Favorite Black Pants

Friday, August 30, 2013

As a working girl in a fairly casual office, I tend to wear some form of black pants at least a few times a week. I rotate them in with skirts and dresses but black pants are always a staple I go back to when I have nothing else to wear...they are so easy and match with everything and always look classic and appropriate. Here are four styles of black pants that are suitable for work, going out or just hanging around.


Favorite Black Pants


Weekend DIY - Cabinet Makeover

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Among the hidden treasures in my basement was a wood-topped cabinet with drawers. The cabinet comes with a set of shelves that sits on top but I decided to just make over the bottom part for a hallway piece for my new apartment. The piece was yellowed and dirty from sitting in the basement but somehow I saw potential. Here is my most recent DIY project:

This was the cabinet how we found it - yellowed and dirty - but with good bones.


After sanding it down and cleaning off the dirt and dust, we took of the knobs and put a coat of paint on it. The color is "Stone Hearth" by Behr Paint.


We painted the drawers individually.


Then we did a second coat of paint. You'll want to wait about 24 hours before doing a second coat. The paint dries fast but just to be safe I would wait so it doesn't get too thick.


In our case, we liked the color how it was so we skipped the third coat of paint. (We did touch ups with q-tips just to fill in some small spaces.)



You can't see it in this picture, but my bf replaced the inside/bottom piece of wood and the back piece of wood since they were rotted out. New wood (corkboard material) costs around $5 and Home Depot will cut it to size for you. Lastly, we added the new knobs and found ourselves with a brand new piece of furniture, woohoo!



-Lauren




A Must-Read Food Blog

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hey everyone, I have big news...my sister, who is a cooking enthusiast and devoted Food Network viewer, has finally started a blog!! It's called Fit & Full, a blog that catalogs her cooking, which keeps healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle in mind. I can say, first hand, that all of her food is delicious, made with love and inspired by Giada and Barefoot Contessa from Food Network. Check out her recipes and let her know what you think!





Tory Burch Fall Collection

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When Tory Burch's fall collection came out, I couldn't resist perusing the webpages and picking out my favorite things. While most of it is out of my price range, it's amazing to look at and great for inspiration for fall styles or ideas for how to pair items I already have. Here are some of the favorite things I picked out:

Tory Burch Fall Collection




riding bootsjacket / stud earringsblack evening clutch / ankle booties / ballet flats / peplum sweater



Where are you finding inspiration for the fall?


-Lauren

5 Ways to Budget Better (and still look stylish!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

As I'm getting ready to move into an apartment, the idea of budgeting my money is looming large on my mind. Like so many of you, I LOVE to shop. It's a hobby, it's relaxing, it's fun...but it has not been kind to my wallet. I came up with a few ideas of how to be budget conscious while still keeping up with the trends and adding some new items to my closet.  


1. Stock up on inexpensive basics - go to stores like Gap, Nordstrom Rack or Target and stock up on basic tees and tanks. A basic tee or tank is always the base of a cute outfit and usually they can be dressed up or down. 



2. Buy replica statement jewelry - I signed up for emails from GroopDealz, which sells a lot of the popular JCrew trendy statement jewelry. For example, they often carry bubble necklaces for around $10. 



3. Look for discount designer - check out Nordstrom Rack, Marshall's, TJ Maxx and Second Time Around on a regular basis for things like designer bags and designer jeans. You can ALWAYS find them cheaper at these stores versus the mall.



4. Bring your clothes to consignment stores - we all fall victim to trends and impulse buys so take the things you've only worn once and trade them in for cash at a consignment store like Buffalo Exchange (which pays on the spot) or Second Time Around (which pays quarterly).



5. Save up for classic big ticket items - instead of buying bags and bags of stuff from Forever 21, I try to save my money up for things that I really want, like a classic designer purse or a timeless winter coat.



What are your tips for budgeting and saving money while still looking stylish?



