"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shades of blue

Hi friends! Happy belated Memorial Day! I hope you all made the most of the three day weekend, and soaked up some rays on a mini-vacation, or enjoyed a relaxing stay-cation! Whatever way you chose to celebrate, I hope you took a minute to remember all of our fallen heroes, and the thousands of servicemen and women still fighting for our glorious country's freedom every day! I decided to not only bask in the glory of the sun by the lake and think about the reason for the holiday, but also to pop in and give a quick salute (and a lot of dollars) to the ER doctors of America; or more specifically the doctors of the UVA Hospital. Yes, unfortunately I got to be one of the unlucky few to spend 5+ hours of my day off in a hospital bed, waiting to hear whether I was ok after I took a bad spill off a boating tube on Sunday. Absolute yuckiness, right? :( BUT I am totally fine, and don't want to bore you with the details, so let's just move on to greener pastures.
maxi dress
Dress: Old Navy, Tee: LOFT, Shoes: Payless, Ring: Charlotte Russe, Ring: Amrita Singh, Watch: Michael Kors, Necklace: c/o Towne and Reese
maxi dress
I sort of decided to start my holiday weekend a little early, so these photos from Thursday never even got posted! Woops. That's my blogger bad.
maxi dress
I guess you could say I was feeling rather blue last Thursday :) No, in reality, I just desperately felt like piling on as much turquoise.blue jewelry as possible for no explainable reason that day! Do you ever have those moments where you are compelled to don a certain color in overload for no real reason?
See that fun "shades of blue" necklace that I am wearing today (er, Thursday)? Yes, that gorgeous, chunky statement necklace. That's the one.Well it just so happens to be a gift from the wonderfully, kind ladies over at Towne and Reese. I was over the moon when I opened my lovely package and saw this beauty (and an incredible cuff bracelet to be seen later!) shining up at me and couldn't even wait to wear it! So I promptly did the very next day :) I am sure by now you have heard of this awesome company, as they are most definitely the talk of the blogging town! Just in case you haven't, you should definitely hop on over there and check out their gorgeous necklaces, earrings and bracelets! All of their jewelry are incredibly priced (under $50) and unique statement pieces that will be sure to leave you standing out from the crowd, in a radiantly good way! I got compliments all day long about the necklace and loved being able to brag on Towne and Reese. Plus, at these prices, you will be able to spoil yourself without even feeling like it is a splurge! Who doesn't love that?

maxi dress
Crazy-scary pale girl says hey!! After my lake weekend, it is more like still-pretty-pale-girl-with-burnt-neck says hey! I don't know if that is even an improvement...
maxi dress
I apologize for the slight blurriness in a lot of these photos! My camera has been rebelling against me lately whenever I take my own photos. I think it might just need to be punished by hauling it off to a camera tutorial class so I can actually learn how to properly use it!
maxi dress
I am absolutely loving the statement this necklace makes! It really is the perfect combination of fun, youthful and spunky, while still being professional and sophisticated enough to rock at work. Does it get any better? Oh wait, I forgot to mention that it includes my current summer color obsession-mint! Now, does it get any better?? I don't think so!
Ok loves, I really pinky-promise mean it this time when I say that it will not be days on end until you hear from me next! Seriously, you can take me to the bank on this promise :) And I might just have a stupendous giveaway in store to make it up to you! Have a terrific rest of your Tuesday!


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nautical, dude

Salut mes amis! I trust you all had lovely weekends? Little old me sure did, as I got to take a trip down memory lane at my alma mater for graduation weekend! It was almost an overwhelming feeling to realize it had been a full year since I sat under those Oaks and anxiously awaited for my name to be called and walked across the stage to complete my years of formal education. It was definitely an emotional weekend, especially as I got to see dear friends take those same wonderfully thrilling and yet terrifying at the same time steps, and join me in "the real world." I know they will all do smashingly well over on this side, and I was so, so proud of them! I can't even imagine how I will feel in two years when I am hearing the names of my swim babies (the freshman class when I was a senior) being announced. I guess that will make me officially old.

Loves, I must apologize for my semi disappearance the last couple of days! I've just been a little occupied lately, but I really don't mean to neglect you my lovely bloggy friends! Hopefully, it will not happen again anytime soon. I also want to congratulate the darling Jenn, from The Stylish Housewife, on winning my True Whit book giveaway! Congrats Jenn and I hope you will enjoy reading Whitney's musings on every thing under the sun!

