Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY: Reindeer Frame (free!)

Growing up, Christmas was always a production in our house.
The first Saturday of December was dedicated to spending hours pulling boxes of decorations out of the attic, listening to Nsync Christmas, and prancing around the house putting out the decorations- it was a whole day event that no one missed.

Fast forward to my first year living on my own and the sad realization of my lack of Christmas decor and even greater lack of funds:
With not a whole lot of money for decor, I had to become really crafty with how I would decorate, and wait for it... Pinterest didn't exist.
A few years later and I actually prefer crafting over buying decor now; it's just more personal and you can really personalize for your space.

The other day I did one of the easiest DIYs ever and it is now one of my favorite Christmas items.
No fancy craft things needed- just simply gather things from around the house.

Things you will need:
Any picture frame
One sheet of colored paper
One little piece of wrapping paper or scrapbook paper

1. Trace an outline of the reindeer (or you can print it out- I had just run out of ink & didn't want to wait until I visited the store) 

2. Find a frame around your house 

3. Trace the shape onto wrapping paper or scrapbook paper

 4. Mount the shape on a solid color and put in frame.

So easy and so cute!!!


Monday, November 18, 2013

OOTD: What my coffee mug wore

Disclaimer: My coffee cup and I didn't coordinate our outfits- it just ended up this way.

Running my errands has become about 4538954076845 times better with this little cutie by my side in my hand; in fact, we have been inseparable since her arrival at my house on Thursday morning.
You see, when your coffee mug wears a tutu, your life changes a little bit- mornings become happier, errands are more fun, and people compliment you a lot.
So my suggestion to you right now is to head on over to Starbucks and buy this cup; because, let's face it, life just feels better when you have a striped mug with a bow tie, gold buttons, and a tutu.

Happy Tuesday, loves!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Put a little prep in your step

In college, I hated that people would tell me "this ___ looks like something you would wear".
I had friends whose style I felt was so unpredictable and they could literally wear anything they wanted; I wanted so badly to be that person.
I went through phases of wearing baggy clothes, clothes that were too short for me, lots of dark clothes- all in efforts to keep a "well-balanced" closet.

The problem was, I never felt comfortable in most of the clothes I wore.
I was so caught up with trying to be trendy and stylish that I sacrificed my confidence.
I would try to wear those baggy, aztec-type sweaters and I just felt lost inside of clothes- I had no control over my style and certainly didn't felt comfortable with myself.

At 25, I am finally ok with being the preppy person I am.
In fact, I now fully embrace it- bring on the stripes, glitter, and hearts.
This "style crisis" was one of the reasons I started Real Life Dress Up- I have experienced how it feels to not feel comfortable with yourself and I have taken control back from my clothes.
I now wear clothes that I feel confident in and sometimes that means "skipping" on certain trends.

My tip to you- identify what you feel comfortable & confident with and embrace it.

& if your style happens to be more on the preppy side, then this is the blog for you :)

Sweater: F21 (old)
Shirt under sweater: Ross (old)
Jeans: F21 (old)
Shoes: GoJane

What is your personal style? Has anyone else experienced this shift?


Linking up: Penniless Socialite// Style Elixir

Thursday, November 14, 2013

40 days until Christmas

Does anyone else have holidays on the mind at full speed?
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my mind is spinning & lately I have been all about DIY gifts.
Every year around Christmas time I try to reflect back on what I received for Christmas the previous year & to be honest, the ONLY things I can ever remember are things that were made personally for me.
So instead of taking the easy route and shutting down retail stores this year, I have committed to trying to create the most personal gifts for our loved ones.
Stay tuned for lots of DIY projects for grandparents, spouses, newlyweds, white elephant.

Apparently my wardrobe has Christmas on its mind too.
I think this may be one of my top contenders for a Christmas outfit this year.

Later this week, I am revealing ways to dress up your house for the holidays at little to no cost. 
Here's a little sneaky peek. 

Thanks for visiting! What is your favorite DIY gift to give or receive? 

Linking up: Vodka Infused Lemonade// Perfectly Courtured// Mix and Match Fashion// Penniless Socialite// Glitz and Gold

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To all the moms out there: The 5 minute challenge

I've recently received a few emails from a couple different moms, all with the same complaint- "All of the outfits I see on blog and Pinterest aren't realistic for me because I have kids".
While I don't have kids yet, I do understand the conflict of wanting to dress up but also needing something functional (shout out to all my nanny fams who kept me busy/employed during my college years).

So I gave myself the 5 minute challenge and channeled my inner mom. I gave myself 5 minutes to get ready for running errands and completing all of my mom duties, and I gave myself 5 minutes to transition over into a date night outfit. Wearing the same shirt was important to me because I wanted to show versatility in clothing purchases.

