10.21.2014

The Duster Cardigan and Why You Need One



Oh, duster cardigan. Where have you been all my life, dear friend? You cover all the right places and give the perfect amount of attitude to the classic jeans 'n' heels ensemble. (And, you make me feel taller!)

Really, you're what I've always been looking for and never knew it.

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And friends, the duster is just what you've always been looking for, too.


Duster cardigan c/o Savoir-Faire (sold in-store, but very similar here on their website) // tank c/o Savoir-Faire (sold in-store, but I love this one, too!) // jeans via Destination Maternity // heels here 




Maybe you've purchased one of these trendy jacket things this season or maybe you haven't. Point is, fall and cooler weather are here, and you need a duster cardigan, like, yesterday. My girls at Savoir-Faire have quite the collection of amazing duster cardigans.

Like this one...



And this one...



Oh, and this one.



My favorite way to wear it? Over a tank, paired with jeans and worn with heels or booties. It works for the office or out to dinner. I found mine at SF in-store, but they have several very similar online.

Want to spice it up? Put it over a mini shift dress with some over-the-knee boots. Instantly sexy without being too crazy, since the length of the duster leaves lots to the imagination. See? It's the perfect fall item.





Couple things to keep in mind with duster jackets:

1) Make sure to pair it with a shoe with at least a little bit of heel to it. I'm not saying you need to run out and purchase a pair of 6-inch stilettos; something as subtle as a wedge bootie, like this one, will give you all the height you need to pull off the duster.

2) Make sure it fits around the shoulders and arms - not tightly, but enough that it's a little snug. Nothing sadder than a beautiful girl (like you) pulling at her top or jacket all night because it's too big. The duster jacket should fit (somewhat) around the shoulders, then flow around the waist, thighs and butt.

The other rule?

WEAR it. Walk with confidence and stand tall. It's a statement piece. So make a friggin' statement.

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That's it, ladies. That's all I've got today. Get yourself a duster cardigan and, if you do, show me how you style yours on Instagram. My username is @ablondeambition and I'd love to see what you do with yours!

10.20.2014

Seeing Stripes



I've said it before and I'll say it again - fall has to be one of the best times to dress a baby bump. At 31 weeks, I've loved living in sweaters, leggings, fall dresses and riding boots, a fun alternative to ballet flats and great for chasing a (very) mobile kiddo!

I was overjoyed to find that this little black & white striped shift dress, (courtesy of my friend Megan, owner of Hazel's Haven), not only accommodated, but flattered the bump. Trust me, after being pregnant for what will be nearly two years in a row, it's like Christmas when you find an item that just makes you feel, well, pretty.


Dress (c/o Hazel's Haven // Necklace (c/o/ CoraLee Boutique) // Moto jacket via H&M last year, similar here (less than $50!) and here // Sandal-booties via Target // lip color in Plum Velour by Revlon here
I wanted to give it some edge and really showcase the wide stripes (very much "in" this season), so I paired it with a leather moto jacket, my favorite black sandal-booties and lots of fun jewelry. The result? A comfy, yet on-trend answer to a dressier fall maternity look.

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I've always only worked with a handful of stores (most local) that I really, truly believe offer something different to their customers. Hazel's Haven is one of those. So, what makes them different? Megan carries only a few of each piece, meaning you won't see 20 other women in the Starbucks line wearing your cardigan ; )

How to shop Hazel's Haven

1) The best way to shop HH? Instagram, babes. Hop on regularly and check them out at @hazelshaven to scope out pieces every day. Just leave a comment or even call the store at (479) 242-4295 if you see something that tickles your fancy, and they'll make sure you get what you need.

2) You can also check out Hazel's Haven on Facebook, too!

3) Or, if you happen to live in NWA or the River Valley, they're located in Fort Smith at 908 S. Greenwood Road. Stop in and see 'em and you'll fall in love, just like I did.

10.17.2014

Confessional Friday: {Link Up}




It's Friday and we're confessing on this blog! Let's just jump right in.

1) I confess that American Horror Story with this whole clown plot line is almost too much for me to handle. Stephen was traveling for work this week, so he was gone Wednesday night. Like an idiot, I opted to watch it anyway. I just can't NOT watch AHS when a new episode debuts.

Big mistake. Shows featuring demented clowns should never, ever be watched alone. I don't think I slept a wink that night. Thank the Lord he is back now and I can resume getting some shut-eye.

2) I confess that I'm going to give these pumpkin topiaries a try this weekend. I wanted to do something pretty for our porch this year - something that could stay up well past Halloween. I think these fit the bill. I purchased some plastic garden urns from Amazon and bought some foam pumpkins at Hob Lobb. IF, (and that's a gigantic "if"), they turn out decently, I'll post a step-by-step on here. Wish me luck!

Beautiful photo via Sondra Lynn at Home blog

These gorgeous topiaries and this photo came from the blog Eclectically Vintage

3) I confess that our city just got a new DSW shoe store and it's taking everything in my power not to hop in my car and go over there. I've already purchased some new shoes for fall/winter, so I'm definitely not in need of anything...but man, y'all, it's hard to resist.