This outfit has actually been sitting in my computer folders, itching to get posted on the blog ever since last Thursday, and I am finally obliging it's wish today. Last Thursday I got to enjoy one of my favorite aspects of living in the city- impromptu nights out with friends.When my bestie, who is on summer break from law school, informed me that her hubby was working late and she was already bored with no work to do and needed a night out we decided she should pop on over for a fun girls night! So roommate, bestie and Eli and I all walked down into Gtown and had appetizers and drinks at an adorable outdoor Italian restaurant. It was one of those perfect nights where you just talk, laugh, sip and stuff your face with delicious mozzarella caprese and calamari! Oh and if you think that the location of these photos looks distinctively like something you have seen in an old horror movie ... you are correct! The priest from the Exorcist was hurled down these very 75 steps in the climactic scene. Naturally, I had to take photos there, right?
Exorcist steps
This is just a few minutes from my apartment and there are constantly tourists taking photos on the steps. So we decided, why not!
Nautical dress
Dress: H&M, Chambray: Madewell, Wedges: Payless, Necklace: Charlotte Russe , Rings/Earrings/Bracelet: Gifted
So do you remember my comfy as PJs outfit? Well I think these wedges are the shoe equivalent- comfy as slippers maybe? They seriously feel like flats, and never hurt my feet, but still give me the much needed height boost. Can you say true shoe love??
Chambray shirt
Question for anyone else using a 50 mm 1.8 lens with a Nikon: Do all your photos come out with horrible red eye? Every single shot I have taken with this lens does, and when I edit in Picasa, my eyes turn all black and soul-less, like above. Since my eyes are actually my favorite feature of myself, that is quite disappointing for me and I'd love any tips you all have!
Exorcist steps
I wanted to take all shots looking up the stairs like this, but upward angles are not even remotely flattering on me. So pretend that you could see the cool/creepy steps in all of them. Danke.
style blog
For some reason I felt very 90s nautical in this outfit! The dress was the obvious nautical culprit, so I guess that makes the knotted up chambray the cause of the 90s vibe.
Wait, what is that you say? You want to see crazy pictures of my partners in crime being goofy? Ok, but only if you tell them you begged and pleaded and I reluctantly gave in and let you see these. Deal? Good. 
Exorcist steps
Bestie's best exorcist pose! Don't worry, she did not follow this up with a 360 head turn.

Exorcist steps
And my monkey roommate apparently was bored by the stairs. She prefers wall climbing instead.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wishing and hoping, planning and dreaming

Aloha chicas! Did you all have a marvelous Wednesday? Je l'espère. I actually am not sure if that would be the correct formation to say "I hope so", but maybe you can just roll with the punches if you are a Francophile and know that it is indeed incorrect. Merci. That one I am definitely positive on. I know, I'm playing with the big kids on that one.

Dolls, I have amazing news. I pretty much have my wedding all planned. I know, girlfriend say what?? You didn't know I was engaged? Well, silly, that is because I am not. But thanks to pinterest, I can easily forget the whole "need a guy to give me a ring" (and to love of course) part and plan and dream my little heart out. As unmarried ladies, roommate and I talk often about our future weddings. And while she seemed to know exactly what she wanted, I realized that as much as I think about the "big day", I didn't really know that much about what I want. I know, no need to worry about that since I have plenty of time. But it never hurts to just look, right? That is exactly what I have been doing on pinterest for like the last 24 hours. Dresses, photography, hairstyles, reception setup. You name it I've been thinking about it. I have basically found the bridesmaid dress style I want, the shoes I will wear, the hairstyle I (think) I want and how I want my reception set up. Pretty much all I need is the dress. It feels like I'm forgetting something... Oh, right, Mr. Wonderful. Could he hurry up already?? 
outfit photo
Dress (worn as shirt): Urban Outfitters, Skirt/Wedges: White House Black Market, Belt: LOFT, Necklace/ Earrings: gifted, Bracelet/Ring: Amrita Singh
Description of Photo
I don't usually do sepia for outfit photos, because you lose out on the color of the outfit, but when you are wearing black and white, it works! It makes the colors pop even more.
lace dress
I may love this skirt more than any other item in my closet. But please don't tell the other clothes. The shoes, on the other hand, we got off on the wrong foot (pun totally intended) and the relationship has made slight progress (we've gone from unbearably painful, never wearing again, to I can tolerate this... I think) but still has a lot of baggage. Thus why I hardly ever wear these shoes, even though I love them. At least they were only $19.
pleated midi skirt
I didn't even know this cute little behind-the-apartment nook existed until roommate told me we could do much better than the laundry room for photos. And she was right!
Description of Photo
And then there is creepy part of basement you have to go through to get to cute little hidden nook. Perhaps to deter people from discovering the beauty that is this nook? Well tough nuggies, nook hiders, because I have found it and I love it and I will be returning.  (P.S. I'm the one leg woman!)
laundry room
And of course I had to get silly for a bit, and what is sillier than sitting on a washing machine in the creepy basement of your apartment in heels and a skirt? Exactly.
Do you have a piece of clothing in your closet that instantly makes you feel so elegant and feminine? For me it is definitely this skirt. I just adore it. Thanks mumsicle for having a stylish eye, as always, and gifting me this beaut!


