This Dress Will Totally Come in Handy

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fall fashion, knoxville fashion, what to wear to a shower, wedding shower, pattered dress, express, dress with tights, black boots

fall fashion, knoxville fashion, what to wear to a shower, wedding shower, pattered dress, express, dress with tights, black boots

For the past 10 months I’ve been living out the prequel to the movie “27 Dresses.” It’s called, “27 Bridal Showers.”

Beginning in March all the way to this past weekend, I’ve become a bit of a shower professional. And it’s been quite the whirlwind. I threw my very first one, got ready for another in less than an hour, attended another after running a 5k, and so much more in between.

When it comes to what to wear, do, bring, or help with at a shower, I know.

Including what to wear to a shower on a fall day! This past weekend I got attend another one for a sweet friend. Leading up to Saturday I found that figuring out what to wear to a fall shower during the day was a little harder than what I expected.

Cue the patterned belted dress.

Dressy enough to fit in at a party full of girls, but not so dressy that it looks like I’m trying too hard. I love the sheer sleeves, and most importantly the fact that it went well with flat boots. When your running around balancing hors d’ oeuvres, moving presents, playing games – it helps to be in flats.

If you’ve got a shower coming up, consider a dress like this! I got this one at Express a couple years ago, but I’ve tracked down three along the same lines. Here, here (my favorite) and here.

A printed dress translates to easy accessorizing – a few bangles, a big ring, add a bold lip and you’re ready to dominate at bridal bingo, toilet paper wedding dresses, fill in the vows…whatever. I’ve played them all and then some ;)

P.S. Look at me wearing a pattern that’s not stripes or animal print! Ha, it’s like a hybrid of the two, but still it’s totally different. I’m so proud of me! *wink.


The other day someone told me they wish they could be a blogger.

Immediately what flashed through my mind was like a movie montage of my blogging journey - typing through blurred eyes late into the night, literally rolling over onto my office floor out of frustration, collapsing on my keyboard while the blank white page of WordPress menacingly glowed (it’s possible).

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Like anything in life there are risks and rewards that come with running a blog.

I can still remember the first time someone ever told me they read my blog and it helped them tremendously…the woman was standing in an elevator with me and as soon as she said it, my eyes filled up with tears. <–That’s probably the scene that needs to go at the end of the montage I mentioned above.

What I try to keep in mind on weeks like this one when I’m feeling drained, is that without a doubt this is something God has woven into my fabric. It’s something He’s called me to do. So to keep on chugging I’m going to take a bit of a break. Just today and tomorrow.

I’m going to plug myself into the wall and recharge because right now my battery is flashing that there’s only 10% left (thank God it’s a metaphor and that I won’t actually shut down in a second). I’m thankful for encouraging blogs like this one, that help me take the pressure off myself for a bit. I know on Monday I’ll come back with a wave of fresh fashion inspiration.

Just wait for it. And remember to recharge yourself!

Fall Bags & the One Thing I Forgot

Not showing up on time for my TV segment is the new “showing up to school in my underwear” dream. I’ve dreamt it a couple times now, and every time wake up so relieved after realizing it was only a dream.

I haven’t dreamt about leaving something at home. I’ve only done that in reality.

Like yesterday when I realized I left the Laser Cut Accordion Wallet at home. Boo.

It’s a beautiful wallet too! See…

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It’s got a nice amount of room and plenty of pockets. Plus, how about this gorgeous laser cut design? It’s so cool and feminine at the same time. Definitely not something that should be forgotten, so forgive me for leaving it on my dining room table.

But now it got a lot of attention on the blog, so I think I’m back in its good graces. Be sure to stop by West Town Mall and check out the new Vera Bradley store! It’s gorg-eous and right inside the Charming Charlie’s entrance.

Shopping My Closet

Your Complete Guide to Tights

Superman, Batman, Robin – all of them prove a lot can be accomplished while wearing tights, and that it can all be done looking good.

Now that the season for tights has arrived, my outfit possibilities have quadrupled. They are one of the things I look forward to wearing the most in the fall/winter. Not only because they unlock so many great skirts, but because they are so very comfortable and slimming. And since someone once looked at my calves and asked if I play soccer, leg slimming is just what I need (never played soccer in my life outside of 3rd grade phys ed).

Here are some things to keep in mind when buying, wearing and caring for your tights…

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Buying Tights

There are a lot of different kinds of tights out there. The two main words you need to pay attention to are “sheer” and “opaque” because they make a difference. Sheer is obviously going to let a little leg show through, while opaque means completely blackity black. Or navity navy…burgundity burgindy…and so on and so forth.

One of my favorite places to get them is The Limited. They have a great selection and they are really well made. You are going to pay a little more, but this means you won’t be running to Walgreen’s every weekend for a new pair. If you do happen to snag them on something, note where they’re snagged. If it’s below the knee you can keep them to wear with boots, if it’s higher up you can remember to wear them with certain skirt lengths. That way at least you wouldn’t have to get rid of them right away.

