Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress

Have you ever put on an outfit and immediately just felt like a total bad@$$?  There are pieces that have this magical power: a vibrant red pantsuit, a leather mini with a moto jacket, and let’s not forget the ever-so-classic shirtdress.  This might be one of the most under-appreciated pieces of clothing that exist.  For me, the shirtdress symbolizes power because it’s 1) structured and 2) classy.  While wearing more revealing clothing can make you feel like a sexy little bad@$$, wearing modestly classic ensembles can just make you feel powerful.  Have I gotten my point across yet?

Let me give an example: the second I tugged on this mini shirtdress, I felt my posture change entirely.  I immediately stood up straighter, and it seemed as though I could conquer anything that came my way.  There’s a reason the shirtdress was (and still is) one of the most popular pieces of business attire.  Of course, as perfect as it is in an office setting, there are plenty of other uses for it.

For my look, I was thinking along the lines of happy hour or brunch dates.  I skipped out on a pair of flats, and opted for my favorite block heels.  I’m crushed that these are sold out now, but I’ve linked some similar pairs for you to shop!  My accessories stayed minimal with my most classic timepiece and the cutest, rose gold, cactus pendant necklace!  Since there are so few accessories required to make this look effortlessly chic, it makes a great “roll out of bed, throw on some mascara and lipstick, and GO” kind of outfit (much-needed on those brunch weekends)!

Of course, you can also get as casual as possible with a pair of sneakers, a top knot, and a colorful crossbody bag.  I could see myself wearing it that way while playing tourist in my own city, or exploring a new spot away from home!  It’s comfy, it’s cute, and you will absolutely feel like an utter bad@$$.  What are some of your most powerful pieces?

Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress Looking Smart: The Power of the Shirtdress

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dress | heels | watch | necklace | bag | hair extensions

photos by Stefanie
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In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring

Just because spring has arrived (or so my calendar says, but I don’t think Mother Nature is convinced yet), doesn’t mean I’m putting away all of my dark clothing.  There are ways to incorporate dark colors into spring style without appearing cheerless.  Enter this gorgeous, tropical-print dress!

When I spotted this wrap-style Adelyn Rae dress from Lulu’s, I knew it had to be mine.  The only catch was the $110 price tag.  While I don’t mind spending on certain pieces, a printed chiffon dress wasn’t exactly something I wanted to splurge on.  Thankfully, my Hafta Have app kept a close eye on the piece, and notified me each time the price dropped.  Each time the price lowered, I considered purchasing, before stock ran out in my size.  I’m glad I waited.  At final sale, I snagged this dress for only $33!  The best part was that I had a coupon code for 20% off my purchase, so I saved almost the exact amount the shipping and handling would have cost.

This tropical dress has the flirty, shorter length that is most common during the warmer months.  It imitates a wrap dress with a well-placed clasp at the neckline, so as to avoid any uncomfortable wardrobe malfunctions.  There’s also some sweet tie details at the neck and wrists.  While the sleeves are sheer, the body is not, which allows whatever style of intimates beneath without concern.  It’s lightweight, so it’s still comfortable in warmer weather, and its dark colors mixed with the vibrant tropical pattern is alluring.

How do you find ways to save money while shopping?  Do you use any helpful websites or apps to score you great deals?  And what are your favorite ways of bringing in dark colors into your spring wardrobe?

In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring In The Jungle: Dark Tropical Patterns for Spring

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dress (originally $110, final sale $33!)| hat | shoes | hair extensions

photos by Stefanie
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While it may so often seem as though the life of a full time blogger is incredibly glamorous, you may be surprised to find out that the majority of us have normal mornings just like yours.  We love our snooze button a little too much, and trying to choose a healthy smoothie over that chocolate muffin is a challenge (the muffin wins more often than not).  My morning routine is nothing to brag about, and definitely drags out a lot longer than in the video.  Since my gastroparesis symptoms are at their worst in the morning, I tend to do the majority of my work in bed for about an hour before I even get up and go eat.  However, any opportunity I get to actually easily leave my bed without pain merits a morning very similar to what I filmed!

I usually wake up between 8-9 AM (even though my first alarm goes off at 7:15).  I spend a few minutes catching up on Instagram, Facebook, looking at my emails on my phone, and of course snuggling with my kitty, Luna.  Then I get up and stretch… and shimmy.  Yes, that sounds bizarre, but I add a little shimmy or a little dance before I actually get moving because it gets the blood flowing and makes me happier!  Plus, if I’m wearing this adorable Adore Me pajama set, it’s just way too comfy to not shimmy in!  Next I’ll pour a few drops of grapefruit essential oil into my diffuser for a bright scent throughout my room as I begin my day.  If my stomach is alright, a smoothie or bowl of yogurt and fruit is in order.  If I have extra time, I might even make myself an omelet!  Back upstairs I go to sit down at my MacBook and do some serious work.  I’ll check and respond to emails, post on Facebook and Twitter, and plan out some of my work for the week.

