Livin’ La Vida Liz

professional_young_womanIt’s Friday! Congrats, you made it through the week! As I get older, I realize how important a few days off are. Life is just draining at times. I’ve been commuting up to Fairfax, VA 3 times a week for my new job and between my chronic case of road rage and the money I spend on gas I’m just so ready for weekends.

Speaking of my new job, I’m absolutely loving it! I have great bosses and coworkers. Last night, a few of us went to an Irish pub to hang out and get to know each other. A few of us will be working remotely soon so having good relationships with everyone is key to getting things done. I definitely enjoyed getting to know people in an informal setting. I mentioned it in another post, but I’m the only girl that was selected to be on this contract. It’s turned out better than I thought it would. All of the guys are really great and are fun to be around.

I’m also really thrilled to say that I got my first pay check! It’s such an amazing feeling being able to earn your own money and rely on yourself and not someone else to take care of you. What’s even more exciting is that I’m going to start saving money for my future! My contract is up in November and I really would like to move to either Northern Virginia or somewhere in Florida. Since I would be getting my own apartment, I’d need to buy pretty furniture so I’m really excited about saving for that!

nars_cruellaThe biggest excitement of all right now, is my graduation next weekend! I have my Lilly Pulitzer dress all ready to go and fabulous shoes to go with it! The family and I will be headed down to Virginia Beach for a few days of celebration and beach time. Here’s hoping we have good weather! As a graduation present, my parents are buying me a really nice camera so I can have great pictures of the biggest day of my life and I’ll be able to share them with you! I guarantee I’ll be crying when I walk across the stage to accept my diploma. All these memories will just come rushing back of the greatest time in my life. I’m starting to tear up already. Lord help me.

Enjoy your weekend beautiful people! I’m off to finish some work and then go to the gym!

P.S. My top is from Banana Republic, sunglasses are from Aldo, Blazer is Ann Taylor, and red skirt is from Kenar.

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Working Girl Inspiration

Good morning lovelies! Here’s a little Thursday inspiration to get you through the day! I woke up and was looking at my Pinterest and pinned a few things that inspired me. You can find more on my board “The Working Girl’s Life” if you like what you see. I love my life as a professional woman and am so empowered by it! However, I don’t think being a professional should mean I can’t live with a little color in my life. No matter what position I’ll hold in my lifetime, you’ll still find me rocking pink and sparkles!

Enjoy your day! It’s almost Friday! Keep working hard being all that you were designed to be. The best is yet to come in our beautiful lives. We are tres magnifique!

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Wardrobe Inspiration: Day at the Office

Day at the Office

The one thing I miss the most about working in an office setting is the professional wardrobe I got to wear. There’s nothing better than walking into work looking and feeling like a successful lady. In DC, I could walk to work everyday and sported flats until I got to the office. I traded those in for heels. As Victoria Beckham said “I can’t concentrate in flats.”

I was inspired by yellow and navy today because I think they are good transition colors between summer and autumn. The pop of red in the heel adds that hint of fall while the bright yellow reminds us of summer. I absolutely adore these nautical accessories too!

A few tips for new ladies to the professional scene:

1. Raid discount stores

Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, and a few others have designer brands on mark down here. I’ve found the majority of my skirts and tops for work at these places. Just a little hint, go straight for clearance and look through it then hit the full price racks.

2. Shop often

I go to my favorite stores at least once a week to shop. Some of you may wonder how I afford that. Well, it’s simple really- I don’t always buy anything. The reason I shop so often is so that I can find full price items that I like and check back every week to see how far in price it has dropped. If I feel that the price has been marked down enough, then I will purchase it.

3. Take advantage of New York & Company

Every so often they do a promotion that gives you something like $50 off if you spend $125 or more in the store. Whenever I get these in the mail, I am sure to use them for things I need in my wardrobe such as a suit (blazer and skirt) or a little black dress.

4. Pick neutrals and then add color

In a previous post I discussed neutrals and utilizing them to expand your wardrobe. Invest in them! Pick quality items such as pants, blazers, and skirts that will last awhile. To add the color you want I recommend being careful with what you buy and the cost. Many colors and styles go out of style overnight so splurging on a teal business suit is not the best idea. However, buying a teal top to go underneath a neutral suit is fine.

Hopefully this gives you all a fair look into saving money and looking professional as well as a little outfit inspiration. Enjoy!

