80-Inspired Outfit with Express

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I’ve taken a little break from blogging because I was battling a viral chest infection that I caught while traveling abroad. I’m finally back to 100% and feeling much more energized to work on the blog.

So I’ve teamed up with Express to share how to incorporate the totally rad 1980’s into your everyday wardrobe with metallic colors, bold shoulders, sweetheart necklines and ripped denim.

Head on over to The Edit on Express.com to see my entire 80’s-inspired outfit or shop my full look below!

I think my absolute favorite elements of this whole look are the Metallic Silver Open Back Loafers – they are a steal at $49.50 compared to the uber-expensive ones on the soles of fashion girls everywhere.

Stay tuned for more travel guides from Italy, Paris, Barcelona, Cape Town, Nepal and India. And in the meantime, check out the pieces I am craving for spring.

Long Plaid Cardigan

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Michael and I are hitting the road and heading to Ohio to celebrate his grandmother’s 90th birthday over the weekend. We always have a jammed-packed schedule when visiting family and it usually starts the moment we get in town.

Therefore it’s important for me to travel in something that is comfortable but also looks polished enough to head out to dinner when we get there like this long plaid cardigan that I found for only $30 (the plaid obsession continues!)

This open-front green sweater will keep me warm and cozy in the car but looks polished when paired with black pants, a gingham shirt and a sparkly statement necklace for nighttime.

I’m planning on trading out my Frye boots for my booties which are tucked away in my weekender bag (which I may or may not have given as a gift to Michael at one point) and doing my hair in this “5-minute updo” with a reversible gold and black headband.

All in all, this is an easy day-to-night look!

Speaking of looks…make sure to come back next week to see what to wear to a black tie, black tie optional or cocktail wedding with Rent the Runway shot by Jennifer Kathryn Photography. It was so.much.fun and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Long Plaid Cardigan, Tan Weekender Bag, Frye Boots, Black Pants, Gingham Shirt, Statement Necklace, Reversible Headband, Gold Ray-Bans

Striped Off the Shoulder Dress and Boater Hat

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With temperatures hovering in the 90’s over the weekend, this Striped Off the Shoulder Dress and Boater Hat kept me cool and chic for a summer Saturday full of fun.

After a morning walk through the Gold Coast for a latte from BowTruss and a quick dip in the pool, we headed out meet a group of friends for lunch in the blazing heat so I needed something to keep cool for a long afternoon.

This $29.99 striped dress is the newest addition to my off the shoulder dress collection and I’m happy to have it in the crew. It is lightweight and the elastic waist gives the dress some definition. I paired it with a straw boater hat and my gold Birks which I pretty much wear non-stop.

The dress runs a little bit small, so order one size up if you prefer the length of your dresses to be longer. The dress description also states that the stripes are black, but they look navy blue to me!

And since we’re talking clothes,  remember to see my picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I’ve added some really cool Home items so make sure to check it out!

Striped Off the Shoulder Dress (under $30), Gold Birkenstocks here and here, Tortoiseshell Sunglasses, Boater Hat, Black Stud Earrings

How to Wear Leather Leggings

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In the past couple years, leather leggings have become a serious wardrobe staple for fashion girls and it is a trend I fully support.

My “dream-self” would like to purchase a pair by Vince, but my “real-self” informs that these are not in the budget. But since I’m not one to let a little price tag stand in the way of fashion, I was happy to see a friend sporting this stylish and budget-friendly, leather-legging that I have to purchase.

During the day, blend leather leggings with an oversized knit sweater, suede smoking loafers and a roomy black tote for a cute, casual look.

During the night, blend leather leggings with a fringe cardigan sweater, heeled boot and backpack for a trendy, out-on-the-town look.

The icing on the fabulous, leather cake? All of the items pictured here are under $100!

Faux Leather Leggings, Scarf, Sweater, Tote Bag, Suede Loafers, Hat, Fringe Sweater, Black Suede Boots, Backpack

Kendra Scott St. Louis

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Kendra Scott St. Louis is now open at Plaza Frontenac and I was lucky to have hosted the opening night party to celebrate the occasion!

Guests were invited to join me, Kendra Scott community manager Anna Keenan and the super-stylish Kendra Scott team for a night of shopping, sipping and selecting their very own piece from the Color Bar – all beautifully captured by Amy Rau Photography.

If you are not familiar with the Color Bar, it is pretty much THE most amazing thing to happen to jewelry since, well since Kendra Scott!

