Leather. Rinse. Repeat.

Erase whatever preconceived notion you have in your brain about leather. Unless that notion is it makes you look cool and gives your look a high fashion edge.

If that’s the case, don’t erase anything. Leave it be.

Because a “high fashion edge” is exactly what the look of leather is all about. And for the upcoming season it’s going to be everywhere – even the piping of a classic dress.

So here are four ways (all from West Town Mall a Simon Mall!) to incorporate it into your wardrobe this fall…

leather

Leather Leggings

These are literally on the top of my “must-have” list. I’ve let the thought of buying them simmer for over a year, now it’s just a matter of time till I find the right ones (these pictured are from Dillard’s, by the way). Wear them as pants, or pair them with a tunic or over-sized sweater and some black stilettos. Mmm girl. I don’t care what age you are, you’re going to look good.

Leather Piping

Ok, so maybe you’re not ready to drape your body entirely in the slick material. Go for something like this leather lined dress from Belk. It’s made by Ralph Lauren so you know you’re striking the right chord between classic and cool.

Leather Tank

Express really hit the nail on the head with this “wet look cami” as they call it. I love love love the way it drapes. The texture of it would make an all black outfit look so chic. In true Chandler fashion, “Could this top BE any cooler?!”

Leather Cardi

I’m currently in the market for a new black sweater for the fall….wait, looks like I’ve found the one. This cardigan from The Limited with the front leather detailing is going to be the bad boy of your closet. Pair it with even your sweetest, most floral-y top and it’s going to make them look oh so dangerously good.

The ABC’s of Fashion

This past Saturday, West Town Mall held a Back to School Fashion Show that resulted in a whole lot of cute pictures and tons of great fall outfits that have me so excited for fall*

*That’s an understatement.

Instead of piling all the pictures in one blog post, I’ve decided to spread them out that way you can savor them one piece at a time like a good pumpkin pie (See? Fall is on the brain).

Let’s give it up for the gorgeous track pants from Gap kids that I talked about on the show a couple weeks ago (pictured left)! And what’s even more exciting is their adult counter part was featured as well (pictured right). I love both looks! On the left even though it is a kids outfit, I think that would make a great school day outfit for any age. By pairing it with a white button down and a slouchy sweater, it hits all the right notes of comfort without going flat by looking sloppy.

track pants

If you did want to lean into the comfortable look, the model on the right does it well by pairing them with more of a structured shoe and jacket. Remember, it’s all about balance so if you’ll pair slouchy pieces with ones that have a little bit of bones to them, you’ll be able to pull off pants like these in public. Proudly.

I’d also like to take a moment to talk about that great chambray shirt dress in the picture on the right. I love those things. They can be worn so many different ways! If you’re looking for a versatile piece this fall, put that on your list. I don’t care what age you are.

I’d also like to give a shout out to some of the girls I recognized from Fashion Camp this summer! Each one of them carried themselves so well! I was so excited to recognize them and see them in their first “gig.” All I ask is that they throw me a Calvin Klein dress or two once they get famous. I’m serious about that. Size 6.

fashion camp

Be on the look out for more pics from the show!

More Subsciption Boxes, Oh My!

Beauty boxes aren’t the only subscriptions taking over your mail box. There are other products you can subscribe to and receive in a tiny box, while still in your bathrobe. First watch my segment from yesterday, then see what else you can subscribe to!

MeUndies

For $16 get a new, well crafted pair of underwear in your mailbox every month. So many underwear jokes…so little time.

Wantable Accessories

For $36 a month you get 3-4 jewelry and accessory pieces based on your taste.

Whimseybox

If you consider your initials to be DIY, this box is for you… For $15 every month you get a box filled with the materials and instructions you need to make a certain craft.

OneRadiant

This box is like having a dermatologist who’s in love with you, sending you presents. At least that’s what you can pretend when you pay the subscription fee up front for $36. That will get you 3 months worth of Derm (we’re on good terms now so he has a nickname) approved products tailored to your skin needs. It’s a subscription for only 3 months, though because their goal is to get you in a routine using the same products once you discover what works. Also, there’s a waiting list right now.

