Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Classy Woman Favorites for January

January is a time when we all tackle our fresh new goals, vow to put our best foot forward and some of us (a lucky few) may take some time off to travel to an exotic locale. I had some fun compiling my favorite classy items which include resort wear, practical desk essentials that add a bit of glamour including a new must-have 2015 agenda planner, cozy winter attire, the perfect accessories for a fun and polished look as well as a few good reads too! It doesn't get too cold here in Florida but we recently experienced a drop in temps for a few days, just in time to pull out my favorite jackets, cozy slippers and scarves. As the warmer weather has crept back in, it has me thinking forward to springtime and I have to admit I'm kind of obsessed with this silk top, this romperthis gorgeous bag and these dreamy heels right now-all 4 are definitely on my wish list!

*Simply click on any item images above and you'll be linked directly over to the exact item on the retailer's page for more details! 

  • J.CREW- 40% off wear now styles with code: SALENEWS
  • NORDSTROM- New sale items added! As always, FREE Shipping + FREE Returns
  • TORY BURCH- New items added to their sale + FREE 2 Day Shipping with Paypal
  • GAP-Save up to 75% off during their winter sale! 
  • WILLIAMS-SONOMA-Semi-Annual clearance event. Save up to 75% off! 
  • C.WONDER- 50% off everything during their Semi-Annual Big Wonder Sale!
  • ANN TAYLOR- 50% off your entire purchase with code: FLASH50
  • SHOPBOP- Up to 70% off and FREE 3-Day Shipping + FREE Returns

What types of things do you most gravitate towards in January? Are you headed anywhere tropical?

Thanks for Reading!


Monday, January 12, 2015

The Grass is Greener Where You Water It

With this fresh year having just begun, I find myself evaluating little things that I can do or change to make my life more enjoyable and meaningful and essentially help me become a better person. I mentioned my Top 3 New Year's Goals in our last post but beyond those, I want to continually be growing and evolving more into the woman that I want to be. I've noticed a dissatisfaction I feel at times particularly while browsing Instagram. While I often find it a source of great inspiration for new recipe ideas, workout moves, photo angles I want to use, palettes for interior design, outfit combinations or working harder to enjoy some of the finer things in life, sometimes I find myself getting caught up in seeing all of the ultra-glamorous and "perfect" images that a particular account has shared. It can tend to leave me feeling as though my own home or life is less than, particularly if the person sharing is doing a whole lot more of what I wish I were doing in that moment-traveling to countries I haven't yet visited, building a grand custom home, vacationing in gorgeous destinations, dressing up in oodles of high end pricey garments, heels, handbags and being photographed in stunning locations. Can you relate? I do quickly snap out of it by reminding myself that social media snapshots are just that, a snapshot in time of a moment, not someone's entire existence. This led me to sharing today's quote as a reminder because if I struggle with these thoughts at times than I know for sure there are other women who have felt the same way. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. Isn't it? I find the most contentment in life when I'm busy, head down and working towards my dreams, coming up for air to enjoy the company of loves ones and celebrating with those who have worked hard for their own accomplishments, inspiring my more of my own!

These are my thoughts that I shared along with today's quote image over on The Classy Woman Community Facebook page.....Jealousy and coveting (which sometimes leads to unhappiness and depression) is so tempting these days with social media being such an ever-present tool at our fingertips allowing us to be voyeurs into the 'highlight reel' of another's life forgetting that it's just that-a showcase of the best moments, rarely a share of the struggles, the mundane and the less-than-glamorous. It's easy to feel as though the grass is always greener elsewhere but the truth is that the grass is greenest where we choose to water it, tending to it by pulling weeds and nurturing it by giving it fertilizer and a regular trim. More than a cliche quote, I believe this to be true but ONLY when we first begin focusing on all that we are grateful for in our own lives and invest time in making those things a priority, spending more time tending to them than looking over the fence. Thankfulness begets thankfulness! Happy Monday Everyone! :)

Do you find yourself struggling in this area too at times? How do you remind yourself that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence?

Thanks for Reading!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Goals for the New Year!

I hope you all had a truly fabulous holiday season! Happy New Year! Wishing you a joyful and prosperous 2015. We enjoyed a very low key Christmas and NYE in since having a toddler makes things a bit tricky but I wouldn't have had it any other way. While I love getting all dressing up and spending time out with friends, a quiet evening in was perfect for us after holiday busyness.