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Lace | Everybody, Everywear

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The ABCs of moi

Hiya girlfriends! How is everyone doing on this fine Tuesday evening? Oh me, you ask? Fine, fine. Just wasting incredible amounts of time on Pinterest! I've heard everyone singing it's praises for months now and I was highly uninterested. But then a tweet that I saw this morning (don't even remember what it said) triggered that light bulb-above-my-head moment. And I said "Self, you love to procrastinate, and to organize. This could accomplish both!" And a new obsession was born.

So you might be wondering where the outfit photos have been this week. Trust me, I'm wondering too. I've been getting dressed, and really cutely (imho), all week and I have nothing to show for it! Ya know why? Because my camera is playing games with me. I'm serious. I think it is on strike or something. First, my remote goes missing, even though I am quite certain I put it back where it always is after the last time I used it. Then, when I try and just do the self-timer shots with my tripod, my camera refuses to focus, no matter what I do and how many different settings I try! So annoying. Alas, I stopped fighting it yesterday and decided to give in to my camera's vacation demands. Hopefully a full day's rest will satisfy and we will be back in business tomorrow. And yes, I am aware I give objects human emotions and back stories way too often. C'est la vie. Long story short, you're stuck with yet another "getting to know me" post. Albeit, this one is in a creative ABC format, so you can't get too mad. Enjoy!

Age: 23 and loving life!
B ed Size: Queen. I got lucky when I moved that my mom had a spare bed she let me take. It is much more space than I need, but you won't hear me complaining :)
Chore you hate : Vacuuming. I don't know why, but I always dread it.
Dogs: I've always loved 'em and 3 weeks ago I brought home my very own little pup, Eli!
Essential start of your day: Coffee/chai latte. It just makes the morning much more pleasant.
Favorite Color: Pink. No questions asked.
Gold or silver: It really depends on my mood/outfit, but usually silver dominates. Except for my MK watch, which I would wear every day if I could.
Height: 5 ft. 3.75 inches. Hey, those 3/4 are important! 
Instruments I play (or have played): Don’t play any now but I took piano lessons for a couple years, and played violin in school because we had to either sing or play an instrument. And for the sake of all my classmates ears, violin was the lesser of two evils.
Job Title: Fact checker
Kids: In the future, for sure!
Live: Washington, DC
Mom’s Name: Barbara. Aka wonderwoman
Nickname: Lolo in college and The Hulk in high school (effect of an unfortunate swimming photo)
Pet Peeve: I get really bugged if people grind their teeth together. It just is painful to my ears and so not good for their teeth!
Quote from a movie: "I'll never let anybody put me in a cage." "I don't want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!" "Same thing."
 Right or left handed: Right
Siblings: 1 brother, who happens to be my very best friend and favorite person on planet Earth!
Time you wake up: Well right now, 6 to take Eli out, then back to bed and up by 8. On weekends, who knows!!
Underwear: I wear it?? I really don't know what else to say about that.
Vegetables you dislike: Mushrooms and olives (if that is a vegetable?)
What makes you run late: Oversleeping is my biggest battle!
X-rays you’ve had done: Teeth, wrist, arm and a cat scan before my appendectomy
Yummy food you make: I'm still learning but I'd say my signatures are tomato soup, turkey sausage and arugula pasta and burritos!
Zoo animal: I've always had a thing for the elephants.

I really, really think that outfit posts will be able to come back tomorrow! Let's all cross our fingers and wish upon the last star to the left. Thanks dolls :)


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Monday, May 16, 2011

What's that I hear? A giveaway calling?

Hi lovelies! I hope you all had an excellent weekend filled with relaxation and glam! I definitely mastered the relaxation concept this weekend, indulging my inner couch potato with an entourage marathon avec le frère. Glam? Not so much. Unless your definition of glam does indeed involve baseball diamonds and PJ Sundays. Oh it does? Why, I'm in luck then!