For the day time: Gap ruffle shirt ($5 via goodwill), skinny jeans, flats and little stud earrings.

I know that necklaces and bracelets are not typically options as a mom, so the ruffles of the shirt gave me enough confidence to feel put together still. The red lipstick also put a little pep in my step.

Please excuse the wrinkles on the shirt- I wanted to make it realistic... busy moms don't have time to iron ;) 

Night time: Date night, back to school night, coffee with friends; anything. I threw on red pumps, added a gold tassel necklace, and grabbed a clutch. I think it took me about 3 minutes total. 

What do you guys think? Realistic for a mom to dedicate 3-5 minutes to throw on a ruffle shirt and some lipstick?

P.S. I loved receiving emails this last week- please keep them coming!!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Video!

Hi ladies!

I am trying something new and decided to add a a video instead of pictures for this post.
A lot of people ask me about thrifting and how I experience so much success, so I have identified these 5 rules for thrifting.
YouTube is a whole new platform for me, but I think in this case, it provides a more interactive/personal approach.
Let me know if you like this format!

Hope it was helpful!

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dressing like a 25 year old

Somehow I am 25 years old.
I don't remember it happening, but it happened and I have to accept it... I am 25.
Being a lover of all things pink, floral, lace, and tulle, I have to constantly be careful of my outfit selections- I can be mistaken for a 15 year old in a second.
But often I feel even older than I really am and sometimes am drawn to things my grandmother may wear. (she is a fashionable women with a closet full of Kate Spade- so don't feel offended for her)
It's this crazy fine balance; the life of a 25 year old- don't dress too young, don't dress too old.

Naturally I choose leopard because it can go horribly wrong (who likes to play it safe?)
With the first outfit, I tried to keep it classy with a black necklace, but realized I was playing on that  "too old" line.
A simple necklace and shoe swap made for a much more age-appropriate outfit selection.
The yellow necklace keeps the outfit youthful and the nude pumps add some age.
It's a tricky balance... does it get better with age?

What about you guys? Ever have a hard time deciding if something is age appropriate?

Happy Wednesday!!!
Don't forget to check the sidebar for ways to stay connected. 

Linking up: Here

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Phillip Lim for Target, again.

Ever since the Phillip Lim for Target line launched, I have been obsessing over this dress.
But I have never been able to find my size in stores & ordering online seemed risky with such mixed reviews. 
I was so excited the other day when I found it at Target... and on a clearance rack!
I was with a friend and I grabbed the dress, checked the size, and gave it a nice hug
I think my exact words to her were "I need this dress! I have been wanting it for so long & it's on sale! I am buying it!"
She didn't argue, but I don't think she was thrilled with the purchase- her facial expressions gave her away. 
When I tried it on at home, I loved it by itself but it didn't feel too office appropriate and there is no way this dress was only getting pulled out on date nights and weekends. 
Adding the blazer and rolling up the sleeves seemed to give it a more "office feel" and I was giddy over the pops of mint & red. 

(The dress pre blazer) 

What do you guys think? 
A: does the blazer make it office appropriate? 
B: is it office appropriate without the blazer?

Have a great day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mixing Reds

I love, love, love mixing reds.
In my opinion, the key is not mixing the same red- but instead, a brighter or lighter red with a deeper red.
I also love that this sweater is child size XL from Old Navy. I had never thought about ordering a kids size due to weird fits, but sweaters seem to be a different story because they are a little more snug.

However, be warned, if you wear a sweater that relates to a popular parody, people will stop and tell you.

I never want to hear "what does the fox say?" EVER again.

Jeans: JcPenney
Sweater: Old Navy
Glitter Plaid Button Up: Target

That's all I have for today!
Happy Monday!! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Neutral Loving

My battery charger is here & just in time for casual Friday!

Because these riding boots are pretty casual, I wanted to counter balance the casualness with a blazer to still keep it office appropriate. The blazer is actually cotton, so it's super cozy- but the lining is silky to dress it up a little.

People always ask me why certain things work, so I thought I would begin to incorporate that into the posts (when appropriate). 

So why does this work? Because everything is neutrals- literally everything. When dealing with neautrals you can mix and match beige, black, brown, and tan. I kept the belt simple with denim, but there's also a good chance to be a little bolder with neutrals and add color right there. Neon green would be cute, red, yellow- really any color would add a little extra something. 

It feels so good to be back!

P.S. is anyone else loving Old Navy as much as me lately? I'm loving these graphic tees (also worn here

Friday, October 25, 2013

so sorry!

Hi friends,

So sorry that I haven't posted in almost TWO whole weeks! The funny part about being a fashion blogger is that when you  lose your camera charger, you are pretty much helpless until your replacement arrives. That's exactly where I am at.