-Lauren





Instagrams from Colorado Springs

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I just got back from a business trip at The Broadmoor, a world-class resort in Colorado Springs. Here are some of the great Instagrams I snapped while I was there. 

Pulling up to The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.

A shot of our conference stage.


The gorgeous lake and mountain view.


They had a bowling alley there!


A cloudy morning looking over the lake.



Hope everyone is having a great weekend!



-Lauren


Guest Post from Sense & Sequins: Favorite Destinations in DFW

Friday, August 16, 2013

I am so honored that Lauren asked me to guest post today for Pretty Pieces. Lauren and I became fast blogger/internet friends and Pretty Pieces is a daily read for me.

Holly, fellow blogger/sister, and I absolutely love Texas. We have lived here our whole lives and cannot imagine living anywhere else, so today I want to share with you some of my favorite things to do around Dallas Fort Worth.



1. The iconic Dallas skyline - One of my all time favorite skylines, I just have to snap a picture every time I cross the i30 or i35 bridge. The iconic Reunion Tower (the ball) boasts one of Dallas' most delicious restaurants Five-Sixty by Wolf-Gang Puck.

2. Ranger Game, Cowboys Game, TCU Game - Here in Texas we love our sports so make sure to see the outrageous new Cowboys stadium, cheer on Yu at a Ranger's game, or root for my Alma Matter TCU.


3. Bass Hall - One of the most remarkable and decadent buildings in downtown Fort Worth, Bass Hall hosts everything from the Symphony to stand up comedy and is worth a visit.

4. The Fort Worth Zoo - The Fort Worth Zoo is a nationally recognized zoo that just recently became home to a brand new baby elephant. In 2010 The Fort Worth Zoo opened the MOLA exhibit, the Museum of Living Art. Also every spring the Fort Worth Zoo hosts Zoo Beastro, a charity cause with live bands and foods from all of Fort Worth top restaurants.


5. The Dallas Flea - Holly and I love the Dallas Flea! The Dallas Flea takes place in Southside on Lamar. You can find vintage clothing, re purposed furniture, art, gifts, and much much more.


6. Highland Park Village - Highland Park Village is one of Dallas' most elite shopping centers with stores such as Tory Burch, Chanel, Hermes, and Christian Louboutin. Even if you cannot shop her just yet (no worries there is an Anthropologie too guys) it is always great window shopping.


I hope this gave you a little insight into a place I love and call home!
 
 
-Holly & Casey - Sense & Sequins

Pre-Fall Wish List: Part 2

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guest Post from Shell Chic'd: New England To-Do List

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Your New England To-Do List: What to Do in + Around Boston Before Summer’s End!


Hi all! My name is Emily, and I blog over at shell chic’d about personal style, sweet treats, and New England life. As August is winding down (how did that happen?!), I thought I’d share some of my favorite things to do + places to visit in the Boston area so that you can get the most out of your last month of summer!


[ 1 ] Get to the beach!
Ok, maybe this is an obvious summer to-do item, but it really is incredible how many beaches we have within 30 miles of the city. If you want to stick really close by, Revere and Carson (Southie) Beaches are accessible by the MBTA, but if you’re willing to drive a bit out of the city, I recommend Plum Island in Newburyport, Duxbury Beach on the South Shore, or just about anywhere “down the Cape.” The Capeflyer train is now running on weekends to Hyannis, or if you want to rent a car for a beach day-trip, check out my post on Enterprise CarShare [and enter to win a free membership + driving credits!].



[ 2 ] Visit the Boston Harbor Islands
I think the BHI’s are one of the best-kept secrets of Boston. Georges and Spectacle are the two big ones— have a picnic and explore the historic Fort Warren on Georges, or hike, swim, and boat on Spectacle. Personally, I actually think the ferry rides over to the islands are just as fun as being on them as well :)



[ 3 ] Enjoy happy hour at a Boston roof deck bar
If we have to work all summer, might as well enjoy the season after leaving the office, right? I love happy hours in the summer because of all the outdoor bars in the city, but especially the ones with roof decks— my favorites are Legal Harborside in Seaport, Fiore in the North End, and Rooftop at Revere downtown. Sangria please!



