"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, December 27, 2011

Holiday glitter and glam

Merry belated Christmas loves!! I hope Santa was good to you all, and that you unwrapped goodies to your hearts' content this weekend! I know our family sure did, as Santa most definitely spoiled us this year. I was surprised I was able to fit all my loot (plus stacks of laundry!) in my car to come home tonight. I always try not to pick favorites with my gifts, as I sincerely appreciate every blessing my parents choose to give to me on Christmas, but this year I don't think I could have picked a favorite if I tried! Between the iPod for running (my first iPod ever!!), THEIT bossi bag for my DSLR and the Keurig coffee maker to start my mornings off right, I was definitely spoiled!

I don't know what traditions you all have for the holidays, but one of my favorite things we have started doing is going to a Christmas Eve party at a family friend's house! The hostess is one of my mom's closest friends, and a complete doll! She is one of those people that just makes everyone feel so special and welcome in her house. We started going last year, and had such a wonderful time that it was quickly decided it would be a tradition to kick-off the holidays by attending her fabulous soiree! My brother and I are also friends with her sons, so it is fun to hang out with them as well! I admit, part of the reason I love going is I get to dress up in a fancy dress for a night! While last year I went with a black sequin number, this year I wanted color. And this little diddy from the little known boutique called "my roommate's closet" was just the number! Everything about it made it the perfect holiday ensemble, from the deep burgundy hue, to the adorable satin accent bow strategically place on the hip. I topped it off with my new favorite necklace (Christmas present from the bestie!!) and my favorite holiday glitter heels to create what I thought was a really fun holiday look! It was just the look I needed to get me in high holiday spirits. And with the fabulous date I had to accompany me (coughcoughmom) how could I not have an amazing evening??
christmas eve dress
Dress: White House Black Market (borrowed from roommate) Cardi: WHBM, Shoes: Steve Madden, Necklace: gifted from bestie (thanks babe!!) Earrings: borrowed from mom
burgandy dress, gold heels
One of the best parts of having a way cool roommate (besides the obvious fact that your lucky enough to have a way cool roommate) is when she is way cool enough to let you borrow her gorgeous cocktail dresses for special events. so you can feel like you have a new dress without buying a new dress! Definitely a perk I'll miss when way cool roommate up and leaves me to move in with that new hubby of hers. 
mother and daughter
My stunning mumsicle and moi! She was rocking the glitter and velvet that night! 
family holiday
P.S. The only reason I appear taller than mumsicle is the 5 inch heels. I am most certainly the shorty in my family. 
gold heels
Sorry for the blur, I just wanted to show you the shoes a little better! They are definitely one of my favorites all the time, but especially for holiday events!

So loverlies, how did you spend your holidays? Was it a dress up affair, or did casual PJ attire suffice? Our house spent all of Christmas day rocking the PJs and comfy slippers, so I guess we enjoyed a little indulgence of both sides of the dressing spectrum. Aren't those really the best kinds of weekends? Cocktail dress and stiletto nights followed by PJ lounge worthy days? 

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fashionable Giving (take 2) part 3: Shutterbugs

Afternoon doll faces! How are you on this fine, glorious December day? Me? I'm quite well, thank you. Ok, enough with the formal schmormal schmoozing and on to our usual dose of silliness and fun antics. Yea you know what I'm talking about. Today on the agenda is lots of Christmas music, laziness and curling up in bed with Parks and Recreation episodes. Le parfait jour, mes amis! I'll have to peel the covers off soon, though, and get myself dolled up for a night on the town with the bestie and her hubs. Last night was dinner with roommate and her fiancee. I think I could market myself as an unawkward third wheel. Any other takers? I'm pretty fantabulous at the role, if I do say so myself. I guess three years of singledom plus having the majority of your friends coupled up will do that to you :) Keep me in mind for all your third-wheel needs, friends.

Moving on to the fun part: presents!! Up today we have 12 beyond adorable gifts for those constant clickers in your life. You know the one. The cousin who doesn't feel whole without his nikon d7000 securely fastened around his neck. The uncle who insists on photographing every moment of holiday gatherings. The little sister who captures ordinary moments, yet turns them into magical works of art. Or maybe it is the friend who is just really good at photography. Surprise them this year with any of these gifts that give tribute to their talent, without emptying your wallet. (Well, except for the very last one, that is). Browse away, you fashionable gift givers, you. 

