I love the holidays, especially Christmas BUT I’m one of those crazies who’s a firm believer that Christmas Craziness can’t start until December – I know I know, I just like to give thanksgiving it’s day!
Anyways – Since we’re now on the Christmas Clock I wanted to run up some awesome decorating tips for Small Living (aka NYC apartments). Best part? everything you’ll find here is crazy affordable and from Amazon (hello, 2 day shipping).
holiday pillows are the easies way to switch things up – I suggest investing in mostly winter ones so you can keep them up after Christmas!
Fair isle stockings are the perfect combination of fun and festive – plus I love that its a transitional twist on the holidays.
Everyone loves cookies! Bake some up (or buy them) and pop them into festive bags. Pass them out for co-workers, friends or family!
I also have to say, that if you aren’t using Amazon Prime, you need to. Seriously. It’s changed my life. I wish I was super prepared and always on time, but TBH 90% of the things I order, the projects I work on and the content I create is done within a week notice, due to a delayed response from the brand or procrastination on my end #oops. Last Christmas I got an Amazon Prime subscription and it’s literally CHANGED MY LIFE. I order from amazon on a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) basis, and actually, as I was writing this, I remembered I needed more treats for my dog, Waffles and placed a same day order. I really can’t rave about something more than I can Amazon Prime – just trust me when you say, you need it you need it you need it.
This time of the year is wonderful in New York, but also quite fickle – one day it’s sweater and skirt weather and the next day it’s freezing!
How do you fight this never-ending weather war? Layers, my friends – lots of layers. Today I’m tackling this issue by sharing one outfit from Karen Kane, and four ways to style it depending on where you live and what the weather is like.
Growing up in Arizona, winter was the worst! While the rest of the world got to wear boots and coats, we had to stick to leggings and sweaters, and it totally bummed me out. After living in NYC, I won’t say I don’t miss those warmer winter days, but I’m still having a love affair with the cooler temps. Nevertheless, I have found the perfect solution for Zonies and New Yorkers alike – suede leggings.
I found these faux-suede Karen Kane leggings at Macy’s and I’m obsessed! I’m not even going to lie, last week I wore them for three days straight because it was cold, and I’m on my full-on holiday diet (cookies on cookies) so “leggings are the only thing that fit me right now”. Jk, well kind of. But these cuties are my new BFF. They pair perfectly with my favorite suede over-the-knee boots and are great to wear with a bold colored sweater, like this blue babe also from Karen Kane.
Since I have some junk in the trunk, I don’t like to wear leggings unless my behind is covered. This is where a long sweater, like this soft one from Karen Kane, comes in handy. The asymmetrical hem is cute but also offers some great coverage to make me feel confident enough to wear these comfy leggings. For an extra layer of warmth, I added another Macy’s find – this Karen Kane faux suede and shearling vest to complete the look. I’ve also been wearing this guy on replay, over sweaters and under coats with almost every winter look.
Together, these three pieces are perfect winter styling essentials. Depending on the weather, you can add another layer with a warm coat, bold scarf and matching beanie to keep you bundled this winter no matter where you live.
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to hair – 90% of the time I would I wear it down & wavy and up in the top knot… I thought those we’re pretty much my only options for short hair like mine, until I discovered that I could in fact put it in a crown braid!
Now the crown braid is my go-to style for everything from dressy occasions to dirty hair days. Its great for when it’s raining, humid or just to switch up your look!
Don’t let this look fool you, it’s really not as challenging as it seems and is totally learnable! By combining TRESemmé Moisture Rich Vitamin E Shampoo & Conditioner with TRESemmé Instant Heat Styling Spray and TRESemmé 2 Extra Hold Hairspray, all products found at your local Kroger, you can nail this style too!
Press play, dance along and watch the braid come to life. Oh and apologies in advance for the sound effects, I was obviously having a mini Drag Race marathon while editing this video.
And Viola! A Crown braid fit for a queen.
So what do you think? Ready to give it a whirl. Even if the crown braid isn’t for you, check out this Season of Style interactive quiz to reveal your NEW fall look – there are fun for options, Side Braid, Twisted Bun, Perfect Ponytail and Loose Waves.