Using an in-store touch screen, you select a earring, bracelet, necklace or ring style; select the metal (gold, rose gold or silver for most pieces); and then choose your stone color(s) from a wide range of hues.

The jewelry piece is made right then and there by a member of the talented and Kendra Scott team for you to take home! It is the perfect way to showcase your personal style or even coordinate an entire bridal party look.

Not located near a KS store? You can also design your piece using the Color Bar online.

Since I was in the market for a timeless style, I chose the Connely necklace with gold metal and white pearl stones. I also picked up a killer Naomi ring in Iridescent Drusy which I had been eying since my visit to the Kendra Scott store in Chicago.

The St. Louis store is not only bright and beautiful, it is stocked full of colorful jewels and a super-knowledgeable staff. Plus, if you stop by this Saturday you can customize a gold Corla necklace FREE with a $50 purchase!

Thank you to Anna and the whole Kendra Scott team for making the night so fun for each and every guest and welcome to St. Louis!

Keep scrolling for more photos of the party by the talented Amy Rau Photography!

All photos: Amy Rau Photography

White Eyelet Shirt Dress

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Summer provides the perfect excuse to wear white. It’s chic, timeless and keeps you cool. The newest addition to my white repertoire – a cotton eyelet shirtdress that I wore when exploring Playa Mujeres. I packed a few essentials in my take-everywhere tote and hit the road for some ice cream, shopping and cocktails.

Note: The top of the dress is a bit see through so I felt more comfortable with a camisole underneath. 

White Eyelet Shirtdress, Mar Y Sol Caracas Tote, Black Leather Sandals, Warby Parker Sunglasses, Gold Watch 

Lilly Pulitzer Blythe Dress and Monogrammed Straw Clutch

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What’s more perfect than a Lilly Pulitzer Blythe Dress and Monogrammed Straw Clutch for a bright, colorful look at the beach? Not much in my opinion!

I’ve always been a fan of the bold prints from Lilly, but never owned one of her iconic dresses. So after a rain-soaked afternoon hiding indoors, I purchased my first Lilly dress at Barefoot Princess in WaterColor in a fun, fresh ‘light as a feather’ pattern.

The swing shape of the cotton v-neck dress provides a loose, laid back look perfect for an evening at the WaterColor wine bar with my mom and Michael. And this dress is more affordable than most Lilly dresses – at only $98, you can have the “Lilly look for less”!

Sizing tip: order down a size or two. For reference, I am wearing an XXS and am 5’1″. I normally wear an XS or S in dresses.

Besides my luggage, I only packed two bags with me for vacation – my beach bag and my brand new Monogrammed Straw Clutch from Lindroth Design. To say I am obsessed with this clutch is an understatement.

Painted with bright pink and white stripes and featuring my monogram ‘CCM’, I have carried this bag with me everywhere. It is large enough to hold all of my essentials – my iPhone, small wallet, sunglasses and case, lipstick and lipliner – and looks cute during the day or night.

You can choose from 21 different colors for the stripes and monogram hand-painted on the bag and they only take about 3-5 business days to create. Lindroth Design also offers beach bags and small straw handle bags with the same iconic stripes and monograms. I’ll be adding the Lyford Bag to my wish list!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see more of my vacation fun! It’s been raining non-stop but we’re making the most of it!

Lilly Pulitzer Blythe Dress, Monogrammed Straw Clutch, Jack Rogers Jelly Sandals, Gold Watch, Gold Aviator Sunglasses, White Bangle, Pink Bangle, MAC Lipstick, MAC Lipliner

Create & Cultivate Conference Recap

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On Saturday, I attended Create & Cultivate, “a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space” founded by Jaclyn Johnson. It was the first time the conference has taken place in Chicago and I was lucky enough to purchase a ticket before the event sold out.

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the conference was all about but saw that there was a rockstar lineup of lady bosses speaking throughout the day so I dove right in.

I signed up solo and therefore had major anxiety leading up to the event. I had been to similar large conferences (Alt Summit and Engage) and know that a 10-hour day of networking can be scary and downright exhausting. But, I did my research on #CreateCultivateCHI on Instagram and spotted a  familiar face in the lineup – Maureen from Kate & Company, whom I had worked with in the past. And even though I introduced myself to a ton of new people, it was nice to have a friend in the bunch to touch base with during breakouts. 

The action-packed day was split into panels, workshops, mentoring sessions, a keynote speaker and socializing with other female entrepreneurs. Plus, there was a shopping lounge by Whitney Eve (who was also a speaker), Topshop, Lulu & Georgia and Simon G. and a beauty lounge offering OPI manicures and hair and makeup touchups.  Why did I even get ready for the day?! 

