Friday, November 30, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's no secret that I spend a lot of time planning outfits for different occasions. If you ask me what I'm thinking about most of the time the answer will be either clothes, shoes, or hunter boots specifically.  Most of the outfits I've planned for this blog have been very casual. Which is great for when you need ideas for a cute casual outfit, but what about when you need to dress up? I know that come wintertime it can be hard to figure out what to wear to dress up.

Dressed up Snow Day

I think this outfit is perfect for a party with friends and family or a dressy snow day date with someone special. I adore this dress from it's called the Wonderment to Be Dress and I fully plain on wearing this for my family's Christmas Day functions. Tights are essential when it's cold outside, the ones pictured are from Cole Haan, but since they're out of stock my personal favorites are these Hue Women Super Opaque Control Top Tights. If you'll be spending much time outside you'll need a coat and I thought this one from Dorthy Perkins was really cute, or this similar one from SheInside, and of course these bow gloves from Asos are absolutely necessary. Finally if you're running around in the snow you'll need appropriate snowboots, and as we all know I adore Hunter Rainboots, and the number one thing on my wishlist are the Original Short Gloss Wellies in Pillar Box Red. If you want to be extra warm I recommend adding a pair of wellie socks in cream.

What would you wear for a fancy winter date or holiday party?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A tea party for myself

Come this spring, April 21st to be exact I'm going to have a party, A rainy day tea party, with tea and cakes and presents. Just a no reason party in a pretty dress with wellies and a rain coat, maybe even all by myself, but most likely with my family and a present for everyone with no more reason than to make us happy. I know that I'm meant to be planning entirely for Christmas, but sometimes you have to look to the future. I also know that a party for myself may seem selfish, but sometimes when things get busy you've just got to take a bit of time to celebrate yourself.

This whole idea was inspired by Belle and Boo's Etsy Store. The whole shop is absolutely adorable and reminded me of the feeling I had last spring, but when I saw her sticky tapes knew I wanted to receive a present wrapped in parcel paper with it wrapped around it. I can't decide which I love more The Paris Umbrella Sticky Tape or the London Umbrella Sticky Tape. Then I saw Poppy's Puddle Fine Art Print and knew I had to have it. I'm also pretty in love with Ava's Tea Party Fine Art Print. It's really all Louise also known as Sprinkle of Glitter's fault. She showed some Chirstmas Sticky Tape from Belle and Boo in her latest video Christmas Prep, and I went looking for it, but instead found the Umbrella sticky tapes and new that come spring I had to have a party.

I'm so excited by this idea that I'm just bursting with ideas, I want paper bunting made out of floral paper to hang on dowels around the party and paper lanterns to light up the area. Oh I do hope it's a grey day that day, is there a better day to have a no reason party? I love the  drizzly dreariness of spring coupled with new flowers coming up and the chill in the air that still requires tights with your dresses and the grey skies. I want a pretty tartan blanket to spread out in my backyard and a lovely pot of hot tea in my pretty FORLIFE Curve 24-Ounce Teapot with Infuser which I have in Turquoise, and my favorite Anthropologie mugs, I have the Kebaya Mug in Turquoise and the With a Twist Mug in Green. I really love Anthropologie's mugs and I want to get the Cabin Teacup in either blue or green and the Ayaka Mug in any color and of course the Homegrown Monogram Mug in M and S. I have a pretty Cabinet in my home that has my spare candles, pictures I love, and my Tea Pot and Tea Cups in it. It's probably my favorite thing in my house next to the pedestal sink in my bathroom, and the secret nook under the stairs in my basement. Maybe when I get more Tea Cups and paper line it like I want to I'll take some pictures and show you guys.

I want to use little paper doilies instead of plates, and find a cupcake holder for the treats. I was thinking little finger sandwiches but instead of the usual cucumber and watercress, I was thinking hams and turkey with cheese, and for treats maybe little petite fours, cupcakes and candies. I haven't decided what the no reason presents are going to be, but I figure I can decide that after christmas is over. I'd say I'm presented out, but I'm not, I'm just to busy focusing all my present energy on christmas right now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: YSL Shocking Mascara

Recently I ran out of mascara, and decided to try something new. So while perusing the shelves of Sephora, I spotted YSL's Shocking Mascara. Okay that's a lie, actually I went to Sephora specifically looking for it. That aside if I had just spotted it without having heard of it from Fleur de Force I would have bought it anyways.

The full name for this mascara is YvesSaintLaurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking. That is definitely a mouthful, but I believe it lives up to it's name. It retails for $30. Before I get into what the mascara does, lets talk about what initially grabbed me, which is the packaging. It's absolutely gorgeous, just look at it. (Why yes, that is a pumpkin in the upper right corner of the photo, these shots were taken right before thanksgiving.)

YSL is a Luxury brand, and it definitely shows, The packaging is just lovely and feel really solid. The cap gives a very satisfying click when you close it, which makes me feel like it's sealed better and will keep the product from drying out longer. Just looking at the packaging makes me feel giddy, and I love the way the YSL always lines up when you've completely closed the tube. It's this kind of attention to detail that makes this product. I absolutely hate when you buy something that doesn't line up anymore when you close it.

 Then there's the brush which is also really nice. It's kind of midsized, full but not overly full like Bad Gal Lash from Benefit is and has a bit of twist to the bristles which really helps it catch and evenly coat all of your lashes. This is the best shot I got of the brush, you can sort of see the twist that it has, but it's sort of hard to capture.