Wearing Tights

Opaque tights are going to let you get away with a bit of a shorter skirt. I hate the word “thigh” but because I love you, I’m going to use it to say – if your skirt is so short it’s showing where the tights weave pattern changes to the control part on your upper thigh *cringe* it’s TOO SHORT.

Sheer tights are best to pair with black boots. The sheerness will add a texture difference and will make it so the two blacks aren’t competing with each other.

Patterned tights are fun…if used in moderation. If your calves have never been confused with the muscles of a soccer player, feel free to wear patterned tights till the cows come home listening to the fat lady sing. I limit myself to wearing very discreet patterns, or minimizing their visual effect by pairing them with boots/booties.

Washing Tights

For the most part, tights can be washed in the gentle cycle then hung up to dry. As I write this, I’m realizing that the tights I washed with all the colored clothes were accidentally put in the dryer. Now I’m nervous to go open the dryer. Avoid that mistake and wash them separately. Do remember to wash them, though. For the love of all things, wash them.

For some great outfit ideas that incorporate tights, click here to see my Pinterest board!

A Harvest of Blessing

Dry is the New Cute

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One time I read an article telling me how to pull off the “wet hair look” that was showcased during New York Fashion Week.

Since one designer sent models down the runway with wet looking hair, it was now a “thing” and the article explained how we could achieve that same look for when we walk out the door.

Yeeeaa…I don’t think so.

Let’s say I follow the article and get my hair all slicked back and wet looking…I can only imagine the comments that would follow the moment I walked out the door. Scratch that, the comments would come before I walked out the door because I’m sure that would open a whole box of jokes from my husband (I know if he tried that look he would get a couple rounds from me).

Some things are best left on the runway.

Since the 7 day planner includes a whole lotta rain in our neck of the woods (yay!) I thought I’d put together some cute options for keeping yourself dry AND cute.

You definitely want an umbrella that showcases your personality. If for no other reason than to make it easier to spot when it’s hanging out with other ones by the door. This leopard cutie is from JCP and is on sale (at least online) for $16.80.

How ’bout them boots! They’re Tommy Hilfiger’s version of the rain boot. Does that man know how to make a rain boot, or what?! They’re also on sale at Belk for $69.99. They’re super chic yet classic enough to be in style for a long time, making the extra splurge totally worth it.

The trench coat will probably go out of style around the same time breathing air becomes passe.

Go ahead and get you a cute one that you can wear in the rain. And who better to make it than GAP? No one. That’s who. Grab this one at the West Town Mall location for $128 (psst: they have a coupon in the school coupon book).

Floral & Polka Dot Pattern Mix

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pattern mix, knoxville fashion, floral top, polka dot sweater, cardigan, tights, green skirt, wedge shoes, belts

pattern mix, knoxville fashion, floral top, polka dot sweater, cardigan, tights, green skirt, wedge shoes, belts, oldnavy jewelry

I own one floral tunic that gets pulled out every time I have a girly event to go to (i.e.: baby shower, high tea).

It’s because it’s the girliest thing I own. After I got married my husband helped me realize I was going to have to give up some of my menswear inspired looks – like the pair of suspenders I used to rock. Man, those were cute.

Now I can say that tunic isn’t the only girly piece I own. This floral top from TJMaxx can join the ranks.

I love it because it’s great for pattern mixing. This polka dot sweater from Target plays off the tiny floral pattern perfectly, particularly because the polka dots are about the same size as the floral but more spread out so together they’re not visually overwhelming.

The floral top was a spring/summer purchase, but see how I worked it into a fall look?! Nailed it. I mean…Girls, isn’t it lovely? *she giggles holding tea cup.


Ooh La La Graphic Tee

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old navy, how to layer, what to wear in knoxville weather, graphic tee, cardigan, forever21 cardigan, pink sweater, chain necklace, knoxville fashion

Can we all agree that Old Navy is killing it with the graphic tee’s lately?

I’ve seen no shortage of “Holy Chic” and “Lovely” on Instagram (unfortunately I didn’t grab the one with “Fabulous” down the middle right when I saw it – I went back to get it and they were gone *sad face).

This one I got before those other gems hit the shelves. It was on sale for $4.

I’m very picky with the wording of shirts. You are, after all, a walking billboard, so carefully choosing what you advertise is a wise thing to do. Which is why “fabulous” was going to make the cut – because, well, I am *wink.

But seriously, graphic tees are such a fun way to add diversity to your layers. Because it is like wearing a pattern. And this isn’t a animal print or stripe, so I’m doing good in my goal to buy outside that box! Yay me.

The cardigan I’m wearing is from Forever21 and cost $8. Total so far? $12. The chain necklace I also bought at Forever21 (a year or so ago), it was probably around, lets say $9. The shoes are from Target online – $11. So if you don’t count the jeans, this look only cost me around 32 bucks. Proving you can be Oo La La on a budget!

If you ever see cardigans on sale like that, stock up! They are such a great layering piece for fall!

This is going to be my next graphic tee purchase.

Treasure Tromp

Product Review: Rapid Tone Repair

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I’m a sucker for a good ad. If the right ad were to come along promising to help me grow a tail, I’d probably buy it if it were pretty/convincing enough (also I’ve always thought it’d be cool if we had one…it would be like a third arm AND a mood indicator that doesn’t lie!)

