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Affordable Alternative {Chloe 'Mini Hudson' Crossbody Bag}

Although I have several crossbody bags, none of them make me embrace the trend as much as this one that I recently scored a couple of months back. The curved bottom and the top flap of these 70s style saddle bags are just as functional as they are stylish. Their medium-sized shape provides enough room to carry your day’s necessities without feeling cumbersome since they are easily slung across your shoulders making this bag a great purchase, as the classic style will still be current even after the 70s trend goes back into hibernation. However, since I realize that purchasing the ultimate “it” Chloe version isn’t financially feasible for most, I thought the simple, yet modern version of its affordable alternative is just as attractive at a whopping ninety-seven percent cheaper.

More affordable styles:



Outfit details here.

“I FAILED again!” How many times have you said something like that because you were unable to accomplish what you set out to do?  Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed from the inability to keep up with a consistent schedule because there are just too many demands on my time. As an extremely organized individual, this is almost like a life and death situation for me (well, I might be exaggerating a bit…um, not really). In other words, falling behind is not an option!  When I fall so far behind from accomplishing the must-get done things on my to-do list, from business, demands to other necessary commitments (in addition to taking care of my household), it immobilizes me with unhealthy feelings of failure and defeat, which then spirals into feelings of depression and lethargy. It’s been a long while since I’ve reached this rare point, but when it suddenly slaps me in the face, that is when I know it’s time to stop for a self-reexamination to evaluate what needs to give in order to strike a balance. Being a perfectionist obviously does not help (I have gotten better…but still have a ways to go). In effort to help me strike a balance, here are three things I remind myself to readjust my thinking:

1. Be Reasonable. Being reasonable helps me to take a balanced look at my circumstances. Of course, that requires simplifying my schedule by not overloading myself with additional work or commitments that are not within my reach. To avoid that unpleasant feeling of failure, I need to be realistic that there is only so much I can do within the circumstances given to me on any given day.

2. Make adjustments. A sailboat may be cruising along at full speed with the wind blowing in its sails. However, when the sailor at the helm encounters a fierce storm, he is forced to adjust the sails. He is not in control of the storm, but by making adjustments, he may remain in control of his sailboat. In a comparable way, often we have no control over adverse stormlike circumstances that we encounter in life. Nevertheless, I can keep control of my life to the extent possible by adjusting the way I use my time according to my physical, mental, and emotional abilities.

3. Rejoice over what is accomplished - even if it is only one thing. On days when it seems like all the balls drop, there’s always at least one thing that can be celebrated.

Note to self: 

“Life is hard enough already without blaming yourself for things that are beyond your control. And even when things are within your control, things will not always go according to plan. Just try again tomorrow.”


Structural Tones

The weather has been exhibiting such a split personality complex lately that it has made getting dressed appropriately quite challenging. Over a week ago, a simple outfit such as these Hudson jeans paired with a lightweight blouse and open-toe wedges was a perfect choice for the unusually warm fall heat wave we were experiencing. Most of us were praying that those pleasant days were an indication that maybe we were going to have a normal fall season and a mild winter. That fantasy bubble got popped this past weekend when the temperature drastically dropped into the 30’s and it now feels like winter! Brrrrr.... On the brighter side of things though, I’m thrilled to have finally found a crossbody bag that carries enough of my essentials for the day without me longing for my oversized bags that I tire of lugging around. What I especially love about this compact bag is the contrast of the tan pony hair (that I constantly pet) with the black vegan leather, the gold chain strap and the turnlock closure – making it a major eye-catching fashion statement. It sure has become my BFF this fall season.

Hudson Jeans "Nico Mid-Rise Super Skinny" {on sale} // H&M Blouse // Crossbody Bag {sold out; similar} // Lucky Brand Wedges {on sale} // Vintage Cat Eye Sunnies {other faves}


Ferociously Fashionable

Vince Camuto Leopard Print Tie-Waist Shirtdress+BCBG Heels

“Young lady, you are not pretty and you’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter. You have style.”  Mrs. Loehmann said this to Iris Apfel the style icon, as she was perched on her high stool in her store. How would you feel if someone said that to you?  Would it scar you for life and give you a complex, or would you be like Iris - continue to let your individuality shine in a world that is so homogenized despite others judgment? I feel like Iris on some level is my spirit animal. Her documentary, Iris is a must watch.

