Monday, December 29, 2014

'Tis the Season to Be Mad for Plaid

At this time of year, I’m drawn to traditional plaids, rich reds and faux fur. So I’m regularly reaching for this silk plaid shirt that I adore, so much so that this is the third time I've featured it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Enter to Win a Necklace from Ray Ann’s Designs

*This contest has now ended. Check back for giveaways in the future!

Rachel Najarian and I have teamed up again, just in time for the holidays! The creator behind Ray Ann’s Designs is giving away a custom-made necklace to one of my lucky subscribers! The winner may select one of two designs in just about any color scheme. Once the winner is selected, he or she will be contacted by Rachel to choose the necklace design and its colors.

Wouldn't one of these gorgeous necklaces make a great Christmas gift?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What's fun & fashionable in the 419?

Looking for something fun & fashionable to do in the 419 this weekend? If you're into art and ready for holiday shopping, there's plenty on the calendar! I'm going to be checking people off my gift list at Handmade Toledo's Maker's Mart. This incredible "indie craft fair" happens twice a year and each time I count down the days. I'm so excited to see past and new vendors; their unique, handmade creations and the local pride the arts community shares.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fashionspiration: Skirts for Fall

The temperatures have dropped and the snow has fallen in Northwest Ohio, which means I’m continuously reaching for tall boots and cozy sweaters. It’s easy to get stuck in a style rut this time of year, so I remind myself there are many other alternatives. With midi skirts and all kinds of boots trending, it’s not so hard to mix it up! Here’s how to take inspiration from skirts this season:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gladiators: Get Olivia Pope's Style at The Limited

Last year I shared style secrets from Olivia Pope and where to find similar looks from the D.C. fixer’s wardrobe.  This season you can shop just one store to get so many "Scandal"-inspired pieces – The Limited!  On Tuesday, September 23, the "Scandal" collection is available at The Limited, just in time for the premiere on Thursday.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Vintage Floral for a Warm Welcome to Fall

While summer may be winding down, the temperatures in the Midwest are not. I daydream about chocolate riding boots, cozy infinity scarves and my camel wool coat, but I still get to wear summery dresses and open toe sandals. During this confusing transition, I’m preparing my closets for cooler weather, but I kept this fun vintage dress out of summer storage.  While it’s light and airy, the lilac, fuchsia and tan floral print over black is lovely for this time of year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Meet Rachel, the designer behind Ray Ann’s colorful jewelry

I recently discovered that a friend from high school, Rachel Najarian, creates and sells colorfully beaded jewelry locally in Toledo. I jumped at the chance to borrow some of her pieces to be the inspiration for some outfits and to support a local artist!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pretty in Pink Petite Studs

I discovered Petite Studs, a local online shop that sells handmade stud earrings, earlier this year and became smitten with their fun and funky designs.  Made of high end clay and resin, the earrings are allergy free and very reasonably priced – about $10 a pair. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ohio Lovers & Buckeye Fans, Win This Necklace!

NOTE: This contest has ended.

I’m happy to call Ohio “home” and I enjoy discovering more of what the “heart of it all” has to offer. So far this summer, I have enjoyed riding roller coasters at Cedar Point, dining at The Greene in Cincinnati, visiting the Toledo Zoo, taking a boat ride on the Maumee River and there’s still so much I’d like to do! From partying in Put-in-Bay and catching a baseball game in Cleveland to camping in Hocking Hills, plus so many concerts, shows, festivals, shopping... Ohio has so much to discover!

Monday, July 28, 2014

My 1920s Birthday Celebration

My best friend, Brittany, and I were born three days and a three-hour drive apart.  We met 14 years later here in Toledo, Ohio and have together shared about all of the things you imagine as teenage girls become crazy college kids and now young women.  We've grown even closer in the past few years as our lives settle into a similar rhythm we strive to compose.  Today we live about three blocks apart.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th of July Style

Looking for something to wear this 4th of July weekend? I've pinned some fun and festive outfits on my newly created Pinterest board appropriately titled, 4th of July Style! There are many more options to look ready to celebrate and chic this holiday season.  From red and white polka dots and navy stripes to cobalt floral print and red paisley, there are so many options to mix and match.

I collected BBQ casual, work appropriate, fancy party and laid-back get together outfits on my pin board.  Some of my favorite looks include a blue patterned dress accessorized with red heels and a wide red and white striped skirt with a navy nautical print shirt. Now time to look through my closet for all that is red, white and blue...

What are you wearing this Independence Day celebration? 

Friday, June 27, 2014

What to Wear (and Not to Wear) to a Wedding this Summer

Wedding season is upon us and if it's not yet time to buy your BFF’s choice of dress, which seriously, you can wear again and again, you might be asking yourself, "What should I wear?"  Here are some summer trends and gorgeous options to provide inspiration on your next shopping trip.

