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Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a fun weekend planned. It is supposed to be almost 80 here in Seattle this weekend, which is practically unheard of, so we are going to be spending plenty of time outdoors. Last night the hubby and I had a fun date to see the Avengers in 3-D Imax. I’m not a huge action movie fan, but this one wasn’t too bad. Although a little more romance and a little less destruction wouldn’t have hurt : )

Aren’t we cute in our glasses?

Michael begrudgingly took an outfit photo for me, he was anxious to get in line! The sunny day was perfect for white jeans which I topped with a floaty navy blue blouse and tan moto style jacket I picked up on clearance during my Ann Taylor shopping spree in New York (using the gift card my Dad and his wife gave me for Christmas) and I added a little print with these floral shoes my MIL passed down to me.

Just want to also take the time to say a Happy (Early) Mother’s Day to all of you mom’s out there, but especially to my amazing Mom, Lynn, and to my Mother-in-Law, Carla. You are both beautiful, generous, loving and I am so grateful to have you!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Well I’m finally back from New York, and although I was sad to leave, it is good to be home with my hubby and kitty kids.

First a few pictures from the end of my trip to New York.

Thursday night my mother in law, sister in law, and I had a fun night out to dinner, just us girls. I wore my white Citizen’s jeans which I absolutely love and were worth the money, along with a fun Vince Camuto printed top I got at Macy’s with a discount and a gift card, and topped with a blazer I found at Forever 21.

My last day there, Sunday, it was my sister in law’s bridal shower, which was absolutely gorgeous, and I wore this hot pink dress my mother in law generously bought me when we hit the Ann Taylor friends &  family sale (no longer online but check in store, 40% off still going on). Normally I would shy away from something with a high necklace and an undefined waist, but I really love this dress and am glad I tried it on. Don’t hold onto rules for what you wear too tightly, sometimes things can surprise you! Right now Mad Men is showing a lot of 60’s wear and I feel like this is inspired a bit from that.

Here we are at the shower, my mother in law on the left, the beautiful bride, and Michael’s grandmother, Nonna.

For today’s post, I am participating in Marionberry’s Trend of the Month Challenge: Flower Power! I decided I would try and give you all a change of scenery given our sunny day here in Seattle yesterday and take my pictures out on our condo building terrace. The wind definitely gave me some trouble, but I managed to get a few good shots. Hopefully I will be able to take photos out there more often!

Floral prints are huge for Spring and Summer, but I don’t have many unfortunately. I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do for this challenge, but then I remembered I had this floral skirt I picked up in Italy on my honeymoon so built around that (seen before here). It is a little bit of an abstract floral, but I’m working with what I have!

Are you wearing floral prints this year? Be sure to check out Marion’s link up tomorrow to see how all of the awesome bloggers wear their flower power!

Skirt – Sisley (similar), Tank – Land’s End Canvas (old), Shoes – Franco Sarto (bought with the last of my Christmas gift cards!), Necklace – Premier Designs

Alright, we made it through Tuesday! And the sun decided to make an appearance after a downpour earlier today so that has put a smile on my face. I also came home to lamb shoulder roasting in the Crockpot and it is beyond amazing. I’m planning on whipping up some apple & bacon brussels sprouts to go with it – dinner is going to be amazing! I’ll have those recipes to share in the next few days.

As we move into Spring, while it still feels like Winter, I’ve been feeling less than inspired. So it was off to Pinterest to find some help. I pinned this pic awhile back, but it didn’t have a link so I unfortunately can’t give credit to the blogger.


Pinned Image

So how did I decide to interpret this? Well, I started with my navy and coral striped sweater, and then instead of doing a contrasting scarf, decided to add a coral one that matched the sweater, and then decided to keep things a bit 2 tone by adding my navy skinny pants and nude shoes. Can definitely see following this formula again with my navy and white striped sweater or black and white striped t-shirt. Next time maybe I will try wrapping my scarf like the picture above as well.