I love TRESemmé products because their affordable and accessible – you can pick them up on a routine shopping trip without breaking the bank. To sweeten the deal, here’s an in-store offer to save you $5.00.
Post sponsored by Mirum Shopper. Opinions are 100% my own
High rise jeans are a girls best friend.Since I’m little in the middle but not so much south of my hips, I tend to steer clear of jeans in general. BUT when I do dabble in denim, it’s always high waisted. High waisted jeans are by far the most flattering (and comfortable) fit for my body type – plus they let me eat whatever I want without fear of a food baby spilling over my jeans… so yeah, #winning.
Today I’m styling high rise Hollister denim two ways – for day or night. These looks are great if you live somewhere warmer (like my home state of Arizona) or perfect for those 50 degree fall days we’ve been having in NYC. If you find yourself in a colder climate, just layer a coat on top and you’ll be good to go.
Shop High Rise Denim:
The recipe for a perfect fall Saturday #ootd: comfy, stretchy high waisted Hollister jeans; a super soft pink sweater (also Hollister); unexpected color blocking (red + pink, no one will ever see it coming) & seriously cool kicks.
I plan on riding the sneaker trend for-like-ever, so I get my kicks in as much as I can. For this weekend chic look, I played with my new favorite unexpected color combo (red & pink) and cozy layers for an comfy casual look. I like the cold shoulder detail on this crazy soft sweater paired with a thick strap so you can stick to a normal bra, score!
Styling Tip – To keep your oversized sweaters from making you look too big, do a simple front tuck into your high waisted jeans. This will add dimension to the look while helping you look instantly chic.
Shop Cozy Sweaters:
Whether you’re heading out on a hot date or dinner with your gals, over the knee boots can be an easy way to dress up denim this season all while keeping you warm. Pair your OTK boots with high waisted denim for longer looking legs, to create the illusion of height and add protection from the cold nights. Although your boots will do most of the talking, you can finish the look with a long cardigan and over sized scarf to keep you cozy.
Styling Tip – Another must try this season to pair with your go-to denim is body suits. Hollister has an awesome collection of body suits so I stalked up on some favorite styles including this lace up cream one. A body suit fits perfectly into high waisted denim and will stay put throughout the day – if you love wearing high waisted anything (denim, skirts. whatever) you need a few body suits in your collection, like yesterday.
Shop Body Suits:
SHOP THE LOOKS:
Thanks to Hollister for partnering on this post for partnering on this post.
hay babes! HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY! The best part about the internet (and the recession back in ’08) is it totally changed the game of black friday and cyber monday sales. Instead of sales lasting for one day only, they’re going on ALL WEEKEND LONG and sometimes into next week. I’m breaking down all my favs in the most EPIC of round ups, wee! I never, EVER do sale round ups like these so if you like it let me know by leaving a comment on this post. If I get enough comments, i’ll keep it up.
PRO SHOPPING TIP
Before you get shopping, I wanted to give you a shopping tip that helps me from getting overwhelmed: As you’re rolling through this post, you’ll find collage banners and widgets (the widgets are clickable) clicking on the images on the widgets or the direct links will open the things you like in the new tab. SO you can shop this page, and just keep clicking through. Once you’re done with the post, click on the tabs you opened and start shopping!
Alright, now let’s get to it!
Shop J.Crew at 40% off – click the images below to open a new tab.
Shop J.Crew. Use code HOLIDAY for 40% off
. . . . . . . . . . . Shop ShopBop up to 25% off click the images below to open a new tab.
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The 90’s are back, and better then ever! From chokers to overalls, you can find fun 90’s inspo at every turn, just waiting to be reinvented and celebrated.
One of my favorite 90’s trends taking a twirl right now is Flair – aka pin game strong! Flair is an abundance of fun pins attached to your outfit to help you showcase your personality, current feels or favorite food.
Adding pins to your look is a snap, you can add them to your favorite scarf, a fun coat or cover a denim jacket like that. But I have to admit that with all of the options, investing in pins can be kind of overwhelming. They have taken over the internet (and instagram) so it’s hard to know where to start or where to shop. To make it a bit easier for you, I’ve spent the past month scouring the world wide web for some of the best pins and pin-makers to share with you, let’s do this!
