Sunday, January 22, 2012

I have moved!

If you're seeing this post, you are now accessing my OLD blog.  As of January 22, 2012, I have migrated my blog to my new site   Please come visit over there!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Ramblings

I really wanted to participate in Friday's fancies this week because it was all about INSPIRATION!  I wouldn't be able to continue this blog or dress myself every morning without the overwhelming amount of stylish ladies that inspire me and fill my fashion heart with happiness on a daily basis.  HOWEVER, I had a day of craziness yesterday and was at work until 8 PM and back at it for a 7 AM conference call this morning, so instead today I will focus on a re-cap of my week:

-  I finally got a Spike the Punch Necklace, my choice was smoke grey and silver - how fun is this packaging and how exciting for her that everyone is gushing over these necklaces?

- I got LASIK last Friday and couldn't wear eye makeup at work this entire week.  I felt naked!  Have you ever had to go without makeup? How did you feel?

- I also had to sleep in doctor-ordered SUNGLASSES all week due to the LASIK!  It was seriously hilarious for Joe and I .. we called them my "Sleep Shades"... so you neeed a Friday laugh?  Here is a picture Joe snuck of me while I was sleeping my first night (mouth open in all my attractive glory! you're welcome)

- My coworker knew I was having a crappy day yesterday so she brought me a huge 20 oz hazelnut cup of joe from Dunkin' Donuts today (and I had already picked up a cup on my way into the office! double fisting!) - small things like that can really impact a person's day.  THANK YOU.

- Speaking of Cups of Jo, I never win anything, but I still enter Joanna Goddard's giveaways all the time.  Her Wednesday giveaway this week was for a beautiful $340 coat from Hatch, a maternity line.  I entered in the off chance that if I won, I could gift the coat to my sister who is expecting her second child in June (it's a girl!) and guess what!  I WON!!!!  I was so thrilled to receive the news (not to mention an email from Joanna Goddard herself) yesterday afternoon in the midst of my crazy work day.  Thank you Hatch AND Joanna for being so generous!

- I have been LOVING Victoria's Mini Alt week series on vmac + cheese this week - if you're a blogger, you should check it out.

- I met my girlfriends at a newer restaurant Abigail Street last night after I left work in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.  They had already ordered and the cheese plate was one of their picks - how cute are these cheese flags?

- I have my work year-end celebration tomorrow evening at Jeff Ruby downtown.  Free {delicious} steak + wine?  Don't mind if I do!

I hope you all have had a lovely week - what are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Howdy, Partna

I created today's Thrifty Thursday post with a little help from our friends down south.  I was inspired by the gorgeous scarf below from (gasp!) Old Navy.  There are a bunch of gorgeous, rich tones in the scarf, so I pulled a few of them out into other layers of the look (deep blue of the dress, rust into the tights, and a borderline obnoxious dose of yellow for the nails) to create depth and interest.  You can get this whole look for under $150!!!  Can you even believe that?
 One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dress Heaven

I've got a few events coming up this year and I am really needing to add some new dresses into the mix.  The 2012 calendar includes multiple weddings that I will attend as a guest, as well as a bbridal shower + bachelorette party + rehearsal dinner + wedding of which I am a bridal party member!  (So I am not lyin' when I say I need to up my dress game this year)!

In the process of my hunt for the perfect dresses, I've found four that have my heart going "pitter patter".   Dress #1 makes my list because of the eye-catching color and the back detail (but offset by the length so as not to look too scandalous), Dress #2 catches my eye because of the gorgeous slate blue color and the open back, which works for small chested girls like me.  The third dress would be PERFECT for a night time event, classy but different, and peplum is making a huge comeback at the moment.  Lastly, dress #4 would be beautiful for a bridal shower or daytime event, but the price tag is a little steep for such a bold patter.

Which is your favorite?  Where would you wear each dress?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giveaway: Well Fed Cookbook

Today I am thrilled to announce today's giveaway - a signed copy of my newest favorite cookbook, Well Fed, by Melissa Joulwan.  I mentioned last week that, in order to be the best version of myself, I follow a type of eating often referred to as "Paleo" or "Primal" (I generally shy away from using these terms and instead prefer to say that I eat REAL FOOD)!  I believe that in order to look good on the outside, you MUST feel good on the inside.