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Staple Items for a Lady’s Closet

Nothing says regret like the things we wore 10 years ago that are so bitterly tacky and outdated now. One of my infamous outfits from circa 1998 was my ballet leotard paired with a butterfly print sarong, straw hat, red tights, my tap shoes, and a rainbow colored xylophone. Yes, you read that right, a xylophone. In my defense, I had watched a kid’s tv show that day about being and dressing for yourself. Boy, did I ever. In all seriousness though, there were outfits we all wore that were trendy at the moment but now we would like to burn the evidence that we ever wore them.

However, there are some things worn by some people that never go out of style. Sure, over the years how they were made and fitted changed, but in most aspects it has remained in tact. These articles of clothing are called “staple pieces” and they’ve been in every well-dressed woman’s wardrobe for years.I’ve created a little visual for you to follow along with as I explain exactly why these pieces are so important and useful! Enjoy!

Staple Items

The top left-hand corner showcases a gorgeous trench coat! It’s a throwback to Breakfast at Tiffany’s when Audrey Hepburn is drenched in the rain looking for her cat. Ever since then, it’s been a classic piece and here’s why: it matches everything, has multiple uses, and can be dressed up or down. Burberry makes a stunning one (with a stunning price) and every year these lovely coats can be seen in places like Overstock.com and New York & Company. Invest in a decent one! Find one in either this classic tan color or a navy blue!

Next we’re moving on to the Little Black Dress, a staple made famous by Coco Chanel! Unfortunately it’s also a staple that has been hijacked by the clubbing scene and all those who come with it. This is a classy piece for any professional woman and even their younger counterparts. Please, for the love of all things Coco Chanel do not choose an LBD that’s too short, too tight, or too revealing! This dress should be worn for evening dinners, cocktail parties, or night time events that do not involve bouncers or 16 year olds trying to get in. Mod Cloth┬áhas several options in all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

Oh look where we are! A navy blue blazer. My how classic! Boring you say? Oh how wrong you are! This is the staple that can be worn to work, school, dates, lunch, brunch, church, to the park, and so many other places! It isn’t meant to be worn by itself; it’s meant to be accessorized and made stylish by the top and jewelry you pair with it. Find a good one. The one pictured above is from Ralph Lauren. However, you can find a decent one at Target. It may not last forever, but it will last until you can afford another one.

My favorite thing to pair with a blazer is a great pair of dark wash jeans. My favorite brand is Lucky Brand but I paid through the nose for them. It was worth it in the long run but I understand it can be pricey! I found some that are a bit cheaper and still good quality at New York & Co (bonus: they’re having a buy one, get one sale right now). I prefer a skinny jean but straight leg is great too. Avoid boot cut unless you’re into baggy in the calf and slightly too long in the leg.

Another thing you can wear with that great blazer is a pair of shorts! No, not Daisy Duke shorts, more like the J Crew style. I have so many pairs of shorts but the ones I get the most use out of (and look the classiest) are my chino style shorts like the pair above. You can find similar ones at Target, but the best come from J Crew. I get them on sale every August and save them for the next summer because it saves about $20.

Moving on to pencil skirts now! I love these for so many reasons but mainly because I can wear it to work with pretty much anything on top (sometimes I don’t even need to iron mine but don’t tell anyone!) My favorite ones come from Banana Republic. Yet again, they can be pricey. My solution for savings? Go to their factory store and browse the clearance section. I found a great navy blue pencil skirt for only $10 one time! I suggest finding one in either a cream color or a black.

Cardigans are a lovely thing to pair with just about anything. Buy them in a grey or black and then a red/orangey color for some zip. To get a really good quality cardigan you’ll be needing at least $40. I’ve made it through life with a few from Forever 21 and Old Navy. I can’t say the quality is stellar but it’s good enough for a lower budget.

A cardi looks great with a buttoned up oxford shirt underneath (and guess what? It goes with that blazer again). The best ones I’ve come across are from Ralph Lauren. Once again, head to the factory store and browse clearance. My blue oxford came from the clearance rack and it looks amazing for only $22. If you aren’t near a Ralph Lauren store, then check out Old Navy, they usually have some.

Last but not least, t-shirts. Everyone can rock these and they are the one item that we wear all the time. Get them in neutral colors for the most versatile wardrobe. A good brand of t-shirt I like is Zara but Old Navy can make a good one too. Check to make sure it isn’t too see-through. No one wants to see your bra when you’re walking down the street. At least I hope not.

To finish out this staple piece series tomorrow I will be covering staple accessories and a few other items! Check back for this grand finale!

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