So I had a work interview that was très important this morning. It could mean big things for me professionally. But since I'm a bit superstitious, I don't really want to say anything about it until I know what is going to happen. But I would seriously love some good vibes to  be sent my way! So if you have some to spare, and you think of it go ahead and just put them out to the universe for me.

As a thank you for all the good vibes that I just know you dolls will send out, I am hosting another giveaway! One lucky A La Mode et Plus reader will have the chance to win Whitney Port's book True Whit. I added this book to my collection this fall, and have loved reading a chapter or two at night before bedtime. I've always admired Whitney as a confident woman in the fashion industry, who seems to have stayed true to herself despite the press she has received over the last several years. Her style is always point on, in my book, and her book is a fun read about just about every subject under the sun.
A great addition to any fashionista's coffee table book collection!
Favorite takeaways from the book: 
"If you love something there is always a way to wear it. I believe in injecting a bit of brightness into every outfit." (Amen to that, Whit!)
"It is so much more empowering to be alone than to stay in a dysfunctional relationship purely because it's comfortable."
"One of the best parts of living on your own is you don't have to ask permission to throw a party. You just do it!"
"Your twenties are the ideal time to try your dream on for size." (Since I'm in my twenties, this is great news!)

If you need any help entering send me an email at lwainman321@gmail.com. I hope you will all join in the fun before midnight (ET) May 22! I will use random.org to pick a winner and announce the winner Monday. Make sure to leave me your email address or link to your blog so I can contact you if you win!

To enter:
1. You must be a follower of A La Mode et Plus either through Google Friend Connect or bloglovin.
2. Tell me who your style icon is.

For extra entries (separate comment for each please): 
1. Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect AND bloglovin'
2. Follow me on twitter (laurachanning)
3. Tweet about this giveaway and @ reply me.
4. Like A La Mode et Plus on Facebook
5. Post about this giveaway on your own blog
6. Add my button to your blog (+2 entry) 


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Paper doll for a day

Bonsoir blogilicious babes! Did you have a glorious Wednesday? I sure hope so! I got to cap off my day with a belated Mother's Day sushi dinner with mumsicle, roommate and Eli, so yes, I did have a glorious Wednesday. How kind of you to ask. 

Oh, and you know why else today was supercaligradilisticexpialidocious (Woof that was a mouthful!)? Because I didn't have to think for myself at all while getting dressed this morning. Why you ask? Because sweet Elly had already done the work for me! Yes, dolls, today is the Paper Doll Project, hosted by Suze! Basically, it's a day where bloggers can revert back to their childhoods and "dress" one another up in fun little outfits. I never had paper dolls, but I had barbie dolls and I definitely remember creating some crazy outfits for them when I was little! Maybe I should have warned poor Elly what she was getting herself into when she let me style her...

I asked Elly to help me style a red vest I bought on sale from Urban Outfitters about a month ago, and had yet to wear. Every time I tried to wear it, I wound up looking like a Wal-Mart employee, but in red (wait, would that make me a target employee?) I liked it worn by itself, buttoned up with a pair of jeans, but I wanted to incorporate it into a work appropriate outfit. Enter the refashioning queen, Elly. She came up with two outfit possibilities for me, both of which I probably never would have thought of, and both of which I loved! I went with her first option today, and definitely plan on trying out the second option in the future. The red paired with the classic black and white of the rest of the outfit really added a pop to the outfit, and garnered me a few compliments today, too! I made one slight change, and opted for a different (slightly insane) shoe choice, for weather purposes.
Red vest striped skirt
Black Blouse/white tank/skirt: White House black Market, Vest: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: DSW, Watch: Michael Kors, Ring: Amrita Singh, Earrings: borrowed from mom, Annoying hair tie on wrist: c/o my forgetfulness
Paper Doll
See that big, cheesy smile? That is definitely a "I didn't have to think about this outfit, which left more time to sleep" smile. Thanks for that Elly! You're a doll (pun intended, because we all know I can't ever pass up a cornball opportunity)!
Book nerd
Something about indoor pictures makes roommate get really creative and she insists on using props! I love her for it :)
Librarians are sexy
Guys, reading is sexy!!
work it baby
HA I didn't even notice until now that I cut off poor little Eli in this picture. See his little ears at the bottom?? I told you, he's my shadow.
hot shoes
I have had this shoes since last summer and somehow I always forget to take photos when I am wearing them, so this is their blog debut! I know, you may be thinking "blue with black? Polkas with stripes?? What were you thinking Laura??" Basically, I wanted to wear these shoes and the red of the vest seemed to be calling for them. I decided to ignore the rest of the questions in my head and go for it!
outfit closeup
I decided to get rid of my head in this shot, and let my hand do the talking. I mean in all fairness, she very rarely gets the spotlight with my big head hogging it all the time. And hand really likes to talk. She told me so right after this photo.
If you want to see the fun pattern-mixing outfit I styled for Elly, hop on over here! But really, you should go just to see the amazing refashioning projects this chica creates. Seriously, you will be stunned by her genius. I know I was.  A new summer skirt out of a man's dress shirt? Yea, she did it. I'm telling you people, genius. Don't miss it!