I wanted to take this moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has followed along here as well as via my social media channels. I'll be the first to admit that my posts have been anything but consistent this year so I appreciate all of you loyal readers who have stuck around. I have plans to revive this blog with a lot more new content and the posts will be far more regular. I'm still just as passionate about the classy woman message as ever before so I've slowly been working to create a new schedule that allows me to get back to writing, something I really love. Thank you for being patient with me! :) XOXO

Every year around this time (usually a few days before New Year's Eve) as many do, I sit down with pen in hand during a peaceful part of my day and reflect on the current year writing down what went well, recounting my favorite moments, meditating on what I was most proud of, thinking deeply about what I could improve upon and how to make it a reality, pinpointing the goals that didn't quite happen the way I had planned and brainstorm how the next year will turn out differently. It's my little synopsis of how the year went down. It helps me to focus going forward. I'm not big into "resolutions" but I do try to create realistic, attainable goals and Jan.1st is the perfect reset button, it's a fresh start and chance to do things differently.

I can honestly say that 2014 was not my favorite year, it was a lonely one for me in many ways but I was thankful to get to visit my closest family and friends this year making two flights with Lily. A few circumstances challenged me in many ways that took me outside of my comfort zone at times (which always feels terrible in the moment but I know is SO necessary to continue to grow as a person and develop character). This year, I plan to make some big changes. Some have been a long time coming while others are smaller and have surfaced recently given new circumstances within my 'still new' role as a mother.

This year, I've decided to focus on 3 specific main goals. I have several smaller goals in mind too such as being more spontaneous and not having to plan things out so much, making more time for fun outings and making more time for mini trips such as weekend getaways to explore our own state (Florida) and neighboring states. I tend to get carried away with lists, I could probably write down 30 goals but the reality is I'm much more apt to stay on track when I keep it short + sweet with just a few that are truly going to impact multiple aspects of my life. These are the ones that I believe will truly affect my year in a transforming way if I am able to stick to them daily.

2015 Goals

1. Complain Less-As much as I try to be grateful even during the biggest storms of life  counting even the smallest blessings (and have even written an article about how Complaining isn't Classy in the past), this particular year I found myself griping more I'm not proud of it. In my mind I know what triggered the feelings which created the need for me to share what displeased me but at the end of the day there are no good excuses for complaining-ever. In the words of Maya Angelou, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." Besides, complaining affects those around us and is such an unattractive quality that breeds more negativity. This one was hard to admit publicly and embarrassing to share here given the topic of this blog in general, but the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I'm going to take it day by day and week by week.

2. Spend More Time Doing What Makes Me Most Happy - For me, I'm am absolutely happiest when I'm creating. I've always been that way whether I'm writing, decorating, designing, trying out a new recipe or take photos. I realized a big part of why 2014 was not my favorite year was that I have forgotten to make time for myself. Somewhere between managing our home, running a part-time business and caring for our daughter full time as a stay-at-home mother to her (nearly 6 months of which was done solo while Paul was working in China) making her my absolute top priority, I lost sight of what was truly fulfilling for me. Even once Paul was back and I had a free evening or an hour to myself, I was typically found buying diapers/wipes/baby clothes, cleaning the house or doing a grocery run. I've started to delegate more now that my husband is here trying out various schedule ideas so he can help out and have promised myself not to waste my quiet time of freedom scrubbing dishes or folding laundry. I'm ready to get this part of me back that brings peace, joy, fulfillment, meaning and a sense of accomplishment to my life that are all essential to enjoy a balanced and happy life. 

3. Stop Procrastinating- My whole life for as long as I can remember I've been a procrastinator (when it comes to things I really don't want to do) and it's never served me well, whether it filing taxes the day of or researching a new healthcare plan, when it's not something I'm excited or passionate about, it gets put on the back burner over and over again in favor of more creative endeavors or easier tasks that I can cross of my to do list (I told you I like lists). ;) Yet, no matter how painful the outcome from being a procrastinator, again and again I find myself putting things off and then scrambling to get them done at the last minute just in the nick of time. I remember doing this with school projects in highschool and even in College. I'd always get everything done but I'd be exhausted after and always felt I probably could have done an even better job if I had just started sooner. I've realized many times how it affects various areas of my life in a profoundly negative way so this year I'm promising to do better in this area by tackling the very things I least like doing right away before I have a chance to talk myself out them. There really is no time like the present! 