From a personal perspective, I figured out that eating grains were causing me to have regular headaches and an unhappy belly, so when I learned more about this way of eating, I researched a lot and decided to give it a try.  Fast forward to two years later, I continue to eat a diet of high quality meat, seasonal veggies, some fruits, and delicious sources of fat and I feel better than ever

First, let me introduce you to Melissa!  

Today, Mel is going to give you a bit of her background and share 5 easy ways to get yourself on a healthier path today!  At the end of her post, she shares the ways you can enter to win the copy of Well Fed!  Entries for this giveaway will end on Friday at 5 PM EST.  A winner will be announced on Monday! Good Luck!

In 2008, I had just retired from Roller Derby and started a new, somewhat overwhelming fitness adventure. I cleaned up my diet by dumping grains and cutting out cocktails, and I signed up for a CrossFit-style bootcamp at 6:30 a.m. three times a week. I was determined to be a badass.

At the same time, I was in search of writing inspiration, so I started a blog called The Clothes Make The Girl ( The idea was to write about the fun of creating characters with my clothes. I planned to share the stories I habitually make up in the shower, on my bus ride, and during my walk to work… flights of fancy inspired by whatever character I’d created with my clothes that day.

But as I became more committed to my physical training, the focus of my blog shifted. It kept the playful tone and the stories — and the occasional sidetrip into fashion — but it evolved to become about the beauty that starts inside with confidence borne of mental and physical strength.

Don't get me wrong! I'm still a sucker for the perfect little black dress and stompy black boots and a little sparkly what-what. But now, my desire to look as good as possible is matched by my desire to be as fit and healthy as possible.

I'm a huge fan of Stylized Existence and whole-heartedly encourage you to follow Lauren's kicky, stylish lead. But I also believe that no matter how great you look in your clothes, you can look — and feel — even better by treating yourself well on the inside, too.

The Paleo Diet
I follow the paleo diet,  sometimes called the primal or caveman diet, too. Paleo eating is based on the idea that we feel our best when we mimic the nutrition of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. What that means for everyday meals is this: avoid grains — especially the ones that contain gluten — as well as dairy, legumes, and excess sugar. These foods, while often tasty, can make most people feel less than their best. That's a lot of favorite comfort foods on the "no" list, right?

That's why it's important to focus on the "yes" list instead. Think of every kind of meat, seafood, vegetable, and fruit you can. Go on! Imagine your list... keep going. Now add yummy fat sources like coconuts and avocados and olives — and the accessories of the kitchen: herbs and spices. That’s a lot of wonderful food! And those are the foods that make up the paleo diet.

If you're interested in the paleo diet, I recommend starting with the Whole30. ( It's the program that helped me learn to "just eat," without needing to worry about the trappings of "dieting" — like weighing, measuring, counting, stressing, and logging my food. Along the way, I also got a body that’s leaner, skin that’s clearer, hair that’s shinier, and energy that’s stable from wake up to conk out. It’s not an exaggeration that trying paleo for 30 days will change your life and teach you new things about your relationship with food.

But if you're not ready to try paleo just yet, here are five good habits you can adopt now to make yourself healthier, happier, and — fashionistas, rejoice! — even more attractive. Who doesn’t want that?!

5 Tips For Right Now
1. Get rid of gluten — bonus if you kick all grains.
All grains (wheat, rice, corn, quinoa, barley, etc.) contain proteins that we humans cannot digest. Those microscopic, undigested bits punch holes in our intestines that allow "bad stuff" into our bloodstreams. Our bodies’ immune systems react, and that leads to inflammation inside our bodies. Think about the blister you get from killer-looking -but-cheap shoes: it's red, painful, and hot to the touch. Now imagine that INSIDE your body. Ew, right? Inflammation is to blame for most modern ailments — and grains that contain gluten are the worst. At the minimum, cut wheat-based products like bread, pasta, and baked sweets from your diet. If you're ready to take the leap, say goodbye to all grains and see how great you feel.

