Knot Sweater

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Fun fact, I used to write down what I wore every single day in a planner. It started in middle school and carried all the way through my first job out of college. I would record everything, from my shoes to accessories, in hopes that I wouldn’t outfit repeat in too short of a time span.

Oh, how the tides have turned. I not only have worn this RoseGal sweater three times in a month, I even wore it two nights in a row on our trip to Asheville — styled different ways of course. As seen here, I paired it with denim cutoffs, and the night before a pair of black distressed jeans. For a brunch outing with one of my besties, I wore it with a my trusty denim skirt.

The best part? It comes in four different colors and is under $50! It’s one of those “one size fits all” deals, but I’d say it’s probably true to a medium and possibly a large. I kind of liked the off-the-shoulder factor though! I think I’m going to get it in the khaki color as well!

Shop My Look: 

Sweater | RoseGal

Shorts | Urban Outfitters 

Shoes | Convers

The Best Brownies Ever

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Whether it’s a tailgate or a friend’s birthday party, these brownies are my go-to recipe. Commonly — and infamously — known as “slutty brownies”, I’ve been making these triple-layer treats for almost 10 years. (I also have no clue why they are called slutty brownies, I’m assuming it’s because they’re so “easy” to make…?) I once made these for a day party in college and left the room for five minutes and returned to an empty pan — that’s how good they are. The best thing about these? They’re box-made, but so good that no one can even tell! You’ll need to set aside about hour for these babies, but don’t worry, most of the time is baking time!

(Also, I apologize in advance for these photos. It’s not easy to make brownies look pretty.)

Prep Time: 10 – 15 minutes

Bake Time: 35 – 45, depending on pan size and oven intensity (go by the temperature that the brownie box says)

Ingredients: 

1 chocolate chip cookie dough package + additional ingredients called for on package

12 – 24 chocolate and creme sandwich cookies (you can use Oreos or opt for store-brand Oreos. They taste the exact same! I typically go for Giant brand double-stuffed cookies.)

1 fudge brownie package + additional ingredients called for on package

Directions: 

Preheat oven (follow temperature instructions on brownie package). Lightly grease a brownie pan.

Make cookie dough as instructed by cookie package. To soften butter, I typically put the stick in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Wait about 3 – 5 minutes for the butter to cool before mixing in cookie mix so that chocolate chips don’t melt.

Once mixed, scoop cookie dough into pan and cover the bottom evenly. Use your hands or a spatula to flatten.

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Place chocolate + creme cookies in a neat row — I like to do 5 rows of 4 — on top of cookie dough. When I cut my brownies, I make it so that each cookie is square in the middle of the brownie.

oreos and cookie dough

Prepare brownie mix. Evenly pour brownie mix over cookie dough and cookies. I shake the pan a bit to help evenly distribute the mix throughout the pan.

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Pop into the oven! I recommend setting your timer to 35 minutes and checking at that point with a toothpick to see if they’re done, you don’t want to overcook them! When you insert the toothpick, it should come out cleanly. If there is raw batter on the toothpick, keep baking for 5 – 10 more minutes.

Cut into squares and serve! If you’re feeling fancy, they taste great served with warm with vanilla ice cream!

 

 

Tips For Jean Skirt Shopping

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If you had told me in college that denim skirts would come back in style, I would have laughed in your face. Yet here I am, reaching into my dresser nearly every weekend to pull out a jean skirt! I got this skirt in late August and have worn it no less than seven times since then. Sure, the fact that it’s felt more like summer than fall the past few months definitely helps, but I can surely say I’m getting my money’s worth out of it!

I’ve been primarily pairing this skirt with bodysuits (as seen in this post) but I’ve also styled it with a simple baseball tee, an oversized sweater, and a button down.. I can also see myself pairing it with a white tee and open flannel or a thermal Henley as the temps drop! 

A denim skirt is a great alternative to jean shorts because it looks more polished, but still offers the comfort of denim versus a floaty dress. Since I don’t think this trend is going anywhere anytime soon, I thought I’d offer a few of my tips for finding and styling your own jean skirt! 