4) I confess that I'm pretty much addicted to Guilty by Gucci, this fall. I bought the travel size vial at Sephora, just to see if I liked it well enough to invest in the larger. I do. I really, really do. I wish I had discovered it ages ago, but I'm glad I have it now. I love playing with new fragrances each season, and this one may be the best cold-weather scent I've smelled to-date.

5) I confess that my mom and I are toying with a small business idea - and it's exciting! Naturally, I don't have enough on my plate already, but it's too good to pass up. Hopefully more on this very soon.

Don't you love a vague confession? Ha! Well, friends, what have you got for me?

Talk 'fessy to me!


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   


10.16.2014

Buy This - Not That: {October Edition + Blanket Scarf Video Tutorial!}


Lipstick I'm wearing is here. I also use a 1-1/4 inch barrel Hot Tools curling iron

I'm loving the bargain hunting aspect that comes along with this monthly post series. I've scored so many designer look-alike items through research for these posts. Not sure my bank account is thrilled, but my closet is way happy ; )

Behold (!!) My picks for October:


Jessica Simpson Beagan Boot in Bourbon Fudgie ($99) vs. Frye 'Shirley' Over-the-Knee Boot ($478) 



3.1 Phillip Lim Medium Pashli Bag ($825) vs. Ann Taylor Pebbled Signature Crossbody Bag in Taupe Latte ($98)


Tinley Road Pleated Fit-n-Flare Dress ($89) vs. Milly Fit-n-Flare Textured Dress ($450)


Via Spiga Quilted Trapunto-Stitch Leather Jacket ($269) vs. Maurice's Quilted Faux Leather Jacket ($69)

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Finally, I wanted to show y'all how I tie my blanket scarf. These babies can be a little bit daunting because, well, they're massive. Hopefully, this will help if you're struggling to tie yours!




Also, I mentioned in the video that I got mine from Heart & Home Collection. Unfortunately, it looks like they're sold out : ( (They do have it in a very pretty red color, though!) CORRECTION: Megan says she still does have some - yippee!! Looky here!

My girls at Riffraff also stocked this scarf, the Mad for Plaid scarf in Multi, last week and, though it's currently sold out, they will be getting more. Simply enter your email address on this page to be notified when they have arrived.

Also, can we please take a minute to appreciate the incredibly moronic look on my face in the still shot of this video? Thanks, YouTube. 



(The lipstick I'm wearing in both photos and the video is called Plum Velour by Revlon and can be found here.)

I'll see you back here tomorrow for Confessional Friday!

P.S. - If anyone else knows of stores that have the blanket scarf in stock, leave a comment telling where! I know lots of ladies that are still looking to get their hands on one, so I thought that might be helpful!!

10.14.2014

Happy First Birthday, Caroline Rose!



It's surreal to be writing this post for our Caroline; we now have a one-year old! Exactly one year ago today at 8:30 a.m., Caroline Rose made her debut. She was 6 lbs., 9 oz. of pure perfection, with a head full of raven-black hair and big, blue eyes.



As I sit here and think about the previous year, I'm blown away. Blown away by the amount of love, joy and excitement that she brings into our lives, but also blown away by how much she has taught us. There truly is no learning experience quite like being a parent.


I've learned:

-A tiny human has the power to make you cry, make you laugh uncontrollably, make you terrified, make you joyous, make you slow down, make you re-prioritize, make you think you're losing your mind while simultaneously increasing your ability to remember the most intricate of details during special moments, holidays and milestones. (For instance, I can't tell you what shirt I wore yesterday, but I can tell you exactly what song was playing on the iPod during the car ride when we brought Caroline home from the hospital. I and Love and You by the Avett Brothers.

-How to change pee diapers, poo diapers and POO diapers. Yes, there's a difference. Moms and dads, y'all know.

-That trying to dress a 12-month-old is much like dressing a heavily caffeinated octopus. Though most days, I think the octopus might be easier.

-There is no love and no connection like that one you'll have with your child. None. Period.

-Baby girls are a curse on shopping budgets. (But man, are they fun to dress up!)

-You'll have days where you do it and do it well, the whole motherhood thing. You'll also have days where you just barely survive. But you will. And the good days far outweigh the tough ones.

-How to pack a diaper bag in 5.7 seconds.

-That working outside the home whilst' raising a baby isn't for the faint of heart. Neither is staying home with a kiddo all day. Point being: mommas work hard no matter what they do from 9-5. Call and thank yours today.

-Want to see a man turn to mush? Place his daughter in his arms. Then stand back and watch as he melts into a puddle on the ground.

And lots, lots, lots more.

Yes, babies teach us a great many things. Above all, they expand our hearts and fill it with more love than we could ever fathom. That's what Caroline has done for us. It has been, without question, the best year of our lives. I cannot wait to see what Year Two has in store for us.

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Taken yesterday afternoon, 10/13/14

Caroline Rose,

We love you more than life itself. In fact, darling girl, you ARE life itself. Please never lose your bright smile or that light in your eyes. You have a gift for bringing joy into the lives of others and we think - your daddy and I - that one day, you'll use that gift to impact the world in amazing ways. Don't ever forget that God has a very special plan for your life. And, little one, if you ever lose your way, He is only a prayer away.

Thank you for giving us the best year, Sweet Caroline Rose. The pleasure has been ours.