Although mixing my matches has always been a favorite style past time of mine, but going matchy-matchy with a look can be just as fun and effective. When shopping for scarfs, flannels and cold weather accessories I like to look for matching sets. I fell in love with this vineyard vines flannel, but what really sold me on it was the matching scarf.
When you double up on a print this way, you can get twice as much wear out of them. Not only will I be able to pair the two together, but you can wear them separately as the star of your look. My favorite part about this pair, is that although the colors and textures are pretty spot on, the print size differs giving it a more graphic look.
Aside from the print play, I kept the rest of the look pretty simple with all navy pieces. A suede skirt, matching suede over the knee boots and a little blue bag all make their own, monochromatic statement while ultimately supporting the major pattern paring going on in this outfit.
GUYS, it’s basically holiday season, so you know what that means – glitter, glitz and all-gold everything! Who doesn’t love dressing up for the holidays? Bold lips, sparkly dresses, high heels and all the Christmas cookies you can eat – yum! If you’re heading to a wedding, holiday party, work event, or night out or just want to wear something that sparkles on your next dinner date, I’ve got you covered. Today I’m sharing a serious statement dress found at Macy’s, perfect for your next soiree!
It’s no secret I love a good sparkle, it’s one sure way to be the life of the party this season and stop traffic! I also love a good body-con dress, but hate the restraint it can put on my diet for the night (give me all the cookies, and carbs, and more cookies please). I love that Macy’s can be your one-stop shop for statement seasonal pieces for any special occasion.
When it comes to dressing to impress – comfort is key, but so is standing out! A sequined number with just enough give will help you feel like yourself and enjoy the night! I gave mine an unexpected look with a bold lip, dark bag and nearly nude shoes! Overall is helps to portray sparkle-glam but also let’s me feel like Courtney – well, a glittery-unicorn version of Courtney, aka my best self!
GET YOUR GLAM ON:
Shop my look & more fun holiday dresses sure to wow this season
Calling all four eyes, this one’s for you! It’s no secret I don’t have perfect vision, but even if I did I would wear glasses – because they’re just so cute! Today I’m partnering with LensCrafters, a leader in quality eye care, to talk about their new exclusive optical retailer partnership at Macy’s.
LensCrafters & Macy’s are teaming up to open LensCrafters at Macy’s stores all over the US and is making waves as the first optical retail brand to expand nationally in a major department store.
I’ve always been a LensCrafters girl and loved shopping for glasses every few years there. My collection includes brands like Ray-Ban, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors and Burberry, to name a few. Now that LensCrafters has made its way into storesMacy’s, you can shop these brands at your local store, making it more convenient and fun. Since style & glasses go hand and hand, I love that LensCrafters has taken this step to pairing the two together.
I recently took a trip to their long island location and stocked up on two new pairs of glasses – A retro inspired Dolce & Gabbana cat eye and a geek-chic Prada lense. Together, they two tell completely different stories and can be styled in unique ways. My Dolce & Gabbana’s have a flirtier feel, and pair well with skirts, dresses and anything flowy. They’re also an ambery meets tortoise hue so they look great with earth tones but also pop next to bold colors. Meanwhile, my other pair is more menswear inspired with a different kind of retro edge – think forties and seventies opposed to the fifties and sixties vibe you see with my first pair. These pair great with oversized coats, jeans & sneakers, more slimming silhouettes with straight lines and crazy fun patterns. I love that switching up my glasses can really transform my entire look!
More about the partnerships – Each department will be staffed by a LensCrafters affiliated optometrist and offer the industry’s advanced eye care equipment. Macy’s customers will have access to the broadest assortment of premium frames, along with a unique in-store digital experience that includes lens simulators and virtual try-on technology – this is where you can take up to four photos of your favorite styles and compare them side by side. This expansion started with the first LensCrafters at Macy’s location in Columbus, Ohio on June 10th. The goal is to open more than 200 new locations nationwide by the end of 2017.
Thanks to LensCrafters, Luxottica & Macy’s for partnering on this post!
Wanna get away? Of course you do and I have the perfect trip planned for you, so come on, follow me to New Orleans!!! We’ll listen to Jazz, eat gumbo, dance a little and find bliss at Hotel Indigo in the coveted Garden District. Sound fun?! Of course it does, so let’s go!!