Then there's the mascara itself which is absolutely lovely. The formula seems very wet to me, which I don't usually like, but this goes on smoothly and dries quickly. The box says it gives indecent and spontaneous volume. I don't know about indecent and spontaneous, but it does give an amazing amount of volume. But as the cliche goes "The proof is in the pudding", so the only real way to prove how amazing this looks in through photos. These photos are unedited, just cropped.

Here's my eyes before the mascara:
In this photo I'm wearing a pink glittery/metallic eyeshadow from Lancome called Off The Rack which was a free gift with a $50 purchase, Urban Decay's Bourbon  24/7 Glide on Pencil on my upper and lower lashline and on my tightline with Tarina Tarantino's Eye Dream Hyperliner in Broken Doll on my waterline and in my inner corner and my eyelashes are bare. If you notice my eyes are sort of different shapes and it's really noticeable without mascara, and my eyelashes look non-existent on my upper lashlline.

Here's how my eyes look with one coat of the YSL Shocking Mascara:
 My eyes look more open and brighter and less bloodshot, and I adore what this does to my lashes. They look so long and full. I fully believe this mascara lives up to it's name. I really believe that these pictures are worth more than words. I truly love the effect the mascara has on my lashes and how it changes the way my makeup looks.

Dare I say it? I do, I really believe this mascara may be my Holy Grail mascara. Obviously, it's not perfect for all occasions, I wouldn't wear it if I'm wearing absolute minimal makeup and wanted a really natural look. But that's not what Holy Grail means to me, to me it means that it's my absolute favorite. I've tried nearly all the drugstore mascaras on the market and a few of the higher-end ones including Inimitable Intense from Chanel which was lovely and also $30, but I haven't loved anything as much as as I love this one from YSL.

The images in this post were taken by my husband and belong to me, the mascara was purchased by me, and all other products were purchased by me unless otherwised stated. This post does contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let it Snow and Knit Ramblings

It's supposed to snow tonight. I'm very excited about it. I love the way snow makes everything look. All Glittering and peaceful. It's so beautiful. But snow makes me think about scarves and hats and mittens and sweaters. I know I've talked about my love of all things cozy many times before, but it does bear repeating. There's just something so wonderful about being snuggled up in something soft and warm.

I like them even better if I've made them myself. I actually a few projects for this winter planned. I usually like quick satisfying projects, like scarves and hats and I do have some of those planned. A red scarf with pink pockets on the ends that have red hearts knitted into them and a Pink hat with Red hearts knitted into it, maybe in Fair Isle style. The scarf I can turn out in a few hours but if I'm doing the more complicated pattern on the hat, then it will take me a bit longer.

I've also thought about delving into harder projects like a sweater. I've never made one before and I've been really wanting to try a more complicated project this winter. Okay and I've sort of been on the hunt for the perfect slightly over sized cozy sweater. So I figure if I can't find it I should probably just make it.

It's actually kinda killing me that I can't head out to my local yarn shop tomorrow to start picking up supplies and get advice on what to make and how to make it. Once I get an idea to do something it sort of drives me crazy until I get started on it, and I love buying new yarn. My last project was an infinity scarf and hat and I went back to my local shop 2 or 3 times. But I'm actually working on a baby blanket for a very close friend right now and it kinda reminds me of snow. I feel like I should finish that first and I have 3 more skeins to knit up before I'm done.

Really if you're a knitter and you're getting your yarn at a box store you're missing out. This is going to sound awful but really the only things I buy from small businesses regularly are my yarn. This is for one reason, buying there insures I have help when I'm stuck. The guy that owns my local yarn shop sat with me for over an hour teaching me to turn a heel when I learned to knit socks. Then a few days later he spent another hour teaching me to graft the toe of the sock. I wasn't in a class, although he does offer them, he just took his time to teach me how. You can pretty much walk into any yarn shop and they'll help you if you ask for it. I do recommend being polite though, they don't have to help you and if you're rude, they flat out won't.

I'm also planning on repurchasing Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook and Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics which I've never owned but I'm really excited about because it has 41 new patterns and I might also buy Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I love the Stitch N' Bitch book series, I learned to knit from the first book, and I adore it. I can't wait to get them.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gift Guide for Children

Children are probably the most fun to shop for at Christmas time. I love buying toys, and I see so many that make me wish I were still a child. Still it can be hard to shop for little kids sometimes. I had hoped to get this up by Black Friday, but life happens and sometimes you get busy. At least I've gotten it up in time for Cyber Monday. There are links provided, but obviously you can find the items at other places like Toys R' Us and Amazon. Or Target or where ever toys are sold.

First of all, it is not a good idea to buy a small child a toy just because it makes noise. I know it's fun, but really all the parent ends up doing is taking out the batteries when the child isn't paying attention. Toys that have small pieces usually just get vacuumed up, sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose. Also you should make sure the gift is age appropriate. There's a reason there is an age range printed on the box. it's for safety reasons.

For young children Lego Duplo blocks are a great gift. Even if they end up with multiple sets it's still great because then they just have more to build with. They have sets that are aimed at girls and ones that are aimed at boys. Perfect for ages 2-5.

For slightly older children about ages 3-7 it's a bit harder, this is when they really start getting into different things. But you can usually be save with something Disney Princess related for girls and superhero for the boys. All though there's always some cross over, where the girl would be more happy with the spiderman, and the boy totally has a thing for Belle. If you know that it makes it much easier to shop. And of course once again Legos are still a good option, but if they're a little older say closer to 7 than 3 it really opens you up to a lot more of the awesome playsets they have.