Pants – Michael Kors via Ross (similar), Sweater – Ann Taylor, Scarf – vendor in Capri, Italy (similar), Shoes – Target

Happy first day of Spring everyone! Hope it actually feels like it is wherever you are. It feels like the dead of Winter here, I was freezing today!

But that doesn’t mean I can’t pretend, right?

So in preparation for Marion’s link up tomorrow where she is hosting Trend of the Month Challenge: Neon I decided to put together an outfit that I will wear when warmer weather eventually does come our way… I admittedly don’t have a ton of neon stuff, but I do love color and think a pop of neon is a fun way to brighten things up – as long as we don’t get too 80’s – I mean if those shirt tie things, the ones that you looped the corner of your shirt through, come back then we are in trouble! : ) I saw this shirt online at Ann Taylor this past weekend and, given I had some gift cards there burning a hole in my pocket and they were having 40% off, I stalked it down at the store. It wasn’t even out on the floor yet so of course I asked the sales guy and he kindly pulled it out of a box for me. It never hurts to ask! I also scored a pair of adorable coral cropped denim jeans – I don’t see them online, but check the stores, the fit is great.

Anyway, back to the neon outfit. I decided this would be fun tucked into my denim pencil skirt and then I added my hot pink shoes for an extra pop of color. Yellow and pink is a great combo I think. So if you are in the majority of the country sucking up the warm weather, for goodness sakes, send it here so I can wear this out of the house! (and perhaps get a tan while I’m at it) Be sure to go to Marionberry Style tomorrow to see how everyone else wears their neon!

ps. this shirt looks more neon in person…

Shirt – Ann Taylor, Skirt – Loft (similar), Shoes – Enzo Angiolini

About 4 years ago my Mom and I spent Christmas in Connecticut with her cousin Emily and Emily’s family. Her daughter Jennie, so my 2nd cousin once removed or something complicated like that, who lived in NYC at the time, showed up wearing a gorgeous scarf that I couldn’t stop staring at. I had to have it. Imagine my happiness when she told me that she got it from a NY street vendor for $5. After Christmas there, we went into the city to meet up with Michael for a few days and guess what we did – look for that scarf! And I don’t give up easily when there is something I want. So find that scarf we did, along with a few others in different colors. But this one is still my favorite. I just love the vibrancy of the orange and red together, not sure the picture really does it justice. Unfortunately these scarves got stuck up high in the closet due to my lack of space and have been sort of forgotten about. Something reminded me of them yesterday so I pulled them down and knew exactly what I would wear today. All black just like Jennie, so the scarf could be the focus of the outfit. I decided to go with brown boots instead of black because I like they way they match the warm colors in the scarf. So thanks for the inspiration 4 years ago Jenni! : )

I won’t be posting tomorrow, but wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Hoping to have exciting news to share with you on Monday though (hint, it regards a thing, not a person). Also, stay tuned Tuesday for my January 1 item, 5 ways post. This month it will be a black sheath dress. Very excited to have Adrienne at Rich Life on a Budget participating as well!

Pants- Ann Taylor (similar), T-shirt – Ann Taylor, Scarf – NY street vendor, Boots – Steve Madden

We are apparently preparing for Snowmaggedon 2012 here in Seattle tonight into tomorrow. I am sort of hoping it actually happens so I can spend tomorrow at home with my heater in cozy clothes. We are totally unprepared for snow here, so when it happens everything basically shuts down because we don’t have enough snowplows to keep the roads in decent condition. Unfortunately I live very close to my office, so it is harder for me to claim I can’t get to work, but I figure if no one else is here then I shouldn’t have to be either, right? We’ll see!

You all know my obsession with leopard print, so when I saw this animal print sweater at Express for $15, it insisted on coming home with me. Is it just a different color leopard, or perhaps a cheetah print? I really don’t know the answer, and don’t particularly care because I love it either way.