What’s funny about that is, my day job is in marketing so I’m completely familiar with the tactics/thought process behind the persuasive writing. And yet… It’s only 33 easy payment of $19.95!!

When I saw an ad for this Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer I was hooked. I would love to use less foundation and concealer because my skin tone is so even, sign me up! After “signing up” by handing the cashier at Target the $20, I took it home eager to see the results (they promise a difference in a week).

I have to be honest, and I really hope no one from those drugstore beauty brands reads this, but I actually liked the fact that it was $20. It always makes me a little leery when a beauty product makes all these grandioso promises, but costs less than lunch. If it were so great…wouldn’t they want to be making more money off of it? And twenty bucks is right in my comfort zone. Not so much that I get a call from the husband, but enough to make me think it will work (just kidding about the call from my husband…he’d address it in person. Just kidding. He’d hire someone to address it).

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for…the results!

Well, I’m still using concealer and foundation. BUT I am using a big less in the area where I had some acne scarring. I did notice that decreasing over time. Did I see results in a week? Meh. That’s so hard to tell, because I don’t know if it’s my brain telling me spots are fading or if it’s actually happening. I’ve only been using it for about two months now, so maybe as time goes on I’ll see a bigger difference.

Regardless, this lotion is nice and light. It soaks right in and has an SPF which is SO CRITICAL. Really, the use of all caps there is called for. And even if it is just the power of suggestion, I’m ok with that.

Wrap Up in Scarves

Some days, my hair and I just need some time off from each other. Like we’ve gotten in an argument and need to go to separate rooms to cool off.

Yesterday, for example, I would have loved to wrap up my whole head in one of these scarves and go hair-free the whole day. Thankfully as I drove home last night with tired eyes, I was able to pin back my bangs with one of the bobby pins I keep in my purse.

No matter how you wear (or dream about wearing) your scarves, here are four from West Town Mall that will add style and pizzazz to your collection this fall…

scarves for fall

Let’s go clockwise, starting with the frayed black and white plaid scarf from Forever21. I’m really coming around to this whole plaid thing. Mainly because it’s another pattern that will allow me to pattern mix! Wear this over a striped shirt, or have it peaking out from a brightly colored coat.

The gray scarf from American Eagle has a really neat crochet-like flower pattern in the middle. Subtle yet sweet. The fringe on the bottom is so different with that extra bit of tassel knitting mastery.

My favorite thing about this “Rose Plaid Quad Scarf” from Express are the colors. The use of purples and pinks is quite the unexpected yet bold mix that would play perfectly with black and white, all black, or a gray ensemble.

Lastly, this Metallic Heart Scarf from Francesca’s is such an airy gorgeous piece. I’m not a huge fan of hearts, but I might be able to make an exception for these tiny gold ones that add just enough glint to a feather-light material.

Speaking of material, notice how each of these scarves vary in fabric? That’s what your collection should look like. Because each fabric/fringe lays on you differently, and not every outfit calls for a bulky scarf. Sometimes you need a lighter fabric with little fringe, and sometimes you need a heavier fabric with lots of fringe. So the answer to your question is, yes. You DO need to go buy more scarves, tell your husband I said so!

The Mid-Day Refresher Kit That Fits in Your Purse

 what to put in your purse


There are days when coming home for lunch isn’t so much because I hate trying to decide where to eat, but more because I love getting to refresh my look.

Running Sauntering out the door to work some mornings, I sometimes have a list of things I want to tweak…

  • Change shoes
  • File that one nail
  • Go with a different watch

So a mid-day stop at the house is a great time to do that and maybe spray on some fresh perfume or spritz my face with makeup-setting spray.

But on the days when I go out to lunch with co-workers and/or have some place to be right after work, I cannot tell you how far these little items go towards making me feel like a new person.

1. Compact: Somehow I can never fully finish a compact. But I’m good with that, because the last one always becomes the one I keep in my purse in the event I’ve rubbed my noes too much, or get something on my face. Honestly, this is really just there for my peace of mind.

2. Sample Perfume: Where I once hated perfume samples, I’ve really grown to love them. Not only does it allow you to try out a new scent, but they also make for perfect travel-ready pick-me-ups. Nothing brings on the feeling of being fresh faster than a few little sprits of perfume. This is a roller ball so I don’t have to worry about it leaking all over my bag.

3. Breath Mint: A couple drops of this and it’s like your mouth just took a shower.

4. Bobby Pins: I’m a firm believer in coming home with the hair style you left with, but in the event that you left too early to notice all the hairs you had sticking out in the back, or if it simply MUST GO FROM YOUR FACE – having bobby pins in the purse will certainly help. (I forgot to include a bobby pin in the picture because, ironically enough, I took this picture as I was running out the door to work).

5. Lip Balm: To me lip stick is the prettiest when you’ve applied it right after doing your makeup. So in the afternoon instead of putting more on, I usually follow it up and perk it up with some crazy luxurious lip balm like this Burt’s Bees number. I have about 17 of these things so that no purse is without.