From ages 7-10 you should probably try and ask the child what their interested in, at this age generalized gifts are a bit harder, but you can usually get away with the latest movie, or toy craze.

Children are very easy to shop for, most of the time you can buy nearly anything aimed at their age range, and if the child is picky than I'm certain their parent or the child themselves will have some ideas for you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gift Guide for Him

I know, I know it's always harder to shop for the guy in your life, but there are some easy gifts that most people tend to overlook that are always lovely.

First up are Fragrances, personally I love giving sets that include a shave balm or lotion. You pay nearly the same as you would for the Fragrance alone, but you get more for your money. Among my favorite scents for men are Burberry Brit, Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb and YSL L'Homme Libre. These 3 sets are particularly lovely and they all come with an after shave balm as well as at least one other varying item. Or if he's indecisive you can get him the Sephora Favorite's Fragrance Sampler For Him . Similar to the lady's version in that he gets a voucher for a full size, but they're all men's fragrances. I think this is lovely for the guy who's picky about his scent since he can try them all out and then choose his favorite. 

Then there's skincare which is always a nice gift. I'm really fond of he Jack Black skincare range, and they have a great set of their facial essentials available in either trial or full size. They also have a kit that just has their beard lube and daily moisturizer. Or if the Jack Black Range doesn't appeal to you Clinique has a set of men's skincare called Great Skin for Him . As as with the Fragrances there is a Sephora Favorites Finest Shave Deluxe Sampler Kit for Him. If you don't want to purchase from Sephora, Kiehls Has some lovely skincare sets and all their products are unisex although they do have a just for him range

All guys love gadgets, and if you have money to spare then an Ipad is a great option. Or if you don't have quite as much money an Itunes gift card would be good too. If he's already got an Ipad Jack Spade makes some great cases for the Ipad and the Iphone. There are also tons of really cool Iphone accessories that you can get on Amazon.

Of course Jack Spade also has some great accessories in general, and a practical gift of gloves and a scarf or a nice tie is always appreciated. I know they sort of seem lame or cliche but if they're well thought out and luxury there really quite lovely. And if he's your boyfriend or husband a nice scarf and hat are especially sweet when coupled with cute or dorky note, because you're giving him something he'll use all winter long.

If he's super geeky or a gamer, has the best gifts and I'm especially fond of their tees. I have a friend who I buy one for every year for Christmas and he's always happy with them. ThinkGeek doesn't just have nerdy gifts though, they also have things like whiskey stones and a DIY Juice to Alcohol Kit. Which are perfect gifts for that uncle you don't know what to get, or that guy who just turned 21 that's really into drinking.

 For the musician there are always great headphones, which can range from Beats audio to Apple to Sony which has a great range of prices. If he plays an instrument its always great to give him a gift card to a local music shop like Guitar Center or Willis Music. This is especially nice, because instruments often require parts to be replaced, new drum sticks or skins for your percussion instruments, reeds and other things for your wind instruments, strings and picks or bows for your string instruments. These small pieces need replaced often and a gift card would go a long way in helping that replacement out.

 So what are you getting for your guy this Christmas?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gift Guide: For Her

I'm very excited to be starting my Christmas Gift Guides posts, and I'm kicking off this little mini series on my blog with a Gift Guide for her. The word 'her' can cover a lot of ground, when it comes to the women in your life, but all of these gifts should be suitable for the range that it covers. This is also going to cover a range of prices. I'm hoping to get the for him one up before Black Friday as well.

First it's no secret that most women love Disney, and especially Cinderella, so anything from the Cinderella Collection at Sephora is absolutely perfect. I especially like the idea of giving a significant other the perfume, so aptly named So This Is Love. But if that idea doesn't work for you there's also a nail polish collection, a lipstick set and an eyeshadow palette.

Keeping in the beauty range of things, Sephora really does have a plethora of options, my personal favorite is the Fragrance Sampler for Her. This is perfect for the girl that loves perfumes, because you get .05 ounce samples of perfume and you also get a voucher for a full size fragrance. It's sort of like 2 gifts in one. Bonus this year they're including a beauty bag with it.

If she's a bit eyeshadow obsessed you could give her either the Naked Palette or the Naked 2 Palette. These palettes have achieved cult status for a reason, the shadows are absolutely lovely, and very blend-able. Or there's the Stila Snow Angel Palette which is not only lovely for the makeup obsessed but also the makeup beginner because it also comes with several blushes and a mini mascara. Or if she likes Glitter and Glitz, there's the Sephora Favorites Glitz and Glam Party Sampler which is a kit of several glittery items including a nail polish, an eyeshadow, an eyeliner, several other products and a metallic clutch.

In the more Luxe range of products there's the Lancome In Love with Red Duo, which contains a lipstick from the Rouge in Love collection and a Nail Polish from the Vernis in Love collection. Both of them are lovely wearable shades of red. Or there's the Yves Saint Laurent Holiday Set, which contains the Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara, Touche Eclat Radient Touch Highlighter, Golden Gloss Shimmering Lip Gloss in Golden Peony, Dessin Du Regard Waterproof Long-Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil in 1 Black In. The YSL set is definitely a luxary gift, as YSL is not only lovely to use, but their packaging is amazing. This set definitely ranks high on my christmas wishlist. I have a review of the mascara coming up soon.

