Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Cozy

jacket (HM c/o), top (Generation Love, Morton James, Lexington c/o), jeans (AG), chucks (Converse), bag (Michael Kors Bedford), beanie (Target), shades (Ray Ban), rings (Lagos, Anna Beck), bracelets (Sylvia Benson c/o)

Back in the saddle gang---took a little spontaneous trip to FLA which was pure loveliness.  Many of y'all will be getting glitzed and glammed tonight, but not I---I intend to spend my NYE with my sweet babes and some wonderful friends very chillaxed and family focused...banging on pots and pans come midnight with all the kiddies.  Def intend to wear something comfy and cozy to celebrate the new year similar to the rig above--say a comfy sweatshirt, sneaks, and skinnies.  But if I may chat beyond the outfit and take a moment to hop on my soapbox (brace yourself gang, she's gonna get a smidge personal).....

This post I have attempted to type numerous times throughout the course of the year only to be faced with a crazy amount of fear and insecurity of exposing too much of my personal life.  And yet as I close out what was hands down the most difficult year of my life, I'd be remiss if I didn't write a little something to express my gratitude and appreciation as well as verbalize the many blessings I have in my life.  No way to say this eloquently so here goes...I got divorced this year.  Divorce is insanely difficult and heart wrenching for anyone---add two beautiful, precious, innocent little girls and well, it just compounds an already hellacious situation.  But you know what, we got through it.  I got through it.  I'd like to believe I did so with dignity and grace and my sweet girls are thriving and happy as clams.  I'd also like to think I'm much stronger than I ever believed myself to be--when you don't think you can handle much more, or get out of bed--you do.  Because you have to.  Because you have two sweet little people that depend on you and need you and deserve to have the best possible you.  Because you know there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.  Because even though you think you have it the worst, there are others that would kill for your situation.  Because you have to be an example of strength and there's time to cry after they go to bed.  Well that's what I did...I leaned, too.  I leaned on my family who when I tell you is phenomenal, well that's a hell of an understatement--never. left. my. side.  Pushed me.  Cheered me on.  Kept me afloat.  Made me laugh.  Supported me endlessly.  I leaned on my girlfriends---girlfriends are everything.  I admitted weakness. I made mistakes.  I asked for help (something I HATE to do).  I did many things that I've never had to do before, but you see that's the beauty of it---even in truly trying times..there are blessings underneath the rubble.  I realized just how blessed I am for the beautiful, selfless, and loving people in my life.  I also blogged.  I blogged regularly.  You know why?  Because that was a piece of normalcy amongst a shitstorm of chaos.  It was my therapy (well so was my actual therapist--what a little angel she is).  And there's my thank you to you all---THANK YOU for following continuously, thank you for the sweet comments, the opportunities, the repins, the retweets, the FB likes---all the ridiculous things that may seem so trivial were little sheds of light throughout my day.  Truly you all--thank you!  And now, I'm sure there's a million better and more poetic ways I could have typed this post but I just drove 8 hours, am flippin' exhausted, and this is as good as I've got.  So let's cheers to growth, life experiences, health, family, and friends---and let's definitely cheers to  a fantastic 2014!  Be safe tonight, gang...enjoy and let's catch up in the new year--got a sneaking suspicious it's gonna be a good one!  

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sleek & Sporty

look 1:  blouse (J.Crew extra 40% off with code GIFTNOW), jeans (Paige), heels (Zara see similar HERE), bag (Galian c/o), bracelet (Sylvia Benson c/o), watch (Cartier), shades (Gucci), ring (Anna Beck), necklace (J.Crew, how about this GEM, 30% off with GIFTNOW)
look 2:  blazer (Zara), sweater (GAP on SALE), blouse (J.Crew), sneaks (New Balance for J.Crew), jeans (Express), bag (Michael Kors), scarf (HM c/o), shades (Ray Ban), watch (Michael Kors), rings (Lagos, David Yurman)

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas, made out like gang busters in the prezzy department, & got in lots of good family time!  Ours was truly so very special (Exhibit A).  But onto the rig now shall we?  Sporting two totally different looks and yet both are very much 'me' and comfy to boot.  These Guys are current faves being heavily rotated with just about any and everything in my closet.  Makes for a perfect pairing with a silk blouse (loving THIS & THIS).  And then there's my uniform of choice, a blazer, a chunky knit, and sneaks---it's about as comfy and cozy as they come.  Enjoy your day, gang, make it a good one!

photos courtesy of 

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Sparkle

dress (available at Chan Luu c/o Morton James of Lexington), heels (Kate Spade), clutch (ASOS on SALE under $40!), ring & belt turned HEADBAND (vintage, Street Scene of Lexixngton), tights (Target), necklace (Maya Brenner), bracelets (Sylvia Benson c/o)

