New Year’s Fasholutions

Winter is my spring cleaning season.  For Christmas, I received a lot of new clothes and gift cards to my favorite clothing stores.  As you know, Alice and I try to donate a piece of clothing when we update our wardrobes with new items.  Working in higher education, I have the luxury of being on vacation this week, so I took the time to cull through every drawer, my closet, even my jewelry box.  The consignment and donation piles grew to the size of mountains.  Stepping back and I took a mental wardrobe inventory, my closet is packed with color, dresses, skirts, slacks, blouses.  So many combinations!  

I am resolving to be much more fashionably diverse in 2016 (with the clothes that are currently in my closet), here are my New Year Fasholutions:

  1. NO bargain hunting for 6 months. Unless I need something specific, I am not allowed peruse the clothing racks for fun.  There are a lot of other things to do a Saturday afternoon other than shop mindlessly.  I say 6 months because let’s be serious, not shopping for an entire year?!  Just trying to set realistic resolutions.
  2. All black outfits can only make an appearance once a week.  Black is the new black, I LOVE my black slacks, black blouses, black cardigans.  This is not a surprise to anyone.  Black is reliable, slimming, professional, and classic.  There are other colors in my wardrobe that should make an appearance and items that rarely make it out of my closet, time to shine some color on my outfits.
  3. Mix up the accessories.  I have tons of jewelry that hides in my jewelry box.  We have seen what a necklace, funky pair of earrings, or statement ring can do to an outfit.  No excuses.  I lay my outfit out every night before work, no reason I can’t add some bling.
  4. Step up the shoe game.  My flats are easy, comfy and match everything.  Yet, my suede booties, riding boots, leather and suede knee high boots, pumps also match quite a bit.  I resolve to wear heals at least twice a week.     

You can keep me honest by checking out our weekly outfit of the day post every Wednesday!

Happy New Year!

Joy   

Wardrobe Wed: Making Plans

Joy and I had today off so decided to get together and make plans for the year ahead! We have some really exciting projects in the works and can’t wait to share them with you in 2016 🙂

We also fully intended on seeing J-Law SLAY in her new film, “Joy”, but it was sold out. Go figure. We’ll see her soon.

Alice’s full look:

Dark blue boot cut jeans (Style & Co.) | Royal blue blouse with periwinkle feather graphics (Ann Taylor)

Joy’s full look:

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Blanket scarf from (Kohl’s) | Hot pink Merona basic tank (Target) | Black leggings (Marshall’s) | Double crsytal drop earrings (Ann Taylor) | Black Ariana Cardi (Cotton:On)

 

As we close out 2015, we leave you with this…

 

-Alice

Merry Friendsmas!

How did the holidays get here so fast?!

Among the craziness of last minute shopping, traveling to see families, and the endless cooking and baking, Joy and I were fortunate to spend an evening with our best girlfriends to celebrate the season.

Our potluck is usually accompanied by a classic Yankee swap, but this year we decided to also do some good for our favorite charities. The change was simple: Keep the swap method but include (in your gift) a note of where the recipient can give a small donation!

Aside from a fantastic night we got to meet our friends newest family addition, Mr. Prince Charming, received some wonderful swap gifts, and are able to support the following charities:

The Alzheimer’s Association, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Pancreatic Cancer Research, and the MSPCA.

Another successful “Friendsmas” in the books 🙂

-Alice

 

 

Stowe, VT in a Nutshell

It’s hard to put an entire vacation into one post so I thought to myself, “What better way than to let the pictures do the talking?”

I present to you… Stowe, VT: A Photo Journey

The entire trip was fantasically filled with outdoor adventures, great local breweries, and all kinds of foods. Can’t wait to make a return trip next year!

-Alice

Gift Giving in the Office of Student Affairs

The malls are packed, alerts are set for online sales.  You have your lists color coded and organized by store for all your gift giving needs – for friends and family at least.  Holiday gifts for co-workers can get tricky.  How much should you spend? How much do you want to spend? How much can you spend? Where do you draw the line?