In the bath and body range of things Philosophy has some lovely gift sets such as their High Tea Tidings set, Snowflake Wonderland Set, Sweet Rendezvous Set or Toast of the Town Set to name a few. It really depends on scent preferences and how much you want to pay for the gift. Then of course L''Occitane has some absolutely lovely giftsets right now ranging from $15 to $95 usd. There is the Hugs and Kisses set, the Pretty As Peonies set, Hand Indulgences Set, Hand Cream Confections Kit, and the Hand Cream Confections Bouquet . These sets are perfect for a woman who works with her hands a lot. Lush also has some amazing Gift Sets, but my favorites are the Mrs. Frosty Gift and Mr. Frosty Gift sets, which I think would be an adorable couple gift for a newlyweds. I'm also really fond of the With Love from Santa and the Snow Fairy Gift set

Next up the perfect gift for the bookworm in your life is definitely a Nook or Kindle. I personally own this NOOK and I adore it, and I do think it's better than the Kindle, but unfortunately is only any good if you live in the States since Barnes and Noble is only based in America, but the Kindle is from Amazon and works everywhere. If your favorite bookworm already own a Nook or Kindle there are a bunch of accessories that go with it such as covers, lights ans screen protectors. Or if they're anti e-reader there's always a gift card to their favorite bookshop.

Then if she's a candle lover Yankee Candle has some wonderful Holiday Scents, including an entire line based on the song A few of My Favorite Things. Personally my favorite holiday scent is Home for the Holidays.

Of course Victoria Secret also does a lovely line of Pajama's which I adore and right now include a pair of slippers with purchase. If you've followed my blog for awhile you know I adore Victoria Secrets Pajama's and they're my favorite gift every year.

If she's a Techy sort of girl you can get her a customized case for her favorite gadget from, and Kate Spade has some wonderful Blackberry, Laptop, Tablet and Iphone cases. Marc by Marc Jacobs have some lovely cases for either the Iphone or Tablet as well as Laptop cases. Also both Kate Spade and Marc by Marc Jacobs have some lovely Headphones.

So that's it for my gift guide for her this year. I'm going to get to work on my gift guide for him and hopefully I'll have that up for tomorrow's post.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rapunzel Rapunzel

I suffer from something called Hair Envy. It's a horrible affliction that started right after the first time my hair was cut off.

You see I used to have long swishy hair with side swept bangs. I could flat iron it in the morning and it would look exactly the same 2 days later. If I curled it I had that awesome Victoria Secret Hair. I mostly had the same hair cut for years, sometimes I would do blunt bangs instead of side swept but it was mostly the same. Then one day I went to the place where I normally went to get my hair trimmed just to get an inch or 2 taken off because of heat damage and all that. My usual lady wasn't there, she had quit or something, so someone else cut my hair. You see where this is going don't you? Yep, she screwed it up, cut it uneven and to fix it she decided to take 6 more inches off to repair it. I decided I was okay with that because like I said, I've always had great hair so I thought this would change nothing.

I was wrong, since then I found a hairdresser I love again and I've mostly kept my hair at shoulder length but I've never been happy with it. It never seems to lay right, or curl right and I spend way more time fussing with it now than I used too. When it was long it took forever to style but then it would stay like that until I washed it. Now I have to take forever styling it everyday or it looks like awful.

So I suffered from major hair envy, I'd look at all these actresses that had short, great hair and be jealous and each time I'd go to the hair dresser I'd get a different style cut than the last time. I've had my hair cut like Emma Stone's and Alyson Hannigan recently.  But it never works out the way I plan it too.

Then last night while looking at Zoe's blog and watching old youtube video's of hers, I realized I missed my long hair. Like a lot. Then I realized why my short hair is so unruly. I've had hair dressers tell me that I have Thick, Fine hair with natural wave. Now I know that sounds contradicting but what that means is I have thin hair strands but a lot of it, with a wavy texture. When it's long it's heavier so it lays better. When it's short the waves twist around each other and get tangled and I get cow licks because there isn't as much weight pulling it down. So I'm growing it back out.

So I had my husband help me measure how much I have to grow out my hair before it's roughly Zoe's length. 10 inches. This sort of feel's like it's going to take forever, but I'm going to talk with my hairdresser about the best way to do it, and just go for it. I'm super impatient and I've caught myself tugging at the ends in frustration. Then I realized that this is actually a habit, that I probably developed the first time my hair was cut off.

So I'll keep you updated maybe do pictures or something. I actually thought about getting a white tee and marking the inches off with a sharpie and taking a once a month picture for a monthly hair update post.

So do you suffer from hair envy? Do you think I'm crazy for trying to grow my hair back out? Lemme know if the comments below.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Have you heard of: Bootights

Okay I live in an area where it gets really cold. Which I absolutely love, but I tend to sort of freeze to death come winter time. Especially for dressy occasions, when I have to wear a skirt or dress. Usually I'm more than happy to pair it with my boots and some tights, but my feet still get cold if I have to spend much time standing in the snow because the foot area of tights aren't very thick. And it's a pain in the butt to wear socks with tights for more warmth.

Well apparently a company made a solution for that. They're called Bootights. The concept is that Boots+Tights=Bootights. I discovered them because they followed me on twitter and I looked at their page, and that's it. I haven't tried their product yet, but the idea was so ingenious I had to blog about it. I hope to place an order with them soon, because seriously this is amazing. They're tights, and instead of normal tight feet, they have socks attached to the end. Somehow that seems both simple and earth shattering at the same time.