Stay tuned for future posts on more subscription boxes! It’s an industry that’s growing by the second!

Beauty Box Subscriptions

If you’ve been looking to dip your toe in the waters of the beauty product pool, you’re in luck. In fact, if you want to dip all ten of your toes, each in a different pool of water but all having to do with beauty products you can do that as well.

That’s because there is a fast growing phenomenon called ”beauty box subscriptions.” And there are tons of them.

The process is similar…you fill out a beauty profile, pay a monthly fee and every month you get a box of goodies sent to your front door. If you’re like me and really enjoy getting gifts in the mail, this is perfect because it’s like you’re getting a gift in the mail every month. But instead of it being from a secret admirer or your Aunt in Jersey, it’s from you to you. You paid for it (unless someone literally did buy it for you as a gift, in which case – aren’t you so special).

There are lots and lots of options out there, so I did some research and pulled together a short list of the most popular. I did limit myself to beauty boxes only. There are ALL KINDS of subscription boxes these days, but right now I only have time to give you the scoop on beauty product options. So here it goes…

beauty boxes

Glossy Box

Ringing in at $21 per month, this gorgeous gal comes with 5 luxury beauty products.

Downfall: No big negatives. You do accrue points from your reviews that you can put towards a free box, not products. But a whole box for free isn’t bad.

Perk: They use a lot of high end brands. In the box I received, it had a Butter nail polish in it which I know is worth $16 alone. So the deluxe size products you get are well worth the $21.

 

Birchbox

Birchbox is the Mark Zuckerberg of subscription boxes – they started the whole sha-bang. For $10 a month you get a variety of samples, some deluxe size and occasionally a full size. You can customize your box to a point (i.e.: you can tell them not to send you perfume samples anymore), but for the most part they go off of your beauty profile.

Downfall: I’ve been getting this beauty box for almost 2 years now. My biggest complaint is the number of packets I get.  You know those sample packets that you have no idea what to do with once you’ve opened it up and used a little bit, but you don’t want to throw it away because there’s more in there? Yeah. I don’t like that.

Perk: Their greatest asset is their points system. Every time you review a box, refer a friend, or purchase something from their online store you get points. Those points add up to dollars which can be applied to more product!

 

Julep Maven

Fellow nail color junkies? This one’s for you. For $25 a month (or $20 if you pay for a 3 month chunk) you get $40 worth of limited run nail colors and/or “innovative beauty products.”

Downfall: The only bad thing I’ve heard about them is their customer service isn’t the best. But that could just be one isolated experience.

Perk: You have a four day window every month to see what’s coming in your box and change it if you want. I think this is a HUGE perk because it ensures you always end up with something you like.

 

Ipsy

This little bad boy was created by YouTube sensation Michelle Phan. For $10 per month you get a bag with deluxe samples and lots of times a full size product.

Downfall: Currently they’re on a waiting list (so it must be pretty good). And while they do have a points system, it looks as if you can only put them towards an extra product in your box.

Perk: You get a bag every month. A little bag that can be used for SOOOOO many things (including gifts)!

 

Like I said, there are soo many boxes out there to choose from. All you really need to decide on is how much are you willing to pay, and how much can your Postman handle? For lots more info on these boxes and more, go to www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com.

What to Look for in a Button-Down Shirt

I knew I liked this shirt that I picked up at New York & Co. in West Town Mall, but it wasn’t until I examined it closely that I realized why it fits/looks so great.

It was then that I discovered it had everything I was looking for in a button down shirt.

Let me break it down…

button down

The problem most button-downs have is that the first button is in a precarious spot. If you keep it buttoned you look like a librarian, if you unbutton it you look like a slut.

This gives total validity to the conversation George and Jerry had that began and ended the Seinfeld series. It was all about buttons being in the wrong place. This shirt solves that problem with a slight V-neck, placing the first button in precisely the right spot.

