City Styling – Slim Trouser

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Sloan Fit Ankle Pant – Banana Republic | Silk Cowl Cami – Free People | Elizabeth Tee White – Reve En Vert | New Look Suedette Heeled Mule – ASOS |

I’ve partnered up with Banana Republic to bring you this city chic look. I’m usually a trouser type girl however as of late I’ve been leaning towards more oversized fits. It was a refreshing breath of fresh air when these slim fit trousers appeared at my doorstep.

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Bombers & Block Heels

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Currently obsessed with blush, rose & any other satin bomber jackets along with mid block heels. Definitely two items that are part of my must-buy list. There’s something about a pair of cropped wide leg denim atop a mid heel. I also have and will always be a fan of the block heel, especially for everyday wear. The new bomber jacket trend also has me pretty inspired, pairing it with a cute mini dress or skirt top combo adds a little femininity to a somewhat masculine piece. Shop some of my favorites above!

Trend Alert: Structured Strapless Pieces

Structured Strapless Pieces

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So I’ve never been a huge fan of tube tops, to me it says something of Miami in the early 2000s. However a recent update to the piece we all once knew has made me go strapless. By utilizing structured fabrics and creating clean cut lines this once casual weekend top has transformed into a classic work week piece. One of my favorite looks is pairing the strapless piece with high waisted ankle grazing trousers in a fun print or bold color. Throw on a pair of flats and you have the perfect balance of skin on top and a more professional feel on the bottom. If you’re looking to go out after work, throw on some pointed toe pumps and a leather jacket to complete the look. I never knew I’d be such a huge fan of the trend but I must say to everyone that you should at least try and embrace it once, you won’t regret it!

Shop my looks above!

The Perfect One Piece

One Piece Swim

Kelly-One Piece – Onia | Starshine 80s One Piece – Wildfox | Aubrey Swimsuit – Mandalynn | Lattice Side Bandeau Swimsuit – ASOS | High Waist Deep Plunge Swimsuit – ASOS | Bronx Swimsuit – Acacia

I have been on the hunt for the perfect one piece and I can’t seem to decide between a few options. A few styles have caught my eye and you can shop them above! Deep plunge necklines, strapless lace up beauties and the staple ‘Bay Watch’ suit will have you ready for the remaining summer months! I’m definitely looking into one for my upcoming honeymoon!

Designer Spotlight – Rising Blue Jewelry

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I had the pleasure of interviewing designer and founder of Rising Blue Jewelry, Mary Byrd. Mary is currently in the works of producing her first line of beautiful handmade jewelry and has begun a Kickstarter campaign as she makes her way to living her dream of owning her own business. Mary is a truly inspiring individual and I have had the pleasure of not only knowing her as a friend but as a colleague. Be sure to check out her Kickstarter campaign and help support! Her pieces are handmade, beautiful, unique, and something you’ll have to get your hands on.

About the Kickstarter:
Mary is running a kickstarter campaign for Rising Blue Jewelry to fund production costs. The project has been funded and will continue to run through March 19. She is offering 6 rad pieces for wholesale as the rewards.

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Here is a little insight into what inspires, challenges, and encourages Mary to continue her aspirations as a designer.

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1. So, tell me about Mary Byrd, the girl behind Rising Blue Jewelry

I am an apparel designer turned metal entrepreneur. I live in cute Old Town Seal Beach in Southern California with my hubs in our 100 year old apartment above a pizza shop. I love to explore and turn strangers into friends. I love breakfast and coffee. I train Muay Thai, but am too scared to actually fight. I have long hair that’s been growing since I shaved it in college. And, most recently, I have successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign for Rising Blue! Check that one off the list!

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2. How did Rising Blue Jewelry get it’s start?

I started Rising Blue Jewelry to create a product that will last for decades. I wanted to find my life’s work and build something little by little until I have a pile of jewels a pirate would be proud of.

3. What’s the inspiration behind the name?

I watched the changing tides during a thoughtful moment on the coast of Bali and fell in love with “Rising Blue.”

4. What is your biggest inspiration for your brand?

I live at the beach and love to stroll along the sand, taking photos of the waves, palms trees, and bikinis. I think this comes through in my tropical, clean aesthetic.
The biggest inspiration comes from the experiences and people I have met on my travels. For example, I was sitting in a cafe in Canggu, Bali. I had stones and chain spread out on the table while I sketched. Milly, the cafe’s owner, sat down and we chatted, generating tons of ideas. Some of those have come to life in the collection.

