2018 Favorites

It's always fun to look back on the year and appreciate all the great outfits and good times. Here are a few of my favorites.

Thank you for being here! I hope you have a happy, healthy, and fashionable 2019!

December Budget

I really thought I was going to be good this month, but then the after Christmas sales hit and I caved, making two big purchases, a pair of boots and a camera bag. The boots were half off and the camera bag was 70% off. I shouldn't have... but I was weak.

I also got few pairs of jeans, but with my Gap Card rewards, two pairs were basically free and the other quite discounted. I've been feeling very lukewarm about my denim collection as of late and should probably purge everything that no longer feels like it's working.

I also decided to include everything I received as a gift, since they are too lovely not to share!

Gap Girlfriend Jeans, $28
Madewell Texture and Thread Wrap Top, $20 (Christmas gift)
Old Navy Faux Suede Pants, $20 (free after reward)*
Madwell Silk Wrap Top, $80 (Christmas gift)
Amazon Wool Beret, $10 (free after rewards)
Bauble Bar Hoop Earrings, $22 (Christmas gift)
J.Crew Factory Pink Velvet Heels, $50 (Christmas gift)*
Naturalizer Neola Sock Booties, $65
ONA Palma Bag, $99
J.Crew Factory Utility Shirt Dress, $20

Gap Distressed Jeggings, $21 (free after reward)
Banana Republic Zero Gravity Jeans, $50 (free after reward)
H&M Floral Shirt Dress, $35 (Christmas gift)

*subsequently returned.

After the Holidays

Christmas was filled with lots of family, friends, too much food and lovely new gifts, but right now all I'm craving is a bit of calm and quite, and to keep repeating my mantra to deal with the after holiday sales, "don't shop, don't shop." Hopefully it works at least a little.

As per usual I didn't make the time to photograph either of the outfits I wore on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. In the past I've sometimes made an effort to recreate the looks so that they could eventually get on the blog, though that is really more for my own sake than anyone else's. Right now I suppose I should be posting New Year's Eve looks.

Since my sister is home, I may even being going out for New Year's Eve for the first time in a long time. I can't say I feel remiss over spending the last few falling asleep on the couch. There is too much hype, it's so easy to feel let down. I'd much prefer an intimate gathering with those who mean the most to a big, overpriced night out.

How do you want to ring in the new year?

 silk floral blouse, black jeans, danse lente bucket bag-10.jpg silk floral blouse, black jeans, danse lente bucket bag-9.jpg silk floral blouse, black jeans, danse lente bucket bag-8.jpg silk floral blouse, black jeans, danse lente bucket bag-1.jpg silk floral blouse, black jeans, danse lente bucket bag-5.jpg
The Rundown
Shawl Surplice Blouse Tracy Reese via Roundabout similar
Black Jeans Gap
Black Pumps "Natalie" Naturalizer
Bucket Bag "Johnny" Danse Lente
Beaded Hoop Earrings Gorjana
Gold Plated Disc Necklace Matteo via TJMaxx
Ruby Crystal Talisman Ring c/o Uncommon Goods
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
 Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie

Happy Christmas!

To all who celebrate, I hope you have a very lovely Christmas, and are spending it with those who are dear to you.

Peaks of the Week

Hard to believe 2018 is coming to a close, the last surge of activity with the holidays before falling into the doldrums of January and waiting for spring again. I suppose it's not good to think of it like that, but it's true, I'm always mentally writing off the first quarter of the year, believing that not much can happen during the dead of winter.

Of course I'm excited for the days ahead, picking up my sister at the airport later today, and then strait into the Christmas festivities with friends and family.

I mentioned earlier this month that I really hoped to get a new recipe on Cooking in Cashmere before Christmas, and happily, I did just that. If you are still up for some baking, I hope you'll check it out.

Even though I still have some boxes on never ending to-do lists to check, after today I'm going to give myself a pass and just try and enjoy the weekend.

