Blog, Life, Style

Hosting a Tree-Trimming Party

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. There is so much joy in the air and love to go around. My favorite part about the holiday season is seeing all of the bright decorations and, of course, the holiday styles. Hosting a tree-trimming party is the best way to get the best of both things!

As a hostess or a guest, to me the most important part is the holiday party outfit. There are so many styles and looks to combine with the different colors and prints of the holiday season, so you really can’t go wrong! If you are hosting a party or attending a semi-formal or formal party, it’s best to go with a classy outfit. This dress from London Times is absolutely perfect for such an occasion. The silhouette is timeless, the length is just right, the neckline is classic and sexy (but not too revealing), and the bow detail is adorable and brings the whole dress to another level. I paired it with a simple pearl necklace and bracelet from Kiel James Patrick and some nude heels. If I had a pair of heels that were sparkly or had an embellishment on it, I would have worn that!

A tree-trimming party is the fastest way to get your decorations us while spending time with your family and friends. Before the party go ahead and string lights on the tree. For the party, set a basket of ornaments around the tree so your guests can add them to the tree gradually throughout the party. Also, prep a bowl of popcorn and cranberries so you and your guests can string them together for garland. Another great idea for a tree-trimming party is to have a cookie decorating table. Go ahead and bake different cookies before the party, then set out icing and sprinkles for your guests. Or ask guests to bring some cookies and serve those as desserts.

No party is complete without food, drinks, and music. For such a party, since people will be moving around a lot it may be best to have finger foods set out such as a cheese ball, deviled eggs, different dips, a charcuterie board, or pigs in a blanket. For drinks, I like to serve wassail (recipe below) or poinsettias (champagne and cranberry juice). Turn on the holiday music and you have yourself a fun holiday party and tradition to celebrate every year!

Wassail Punch

Ingredients:

2 qts apple cider

2 cups pineapple juice

2 cups orange juice

1/2 cup of brown sugar

15-20 cloves stuck in an orange

Orange slices

4 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp allspice

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large Crockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil then let it simmer for about 3-4 hours. At this point I usually start tinkering with the recipe to get it to taste “just right” but adding more sugar, spices, or juice. Drink it as it is or serve with bourbon or vodka. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, cranberries, and orange slice. Enjoy!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Kelly

Blog, College Prep, Style

College Gameday Outfits

In the South, college football is considered a religion. So, you better believe that game days are an event that you dress up for. Not all colleges have a big football program or even consider it to be a big deal. For instance, my sister went to a private school in upstate New York and her friends thought it was odd when she asked, “What are you wearing to the game?” But, for most schools that have a football program that the whole school gets excited for, gamedays are the days to dress to impress.

I grew up as an SEC fan which meant you wore your LBD, sundresses, or anything semi-formal to the game. Sometimes you could get away with wearing a jersey, as long as you dressed it up cute. Keep in mind that not all schools have the same “football culture”… My first football season at Florida State was a bit of a shock to me. I went in thinking that girls dress up for the game by wearing classy dresses or cute outfits…but I was wrong. Most girls were wearing bralettes, crop tops, and high-waisted booty shorts to tailgate in (and most weren’t even in school colors!). While these are trendy and can be cute, it definitely is not my style, nor would I feel comfortable wearing so little! So you can imagine the looks that I got when I wasn’t wearing the same.

I knew I had to re-strategize my gameday outfits, but didn’t want to compromise my own style and comfort. My rule of thumb when putting together an outfit is feature one body part. Whether it’s your legs, stomach, booty, or cleavage, just show off one! Leave people wondering about the rest and have them focus on the best! Putting all of your “goods” on display (in my personal opinion) is not the best way to present yourself. For my gameday outfits I usually will find a super cute dress or will pair a crop top with high-waisted pants. I usually shop the local boutiques for my outfits. Usually boutiques will carry your team’s colors! I also do a lot of my gameday shopping online at Impressions, Lulus, or Mint Julep. Don’t forget to accessorize with jewelry and wear comfortable shoes! Below are some pics of my past gameday outfits. I hope you enjoy!

Cheers!

Kelly

Blog, Style

Live Life in Full Bloom

7516815616_img_7301unadjustednonraw_thumb_1256

Happy belated Easter everyone! I can’t believe that I didn’t post sooner! So, this post will serve as a two-fer. In a recent post I talked about that Easter marks the season of wearing white, and I am SO happy! Nearly half of my closet is white, so I feel like a weight has been lifted off of having to figure out what to wear every day.