  • Rise is key: to avoid looking like you pulled your abercombie jean skirt out of your storage closet, go for a high-rise fit. Back in the 2000s the hip-hugger style reined supreme, but a high-waisted style looks more mature and quite frankly, is more flattering
  • Consider the wash: I’m drawn to the light wash or black denim skirts because again, they don’t look like the skirts we used to wear back in middle school. (Was it just me, or were light wash jeans considered dorky back in the day?) Stay away from the bleach or paint spots too because that just instantly evokes visions of Hollister.
  • Do the fingertip test: I’ve talked about the fingertip test before, but one of my new rules of thumb is to make sure the skirt hits right at or below my fingertips to make sure the length is appropriate
  • Special details are a go: front buttons, embroidery, and patchwork details are a fun way to even further elevate your look from basic jeans, but don’t overdo it on the gaudy
  • Accentuate your waist: since denim skirts can be a bit boxy, I like tucking in my shirts either all the way or in a half tuck so that my frame isn’t overwhelmed

Shop My Look: 

Bodysuit | Forever 21 (similar)

Skirt | Urban Outfitters (similar)

Sneakers | Converse

An Open Letter To The District

DSC04862DSC04851DSC04838DSC04858DSC04833I haven’t always loved DC. As a Northern Virginia native, I would frequently visit the city on field trips and family outings while I was growing up. One of the things I remember the most about these trips was being jealous of the city-slickers I saw running on the National Mall — I wasn’t even a runner, so I’m not quite sure why that resonated so strongly with me. While I romanticized about having the monuments as my backdrop on evening runs, I actually never thought I would end up in DC — I was pretty much convinced that I was going to be a New York City girl and work in the fashion industry. As fate had it, that wasn’t an option for me right out of college, so I ended up moving a whopping 12 miles (45 minutes thanks to the traffic) away from home and into DC, but it turns out I like it just fine.

I love that we have distinct neighborhoods and a blossoming restaurant scene. I love that we have a (mostly) reliable and inexpensive public transit system. I love that I can walk from my apartment in Shaw to Dupont Circle within 20 minutes.

What I don’t love, is that DC is a transient city. I’ve almost lost count of the amount of friends who have moved to the District and that I’ve formed very close bonds with, only to have them move two years later. Making friends as an adult out of college is hard. I’m a fairly sociable person, but it’s definitely a challenge to establish meaningful relationships as a twenty-something outside of school or work. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a network of women who I’ve grown to call very good friends, but true to form, one of them just left the city on a new venture.

I wore this outfit to one of my closest blogger friends, Glass Of Glam’s going away party last weekend. I’d been saving it for the occasion, and although I felt pretty fab in this tobi snakeskin romper— it was a bittersweet event. 

Between getting engaged, celebrating new babies, stress at work, and bidding one of my closest friends goodbye in less than a week, I’m a bit emotionally worn out, so I’ll sign off this post with this — I wish you and the Husband and Kitties of Glam the best in your new city, Rox. I know it’s not a goodbye, but a “see ya when you return from your really long vacation.” Love you + miss you already.

Shop My Look: 

Romper | Tobi 

Boots | Steve Madden

A Rant About Personal Style

DSC04782DSC04816DSC04803DSC04818It’s funny how your taste changes the older you get, right? At age 18, your favorite color could be hot pink and you might demand that your freshman college dorm room be decked out in accents of zebra and Barbie’s signature color (Shroots, what were we thinking!?) — but as you grow older, I guess it’s natural that things you once loved make you cringe.

Less than three years ago, I used to hate wearing pants — I considered them torture —and my closet was filled with flirty and girly dresses. Now, I almost feel uncomfortable in dresses and long for my forgiving high waisted jeans when I forgo them for a frock. Three years ago, you never would have caught me with my hair in a bun, but it’s now almost become my signature hairstyle (thanks, DC humidity). Up until two weeks ago, I was convinced that I wanted a gold and white wedding and now I’ve totally shifted to a different color palette after deciding I needed some blue in there because Gerald looks so nice in that color.

I guess the point of all of this rambling is to share that it’s okay for your preferences to change throughout the years. I’ve noticed my personal style shift drastically in the last year, and at one point I almost felt like I was betraying myself by enjoying wearing pants! I felt like I wasn’t being true to my “personal brand” (whatever that may be) then felt like an idiot, because literally who cares!? That’s the beauty of personal style — it’s personal, which means it belongs to you and only you. Don’t feel like you have to fit into a certain mold just because at one point in time you decided you hated all things preppy and would never shop at J Crew. I’m wearing Madewell jeans in this post and that’s basically the same thing!

Anyways, your style is going to evolve. I encourage you to pick up the next “off brand” thing you’re drawn to the next time you’re shopping. Who cares if it doesn’t fit into your wardrobe of all black or preppy pastels? If you want to try it, do it. The best part of growing up is figuring out what you truly do like.