5. What was your biggest fear in starting your jewelry line and how did you overcome it?

To quote Frank Herbert, author of Dune, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing…only I will remain.”

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6. Where was your favorite place you have traveled to?

One of my favorite places is Amed in Bali, Indonesia. It’s a beach at the base of Bali’s largest volcano, Mount Agung. There are no waves, but a stretch of rocky beach that has some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving. There is a sea sculpture garden and a Japanese shipwreck right off shore. Some locals took me out in a tiny catamaran to watch the sun set over the mountain. Stunning. Since Amed is mostly a fishing village, it’s the perfect place for delicious seafood curry.

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7. What are your future goals for Rising Blue Jewelry and where do you hope it will take you?

I am passionate about supporting my artist friends. I want to collaborate with and support them as they grow, prosper, and create quality goods. This definitely includes the extended family I’ve found in Bali.

8. Where are you traveling next?

I will be in Bangkok, Thailand in April designing a collection of engagement rings, studying precious stones at the world-renowned gem school in Bangkok, and eating tons of street food. Follow me on my insta @risingbluejewelry and on my blog ShopRisingBlue.com

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9. When will the full collection launch?

The collection will go into production in April, and launch on the ShopRisingBlue.com in May 2015! Sign up on the email list to be first to know when the collection goes live.

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70s Fashion Comeback

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Images: Zara & Mango

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Let’s all take a minute to give thanks go the fashion gods for bringing some 70s fashion back into modern times. As with all trends, they usually are just reestablished trends from the past, but with some upgrades. I have a feeling my spring wardrobe will consist of suede minis, gladiator sandals, knee high boots, denim mini dresses, and plenty of subtle fringe accents. My spring trend color palette will also consist of khaki, army green, white, dark denim, and of course brown. My take on this trend: a mix of 70s textures and patterns but with a mod twist (short hemlines, clean lines, etc) Shop my picks above!

Modani – Modern Furniture Interior Design

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As a Fashion Blogger I’m constantly inspired by design aesthetic. While it applies to fashion and styling it also applies to interior decorating, art and online marketing. A recent trend has been arising promoting the ‘less is more’ mentality and focusing on minimalistic aesthetic both in home and in clothing design. Focusing on the quality and architecture of the furniture instead of flashy painted pieces with over the top hardware gives a home new light and the ability to focus attention on smaller details.

I’m always on the hunt for new designers, companies, and technology that will not only inspire me but will open my eyes to new products and trends. I recently came across Modani Modern Furniture stores and was extremely excited to share some of their pieces with you guys. All pieces are beautifully designed focusing on metals, leathers, and a neutral color palate that are great additions to any home. I’m planning on picking up a few pieces once we move into our new apartment! For some fun I threw together a little wish list above that includes the Onyxia Sofa Bed which can easily be transformed into a guest cot (perfect for guests at my one bedroom apartment, view additional sofas here), a great statement Lounge Chair, black ottoman, a faux fur rug and some fun stacked trunks as a side table (I’m a huge fan of stacking old crates into shelves or creating your own side tables with them!)

Definitely give these guys a look if you are in the market for some new home decor!

Holiday Gift Guide – An Evening In

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Struggling with what to get your girlfriend, friends, cousins, aunts, mother this year for Christmas? Don’t worry we have all been there. I’m huge on giving thoughtful gifts that not only come from the heart but show that you’ve listened and most importantly remembered. Those few times you go out shopping with a friend and she exclaims how she adores that one humorous Ryan Gosling book or those pair of socks that look so comfy. Those are the moments when I immediately move to my phone and jot ideas down. You never know when you’ll need some gifting inspiration (even if its only July).

I’ve curated a few special pieces thanks to some of my favorite local brands to give you a gift of a relaxing evening in for that special someone in your life. What I enjoy doing is purchasing one bigger gift and finding little things to support it. Here’s what you’ll find in my gift bag:

LMN Luxe Me Now Slippers: In this case these LMN Luxe slippers are my new favorites. I’m a fan of mules and smoking slippers so when I came across this brand on Instagram I knew I had to get a pair. They are extremely comfortable (with memory foam soles) and are fashionable enough to wear outside (which I definitely already have done).