A little holiday inspiration for what is sure to be a weekend filled with lots of celebration and cheer.  It's funny, this style dress I typically don't gravitate towards; however, when I spotted it at Morton James, what with the color and flowy fit, I knew I had to sport it!  For those of you both local and non, Morton James is a fab new boutique in the heart of Chevy Chase in Lexington.  It is all about Boho-Glam and the decor alone will have you swooning.  Couple that with the owner, Halie, whose eye for style is so damn spot on (I have a girl crush indeed), and you've got a boutique that is curated impeccably!  I highly recommend you swing on in because they've got a lovely selection of holiday glitz & glam (along with cozy sweaters, denim, and leather for days)--they'll also ship out so non-Lexingtonians don't fear!  And how 'bout me getting all crafty---my headband is actually a vintage belt!  Go figure!  Just a little reminder to continue to think outside the box with the details.  Alright gang, I am wrapping up my work week so it has already been crazy busy (at Toys R Us at 6 am this morning snagging a few last minute stocking stuffers--that's IT--I AM DONE, damnit)!!!!  Make it a great one and enjoy your weekend!  Oh and one last tidbit...huge congrats goes to Kristeen Owens for winning the Beginners Photography Class session--it was a great turnout and lots of good feedback, so as a Thank You, Beginners Photography Class is offering 15% off NOW THRU SUNDAY with coupon code SEERSUCKER--so for all of you in need of last minute Xmas gifts, this is a goodin!  

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stars & Stripes

shirt (HM c/o), vest (J.Crew ON SALE), jeans (DL 1961), heels (J.Crew 30% OFF with code GIFTNOW), bag (Michael Kors), rings (David Yurman, Lagos, Anna Beck), watch (Michael Kors), shades (Gucci), necklace (Maya Brenner), bracelet (Jewelique c/o love THIS)

While I normally like to sport my vests casually (see HERE & HERE), I also love the idea of jazzing them up a bit with some heels.  It's all about the juxtaposition for me--balancing casual with dressy suits my style best.  I'll also never deny my love for a good print mix--this VEST allows for options galore in the way of print mixing. Because in my book, stripes are always a neutral!  Alright gang, make it a good one--it is FFRReezing here in Lex--stay warm!  

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hair Raising

 coat (J.Crew 30% off with GIFTNOW), oxford (Old Navy on SALE, check out Polka Dot Oxford under $20!), jeans (Current/Elliot), heels (J.Crew 30% OFF with GIFTNOW), scarf (Abercrombie old, other Pom Poms HEREHERE), belt (C.Wonder), bag (Michael Kors), rings (David Yurman, Lagos, Anna Beck), shades (Banana Republic c/o LOVE THESE 40% off with BRGIFT40)

I NEED A HAIRCUT.  BADLY.  I have tried to grow this mane out but folks, I don't see it happening.  Have an appt this week with my gal, Shawnee, from Voce and I'm thinking (hoping) the locks are long enough to take the back up and sport a messy/shaggy bob (love THIS too but think I need my hair to grow out a bit more).  Anyhow, I know the focus of this blog is fashion; however, upon uploading that first pic all I could think was, "get me some damn scissors, stat!"  Quick roundup on the rig--pulled together, comfy, neutral, with a splash of Monogram & Leopard  makes for my kinda look.  Gotta 'big wig' meeting this morning for work so I've gotta scoot---make it a good one, gang! 

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pop Your Black

jeans (Paige Denim), coat (J.Crew 30% off with GIFTNOW), sweater (HM c/o), blouse (J.Crew 30% OFF), sneaks (J.Crew sold out--love THESE ON SALE), bag (Michael Kors), ring (Lagos), watch (Cartier), bracelet (Sylvia Benson c/o), shades (Gucci)

So close.  I was sooooo close to almost having a head to toe black look--but I couldn't--something within me just had to toss on a splash of color.  Aside from black and white, truly not sure if there is a more classic look than head to toe black.  Why I never gravitate towards all black is beyond me because I love it on other gals.  

As mentioned in THIS POST, I am a huge fan of Paige Denim...they're coated numbers are serving up a major dose of versatility, too.  They're easily dressed up or down, with a blazer or tshirt, a chunky sweater or a silky blouse--limitless possibilities!  

Lastly, a few Giveaway updates---congrats to Erin Mussler for winning the SOLO DINER GIVEAWAY and a sincere thanks to all who participated!  Also, be sure to check out yesterday's Beginners Photography Class Giveaway--perfect for anyone who wants to learn to use their camera more efficiently and take better pics.  Alright gang, have a great weekend and stay warm--it is crazy frigid in the Bluegrass!

