Fall Sweaters Under $100

 
 

Sweater weather is officially here! I love this time of year, before you need to break out the layers and jackets. The past few days in DC have been absolutely perfect: gorgeous and sunny with a cool breeze. It's the perfect temperature for jeans and a sweater and I hope it sticks around. I love investing in a few new sweaters every season and because I usually want  to purchase more than one or two, I stick with the ones under $100.

The new trends this season are ruffle sleeves and tie sleeves and I can't get enough! They both add such a feminine detail and look so chic. I encourage anyone thinking that they "can't pull it off" to just try. I had thought that before I purchased my first sweater with ruffle sleeves and I ended up LOVING the way it looked. I felt so dressed up and chic, it didn't feel like I was just wearing jeans and a sweater. And, if you're going to try it out, or for those of you who already love the trend, the under $100 price tags will keep your wallet happy. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 2.44.20 PM.png
 

Transitional Fall Style & Shopbop Sale

 
Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 4.09.37 PM.png

Black Cold Shoulder TopBlush Crossbody Bag | Gold Ball Earrings | Rose Gold Watch | Blush Suede Pumps | Stackable Gold Rings | Camel Suede Booties | Round Frame Sunglasses | Cream Textured Sweater | Black Chain Strap Crossbody | Lace Cuff Bracelet | Tassel Earrings | Floral Dress | Leopard Bow Mules | Chanel Earrings | Black Distressed Denim | Black Suede Heeled Booties | Cap Toe Flats 

Hi friends! It's been WAY too long since I've blogged! A 'life lately' post is headed your way tomorrow with some reasons why....BUT in the meantime I didn't want you all to miss out on one of my favorite sales! The shopbop sale has been extended through today and gives you 20% off the entire site! Shopbop is one of those websites I don't shop on too frequently. Most of the items they stock have high price tags and the sales are few and far between...so when one pops up I always jump on it! 

A few years ago I realized how much online shopping has evolved and how beneficial it really can be. I feel like sales only used to be at the end of each season, but so many retailers now have pre-season sales and mid-season sales that I never purchase anything full-price anymore. Instead, I'm patient and wait for sales like this one to stock up on some season essentials that I love. Since prices are lower, I keep an eye out for not only budget-friendly items that I can snag even cheaper, but also some splurge-worthy items that I've had my eye on and wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. I also always stick with season staples that I can use for years to come: new suede booties, new flats, new denim, a great sweater or two, a statement bag and some new fun jewelry that I can pair with everything. Another perk of online shopping - there's no more surprises at the register. I notoriously would be checking out at a store, see the total amount and start to have heart palpitations. I love that online, I can better manage my money and budget and even when there's not a sale going on, I can almost always find a discount code "using the google", as my mom would say.

I rounded up my favorite transitional items that I've been eyeing, and while I can't afford to purchase all of them at once today, I plan to add a decent handful that I know I'll wear frequently in the upcoming months. The best thing about "transitional" items is that you can string them in between seasons, so while it's still a bit warm outside-  pair ripped denim with an off the shoulder or a cold shoulder top, or style a cute dress with ankle booties! 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 2.44.20 PM.png
 

Summer Dress Edit - Under $100

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. {similar here}| 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. | 11. | 12. 

 

It's been cold and rainy all week and it's making me more excited for summer than ever! We have an upcoming trip to my favorite city next month -Charleston- where I know it will be warmer and sunnier {because it's basically perfect there}. We also have some upcoming weddings and beach trips planned out to the Hamptons in July.

Having all these events and trips to look forward to definitely helps get through these cold rainy days but it also invites an online shopping temptation {and the struggle is REAL!}. I'm definitely someone who invests in their handbags and shoes but that's really it. When it comes to everyday looks, I can find just as pretty dresses for $70 as the ones with the $200 plus price tag. Plus, sticking to a budget also means I can purchase more than 1 or 2 new pieces and that really seals the deal for me. 

I've rounded up some of my favorite dresses under $100 that won't break the bank and are also classic pieces that you can wear into the early fall and even wear summer after summer. After all, there's nothing really better than a pretty dress with a pretty price tag. 

