Travel Tips by Nina

A lot of couples have hobbies together, like hiking, running and watching movies…. Daniel and I have a hobby together too—traveling. Daniel does all the planning, and I just read the times on the ticket and make sure I’m there on time. IMG_0544 Living in Enid, I like to travel a lot. I travel so much that the people who work at a Chipotle hours away know who I am. (And I’m hoping to make Premier status on United this year! Yay for shorter lines!) Everyone has their own travel routine, and I am dead set in mine. 20140614-162200-58920839.jpg Here are my travel tips:

1. Bring a laptop or iPad loaded (the night before – unreliable wifi at the airport) with 2-3 rented movies from iTunes. (Or buy a couple episodes of a show you haven’t had the chance to catch up on yet) Even if you think you don’t need that many movies… oh no, your flight just got delayed two hours…. Or your friend who was supposed to pick you up from the airport got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. No worries, you’re gonna chill and watch some movies instead of getting bored and freaking out via text message to your husband.

2. Bring a scarf. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, a scarf can act as a pillow, a blanket, AND a cute accessory. Also, if you get hot, they can be stuffed into almost any size of carryon—even if you’ve stuffed it to the brim.

3. Bring a few forms of ID. In case wherever you are going doesn’t believe you are actually a Florida resident, questions the legitimacy of your ID, and doesn’t want to give you an adult beverage. (Good thing I knew my old address)

4. Use a small cross body bag as your purse. No need to bring a huge shoulder bag with you as your purse on this one. It will help you organize what you really need for travel and it can easily be stuff into a backpack or other carryon luggage. (Because I like to bring THREE carryons) Also, these are great for overseas traveling.

5. If you are traveling overseas to a country known for pick pocketing, spread your money into multiple pockets instead of just putting it in one spot, even put some in your clothes pockets. This way, if you do get robbed they won’t get all your money. IMG_0529 6. I like to wear Toms shoes when I travel. They are comfy, cute, and durable. Also, if you wear sandals on an airplane, you will freeze. FREEZE.

7. Always bring a change of clothes, or three, in your carryon. You never know when your bag will get lost or if your plane gets delayed so much that you just need a change of clothes to feel fresh again. (Or if you want to impress someone when you get off the plane, no shame in that)

8. Bring makeup, a toothbrush, floss, deodorant, a perfume rollerball, and gum with you in your carryon. Need I explain? (Also if you get bored, you can try to figure out how to do the “smoky eye look” and maybe finally perfect it)

9. It is always good to have something to read on the plane if you can’t be using “electronic devices”. I usually always buy a fashion magazine to look through and have a book on my iPad. IMG_0489 10. Wear clothes that you can move around in to get to that perfect lounging pose on the airplane. I like to wear Ponte leggings with leather details, a tank top, a jacket, and a scarf. If I wear something with sleeves I will inevitably sweat through it and be very aware of my BO for the next few hours until I get a shower.

11. If you get stuck at an airport for awhile, find a Chili’s. There is probably a Chili’s. Get a margarita and enchilada soup. $15 later and you will be a lot happier. (Though if you get two margaritas, I wouldn’t blame you)

12. Find your gate, THEN go find food and magazines. I know, I know, there was a Starbucks right when you got to the airport. But guess what, there will also be one closer to your gate, and then you won’t have to carry around a steaming hot beverage while trying to balance all of your luggage, and trying to find your gate which is a tram ride and two escalators away.

13. Always try to carry on your luggage if you can. It is much faster, cheaper, and you will feel better knowing that your nice clothes are safe and sound and that the TSA agents haven’t gone through your luggage and disturbed the equilibrium that is your clothes packed in your bag, and then wonder how they got it all back in your bag without leaving something out. ….. Did they leave something out? Also, much harder for you to lose your bag if you carry it on. IMG_0552 Here is a good clothing packing list that will fit in a carry on bag so you do not have to check! (After packing all these things, you will still have enough room for undergarments and makeup) I put my laptop or iPad in a back back, as well as my small purse.