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem

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Behind the Lens

all images c/o Kristin Tatem

You have a fancy camera.  You have hopes of capturing images that have that editorial, crisp, yet blurry in the background feel.  You take said fancy camera for a test drive..and nada--no blur, no crisp, no magazine worthy, hell, barely even Facebook worthy pictures...it ultimately ends up on an auto setting and your dreams of becoming a photog are quickly diminished.  Not any more, gang, not any more.  I am truly so thrilled to be announcing the launch of my girl's, Kristin Tatem, online  class, Beginners Photography Class.  I have taken this class live twice and I am telling you, you will be amazed at how she explains how to get your camera to work for YOU--many lightbulb moments indeed.  Truly, the proof is in the pudding--just scroll through my posts and you can see the passion she has behind the lens--kid knows what she's talking about--and in turn, I now take better pics of my little ladies.  Moms who want to capture moments with their children, bloggers, business owners (think Etsy), and aspiring photographers will all benefit from this Online Class.  And because it's Christmas and I love giving stuff away, The Beginner's Photography Class is giving away one FREE ONLINE CLASS to a 
s + s  reader.  Entry rules are simple and stated below.  Giveaway will end next Wednesday eve--make it a good one--outfit post coming to you manana!  


-you MUST like Beginners Photography Class on FACEBOOK

-extra ENTRY if you Pin ABOVE s + s collage using PIN IT button in upper right corner of image

-PLEASE leave comment below stating how you entered, EMAIL ADDRESS and What you would like to takeaway from class (ie:  mom wanting to take pics of kids, better blog pics, etc)

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Coat & Kicks

coat (J.Crew 30% off with code MERRYMERRY), sweater (Lilla P c/o), shirt (J.Crew), skirt (Forever 21 UNDER $20!!), necklace (J.Crew see similar HERE & HERE), sneaks (New Balance for J.Crew 30% off with code MERRYMERRY), bag (Michael Kors), rings (Lagos, David Yurman, Anna Beck, other Anna Beck saddle ON SALE HERE)

We had a little 'warm' spell last week where I could actually let the stems come out and play!  Those days are no longer as I stare at large snowflakes falling outside my window as I type this.  I've preached until I'm blue in the face about thinking outside the box regarding SNEAKS, here's just another example of how they complement looks other than workout wear. And after a long search and wearing the hell out of my navy blue sweater (see HEREHERE, & HERE), I FINALLY found a perfect substitute from Lilla P--it's the perf cozy knit that I've already worn to death!  Alright gang, I've got to scoot--busy day ahead.  Make it a good one and STAY WARM!  

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Caramel Cream

jeans (Paige c/o Blossom of Lexington also available online HERE with zippers HERE), sweater (HM c/o, alternatives HERE & HERE), heels (J.Crew), scarf (Banana Republic other houndstooth HEREHEREHERE), bag (Louis Vuitton), shades (Ray Ban), watch (Cartier), rings (Lagos, Anna Beck,  SIMILAR SADDLE RING ON SALE)

The fit, the color, these Paige Caramel Coated Jeans really speak for themselves and require minimal counterparts (Lexingtonians snag yourself a pair at Blossom).  A Chunky Knit sized up for an extra cozy feel complements the coated denim perfectly--I'm a big fan of the pairing (see Exhibit A & EXHIBIT B).  Feel like kicking up the casual feel a notch?  I'd try pairing them with THESE GUYS but let's be honest, I need another pair of sneaks like I need a hole in the head!  Alright gang, cheers to a smooth start to our week--make it a good one!
photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem
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Friday, December 6, 2013

The Casual Winter

coat (J.Crew), sweater (Gap), jeans (Current/Elliot), button down (J.Crew love THIS SALE PLAID), chucks (Converse), specs (Warby Parker c/o), watch (Cartier), bag (Michael Kors), rings (David Yurman, Lagos, Anna Beck), bracelets (j.crew, Sylvia Benson c/oJeweliq c/o)

CableknitsPlaid, with a side of Sneaks--sold!  You've got my favorite winter rig happening right here and I've already repeated the hell outta it.  Another fave I'm currently digging is a red & Camel color palette.  It's definitely a wintery combo and yet it's still cheery--the weather is so dang drab at times and a gal can only take so much black and gray.  Remember how we discussed Coats several weeks ago and the importance on where you should invest?  I clocked this Cocoon Topper for several months last year and finally took the plunge and I am SOOOO glad I did---it is the perfect addition to my collection and I have not for one second had an ounce of buyer's remorse--that's when you know paying a smidge more for an item is worth it!  
Alright gang, it is crazy nippy, wet, and wintery here in the Bluegrass but that ain't stopping me from attending one of my fave annual holiday parties of the year---you ready for me, Ash, let's make this Landis Ludachristmas one for the books!  Enjoy your weekend and big thanks for swinging by!  

PS:  Make sure to check out yesterday's GIVEAWAY--if you've got a little nugget in your life, this one's for you!

photos courtesy of Kristin Tatem--WELCOME BACK
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