Style Savvy Year in Rewind {2012 Recap}



On this final day of the year, I'm feeling way excited, a little nostalgic and a little bit terrified all at once. I live with a very weird internal dichotomy where change is both as necessary to me as air--while also being the thing that I feel the most fear around...even the tiniest of change, like the calendar rolling over into a new year. But I know that the fear means I am on the cusp of something really great--so I'm looking forward to 2013. 

2012 was fantastic: The Honey and I celebrated two lovely years together; I got to travel for events, to the beach and to EUROPE (I still die); one of my best friends got married which resulted in two whole weekends of fun and friend loving (everyone is so busy that we don't get that kind of quality time as regularly as we once did so that was awesome!); my sweet little blog got a face lift and a new moniker; and my Young Man continued to kick academic, athletic and musical butt (he makes me infinitely proud). So, as I reflect on the memories I'm leaving behind, I thought I would share a few of my favorites moments and outfits--as well as my most popular posts (in case you missed them)--from 2012. Enjoy!



 


Most popular posts from 2012:
Posh Tip: How to Transition Your Shoe Wardrobe from Winter to Spring
Style Savvy Weekend Rewind: Nesting
An American Girl {Stuck?} in Rome
Posh Tips for Traveling to Europe
Celebrity Style Crush: Olivia Palermo

Have a fabulous New Year's Eve, and here's to an absolutely amazing 2013!


Posh Weekend Plans + Weekly Link Wrap Up {vol. 3}




Baby it's cold outside! So I plan to spend most of my time inside this weekend. However, I will be heading out to attend AB's vision boarding party, which I've come to look forward to in the past couple of years. I've found that intentional planning--whether daily, weekly, monthly or annually--is key to setting myself up for success. When I was younger, things just kind of landed in my lap so I had a false sense that this was how life actually worked. WRONG. So I've come to learn the art of planning and goal setting.  

Though this year is almost over, I'm still working on my planning for next year: creating a business plan for my blog and freelance business, recapping my 2012 accomplishments, setting up monthly goals, etc--and knocking out my vision board in a few hours is a great way to gain visual clarity around said vision for the new year. It also doesn't hurt to do it among friends and with snacks!

If you're looking for ways to set yourself up for success in the new year, and to bring your 2013 goals to life, I have a few recommendations for weekend reading to help you get started:

AB shared this article at Essence.com called Ready. Set. Redefine. Restore in 2013 for 'pre-vision boarding' inspiration. The 7 principles listed herein are described as the work one must do in order to create change in the new year. 

This post at the Simply Luxurious Life from earlier this year on Excellence vs. Mediocrity contains great tips as reminders to strive for excellence even as we are setting our goals in place. Make sure they are big enough to stretch you and move you out of your comfort zone. 

The Happy Black Woman blog presents the 10 Top Journaling Questions to Help You Reflect on the Past Year. You have to figure out what worked and what didn't in order to decide how to proceed going forward into the new year, right? 

I have offered Practical Steps Towards Bringing Your Goals to Life over at Peace, Love and Pretty Things. Vision boarding is great, but it's obviously not the only way to plan and stay on track with said plans

Finally, if you are planning to weather the winter cold this weekend (temps will be in the high 30s and low 40s in Maryland), why not do so in chic and cozy style with a graphic print, over-the-knee boots and ultra-warm outerwear, like this look on Kéla of Kéla's closet

Wishing you lots of love and magic until Monday. 

*{photo: Atlantic-Pacific blog}


Happy Holidays!




Happy Holidays! The Kid, The Honey and I are headed a couple of hours south to celebrate Christmas at my parents'. I can't wait to bake Christmas Eve cookies tonight, and to see everyone's faces tomorrow when they open the awesome gifts I got for them! 

Whatever holiday you celebrate, and however you are spending it, I hope you get all the love and sweetness and magic that is on your list. Enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. 

*{photo source}


2012 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him {Last Minute Gift Ideas!}






Still searching for holiday gifts for the men in your life? It may feel like you’re down to the wire, but there is still time to procure the perfect present! Any of these items would make for fantastic gifting—or maybe they’ll jog your memory with last minute ideas for that ONE thing that your favorite guy will absolutely adore.