I'm sure any other girl who wears dresses in the winter, or lives in a cold area can agree with me how many winter problems these solve. Boots and dresses are a very common fashion choice, and tights are usually thrown in once the weather starts getting colder. The problem with that is the foot area of tights are usually thinner once you put them on, so not only are your feet colder, but they don't offer much in the way of comfort or padding. If you add in a pair of socks either over or under the tights, you end up with bunching and possibly sweaty uncomfortable feet. But bootights foot area is more like a sock, so it's thicker for warmth and wicks away moisture like a sock would and padded similar to a sock. Plus most of my tights get ruined at the feet first, so I think these would last so much longer?

My favorite tights on the site are the Draper Herringbone and the Clark Cable. Aside from really liking the tights themselves I really like the retro names as well. How cute are the word play names there? Don Draper and Clark Gable, adorable. The prices aren't bad, they seem to range from $30 to $40 usd. Which when you factor in how much longer they'll last you and how much warmer you'll be really seems worth it to me.

Have you heard of this brand before? Are you going to try them out?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What to Wear: Thanksgiving Day

I can't believe I totally skipped over Thanksgiving. It's not that I forgot about it, just that I'm more excited for Christmas. But with Thanksgiving less than 2 weeks away I'm definitely thinking about what I'm going to wear. What you wear all depends on how you celebrate. I personally prefer dressing casual, but no matter what you wear it should be comfortable enough to get you through curling up for the morning parade, stuffing yourself with dinner and then napping through the football games. Well that's how I spend my day anyway. And I always finish off the day with Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving Day
 So the first outfit is really cozy and even though it's super casual I couldn't resist adding in a little sparkle.. The sequin sleeves on this Aerie Shine Tee, are absolutely adorable, as are these Silver Glitter Headbands from Emi-Jay. Then I couldn't decide between the Bromley Leggings or the Amberstone Leggings from Jack Wills. I would go with the Bromley Leggings because I just love them, but I could understand how they might be a bit too out there than some people would be comfortable with, so the Amberstone leggings offer the same amount of comfort, but in a more understated way. Then for shoes I thought these Minnetonka Concho Feather Moccasins would be perfect. I have a pair of the regular Moccasins from Minnetonka and they're super cozy, and these ankle bootie ones look even more cozy for winter and are definitely on my list. Finally I finished off the outfit with this adorable Glitter Bow Bracelet from Aerie.

Of course I know that for a lot of people Thanksgiving is a dress up holiday. I though that this Topshop Skater Dress would be adorable with these Polka Dot Tights from Hue. This J.Crew Heart ring is so dainty and cute, I kinda adore it. Then I have 2 different options for shoes, there are these Burgundy heels or these Black Velvet Loafers. I would go for the Loafers because I am not a heels kind of girl. But if you are these burgundy heels are right on trend and absolutely adorable. Finally you can top the outfit off with this Aerie Jeweled Headband. I think it makes this outfit kind of princessy. Which I totally love.

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? And what are you planning on wearing?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What to Wear: Christmas Day

I don't know about you but I've already started thinking about what I'm going to wear for Christmas Day.  I always seem to spend it one of two ways. Usually we go to my husband's family's and have dinner there since we usually go to my family's on Christmas Eve, but sometimes we cram in both family visits on Christmas Eve and spend a lazy day at home Christmas Day. Either way it's mostly a chill relaxed sort of day. So I've set up 2 different outfits that would be perfect for either way. I don't know how your family spends Christmas, but we tend to spend it eating and drinking, and that usually requires comfort, so the leggings in both these outfits are probably the most important part.

Christmas Day I'd wear this first outfit if I were spending the day lounging about at home watching Christmas movies and eating cookies.
It's all from Gilly Hicks but it just looks so snuggly, and cozy I couldn't resist. Its the Lilyfield Sweater in cream, and the Malabar Sleep Leggings in red stripe, and finished by the Cozy Socks. As you know I don't match my socks by color, and I love the bow on these and that they're all the same length which makes them super easy to mismatch together.

The second outfit is if I had to leave the house, I like to be dressed up but still really comfortable. I think this Sequin blazer from American Eagle, Perfect Racerback Tank from Madewell, Pixie Pants from J. Crew, and Riding Boots from Zara are perfect for this sort of outfit. It's still really dressy with the Sequined blazer and black boots, but the easy tank, pixie pants and the riding boots being flat make this outfit still really comfortable and cozy. I especially love the pixie pants in this outfit. They have a great fit, and look amazing but they're totally just like wearing your coziest leggings.

What are your Christmas Day traditions? and just as importantly, what are you going to wear?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter Spotlight: The Duffle Coat

Before I begin doing my gift guides, I first thought I would tell you guys about my favorite kind of coat for fall and winter.It's the Duffle Coat. Duffle Coats are probably one of the most classic styles of coats next to the Pea Coat. I remember wanting one since I was a child and discovered that Paddington Bear wore one. So I've made a list of my favorites, I especially love the plaid lining that's in most of these. They're mostly found done by British designers but I did find a few that were easily accessible here in the States.

Duffle Coats
The first one is one that I actually own it's the Duffle Coat from Delias. I have this in Navy Blue and it's perfect, and at a really great price. The only thing I would change about it is it doesn't have the plaid lining that I love in all the other one. Honestly I hate when coats have that satiny sort of lining, because if you're just wearing a tee shirt and it's cold out side then the lining is cold.  But for $79.50, it's really not a bad deal. Plus it's nearly an exact copy of one of the Topshop Coats that Taylor Swift owns, the one that I feel in love with 2 years ago.