(Sorry about the enormous box in the picture, must have the husband move that tonight)

Sweater – Express, Blouse – Ann Taylor (similar), Pants – Ann Taylor (similar), Boots – Bandolino, Necklace – Premier Designs

So it turns out I actually had an advisor meeting for my sorority last night, so there was neither drawer cleaning nor meatloaf. Instead we had Mini Burgs (also very yummy) and a pesto zucchini. You know I am all about not using processed convenience foods, so it makes me very happy when I find things such as Cucina Fresca sauces that use only ingredients that I am totally comfortable with and would use on my own. I simply julienned my zucchini into spaghetti like strips, boiled in salted water for a few minutes, drained, and stired in a scoop of the Cucina Fresca pesto sauce. Yum! (although my plate could probably have used a second colorful vegetable, this is a lot of green with the guacamole!)

Today I decided to go with a simple cream and black palate. I found a picture on Pinterest that inspired this look. Then I just added my go to leopard print scarf for a finishing touch. I find this scarf is a completer piece in itself, and it has gotten a ton of use. If you aren’t ready to go all out with the leopard, a scarf can be the perfect way to incorporate it into your wardrobe without much effort.

Do you have a favorite scarf?

(Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of Everyday Paleo’s Beyond Easy Pulled Pork – it is in the Crockpot now!)

Pants- Ann Taylor, T shirt – Ann Taylor, Cardigan – Banana Republic, Shoes – Me Too, Scarf – Ann Taylor

I know we are a few days past the 1st of the year already, but when you are documenting your life on a blog, I think it is fun to reflect back on the events of the prior year and think about some goals for the coming year. For some people resolutions don’t work. For me, whatever you call them, I think setting some goals for the year can’t hurt. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t reach them all 100%, but I think writing down some things you want to accomplish can be a good reminder to look back on periodically.

Here are some of my favorite “New Year” posts if you want to check them out.

Cupcake Caramel

The Clothes Make the Girl

The Daily Sophisticate

Here is what I accomplished in 2011 that makes me smile:

1. Got married to a wonderful person! Planned my own wedding, and with the help of very generous family and friends had the perfect day that I will look back on and smile for year’s to come. I also got to go to Europe for the first time in my life!

2. Started this blog. This has been such a fun creative outlet for me, and I am so happy to feel like I have made some wonderful blogger friends. I really appreciate how all of you readers out there have been supportive and inspire me to put thought into what I wear each day and to try/create new recipes.

3. Found a lifestyle that just makes sense to us! Eating real, quality food, not just blindly following conventional wisdom, and educating ourselves has made my husband and I the happiest and healthiest we have ever been. I no longer fight hunger or spend time on a treadmill thinking that is the key to liking what I see in the mirror. I don’t nod off at the table because I just can’t keep my eyes open anymore. My energy has skyrocketed and maintaining a weight I am happy with is easy.

4. Made it through Crossfit bootcamp classes and Crossfit Onramp!

Looking forward to 2012, here are some things I would like to accomplish:

1. Continue blogging! I specifically want to push myself out of my comfort zone to try new outfit combos that I wouldn’t otherwise reach for and perhaps find a spot for outdoor/better photos, at least occasionally. As for cooking, I want to try new spices and vegetables, as well as learn how to use my pressure cooker. Let’s also include trying to get my husband to eat spinach here…

2. I don’t want to simply fit into my skinny jeans (although I want to continue that as well), I want to be strong and fit too. So I would like to go to Crossfit 2X a week and also take a walk around the neighborhood with my husband at least once a week after work. (Let’s hope for at least one dry day!)

3. Pull out my old sewing machine from storage and try my hand at sewing some clothes. I have a degree that required sewing class after all! Along these lines I’d like to not always head straight to Ann Taylor or Nordstrom for some retail therapy, but give treasure hunting at thrift stores a shot to see if I can’t turn someone else’s cast off into a gem with said sewing machine occasionally.

4. Grow my SmartStyle Seattle business. I need to focus on doing the legwork to set myself up to succeed.

5. Eat out less. Not only because it is a good way to save money (I would rather have shoes!), but because that way I know exactly what I am putting into my body. I want to do more prepping on the weekends for lunches and have meals cooked that can be reheated if there isn’t time to cook or I am feeling lazy.

