Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rate My Look: Spring Personified

Today was the start of our big sample sale and the boss lady had given us all white t-shirts with the Madeleine's Daughter logo on them to wear with jeans. It's literally the one time of year that we're allowed to wear jeans and guess what I did. I forgot to wear the t-shirt and jeans. What a loser! Fortunately, I looked adorable, so that kind of made up for the oops. And on top of looking adorable, the pastel color combination was just so spring-like and soft that I felt awesome in this outfit all day:

Top: Delia's via Building 19 (for $5!!!!!)
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Steve Madden
Ribbon sash: I'm pretty sure I took this from an old dress

Seriously, the high-low hem on this skirt is just fabulous. Rather than the typical single cut of fabric, this features the cross-over front. You should see the way it flows as I walk in it. I tend to strut around like I'm a runway model whenever I wear this skirt because I love the feel of the chiffon billowing behind me. As Juhree put it, it's kind of like a cape... for my butt. 

In other news, this happened on my drive home and I figured I'd share it for all of you out there with similar OCD tendencies: 

Don't you just love when that kind of thing happens? It just makes me happy inside. Almost as happy as a lavender chiffon butt-cape high-low skirt. 

Have an awesome day and as always, thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Host a Spa Slumber Party

When the Professor's daughter asked if I would host a spa slumber party for her 8th birthday party, I was happy to oblige. I have a tendency to over-plan, over-spend and generally over-do things like this, but this time I decided I was going to exercise restraint and try to make it fabulous on the cheap.

In searching through Pinterest, I was surprised at how few parties like this were pinned. Most of what I found online was geared towards hiring someone who brings everything in for you and costs upwards of $500-$600 for the party OR the most basic info like how to create a label template for making your own bubble bath or something.

In the end, I just decided to do it all myself and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Originally, we planned on have four girls including the birthday girl. We wanted it to be manageable and modest. I figured with such a small number of girls, I could really go all-out and still not spend a fortune. And I succeeded!

To start, I knew each girl needed a spa robe, so with my 40% off coupon, I headed off to Joann Fabrics. Unfortunately, there wasn't any terry-cloth, but I made do with some bright pink fleece. I made these simple robes using a one-cut method. In other words, I cut the entire robe in one piece and then simply sewed up the sideseams to finish it off. I got a little fancy by adding the loops on the side for the waist ties, but other than that, I kept it very simple. In total, these robes cost $35.97 in fabric and an hour of my time. Literally- it took one hour to cut and sew all four of them- that's how simple they are.

Once the robes were completed, I was able to focus on creating their spa bags. The way I saw it, each girl needed a spa bag of items that she would use at the party that was separate from her spa goodie bag, which was her take-home party favor. 

The spa bag included a robe, a pair of flip flops, a sleep mask, a stretchy headband and a small towel. Believe it or not, everything I needed, I found at the DOLLAR STORE!!! And the best part was that everything except the towel was the same shade of bubble gum pink that I used to make the robes!

As each girl arrived, she was given her spa bag (that had her name written on it). We started with mani/pedis, but before their nails were painted, they were given some creativity with decorating their flip flops. Ribbons, glittery stick-ons, and more ribbons were in abundance. The girls' creativity came out in spades and they each ended up with some seriously fabulous flip flops:

After mani/pedi time, we took a break to eat dinner and have cup cakes. Not long after that, it was time to change into swimsuits and spa robes. They used their pink headbands to hold back their hair so I could smear a strawberry-scented mud mask (that I brought from home) on their faces. Cucumbers covered their eyes for the few, brief moments of "relaxing." Finally, they all hopped into the Professor's jacuzzi tub complete with bubble bath and, of course, a chance to wash the mud off their faces. They loved every minute of it and I think they all felt very pampered. It was fun for me to plan as well. 

I mentioned their spa party favor goodie bags, so I have to show those as well, or at least what went into them: 

What's pictured above isn't a complete photo, but you get the idea. The flip flops, sleep masks and head towels (at the bottom of the photo) all went into their spa bags. The rest was in their party favor goodie bag and it included: 

A manicure set
A pink glitter nail file
A bottle of pink glitter nail polish
A bottle of scented hand lotion
A tube of cherry lip gloss
A pink hair clip
A pink loofah
A mini-bottle of nail polish remover

Most of what I purchased came from the Dollar Tree, but a few things were purchased at Sally Beauty Supply from the clearance section. I also threw some candy and glow-in-the-dark rings and bracelets in there as well, but I didn't take a picture of them. Grand total for all the bags and their contents was about $48, so that combined with the cost of making the robes came to a total of $83.97 or around $21 for each girl. Not too shabby, if you ask me! I think I got a lot of bang for my buck since each girl went home with a boatload of goodies including her own spa robe!

I know that as the Professor's daughter gets older, there will be even more spa-parties and hopefully actual trips to the spa in our future! And fortunately I know how to make spa robes on the cheap! 

Have a great day, everyone and thanks for reading! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Earrings Jackpot at Target

I've been pretty busy lately, folks, which is why I haven't been blogging. I recently took a trip to North Carolina to visit the Professor and the kiddos. It was a blast! I actually helped host a spa-themed slumber party for the Prof's daughter. It was a hoot! Picture me in charge of planning an 8-year old girl's spa party- everything was pink and fluffy and girlie. It was fabulous.

For anyone who may want to do something similar for a young girl they know, I'll be writing a separate post about what I did and how easy (and inexpensive) it was in a day or two, so check back.

