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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Step Into the Holidays with the Classics

It’s officially my favorite season of the year when it comes to traditions! From decorating to gift-giving, the holidays are definitely a time of year near and dear to my heart. I love getting the opportunity to spend time with family, friends and loves ones. And who doesn’t love a great holiday party? I couldn’t be more excited!
I have to admit that although the events are amazing, finding something to wear to each one can sometimes be a very serious task. Aside from the events - also comes gift shopping. Each year, my family members from my aunt to my grandmother, assign me the most difficult task of purchasing gifts for the entire family. It always seems to be stressful at first but I have to admit that it’s also a lot of fun.

This year, I am not only noticing an ongoing trend with my holiday picks for myself but the same for when I am gift shopping. Having a background in fashion design and having designed clothes for 9 years, knitwear was my specialty. Not only were the holidays our busiest time but my favorite was to design, create, and style the iconic gift giving and holiday party pieces. 

Having a classic knitwear piece that you can style various ways for the holiday season is a key staple for the holidays. I always look for great quality and a neutral color to style with bold accessories. This cowl neck sweater has the perfect length to either be worn as a tunic or tucked into your jeans or a skirt for a more elevated look. It has different stitch details to the bottom hem and sleeves adding character to the silhouette. I not only own this piece for myself but will definitely be gifting it my family members in their favorite colors. 

I paired my look with iconic red boots - the “It” color of the season along with a red lip. I wanted to keep the look classic and timeless yet a bit edgy. Who said the holidays were only meant for ugly Christmas sweaters? Invest in a great knitwear piece and give another as a gift this season and I promise you that they will not only love the garment but adore you! Now, off to plan my next holiday event or better yet, who I will be gifting this piece in red too? 


Sweater: Calvin Klein // Bottoms: Calvin Klein // Boots: Steve Madden 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Denver Diaries

I have always been the one to plan trips for my family and friends. I’m in charge of the itinerary and there is never a question of where to go, what to pack or what to do once we get to our destination. But this time around, I did something totally new. This past weekend, I opened myself up to new experiences by partnering with Marshalls to depart on a surprise trip to Denver, Colorado. However, we had no idea where the destination was until we arrived at the airport, which made it even more exciting! I’ve been a Marshalls shopper ever since I was a little girl when- my mom would take me about twice a week. What I loved most about their stores then is still what I love most now – there are surprises in every section of every store. I might not always know what I am going to find, but I know I’ll always find amazing things that I love.
With this in mind, and in the spirit of Choosing Surprise, I went shopping at Marshalls armed with only a weather report and suggested packing list for my unknown destination, packed up my suitcase, went to the airport, and let surprise take over. From the moment I said yes to this surprise trip, I felt more open about embracing the new experiences that were ahead of me. Thanks to Marshalls, I learned how valuable and eye opening it can be to break away from your daily routine (and your typical style!) and have some fun! An amazing weekend of new experiences in Denver lay ahead of me, and thanks to Marshalls, I learned how valuable and eye opening it can be to break away from your daily routine (and your typical style!).

From Red Rocks to white water rafting, a food tour and exploring Denver in between, my trip was certainly filled with excitement and out of the ordinary activities! While I live for the experiences travel brings, I always like to prepare in advance and curate looks depending on the destination. For this adventure, Marshalls encouraged me to shop for unexpected items and outfits (with just a weather report to go off of) to get me ready for an adventure of a lifetime, which was definitely out of my comfort zone! Shopping for these new clothes before the destination reveal was just the push I needed to be more open for this fun- filled adventure. As I was shopping for my outfits, I visited multiple Marshalls locations because the element of surprise in each store made the experience even more exciting. I discovered different athleticwear, accessories and fashionable pieces at each location.

One of the best parts? Marshalls teamed up with Pack Up +& Go, a travel agency that specializes in surprise travel. Together, they had a full itinerary and travel accommodations prepared for the entire weekend, which kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Time for the best part – all of the trip details and looks along the way! Drum roll please…

Two days before our trip, I received an envelope with our destination sealed away inside. It was not only one of the hardest tasks to keep myself from opening it but the thrill of the “unknown” made this surprise trip even more exciting. Upon arriving to the airport, I discovered that we would be spending the weekend in Colorado and I, immediately, shrieked from excitement. As I continued to open the envelope, there was an itinerary for the entire trip filled with planned activities as well as various recommendations. Upon boarding the plane, I not only felt eternal gratitude but knew that this trip was going to be a life changing experience that I would remember forever.
As we arrived in Denver, we stayed at the Crawford Hotel in Union Station. If you have a chance to visit Denver, I highly recommend either staying or stopping by to visit this hotel. From its history, to the amazing accommodations, and beautiful aesthetic, it’s definitely one of my favorite hotels I‘ve visited thus far.

I must admit, packing for a surprise trip was undeniably one of the best and exciting experiences and shopping at Marshalls allowed me to bring my vision to life. I not only shopped for fashionable tops and bottoms to style for evening dinners and morning coffee runs but I had ensembles ready to go for all the activities planned.

I opted for colorful outfits to explore the city in, along with comfortable shoes for all our sightseeing. Espadrilles are definitely a favorite and I had discovered a chic, neutral pair that I knew would complete my looks and be comfy while still being fashionable. I wanted to keep the looks trendy, so I paired this gorgeous pop of red ruffled top with classic black sunglasses to keep the look chic and polished.