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Work PJs

Aloha friends! I've got ya hook, line and sinker after that post title, don't I? Admit it, you mostly clicked on over because you were curious how I was going to pull that one off didn't you? It's ok- I would, skeptically, do the same thing. But here I present to you 5 easy steps to rock the professional PJs!
maxi dress and florals
Blouse:Lauren Conrad via Kohl's, Maxi dress (worn as skirt): Old Navy, Belt: Paris, Flats: Steve Madden, Watch: Michael Kors, Ring: Amrita Singh via Hautelook, Bracelet: Gift from mm
Step 1: Throw on your favorite maxi dress
(Technically, you could stop right now, call it a day and be as comfy as a clam! But keep reading if you want to really be wild)
Step 2: Layer with your favorite airy blouse, in a fun pattern. A pinch of florals, or a dash of stripes peut-être?
3. Give yourself some shape, and really punctuate the outfit, with a wide waist-cinching belt. Make it a stretchy band to really keep the comfort theme alive. 
4. Slip into your favorite flats and maybe add whatever accessories you consider essential.
comfy as PJs
5. Stroll outside feeling like you just rolled out of bed, but looking professional at the some time.And try not to feel guilty about how utterly comfortable you feel all day long. Seriously, that may be the hardest part.
Don't be fooled by the streaks in my hair that appear to be highlights- they don't exist and are a figment of your computer's monitor.


Happy PJ wearing beautifuls. And I'd love for you to leave me a link if you decide to try this look out for yourself!!
Florals | Everybody, Everywear


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tricks of the trade

Salutations fashionista bloggers! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and hopefully you got to spend some time outdoors in the amazing weather (if yours was like mine, I mean)! I took a quick jaunt up to Philly to spend some quality time with my amazing cousins and their baby girl, and since I have editorialized my love for the cutie many times before, I'll skip the 10 minute speech about how it was a birds chirping sun shining kind of weekend. Suffice it to say, it was awesome!

One of my favorite posts that I have written to date was done waaaaay back in November. The 10 of you who were following me then :) may remember when I posted about how to make the most of a student budget by transitioning some of your summer staples into the cooler months using three essential garments: the classic cardigan, comfy sweater and trusty jean jacket.Well, I started thinking about how much harder it is to transition winter favorites into the warmer months, since it is so much easier to layer than to take away from a garment. But I did decide there are a few tricks to carrying parts of your fall/winter closet into the spring/summer and thought I would share them with you as I experiment.
outfit photo
Tank: Madewell, Cardigan: LOFT, Skirt: Michael Kors, Belt: Parisian boutique,  Pumps: Aldo, Ring: Amrita Singh via Hautelook, Watch: Michael Kors, Earrings: Gifted, Nails: Essie In Stiches, Toes: OPI Pamplona Purple
Spring brights
This skirt is one of my favorites, as you might remember from the 30 for 30, mostly because of the fun bow. But because of its darker color palette, it tends to be reserved for fall and winter wear. 
walk the dog
But I hate the idea of limiting my closet in that way, so I decided that all it needed was to be paired with a couple pieces of bright clothing to make it more spring appropriate
National Cathedral
Keeping the shoes a neutral hue was the key to tying the whole thing together.
Pee in pants pose
The cognac belt helps to keep the divide between brights and darks, giving the outfit a more punctuated overall feel.
All smiles
While I really do like the tank, it definitely was not the color I was expecting. I thought I was getting more of a coral, but instead got a true orange. But at least it was a color that I didn't have in my wardrobe!
So to recap: Pair darker hued garments with one to two bright pieces (any more and you risk looking like a rainbow) to give them new warmer month life! I will try to keep updating you with little spring-erizing your winter wardrobe tips as I experiment with them myself!


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