But first let’s brush up on what NOT to wear to a wedding.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Aztec Print on Broadway Street

Spring is finally here! Although Mother Nature seems to forget that we're due for warm weather, I’m embracing the season with bright colors and short skirts. So today I'm sharing a wildly colorful ensemble of vibrant coral and Aztec print that is appropriate for the season's fickle nature.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flappers Fighting Alzheimer's

Before my grandmother passed away she no longer knew who I was. She often asked for family members who had died long ago and became frantic at her loss of memory. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, this is an all-too-common way in which we must say goodbye to a loved one. More terribly, it’s an all-too-common way those with the disease must say goodbye to the world.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Forward in a Green Vest

Last weekend I was actually able to leave the house without a coat! Today? Not so much. While I wholeheartedly welcome the thaw of winter, it brings a roller coaster of weather that often leaves me to wonder, what can I wear today? Thankfully, there are some pieces that help with the seasons' transition: vests, light jackets, booties and cotton scarves are a few.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flashback Friday: My Lucky Jeans

For last St. Patrick’s Day I put together four different looks with the same pair of emerald jeans from Aeropostale. See the details from this previous post for some festive fashionspiration!  

Photos courtesy of Gina at

What are you wearing to celebrate being Irish for a day? 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What to Thrift Shop for Now

Style and trends come and go, which means they come and go at your favorite thrift stores, too. (Remember that jean jacket you got rid of but time and time again wish you hadn't?)  Here are some of this spring's trends that may be easy to find second hand right now.

See this previous post for some tips on thrift shopping and where to go here in Toledo.

Photos courtesy of Forever 21, American Eagle Outfitters, Asos, Mod Cloth,
TopShop, TopShop and Asos, respectively.

What are you thrift shopping for? 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Thrift Shop

I love to thrift shop! From fancy estate sales to thrift stores and garage sales, my heart goes pitter patter searching through racks and rooms for that special find. It comes second nature to me, but in case you're new to the thrifting game, here are a few things you should know:  

Photo courtesy of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Don’t be a snob.
Big deal you’re shopping gently worn clothing. If it’s good quality and you love it, forget any preconceived hang-ups. Buy it, take it home, wash it, wear it, love it. If it looks great on you, what’s the difference?

Do your research.
Research the thrift shops, consignment stores, antique malls, estate sale companies, auction houses and garage sales in your area. In the Toledo area, I enjoy shopping at the following stores, four of which are within 1.5 miles of each other on Reynolds Road:

Take advantage of discount days. 
Sign up for your local thrift stores’ e-newsletters or like them on Facebook to stay up to date on days to shop with discounts. Locally, Savers and Neighborhood Thrift have 30 to 50% off about once a month, which they promote via email and Facebook.   

Time it right.  
If you’re shopping at a store on a discount day or going to an estate sale or garage sale, get there early.  Find out if your favorite second hand shops stock on certain days and go then.  

Be patient and give yourself plenty of time.  
Sifting through rows and rows of stuff takes time. If you don’t mind this, then take your time. If you do, thrift shopping may not be for you. But if you’re still willing, look for colors and shapes that look good on you, check the label to see if it’s a brand you typically shop and try it on. 

Yes, try it on.
Sizes and cuts continually change, so if you find something you like but the size seems a bit off, try it on. Sometimes I'm a size 4, sometimes an 8. If it doesn't fit right, but you still like it, you can have it altered. See more about alterations below.

Shop with something in mind.  
I like to do this because if I don’t, I’ll end up with stuff I don’t need. I often go for work clothes that are more classic in style because they don't drastically change over the years, yet people may grow out of or get tired of older items in their closet. Seriously, there is almost no reason for me to shop for new professional clothing when I can find plenty of business and business casual attire from Loft, Ann Taylor, Talbots and more at Savers.

Other styles and trends are cyclical, meaning they come and go and then return again. For example, denim jackets are at times very popular and then not so much, so they're often found in thrift stores. You can also find great coats (see previous post); leather skirts; button down shirts in chambray, traditional plaids and interesting patterns; retro T-shirts...  I've found fantastic dresses for date nights and weddings and I've tried out trends that I weren't sure were "me," very inexpensively. My most recent on-trend find? A studded black vest for my inner biker/punk.

Also, be sure to check out the accessories, housewares, home decor, furnishings, books...  Take inspiration from Pinterest. Stay tuned for what to thrift shop for this spring in an upcoming post!

Scrutinize each item.
Examine items carefully for holes, tears, stains, too much wear, broken zippers, missing buttons… Some flaws can be repaired for a small cost. If you really like it, it may be well worth it. I find it really easy to drop items off at the tailor. But if you suspect you’ll never do it, don’t buy it. 

