Thursday, March 31, 2011

Carrying your style into your home

Whether you are still living in your childhood bedroom, a college dorm, an apartment, or your own home-- your style can carry over into the way you decorate. You want your home to make you feel comfortable and happy. If you are trendy and original or sweet and traditional, you can use these characteristics to inspire your living space.

Which room do you want to decorate? Your bedroom, kitchen, a game room? Start by making a list of things that make you happy: your vacation at the lake, chocolate chip cookies, the color yellow... You get the idea. Then use this list to create a theme. For example, the picture above: the colors are simple but work well together and the furniture is easily transferrable. Throw pillows and curtains can change the look for a room at the lowest cost.

You might have one item: a photo, a blanket, a favorite tee shirt that you can decorate the room or rooms entirely around. You could do each room in a different vacation spot that you like, or that you want to go to. For example, you could have a sanctuary spa in your bathroom with stones, candles, great fluffy pillows. You could change your livingroom into an old Hollywood movie theater with framed black and white movie posters and a great tv and couch.

Like your wardrobe, start small with accessories and do your research. Don't make any expensive purchases without being 100% sure that you are going to be happy with the end result. This also doesn't HAVE to be expensive with stores like the Christmas Tree Shop and do-it-yourself projects from Joanne Fabrics or Michaels. Also, recruit your creative friends to help. Have your artist friend paint or your sister that is good with a sewing machine make you the curtains you saw in that home magazine. Most importantly, if you are not the owner of the home, you want to check with your parents, landlord, or the school before you make any permanent changes.

Good luck being creative! Please post pics of your final design ideas!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saying I Do, part 3

One of the biggest decisions that you will make (after choosing WHO you are going to marry ;-D) is picking your wedding dress. Get all of your ideas together but remember these details: your budget, the style that best suits YOU, the season, the theme of your wedding, where you can shop. If you have a $100 or a $10,000 budget do not allow the bridal consultant or your maid of honor to talk you into trying on the more expensive dress "just to see what it looks like" because that is going to be THE DRESS and unless you are willing to cut the budget somewhere else, do not torture yourself.

Also, remember what styles work best for your body type. I love mermaid style dresses but with my hips it would have looked HORRIBLE! So, I chose dresses with a-line skirts and ballroom skirts. Don't be afraid to try on a style that you might not like at first. I did not think I wanted strapless until I tried it on. You will also know when it is THE DRESS! You will feel it, I know it is clique, but it is true.

Do not go diet crazy. You will hate your life! Just remember while you are trying to look your best: eat healthy, get exercise, drink a lot of water, and get enough sleep! Sleep is really important, especially the night before your wedding. No girls' nights out that night!

The best tip I can give you for your wedding prep is: practice, practice, practice! Whether is is doing your hair and makeup, walking in your wedding shoes, sitting in your dress, your vows, anything that doesn't come naturally! You don't want to try something for the first time on the day of your wedding. It will make everything go so much smoother.

This day will be the beginning of your life together as a married couple. Here are some tips to make your relationship stronger:

* Say "I love you" everyday whether in person or over the phone-- don't forget.
* Always have open communication! You are a team and need to be there for eachother!
* Don't be afraid to ask for advice but remember if you get advice, you don't always have to follow it. Every couple is different.
* Always remember to laugh!
* Don't lose yourself. It makes your relationship stronger if you each have your own passions and hobbies. You don't need to share everything.
* Always make "us" time-- whether you are together for 6 months or married for 25 years with children. Take one night a week to have a conversation, go on a date!

Good luck and enjoy your day. It goes by so fast!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Before you walk down the aisle, part 2

So, you have picked your date and you have some ideas of your theme and color scheme. Great! The next step is to make sure it works together. For example, we wanted a Fall wedding. So, we chose an October date. I love the colors red and black-- and they look great with orange and yellow. So far, so good. We wanted to include one of our favorite Halloween movies-- "The Nightmare Before Christmas" so Jack & Sally became the icon for our wedding--- on the cake, on the invitations, etc. But as you can see, everything worked. You can't really have a Spring wedding with pastel bridesmaid dresses and a "Vegas" theme....

Don't lose yourself. Mix it up. Have some classic touches with some creative, personal touches. We had the cake cutting and the first dance. But instead of serving cake for dessert, we served apple crisp. It doesn't all have to be traditional and it doesn't have to be "unique and creative." Don't give up on what YOU want! NEVER FORGET THAT!

If you are on a budget, figure out what is important. I spent more on my wedding dress and made my own invitations. Instead of paying for a professional to do my hair, I had my best friend do it. I spent more on the food we ate but the hall we had our reception at covered EVERYTHING with the price of the food. Actually, if you want a wedding in NH I highly reccomend Promises to Keep in Derry, NH. They were so reasonable and helpful. I wouldn't have made it through my day without their help.