Under $25
keep calm snap on
Any level of clicker enthusiast  (whether casual or professional) will smile when they look up from their hours of editing  and see this snappy (pun intended) poster hanging merrily on the wall. And yes, posters can hang merrily. I swear it. Price: $15. Buy here.
camera necklace
Help your fashionable photo queen to keep her passion always close to her heart. Plus, it is a great conversation starter for someone trying to break into the photo business! Price: $24. Buy here
camera lens mugs
Ok, WANT. SO. BAD. This may be the cutest thing I have ever seen! Well, besides puppies. I guarantee your photog will smile each and every time they use this awesome lens mug as the spend hours slaving away in their editing lab. Price: $24-30 (ignore the 30 part :)) Buy here (and send it straight to me. asap. do not pass go. seriously.)
Under $50
chalkboard speech bubble
Help your shutterbug to spice up the next photo session with this fun chalkboard speech bubble. Price: $29. Buy here
I can't believe I don't own this yet. This updated version of monopoly allows you to completely customize the board with your own photos, and includes new and way more fun activities on the "chance" cards than we ever had as kids. Example: Show off your best runway walk and collect $100. No walk, no cash. Yea, awesomesauce. Price: $30. Buy here
lens bracelet
Your fashionista photographer will undoubtedly want to incorporate her love of all things photo into her everyday wardrobe. And what better way to help her stand out from the crowd (as she always does) than with this cutesy lens bracelet! Price: $45. Buy here
Under $100
telephoto lens adapter
Not able to swing that thousand dollar telephoto lens they so badly want? No worries. Satisfy their telephoto needs with this lens adapter that screws onto any regular lens and allows them to see 2x farther! Price: $85. Buy here
instant camera
Remind them of their childhood days that probably started their clicking passions with an old school instant camera. Also perfect for brides to be who may want to have these for guests to capture the candid moments of their special day. Price: $80-99. Buy here
pulitzer photography
What photog isn't wowed into silence when they see the soul-touching pulitzer prize photos? Keep them forever inspired with this elegant coffee table book of the best images of our time. Price: $97.86. Buy here
Over $100
A way awesome alternative to photoshop that has been on my list for months! Trust me, this gift will be the gift that keeps on giving as they spend countless hours tooling around with their new editing software. Price: $149. Buy here
theit bossi bag
The name says it all. This is far and away THEIT bag this year. Yep, that is the real name. And all the cool kids and their mothers have one. Price: $159. Buy here
photography getaways
For the true high rollers, give your favorite photo fan the gift of travel this year by booking them on a once-in-a-lifetime photography getaway experience. You'll be more popular than Santa plus the Easter Bunny combined. And that's a Laura guarantee right there. Price: $1000+. Info here
Ok, I want it all. Like, seriously. This was so hard to put together because I had to physically resist clicking "add to cart" every time I was on these sites. Especially with those a-stinking-dorable lens mugs. And the oh-so-cute necklace. And radlab. And the luscious theit bossi bag. That was actually at the top of my Christmas wish list, so here's hoping! Anyways, enough about me. I hope this makes shopping for the click-happy friend in your life easy as pie. Mmm pie. Excuse me, I must go get some pie. 


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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fashionable Giving (take 2) part 2: Hosetess with the Mostess

Greetings mamacitas! I hope you have all marvelous weekends filled with drama (the good kind I mean) and adventure. Or maybe some indulgence and relaxation, if that is more your taste. Mine was a little of both, actually. Yesterday, roommate and I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k around the National Harbor. If you live in the DC area, you may have heard a lot of negativity about the race, but I am choosing not to engage in the discussion. Instead, I like to focus on the fact that I ran 9.3 miles, felt pretty good for the majority of it and had fun! And that is all I really care to say about that. Oh, and in case you didn't pick it up that was the drama and adventure portion of the weekend. The indulgence and relaxation would be the entire day of today. I have hardly done anything worthwhile. Other than write this post, of course. And walk my dog. I know he considers that worthwhile. And I introduced roommate to the tragedy/addicting train wreck that is Gone with the Wind. Her reaction- me: She wasted so much time on Ashley. Roommate: She wasted my time, too! Hahaha. Oh how I love my roommate so.

Now that we have gotten the "me talk" out of the way, let's focus on vous, shall we. Or rather what vous should give to les autres. More specifically, what vous should give to the always poised and classy hostess with the mostess in your life. Whether your sister, mother, best friend or crazy aunt comes to mind when you hear those words, we all have that one woman who is the perpetual party planner in our lives. When a wedding is announced, she is already planning the shower. When a baby is born, she is the first to volunteer her abode to host the "welcome baby" soiree. And every holiday season is marked with an over-the-top yet still perfectly elegant themed get together, complete with festive food. Yes, we all know the type. Heck, I usually am that type! Perhaps that is why this particular guide was so much fun for me to put together, and yet so distracting at the same time. I kept getting sidetracked at all the knick knacks I wanted for myself! Needless to say, all 12 of this hand-selected gifts are sure to make the Christmas of their recipient at least a little bit brighter... and more charming. 