I’m going to start off with talking about spring outfits that are appropriate for work or the office. With the weather warming up and the spirit of spring and summer fashion, necklines and sleeves disappear and hemlines rise with the temperature–basically, skin is in. However, although these outfits and sundresses are adorable and to die for, and are just simply comfortable, they may not be “work appropriate”. In the work setting, you want to exude confidence and be comfortable, and nothing checks both of these boxes like spring and summer wear. But, you still need to consider, “is this outfit professional?” I get it, though. We want to show off our best assets and be trendy, but there is a time and place for everything. As young professionals, our closets aren’t filled with corporate office attire, but rather items we wore in college and on weekends. However, don’t panic if your spring and summer closet isn’t “work appropriate” because with just a few essentials, you can still wear them, be trendy, and rock them at work.

Spring style is about wearing bright, fun colors, florals, and other prints. Like I have said before, I think wearing one item that pops is key to a great outfit, and spring definitely offers so many opportunities and options for that “pop”. That “pop” also goes for physical features as well. It is my rule of thumb to only “feature” one body part in an outfit. For example, just show off your legs, cleavage, shoulders, waist, or booty (for those of you who have one!). Now, for the office, showing off too much cleavage or booty or even waist is a big no-no. But, since we all have items in our closet that do these things, you can still wear them, just be sure to layer a blazer over the top, wear cute pants, and wear flats to tone down the outfit.

Now, back to that spring “pop” of color. I’m so happy that I can officially wear white again, because it pairs SO well with bright colors, prints (Lilly prints especially), and florals. In this outfit I am wearing a floral lace shell by Kate Spade over a white tank top and I paired it with a pair of awesome pink ankle pants from J. Crew Factory (Winnie Pant Style) and flats by Frye. I got so many compliments on the color of these pants and this outfit!

Now to Easter! My best friend and I threw on our Lilly and bunny ears to celebrate spring and Easter! We had so much fun! My dress is a great example of what not to wear to work, but Hailey’s dress is perfect! What did the Easter bunny bring everyone??

7516815616_img_73277516815616_img_73147516815616_img_73547516815616_img_72867516815616_img_73057516815616_img_7209unadjustednonraw_thumb_11f7unadjustednonraw_thumb_11dfunadjustednonraw_thumb_11b0

 

Blog, Style

Setting Sails for Spring

img_4358

It’s officially the first day of Spring, and I couldn’t be happier! With Spring, comes allergies, and my favorite way to combat them is to head out on the water. It’s still a little cool, so this amazing sweater (which I have worn several times in my blog) is perfectly cozy for that cool breeze on the water. I paired it with some white shorts, classic Sperry boat shoes, and bracelet and earrings from Kiel James Patrick, which I’m obsessed with.

img_4377

Nothing completes an outfit better than a smile shared with your best friend. Hailey is wearing Mike’s Ernest Shackleton shirt and her gorgeous pearl sunglasses strap from Kiel James Patrick.

I am so happy that warm weather is officially here because now I can really start breaking out my favorite outfits for the office and the weekend! Stay tuned for more working girl looks!

Cheers, Kelly

img_0022

unadjustednonraw_thumb_1732

img_0033

unadjustednonraw_thumb_1336

img_0025

unadjustednonraw_thumb_132a

Blog, Style

Cheers to the Weekend

img_0039

There’s nothing better than spending the weekend on a boat with your favorite people, drinking champagne, and wearing Lilly and KJP.  So, we threw on our best and popped a bottle of champagne and hit the seas!

I love this super classic look. As I’ve said before, nothing goes better together than navy, white, and gold. I love this Suzette shift dress by Lilly Pulitzer because it’s classy and long enough to wear to work!

What are your favorite weekend plans?

img_4220unadjustednonraw_thumb_17d8unadjustednonraw_thumb_180funadjustednonraw_thumb_137cunadjustednonraw_thumb_143cunadjustednonraw_thumb_141bunadjustednonraw_thumb_1388unadjustednonraw_thumb_13eeunadjustednonraw_thumb_1403

Blog, Style

Lilly Pulitzer Season

img_0034

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the fashion rule to not wear white after Labor Day or before Easter (this goes for shoes, too!).  Southerners would even consider doing this as having bad manners.  My husband would even go as far to say that seersucker shouldn’t be worn before Easter, too.  However, if you in the South (especially Florida) warm weather comes much earlier in the year, presenting the temptation to break out my spring and summer wardrobe which consists mostly of white, seersucker, and Lilly Pulitzer.