2. Sleep at least 8 hours per night. Every night.
Slighting yourself on sleep can have all kinds of nasty repercussions: weight gain, inability to lose weight, mental fuzziness, increased appetite, increased stress, puffy eyes... the list goes on and on. I challenge you to make it a priority for one week to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Try it and see how much better you feel — and look.

3. Say "See Ya!" to sugar.
The naturally-occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables are your friends; the added sugar in processed foods and your morning latte are dangerous frenemies. And artificial sweeteners are just as bad because, like the mean girls in junior high, they pretend to be something they’re not. Artificial sweeteners trigger a sugar response in your body without the actual sugar. Sugar causes an insulin response that also influences inflammation, which can cause weight gain and other, more serious ailments, including heart disease. You are sweet enough just as you are; banish sugar like that blouse in your closet that just seems to go with anything no matter how many combos you try.

4. Cut the caffeine — drink water instead.
If you drink more than one or two cups of coffee per day, you might want to consider cutting back. Chronic caffeine use has been shown to significantly decrease blood flow to the brain, and no matter how fab you look in that dress, the sexiest thing about you is still your brain. Plus, too much caffeine can interfere with sleep patterns, age your skin, and stress out your body... which leads to hormonal imbalances that can cause weight gain, especially around the belly. Drink water instead!

5. Eat your vegetables.
The old advice is true: eating vegetables is good for you. And no matter how many you're eating right now, you can always eat more. Just like your wardrobe, choose a variety of colors and mix-and-match them in different ways to ensure you get the broad spectrum of nutrients you need. Cooked or raw, fresh or frozen, all vegetables are a great choice to fill you up, to provide high-quality carbohydrates, and to give you the dose of antioxidants you need to look youthful and vibrant.

Well Fed Giveaway
OK! If you're inspired to try some new habits, we want to support you in your mission. We're giving away a signed copy of my new cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. ( It includes more than 115 recipes that taste so good, you'll never notice what's missing, and it includes tons of practical tips for how to adopt the paleo lifestyle without making yourself crazy.

To enter, do all of the following:
1. "Like" Stylized Existence on Facebook << Click the link
2. "Like" The Clothes Make The Girl on Facebook << Click the link
3. Post to comments to let us know you did 1 and 2 above and tell us which of the 5 healthy habits you'd tackle first

Remember, the deadline to enter is Friday at 5 PM EST!  Good Luck!

Monday, January 16, 2012


In the next few weeks I will be migrating my blog to my new domain and launching my finished website.  Joey and I are currently navigating the waters of Wordpress and Thesis (thank goodness for Google!) and hoping to end up with a simple, easy to navigate site that will be the new home to Stylized Existence (both the wardrobe consulting company and the blog!).  I've been working with my new 50mm f/1.8 Nikon lens to get some shots for my site, and here are a a couple of sneak peaks of shots that might end up being featured on my new site:

{my new business cards - LOVE them!}

{A few elements of an outfit I wore last weekend in NYC}

I am definitely still learning how to use my new lens, so I've got to ask:

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crushin' on some COLOR

So the white death was predicted for the Midwest last night, and I don't know how much the Chicago area got, but Cincinnati had a few flurries and that was the end of the story!  I am not a big fan of winter, and although I think snow looks pretty, I'd rather live in a warm climate; that being said, this frigid weather has me yearning for high 70's warmer temps and some COLOR!  I am ready to say goodbye to drab winter and welcome the warmer months with open arms (and hopefully a full wallet so that I can buy this entire look!)

P.S. I am linking up with {av} of Long Distance Loving.  Head on over to check out all of the other color crush posts!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Blush Tones

Today's Thrifty Thursday is brought to you by ... well, my brain of course, but shout out to Emily Schuman for the inspiration!  Homegirl can work a cascading skirt and she knows how to rock a blush tone better than anyone, so I combined the two to bring you a lovely {and affordable} look. 

Aside from the Nars Lip gloss and the Nail Polish, this entire outfit would cost only $140 ($24 for the Nars lip gloss and $8 for the Essie nail polish)!  That is an amazing price to pay for such a gorgeous look.  Head on down to the links to find out where you can buy!

