:: Put a Bow on it ::

I’ve always had an affinity for gift wrapping. Every Christmas my mom puts together a theme for the presents under the tree and lucky for us, she’s never let up on that little bit of Christmas magic. From bows and ribbon to tissue paper and wrapping paper – I love it all.

When I found this bow on ASOS, it brought a flood of happiness to my heart. I didn’t have hair until I was three, so I certainly never got into the bow-wearing thing, but a giant bow that is versatile enough to be worn with ANY top?! Sign me up!

 

Top // Equipment

Pants // J. Crew Pixie

Booties // H&M

Bow // ASOS

Bag // Kate Spade

Rings // H&M

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The Oscars

I know I’ve said it before – but I’m just not that into awards shows. As someone who can barely sit through a movie, awards shows tend to test my patience (plus, once I’ve seen all the incredible styling there is st see – I’m done!).

That being said, I was really impressed with several moments from last night’s Oscar’s. Let’s begin with Reese Witherspoon – she promoted the #askhermore campaign, which essentially makes all my worlds collide. While I love seeing what styles the stars are wearing, I have no idea why it is necessary to ONLY ask them about “who” and “what” they are wearing. Reese also posted several example questions of what reporters could ask to learn more about actress’s thoughts about their work, aspirations, and proudest moments. Thanks to The Representation Project for ensuring our women are given the respect they deserve for their craft.

She was not the only celebrity to ensure women were receiving the positive attention they deserve. Props to Patricia Arquette for calling out that dreadful “mani-cam” that E! luckily didn’t have space for on the red carpet this year. The Boyhood star said she was “too busy working on an ecological sanitation project” to get her nails done for the awards show. Yeah girl – preach!

The fashion-loving, women’s and gender studies-learning, journalistic-soul in me is just simply over the moon.

And can we take a moment to touch on what my Facebook newsfeed is blowing up over? Lady Gaga gave Carrie Underwood (and dare I say it – Julie Andrews? No. Let’s not go there.) a run for her money on a birch lined, symphony-filled stage as she hit ev’ry single high note in her tribute to “The Sound of Music.”

Love her music, think she’s a total nut, but holy cow – the girl is talented. Top off her talented performance with that incredible full-skirted white Azzedine Alaïa gown. Just breathtaking.

Of course I can’t stop there, because there were several favorite dresses from last night. I was shocked to see an absence of pant-suits or capes, but I suppose my favorite trends can’t come back for every awards show.

A favorite, texture-filled gown (although God only knows how the girl sat down) was Lupita N’yongo in a fully pearl encrusted Calvin Klein. As someone who has worn liquid beading, I can bet this puppy weighed roughly 20 pounds. She pulled it off like a champ – I’ve yet to see her in anything I didn’t like!

Emma Stone wowed in a chartreuse, long-sleeved Elie Saab. With her skin tone and red hair, it was a winner. Cate Blanchett had, in my opinion, the most incredible statement necklace by Tiffany’s and selected a much simpler dress by John Galliano for Maison Margiela. Jennifer Lopez wore an amazing Haute Couture Elie Saab gown which not only complemented her skin tone, but matched it perfectly. Jennifer Aniston stunned in a fully beaded Versace, and Reese Witherspoon – that Tom Ford gown was impeccable.

But my favorite after-party look was worn by Mindy Kaling in a custom Savador Perez. The girl doesn’t do basic black very often, but when she does, she does it perfectly.

While I’m not the biggest awards show fan, I’m marrying a former theatre-kid who was recalling the days of watching the awards shows with his buddies. Of course, I’m not one to turn down the opportunity to host a party, so next year should be filled with many, many awards show watch-parties!

Oscars

:: These Little Town Blues ::

This weekend we were able to experience a rare, incredible gift – highs in the 70’s at the beginning of February. No better way to start birthday week!!

I’m enjoying wearing skirts and baring my unbelieveably white legs (you’d never guess I had Hispanic blood with these babies), because we are heading to Neeeeeeeeeeew Yoooooooork!

While it may be 18 degrees, I’m still giddy with excitement to visit the city. Taylor will be working from his law firm’s New York office on Friday while Josh and I spend the day brunching, shopping, and playing at KLEINFELD’S!

After trying on well over 100 dresses and earning the title of most specific bride, I put in my application for “Say Yes to the Dress” and will be spending every day anxiously awaiting TLC’s phone call. They’d be nut not to have this nut on the show. Seriously. What’s better than a former pageant competitor who is not a fan of white dresses but has a very specific veil, shopping with her childhood best friend on her birthday, and knows exactly what she wants, and much like Elle Woods doesn’t want something that comes right out and says “bride?!”

Nothing. Nothing beats that level of cray.

Even if TLC forgets to give me a ring, I still have Saturday and Sunday to look forward to. I haven’t been to NYC in a few years, but can’t even get beyond my thoughts on Friday so – any suggestions on must-do’s or must-see’s for our little three day weekend? We’ll have loads of time Saturday and the majority of the day Sunday, and I’ve visited all the tourist-y things in the past. What’s your best recommendation?!

So, perhaps the stripes and midi skirt will not work for me this weekend as the snow is expected to begin falling on Thursday. This is clearly a blessing to ensure I don’t get the itch to move us up north!