Posh Holiday Giveaway: Winner Announced



A huge thank you to everyone who entered the latest Posh Holiday Giveaway! Your reading, liking, following, commenting--participating--is SO very appreciated!

The winner of the two uber fab bracelets from Debbie Merle Designs (chosen by random number generator) is:



Brandi P!

Congratulations, Brandi!!! Please send an email to Kim@PishPoshPerfect.com with your mailing address so that your prize can be shipped.



Holiday Shopping: Towson Town Center 101! {Guest Post}



As the Towson Town Center GURU it’s my personal mission to make sure everyone knows about every sale, style, event and trend sweeping through one of the best shopping destinations in the Baltimore area. But, at this time of year, I shift gears and focus on the same thing as everyone else — gift buying!

While I’m on the lookout for the ideal gifts for others, I also keep my eyes peeled for the items I simply can’t go home without! So in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share a few of my personal favs.

Here are three must-have beauty, fashion and style gifts for your wish list this year.



BEAUTY

First up, it’s the one hand cream to rule them all — the Shea Butter Hand Cream from L’Occitane En Provence (Level 2)! Every 3 seconds, this cream is sold somewhere in the world. After you use it for a few days, you’ll know why! You. Will. Love. It!

FASHION

If you’re headed to a fantastic holiday or NYE party and really want to turn heads, you’ll love this dress (see below) from Michael Kors (Level 2). It’s rare to mention sequins and comfort in the same sentence, but trust me — this dress delivers! Plus, the sparkle and glitz factor are off the charts glamorous! The leather jacket adds a little something too!

STYLE

Lastly, I wanted to help everyone get a style jump-start on 2013. Every year, Pantone polls designers and brands about colors they’re featuring to find out which hue will tinge the next 12 months. For 2013, the company has bestowed the distinction of Color of the Year as: Emerald Green. Want to try this hot hue? Ann Taylor (Level 4) carries beautiful sweaters in wool, merino and cashmere in standout shades of green. With plenty of cold days to come after the holidays, these sweaters will keep you warm and on trend!

Now, how about three GURU tips to make your trip to the mall easier?


dress: Michael Kors


First, head straight for valet parking. It’s only $5 and you can valet your car behind The Cheesecake Factory 7 days a week and off of Fairmount Ave. by Nordstrom on weekends and the week of Christmas.

Second, before you set foot in Towson Town Center, have a game plan of what stores you’ll hit so you don’t backtrack a dozen times. With four shopping levels, it’ll save a huge amount of time if you have it mapped out. For a listing of stores, visit the mall’s website at towsontowncenter.com.

Third, for a quick and delicious meal, I recommend Nordstrom Café. The food is amazing, they have free Wi-Fi and it’s a nice, quiet place to regroup.

There you have it: some of my favorite holiday must-haves and tips for an easy day at Towson Town Center. Be sure to check out my blog for the latest mall deals, more gift giving ideas and best places to snatch up the top trends. Better yet, sign up to get my updates delivered directly to your inbox.

From one stylish lady to another, Happy Holidays!


The Towson Town Center GURU blog is a go-to resource for when you need to find just about anything at Towson Town Center! Rebecca posts the best sales, shares exclusive offers and gift ideas!

*{photos courtesy of Towson Town Center GURU}

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Don't forget to enter the latest Posh Holiday Giveaway! The entry period ends at 8pm tonight and winner will be announced tomorrow!

Pantone 2013 Color of the Year: Emerald Green


Pantone has declared emerald green its 2013 color of the year. I, admittedly, have very little green in my closet other than where it is worked into patterns; so the announcement has made me curious about how I could potentially add more of the hue to my own wardrobe. I'm eyeing the "official" emerald green, but other varying shades of the color as well. 


pussybow blouse / statement necklace / coat / clutch / strapless dress 

How do you wear green?