Next I head to the bathroom to get ready.  I’ve been using my Clarisonic Mia 2 brush for several months now and it’s been life-changing for my skin! I recently switched from a Neutrogena face wash to the Bioré charcoal cleanser and I love the fresh, almost cold sensation it has on my skin.  I like to wash my face before I get in the shower, because I don’t like submersing my Clarisonic in the water, and sometimes, if I’ve curled my hair the night before, I skip the shower.  Next comes makeup, and I’ve put together several makeup videos recently that you can view here, here, and here!  Once my makeup is finished and my hair is dried and either flat-ironed or curled, I’ll pick an outfit and head out to conquer the rest of my day!

Some tips to keep in mind for a relaxing, un-rushed morning:

 1. Set your first alarm for a good hour before you want to actually get up.  This way, you can hit snooze several times before moving, and you’ll give your body the illusion of sleeping in.

2. Pick out your outfit the night before (this is something I’m terrible at).  If it’s already laid out and ready, you won’t spend time agonizing over that “I have nothing to wear” feeling.

3. Get food and coffee (or tea) in you before you really begin moving.  You’ll have more energy once you’ve fed your body.  It’s true what they say – breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

4. Burn a pleasantly-scented candle or essential oils in a diffuser to help wake you up naturally.  Picking citrus or bright scents make a huge difference! Whatever you do, don’t choose lavender or you’ll be falling back to sleep!

5. Don’t try a new hairstyle or makeup trend in the morning.  If it doesn’t turn out how you’d like, you will either be rushing to fix it or you won’t have time to and you’ll head out looking a hot mess!

6. Crank some tunes!  Spotify offers a bunch of “morning” playlists, but my recent favorite has been this one to get me moving!

How do you typically spend your morning?

Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger

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Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym

We’ve all been there – dressed in our cutest and brightest activewear to hit up the gym, when a friend calls and asks to go to lunch.  Well, of course you forgot a change of clothes at home and now you’re forced to walk into a chic cafe wearing an ensemble only Richard Simmons would approve of.  What is it about the 80’s that appeals to us when it comes to activewear?  I suppose the bright colors invigorate our minds and allow us to better enjoy our workout.  However, those pieces are typically only suitable for the gym and the gym alone.  I’m here to share a brand that brings those vibrant items into your everyday wardrobe, from workout to eating out!

Audacia London had my heart the minute I saw their swimsuits (peep this freaking adorable cut-out one piece I’m dying to get my hands on for the summer).  What next drew my eye was their activewear that doubled as the funnest – yep, I said funnest – daytime wear!  From printed shorts, to flattering leggings, to sports bras, and even this fabulous cold shoulder neoprene top, Audacia London knows how to create functional and unique pieces that tug at the heartstrings (and the wallet).  One of the things I love best about these products is that they’re vibrant without being too much.  A statement without looking like you walked off the set of Full House.

Another great aspect about these pieces is that they’re made of such lightweight material.  Neoprene is what Triangl original bikinis are made out of, for reference, and so you’re not likely to get soaked in the rain or feel like you’re wearing a sweatshirt when you pull on one of their long-sleeved tops such as mine.  I’m also a fan of the fact that the leggings have pockets.  If you know me at all, you know that anything with pockets makes me super happy.  It’s nice to have a place to put my phone while I work out, rather than stuffing it into my sports bra or leaving it on the ground while I’m lifting weights.

Alright, so now that I’m done fangirling over this spectacular brand and their activewear, I’m super curious what you look for when it comes to gym clothing.  Do you look for a certain pattern?  A certain bra style?  A certain legging length?  Do you want compression leggings or ones that are high-waisted?  I’d love to do a round-up of my favorite workout pieces and also share some for my readers longing to have their activewear desires come to fruition!  Let me know!

Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym Neoprene Delight: Wearing Activewear Outside the Gym

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top c/o Audacia London | pants c/o Audacia London | shoes | hair extensions

photos by Stefanie
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Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review

Raise your hand if you like to save money! Okay, you all had better be raising your hands because otherwise you’re nutso!  We all love saving money, but the thing is – we like spending it too.  For those of you who are similar to me and have an obsession with expanding your wardrobe, you mostly like to spend money on clothing and shoes and accessories.  So, why not save some of that money while shopping?  What if, while you browse the racks of Express, Forever 21, or Urban Outfitters, an app could save the full-priced items you loved and then send you a notification when they went on sale?  What if I told you that app actually exists?!

Hafta Have has become my go-to shopping app.  Let me tell you right now, I’m ridiculously picky with shopping apps after having a not-so-great encounter with one I worked with a while back, but I am completely sold on Hafta Have The way you use the app is simple:

 1.  Download from the app store

2.  Go shopping, either in-store or online from one of the stores that partners with the app

3.  Save items that you “hafta have” while you shop

4.  You will be alerted with a notification when that item drops in price

5.  Shop directly through the app

Not only was I able to get my hands on this adorable layered cami dress from Forever 21 for only $15, but I recently scored a $110 Lulu’s dress for the totally winning price of $33!  Now I don’t have to be bummed over the fact that a piece I was hoping to buy is super expensive .. I just save it in the app and wait for the price drop!

Want to see what I Hafta Have?  A bunch of pieces I’ve saved in hopes of purchasing in the future are right here!  My only hope for this app is that it soon partners with more brands (crossing my fingers that Target is added to the list soon), but for now I’m thrilled to shop a ton of my favorite stores and score some great deals!

Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review Need It, Want It: Hafta Have App Review

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dress | shoes | sunglasses | hair extensions

photos by Stefanie
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