So, the “white fashion rule” is one that I absolutely try to strictly follow (although I’m guilty of breaking it on the rare occasion), but it made me think…”When is it Lilly season?” I know true Lilly’s would say Lilly can be worn year-round, and Lilly Pulitzer herself quoted, “Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring,” and “It’s always summer somewhere,” but I feel that the bright, whimsical colors and prints used in Lilly clothes are to be worn in seasons that reflect the spirit of the brand–summer and spring. I asked my husband and best friend Hailey (who also has a Lilly packed closet–check out her blog here!) and they had different responses. My husband said that I should wait to wear Lilly Pulitzer until Easter (March 29th, 2018) or at least the first day of spring (March 20th, 2018), while Hailey said Lilly season starts on the first day of spring. Hailey and I later justified that we live in Florida and it’s already warm, so we declared March 1st as the first day Lilly season! Also, most Lilly tops, shorts, and skirts look best paired with white (other solid colors that compliment the print work, too!). With that considered, I won’t wear Lilly before Easter unless it’s a dress or if I have another solid colored item to compliment my shorts, skirts, or tops.

Lilly Pulitzer is more than just clothes–it’s a lifestyle.  Any Lilly lady can be spotted a mile away, not just by the bright, unique clothes, but by their confidence and radiant smile. I always feel so happy and confident when wearing Lilly. What’s great is that most Lilly items can be worn to work or in the office setting. As long as you make sure the length of the dress and skirts are appropriate, then break out the Lilly! I believe that the clothes you wear and how you present yourself gives you a confidence boost that you can accomplish anything. Wearing Lilly to work will turn heads and will send others’ the message that you are happy and fun, but gives you the confidence to take on any task and get work done!

So, to kick off our unofficial “First Day of Lilly” for the year, Hailey and I threw on our Lilly dresses and headed out to the pier! The dress that I am wearing is the girl’s Sophie dress in this season’s “Pier Pressure” print. I’m so happy that I can fit in the girl’s XL because it’s half the price of the Sophie dress in the ladies size. It is the same length as an XXS, but is a little wider and boxier. When buying the Sophie dress in the ladies, I go back and forth between XXS and XS. They are the same length, but the XS fits just a little looser so it’s really just whatever look you’re going for. Hailey is wearing my Marlowe dress in the Indigo Sunset Swim print in XS. She usually wears a S, but as you see the XS fits her just fine! Again, it’s all about preference and what you’re going for!

We were SO excited and happy to finally wear our Lilly this year! So, what are your thoughts on when “Lilly Season” begins? How do you style Lilly at work? What’s your favorite prints?

My Dress: Girls XL Sophie Dress by Lilly Pulitzer

Hailey’s Dress: XS Marlowe Dress by Lilly Pulitzer

All Jewelry: Kiel James Patrick

Mike’s Outfit: Shirt, Belt, & Shoes: Kiel James Patrick | Pants: Brooks Brothers

img_0046

unadjustednonraw_thumb_152c

img_0029

img_0051

img_0043

img_2677

unadjustednonraw_thumb_167b

img_0023

unadjustednonraw_thumb_1585

 

Blog, Style

Nautical Inspiration

“There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.” And best friends who buy you awesome sweaters with ships on them are even more amazing! My best friend, Hailey (check out her blog here!), found this awesome sweater from Old Navy for me. She is always on the lookout for clothes in my size when she is shopping, and I fully appreciate the caliber of her friendship in that regard and many others.

img_3989

I layered my sweater over a white poplin button up, and paired it with a khaki pencil skirt. It was pouring rain the day we took pictures, and I didn’t want to ruin my shoes! But I would usually wear a pair of brown leather flats with this outfit. Also, since my sweater made a statement, I didn’t want to overload on accessories. So, I wanted to keep it simple, yet classy, and wore my favorite pair of pearl earrings (Anchors Aweigh by Kiel James Patrick) and pearl bracelet (Anchor Atlantic by Kiel James Patrick).

Although not on purpose, a lot of my outfits have some nautical element. For whatever reason, I just feel that navys, whites, and golds are classy, sophisticated, can be dressed up or down, and (like pearls) are appropriate for any occasion–and usually this is what nautical clothes and accessories provide!

Most of my fall and winter clothes are navy or grey, and while I love these colors, I am so ready for it to warm up to start breaking out bright colors for spring and summer. Lilly Pullitzer season can’t get here soon enough!

Sweater: Old Navy| Shirt: Express | Skirt: Express | Shoes: Frye | Earrings: Kiel James Patrick | Bracelet: Kiel James Patrick

7516804656_img_6249

7516804656_img_6231

7516804656_img_6220