Posh Holiday Giveaway! Arm Candy, Courtesy of Debbie Merle Designs {Closed}


This Giveaway is Now Closed



If you are a girl who likes arm candy, you will love the beautiful bracelets that are the signature of Debbie Merle Designs jewelry. Gorgeously made from varying colored beads, charms and glittering fireballs, these pieces "signify healing, protection, love, happiness and passion about living life to the fullest!" Beauty + positivity--that's a message I can certainly get behind! 

You can find Debbie Merle Designs at www.DebbieMerleDesigns.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter. And you can have an opportunity to win two of my favorite pieces from the collections--just in time to wear for your last few holiday parties, or to give as gifts. 
'Bead is the new Black'

'Fuchsia Fantasy'

These bracelets are oh so perfect for stacking together, or with other baubles--or for wearing alone when you just need that one standout piece. Both can be yours, courtesy of  Debbie Merle Designs!



To enter, you must:





Completing all four of these steps qualifies you for an entry to win. For bonus entries you can:

~ Tweet about this giveaway {"I just entered @PishPoshPerf 's Posh Holiday Giveaway sponsored by @DMerleDesigns http://bit.ly/UxYpNm } +1 entry

~Subscribe to Pish Posh Perfect via email +1 entry

You can score a total of 3 entries! And don't forget to leave a comment below letting me know which of these things you've done (or if you already follow), along with your follow name/social media handle. This giveaway ends at 8:00pm on Thursday December 20th. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Friday December 21st. Good luck, Lovies! 

*Header photo edited (original source). Jewelry photos courtesy of Divine Marketing on behalf of Debbie Merle Designs



Comfy Neutrals | Style Savvy Weekend Rewind



Photos. wearing (pics 1-3) -  Merona sweater dress with leopard print belt: Target / Bellini boots: old, gifted from a family member / bag: Louis Vuitton / swing coat: Old Navy (old--this is my absolute favorite coat--I wear it practically every day!) / link bracelet: Forever 21; with the birthday girl / yummy scallop dish at Bluestone Restaurant / with my best girlies / wearing (last 2 pics) - bird top and gold sweater: Francesca's (first mentioned here) / black skirt: H&M / opaque tights: Hue / booties with Rosette: Shoe Dazzle / butterfly necklace: gifted


I enjoyed celebratory quality time with my loves this weekend. AB and I hung out in honor of her 28th birthday, visiting new boutique, Bmore Betty, located in Federal Hill. Bmore Betty is a lovely vintage shop with tons of great goodies from accessories, to handbags to clothing and shoes from designers like Chloe, Gucci, Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton--and all at really reasonable prices to boot. On top of that the owner, Camille, and her staff are ridiculously sweet and helpful. I definitely recommend checking it out! From there we headed to dinner at our favorite upscale seafood restaurant. 

Every year one of my good girlfriends hosts a holiday gathering at her home, and I am so grateful to get to spend this time annually with the beautiful women I've been friends with for over 17 years--especially at the holidays, and at a time where there seems to be so much senseless loss of life. It felt great to just be in their presence and hug and kiss their babies. 

I attended my first LNL Book Club meeting in a few months, and it was fun to get together with those ladies again to eat, sip and chat about our latest reads The Glass Castle and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. 

This week will be filled with long days at the 9-5 in an attempt to close out the year prior to my extended vacation through the new year; and lots of Christmas shopping as I have barely begun to cross out the lovies on my list. This week on the blog, you can look forward to another Posh Holiday Giveaway, a guest post from Towson Town Center Guru on local trends to shop and navigating the mall during crowded holiday hours, as well as a third holiday gift guide. 

Hope you have a lovely and productive week!



2012 Holiday Gift Guide: For Teens



Journal / Graphic socks / iPad case / Headphones / iPad Mini / Wallet


By the time your child has reached teen years, they’ve long outgrown toys, but they still love gadgets to play around with. Electronics are big on my teen’s list, as well as cool clothing, shoes and accessories. Help your teen be ‘too cool for school’ when you slip these hot presents under the tree for them.