Now, I'd love to hear what you're working towards this year! Feel free to share in the comments below. Do any of my goals resonate with you? Have you lost your way in one of those areas too or maybe you've overcome those challenges in which case I'd love to hear any tips you have that helped you become successful in those areas to give me some ideas along the way.

Thanks for Reading!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Classy New Year's Eve Attire

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1. Some say black is boring but this feather fringe dress is anything but. It's season-appropriate and adds just the right amount of elegant and fun detail for a night on the town. The footwear options for this dress are endless! If I were headed somewhere fancy this year, this dress would be at the top of my list!

2. Be a show-stopper in this red bow back gown. I love back detail on dresses, especially for women who have worked hard in the gym and want to show an elegant yet strong side. Red is gorgeous on nearly everyone this time of year.

3. A jeweled blush dress is the perfect way to add a little sparkle to your evening. This could easily be worn over and over again this winter and spring also.

4. The LBD is a staple in every classy woman's closet and no wardrobe would be complete without a strapless floor length gown, perfect for a variety of occasions, especially a formal NYE event!

5. For those who feel more comfortable with their legs covered (especially on a chilly evening), this black lace jumpsuit is an elegant option. Go monochromatic in all black or pull out some statement pumps with a pop of color.

6. For a house party or casual evening out (or in), a sweater dress and a pair of comfy riding boots are the perfect combo. This dress will get a lot of mileage-it's a chic staple with just the right amount of detail.

7. Blouses can create a wow factor just as much as a dress can. I love the detail on this jeweled tuxedo bib blouse for a dinner out and can be worn over and over again afterwards to the office or special function.

8. This beaded lace pencil skirt is definitely eye catching. The contrast of black and nude highlight the lace and is the perfect pairing with your favorite tank or blouse.

9. Get cozy in this blush hued embellished sweater. The perfect complement to a skirt or your favorite pair of black, light gray or winter white denim or pants.

10. Last but not least, this champagne lace number (not shown above) is another great neutral option to add sparkle to your evening.

Right now, one of my favorite classy women's apparel stores-Ann Taylor- is having their semi-annual sale. So, dresses and everything else on the Ann Taylor website is up to 40% OFF and all sale items are 60% OFF!Already found your perfect NYE outfit? Accessories, shoes, jeans, coats and everything else are part of the sale too. :)

How are you all doing? I hope you had a beautiful and memorable Christmas and are now enjoying the rest of the holiday season as these next few days lead up to the start of another year. Last year we took Lily out with us at 4 months old and she fell asleep ten minutes before the countdown which was awesome and let us enjoy the rest of the evening as we pushed her around in the stroller bassinet while watching the balloons drop and clinking flutes of sparkling white grape juice. It was a dressed up casual night and an excuse for me to put on a dress and feel festive in the midst of the demands as a new mommy. At 16 months old, she is now an active toddler on-the-go so our options are somewhat limited without a trusted babysitter (hard to come by, especially on Dec.31st!) So, this year we're going to ring in 2015 at a late local church service as we've done a few times in the past. I'm looking forward to all that this next year has to offer both personally and professionally. May each of you will be ringing in the New Year with those you love most! I hope these suggestions help you feel festive so you can ring in the near year looking your very best!

Thanks for Reading!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Travel Essentials For the Jet-Setter

1. Headphones  |   2.  Weekender Bag   | 3. Passport Holder  |  4. Lounge Set  |  5. Intimate Bags
6. Lip color balm   |  7.  Scarf   |  8. Foldable Flats  |  9. Luggage Tags  |  10.  Pocket Notebooks
11. Backup Mobile Charger  |  12.  Eye Mask  |  13.  Perfume  |  14. Watch  |  15. Emergency Kit

1. Whether watching a movie on your tablet while en route, listening to music while waiting at the gate to board your plane or just want to unwind in your hotel room, a great set of quality headphones is a must! These stylish headphones are so much more comfortable for long term use than ear buds.