❄︎ Payless tricked influencers into thinking their shoes were designer. Guess it goes to show how bad we are a spotting quality vs spotting labels. 
❄︎ This brie mac and cheese is going to happen... soon.
❄︎  These margaritas also sound so good.
❄︎ More on the industry of Instagram and influencers faking sponsored content to boost their egos.
❄︎ Our health care system is in dire need of repair.
❄︎ Why you can never trust restaurant reviews.
❄︎ People who steal packages off porches get what is coming to them.
❄︎ Adding to my wish list, these velvet pants.
❄︎ The new face of the child star.
❄︎ The old face of the child star!

Always Winter Whites

It felt like a 'mild' forty-something degrees earlier this week when I met Megan for lunch at Chowder Pot, one of her favorite restaurants in town. Since it was 'warm' I decided to pull out my white culottes, and a blazer for outerwear, but by the time we'd finished our meal, the skies had become overcast, the wind picked up, and suddenly I was feeling let down by my wardrobe choices. Not that it stopped us from getting outfit photos done, and then doing a little window shopping.

This outfit also is the debut of my little Japanese Knot Bag I made last month. I'm quite proud of myself, I feel like I haven't finished a project in ages (including the overly ambitious alteration of a thrifted top which I started at the same time as the bag). I used to love to sew, and while my patience for doing tedious and intricate things comes through in other ways, such as decorative pie crusts, I do wish I could rekindle my flame for sewing.

 plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-10.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-7.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-14.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-17.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-13.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-9.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-8.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-12.jpg plaid blazer, white culottes, black sweater, teal velvet knot bag-3.jpg
The Rundown
Black Merino Wool Sweater Gap
Plaid Blazer H&M similar
 White Culottes eBay similar
Black Pumps "Natalie" Naturalizer
Teal Velvet Knot Bag Handmade similar 
Circle Earrings c/o AUrate New York
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Pearl and Pave Ring Forever 21
 Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie

Linking up with Thursday Fashion Files
Elegance & Mommyhood's Thursday Moda

Last Minute Gifts

Today is the last day for standard shipping to get orders by Christmas, so it's time to get those stragglers taken care of. You know the ones, the people who are impossible to buy for, who you've been deliberating over all month... or maybe you've just been putting off shopping and have realized it's crunch time. Either way, I hope this helps!

SUGARFIX by BaubleBar Graphic Resin Pendant Necklace, $17 at Target
Leopard Faux Fur Scarf, $35 at Loft
Tie Waist Cardigan, $80 at J.Crew 
Orell Pizza Cutter, $28 at Anthropologie
Brass Collapsible Coffee Dripper, $15 at Kikkerland
Wireless Charging Base, $48 at Uncommon Goods
Monogrammed Camera Strap, $25 at Marleylilly
Crosley Cruiser Turntable, $70 at Bed Bath and Beyond
Topshop Blair Circle Bag, $48 at Nordstrom

A Bit Holiday

I wanted to be a bit festive over the weekend so I pulled out some very old pieces, this beaded antler tee from J.Crew, and this velvet blazer from Urban Outfitters. I often feel like the best way to wear a very old piece is to pair it with a very new piece, so I'm wearing a new pair of girlfriend jeans from Gap.

I swear I've been trying so hard to not shop for myself this month, but I'll admit a couple pieces may have slipped into my cart. Mostly from Gap and their family of brands, partly because I have a credit card which gives such good rewards, and partly because time and again, Gap proves to have some of the best customer service I've ever received. I ended up needing to call them three times this month and each time they not only helped me with what I needed, but were so kind and friendly, I ended each call with a smile on my face. I can't say that is something I've experienced from too many other realtors, particularly during the busiest shopping season of the year, so if a pair of gap jeans ends up in my cart and they are under $30, I'm just going to let it slide.