What I Thought:

The standout panelists for me were ones that gave the most “real-world” advice – Erica Domesek from P.S. – I Made This, Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins, Whitney Port from Whitney Eve and of course, Garance Doré. Garance was effortless and funny while being professional at the same time. With inspiring advice such as, “the heart first then the success follows” and “you cannot be everything to everyone,” I am really looking forward to reading her book coming out in the fall. 

Although there may be many people doing the same things, it is important to set yourself apart just by being YOU. We may buy the same bag or read the same blogs, but each person is unique. No one can be ME and I am pretty darn happy about that. So now it is time to hustle!

I was also happy to connect with the sister-duo behind White Elephant Designs, Kate from The Small Things, Rachel from Between Two Coasts, Kristin from Bridentity Crisis, Ashley from Ashley & Malone and Jay Goldmark from EmiJay during my mentor session. 

All in all, I am happy that I attended Create & Cultivate and look forward to more events here in Chicago. I would love to hear if you attended the event, what you thought or if you have any questions about that day. Let me know in my comments section!

What I Wore:

I stressed and stressed about what to wear and what to bring. After all, most of the women speaking and attending are quite fashionable. I chose this patterned, silk dress because it was stylish, comfortable and minimal on the wrinkle-factor (important when toggling between sitting and standing all day), black booties to last 10 hours on my feet and my trusty black tote filled with my camera, phone charger, lipstick and business cards. 

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

Burgundy Polka Dot Shirt

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No joke, I have worn this burgundy polka dot blouse a few times since I purchased it. The color is so rich and pairs perfectly with the new lip shade I’ve been crushing on for fall.  Plus, the sleeves are already cuffed and the shirt barely wrinkles making it a no-brainer to pair with skinny jeans.

It was the perfect dressy-casual look for a girls night out with my friend Rachel. We had margaritas then attended a Curling 101 class at Goldplaited. We learned a bunch of different techniques on how to curl your hair and had a blast while doing it.

I ended up purchasing this curling wand which features three different barrels, making it easy to get the perfect wave for your hair length. And it is so incredibly easy to use, even for a hair-challenged gal like me.

In addition to hair styling, the makeup artist showed us how to fill in your eyebrows properly and taught us about brow highlighters. Um, how have I not heard about these yet?! It is like a face lift for your brows!

Polka Dot Shirt, Jeans, Crossbody Bag, Fringe Booties, Pendant Necklace, Gray Earrings, Lipstick, Gold Aviators

How I Stay Comfydent Working for Myself

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For the past five years, I have more or less worked for myself – owning a wedding invitation design business, freelance graphic design and writing this blog. I ditched the corporate world and said ‘goodbye’ to a 9-to-5 job.

While I love the freedom that I have to create my own schedule, taking this unconventional career path definitely creates moments where I don’t feel like I measure up amongst my peers. After all, it’s just me out there. No team, no management.

When I’m on deadline, the last thing I want to be thinking about is how uncomfortable my bra is or how badly I want to change my outfit.

My success depends upon my focus and creativity. I’m at my best when I’m cool, comfortable, and feeling confident. Thanks to my new Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra and Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties I can grab my morning coffee, get right to work, and feel both COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT all day long.

On those days when the doubt creeps in and my confidence is shaken, I am happy to have a brand like Hanes on my side reminding me to #BeComfydent.

From the Cool Comfort® wicking fabric to the Tagless® design, I never lose my cool in my Hanes. The Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra is designed with ComfortFlex Fit®, a smart sizing fabric that takes the complication out of finding the perfect bra and gives the bra a super soft, stretchy feel. The pull-over style provides all day support and comfort and has become an absolute wardrobe essential that can easily be transitioned from day to night.

The Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties are made of soft, breathable cotton that come preshrunk for a lasting fit. The low-rise elastic waist fits gently for all day comfort, and they come in a variety of fun colors/designs.

What would you pay to feel polished, comfortable, and #BeComfydent in your own skin? Thanks to Hanes, you can feel your best without breaking the bank. At just $9.99 each, you may need to pick up the Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra in a few shades. Even better, the Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties come in a pack of 6 for just $13.00. Visit Hanes.com for discounts and special offers.

Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra, Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties

Hanes has made it their mission to give women the comfort they need to confidently navigate their daily lives. Join the movement and use the #BeComfydent hashtag as you post those moments where you rocked your next presentation, successfully juggled the kids all day, or trusted yourself to go out of your comfort zone.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.