Today, my focus is on the awesome earrings jackpot I hit at Target the other day. It was a completely unexpected find and I just had to share!

There's just something about a great pair of earrings- no matter what you're wearing, the right pair of earrings can really jazz up and outfit. They can add a pop of unexpected color or glamour or movement to just about any outfit.

I'm excited to wear these bad boys this summer:

Target Earrings

All three pair cost a total of $21, but the crazy thing is that the black and the blue/white ones are exactly the same as a similar pair that I already own that cost me about $30! I'm sure the quality isn't quite as good, but I'll settle, especially given the fact that they're earrings I already love and now I can wear them in more colors! The green/gold are going to be great for summer, too with those bright colors.

I love wearing a simple outfit and dressing it up with an amazing pair of statement earrings. What's your favorite accessory right now? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pinterest Parties- They're all the Rage!

You know how in the 70's is was oh-so-fashionable to have a fondue party? I think in 50 years when people look back on us now they'll see all the Pinterest parties that we had and think, "Oh, how charming and quaint they were in the old days."

For those of you unfamiliar with Pinterest, I like to describe it as internet hoarding. No joke. Its true description is a virtual bulletin board, or inspiration board. You "pin" photos from anywhere on the internet. When you pin the photo, you are basically saving the link with the photo as your visual reminder of the pins content. I feel like I hear the word "Pinterest" on a daily basis because it's become the new method of wedding planning. Brides create wedding-themed boards to collect all of their bridal inspiration. They pin every detail of the wedding. It has its pros and its cons, however. The thing about Pinterest is that it allows you to see literally see everything out there that's available. What it doesn't always provide you with are the realities of the photos you see. You may think that bouquet is simply stunning, but the pin doesn't tell you that the flowers were shipped from some ridiculously exotic location, that it was a design made for the royal wedding of some far away event and the total cost is ten times the average bridal bouquet. All you see is a bouquet you love.

So, what ends up happening is this: brides "pin" away, setting aside photos of what they hope for their wedding day. They show it to vendors who then have the unpleasant job of explaining how much the details in the photo cost. I suppose it's not that different from tearing photos out of a magazine to show your vendor, but the main difference is the sheer volume of photos available all over the internet.

But that isn't the point of my post today- sorry for the digression. The point is that I've attended a couple of really fun Pinterest parties and I have another one I'm going to this weekend! A Pinterest party is simple. It's basically a pot luck event where each guest is tasked with finding a recipe on Pinterest that they've never tried before. Whether it's a huge success or a "Pinstrosity," it's always fun to try the different recipes everyone finds.

More elaborate Pinterest parties involve more than just recipes- they involve demonstrations of all kinds based on tutorials found on Pinterest. The most recent Pinterest party I attended was this type of party and we had a blast!

First, there was amazing food:

Yummy Asian Meatballs (my personal favorite of the night)

Feta/Tomato Dip (we spread it on baguette slices like bruschetta)

Jalapeno/Red Pepper Poppers- They were pepper stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon!

Brownie Batter Dip- it LITERALLY tastes like brownie batter, but no risk of salmonella! 

Lemon Drop Cookies- they tasted like lemonade! 

In addition to the food, one guest brought spices and taught us all the recipe to make your own taco seasoning! 

There were craft and home-improvement demonstrations: 

And my contribution involved teaching everyone how to accessorize themselves for any occasion. Unfortunately, we all neglected to snap photos during my demonstration, but I can assure you it was a success. Here's the state of our living room afterwards: 

Accessories EVERYWHERE!!! 

Anyway, the entire party was a blast and I'm looking forward to the next one. For those of you interested, my demonstration centered around the "rule of three." Basically, the idea is that once you have your outfit determined, the best way to look polished and put-together is to choose three coordinating (not MATCHING!) accessories and you will always look great! 

Maybe I'll have some time to put together some examples- either on Polyvore or in real life. Let me know in the comments if this is something you'd like to see on the blog! 

Have you been to a Pinterest party? What was it like? Did you love it? Hate it? Leave a comment and tell me all about it! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy...

I've had a lot going on in the last few weeks, which is why I haven't been blogging regularly, but I figured I'd share some of what has been keeping me busy with all of you. And yes, some of it is style and fashion-related.

First, I took a trip to New York City with some coworkers for an awesome conference. We came back from our trip feeling energized and excited to get back to work. While we were there, we were able to see the 9/11 Memorial which was very powerful.

We were also able to see a Broadway show in our downtime: 

Unfortunately, I did not document any of our outfits while I was there. It was just so hectic. Our days were jam-packed from the moment we got up until we crashed in our hotel room at night. It was a fabulous trip.

Since coming back, things have still been very busy. I've styled a magazine photo shoot:

Is this model gorgeous or what? She's wearing Hudson by Amsale with flowers by Kate Parker Designs, Hair by Lena Hartford of Hair that Moves and make-up by Joanne McDonough of Joya Beauty. The whole shoot was very architectural with pops of blue-print blue throughout (hence the bright blue necklace and ribbon around the bouquet). I can't wait to see the actual photos- these were all snapped on my phone, so they're nothing like the end product. I'll try to remember to post the photos from the shoot once it's published. The veil we used was absolutely EPIC. 

Other than that, I've been busy with friends- I've been to a Pinterest Party, down to Boston for a girl's shopping weekend and for the last few days I've been planning a spa-themed birthday slumber party for the Professor's daughter. I'll post more as soon as I have time. Check back soon and as always, thanks for reading! 
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