Fun fact, I love color – ha, you totally knew that one 😉 but I do love traveling to some of the most colorful destinations to see hue’s in a whole new way. This year, my color crush wanderlust took me to Japan, LA, Bermuda, Florida, Spain, San Francisco, Rome, Napa, Utah, Italy and more, painting the globe rainbow and snapping photos along the way. One of my most recent escapades was a bit closer to home, but still just as magical. Last week, I wandered my way to the Big Easy with Hotel Indigo.
I select my hotels the same way I select my destinations, they have to live up to my color-me-checklist. All finalists must be charming and unique with a dash of whimsy, a pinch of history and of course, a whole lot of colorful. I’ve been to NOLA once before (pre-cmc) but had yet to take my followers on this exciting escape, and my mom had never been so the two of us packed up and set off in search of adventure… and beignets!
Where to Stay After we had our sights set on NOLA, we had to find our home away from home for our 48 hour visit. Although this city is known for neighborhoods like the French Quarter, I always like to stay in an off beat neighborhood to shake things up. The glorious Hotel Indigo had the same idea – this chain continually builds their beautiful hotels in big cities, but unexpected neighborhoods for a unique take on each location, so I knew we would get along just fine! You’ll be traveling to the French Quarter and downtown no matter what – so why would you want to stay there too? I like the idea of following our lead and staying at the Hotel Indigo in the Garden District. Not only is it right off the streetcar line and pretty central in the city, it’s surrounded by culture and the cutest houses you’ve ever seen! We spent a whole morning exploring this neighborhood and wandering at the adjacent mansions up to 200 years old!
Speaking of history, Hotel Indigo is a bit younger than it’s legendary neighbors – the building was built in the 40s’ but looks brand new. They’ve given it a modern and colorful feel all while staying true to it’s roots. The hotel also focuses on renewable resources that they incorporated into design elements, like their reclaimed wood ceiling made from materials recycled from Hurricane Katrina.
What to Eat
Cafe Du Monde is a must, but I’m sure you already knew that. If you aren’t familiar with it, I’ll leave you with this – beignets! Oh and that they have both indoor and outdoor seating as well as a to–go line. We went at an off time so we didn’t have to wait at all to be seated and immediately were served. It’s not fancy, it’s just a cute spot to get your beignets on, but don’t forget to check your face for powder sugar – I left covered in it!
If you still have a sweet tooth, Sucré Chocolate is another must! I had the most amazing macaroon sundae that was so sweet it made my eyes cross, I would recommend going on a different day than Cafe Du Monde.
Other notable eats include The Bakery Bar (amazing desserts), Jaques Imos Cafe (a local favorite for dinner), Stacks on Magazine (coffee & cocktails), and Three Muses for dinner.
What to Wear
For me, I wore in NOLA what I would wear in NYC but cranked up the heat a little bit in the wardrobe department (literally). Luckily while we were there, the weather was fantastic, like that spring New York weather that I just love – if you’re thinking of coming to New Orleans, don’t wait, book for November and the weather will be perfect.
Shop my Suitcase:
Light skirts and sweaters were in full rotation, but really I could have gotten away with t-shirts and shorts or a light dress. Expect to do a lot of walking (and a lot of eating) so I suggest loose layers, and walking shoes. I’m odd, and don’t like wearing flat flats all day, so I did do a comfy low block heel for the first half of the first day, and again one night for dinner. The next morning I got away with heels for a few hours where not much walking was involved, but brought a change of shoes incase we ended up walking more than expected. My lipstick sneakers were a great way to look cute while exploring the garden district and the french quarter.
Travel Worthy Sneaks:
The NOLA weather was a smidge microclimate-y, similar to San Fran, where one neighborhood was warmer or cooler than the next. I attribute this to the proximity to the water and ever changing sea level depending on your destination. Just like in SF, having layers like a light cardigan or denim jacket can help keep you comfortable despite where you end up throughout the day.
Shop Light Layers for the Big Easy
What to Do
I’ll be honest, 90% of our activities centered around eating and I’m not mad about that, it’s usually the case for most of my trips. But there are a few things to explore that don’t involve stuffing your face, I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing…. Give these a whirl:
There were 3 festivals going on while we were there, so that gives me the idea that this city knows how to party (if there was ever any doubt)! I recommend googling the days you plan on attending to see if there’s anything going on – or just ask an uber driver or your Hotel Indigo staff, they’ll tell you everything you need to know! We also spent a lot of time just wandering the Garden District, since it was walking distance from our hotel and so wander-worthy!
