacket that saves you during a unusually long Winter. 

For me it is this striped knit dress. The knit is nice & thick and it is just so easy to throw on and go. Today I'm layered up with a turtleneck, the knit dress, & a chambray shirt. Paired with my favorite hat/scarf/glove combo & my all weather boots, this outfit is warm & unfussy.

Also, I can't be the only one, but jeans just aren't warm to me. My legs are much toastier in a close fitting tight/legging situation. Although, at this point, I've kind of just accepted the fact that I'm going to be a little cold.
{ What I Wore: J.Crew Factory snood (similar), hat (similar 1, 2) & gloves // J.Crew turtleneck tee & chambray top // Boutique Onze striped dress (short sleeve option) // Hunter boots }

all photo | Zipporah Photography 
It's been a hot minute since a pug has made an outfit photo, so Scout wanted to pop in & say HI!
What have been your go-to layering pieces this Winter?
Anyone else using their dogs for body heat at this point?! 

Boden Shopping Spree Giveaway

I am so excited to bring you such a special after Valentine's treat today! In case you didn't get that fabulous wardrobe you had been dreaming of for Valentine's Day, now you can! I have teamed up with 9 amazing bloggers & Boden to give away $500 to make sure your wardrobe is ready for spring! As another treat, Boden is also giving you 15% off any order plus free shipping with code "U229". 

To enter to win, complete the entries using the Rafflecopter widget below. The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win the $500 gift card! The giveaway will be open to all U.S. residents through February 24 at 12:00am CST. Good luck!