I knew this surprise destination was going to push my fashion boundaries so I also brought along various active wear that would keep me comfortable yet appropriate for the hiking trail that was on our list for the trip.

As we embarked on our hiking journey through the Red Rocks, I opted for black and white marled sneakers along with a matching sports bra. Since it was a sunrise hike, I kept myself warm with a long sleeve active jacket as well as black leggings with fashionable sheer cut outs.

The ultimate city girl had found herself amongst nature watching deer pass by and valuing the life lesson that everything comes full circle. As we spent the entire morning in the wilderness, I reflected on how Marshalls had really encouraged me to shake things up and break me out of my everyday routine. The element of choosing surprise resonated with me and not only applied to shopping at Marshalls but also carried over into this trip, I never could have predicted that choosing to infuse surprise into my life would lead me here but I’m so happy it did!
I know that we can all get comfortable in our predictable routines and find it hard to open ourselves up to new adventures. Some of us are comfortable with our style and afraid to experiment with new trends and styling details. Choosing to surprise yourself can lead to great things, and that’s why I’m thankful to Marshalls for partnering with me and allowing me to encourage all of you to do the same.

As we hiked through Red Rocks and white water rafted through Clear Creek, I was so happy I packed the right ensembles for each activity and had so much fun.

For our last day, I kept my outfit causal chic for our Food Tour of Denver. I opted for a white shirt dress with lace up flats and bold sunglasses. From eating ribs, to different kinds of cheeses and desserts, we learned more about Denver and its history.

I couldn’t be more blessed and grateful for this amazing trip and for Marshalls encouraging me to step out of my daily routine this past weekend. Life is all about the unexpected and having fun! This surprise trip to Denver, Colorado really showed me how fun and valuable it is to shake things up and that’s what style is all about!



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Choose Surprise in Life & Shopping

Life is full of surprises and sometimes it’s an unpredictable moment that makes life more exciting! We all have our predictable routines, a recognizable style aesthetic and certain habits that define who we are. But we all have the power to step out of our comfort zones and try something new!

Over the years, I have always been the one to plan our family trips and all of my adventures with friends and loved ones. With an itinerary in mind, it’s on a rare occasion that I have not known what to pack, where to go, and how to dress for the location. But for my next adventure I’m partnering with Marshalls to choose surprise and try something totally new. They are sending me on a surprise trip this weekend via Pack Up + Go to a mystery location. That’s right! I’ll have no idea where I am headed until I actually get to the airport. How’s that for breaking up a predictable routine?! I couldn’t be more excited to find out where I’m going, but also the beauty of this partnership is that it’s reminded me that sometimes life brings you full circle to a place you have been before to show you how much you’ve grown. Growing up, my mom and I would step into a Marshalls twice a week and we never knew what gems we were going to find – but we always found things we absolutely loved. We would experience surprise each time we walked into the store and I’m excited to now open myself up to some new experiences with a retailer I grew up with.

I was given just enough information to know how to pack. When selecting merchandise, I was also encouraged to break away from my typical denim and white button up aesthetic and choose surprise.  Since I won’t know exactly where I am going until the day of, I had to prepare for a surprise vacation and pack merchandise I never expected. The beauty of walking into Marshalls is that is has high quality products and designer merchandise. You never know what great things you are going to find – but you know you’re going to love it! The theme for what I had to shop for was fitness, exercise, and active activities. It was an exciting challenge for me to look for new styles that are typically out of my regular routine and this opportunity reminded me how much fun it can be and what amazing things can happen when you surprise yourself in life, travel and shopping!

To prep for my surprise trip, I headed to my local Marshalls store. Marshalls provided me with a weather report for my destination and a packing list to give me just enough guidance so that I’ll be sure to have everything I need. Shopping for a trip when you don’t know where you’re headed added another layer to my excitement! And I found some amazing stuff that I can’t wait to wear and use during my travels. Since packing for a weekend of surprise can be a bit of a challenge, I’ve put together a list of my top packing tips.

Make a List

When I write it out, I always make sure I have everything I need and I am able to cover my bases. I tend to forget the little things, such as sleeping masks, and end up having to buy a new pair every time I travel. Write a list out ahead of time and cross it off as you pack them away in your luggage.

Use Transparent pouches for Separation

For me, remembering to pack shoes and outfits is the easy part. It’s always the little details like beauty products, tech items and accessories that make me more anxious when packing. I love using transparent clutches for my sunglasses, nail polish, sun care and so much more. Different pouches keep everything separated and I can see exactly what I need since they are transparent.

Roll It Up

If I am bringing a hat, I will always stuff a knit top or roll a clothing item up in the body to keep the shape. If you are packing denim, you can also roll it up to save space in your luggage.

Make it Cohesive

Since I don’t know where I am headed, I am sticking to a cohesive color scheme. With an itinerary that is going to be a surprise, I want to have the flexibility to mix and match my outfits and also have comfortable shoes that match back. Limit yourself to only 2-3 pairs of shoes.

Separate liquids from tech items

I always keep my tech items in a carry on tote or bag. You never know when you are going to need your memory card, laptop charger and it’s always more convenient if you have more time than anticipated.
And now we’re off! Stay tuned and make sure to follow along to see where I am headed. I will be sure to cover it here when I am back!


This post is sponsored by Marshalls. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
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