Knotty Jewelry: From there I grabbed a few pieces of fun jewelry and hair pieces from Knotty, a hair jewelry company that specializes in making adorable hairbands that you can actually leave on your wrist and it won’t throw off your entire outfit.

Francesca’s Collections Mug: Another perfect piece for an evening in is a cute mug, in this case I have one with a Frenchie on it since I am obsessed with my dog, but one with a cute phrase is the perfect packaging for your new jewelry pieces.

Barbara Eberhart Print: To polish off the gift I threw in a fun print perfect for a little nightstand accent.

Throw in some nail polish and a candle for fun stocking stuffers and your christmas shopping is complete!

I also highly recommend shopping small and local for your Christmas gifts, there’s nothing like spreading Christmas cheer to the little guys in this big retail world.

Minimalistic Retailers

Where to Shop

I’ve been on the hunt for some new labels throughout the states that has some great minimalistic pieces to add into my growing collection of staple ‘basics’. My search ended up leading me to a few amazing overseas brands that are not only gorgeous but also decently priced (if you exclude shipping). Here are a few of my favorites that I recommend checking out!

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Charles Keith

If you’re looking for some incredible shoes and handbags Charles Keith is the place to shop. Along with their focus for accessories they also have a growing ready to wear line. I’m a huge fan of the minimalistic designer inspired pieces that are not only crafted beautifully but also only around $100 or less. I am always on the hunt for beautifully crafted designed pieces but still at a reasonable price (I know, I’m a dreamer right?) Be forewarned however that shipping to the U.S. for orders under $150 is about $35 so you might as well throw in a pair of shoes with that handbag.

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House of Sunny

Looking for designer ready-to-wear without the designer price tag? Look no further than the oversized monochromatic pieces from House of Sunny. This UK brand focuses on textures and asymmetric hemlines to bring some unique pieces to a minimalistic wardrobe such as mine.

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Oak + Fort

This Canadian brand pulls together all of the laid back aspects of Brandy Melville and spices it up with a little bit of a more modern flair. From basic tees to tank dresses your sure to find something that fits a simplistic style arrangement. Not to mention they always seem to have great deals going on. If you’d like to shop a little more local (and with a little less postage cost) I would suggest checking them out.

Fashion from Afar – Santorini Greece

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As a kid I never got to experience much traveling, I had my first plane ride without my parents and ever since I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and traveled to Washington D.C. with my 8th grade class (as many of you I’m sure did as well) did I realize how exciting and fun it is to travel. Being a lover of learning, reading, history, there is a lot that I get out of traveling to new destinations. After becoming addicted to history documentaries when I was still in college and after taking my first Art History class I fell in love with Europe and especially Greece. Alongside it’s rich history, the mythological aspects that hide behind it are something that I’ve always been curious about (hence my Greek Mythology course in college, boy did I love my GE classes).

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When the time is right I will make my way over the Atlantic and land (jet lagged) in Santorini Greece. The beautiful cliffside community has an amazing array of colored buildings and cobblestone pathways that would be the perfect backdrop for a pair of culottes and an oversized tank. Here are just a few of the essentials you might find with me on my trip:

Day Look:

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Off shoulder top, baggy boyfriend jean shorts, bright satchel, and pointed flats.

Evening Look:

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Oversized white tank, white culottes, lace up sandals, cape blazer and a cute clutch.

My biggest fear in traveling to a non-english speaking country is communicating with the locals. As a big supporter of making check lists and planning my first task would be to research basic terms that would be useful when traveling to a different country (who, what, where, when, how, please, thank you, hello, goodbye, etc.) The great part about traveling to these type of tourist destinations is that a good majority of people you may come across will speak English. With technology assisting in traveling with each additional ‘app’ or website we encounter (whether you use Google Maps, Yelp or Expedia) it’s important for me to be able to visit a local website that can translate into English. Cue the amazing services Smartling provides. Smartling is able to grab content from current sites html, xml, cms and strings automatically and translate accordingly. Working as a project manager for a Marketing firm this is a service that I find extremely useful, especially for websites that have consistent updates for content and need them done quickly and efficiently.

Another exciting part of travel is trying all of the traditional food the city has to offer. With Greek food my experience is limited to the local Mediterranean restaurants of Southern California however cool Greek salads, cucumber-yogurt dip, and Baklava would be at the top of my list when I arrive.

Whether I’m relaxing on the beaches, eating delicious food, visiting the historical villages, vineyards, castles and archeological sites the beauty of the city would simply be enough.

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