Another thing that will help you get going is to decide who is going to be responsible for what. You might want to have your fiance and the best man (woman) be in charge of getting the tuxedos and planning the rehearsal dinner. Your maid of honor could be in charge of planning the centerpieces and favors. As long as you have open communication with your wedding party it doesn't have to be all your job!

Deep breath-- no matter what happens, it will be fine! You are marrying your soul mate!

Tune in tomorrow for details on your dress decision and planning a honeymoon!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting ready for the big day

I just got married this past October so I know how crazy it can get when you are planning. Whether you are getting married in 2 months or 2 years the first thing you need is a binder or a notebook or something to keep your stuff organized. You are going to have piles of papers from your contracts with the DJ to pictures of your perfect dress.

This should also not be something you do alone. We want your future spouse, your maid of honor, your mother, anyone who might have a part in this special day. The one thing you want to remember though is that this is about you and your fiance. Not anyone else. Everyone is there to HELP not take over.

Go to CVS or the dollar store and by yourself a binder with some paper. Then sit down with your best friend (future maid of honor) and your fiance and start writing things down. Have a seperate page for each category: wedding themes, dresses, dates, etc. Once you start to collect information for each of these ideas you will be able to divide your binder into sections. If you want, buy a pre-made wedding binder, but I can tell you from experience-- this can be really overwhelming. I liked my homemade binder just as much.

The first decision you want to make together is your date. Do you want it to be an evening wedding or day? Do you have a favorite season? Is cost important? Some tips for picking a date: it will be cheaper to have your wedding in November through March. This is the non-wedding season. But, if you are set on May or October, it is still cheaper to book a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. Saturday will be the most expensive.

The second decision is what kind of wedding do you want? Do you want a small, intimate wedding or a large family-filled celebration. This decision will probably change multiple times throughout the planning.

Start doing your research online and through Bridal magazines. is the best website! You can register on this website for free it gives you a place for your budget, guest list, etc. It is amazing! I also used craigslist for a lot of things. But you have to be careful with craigslist. Some posts are scams. If you find a DJ or a photographer, make sure you meet at a public place, get references, and see a portfolio.

Don't get overwhelmed. I know there is a lot to do, but it is totally possible.

Tune in throughout the week for more tips! Feel free to post any questions you might have!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't run screaming out of the fitting room!

After trying to talk myself out of shopping a million times in the last 2 weeks, I gave in. There was a good side and a bad side. The good side is that there are a lot of great sales right now. (Tip of the week: sign up for the email list of your favorite stores. You will get coupons and notices with every sale!)

I had major success at DOTS--- I LOVE DOTS! If you have a DOTS near you, YOU MUST check it out! They have all sizes and they are so inexpensive! I bought a black suit for $38 and this adorable dress (that I can wear with the suit jacket) for $18. They have crazy clearance all the time and casual clothes too.

I just need to vent about a few things. First, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING CURVES. I am trying to eat healthy and monitor the number of calories that I am eating on a daily basis but I am starting to drive myself crazy because according to the BMI index, I am overweight. I am a size 12. I love my curves! In the spirit of the sexy ladies of the 50's like Marilyn Monroe-- rock those curves! Whether you are a size 1 or a size 21 you are beautiful! Everyone can make their size and look work. You just need to find what works for you.

My best friend and I have been complaining for years that women do not wear clothes that are flattering! Either they are wearing clothes that are not meant for their size or they hide their curves with "tent-like" shirts and pants. What is up with that? Use models like Emme to get inspiration. Stores like DOTS and Avenue are great stores to get your outfits because not only do they have everything from shoes, hose, outfits, they have a well-dressed staff to walk you through it! Say it with me "No more Winnie the Pooh sweats!"

My last vent of the night is again, the "tight are not pants" rule! My friend Cara and I were out shopping and saw a poor girl wearing tights as pants. These were not the tights that could easily be mistaken for leggings. They had a seam, you could see the poor girl's behind! And to make matters worse, they had lace trim throughout. Why did her friend let her leave the house like that? This is my challenge to you: if you know someone who is wearing tights as pants, lets have a nationwide intervention!!!!

That is it for now! Thanks for tuning in. Feel free to comment on anything you want me to talk about next time!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

G-L-A-M-O-U-R broken down

There are a lot of fashion magazines out there by my favorite is GLAMOUR! I have captured the best tips in April's issue and thought I would share them with my loyal followers!

* First, if you are looking for your "little black dress" to complete your 10 essentials, check out their "10 Cute LBD's Under $79"--- my favorite is the LuLu's dress only for $36!

* They are advertising the new line at Sears, UK Style by French Connection-- IT IS HOT, HOT, HOT! It is also REALLY cheap! So excited!

* Long dresses by day and long skirts by night. Channel your Sex in the City with some great sunglasses and lots of bracelets!