1. Jean shorts (LOFT)

2. White shorts  (Madewell)20140614-153309.jpg 3. Black Maxi Dress (Forever 21)

4. Striped dress (LOFT)

5. Simple solid colored dress (LOFT Lou & Grey and ON SALE!)

6. Fun Dress (A dress that doesn’t have to match anything, but that will just add something different to your travel wardrobe – I packed this beautiful green maxi dress from LOFT) 20140614-153318.jpg 7. Basic tank tops (4-5 so you can have a fresh one or two if you can’t find a washing machine- I packed an orange, taupe, white, grey, and black tank)

8. T-shirt in a color that matches your accessories (I packed a rust colored tee from Anthropologie)

9. A fun shirt or two (what I packed)

Free People Top (I packed a grey peplum free people top)

Sheer Crop Top (Free People – I packed a sheer taupe lace crop top)

Black Embroidered Tank (LOFT)

 

10. White blouse (LOFT)20140614-153245.jpg 11. Fun skirt (J. Crew – ON SALE!)

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12. Jean jacket (LOFT)

13. Military jacket  (Madewell)20140614-153300.jpg 14. Good sandals for walking (These are Sam Edelman, though other good places to look are Clarks and Cole Haan)

15. Toms (I don’t have these pictured because, well, I’m lazy) 20140614-153223.jpg 16.  1-3 scarves (And make sure one is especially soft to use as your airplane blanket – unless you’re cool and have first class tickets)

Floral Scarf

Tribal Scarf

Ikat Scarf 

 

17. A simple necklace, or two for a unique layering style all your own.

Short Triple Heart Pendant Necklace

Long Spiked Ball Pendant Necklace

18. Statement Necklace

 

20140614-153235.jpg 19.  A bathing suit (because who knows, you might end up at a fabulous hotel and want to try out their hot tub)

20. Sunglasses

21.  Small or medium cross body bag

22.  A pair of jeans – JUST IN CASE!

 

Here are different outfits you can make with these items (with a couple substitutions): 20140614-153212.jpg 20140614-153204.jpg 20140614-153158.jpg 20140614-153152.jpg 20140614-153135.jpg 20140614-153128.jpg 20140614-153122.jpg

 

To get optimum use of all the clothes you pack on your vacation, make sure they all have the same base color.  For example, what I packed in this carry-on I made sure all of my clothes could go with grey or black.  I did not pack any navy blue.  But if you have more navy blue in your wardrobe, use that as your base color.

Wherever you go this summer, enjoy your trip! And if you’re not going anywhere this summer, you can still look super fabulous and make some ethnic food!

 

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Blue Bell Skirt – 8 Ways

Like the show or not, who doesn’t want to have a little bit of Carrie Bradshaw’s style in their life? We can all have her best, most fashionable accessory– confidence. Be bold with me and wear what you like to wear without being self conscious about it.  (Obviously some exclusion apply, please don’t wear leggings as pants or black undergarments under sheer white clothing– this is not style) Who says you can’t wear whimsy? If you are confident enough, you can wear almost anything you want to.  The only thing that will make a bold outfit seem out of place is your insecurity.

And if all else fails, just put a jean jacket with it, right?

This skirt did it for me.  These bell skirts are the perfect feminine addition to any girl’s closet.  When first trying it on two of my lovely Pensacola friends had to talk me into it. (Thanks Anna and Jess!) Sometimes your friends say things that will stick in your mind forever, and this was one of those moments.  I was questioning my ability to pull it off and wear it to work, and Anna said, “Why can’t you be the one in your office that can pull anything off?” I can be that person.  It is almost all about confidence. (And sometimes your budget…)

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So I present to you 8 ways to wear the bell skirt.  (My favorite still being the Oklahoma Kitty t-shirt)  The easiest way to wear it is with a tank and a jean jacket, but as I’ve learned from the J. Crew catalogue, a great way to dress down an otherwise fancy skirt– tie a t-shirt at the top of it.

