Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Baby Gift Giving 101

I am slightly obsessed when it comes to buying baby gifts. Fashion in miniature is hands down one of the most adorable aspects of baby gift giving!

This post focuses on the co-worker or acquaintance that's having a baby. You usually don't know them as well as a bestie so putting in uber personal touches is a bit more difficult. However, creating a special and fun gift for their impending arrival is easy!

One of my favorite places to go is T.J.Maxx. You can score so much more when you have a budget to stick to while creating a complete and perfect gift!

  • Instead of wrapping or gravitating to the good ol' stand by of a gift bag, buy something that the parents can re-purpose in the baby's nursery. I found this wooden crate for $9.99. I'm not sure of their nursery's color scheme, (this is for a co-worker of my fiance's) but I choose a neutral color that could just as easily be stored in the baby's closet to hold toys or books.                                           
  • I always like to include a toy, it just adds some whimsy and sweetness to any gift. This Bunnies by the Bay chickie was only $4.99, they generally retail at boutiques for much more.
  • Always pick up a book, after all, reading is fundamental! When one of my dear friends had her baby shower I took it a step further and tracked down my favorite book from my childhood (which they still print!) and wrote a personalized note to her sweet little munchkin.
Toys & Book
  • If you're going to buy clothes, size up! Likely the parents are well stocked on newborn gear and you never know if this baby might weigh-in a little above average. I like to buy a neutral blanket and an outfit, however this time I went with two outfits instead. Absorba is one of my fave brands for the littles- super cute and great quality!

Absorba: T.J.Maxx

Heirloom: T.J.Maxx

A little something for the Dad-to-be!

Final Product (minus personalized gift tag)

Baby Shower Gift w/ Wheelie Ladybug

1st Birthday Book Themed Gift

What's your go-to baby gift?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

OOTD: Lace, Lace-ups & Ripped Denim

My Tiny Dancer: Thumballina
Every part of my outfit was one kind of a bargain or another.  My top from Anthropologie was a clearance rack score during the "take an additional 20% off--how can you say no sale." I have always been a big fan of the layered look and when it comes as one piece- I say thank you for not making me struggle with fitting a tight sweater over a bulky button-down- whew!

Sunglasses: Gucci, Old

Vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy: Consignment Score
Next up on this OOTD: distressed, torn and patched denim from American Eagle. Let's just say I haven't stepped foot in one since college and boy did I feel out of place. That being said, I mustered up the confidence to get what I came for, some truly fab jeans at an amazing price ((plus with tunics no one would know where I got them from-- until now)).

Charles Albert Wedges: Old, Similar: Here & Here
My lace-up faux suede wedges are from the forever addicting Hautelook for only $18! I linked two similar pairs in the caption above. Oh and in case you were wondering, I kicked the Hautelook habit back in February.

I grabbed my scissors for a little DIY to these jeans. I appreciate the modesty of the patches but wanted a little more skin exposure, so I cut out some of the patches to get the desired look. I didn't hesitate with the shears because these jeans were 1. under 30 bucks and 2. they were already "destroyed".

This adorable vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy was a consignment score at a fraction of the original retail. Re-sale is a great way to procure the designer handbag of your dreams on a budget.  Just be sure that you've done your homework on the brand and are purchasing from a reputable shop. Nobody likes a fake. Check out this article by Forbes on details to look for when purchasing a designer bag second hand. It pays to be an informed fashionista!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Let's Jam! {Strawberry Style}

On a recent visit to my Aunt's house (BTW she's an amazing baker)- she shared with me some of her Homemade Strawberry Jam. Then she told me it was EASY! Now that I'm back home and we recently purchased some beyond delish strawberries, I just had to try it.  Oh, and I ran out of my fave Crofter's Organic Strawberry AM essential.

Available at most Whole Foods & Wegman's
My Aunt recommended the less sugar version of pectin- which these strawberries were already naturally sweet, so it made sense.

What you need to make "Freezer Jam"
  • Gobs of Ripe Strawberries
  • Freezer Safe Jars (washed & dried)
  • A Box of Pectin (instructions inside)
  • 3 Cups of Sugar
This jam is referred to as freezer jam because it isn't made in the traditional canning way- these jars of sweetness are perishable and thus have to be stored in your freezer not your pantry. When ready to use you take one out of the freezer and into the fridge- it will keep for about 3 weeks ((if it lasts that long!)) Click Here for the recipe I used.

For recipes, including other variations: Click Here

This jam is vibrant and sweet with an abundance of fresh fruit flavor. Enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bauble Storage

Pictured: Thrift Store Scores, TJMaxx, Windsor, J.Crew & Hautelook

I have a collection of costume jewelry that ranges from boho to girly to pure glam and sometimes it's hard to keep it all organized. I'm a huge fan of being able to see my jewels, however with the overabundance of thrift store scores, gifts, and purchases here and there my collection has gotten a little too large. I adore the simplicity of being able to see it all displayed in acrylic boxes and necklace stands but my collection does not allow for that. So, here is my solution for storing all the costume jewel baubles: The IKEA MALM Jewelry Chest!

Comes in FOUR finishes: Click Here

I don't utilize the top storage with the mirror- though I should. Maybe store empty boxes and pouches? For now the top has a cute pink box and a cutesy ring holder from target and my collection of body sprays.

What do you use to store your baubles?


Psssst: Don't forget to enter my Instagram Giveaway to win these little beauties below!
For official Rules: Click Here

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

OOTD: Black & Gold

Black & Gold Deconstructed  

I picked up this classic little black dress (LBD) on an excursion to the outlets about a year ago with my mom. I was drawn by the A-line silhouette and the sleeve length. It's the perfect dress to dress up or down- and really stretchy (equals comfy)! It was also on sale- for the price this was a no-brainer. Then along came these shoes. Oh, these shoes! I didn't need them but boy did I want them. They were on super clearance at Macy's but unless they were under $25, I was not going to get them. Well, lucky for me they were under $25! I am so glad I scored these- I wore them from LAX to AZO and they were so comfortable- they don't look it-- but they were. Not to mention they have some major personality. Yay new shoes!  Now to say goodbye to an old pair....

Classic LBD- J.Crew Factory- old- Similar Here & Here

Thumbs jumped in the shot with her sassy pose

Tear, the bag is now sold out online! However, if you're really determined ring up your local Limited store and see if they can track one down for you (here are the details: Item# 1371322, Large Trapezoid Tote) Fingers Crossed!

This Gorgeous Black Tote: The Limited: ON SALE! Click Here

Necklace: J. Crew Purchased from my fave IG shop

Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita- Similar- Click Here

For my Fall Lovers: Paired with a Tweed Black & Blue Topper: J.Crew-Old
Outtake- This dog cracks me up!
What style is your fave LBD to rock? A-Line? Sheath? Cocktail?


Psssst: Don't forget to enter my Instagram Giveaway to win these little beauties below!
For official Rules: Click Here