* ATTENTION My So-Called Life fans!!!!!!!!!!!! GRUNDGE IS BACK! Dig out your flowered dresses and your docs ladies because it is back in style for this spring!

* DENIM DENIM DENIM--- jeans, jackets, any washes, even coveralls can work with the right accessories. Raid your boyfriend's closet, turn your old jeans into cut-offs, you can even wear the denim jacket OVER the flowered dress WITH the Dr. Martin's. Who isn't excited about this????

* Incorporate your spring wardrobe from last year, and don't hesitate to by that cute spring dress (unless you are waiting for a sale) and just layer it until it is warm enough to show some skin. Cute 80's blazer, spring dress, tights, so cute!

* Berries are in the inspiration for nail polish, makeup, clothing, anything berry is hot this April!

* Feel free to wear many colors together, just keep the pallets the same. If you want, wear pink and orange together or purple and blue. If you are scared of this look, tie it together with neutrals (gray with the purple and blue, khaki with the pink and orange). If you are REALLY scared, wear these bright colors in your makeup first. I dare you to try a bright lipstick or purple eye shadow!

* AND THE BEST PART: The MOST GLAMOUROUS WOMAN VOTED: Kate Winslet! Rock on Kate, we love your elegance, your curves, and your sexy brain!

Enjoy ladies! More questions for my favorite magazine? Check them out online:

What is your favorite magazine?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Calling all guys: what you should own in your closet

Alright guys, I am sure there are some of you that own more tee shirts and ripped jeans than you own anything else! I am going to talk to you about the 10 essential items that will help step up any guys' wardrobe.

1. A good watch. If you don't wear any other accessory, a good watch is not only practical, it looks great!

2. Black shoes and a black belt. Pair them with nice jeans, khakis, whatever-- you will always coordinate!

3. A button down shirt in either blue or white and 4. dark washed jeans are easy to dress up or be casual for any event. Like I said before, layer your favorite tee shirt underneath the button-down and you aren't too dressed up but look good.

5. Khakis are great. They can be used with the button down and a tie or as seen here with 6. a pair of chucks (or any nice casual sneakers) and they are a nice alternative from jeans. If you are more casual than this just go with a pair of cargo pants.

7. A well tailered suit makes any guy look like a million bucks. Having one of these in your closet will save the hassle when you have an interview or a wedding to go to, or even if you are taking your girl out for a special dinner.

8. A casual blazer, like we talked about before, is paired here with the button-down and 9. a nice sweater. This can be taken apart and worn seperately, or like here, all together. Very sexy!

9. A clean, solid tee in any color really. Looks great with ANYTHING: jeans, khakis, under a jacket, or by itself. THINK JAMES DEAN! But the biggest thing is to not wear an undershirt. They do make tee shirts that are plain that you can't see through.

10. The last item is just like with the ladies. That one item in your closet that is yours. It could be your favorite hoodie or a great pair of boots. Keep this item and wear it with selected items from above. This will keep your style and not make you hate your new look.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have ANY questions.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Women's 10 essential items for their wardrobe

Ladies, now that your wardrobe is organized it is time to see what is missing! I have put together a list of the 10 most important items you should have in your wardrobe through research and my own personal experience! ***Don't worry guys-- your list is coming tomorrow!*** 
1. YOUR LBD! Every woman needs a sexy little black dress. This can be your go-to item for a fancy dinner or you can throw a blazer over it and wear it to work.

2. Camis in every color! They are such easy layering pieces and can take you from one season to another for less than $10!

3. Cute flats and sensible heels can make any outfit. You want to be cute and comfortable! You can still be stylish without needing to be carried to your car at the end of the night!
4. A fitted blazer and 5. dark wash jeans can make any woman look sexy and put together. Layer a bright colored cami and add some great jewelry and you are ready for anything!

6. A trench coat and 7. a white button down shirt are great with a dress, skirt, jeans-- whatever. They are totally classic and not items that will go out of style.

8. A tunic (flowy top) and 9. wide leg black dress pants are the key to staying sexy and put together when you don't want to show every curve (or last 5 pounds) that you have. Feel free to wear the tunic with some leggings and cute sandals and dress the pants up with a sexy fitted blouse.

10. Last is the most fun-- it is YOUR essential item. The go-to piece that is so comfy and makes you feel so good about yourself. It could be a long summer dress with flip flops, it can be a long sweater that looks great with boots, or even your favorite pair of PJ bottoms that only come out when you don't feel well. Don't get rid of this item. It makes your wardrobe unique to you! Who knows, you might be a trend-setter yourself!

Have fun shopping ladies! Don't forget to check with your friends. Someone might want to get rid of their great trench coat and need a pair of your great flats. :)

Tune in tomorrow when we talk about what your guy should have in his closet!!!