Don’t settle. 
Oh, it’s only $2.99, from Express and barely worn? You must buy it! No. Look at each item and ask yourself, “Is it useful or beautiful?” If not, move on! (I try to follow this helpful guideline when shopping at any store and cleaning out my closet.)

Consider altering it. 
If you find something that you almost love – maybe it’s the color, pattern or a particular detail that catches your eye – consider taking it to a tailor, or a friend who can sew, to make it just right. You may find a pair of pants that's a liiiittle too short. Take a look at the hem to see if there’s enough fabric to lengthen the legs. If that cute skirt is a bit too matronly, have it shortened. Or reinvent it completely!

I recommend investing in alterations only if the piece is made of quality fabric that will wash well. Simply tell your tailor what you want, ask questions and depend on his or her expertise. If altering a fantastic find makes it fit perfectly or more unique, then I won’t hesitate. My tailor knows me by name. Hers is Phyllis and she’s at My Shop on Rugby Drive, 3658 Rugby Dr.

Wash your new finds.  
Read the label for laundry instructions. I try to avoid “Dry Clean Only” duds unless I love it or I won’t need to wash it often. Washing can deteriorate clothing, so for my more fragile pieces I only wash when necessary. I send newly acquired, pre-owned pieces with a “Dry Clean Only” label to the dry cleaners. But for subsequent light cleanings, I use Dryel, an at home Dry Cleaning system. Sterilize shoes, jewelry and other items with rubbing alcohol.

Buy something, donate something. 
Make room in your closet and drawers for your new thrifted stuff by donating some of your own gently worn clothing that you don’t enjoy anymore. One item in, one item out.   

Thrifting is good for us and the earth!  
Proceeds of many thrift stores go to charitable organizations and causes and it’s a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle.    

Have fun!

Where are your favorite places to thrift shop? Have you acquired anything exceptional recently? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Coat with No Label & Plaid at Work

The other day a woman followed me into a high end boutique to ask me where I got my beautiful red coat. To her disappointment, I admitted it was from Savers, a thrift store, and it had no label.

“Well it’s beautiful,” she said before she left.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Valentine's Day Wish List

Most photos are courtesy of their respective companies

1. Rose gold watch: Michael Kors
I'm in love with rose gold and I've been pining for a watch in the popular pink metal - perfect for Valentine's Day!

2. Flowers from a local shop: Floral Pursuit
I like to support small businesses whenever I can and buying flowers from a local shop is a super easy way. Floral Pursuit was recently opened in downtown Toledo by northwest Ohio native Audrey Ackerman. The 23-year-old, yes 23, created a natural and intimate atmosphere where customers can create their own arrangement or depend on her talent.  The shop sells “grab and go” bouquets for around $15, perfect for last-minute men this Friday. 

This pink shade is just lovely for the holiday and I love Estée Lauder's lipsticks! 

This Chantilly lace push-up bra and high-waisted thong set is sexy and sweet. 'Nuff said.

5. Kiss me clutch: Debbie Brooks clutch available at Leo Marks Jewelers
This funky clutch from New York designer, Debbie Brooks, is made of Italian leather and ideal for a date night out! You can find it and more of her colorful bags, cell phone covers and jewelry at Leo Marks Jewelers on Secor Rd. Also, at Leo Marks, you can shop several jewelry collections from fine to fashion, including Hearts On Fire, Verragio, Chamilia and Ti Sento Milano. If you don't find what you're looking for, they can custom design something. Plus, it's independently owned and the staff is always oh, so friendly and fun!

6. Sentimental wrap bracelet: StoryPeople
I love StoryPeople! They have a variety of pieces from prints and books to vases and bracelets. They feature heartwarming quotes, or stories, that capture and portray the human heart. This one says: "deciding everything is falling into place perfectly as long as you don't get too picky about what you mean by place. Or perfectly." Sums up my life :)  

7. Monogram lovers necklace: River Valley Designs
Monogrammed items are so thoughtful, yet simple, for Valentine's Day. This adorable lovers necklace was handcrafted by Ohio native Danielle Kritz. She creates custom designs that reflect a minimalist aesthetic but speak to the heart.

8. Chocolate from a local chocolatier: Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy
Another easy way to shop local and it is so yummy! Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy makes fresh fine chocolates, truffles, turtles and gourmet popcorn. Plus, they offer retro candy, packaged nuts and chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, oreos, bacon, potato chips... Pick up a gift basket, sweet bouquet or box of assorted truffles in Uptown Maumee for your Valentine.  

9. Heartwarming stud earrings: Petite Studs
These cute studs are made for sensitive ears, literally with allergy free posts and figuratively with adorable gingham. Petite Studs was started by a graphic design student in Toledo and sells studs in a variety of colors, prints and even glitter for only $10 each. Plus, she's received over 100 5-star ratings on Etsy! Seems like a sweet deal for your sweetie! 