 

Top // J. Crew

Skirt // Top Shop

Booties // Shoe Mint

Necklace // J. Crew

Bracelet // Tory Burch

:: Looks of Love, Part 2 ::

One week until Valentine’s Day! And my birthday!! Time to get crackin’ on those gifts so that they make it in time for the big day.

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1. Shop my favorite works of art from my dear, amazing, talented, educational inequity-fighting, Pre-K loving, brilliant friend Brittany. She custom designed her own wedding invitation suite, and also creates custom works of art. Is there a better way to spread your love than with a perfect portrait?! (Contact her directly at Brittany@bowandink.com)

2. I will never forget the first time I smelled Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf . It is such a unique scent, and one which smells nothing like a flower in my opinion. However, if you read the description you would never touch it… flat out wrong!

3. Cookies. Done.

4. Cookies’ evil twin… macarons. Double yum.

5. Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies is living the blogger dream AND created her own jewelry line. I wish I could say I hated it but…. gimme everything. Also, she has an amazing marble ring. Gorgeous!

6. When we first met, Taylor thought I had a red watch. Either he is colorblind or had another girl in mind, but regardless – this one is the way to go! A timeless Tory Burch for the win.

:: Points of Productivity ::

One month in to 2015 – how are your resolutions going?!  It can be so hard to stay productive, especially in the cold months when all I really want to do is curl up by a fireplace and do absolutely NOTHING.

Kabbage believes boosting productivity is a wise investment and offers fast online loans ranging in a variety of price points. I also have multiple ideas on how to be your most productive self!

There are a few things which I have found help me stay productive.  What are yours?

 

1 // What better way to stay on task than with a great watch you can wear every day? Grab this Kate Spade style here.

2 // I used to spend hours an insane amount of time standing in front of my closet, trying to put something, anything, together. Then, one summer I made the greatest discovery – Stylebook. I had spent years dreaming of a Cher (a la Clueless) style closet, which would help complete outfits based on the clothing you own. With this app, you can take photos or upload pictures from a website, of your own clothing and categorize each item. Then, you can pull together outfits and even plan ahead with a calendar. As someone who is anything but a morning person, this has saved me loads of time. I don’t plan outfits weekly, but I will drag together various pieces which I could see as an outfit. Then, I look to those styles for inspiration while I am getting ready. Truly a huge productivity booster in knocking out the rest of my to-do’s!

3 // It’s rare to meet someone who has set a New Year’s resolution without having one related to wellness. I was apprehensive about the Fit Bit at first. Would I wear it? Would I track my goals? My sleep? My nutrition? At work, I often find myself sitting for several hours. Until I started tracking my steps, I had no idea that I was only meeting about 30-40% of my daily movement goal! The Tory Burch Fit Bit is the perfect blend of style and functionality.  I wear the bracelet every day, and love that it looks like a simple bangle. If I head to Barre class or hit the gym, I can simply remove the Fit Bit and pop it into a workout band. Tracking my sleep is another great new function to take advantage of and is making be a nicer bride…. or Britanzilla.

4 // How can one stay on top of their game if they don’t have a planner?! This awesome Brittany Fuson day planner was gifted to me at Christmas and it is fantastic. Not only is each page filled with fashion-forward prints, but it helps me stay sane in the most ridiculous of times.

5 // I am a creature of habit and one of those habits is making lists. There is something so calming about getting things off your mind and on paper. Recently, I read a book called “Getting Things Done,” which essentially speaks to methods of productivity. In the book, the author notes that even if you are a list maker, these lists can spiral out of control. (Shocker!) Unless you are able to bucket them into categories and then note the exact, bite-sized next action step – your list will keep rolling over and you may never be able to *gasp* fully cross off items. Point taken. Capture all of your thoughts, to-do’s and goals with this gold polka-dotted beauty!

 

:: Basic ::

These past few weeks have been craaaaaay and I have put so little effort into my outfits. Praise the Lord for the Stylebook app to at least help me keep it semi-together throughout the week.

While wedding planning should be a breeze for an organized and decisive person, it’s such a huge pain to try to get all my vendors on my schedule and to communicate effectively via e-mail.

All I have to say is – pass the wine.

It’s looks like this that help me save time in the morning when I’m wiped out, and I have probably worn this exact, basic outfit for almost a week straight. Just swap out this vest for a different one, add a jacket, change the shoes – no one will ever know!

 Top // J. Crew

Pants // J. Crew Pixie Pants

Vest // Bloomingdale’s

Booties // Sole Society

Bag // Tory Burch

:: Looks of Love ::

Valentine’s Day has always been among my favorites. It immediately follows my birthday and seeing conversation hearts begin popping up in stores was always a fantastic sign!

Among the other reasons I adore Valentine’s Day – pink and red are the best color combination, angels and arrows are the best symbols, and hello – cards filled with the best puns?! Count me in!

Of course, I’m also a closeted hopeless romantic who grew up on 1940’s black and white films. I believed men should dance like Fred Astaire, sing like Bing Crosby, speak like Cary Grant and have the passion of Rhett Butler, I mean, Clark Gable.

Let’s just say I had a rude awakening around 2003.

Regardless, I love love, I love my birthday, and I love Valentine’s Day. We are going rogue this year (!!!) and heading to New York (!!!) to celebrate my birthday and Valentine’s Day (!!!). Here are a few fabulous picks to make your Valentine’s Day special. There’s a little e-mail icon at the bottom of the post if you feel a certain someone could benefit from these hints…

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