 

Switching to Natural Skincare with Goop

 

I recently went through a HUGE change in my skin. These days I've been counting myself lucky to have escaped my teens and college years with clear skin. And even more so, my wedding day and all the festivities that lead up to it!! I'm still a bit unsure how or why it happened but the week we returned from our honeymoon back in September, my skin changed and I've been battling it ever since. 

At first, I thought it was the water in St. Lucia or the fact that I got sunburned so I figured my skin was just incredibly dry. Multiple sheet masks and weeks later, my skin was only getting worse! The worst part, these were not the type of pimples I was used to seeing pop up occasionally, they were deep under my skin and they were so incredibly painful! They were mostly on my chin and jawline so around the holidays I decided to do some research. Basically the first thing that came up in google was that it was 'hormonal cystic acne'. I didn't want to run to the dermatologist because I figured they'd probably tell me the same things I was already reading. There were so many potential reasons why this happened and I was determined to get to the bottom of it. 

The first possible solution I tried was changing my diet. I immediately cut out dairy for 2 weeks to see what would happen. There really wasn't any change. I already try to be as gluten-free as possible (I actually have an allergy that effects my stomach) so I cut it out completely for those 2 weeks. Again, no improvement at all. My skin only felt like it was getting worse but on a positive note, I definitely did have more energy and was sleeping a bit better! So...silver lining?

Then, more water. More water. More water and then some more water. I have always been so bad at drinking more than a glass or two per day. But I figured, having turned 30 right after our honeymoon, drinking more water each day could only help. Again, no real change in my skin but I definitely felt less tired during the day.

Next culprit: hormone-imbalancing products that most people use on a daily basis. This included basically everything I used in my day-to-day life: hand soap, shampoo, face wash, lotions, cleaning products that I'd use to clean my kitchen counters, burning candles in our home; after tons of research I discovered that all these products contained hormone-imbalancing chemicals. I had a friend who I knew had switched to clean, organic living, Marissa (her blog is amazing BTW), and she encouraged me to make the switch and also introduced me to essential oils (more on that in an upcoming post!). One placed order for an essential oils starter kit and one (massive) trip to Whole Foods later, I had swapped out everything in my home for toxin-free alternatives.

This lifestyle change is what led me to the goop brand when it came to my skincare. I had heard amazing things about the brand in the past, but to be honest I had ruled it out because of the price tag. I started to hear more and more beauty bloggers rave about it and since I was in the market for a whole new facial care system, I decided to reach out to their team. You guys, I couldn't be happier with them. The products are all-natural and highly concentrated, so you don't need to apply a lot. I got the discovery kit (you can check it out here), which included a daytime moisturizer, a night cream, a face oil (my favorite) and a mask called the "Exfoliating Instant Facial". Full disclosure, the facial mask tingles a bit if you have slightly sensitive skin but it works absolute wonders. I really do feel like I've gotten a facial when I wash it off. I also use an ice pack on my face afterward for a little bit to cool it down and help close my pores. 

So far, I think the goop products have been really improving my skin's texture. Since I made all these lifestyle changes at once: diet, water, toxin-free and organic living, etc., I really can't say for sure that I owe my skin improvement to the products alone, but I do know for sure that they have helped keep my skin hydrated and more firm. 

I encourage anyone interested in goop products to definitely give the 'discovery kit' a try, this way you can sample a little bit of everything before you spend bigger bucks on the individual products.

 

*this post is NOT sponsored. All opinions and experiences are my own.*

Spring Style with Talbots

 

Confession: I came across these bow flat mules on Pinterest a few weeks ago and in under one minute, I had tracked them down and added them to my cart. I was so pleasantly surprised to see where they came from and even more pleasantly surprised when the brand was willing to collaborate with me! When I was growing up, Talbots was the store my mom would take me to when she was shopping for my grandmother and for herself. Usually she was looking for something simple and classic like a sweater-set or a perfectly tailored pant. I had put the brand in my memory's classic-mom-wear category and moved on. So, a few weeks ago I was truly happy to have been brought back to them! Their brand has definitely grown and I was excited to see trendy pieces on their website like bell sleeves and flutter sleeves, chambray tops and ankle strap heels. They also have a great selection of floral dresses and tops that are so perfect for spring! 