Savvy Style Chat {Erika Sorocco of Cafe Fashionista}



In November, we missed our style chat--the monthly series featuring ridiculously stylish, savvy women with great stories to tell--but I am so happy to bring it back for December with a blogger who is stylish, sweet and a wonderful writer. For our December chat, I present...


Erika Sorocco / Cafe Fashionista / CafeFashionista.com

Those shoes! I hunted down those Jean-Michel Cazabat Zulaka shoes in the Foxtrot color for months in my size. I literally stalked Shopbop’s website. Finally, one pair popped up on the Barney’s website, and I clicked ‘Purchase Now’ without hesitation. I’m also wearing a Candie’s Top from Kohl’s {that has the prettiest lace detailing on the back}; and white shorts from Kohl’s.


What is your full time gig?

Grad Student. Since August of 2011 I have been in a full-time Grad Program leading towards a Master’s in Business Administration. As I write this, I am officially 2 ½ weeks away from graduating {!!!!!}. December 15th is my official last day.

How does your occupation affect your personal style?

As a Grad Student, my occupation has affected my personal style in that anything goes. I don’t have a particular uniform to adhere to on a daily basis; and can pretty much choose who I want to be {style-wise} based on my mood. The one trap I refuse to fall into is that of sloppiness. I may spend hours on homework, but I still want to look my best (even when I have class in the wee hours of the morning). I have found that layers, boots, and resilience are a Grad Student’s chic best friend; therefore, I favor heeled boots, skinny jeans with at least 2% spandex in them, colorful printed scarves, and slouchy sweaters – occupational style essentials that have crossed over into my personal-time wardrobe {especially for midweek brunch/coffee dates, and weekend shopping sprees}.

I love this picture because it was the first time of Fall 2012 that I was wearing my absolute favorite boots – Ivanka Trump Kamila! Also…it was the first time that I wore a scarf {see the pink} in years; so I consider it my style milestone day!


What other endeavors do you participate in and how do you transition your wardrobe throughout the day to meet the needs of these various roles?

Aside from being a full-time Grad Student, I am a freelance writer. Currently I write weekly articles about local bands for U-T San Diego newspaper / The Californian newspaper. Additionally, I write animal care articles for Cat Fancy magazine fairly frequently; and, a few years back, I served as Features Editor for the now-defunct Six78th magazine {one of my favorite gigs yet – I got to interview The Jonas Brothers!!}. I also work freelance in the field of editorial / social media content. I suppose you could say I wear many hats; and I’m constantly on a deadline.

Each of my roles seems to differ for me style-wise – sometimes I’m meeting with ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ types for band interviews; other times I’m chatting with Veterinarians in a more professional setting. Over the years, I have found that certain wardrobe pieces tend to work for all situations {or can modify my current look just enough to fit the role that I’m dressing for at the moment}. For me, these pieces include cropped blazers, dark wash skinny jeans, almond-toe pumps, chunky-heeled ankle boots, slouchy sweaters, heeled boots, and the occasional touch of fringe.

An example of my wardrobe transition in action: A few months back I had two interviews in one day – with a Veterinarian in the morning and a band in the afternoon. For the Veterinarian interview I wore a cropped blazer over my slouchy sweater, cuffed my skinny jeans, and slipped on almond-toe pumps {professional yet fun}. For the band interview I took off the cropped blazer, adjusted my slouchy sweater to give it an off-the-shoulder fit, un-cuffed my skinny jeans, and swapped my almond-toe pumps for knee-high heeled boots {playful, youthful…totally cute}. Voila! Two looks in one – give or take a few pieces.

What is your most favorite piece in your wardrobe and how often do you wear it? 

Believe it or not, right now it’s an accessory – a Sterling Silver Infinity Knot Ring by the Etsy seller IndulgentDesigns. If you Follow me on Instagram, it’s likely you see this ring in a lot of my nail of the day pictures. I am literally obsessed with it – I wear it every single day. I find the simplicity of it to be charming. Plus, I love what the infinity symbol stands for; therefore, this ring is my favorite right now.