Speaking of buttons, another problem most shirts like this have is gaping. The boob area especially can sometimes produce holes so wide you’d have to charge admission. Someone at New York and Co. recognized this problem and had the smarts to realize this shirt will side step it. It’s got a button every 1/2 inch so there is no gaping, no admission, no peep show (just don’t plan on buttoning/unbuttoning in a hurry, it’s hard).

Next on the list of brilliant things about this shirt, is this little waist cinching detail you can’t really see in the picture. It’s got darts on the sides, and a little bit of gathering behind those darts so as to slim your midsection. Again, genius.

And finally, the biggest problem I have with button-downs is their length. Most of the time they’re super short, barely skimming the top of my pants. Ewww. I hate that. This one is a nice long length making me feel balanced and not like I’m all legs.

New York & Co. in West Town Mall really knows how to pick ‘em. Go get your perfect button-down (because it’s also a great layering piece for fall) today!

How to Receive Lots of Compliments

Today I’d like to take a slightly different approach to the series on compliments I’ve been doing (you can see other posts about it here and here).

I know that receiving a compliment is something some women struggle with, but some times we can have problems on the other end – fishing for them. I’ve been in many a scenario with other women where they were doing everything but literally reaching down my throat to pull out praise, and needless to say that can be awkward (and not very tasty).

What’s more is if you go fishing for a compliment, the reward is never ever as sweet as when you get one that’s fresh and sincere.

So what is a girl to do if she wants lots of compliments but doesn’t often receive them?

compliments

Two words: compliment others.

I am 1,000% certain of this, that if you begin to compliment others – even strangers – you will in turn get paid compliments back. I practice this constantly in my own life. Words of encouragement are a big part of how I receive love, so I make it a point to compliment someone on something I think is pretty, whether I know them or not.

The Bible tells us that the concept of seed time and harvest will always exist, which means if you’ll sow seeds of compliments, you’ll get many in return. I do! I’m all the time getting complimented from strangers. Every time it happens, it brightens my day!

Rest assured that’s not the only reason I tell you I like something. It’s because I know how uplifting it is to hear those encouraging words, and that makes me want to offer the same happiness to someone else (whether they say, “Thank you” or not!)

Lovely Loungewear

loungewear

So your eyes hit the title of this post, and already you’re thinking, “leave my lounge-wear alone! It’s not supposed to be lovely!”

Yes, I realize we’re not living on a movie set where we hand around our house in gorgeous clothing (anyone else notice that people on TV are always hanging out in their house with their shoes on?) But that doesn’t mean we can’t have an “alternate” collection of loungewear that we wear to make other people think that’s how we hang in our house.

I’m going to shatter your illusion of me, and tell you right now that the above picture is not how I look when I hang around my house. I know, you just blast spit your coffee all over the screen, but it’s true. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m doing so sans makeup, with every single strand of hair pinned up and away from my face.

It’s important to have moments of complete uninhibited (and probably real unattractive) comfort. In doing so, you give yourself a break from making an effort. You need that every once in a while.

But the only people who should ever see you in that state of being are the people with whom you share a home. Because the moment you step out the door looking like that, you will see someone you know. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of which corner will they turn. That’s why for those instances, it’s best to have lovely loungewear.

Take this stud adorned sweater from Forever21, for example. It’s not just a comfortable gray sweatshirt, it’s got an added detail that makes you look a little more polished. I paid $5 for this puppy because I found it on clearance, which is where you can often find great loungewear pieces like this. So keep your eyes out. (Here’s a great example from Old Navy).

Happy lovely lounging, Ladies!

Atlar’d State

Ahoy, Wednesday!

Every week on hump-day I like to pass on a product review, and today I’m taking it to something much bigger than a tube of concealer.

I want to tell you about Altar’d State! This store just recently opened up in West Town Mall, which means we have sooo many fabulous options there now. If you haven’t been in, you really need to find an excuse to get yourself in there (here’s one: you ate today. Go celebrate!)