Here are just a few of my favorites. I honestly had trouble limiting my selections.  I love the direction this brand is headed and I hope that keep it up! 

 

P.S. - I'm thinking this dress will be my Easter look this year!!

 

Pleated Bell Sleeves

IMG_8893.JPG
 

It's no lie that bell sleeves have been having more than their moment this season. I fell in love back in the fall and haven't looked back. They are so feminine and fun! When I came across this one with the pleated detail, I couldn't get enough. This whole look has been on repeat for me this season. Let's be honest, no one can go wrong with black skinny jeans and a crisp white blouse. It's always been my go-to combo for meetings and business lunches. I feel tailored and professional but also fun and trendy with the blouse's details. 

In other good news, I'm no longer having "buyer's" remorse about this Gucci bag! My husband purchased it for me for my 30th birthday back in the fall and I had felt so guilty because I knew how expensive it was. Now that I've had it for a few months, I know I'm getting his money's worth! I use it almost every single day and I couldn't love it any more. Corny as it is, I also love that it's a daily reminder of him. 

Also, I love that greenery has returned to DC! Bye, jackets and dead trees, Hello, beautiful warm spring!

 

Spring Home Decor

 

The start of spring always puts me in the mood to clean and re-organize. To keep our home feeling fresh, I like to invest in a few new pieces of decor at the start of each season. These pieces are a bit random but all caught my eye while browsing on Nordstrom's website. Just adding a new lamp in a room, or buying a brand new set of towels, or a new decorative pillow - tiny changes can make such a difference to make any room in your home feel new. I even rearrange some furniture to help give some rooms a really fun extra update.

Most of these items are under $100 and can be used year round so they're definitely worth it. I prefer to stick with neutral colors in my home to keep our rooms bright and clean looking {dark furniture and decor tend to make a space seem smaller}. Sticking with this palette also ensures that anything new we buy continues to compliment what we already have in our place!

 

House Hunting

 

Starting the first time home buying process has me feeling all types of feelings! Excitement is definitely a big one but stress and anxiety have managed to creep in there as well. Patrick and I know we want to stay living in this city {for now} and since his job is here in DC, we think purchasing something would be a smart business decision for us in the long run. The best part about DC is that it's a really transient city, there are always people coming and going, so we talk about anything we buy having the potential to become an income property when we do leave this city eventually {our eyes are on you, Charleston!}

Over the past few months we've been looking at newly renovated townhomes and condos to get an idea for spaces and home values in our area. Everything has been really nice, but SO expensive! In addition to the high city prices, we're constantly finding things wrong with the home design, appliances, even down to the little details like the base boards and hardware. My husband is an architect and over the past 10 years we've been together, I've become so much more aware of spaces and construction details I would have never noticed before I met him. After stopping by a listing last week, we spent close to 2 hours discussing everything we'd change about the townhouse. We're starting to realize that we might just be too picky to buy something already newly renovated. Between Patrick's career and passion for building and design and my love for interior spaces, we know we won't be 100% happy unless we design the space ourselves. And so the hunt for the perfect fixer upper begins! We know we'll make a great team, but it will definitely be a huge project to take on in addition to both having full time jobs. Still, it's a really exciting prospect for us, as we sip our Saturday morning coffees and binge watch HGTV every weekend.

 
 

In the meantime, I've been going crazy on Pinterest {follow along here!}. I've found so much inspiration that makes me so hopeful we could make anything really beautiful. My husband is amazing at what he does and even though this would be his first residential project, I have full confidence that even the worst eye-sore on the block would become our mini dream home by the time he was done with it. Plus, we talk about it being great experience for when we design our real suburban dream home someday - a goal of ours.

I'm looking forward to keeping you all posted on the search, and if we do end up with a fixer upper, I'll definitely be documenting the entire renovation!