10. Old fashioned love letter: My love
It doesn't get much better than an old fashioned love letter from your true love. That's what I'm hoping for.

Happy Valentine's Day, loves!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Work to Play with Grace Adele

Sometimes, as a fun-loving, young professional, I have a busy day that involves going from work to play.  On these days I try to wear an outfit that easily transitions from the office to dinner & cocktails, or wherever I may be headed, with a few quick changes.  My new bag and clutch from Grace Adele helps me do just that.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Behind the Scenes with Humans of Toledo

The stories of people I met while visiting New York have stuck with me and still fascinate me. Stories – unedited, raw narratives that stumble out of someone’s mouth – make us feel empathy, yearning, shared sadness or triumph…  They make us feel connected, like we’re not alone in this life.

They remind me to “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” as written by Ian MacLaren.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hello, 2014: A Holiday Recap

My holidays were filled with love, laughter and cocktails, as I hope yours were too! They were so much fun that I took an unplanned break from blogging to enjoy my family and friends and relax. But now I’m back to blogging and so excited to share with you!

At this time of year, I have more chances to dress up, don fancy jewelry and try something a bit more daring. So here’s a brief recap of what I've been up to – and what I've worn – over the past several weeks.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Golden Globes 2014: Tame Style, Wild Stars

Did you catch the Golden Globes Sunday night? I admittedly watched them on DVR last night, while I researched all of the lovely ladies' looks and cuddled with Carter. This sums up my night:

He's giving me the stink eye because he only has one third of my attention. #hesspoiled

The awards show continued to be entertaining, thanks to its gorgeous gowns, snarky hosts and tipsy guests. The red carpet looks celebrated individuality over trends, according to many news outlets. But, besides a few style standouts, I thought they were mostly tame. Below are more of my thoughts on this year's Golden Globes style. However, the presenters and award winners were far from boring! If you missed the comedy and outrageous moments, check out The 10 Best Burns from the Golden Globes and The Best Moments from the 2014 Golden Globes (in gifs).

My beloved Sandra Bullock looked beautiful, but I unfortunately didn't love her dress. It would have been much improved if it was one color. This got me thinking, I would love to dress Sandy! I would put her in something strong and sassy.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler aging backward?  They seem to get better and better!  Amy’s black Stella McCartney dress from the red carpet was sexy and chic.  I see we’re still doing the smooth belts from McCartney’s collection but instead of gold they are black leather.  I’m still in lust with them.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

I’m glad Tina Fey changed out of that floral print and let her hair down for the show.  Her bedazzled burgundy body con dress was gorgeous.

Photo by Getty

I think Jennifer Lawrence looked beautiful with an edgier dark lip and silver eye makeup that enhanced her blue eyes.  Her style and choice in dresses is usually impeccable, but her white Dior Haute Couture gown didn’t do anything for me.  I look forward to seeing what she wears to the Oscars.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

My best dressed? 
Margot Robbie in Gucci: She is just gorgeous.  Her plunging white gown with a high slit is oh, so sexy.  The crystals and emeralds play up the sparkle in her eye.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Elisabeth Moss in J. Mendel: I’m a sucker for glitzy art deco prints and I love this hemline that shows off her shoes.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty

Lupita Nyong’o: I gasped.  Beautiful.  It reminds me of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar gown, but the color (and matching lip) is exquisite on her.  Probably my most favorite look of the night.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive: Being so statuesque, Cate Blanchett can pull off intricate and unusual designs with such elegance.  I like that this sheer lace dress has a unique pattern and neckline.  Plus, her hair is super chic.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Roberto Cavalli: This bold black and white print is striking!  I love the mix of geometric lines and organic scrolls.  Her swept back hair, red lip and rectangular earrings coordinate perfectly.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/Getty

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy: The feather-like texture on her Givenchy gown is so cool.  Her look has a slightly rock royalty feel.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Kate Beckinsale in Gucci: Another glitzy geometric pattern, plus a sweetheart neckline and curve-hugging silhouette?  Yes, please.  She looks exquisite.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty

Naomi Watts in Tom Ford:  Yes, metallic column gowns have been done before, but Naomi Watts pulls it off flawlessly.  The color palette is very flattering on the blonde and the chunky necklace and cutouts add a slight twist to the tried and true shimmer.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty

Olivia Wilde in Gucci: The long-sleeved sequin gown has also been done again and again, but Olivia Wilde, with her baby bump, looks radiant.  Her loose curls and smoky eyeliner makes it young and fresh and I love the emerald.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen: This dress fits her perfectly!  It’s simple, elegant and sexy.  The blue floral statement necklace adds whimsy to the look and sets it apart from other black ball gowns.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Which is your favorite look?

See all of the dresses, jewelry and shoes here.