Under $25
wine charms
Every hostess worth her salt knows she needs plenty of wine charms on hand to keep her guests with the correct glass in their hand! And any domestic diva would love to be able to serve her guests in style with these unique, conversation-starting charms. Price:$11. Buy here
cookie cutters
One of my favorite things about the holidays, is making holiday-themed sweets-particularly Christmas cookies! Help your favorite entertainer make delicious treats for her invitees with this year of cookie cutters to celebrate all the seasons. Price: $24.95. Buy here.
girls night out
Every party needs a little juicy gossip, and what better way to start some than with this girls night out table topics  box of spicy questions! Price: $24.99. Buy here
Under $50
puzzleboard server
Any house guest will drool with envy over your hostess' style and class if she is serving up her delectable table treats and delicious wine on this adorable puzzleboard platter. Price: $29. Buy here
cupcake stand
Whether your hostess is entertaining brunch or birthday party guests, this triple tiered stand will wow her guests and she serves up tea sandwiches, cupcakes and other scrumptious morsels! Price: $34.95. Buy here
slate cheese board
Your favorite hostess will be the talk of the town after she throws a fabulous wine and cheese tasting soiree with the aid of this elegant slate serving tray.  Price: $40. Buy here
Under $100
heart teacups
What's a born hostess to do without a set of cuter than words tea cups to serve her drop-by guests? Price: $53. Buy here
drink container
Though teacups will suffice for the intimate get togethers, an elegant beverage disperser will be required for larger affairs. Price: $55.99. Buy here
Sometimes a rousing board game is exactly what any party needs to be livened up. And what better way to do so than with the always fun game of taboo!  Price: $99.95. Buy here
Over $100
wellness mat
We all know that no party goes off without your hostess laboring for hours in the kitchen. Why not help her make her stay a little more comfortable with this life-saving mat for her poor feet? Price: $119.95. Buy here
wine basket
Sometimes the hostess with the mostess needs a well-deserved rest. And she wants to toast to it with a bottle of fine wine and stinky cheese with her. Price: $149.99. Buy here
recipe reader
She may appear to have it together all the time, but when she is running around her kitchen trying desperately to find the one recipe she needs, things may not be so pretty. But a recipe reader can help her keep everything she needs in one place. And save her pretty little head a lot of stress. Price: $199.95. Buy here
And there you have it, my pets. 12 parfait presents for the hosting goddess in your life. All chic, and all capable of bringing a beautiful smile to her face. And in case you were wondering, they would all DEFINITELY bring a huge smile to my face. If you happened to want to send one my way, I wouldn't not be happy (little brother that one's for you!)


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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fashionable giving (take 2) part 1: Travel Enthusiasts

Bonsoir bellas! I hope you all had wonderful turkey days, and enjoyed every last delicious morsel awaiting you at the dinner table! So first things first, it is big news time! Ok, well it is really only big news for me but you all are such dolls and have been so patient with me that I just have to share! In the week since you heard from me I... had an interview.... and... GOT A JOB!!!! Well, I should be clear and say I got an internship that lasts until May. But it is with a company that would basically be my dream job to work for full-time one day, so I am over the moon excited! And you know that means outfit posts will be much more regular now that my outfits won't consist of PJs day in and day out. Ya, it wasn't a fashionable three months. But the days of PJ wearing are behind me, and now I am happily back in the land of pencil skirts and sensible blouses. Don't worry, I'll dish more later, but tonight is not the time, for we haver serious matters to attend to! (P.S. I can't wait to tell you about how awesome the fashion is in my office!!)

Tonight we must focus on others. More specifically, what we will be giving to others this holiday season! Back by popular demand (coughtherewasnodemandbesidesmecough), I am bringing you another rousing round of fashionable giving for all the loverlies in your life. Or at least quite a few of the loverlies in your life. Every few days (I swear I really will try to be consistent with these posts!) I will be bringing you a gift guide geared toward a common type of person that most of us will have on our gift lists this year. Remember, if you don't see a category you want covered, just shoot me a quick email/tweet/comment/facebook message and I'll be happy to oblige!