Also, if you are like me and have more dresses than t-shirts, tuck a dress into your skirt! Don’t be afraid to do something unconventional.  Make your closet work for you!

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Another way to add more detail to to your outfit is to add a scarf.  It can help tie your whole outfit together, especially if the tops you have are very plain. (Also, who doesn’t need more polka dots in their life?)

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Here are some other great bell skirts:

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1. Anthropologie 2. Modcloth 3. Modcloth 4. Anthropologie

 

Playing with Proportions

Something I have noticed lately while people watching, is that dressing well is all about proportions. With everything in life, you must learn moderation (except with cheese, there is never too much cheese), but you can have too many sequins.

You do not want to wear too much sparkle or too much lace, or too much texture, or too many loose fitting layers.

This dress is very loose, so I had a couple options: Wear a belt with it or wear a structured jacket.

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If you just wear a loose fitting dress or top, it is only going to make you look as big as it is. It will only create more volume, when you want to create shape.  So put something with it that creates the shape you want to have.  A great structured jacket will make all the difference.  However, watch for unflattering jackets as well…. for instance, don’t get a jacket that hits right at your hips.  Get a jacket that gives you a small waist and creates an hourglass shape for you.

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A cropped moto jacket is a great place to start.  Make sure you try on a few to see what styles flatter your body the best.  I love jackets that are a teeny bit higher in the back than in the front — they make my waist look smaller. I plan to put this floral, quilted, moto, cropped jacket with a loose top and skinny or boyfriend jeans.

More proportion tips to come soon! Happy Friday!!

Where to find:

Cropped Jacket: 1. Anthropologie  2. Forever21 3. Anthropologie 4. LOFT20140207-132507.jpg

White Floaty Dress: 1. American Eagle 2.Free People 3. Free People 4. Forever21 5. CharlotteRusse 6.Old Navy (Yes, I’ve fallen back in love with my college sweetheart Free People… )20140207-132513.jpg

Black Booties: Similar

Gold Layered Statement Necklace: Niloulu

Burnt Sienna Lace

My lace obsession is seriously getting to be a major problem.  Is there anything more feminine? Every time I wear lace I feel like I should be in a movie.  Plus the color of this dress is UH-mazing.

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Everyone has a color that just pops on them, and apparently rust is mine.  One of the reasons I love it so much is that it is such a different color than you usually see.  It goes great with pale pink, emerald green, gold, black, and cobalt.

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Pop it with a bright color, or keep it low key with black tights, boots and gold accessories.

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Where to find:

Dress (Anthropologie): SimilarSimilar color

Belt: Similar

Gold Spiked Ball necklace: niloulu

Green flats: Similar

Black Booties: SimilarSimilar

Outbound Jacket: Madewell

Birthday Panthers

Oh it was a good birthday: Gerber daisies, caramel flan latte, doughnuts, strawberry cake, and a panther dress.

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My birthday is a day where I allow myself to wear whatever I want, and that means I get dressy.  That also means I get a lot of Oklahoman stares. But guess what, I don’t care! It’s my birthday , I’M GONNA WEAR A DRESS WITH PANTHERS ON IT!

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I seriously could not resist this dress. Let me say this again, it has PANTHERS on it.  Anthropologie gets me. Also my husband loves it, which makes me happy. He gets me too.

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I did try to dress it down a teensy bit with booties, a blue belt and a safari jacket… however, it didn’t stop the stares.

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Here is a dressier way to wear it, tights, black booties, fancy necklace…

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I came to the conclusion that I should just wear what I want all the time.  I feel WAY more fabulous and confident when I am put together. Haters gonna hate, people.  Plus, you want friends who love you no matter what you wear.  Even if it has sparkly big cats on it.