But I want to thank you all so much  for consistently checking back every day. I promise that a new charger is in the mail and good stuff is ahead!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

High item replicas

Before making a purchase, especially a larger one, it's important to understand what options you have available to you.
So many times I have fallen in love with an item in the $150-$400 price range, only to find a very similar item for about a quarter of the price.

Tonight I was looking through blogs and fell in love with these little booties.
& instantly I recognized that I had seen these $130 shoes before, but with a much cheaper price tag.

Dolce Vita $130

 Mossimo $35

That's almost a $100 difference. 
And yes, there are differences between the shoes- but not enough to pay 100 extra dollars. 

So before you buy a higher priced item, shop around a little for a potential replica.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Legging Loophole

I've said it once & I'll say it again- casual Friday is where it's at. 
I don't know what "it" is- but I'm confident it involves the option to dress casually.
Don't get me wrong- I love dressing up just as much as the next girl... but I want it to be by choice.
You can find me in professional attire from Monday to Thursday and on Friday, I refuse to wear anything that is acceptable on professional attire days.

However, casual Friday strictly excludes leggings.
And much against my pleading, it doesn't look like leggings will ever be approved.
When I found these pants at H&M, I knew I found a loophole to the no legging rule.
Technically- these aren't leggings, they are just really tight pants.
Do my legs know any difference?
Nope. They share the same comfort as my trusted leggings.
& here we have it folks, the leggings loophole. 

Shirt: Old Navy 
Pants: H&M (12.95 right now!)

Happy weekend, lovies!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thrifting. Part I

Thrifting is one of my favorite subjects in the world.
Yes, in the world.
It's just like Pringles- once you start, the fun don't stop. (Is that how the saying goes?)

But, there are a few rules to thrifting- because if not done properly, you could end up spending a lot more money than retail.

Thrifting Rule #1: Buy nice pieces. 
Sounds simple right? Right.
Buying nice pieces will ensure that you you are still buying quality pieces that won't fall apart after one wash.
I get really excited when I find Banana Republic and JCrew pieces; and to date, some of my thrifted items are still my favorite & most worn.
But within this rule, there is another rule- don't buy something simply for the names sake.
I have fallen victim to buying pieces simply for the name and I never wear them because I don't really like them- I just like the name.
Moral of the story: look for items that you like & that are from a known store. 

**Exceptions do apply- sweaters, skirts & sometimes dresses may be exempt from this rule. This rule is really important for all shirts. 

This sweater was $7 from Goodwill. Scroll down and check the tag to see where it originally was from.

Do you have any thrifting secrets to share??


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rainy Days and Tights.

I live in the land of sunshine. The sun is with us all year long & if we are lucky, we get about 6 days of rain.
I have never seen Hunters in real life and our stores don't carry jackets that are too heavy. 
I will never forget the winter that Donnie & I spent in Boston- I thought that pea coats were the thickest forms of jackets and sales people laughed at me when I asked what "down-filled jacket" meant; it was something else. 

I had a completely different outfit planned for today, but when I woke up to the smell of rain- I jumped out of bed and ran straight to my tights. 
You see, when you live in San Diego, you have to take advantage of these rainy days.
I listened to Christmas music all day long, I drank hot cocoa from a Christmas mug; I even bought myself some Christmas gifts at lunch. 
The forecast goes back to normal tomorrow and the tights get tucked back away. 
But as for right now- I sip my tea, cuddle in a blanket, and listen to the unfamiliar sound of rain. 

Do tights make anyone else feel absolutely giddy? 


P.S. Tomorrow, we chat about thrifting. Stay tuned.

Linking up:  Mix Match Fashion 

Leopard Lovin'

I have always loved leopard in a "add a pop of detail" kind of way.
I typically use it as a neutral or combine it with stripes for a "safe" way to pattern mix.
But lately, I have felt so inspired to wear it past my normal ways of just adding a scarf or shoes.
An entire leopard dress or sweater seems so bold to me, but I also can see where it could instantly dress up an outfit without having to add too many other details.
I am all for pieces that would help me save time in the morning and throwing on a statement piece seems like a great time saver.
Here's a few things I am loving that are currently for sale- I am trying not to buy them all.
P.s. #2, #3, and #8 are all on sale. 

1  / 2  / 3  / 4
5  / 6  /  7  / 8

I am loving #2 and #5 and think that they need to make their way to my wardrobe. 
Which pieces are you loving?


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

1 Dress, 3 ways

I am in love with this dress from Target, but since it is sleeveless, I always have to wear a cardigan over it and it gets pretty annoying.

I have been obsessed with the jumpers popping up all over this fall, and decided I could very easily use this dress as a jumper.

So here it is, my little target dress- 3 ways.

Find the dress here

Which way is your favorite?
What are some other ways to wear this dress?

P.S. I took away the "follow" button and added a "subscribe by email" option for those who were writing to me about not being able to follow :)
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