Guy’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Good morning lovelies! I’m super excited to share with you (and for you to share with the man in your life) my favorite gifts for Valentine’s Day! The traditional chocolates and roses are my favorite out of everything I mention in this blog post, but for those of us who like to be spoiled I came up with a few items and even a little graphic so you can share it on your Facebook wall and tag a certain someone in it!

valentines_day_gift

Gentlemen, please turn your attention to me as I walk you through everything. I promise that you’ll be safe if you use my guidance and suggestions. I realize (and so will you sooner or later) that some of this stuff is just too expensive to buy, which is why you must understand that these are suggestions and by no means the only way to make a girl happy. However, if you want to blow her expectations out of the water, you might consider a few of my ideas!

  • Miss Dior Perfume- Seriously, what girl wouldn’t love perfume like this on the most romantic day of the year? Gents, you can find this perfume at Nordstrom’s and also Sephora. I’d suggest places like Amazon.com but for quality assurance, go to a department store.
  • Jo Malone candle- Candles are romantic and cozy. Girls love romantic and cozy! Jo Malone candles are packaged pretty and smell divine! Saks 5th Avenue has a whole selection online. If this is a bit out of your price range, try a Bath & Body Works candle!
  • Kate Spade Wallet- If your lady is like me, she’s in love with Kate Spade! While getting her a bag may be a little over-the-top, a wallet could be just the ticket! This is my favorite wallet they have in stock. You can’t go wrong with it.
  • Pink Roses- Red roses are lovely, but pink seems so much more youthful!
  • Coffee Mug- For the young professional woman, coffee is her lifeline. This adorable mug will remind her she’s beautiful everyday.
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries- Whether you make them yourself or buy them from Godiva, this is much better twist on the traditional box of chocolates (and it tastes better too!) As much as our moms enjoyed the box of Russell Stover goodies, we like something a little different.
  • Champagne- This goes so well with those strawberries I mentioned! Don’t forget the champagne flutes! Pop fizz clink!

My last suggestion to you men is regardless of what you give her or do for her, write her a letter. Not a text or an email, an actual letter. It doesn’t have to be ridiculously sappy or dramatic, it only needs to be filled with the things you appreciate about her. List them, bullet point them, whatever you do just write what’s on your heart!

Signature

Monday Morning Inspiration

Hello loves! I hope your Monday is going swimmingly and you’re surrounded by pretty things. If you aren’t, then I have just the ticket for you! Everyday on Instagram and Pinterest I’m bombarded with things to love and to yearn for. I had a friend that told me I was a marketer’s dream because if it’s packaged pretty, then I’ll buy it. I concur. I rounded up a few of my favorite things that are inspiring me right now and am sending them your way!

Pretty_things_for_an_office

Being surrounded by beautiful things is great for our mood and even better for our confidence. Inspiration is what makes our days productive and worth living. For example, in my own bedroom I’ve hung illustrations by my favorite artist, Inslee Haynes, and hung pretty printed quotes on my walls. My desk (though cluttered with papers at times) has a gold votive holder with brightly colored pens in it. I’ve also put my favorite candle near by.

My dresser has a mirrored perfume tray sitting on it and necklace mannequin with pearls draped around it. Across from my dresser is my bed, and while tempting to curl up in all hours of the day, I promptly make it after waking up and fluff the pillows and comforter. I also put a few decorative pillows on top along with a fluffy faux fur blanket.

There are so many things you can add to a space that really spark the creative flow in your mind for the day. As pictured above, here are the links to the pretty things inspiring me right now!

My last piece of inspiration for you: “Always believe something wonderful is about to happen!” Enjoy your day!

Signature

Chanel and Champagne Inspiration

chanel_and_champagne

Hello loves! I was browsing Instagram earlier and found this adorable “Chanel and Champagne” tee from the Foi Clothing Boutique! It’s $32 right now and I’m so in love with it. I’m calmly resisting from buying it but I feel like my closet needs this cute little phrase in it for some pep in my wardrobe.

I decided I needed to create an outfit around this tee and what I put together surprised me! I would never think to pair a laid back shirt with such a glamorous skirt. Adding Valentino studded heels and a big statement necklace surprised me even more. The Tom Ford lipstick however, was going with this outfit whether it matched or not!

It did get me wondering though, where on Earth would you wear an outfit like this? After thinking about it for awhile, I came up with a short list of places.

  • Paris- The fashionistas there would understand this dramatic look and hopefully approve.
  • New York Fashion Week- Bold is the new black.
  • A glamorous hotel- The Waldorf-Astoria loves their posh clientele.
  • One of Los Angeles’ famous restaurants- Consider dropping in Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR restaurant in West Hollywood and give the English beauty queen a run for her money.
  • An outdoor, daytime wedding- The look combines both casual and elegant in a unique way, making it appropriate for a daytime event.
  • Blogger head shots- The big name bloggers take professional photos of themselves weekly. Why not treat yourself to a photo shoot that you can use professionally (head shots only) and on your blog?

I love dressing up and looking pretty but life doesn’t always hand you opportunities to do. Often, I have to create my own!

Signature

Pop, Fizz, Clink!

pop_fizz_clinkHas anyone else noticed that everything seems to be adorned with these three little words? Kate Spade started this trend and it has sparked a fad all over the place. To be honest, I think it’s really cute! Normally, I don’t love all the trends and I go for classics. However, I think the sound of a champagne bottle opening are worth being considered a classic. Its a celebratory drink after all!

With all the parties coming up for the holidays, I thought I might dedicate a post to the color of champagne and all the sparkle and glamor that comes with it. I chose this dress from L.K. Bennett London because it embodies everything I love about dressing up- the glitz, eye-catching outfits, and stunning figures. Gold, rose, champagne, and black were the colors of 2014 in my opinion. If sparkle were a color I might add that in too.

Over the summer, two of my good friends got married and at their wedding we had champagne. We toasted to their future together and made our speeches and told the funny stories. That’s what this little drink is all about- celebrating the good things in life.¬†

Signature

 

Sunday Afternoon Bites

Champagne Darling?

Oh Sunday, you were meant for church in the morning and a relaxing day with a pretty drink in the afternoon. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere really pretty for lunch on a Sunday. When I lived in Washington, D.C. there were so many places to go that had lovely views of the river and great food! It was particularly enjoyable during the summer. Everyone was out with friends and family. People would come to eat after docking their boats. It was the life!

For those of you who don’t live near such awesome places, here are two recipes that you might enjoy for a Sunday afternoon! Tip: add Jack Johnson music for a great atmosphere!

Tomato Feta Salad by Ina Garten

4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.

*Add saltwater crackers for balance

Champagne Sangria by Giada De Laurentiis

1 (750-ml) bottle Prosecco or French Champagne, chilled
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups Mint Simple Syrup, recipe follows
1 lemon, zested and thinly sliced
1 lime, zested and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
5 fresh mint sprigs
Crushed ice
Mint Simple Syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves

In a large pitcher, combine the Prosecco, orange juice, Mint Simple Syrup, lemon zest, and lime zest. Add the sliced strawberries, lemon slices, lime slices, and mint sprigs.

Fill glasses with crushed ice and pour the sangria over the top. Serve immediately.
Mint Simple Syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and mint over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool for 20 minutes. Strain before using.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Signature