Let's begin our magical gift giving bonanza with the ever popular travel enthusiast! You know exactly the kind of person I am referring to, don't you my little geniuses?! The friend whose facebook "current location" is ever changing; the quirky uncle who can't seem to stay put; or even the coworker who uses every last vacation day soaking up culture in mysterious lands. These wanderlusting guy and gal pals are possibly some of the easiest amis to shop for because there needs change so frequently. Plus, who doesn't love browsing through the travel section of any store and daydreaming of your own foreign escapes. Heck, I'd even take just a quick beach jaunt just to escape the impending doom that is winter! Any way you slice it, these gifts (from several price points) will be sure to make your favorite voyager giddy with happiness this holiday season!

Under $25
luggage tags
Any frequent flyer knows the real stress begins at baggage claim when your run of the mill black suitcase looks exactly like every other suitcase going around in circles. Give your favorite traveler the gift of ease with these handy (and entertaining) luggage tags sure to make any suitcase stand out in the sea of endless luggage. Price: $10. Buy here
travel diary
Your globe trotter is not likely to ever forget that memorable summer spent backpacking through Europe, but with this adorable travel stub diary, they can relieve every exhilarating moment! The diary makes it easy to keep all trip mementos in one organized place, and makes storytelling years down the road that much easier. Price: $14.95. Buy here
wall map
Any gypsy worth their salt keeps track of their jaunts, but why not give them a classy decoration that allows them to show off just how well traveled they are! Simply scratch the locales you have frequented and they turn blue, for all to see. Price: $20. Buy here
Under $50
Daisy Mae Designs map necklace
I have editorialized about my love of this etsy shop many times before, but I just can't get over these uniquely awesome vintage map necklaces! They truly would make the absolute perfect memento for someone whose heart will forever belong in (enter city/state/country of your choice here)! And the best part is that Kristy (the wonderful shop owner) will customize your pendant! Price: $28. Buy here
vintage globe
No travel aficionado's abode is complete without a vintage globe strewn about.  Price: $40. Buy here
usa expandable travel journal scrapbook
Similar to the travel stub diary, this expandable travel journal/ scrapbook allows you to create beautiful photo collages of your trip, as well as storing keepsakes in manila folders throughout the diary. Give the gift of not having to decide between journaling, scrapbooking and memory box keeping this year, with this three in one travel diary! Price: $45. Buy here
Under $100
plane comfort basket
What better way to tell your favorite frequent flyer how much you care about their comfort than with this airplane comfort survival kit?! They will have the flight of their dreams thanks to your gift, and when they arrive calm and refreshed, they will be thinking of you, you little gift-giving goddess, you! Price: $64.95. Buy here
Portola Valley Passport Holder
As fashionistas ourselves, no one understands better the importance of appearing fashionable and coiffed at all times, so why not give your stylish gal the passport cover of her dreams! You can't ever go wrong with Ms. Spade. (Also comes in fuchsia) Price: $65. Buy here
travel pillows
Help your little wanderer drift off to la la land with as visions of European adventures and African Safaris dance through their head. Price: $95. Buy here.
Over $100
glider tour
If you can't quite swing the cost of a full on trip for your jet setter, give them the next best thing: the gift of experience! Available in most major cities and at a variety of price ranges, there are activities for the thrill seekers and culinary masters alike. Even better? Go along for the adventure, and give the gift of friendship as well! Price: Varies (glider ride shown, $120). Buy here
What traveler doesn't enjoy a little R&R during the to and from portion of the trip? Whether traveling by land, air or sea, this portable DVD player will be sure to keep your favorite travel monkey out of trouble, and relaxed. Price: $122.09. Buy here
Foley and Corinna Jet Set tote
And finally we have an absolute travel necessity (and a work of art, IMHO): the ultimate carry-on bag. Finding a roomy, but compact enough to fit under the seat, travel bag can be an absolute nightmare. So why not go with the aptly-named Jet Set tote from Foley and Corinna. This bag is absolute perfection in my mind, and has been at the top of my own wih list for quite some time now (so much so that I have entered EVERY giveaway I find for this gem), so I have no doubt that if you shower your jet-setter with this parfait Jet Set tote, you will go straight to the top of her favorites list! Price: $346.50 (it is on SALE!!). Buy here

Ok, loves, are you feeling inspired yet? Do you have any travel enthusiasts on your shopping list this year? I'd love to hear from you if you choose to give any of these gifts this year! And don't forget that in just a few short days (coughcough, most likely sunday) another gift guide will arrive! Next up, we will be covering gifts for the hostess with the mostess in your life!


*Note: I realize this list is a little Etsy heavy, but this post was not sponsored by any of the above mentioned shops (or Uncommon Goods). I am just a huge supporter of small business, like the ones found on etsy, and think the products highlighted are great gifts for travelers. All opinions are my own* 

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