Honestly, I just like the way my eyes and shoulders look in this picture – which is why I’m including it. I will admit that I do adore that top {from Forever 21}. It’s this really flowy material that is just stunning; though I’m only 5’1, so it semi-fits me like a dress.

How often do you go shopping—either in-person or online?

My credit card would love for me to say not that often; however, it’s me speaking, so I’ll be honest…every day. Please keep in mind that, as a fashion blogger, shopping is a form of research; therefore, I oftentimes write retail therapy off as such. But honestly, I do indulge in a bit of browsing at least once per day. I have a really hectic courseload for school, so I find that a little shopping relaxes me quite a bit. I do most of my shopping online {my favorite sites are Shopbop, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Forever 21} because I don’t always have time to go shopping in-person; but that’s not to say that I don’t love to when I do have the chance.

What is your most favorite place of the moment to score new items?

Zappos. I find that they have a ridiculously amazing selection of shoes, and I’m slightly addicted to the Free Overnight Shipping.

My new favorite nail color {Essie Penny Talk} coupled with my favorite accessory {the Infinity Ring} that I mentioned above. I take a lot of pictures of my hands / nails.

The new season signaled new colors for beauty items: what are your favorite fall nail colors? Are you a fan of nail art?

This year I have found so many amazing new nail colors for fall that have completely taken me away from my standard fall beauty fare {oxblood}. My top five favorites are Essie’s Penny Talk {I have swatches that went up on Café Fashionista on 12/3/12} – which is an incredible rose gold/new copper penny chrome metallic that will actually look awesome year-round; OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop – which is actually from a few years back, but new to me; Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Lava – everyone needs this shade, it is an awesome color-shifting duochrome/multichrome; JULEP’s Toni – a grayish purple that I love; and OPI’s Candlelight – gorgeous, gorgeous egg yolk yellow that is very fall yellow {as opposed to summer yellow}.

While I love nail polish, I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of nail art (aside from an accent nail). I just prefer the look and uniformity of a solid (utterly amazing) color.

Where do you go to get inspired?

I’m very inspired by the street style of certain supermodels {Rosie Huntington-Whiteley especially}; and am literally obsessed with Isabel Marant. On days when my style leans towards the bohemian side, it’s all inspired by Ms. Marant. I actually run a Tumblr site {Pretty Little Luxuries} that, essentially, serves as the Inspiration Board for Café Fashionista, and features pictures of some of my favorite looks.

Aside from supermodel street style and the runway, I love, love gaining inspiration when I’m at cafes – especially if they’re located in big cities that are full of so many different walks of life. There’s something about the charming ambience of a café juxtaposed against the stylish hustle and bustle of random people coming and going that I find irresistible.

Also {I know, my inspiration list is long – sorry!}…the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote never fails to inspire me. I am utterly captivated by that story, and feel as if I absorb a bit of Holly Golightly into my own personality with every re-read. Oddly enough, I have never seen the film – I’m worried that it will take away some of the magic of the book!


Why I love this picture? My makeup looked incredible that day {though you can’t see it very well in these shots}; and it was my first time wearing those boots {Halogen Brianna in Rust from Nordstrom}, that Owl Sweater/Sweatshirt from Target {which everyone I have encountered is obsessed with}; and those Forever 21 Jeans {which I actually found in my closet that morning – having owned them for two years without ever wearing them}.

If a stranger walking past you on the street was asked to describe your signature look in one word, what word would that be?

You have no clue how long I spent trying to come up with an answer for this question, but I have finally settled on one…Low-Key Luxe. I love my denim {low-key}, but I never leave the house without heels, and sparkly jewelry {luxe}.  

{Just for fun} UGGS: Yay or nay?

I wear them around the house as slippers; therefore, nay. For me, they’re just a bit too bulky to be chic/stylish/cute. I think there are too many comfortable alternatives that give off a stylish vibe {i.e. Hunter Boots} without, for lack of a better word, being sloppy. That said; have you checked out the new super-stylish UGG pieces – shearling booties and such? Totally cute!  