This store has done a fantastic job of making their corner in the mall look awesome, and oh yeah they have some pretty merchandise as well!

They’re big on “shabby chic” so if that’s what you love – you’re in luck.

altar'd state

If you’re more like me and not so much into the shabby chic, don’t check them off your places to stop because they do have some really pretty jewelry pieces. (Although I will say, that striped top there in the middle, that could fit right up my alley…)

altar'd state

The staff is always super friendly, and it’s just a beautiful place to walk around. So even if you’re not searching for something in particular, take a lap around the store just to feel happy (stop and read their home décor signs while you do).

I can’t say they’re Forever21 cheap (I can’t say that at all), they do know how to put on a good sale. So if there’s something in there that you find but can’t pay full price for, wait on it and it may get discounted. But hey, even if you do pay full price for something there it’s totally worth it, as they have several awesome ongoing programs that give back to the community and help to spread the gospel.

I may not be into chabby chic look, but I am into helping more people hear about God’s love! Go check the place out!

3 Steps to a Clean Makeup Drawer

A strong advantage to writing a blog about cleaning out your makeup drawer, is that you have to actually clean out the makeup drawer. There’s no excuse.

Good news is it took less than 20 minutes. So whether you have a makeup drawer, bag, box, or crate, it can be easily cleaned in three steps.

makeup drawerStart by pulling out everything. This will help you see what all you’ve got hiding in the corners. In doing this I found bronzers I haven’t touched in over a year, a primer I was hanging onto even though it made me break out, and an unmarked jar of something…I still don’t know what it is.

makeup drawerNow that you’ve got everything out, go ahead and arrange it all into categories (i.e.: eyes, lips, face). This will help you see what you need, what you have duplicates of, and what’s really been so used up it needs to go.

makeup drawerYou may not have a makeup drawer, you may have a makeup bag. Whatever you store it all in clean out that container. If you’re like me and you use a silverware divider wash it with soap and water. I found this to be much more effective over a spray cleaner because the water loosens the dirt more easily. If it’s a bag, run it through the washer. Either way, don’t skip this step because it’s going to make everything look/feel/be so fresh afterwards.

makeup drawerIt’s time to put your makeup back in your clean container! Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, streamlined your categories and cleaned out your container, you can put it all back together to make one good looking makeup drawer (I even like to wipe everything down before I put it back).

It’s a quick easy clean that’s going to have you feeling very good about yourself tomorrow morning!

My Back to School Outfit From 1998

Before you see this picture, just know that my outfit for the first day of high school was actually awesome. I wore a floral skirt with a sheer black overlay (which later became known as the “cursed skirt” because I always tripped and fell or spilled something all over myself whenever I wore it).

Pictured below is what I wore when I entered 10th grade.

I remember specifically choosing this dress because I felt as if it really complimented my figure. And obviously comfort played a strong factor, why else would I choose to pair it with 100 pound white old-lady sneakers?

So maybe I didn’t get proportions right, or maybe later on in high school I got the Jennifer Aniston hair-cut that ended up looking like untamed helmet hair. Regardless, I had the right thought process down.

Here are the three things to keep in mind when dressing for a big day…

first day of school ootd

1. Pick something that makes you feel like the best version of you.

I wore this lavender dress because I knew I had some pretty awesome curves to show off, and that made me feel good about myself whenever I wore it.  That allowed me to walk through the halls confidently that day.

2. Make comfort a priority.

Whether it’s the first day of school, or the first day of a new job, there’s a plenty of uncertainty to go around. The last thing you want to do is be uncomfortable. Be sure to wear something you won’t have to tug on or readjust, and always go with a pair of shoes you can walk confidently in – as long as those shoes don’t look like the chunkers I’m wearing ;)

3. Don’t do anything to your hair that’s going to have you second guessing yourself all day

I.E.: do I need more hairspray? Are my curls still there? Go with your easiest style, saving the more complicated ones for after you’ve settled in.

You have a lot to offer this world, set yourself up to present you most confidently!