[ 4 ] Take a lighthouse tour
I’ve recently become obsessed with visiting lighthouses, and feel so lucky to have so many to choose from living in New England. Here’s a full list of the Massachusetts lighthouses, and remember you can tour Boston Light on weekends through the Boston Harbor Islands association.



[ 5 ] Visit a harbor town.
Rockport, Gloucester, Scituate, Vineyard Haven— just a few of the ones we’ve made it to this summer. And most have been spontaneous trips as well, as it’s so easy to make the quick drive (or commuter rail train ride) there, have a lobster roll, some ice cream, do a little shopping, relax on the docks as you watch the boats come in, and make it back to the city by dinnertime!


So if you’re already in the area, or are visiting anytime this summer or next, I do hope these tips will help! Let me know what else you would put on your list. Many thanks to Lauren for having me today, come say hi anytime!

Guest Post from La Vie Jaime: Fall 2013 Wish List

Monday, August 12, 2013

After Lauren shared her fall wish list last week, I got to think about my wish list items and am excited to share them with you today!

Fall 2013 Wish List





Polka Dot TOMS: I love this new style and since I wore out my TOMS from last year, these are on the shopping list.

Coach Legacy Flight Bag: I saw this bag walking by a Coach store and was obsessed immediately. I love the color and cross-body versatility.

LOFT Contrast Sleeve Trench: I have been looking for a cool trench like this and it's a great price too. 

Anthropologie skirt: This girly skirt belongs in my closet ASAP! I can picture many outfits with this piece.

iPhone 5: My 4 has been on the outs for months, so I am ready for an upgrade...and a cute new case, of course!

Alex + Ani Crimson Eden Bangle: This color is the perfect addition to my A+A bangles collection.


Check out my blog: La Vie Jaime!


-Jaime

Off to Colorado!

Friday, August 9, 2013


I'm off to Colorado Springs to The Broadmoor resort for work for the next few days. I'll have some guest bloggers filling in for me so look for those next week! Don't forget to follow my trip on Instagram


Hope everyone has a nice weekend! 



-Lauren

Weekend DIY: Staining a Wood Table

Monday, August 5, 2013

A few weeks ago, my bf and I found a great drop-leaf wood kitchen table at a yard sale in Boston. However, the table was blonde wood and most of our stuff is dark wood so we thought, what a great opportunity for a DIY project. We started by going to Home Depot and getting supplies: black cherry colored wood stain, polyurethane gloss, paint brushes, gloves, and sandpaper.

First, we did three rounds of sanding the table down to get rid of the smooth finish and scrape away some of the blonde color. I would recommend sandpaper that is 100, 150 and 220 thickness.

Once that was done, we wiped all the sawdust off the table and made sure it was ready for staining.


When staining, you'll want to apply a coat of stain and then wipe it off after 3-5 minutes, depending on how dark you want your color to be. I would recommend using old t-shirts or a very soft cloth to wipe off the coats of stain...a towel is too rough and leaves marks and prints in the stain.
(Sorry for the mess in these pictures!)


We did about three coats of stain before putting on the polyurethane. 


Don't panic if it doesn't look professional at first, the color really has to sink into the wood and dry overnight before it starts to look like a natural dark wood color.



Overall this was a fun and pretty easy DIY project and a very good way to save money on furniture. Up next we will be painting an old cabinet with drawers to hopefully put in our hallway in our new apt.



Hope everyone had a fun weekend!



-Lauren


Pre-Fall Wish List

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's officially August and I've already been thinking about my fall wish list for a few weeks now. I've bought more than enough summer clothes and I'm just about over the heat wave we've been having. Stores are starting to put out their sweaters and boots and I'm more than ready! Here are a few things on my list so far:


Pre-Fall Wish List