Next up is this Hooded Wool-Felt Duffle Coat from Burberry. This is sort of my dream coat. Really I love Burberry, I'm absolutely obsessed with it. It's insanely expensive at $895, which makes me sad since that means I can't possibly own this coat anytime soon. But I adore it. It's got the classic Burberry check for the lining, and it's a lovely gray that will go everything and is really the perfect winter coat.
Then there is the Navy Wool Buttermere Duffle Coat from Barbour. I really like this coat, but at $400+ usd I'd rather save for the Burberry. But it's still a really nice coat, and it's lined in the Barbour tartan fabric, which  would make this a warm snuggly coat where you don't have to worry about a cold lining.

There's also this Gloverall Long Duffle Coat in Cranberry. This coat is knee length whereas the others hit at your hip or mid thigh. It's definitely good if you want to stay warmer or are interested in a longer coat to go with dresses. I really like the color of this and the matching red check lining. It's £295 and I don't know if they ship to the states. Plus since they're kinda the ones who did Duffle coats first, so Gloverall bears some looking into.

Now this next one from American Eagle is a men's coat and it's the AE Hooded Duffle Coat on sale right now for $130. This one has a lovely navy and red check lining and looks very snuggly. I had to throw in a coat for the guys, but honestly Duffle coats are gender neutral so the ladies could pull this one off as well.

Okay I sort of love Superdry almost as much as I love Burberry, and I would totally snatch their Classic Duffle Coat if I had the expendable cash, but unfortunately right now $330 is a bit out of my price range. They also have a men's version of this that as far as I can tell only the lining is different. Hopefully they'll have a Christmas or end of Winter sale, and I'll be able to pick it up.

Finally is this Bound Seam Duffle Coat from Topshop. Taylor Swift also owns this coat. Is the fact that Taylor Swift has this coat a good reason to buy it, probably not. But the fact that it's warm and cute are good reason to buy it. The lining is adorable and it's perfect if you just turn the sleeves up a bit. and at $178 it seems like a perfectly reasonable price to pay for a coat you'll probably wear for a few years. 

If you need a coat now I recommend finding your favorite and snagging it, but if you're like me and get a new coat every year, then if I were you, I'd do what I do and wait til they go on sale. At the end of Season, or buy in mid summer like I did with my Delias coat.

Honestly though I am getting a bit tired of the coat exchange and am going to start investing a bit more in my coats so I like them better and they'll be warmer, because once it snows I'll probably have to pull out my Kenneth Cole Reaction Down Coat which I have in the Mocha color. But even that one is a bit cold because of the lining. I think I'm going to start saving for a Superdry coat.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Absolute favorite thing about Christmas

I have a lot of favorite things about Christmas time, the lights, the decorations, the colors, the food and drinks, the snow. And you will be hearing about all of them soon enough, but today's post is going to be about my absolute favorite thing about Christmas Time. A sort of kick off to a series of posts if you will.

It's about Gifts. I adore giving gifts. I love everything about it except how much money I spend doing it. I love the planning and shopping, and seeing people open them, but especially wrapping them. Oh I complain about it when the time comes because I have to stay up til 3 am a few days before Christmas to get them all wrapped, but really that's all false. I have a little routine that involves me spreading out all over my living room floor after everyone's gone to bed, and cocoa and christmas films non stop til I've finished.

The wrapping isle's in stores get me very excited, I just want to buy everything. I love ribbons and paper and bows and stickers and tags, and tape and ink pens for name writing, glitter, twine, cards and boxes. It all just makes me so happy. I love a beautifully presented gift. As anyone who follows me on Pinterest can tell. I've been pinning pictures of gifts all morning. And planning how I'm going to wrap my presents this year. The past 3 years I've used wrapping paper with Dr. Suess's The Grinch on. I adore that movie, but I'll talk more about that in my favorite holiday movies post. But this year I think I want something more glittery. Or something simpler. I was thinking of doing parchment paper, and creating little swirls of glitter on it once wrapped and then tying with a glittery twine if such a thing exists and sparkly tags.

Now I will say I don't like oddly shaped gifts that are hard to wrap. I really like to wrap boxes or books, things that are easy to wrap. I don't put the oddly shaped things in to boxes, I just wrap them as they are, but I'm never happy with the turn out. I have found a new way that for smaller odd things I'm going to try this year, and if it works out I'll let you know. I'm just so excited to get started wrapping things and putting them under my tree (that won't go up until Thanksgiving).

 I said this post was sort of a kick off, well that's because I plan on putting up some Christmas Gift Guides soon. For Him, For Her, and For Children. Since I love buying presents so much, I make these sort of lists for myself all the time. There will also be a What I Want for Christmas post coming up soon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Skin Story

Skincare is one of the things that I'm sort of obsessed with. My favorite bit of the day is when I get to wash my face. If I'm really upset or something bad has happened, I'll wash my face and make a pot of tea, because I feel like it's always easier to deal with what's going on if my face is freshly scrubbed.

I don't by any means have perfect enviable skin. I actually have quite bad skin. This is actually a bit hard for me to talk about. I have adult onset acne, that started when I switched to a certain brand of birth control, and hasn't fully gone away even though I've switched brands. It's much better now, but until a year or so ago there were times when I would look at my face in the mirror and just sob it was so awful and painful. I had cystic acne and for those that don't know it's acne that's deeply imbedded and inflamed and can usually be painful.

I spent a lot of money and time just trying out different cleansers that didn't even seem to make a dent in my problem. I finally went to see a dermatologist and he gave me some samples of differin gel, which cleared my skin but also dried it out a bit to much, and he prescribed me an anti-biotic, which works extremely well, and I still take from time to time when the breakout's get particularly bad. Up until I saw a doctor about it and it got significantly better it was as emotionally damaging as it was physically painful. I have a lot of scaring that I can only hope to lessen.