2. A durable and elegant weekender bag is the perfect companion for a weekend away or as your main bag of choice to carry all of your essentials. When investing in a great bag, I always think about what will be classic and timeless and of course I always choose quality materials such as leather like this croc duffle bag.

3. This Tory Burch Passport Holder is a no-brainer. It's such a lovely way to protect your passport and this gorgeous mint color with gold detail is seriously calling my name! So much easier to find too amid a sea of other dark colored items in your bag. 

4. For cozy & comfortable travel attire that doesn't look frumpy or a relaxing outfit to lounge in at the hotel, this great cardigan & leggings lounge set is the perfect go-to and black will always cover up any dirt from a long day of travel.

5. It's time to ban the plastic bags as a way to sort clothing. These fabric cinched wash & wear bags are so much more chic and keep items organized so you know what's clean and dirty.

6. I love these chubby lipstick balms. They keep your lips hydrated during travel while adding a pop of color. This little travel pack-of-4 is a great way to experiment with new colors too! Gift them all to one gal or split them up and use them as stocking stuffers for a few

7. A great scarf not only provides a polished look but keep your neck free from drafts in airplanes, taxis or during inclimate weather. You can't go wrong with a classic Burberry check scarf.

8. Flats are a must-have when traveling whether rushing to catch a flight or walking for miles in a new city. These foldable Italian leather flats from Tieks are super comfy and can easily be swapped out for a dressier shoe and popped into a handbag while on-the-go. Did I mention they come in virtually every color and a lot of patterns too like leopard? An essential for travelers and commuters alike!

9. Every traveler needs a set of good quality luggage tags, not the cheap plastic ones that come apart after one use. These ID luggage tags (which come in a variety of colors) will allow her to easily spot her luggage even if it's amid a sea of other black bags. ;)

10. Even in the age of smartphones & tablets, sometimes it's nice to jot down some notes-directions, a restaurant address, some special memories on the way home from a dream trip or a place to doodle and write reminders of things that need to be done once home. I love these little pocket passport style notebooks, inexpensive and oh, so cute.

11. A backup battery pack for your phone is not only nice to have but an essential item when traveling. Too many times it's easy to look at photos, check social media and next thing you know your phone is nearly dead when you need it the most for a phone call. This girly backup mobile charger adds some fun flair while on-the-go especially when a wall or car charger isn't an option.

12. How adorable is this eyelash eye mask? A must-have for resting one's eyes while on a daytime flight or a catnap at the hotel while sharing a room with someone who needs to work or surf the net with the lights on. 

13. Jo Malone cologne is known to be beautifully fragrant. They have some of the most amazing scented perfumes and travel candles. This one is a great earthy scent for the season in a perfect travel size.

14. Every lady needs a reliable and stylish watch whether she's headed to the office, to meet friends for lunch, running errands and especially while traveling, connecting flights and arriving on time. This Tory Burch watch is a timeless timepiece that won't go out of style and matches with virtually everything in your giftee's wardrobe.

15. How many times have we arrived somewhere to learn that a button has come off a favorite blouse, your nail suddenly chips while navigating in tight spaces on the plane or . This cute emergency kit which is actually a wedding day kit will cover all the mishaps along the way including earring backings, hairspray and a whole lot more. Perfect for every carry-on bag.

16. & 17.  Planning for a trip is half the fun! These NY Times 36 Hour Travel Guide books are the perfect gift for any world traveler who wants to see all the best sites with limited time! Here are two sets: Latin America & Asia as well as Europe/Canada/USA

I'm beginning this year's annual Holiday Gift Guide with some fabulous items for the jet-setter in your life! Maybe that person is you in which case, here's a list to give 'Santa' some hints of things that would make your travels more enjoyable. :)

After having traveled to 27 countries I've learned over the years what are essentials that I never leave home without and what will go unused, taking up valuable space in your luggage and carry-on. I'm still working on the art of packing lightly when it comes to clothing because I love to have options (it's a serious discipline, isn't it?!) I've put together a collage here of 15 practical yet stylish gift ideas for a fabulous lady in your life who loves to explore the globe (maybe your best friend who is always traveling for work, your mother who loves visiting Europe or your sister who has just realized her love of travel even if it means an out-of-state road trip.  

Oh, and in case you or she are in need of some new wheels, this is some pretty grand and splurge-worthy luggage from Kate Spade!

Thanks for reading!


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