Where to Shop The shops on Magazine between 8th and 12th-ish were the best shopping we found, full of vintage shops and unique boutiques oozing with charm. There are also a lot of these in the Quarter, I would recommend checking out both areas for shopping but I recommend Magazine if you have to choose. If you’re looking for art (street or otherwise) the Quarter is calling your name – here you’ll find everything from fine art, to urban art and even some street art that I considered taking home. And at night, so many of the small streets turn into mini art walks where artists display their work for purchase, but even if you aren’t looking to buy, just walking through after dinner can be fun!
Depending on what you’re looking for shopping wise, you’ll find a variety of cute boutiques and markets to sift through. The French Market in the quarter is a great place for eats, crafts and fun things during the day (it closes at night). I would compare it to Chelsea Market in NYC, but with a touch of Smorgusbourg – complete with a bit more culture, better food and fresh air (it’s outdoors)! Calling all dog moms! If you feel guilty leaving your fur baby behind first of all, you don’t have to because Hotel Indigo is extremely pet friendly … but if you’re little guy isn’t quite travel ready (like Waffles), you can ease that pain in your stomach by picking them up something pretty. I found a bunch of great pet boutiques when I was in New Orleans but my favorites were Petcetra and Pet Asylum in the Quarter.
Photo Ops If it’s not on instagram, did it even happen? Here are some fun places to take pictures
A Streetcar (but don’t get hit like I almost did #forthegram) The Palace Cafe Stacks on Magazine (next to the pastel wall) Cafe Du Monde because, say it with me now: beignets! The Garden District (walking distance from Hotel Indigo) Pirates Alley Sucré Be on the lookout for Cemeteries– the place is crawling with them (okay, bad choice of words there). Painted alleys and cobblestone corners – NOLA has so many charming little streets, great for a photo op or just a little exploring
Historical Plaques – With an Iphone and your eyeballs, you really don’t need to book a tour in this city. Just keep an eye out for planted plaques that give you the historical context of where you’re exploring and when in doubt, as a local! We got some great stories from our hotel staff and the locals, they were really the best resource we could have asked for. Ghosts! – JK but new Orleans is known for being a little bit haunted so you never know, ooOOohhhh sppOOokkkyy
Coffee Shops – I found some of the cutest coffee shops in NOLA, perfect for a photo op or a good cup of Joe. Some of these gems are a bit hidden and unexpected, so if you’re craving some caffeine keep your eyes peeled, there might be one waiting for you around the corner.
Awesome Uber Drivers – No lie, I learned so much from my drivers, and asked them a ton of questions along the way!
We obviously didn’t stay during the magic that is Mardi Gras, however, if you’re looking to visit this cultural fest during the most coveted time of the year, Hotel Indigo is the place to stay. Just outside the doors, you’ll find yourself on Charles Ave, the main drag of the Garden District – and one of the best spots for an epic mardi gras adventure. Most days, you’ll be able to look out and see the historic New Orleans streetcars passing carrying locals and tourists alike, but during Mardi Gras you’ll be in a prime location for the all the fun.
A little R&R
While going out on the town is always fun and dandy, if you’re a homebody, you can also find bliss within the doors of Hotel Indigo. We were lucky enough to stay in the Mayflower Suite.
Complete with a (drum roll please) claw foot tub! All of my bathtub dreams came true, and I took not one, but two epic bubble baths during our two night stay. Other notable features of the room included a separate powder room, dueling showers heads, the fluffiest magical marshmallow cloud bed, candle lit fireplace, a full living room (twice the size of my apartment) and a pet – Rex the blue beta fish.
That’s All Folks!
So now that I’ve shared all of me NOLA secrets, I invite you to experience it first hand with this video!
Thanks so much for coming with me to NOLA! I hope it inspires you to book a trip soon and find refuge at Hotel Indigo, color in the French Quarter and whimsy in the charming city of New Orleans!
This post was done in partnership with Hotel Indigo, but as always, all opinions are my own