Click HERE to see old Thrifty Thursday posts!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Discover: Modcloth

For this week's dose of Discover, I found some lovely things at Modcloth.  If you're not familiar with Modcloth, it's a Pittsburgh-based retailer that sells a mixture of new and vintage pieces, although all items seem to have a bit of a vintage feel to them.  The goods are mainly under $100, so if you're looking to add to your wardrobe but on a bit of a budget, this might be a good resource for you!  Here are six of my favorite current Modcloth picks:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New York Inspiration

On Friday, Joe and I jetted off to New York to spend the weekend in the city as a surprise birthday gift for his 29th birthday.  We had a wonderful time full of eating including BRGR, Levain cookies, Grom gelato, a visit to the Meat Hook in Brooklyn (Have you been? it is owned by my brother's best friend Brent and is an absurdly awesome cooking/butcher store), and a trip to Almond restaurant... a lot of splurging, but since I eat clean 90% of the time, these splurges were OK and I am back on the healthy eating wagon this week!.

I spent a lot of time eye-ing up the women of Manhattan to see how they handled the cold weather.  Although it was a gorgeous high-50's day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday were much colder and the city sure bundled up, but the women still looked great.  Of course, as New York as it is, there was a LOT of black, but it looked so good.  Black will never go out of style, it goes with everything, and it looks chic.

It's evident in my blog that I love color; however, I do think that it is a lot easier to get ready to face the day when it is FREEZING outside if you can just throw on a black outfit (maybe a bit of color around your face) to trudge to work.  Without further ado, here is some New York City inspiration for your Tuesday!  (P.S. The boots are only $45!! You're WELCOME!)

One - Two - Three - Four - Five

Oh and one more thing - I FINALLY got my hands on a Spike the Punch necklace (Happy dance!!!!).  If you've been trying to order a necklace, you should follow her on facebook because she always posts when she adds new necklaces to Etsy so you can grab one up right when she posts them!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Today, I really feel the need to thank the blogging community for continually inspiring me.  I read many, many style blogs (thanks to my lengthy Google Reader feed and Pinterest) and lately I've been using the inspiration to put some intense focus on my personal style. I've always enjoyed styling others, which is why I started my blog and my styling business, but sometimes my own style takes the back seat.  I've finally pushed myself to buy some foundation pieces, but I'm also looking out for some inexpensive and fun pieces to complement the basics.

That's where something like this Polka Dot skirt (Forever 21, $25) comes in.  No, the skirt probably won't last longer than one season, but I don't need it to for a cost of $25.  It's super on-trend now (who isn't loving polka dots right now?) and it's in a gorgeous dark teal, perfect for pairing with supple leather and brown tones.

.........and if you like nothing else about this outfit, you must admit that the purple earrings really rock.  Yep, I just went there.

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Discover: Topshop

I love Topshop.  The UK-based retailer sells reasonably-priced, stunning, and classy clothes (and free shipping to the US over $75, only $10 flat fee otherwise).  Best of all, they update their offerings frequently, so there are always new pieces to see.  Per my usual, as I was fake-shopping the site earlier this week, I found some really great buys for under $100, and felt it totally necessary to share with you!

  If you weren't already familiar with Topshop, you now have another online shopping destination; and if you already were familiar, what other Topshop items are you pining after?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A bit of reflection...

Within my second post on this blog, back in 2009 (can you believe it?), I wrote this:
Looking back, I feel really proud, as I really believe I have stayed true to what I wanted this blog to be.  I hope you have all enjoyed reading the blog over the years, and as I continue to improve and grow my business, I look forwarding to upping my standards and increasing the quality of my output to continually bring you the best version of my blog.  Thanks for sticking with me over the years, I can't wait to see what 2012 holds!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy New Year!  I hope you all are kicking off this year feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your fashion woes in 2012.  The new year is a fantastic time to wipe the slate clean: clean out your closet, get rid of those clothes that are worn or don't fit, make a list of what your closet is missing and hit the sales!

Over the past few weeks I have been doing just that! I've been working with clients to edit their closets, and I've done some work on my own closet as well.  I feel like after 3 years of searching for my own personal style, I've finally found it and I am thrilled.  Below is a look that is similar to what I wore to brunch with Joe on Saturday morning to get some delicious Belgian-inspired food to fuel us into the New Year!