I also started using Kiehls Blue Herbal Cleanser and their oil free range of moisturizer and toner. To be honest it helped a bit in the beginning but not after awhile. It's lovely to use and I'm nearing the end of it, but after 6 months of use, I decided not to repurchase. While it didn't make my skin worse it stopped making it better as well after about 2 months of use. 

I decided to write this post because since I decided not to repurchase the cleanser I was currently using, I've ordered the Liz Earle range, the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, the Instant Boost Tonic and the Skin Repairing Moisturizer. Liz Earle is a UK based range, but they do ship to the US. The products are natural and meant to be really gentle and suitable for all skin types. I'm going to be attempting to do weekly updates when it gets here, and I may take a photo a week as I use it and if I'm brave enough I'll post them in a compilation so you can see what it does or doesn't do for my skin.

I'm really excited to try out this new range, but while I hope it works, I've been disappointed by so many other skin care lines that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much about this one. I've heard good things though which is why I'm going to try it. Have you found your perfect skin care line yet, or are you still searching. Tell me some products you love in the comments below.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Snow Day Chic

Since I posted my perfect outfit for staying in and watching a movie, I decided to also post my perfect Snow Day outfit. I actually mentioned that I have a dream playing in the snow outfit  in an older post about my obsession with Hunter boots, well this is that outfit. This outfit is very preppy and snuggly at the same time, absolutely perfect for a date to go sledding or building a snow fort. This is also the perfect outfit for an outdoor Christmas fair, or even Christmas Tree Shopping. I like how you'd still be bundled up and completely warm, but you'd still be completely adorable. Lets get into the details of the outfit.

Snow Day PlayStarting with the base of this outfit is this Jack Wills Wellbrook Shrunken Cable sweater. I love cable knit sweaters, and this one with it's mixed chunky cables is just adorable. It's a little on the pricey end at $128, but it is a classic. Definitely well worth it for something you're going to wear for the rest of your life.
Obviously you'll need some skinny jeans, and I chose these Jeggings from American Eagle. These are super cute, and cozy since they're jeggings rather than jeans, but make sure you size up as they tend to run small. Bonus these are on sale right now for $34.99. I've owned these before and wore them to their death, maybe I should pick up another pair while they're on sale.
Then for outerwear I chose this Eton Quilted Jacket for Jack Wills, it's an updated version of the classic British Hacking Jacket, and I think it's so cute and preppy. It's $148 and definitely a classic piece.
I also chose the Bostonian Beanie from Superdry, it's $40 and very well worth the price. Superdry hats are the coziest snuggliest hats ever. I love the flakey charcoal color, it's one of my favorite colors for winter, and well forever.
For a scarf I thought this Wool Plaid scarf from J.Crew was absolutely adorable. It's $49.50, and even though it's lightweight, since it's made out of wool, it's still really warm without adding a ton of bulk to your outfit.
And of course if you're playing outside, you'll need mittens and these Moss Stitch Convertable Mittens are absolutely cozy and snuggly and a bargain at $24.95.
Finally my favorite part of this outfit Red Original Short Gloss Hunter Boots and Hunter Wellie Socks in cream. This is probably my favorite part of this outfit. As well all know I adore Hunter Boots to the point that I'm absolutely obsessed with them. If I don't buy anything else on this list I will definitely be getting these, and Hopefully soon. The boots are $125 and the socks are $25. The Wellie socks are especially important because they turn the boots into snow boots. They keep you're feet extra warm, especially since you can wear regular socks underneath these. I could go on and on about these and actually I already have.

Do you have any wintery dates planned? What do you plan to wear? Lemme know in the comments.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Movie Night In

I was curled up on my sofa today watching my favorite movie, The Holiday, which I try and only watch around the Holiday Season because that's when it's best. If I watch it in the Summer when it's not cold, then it just makes me miss cold weather. I don't actually like being cold, but I love the cold weather clothing. I love it so much that if I could I would actually move to where it were cold all the time, like to England (Surprised are we?).

Since watching my favorite movie got me thinking about cold weather, it also got me thinking about my perfect Movie night in outfit. I actually prefer nights in, particularly in the winter time. I'd much rather stay in and snuggle up on the couch with a cup of tea, and watch it snow outside, than be out driving around in it. I tend prefer to wear leggings and a slouchy sweater when I know I don't really have anywhere to be in the winter time. That way if I do have to go out I can just throw on jeans over the leggings for added warmth and I'm good to go. So I sat down tonight and decided to pick out my dream movie night in uniform. If I had no budget, this is the outfit I would pick out. Okay I realize the entire outfit is from Jack Wills, but honestly I kinda am really lusting after everything they have in stock right now, so that probably has a lot to do with it.

Perfect Movie Outfit
First is the Rothbrook Crew. It's a little long and a bit slouchy and understated in the branding with Mr. Wills embroidered near the hem. At roughly $79.50 usd it's really not that bad for a cozy top you'll wear over and over again.
Then there's the Bromley Leggings. I adore these they're $39.50 which is a great price considering they're fair isle print. Not something I would wear out of the house, except maybe to an ugly sweater party, but I would wear the hell out of them at home. They just look so cozy, and snuggly and honestly this is the one thing that I'm definitely purchasing from this list.
Next are the Rastrick Socks. At $16.50 a pair they're a bit pricey for socks, but I love socks and these just look so snuggly and warm. I would need to buy them in both colors, because I match my stocks in length and weight, but not actually in color. Having mismatched socks just makes me feel very happy.
Finally I added in the Durston Blanket and the Empson Cushion, which are $148 and $69.50 respectively, because this was a no budget thing and as a general rule I like to have a blanket and cushion when I watch a movie, but I absolutely need them if it's a spooky movie.