On to the dress: I love shirtdresses for their effortless vibe - especially, one with a tie-waist that enhances the flattering design of the dress. This Vince Camuto leopard print style is one of my favorite dresses sitting in my closet right now. It's full of sass without having to put much effort into it other than adding a little color punch in accessories, like a two-tone pink clutch, shoes and jewelry.

Vince Camuto Leopard Print Tie-Waist Shirtdress+BCBG Heels

Vince Camuto Leopard Print Tie-Waist Shirtdress

Vince Camuto Leopard Print Tie-Waist Shirtdress

Vince Camuto Leopard print Shirtdress {now on major sale; similar and I'm swooning over this DVF dress} // Two-Tone Clutch // BCBG Two-Tone Heels


Gatsby Inspired Fashion

Great Gatsby Mansion

The hubby and I have been invited to a Great Gatsby themed party being held on the East Egg of Long Island that is swiftly approaching and I’m still very much undecided on what to wear.  When you receive an amazingly well-produced Great Gatsby video invitation with the theme song  “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody”, this leads me to believe that I must bring my A-game in the attire department.  Knowing our friends, this will be one of the swankiest parties of the year. Now, I’m torn whether or not I want to embrace the full glamour of the era by wearing an all sequins gown or if I should go for a more shapeless loose-fitting fringe flapper-inspired style dress. Not only have I been pondering the outfit for a while now, but it’s been a back and forth on whether I want to wear a hat or a bedazzled headband with a feather in it, (which I’m leaning more on DIY’ing myself) and of course, the shoes!  Aahhh, I hate not having a complete vision of my look yet! Whenever, I find myself in this conundrum, I put my mental outfit ideas to paper. In this instance, I laid them out in collage form to help me visually see my possibilities clearer. Here are some of the style ideas I’m thinking of for the fancy soiree thus far.

Dressing for a Great Gatsby Themed Party
Great Gatsby Party Fashion Attire Details
Beaded Evening Bag // Dark Blue Beaded Sequins Dress {on sale} // Oscar De La Renta Starburst Drop Earrings // Cloche Hat {that I would add either a rhinestone applique on or a feather or both} // Cocktail Ring // Rhinestone Bow Sandal {also like this option, but I'd add boa feather on the t-strap} // Pearl Coil Bracelet

Great Gatsby Inspired Fashion Looks

Personally, I believe it's all in the details. I love how accessories can transform any simple outfit into a lavishly rich look. You'll notice that in all these outfit looks, the accessories transform the ensembles into Gatsby worthy glamorous attire. Anyone can put on a gown, but with the right accessory details - an outfit glitters.

Top image: via


Grateful Moments

1. The sweetest feeling ever is when you spot the first sign of fall on an early morning walk at the park.

Have you ever been in a place when you feel for certain you've reached the end of your rope and miraculously, either someone you haven't heard from in a very long time happens to call or you get a text from someone who brings you the right cheer and lifts your spirit instantaneously? That's exactly what happened to me this past weekend. It was even better than a text - it was a weekend visit of a very dear friend spent together, that involved non-stop chatting from the moment she walked through my front door. We embarked on a shopping extravaganza and a culinary exploration through the city that involved lots of wine, champagne and cocktail sipping. We chatted up so much, at one point I got the coughs and could barely utter another word. That's how much catching up we did. Lots of laughing and some tears even. It was seriously one of life's delightful morsels worthy to go down in the books. I've relished that enjoyable memory all week. Hope you too, had a moment(s) in your week that carried you through it. Have a good one!

2. Lunch around here lately.

3. That moment you look up from being dazed from the glaring screen of your laptop, and notice Monday's beautiful wave goodbye backatcha in the sky.

Canadian Knit Trapper Hat from Nova Scotia Canada
4. This knit trapper hat souvenir will forever remind me of our lovely summer vacation in Nova Scotia this year.

Peruvian Quinoa Chocolate Mouse Desert
5. That feeling of 'I'm glad this place didn't disappoint' after finally getting to go.