 

*all images via Pinterest*

Goals Goals Goals

Styled Stock 36.jpg
 

I've taken a lot of time over the past week to really reflect on the past year and look ahead to the future. 2016 was really an amazing year for me, both professionally and personally but it was definitely filled with ups and downs. Launching my second business, a social media consulting company, blogging and planning a wedding was really challenging. Wedding planning was insanely stressful, and being someone who has always suffered from anxiety, the multitasking often made me counterproductive. I spent many days last year with To Do lists pages long and not knowing where to start. When I think back on it, I know there was one main thing missing from my life: balance. This has always been a struggle because of my anxiety {I tend to get overwhelmed easily and shut down} but turning 30 a few months ago helped put things into perspective. I basically decided that I've been standing in my own way. Not that anxiety is anything close to a choice, but I decided that if I can't control it I need to learn to cope with it much better than I have been. I don't really have the luxury of  "shutting down" anymore. I have a family to think about {Patrick and I have starting talking about next big steps like buying a house and having children} and I also have a brand to build so that I can continue to be my own boss and kick ass every day.

So that brings me to what this post is really about: GOALS. I've always been a To Do list maker and this has become my 2017 Master List for work and my personal life.

 

WORK

 

GOAL #1: Blogging. I call myself a " fashion blogger" but when I'm being honest with myself I'm definitely more of an "fashion instagramer". I post more on my social platforms than I have been on here, mainly for convenience and lack of time reasons but I really want that to change. I'm aiming to start blogging at least 3 times a week. 

GOAL #2: Brand Growth. Basically, as I tell my own clients, there's a "if you build it they will come" component {aka consistency} but it's also about organic and intentional content. In addition to blogging more frequently I want to really focus on quality content and contributing something. It's one thing to have a voice but another thing to have a voice everyone wants to listen to. I think if I focus on this and throw consistency into the mix, I'll see the growth I'm hoping for this year.

GOAL #3: Saying "NO" More. Since this was my first year having a blog and growing a presence on social media, I said yes to a ton of opportunities that I shouldn't have. Many unpaid brand promotions and collaborations that took up a lot of my time and my own personal money in certain cases (i.e. ubering to shoot locations, etc.) It was tough valuing myself higher than my number of followers but I've learned that those numbers don't mean very much these days with other "bloggers" and "influencers" buying them or participating in loop giveaways (a major sell-out!). I've learned to value the right things about my brand, the aesthetic I've created and my 100% organic and high engagement rate. 

GOAL #4: Career Posts. Originally when I launched this website, I intended it to be a entrepreneurial and career blog. With some encouragement from some other blogger babes and personal friends early on, I added the fashion blog and it became a huge passion and my main focus. I left the CAREER section of this website without much love. But more posts are coming soon and I hope to post about career topics just as much as outfit posts. 

 

PERSONAL

 

GOAL #1: Coping Better with Anxiety & Stress

GOAL #2: Read More Books

GOAL #3: Travel More

GOAL #4: Weekly Date Nights

GOAL #5: Workout 5x Week

GOAL #6: Skincare Routine

 

 

Dear Santa....

 

Pom Pom Sweater | Pink Bow Blouse | Cat Eye Sunglasses | Jo Malone Perfume | GlamGlow Moisturizer | Fringe Scarf | Tassel Earrings | Black Suede Boots | YSL Clutch | Pink Suede Ballet Flats | Bell Sleeve Blouse | Infinity Scarf | Givenchy Bag | Gucci Belt | La Mer Moisturizer | Crystal Earrings | Camel Sweater

 

I can't believe there's only 12 days until Christmas! Even though I really don't know where the time has gone, I'm excited that it's finally here. Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and I'm counting down the days until I'm home with my parents, their massive 20 ft. tall Christmas tree and watching the Polar Express with my sister in our matching Christmas PJ's! Plus, it's the hubs and my first married Christmas together so that makes this year even more exciting and incredibly special!

Every year, I usually have my Christmas shopping done by Cyber Monday but this year I was slacking a little bit. Work has been crazy and that thing called life happens. But, I'm glad I took some more time because I ended up being a bit more creative with my gifting this year and I fell in love with some newly in stock items that I sent over to Santa. This year, I really needed a refresh on some staples: a new pair of black suede boots, a statement belt (trendy but also classic!), some new blouses, a new purse, new sunglasses and some other fun accessories and beauty products. There's usually one or two surprises under the tree, but these days I just like getting what I really need/want so I love picking it all out. 

Stay tuned for more fun Holiday Gift Guides to come! 12 days and counting!!