**Since this feature was published, Erika has rebranded and is now blogging at Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans


Want more Savvy Style Chat? You can view the previous features here:




2012 Holiday Gift Guide: For Her






One of the things I love most about gift shopping for women is that it is super easy--I just select some of the great items I would want to receive! Why not gift the fabulous women in your life with these luxe treats: from deliciously scented candles for the home decor lover; to red hot leather gloves for the daringly confident; to a sophisticated passport holder for the world traveler. Whether you're shopping for your mother, sister, girlfriend or even a co-worker--any of these delights are sure to please.


Weathering Winter in Style {Guest Post}


Comfort and fashion should always go hand in hand. In fact, the top secret among designers and stylists for the stars is that people who feel comfortable and confident also look good. In chilly months, women need to keep in mind that warm clothing is key to looking their best. Fortunately, this season brings great cozy, chic apparel and shoes that will look great on any woman.



Textured fabrics, bold colors and large patterns come together this season to bring the world the best hot-off-the-runway looks. The popular layered look brings these elements together in daring outfits that crave the limelight while wrapping the wearer in luxurious, cozy warmth. Keep the color palette bold, and feel free to experiment by mixing and matching patterns. It's time to layer on the unique looks.



One of the top fabric picks of the season is popular quilted fabric. Available in the season’s boldest solid colors, quilted jackets and miniskirts add texture and charm for a vogue yet cozy look. Pair a quilted jacket with a patterned maxi skirt and stacked heels for a hot look sure to keep you warm on a winter’s day. Show off your curves by choosing a quilted miniskirt to pair with a simple turtleneck, sweater tights and knee-high boots. Keep in mind that with quilted fabric, a little goes a long way, so pick only one quilted piece to wear at a time.



Knits of every sort have also featured on the runway this year. Cardigans and loose-knit sweaters layered over button-down tops work well with long skirts or skinny jeans. Chunky scarves and knit mittens make stepping out in the cold great fun this year. Especially on snowy days, add a bit of fashion fun with women’s laced winter boots. These utilitarian fashion statements come in a variety of colors and styles, featuring textured accents such as fur or worked leather.

Warm, comfortable clothing features at the top of the list of vogue fashions this year. Fashionistas living and working in cool climates should take advantage of the trends to add a few cozy clothing items and accessories to their wardrobes. Then take them to the street with confidence. Now is the time for inner beauty to shine.



Anya Sarre is one of Hollywood’s most influential trendsetters. A nationally recognized celebrity stylist, Sarre is known for her impeccable eye and ability to tie any look together with the perfect accessory. Named “Best Television Fashion Stylist” for her appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and countless other media outlets, Sarre is the go-to fashion expert for Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.









 

Weekend Rewind + Kohl's Gift Card Winner Announced




Our huge, beautiful live tree (it stands about 6'5" tall) / some of my favorite ornaments from places like West Elm, Pandora, Walmart and The Dollar Store (yup, The $1 Store--cute and inexpensive!) / hot chocolate, popcorn and a special treat: LE's salted caramels

It started to feel like the holiday season this weekend. I heard the Temptations version of Silent Night on the radio for the first time (which was played every single year at every single family member's home during Christmas when I was growing up, so I always associate that song specifically with the holiday), got to spend time with extended family, and my dad and The Kid picked out the most gorgeous tree--which The Kid and I decorated last night. My home smells like all kinds of fresh pine right now and I am loving it! 

Highlights of the weekend were watching my little cousin's orchestra concert--for middle and high school students, these musicians sounded absolutely phenomenal; seeing LE's baby belly for the first time; and trimming the tree with my young man as well as having our customary celebratory popcorn and hot chocolate. It's these kinds of little moments that make life so sweet. 

Wishing you all a marvelous week full of sweet little moments of your own. 


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Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Posh Holiday Giveaway last week. I wish I could have you all snag this great holiday prize, but alas--only one can win. Nevertheless your participation is very much appreciated! 


The winner of the $100 gift card, courtesy of Kohl's (chosen by random number generator) is:

Rondah S.


Congratulations! Please send an email to Kim@PishPoshPerfect.com with your mailing address so that your prize can be shipped. 



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