Autumn Wreath DIY


The first impression of your home is just as important as your first interview or when meeting someone new. In an instant, your home's entrance or apartment front door causes one to form an opinion about those who live there. I take pride in the appearance of my home seriously no matter whether I live in a house or a rental. So normally, my front door is always adorned with a wreath of sorts, but surprisingly, it's been a long while since I've had a real autumn wreath that truly exudes the vibrant hues of fall. The last couple of seasons, I had a summer one that served double-duty straight till it was time to switch to my winter one. I've never been able to bring myself to purchase an already made store bought one, especially when most of them are usually very unbecoming (with the exception of this one). I'm pretty sure it's partly because of their exorbitant prices which are not warranted, considering how outdated the majority of them out there look. This year, I wanted to have a wreath that a) makes our front door stand out from the uniformity of everyone else's door on our floor, b) reflects the colorful flair of our home's mood, and c) gives us and our guests an exuberant welcome! So, I decided to embellish one that I happened to find about two weeks ago at one of my local craft stores at a deeply discounted price too good to pass up.

This was by far one of the easiest and quickest DIYs yet! From start to finish, my Autumn wreath took me about 10 minutes. Here's what I used:

Fall Floral Fillers For DIY's

Fresh sage herb clippings

I basically just nestled the feathers in between the leaves in the empty areas of the wreath, and twisted their wire stems around the twigs of the wreath. With each addition of filler, I stepped back to make sure that things were evenly distributed and looked good visually. To finish it off, I inserted a few clippings of sage from my herb garden for an earthy touch of life and great aroma. I'm so excited that I now have a proper fall wreath to don my door for years to come.


But just in case you don't have the time or are feeling a little apprehensive of making your own, here are some reasonably priced options:
I like this one herehere and am definitely liking the simplicity of this super inexpensive one here.


6 Fall Favorites For The Home

1. FAUX FUR PILLOWS: Personally, I can't think of anything that screams cozy comfort more than several scattered faux fur pillows around the home during the cooler seasons. This statement-making faux fur foxy pillow cover is not only comfortable for curling up with, but its ombre pattern makes it perfect to add a touch of rosy brightness against the darker palettes typical of Fall and Winter. Imagine the immediate luxe update your home would get, just by covering your pillows with this sumptuously soft cover.

Our fall weather isn't joking around in these parts. For a moment there, the temperature had us thinking that maybe this year's sunny/warmer days were going to linger on and gradually transition into cooler crisp temps as the leaves began to reveal their ethereal fall hues. Psych! Next thing you know, skies were gray for days, water clouds began to loom over us, rain began to fall and the temp dropped from the 70s to low-50s in no time. Interestingly enough, my internal clock seems to have simultaneously made the switch going from: 'aw, I miss my summer days of sitting outside...' to suddenly wanting to be in the kitchen (which barely saw me all summer) baking pies and pumpkin bread - to having the sudden urge to sip on chai tea latte and finishing my fall prep for the season.

2. LAMPS: No room is complete without proper lighting and sadly, I've been without bedside lamps for a year now since one of my old lamps broke while moving. I've just not been able to find the right style that truly speaks to us yet.  All of the lamps I've been scrolling through online or looking at in the stores haven't really made me/us say,'these are the ones! However, the simple geometric/elegant ring-like shape of this table lamp has it in the running   (after changing the lampshades on them, naturally) among these ones:
One // Two // Three // Four.

3. BARWARE ESSENTIAL: Every time I reach for my basic stainless steel cocktail shaker, it always reminds me of how boring my bar looks with it! Though practical, I still yearn for one that reflects our style and stands out in the crowd amongst the bottles on the bar, adding that touch of elegance to the bar cart that it deserves. However, one of the ones that have caught my eye besides these following options:
One // Two // Three // Four, is a perfect mix of style in adding depth and glam to our barware essentials.

4. CANDLES: I'm beyond obsessed with candles - so naturally, my home signature scent changes with each season. And this fall/winter season I'm all about the Teakwood & Tobacco scent. But if you're like a friend of mine who fears setting your home on fire, The diffuser version is a perfect alternative.

5. VELOUR BEDSKIRT: Since I'm not ready to upgrade my bed yet to either this one herehere and here, I have to rely on bed skirts to cover my bed frame for a tailored look. It's a toss up between this Juicy Couture velour option or this hotel-inspired style bed skirt. Also sort of liking these: One // Two // Three. I really wish this was still available from pottery barn.

6. COLORFUL VASES: Although I love my fall colors, I still like to incorporate a cheery accessory such as a vibrant vase in my fall decor to bring life to my space after those beautiful autumn colors fade away to give the winter landscape (that comes with dark skies) its turn to shine.