Shop My Look: 

Sweater | Tobi*

(*disclaimer, it runs a little large. I’m wearing a small and should have gone for an XS! Tobi usually runs pretty true to size though.)

Jeans | Madewell(I’m wearing a “regular” cut in size 25)

Shoes | Vestique (similar)

Return Of The Camo

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Does anyone else remember begging their moms for mini skirts from Abercombie in high school? Just me? I kid you not, I once wanted a denim skirt so badly I saved it as my mom’s background on her computer — I was an annoying freak. Anyways, one of these coveted skirts was a camo cargo skirt that I HAD to have and it actually ended up becoming resurrected in college for GI Joe-themed parties. Moral of the story, I’ve always liked camo, but for some reason, I’ve never purchased anything else in the pattern since that infamous skirt. 

A friend referred me for a free Le Tote box a few weeks ago and when I saw these camo pants I jumped at the chance to try them. To be honest, they’re a little bit “mom-ish” thanks to the cargo style and capri cut, but I’m pretty happy with how I styled them for the MiMi Miller One Year Anniversary Party. To help glam the capris up, I channeled my inner wannabe Kardashian-style and paired them with stiletto ankle strap heels and a super flattering bodysuit from Tobi. I love the neckline on this bodysuit and thought it was a good combo between being covered up but still showing some skin. 

These capris were a bit too low-slung for me to keep, but I was definitely tempted to add them to my wardrobe. I could also see them styled with an open side graphic tank and converse, or even a crop top and some cool sneakers!

I have a feeling I’m going to be reaching for this black bodysuit over and over again this fall and winter. I can’t wait to pair it with some high-waisted jeans and OTK boots! 

Shop My Look 

Pants | Sanctuary 

Bodysuit | Tobi 

Heels | Similar

Borrowed From The Boys (…or in this case, my mom)

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I’m afraid I might be a clothes hoarder. I snatched this pink button-down from my mom when I was a freshman in college (I used to wear it belted over leggings with riding boots…#stylish) and haven’t worn it since then, but for some reason it’s survived FIVE moves and stayed in my closet. I know that hoarding is frowned upon by pretty much ever stylist ever, but I swear that sometimes it pays off.

I’d seen this button down turned off-the-shoulder on Instagram before, but it wasn’t until my blogger friend Leyla of Beyond Her Curls found a DIY tutorial and shared it in a post that I was able to figure out how to style the top this way. Spoiler, it’s way easier than it looks! You can check out the tutorial by blogger Fara Pink here. I also love the other looks that she put together in her tutorial! 

Once I figured out how to style the shirt this way, I couldn’t wait to wear it to a blogging event so I wore it to brunch at Tico with my new photographer friend Lacey. I paired it with my new favorite denim skirt and these surprisingly comfortable heels from SammyDress. 

Thanks again, Leyla for sharing this tutorial!

Shop My Look

Shirt | Similar 

Heels | SammyDress

Skirt | Urban Outfitters

 

Personal Style For Professional Attire

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By now, you guys are probably sick of hearing about how lucky I am to have a casual dress code at the office. While I can wear tees and jeans on the reg, there are some times I need to dress up – client meetings, conferences, networking events, etc. – so I always keep an eye out for business casual clothes that fit my personal style.

Finding office appropriate clothing that is true to your off-duty style can be tricky. To me, the majority of professional clothing is very basic or too buttoned-up to me for young working women, so I often turn to retailers like H&M and ASOS for professional wear, even finding some appropriate items at Forever 21 from time to time! I found this dress online from SammyDress, and wore it to a conference last week and to the office today because whatever, outfit repeating is fine and this dress has pockets — you’d outfit repeat it too. One of my colleagues actually has the same dress and wore it a few weeks ago! 

I’ve written before about maintaining your personal style at the office before (here and here), but that was nearly a year ago and my taste has definitely evolved since then, so I figured I’d bring back some of my pointers and add some fresh takes in! 

  •  You can still wear patterns: I like to describe my style as a bit boho, and although the shift dress I’m wearing above is a conservative cut, the floral pattern still ties back to something I’d wear outside of the office. Polka dots, stripes, chevron, tweed, geometric, and even some novelty print items are all okay for the office! Stick to more muted color palettes to make the pattern more toned down for the office.