 velvet blazer, distressed jeans, antler tee, nude pumps-13.jpg velvet blazer, distressed jeans, antler tee, nude pumps-9.jpg velvet blazer, distressed jeans, antler tee, nude pumps-5.jpg velvet blazer, distressed jeans, antler tee, nude pumps-6.jpg velvet blazer, distressed jeans, antler tee, nude pumps-8.jpg velvet blazer, distressed jeans, antler tee, nude pumps-1.jpg
The Rundown
Velvet Blazer Urban Outfitters similar
Beaded Antler Tee J.Crew eBay
Distressed Girlfriend Jeans Gap
Nude Pumps "Natalie" Naturalizer
Bag "Lewis Drive Michela" Kate Spade similar
Leather Pom Matine
Watch "Classic Sheffield" c/o Daniel Wellington
Diamond Chip Ring c/o Crown Jewelry
Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie
Gold Ball Earrings Kohl's

Traditions of Christmas

I can't believe there are only ten days until Christmas! I'm finally mostly done with my shopping, and was very proactive with my wrapping as well, so happily I'm not staring at two dozen shopping bags of presents needing to be wrapped (been there, done that).

Now it's time to start the baking, which I always love. Last night I made a batch of gingerbread cookies, which are not usually something we do. Cut-outs seem to be an every other year (or maybe every three years?) kind of cookie. They can be pretty tedious as cookies go, even though I don't really mind sitting for hours piping on icing in intricate designs, it just means that there has to be some sort of planning and time management involved.

My sister will be home next Friday, so this is really the last weekend to get things done. Once she's here it will be just a constant stream of watching our favorite Christmas movies, baking and eating more cookies. We'll do our best to get through Home Alone one and two, Love Actually, Elf, Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life, our favorite Hallmark movie that they don't air anymore, The Christmas List (somehow it's still on YouTube in it's recorded off of TV in the early aughts entirety), The Santa Clause, The Holiday, and maybe if we have time, we'll check out that new one on Netflix. Overwhelming, I know...but it's our tradition. What are your must-watch holiday movies?

 camel sweater dress, plaid blanket scarf, red ferragamo bow pumps-9.jpg camel sweater dress, plaid blanket scarf, red ferragamo bow pumps-16.jpg camel sweater dress, plaid blanket scarf, red ferragamo bow pumps-10.jpg camel sweater dress, plaid blanket scarf, red ferragamo bow pumps-7.jpg camel sweater dress, plaid blanket scarf, red ferragamo bow pumps-3.jpg
The Rundown
Camel Sweater Dress Banana Republic
Red Bow Pumps Ferragamo via eBay
Plaid Blanket Scarf Zara similar
Circle Earrings c/o Grand Avenue Jewelry
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie

Linking up with

Affordable Custom Clothes with eShakti FX

I've featured a few pieces from the online realtor eShakti a few times over the years. If you are familiar with them, then you know that they allow customizations of their designs to be made to your measurements, as well as changing hemlines, sleeve lengths, and necklines.

For someone as short as I am, even just being able to buy a garment that is going to arrive at my door and be the correct length is a huge win, but eShakti has stepped up their customizations even further with the introduction of their FX feature. Any item marked with the FX logo features a live update of each change you make to the garment. No more guessing about if you should opt for the V-neck or the deep V-neck, as you can see the difference with a click of button.

With all the custom options, every dress is almost like having 100 dresses to choose from. No more getting hung-up on a style not having the right style sleeves, a neckline which works for your bust line, or being stuck with midi dresses so long they might as well be a maxi. I also love that every piece has pockets (and the option to remove them, but who would, right?) plus the lead time is only 14 to 17 days, and everything is so affordable. Even including the $10 fee to customize, you'll be unlikely to spend over $150, while most pieces are under $100.

If you've ever wanted a custom garment, you need to give eShakti a try!

  https://www.eshakti.com/shop/Dresses/Star-print-georgette-midi-wrap-dress-CL0051210 https://www.eshakti.com/shop/Dresses/Star-print-georgette-midi-wrap-dress-CL0051210 

eShakti is providing me with a gift card for this review. My views and opinions are my own.