Whether you set resolutions for yourself or not, I hope 2012 is a year filled with happiness, health and success for all of you!

Now some of you might have skipped straight to today’s outfit after all that! I love this navy blue sweater but haven’t actually worn it this winter yet, I’m thinking it may get more time out of the closet in the Spring. I’m not big on wearing lots of layers generally, so I love pieces like this that have great detailing built right in to achieve visual interest easily. I am also very happy I picked up these grey boots in New York at an after Christmas sale, a fun change from just black or brown.

Did you pick up anything good in the after Christmas sales?

Sweater- Ann Taylor (similar), Jeans – Citizen’s, Boots – Bandolino (available here), Necklace – Premier Designs

Well we had a wonderful time spending the holidays in Lake Tahoe and then New York, the time flew by as vacations always seem to do. Get ready for a picture filled post!

We spent our first day in the picturesque and unseasonably warm Lake Tahoe by taking a boat tour around the lake. A little boring, but champagne was available, so that made it bearable. : ) I’ve found my Express faux fur vest to be such a versatile piece that when I was doing a return and found this black one at the Loft for $40 there was no way it wasn’t coming home with me. A coat was a little warm for this day, so the vest was a perfect layer.

We had Christmas dinner out at a seafood restaurant where I enjoyed a scallop and short rib combo with lots of veggies. I wore the same outfit seen here, and this blouse makes me happy each time I put it on. Thank you 50% off Ann Taylor sales.

The day after Christmas was spent skiing the slopes with Michael and my cousins, Lisa and Rocky. All blue runs due to the lack of snow this year, which was perfect for me.

A few days later we were off to New York , where I did my very first real Crossfit workout! Michael was excited to have me tag along and I managed to do a lot more than I thought I could. That is 105 pounds in case you are wondering.

The day before New Year’s Eve Michael and I hopped on the train into the city to visit Rockefeller Center, where he proposed a few years back, and have a few cocktails.

Here is another pretty background we found to take some pics. It was also unseasonably warm in New York (notice the lack of snow) so I was able to wear this gorgeous new Tahari cape  (still available in black!) that my MIL got me for Christmas. LOVE it! Thank you Carla!

You already saw my New Year’s Eve pics so that’s all I have from the trip.

But I’m back to work today, and of course, that requires getting dressed. I mentioned in my last post that I couldn’t wait to wear my statement necklace casually so why not work around that?

My inspiration today was from this picture of Olivia Palermo (I know, totally annoying on “The City”, but the girl’s got style!)

Pinned Image

Just pulled out my black and white striped tee, the new statement necklace and decided this was also the perfect opportunity to make my black velvet skinnies work for the office as well. Looking forward to catching up with my girls at happy hour, then headed home to unpack (always easier after a few glasses of wine).

Do you wear your statement necklaces to the office?

(I don’t normally show you my outerwear, but my MIL also got me this fabulous faux fur trimmed coat that makes me feel like a little like Rachel Zoe so including a shot of that too!)

Pants – GAP, Shirt – H&M (similar), Shoes – Target, Necklace – Premier Designs,  Coat – Ann Taylor

So today we are having “Movie Lunch” at my office where I order pizza for everyone (that I don’t eat) and we all watch a movie in the conference room at lunch which is a fun break. Today we are watching National Lampoon’s Christmas – I must confess I’ve never seen it, hopefully it is actually funny!

Today’s outfit is once again inspired by a picture found on Pinterest – if you are already on there, be sure to follow me and I will follow you back – just search for Amy Affronti.

Pinned Image

As soon as I saw this picture I immediately thought of this grey tweedy sweater last seen here and loved the idea of doing it over my denim button down. So there you have it!

I spent all night cooking last night so recipes to come later this afternoon – Happy Tuesday!

Pants- Ann Taylor (similar), Shirt – Banana Republic via Ebay, Sweater – Banana Republic (similar), Shoes – Shoe Dazzle, Necklace – Premier Designs

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