Wear to find:

Panther Dress: Similar , Similar, Similar

Simple Necklace: Niloulu

Safari Jacket: Madewell

Brown Booties: SimilarSimilar

Belt: Similar

Layered Gold Necklace: Niloulu

Black Booties: SimilarSimilar

Black & White Dress

So when I told my husband how I wanted to post more about what I wore everyday instead of just every once in awhile, he started laughing so hard he fell on the floor.  Ok, so I wear a lot of lounge clothes. I admit it. But, I can still get dressed up to go to the grocery store! Another reason why I substitute teach, I can wear my cute dresses and patterned pants.

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Black and white dresses are awesome because you can wear them during any season and you can wear almost any type of shoe and any type of accessory.   In fact, if you follow this blog I’m sure you will see a lot of black and white dresses.

A lot of times I put a bright belt with this dress, but today I decided to go with a more classic look and put my gold belt and clear bead statement necklace with it.

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I added a touch of color with this great hunter green jacket from LOFT.

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Finally I added this great metallic grey scarf to add a little extra layering and also to be more conservative at work.

You can see how easy it is to layer in the winter! If it was freezing I would have added tights, and worn a long coat over the small blazer.

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Where to find:

Black and White Dress

Clockwise from top left:

1. LOFT 2. Anthropologie 3. Anthropologie 4. Banana Republic 5. Old Navy 6. Forever 21

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Colored Blazer, Similar (ON SALE)

Brown Boots, Similar

Gold Belt, Similar

Clear Bead Statement Necklace

Scarf, very similar

How to find GOOD deals.

Merry (late) Christmas and Happy New Year!

My family is oddly good at getting me clothes I like for Christmas (well, maybe not that strange.. they are good at getting me gift cards, which are the same thing).  So many people feel odd giving gift cards, but like I’ve said to my family, it is really two gifts for me:  1. I get pretty new things. 2. I GET TO SHOP (and without feeling guilty). What better gift COULD there be??

So of course, I went shopping bright and early the morning of the 26th! I thought this post would be a good place to share when and how I find good deals and steals.

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My first major trick is just following the stores and items you are loving.  It has become an almost daily routine that if I see something I want, I check in on it while I am drinking my morning coffee (mmmm Nespressoooo). Do this especially if you get an email about a sale or that items have been added to clearance.  Also, if you see that the store you follow says that they have “new arrivals”, it probably means they have some “new arrivals” to the clearance section, if you know what I mean…

Most stores have items on sale in the store that are not on sale on line, or vice versa.  So, check both occasionally, you never know when that pair of Italian leather shoes at J. Crew will be on major clearance in the store but still full price online!  Most of my good deals are in stores as opposed to online.

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(This dress is still full price online, but I got it in the store for $35!)
If you live in an area that has multiple malls or if you are visiting a new area, check out the stores you love in multiple places.  I assure you they will all have a different selection.  It is also interesting to see how a different demographic can change the store selection.  For example, in some areas one item will be sold out almost immediately, but at another store, no one wants that same item! So that dress you wanted during the summer but was too expensive and sold out too fast, might be five dollars at another store when you go home for the holidays. VICTORY!!

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(These shoes were $178 and I got them for $42!)

Lastly, although some shopping at outlets is good, a lot of times you will find better deals at the real stores.  Most of the stores at the outlets have a different clothing line made just for the outlet stores, and usually it is not as good of quality.  They will automatically mark down all the items in the store to make it look like you are getting a good deal, even though they were never sold at the original price on the tag.  So, spend the extra five dollars at the real store to get a better deal. Quality over quantity friends!

Enjoy your family, enjoy the good sales, and enjoy the last days of the holiday flavored drinks at Starbucks!

Sales I’ll be shopping:

Ann Taylor (Right after the holidays they will have some great deals because it gets really slow in January! Check for some 40-50% off sales)

J. Crew (right now they are having 40% off of sale styles, and I have found some great summer styles I wanted but now are very cheap!)

Madewell (They are doing 40% off of sale, and in stores the sale is very good.  Also, you can use a student ID on top of the sale!)

Anthropologie (Their sale section will start to get larger and after the holidays they will probably mark down the prices)

LOFT (They have been doing 50% off the whole store… seriously, get it while you can!)

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