This outfit is definitely at the top of my wishlist, those leggings especially. Do you have a winter night in/movie night/girlie night in uniform? Or maybe a shop whose stock you're absolutely lusting after? Tell me in the comments.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

It's only a few days after Halloween, but I'm so ready for Christmas. I'm ready to start present shopping, playing Christmas songs and movies, and decorating. I have a few posts for this coming season that I'm definitely excited about doing, like what to wear for Christmas parties, and Christmas Gift Guides, so this space will definitely be on Christmas overload for the next few months.

My first Christmas-y post is going to be about Christmas Jumpers. I love Sweaters, and I love Christmas so it only makes sense that I would love Christmas Sweaters. I'm generally not to big on the super tacky type ones, and usually prefer a fair isle style with only a reindeer here or there, but this year seems to be different. I have fallen in love with four sweaters and while I want them all, I'm probably going to limit myself to just one.

Christmas Jumpers 

First is this Red Christmas Jumper from River Island. I kinda maybe sorta really love it, it's got Penguins, Stags and Snowflakes, plus it says I'll Keep You Warm. Really that says it all right there. And since it doesn't exactly have anything extremely Christmas specific on it I would totally wear it all winter long. This one ranks top in the running of which one I'll buy to wear on Christmas.

Second is the Blue Christmas Jumper from River Island. It's got a bit of Tiger Striping, Snowmen, Trees, and Christmas Puddings. I've never had a Christmas Pudding, and I sort of want to, but then again when I think of Pudding I think of Chocolate and some how I don't think that's what a Christmas Pudding is.

Then is this adorable Christmas Cat Sweater from Asos. The kitty is wearing a Santa hat and that's just really too much cute. I maybe allergic to cats in real life, but for a jokey type Christmas Jumper I like it. I probably won't be buying this one though, while I like it, it's just too much jokey-ness even for me.

Finally is my last favorite, it's the Christmas Pattern Sweater also from Asos. I love the little Birdies, Presents and Snowflakes. Honestly if I don't buy that first one I'll probably get this one. The colors are nice and bright and it's just fun.

Okay so I'm going to be honest here, after Asos and River Island I stopped looking for Christmas Sweaters, because I found four that I wanted in one go, four! So there will probably be another similar type post in the future. And definitely a few on my wishlist. That's it for now though. How do you feel about Christmas Sweaters? I challenge you to find your favorite and leave me the link to it in the comments below, and come Christmas Eve we can all be Snugged up in our Christmas Jumpers together.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gilly Hicks Review

I got my Gilly Hicks order in a few days ago, and I've already picked out another 2 hoodies from the website that I must have.

This time I bought the Skinny Banded Sweatpants in Dark Heather Grey which has the logo in pink and Navy which has the logo in red. They're extremely schnuggly and cozy and warm. I'm so in love with them, I just want to spend all my time in them. I definitely prefer them to the Victoria Secret Pink Pants. These are seriously the softest pants that I've ever put on. They claim to have a cheeky butt fit, and I don't know what that is exactly, but my ass certainly looks as good as you'd expect it to in sweatpants. They don't have pockets, but I've never really liked pockets in sweatpants anyway, since if you drop your phone in, or anything at all, it seems to drag them down on that side. The banded bottom is great because you can cuff them up for spring or early fall and wear them long in the winter.

I also bought two different styles of the hoodies, a zip up and a pullover. The first one, the zip up is the Hewlett Street Hoodie in Burgundy. I adore it, it's made from the same material as the sweatpants and it's insanely warm. It's very fitted, which is nice as it doesn't make me look shapeless. The sleeves are a bit tight if you have a long sleeve shirt on underneath, but since it's so warm you wouldn't need to do that unless it was absolutely freezing out. I love the golden yellow embroidery on the front, it works really well with the deep burgundy color. This hoodie hits me right at the top of my hips, and the sleeves are kinda long, I can comfortably cover my hands if I want to, which I did when I wore it out trick or treating with my son last night because it was so cold out. But at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the hoodie was still warm enough to be out wandering around.

The Second hoodie, the pullover, was the Roselands Hoodie in Grey which has pink stitching for the logo, that matches the sweatpants I bought exactly even though the hoodie is a lighter grey than the pants. I haven't worn it for more than a few minutes to try it on and see how it fit, but I really really like this hoodie. It's just as soft as everything else I bought, but it seems to have a looser fit than the other hoodie. It fits comfortably in the sleeves with long sleeves under it. It seems to be a bit longer too, but not by much. It's a typical pullover with a Kangaroo pocket. There's not much else to say since it's made out of the same material as everything else I bought, but I definitely love it, and have a feeling that this one will quickly become my favorite because of the coloring.

All said, I've very happy with my items and I definitely think I've found my replacement for Victoria's Secret. The prices are better and the quality seems to be better, and the hoodies are softer and schungglier than the V.S. ones I've bought in the past. I've already decided I need one of their sherpa lined hoodies before it gets much colder, and another pair of the sweatpants, okay and their sleep pants, and I'd love to try out a tee or two of theirs. What can I say, I'm obsessed and have definitely been converted to a Gilly Girl.