 

  • Stacked and block heels are bae: Stiletto heels look amazing when paired with professional attire, but we all know those spiky heels aren’t comfortable for a 9-hour work day. The more surface area your heel has, the more weight the shoe will take off of the balls of your feet, making it easier to wear heels until it’s time to slip on your commuting sneaks or sandals
  • The fingertip test: Did that phrase just make you cringe and think of your high school days? I still swear by it. For those of you who don’t know, the fingertip test is if you put your arms down by your sides, your skirt should fall below your fingertips, or else it’s too short and you’ll get sent home or have to put on your gym sweatpants. In all seriousness though, it is a good test. If you’re not sure that your skirt passes it – layer your look with some tights.
  • Sky-high heels: This one is tricky, because some people think that heels over 3 inches are unprofessional, but I don’t abide by that rule. I think that as long as you can elegantly walk in your heels, you should rock them in your client meeting. Teetering and tottering on your way to the conference room is more unprofessional than some added height.
  • Leggings as pants: Some people think this is a major faux pas, but I think that this can be done tastefully and do ofter wear leggings in the winter. Rule of thumb, your butt should be covered by your sweater or tunic and if you bend over your leggings better not be see through. Don’t you dare pair them with sneakers though or else you’re crossing the line to athleisure.
  • Ripped jeans: This can also be tricky. I wear ripped jeans at least once a week, but again, my office is SUPER casual. Unless you’re a creative firm, I’d probably steer clear of these. If you do try it out, don’t go full-on shredded. Try slight distress marks or minimal rips at the knees, but keep the rest of your outfit slightly more polished if you’re unsure if your office allows this.
  • Open-toe shoes and sandals: This might be veering into one of my personal pet-peeves, but if you’re going to go for open-toe, make sure your feet are taken care of, por favor. You don’t need a fresh pedi, but if your nail polish is peeling off, maybe opt for booties.

Shop My Look: 

Dress | SammyDress 

Shoes | Vestique (similar)

Necklace | Sugarfix by Bauble Bar

 

Fall Haul

I’m coming to terms with the fact that fall is here, but I’m still not happy about it. I kid you not, my coworker and I convinced one of the company’s partners to bring in a UV lamp that helps with SAD to help us make it through the fall and winter.

One way I’m coping with the changing of the seasons is by filling my closet with new staples that actually make me look forward to cooler weather. From an amazing pair of Madewell jeans that Ashlee of Cobalt Chronicles recommends, to the gray Steve Madden booties I lived in last year, below are some of the items that will be getting some mileage this fall or are on my wish list to purchase in the next few months! The manfriend and I are headed to Asheville in two weeks and I’m already planning on packing the red maxi, flannel, and denim skirt in my bag for the trip!

Fall Haul

High-rise Skinny Jeans | Madewell

Mock Neck Sweater Tank | Madewell

Forever In Flannel Top | Vestique

Gray Booties | Steve Madden

Evana Black Sweater | Tobi

Tie Up Swing Dress | Undeniable Boutique

Maxi | Zaful

Snakeskin Booties | Fabrik

Denim Skirt | Urban Outfitters

Statement Tee

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Two years ago, I hated jeans. I would do anything – like wear a dress with no tights when it was 40 degrees out – to avoid wearing pants. Fast forward, and now a statement tee and a pair of high-waisted jeans are one of my favorite go-to outfits for work. (I realize how lucky I am to work for a creative company that allows me to adopt this as my daily uniform!)

Some mornings, I will just tuck a plain tee into my jeans and call it a day, but I like to look for t-shirts that have a special detail to make it seem like more of a statement. This Zaful tee is a perfect example of a “statement tee” and I wore this exact outfit to work yesterday! I love that the ruffle is shorter in the front and longer in the back — perfect for pairing with my beloved high-waisted jeans. The size on the website says “one fits all” but the tag says a M. It runs a little large on me, but I like the looser fit!

When searching for statement tees, I gravitate towards details like a fun sleeve (think lace up details or lattice work), or even just an asymmetrical hem to jazz it up. If the tee is a plain cotton one, I like to tuck it in and add either a brightly colored or printed belt for some detail. My favorite neutral but statement-making belt is a cheetah print one I picked up at DSW years ago for like $9.00. I also find that pairing a simple look with a pair of heels instantly makes your outfit look more pulled together. Another obvious way to jazz up a look centered around a t-shirt is to add a statement necklace or earrings, but I’m more of a simple jewelry girl!

Shop My Look: 

Top | Zaful

Jeans | TopShop 

Shoes | Vestique (similar)

Clutch | South Moon Under (similar)