We have a lot of co-workers in student affairs.  I stick to my immediate departmental colleagues and our student staff.  I am one of a nine person team so this is a manageable number.  If your immediate department creeps into the double digits it’s okay to minimize the number of people you get a gift for.  If you are not giving something to everyone, keep in mind your immediate supervisor, anyone who directly reports to (student staff counts) and administrative support.    

Food is also a really cost effect way to cover a lot of colleagues.  This year I went with chocolate covered oreos and cake batter cookies with Christmas sprinkles!

Beautiful holiday gift boxes from Homegoods (inexpensive and easy packaging!)

Beautiful holiday gift boxes from Homegoods (inexpensive and easy packaging!)

Cake Batter Cookies and Chocolate Covered Oreos (Festive sprinkles courtesy of Homegoods)

Cake Batter Cookies and Chocolate Covered Oreos
(Festive sprinkles courtesy of Homegoods)

Here are some other really cost effective ideas:

Tea or Coffee from a cutesy speciality store that you coworker might not regularly treat themselves too, a nice a way to spice up the morning routine.  You could also give a one big office gift and add some speciality teas or coffee to your office common space or kitchen. (Too Tea)

Tea or Coffee from a cutesy speciality store that your coworker might not regularly treat themselves too, a nice a way to spice up the morning routine. You could also give a one big office gift and add some speciality teas or coffee to your office common space or kitchen –  One time wrap, many receivers.
(Tea Too)

A small decoration such as an ornament or tiny nick-nack for a seasonal decoration.  These ornaments come in a set of two and can be given individually (H&M)

A small decoration such as an ornament or tiny nick-nack for a shiny seasonal decoration. These ornaments come in a set of two and can be given individually.
(H&M)

Plants! Plants like succulents or cacti that don't die (minimal plant owner responsibility) are fabulous desk additions and can spruce up a messy desk (Grounds of Alexandria)

Plants! Plants like succulents or cacti that don’t die (minimal plant owner responsibility) are fabulous desk additions and can spruce up a messy desk
(Grounds of Alexandria)

Wishing you the happiest of holiday work parties!

Joy

Wardrobe Wed: Up North & Down Under

Joy and I are both on holiday but in two VERY different locations! I am spending a few days in the mountains of Stowe, VT with Gear for some much needed R&R.

Today my schedule consists of horseback riding and booze – not a bad way to spend the day! Knowing I would be outside for most of the day on a farm, I opted for rugged layers.

I sported black leggings with black winter boots, a grey t-shirt layered with a mint green cable knit sweater (American Eagle) and my Kelly green fleece jacket (North Face).

Alice’s full look:

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Left: Ready to ride!  Right (top): My handsome date, Ike 🙂 Right (bottom): A maroon knit head scarf with floral accent kept my ears nice and warm on the trail.

Joy is on holiday in Australia!  Since the weather is sunny and in the 80s she can break out the maxi dresses while sightseeing.  Today she is spending part of today escaping the high noon heat at Madame Tussauds, Sydney’s wax museum.  A navy and white pattern Vince Camuto maxi dress is perfect for lunch overlooking the Darling Harbour and playing tourist.

Joy’s full look:

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Joy is having a blast catching up wtih all her closest friends like Ryan Gosling at the museum 😉

Wardrobe Wed: Basically a Blanket

The internal stuggle of a cold winter day is no joke. My inner self begs “just five more minutes under the covers all snuggled up” while my common sense is nagging with “you’re going to be late for work and have to rush around and will probably forget your wallet or something…”

On these days I reach for the EASIEST of outfits: leggings and a poncho. Yes, ponchos, or “capes” to some fashion mags, are lifesavers on these days. It’s basically a blanket with three strategically placed holes. Why buy a snuggie* when you can pull off the same effect with a poncho?

I rolled out of bed and got ready in no time (rushing to try and re-warm up my body with cold clothes – the worst)!

Alice’s full look:

I paired my a silver anchor choker with this slate grey poncho with a light grey border (by Crosby) and black leggings.

I threw on boots along the way (not pictured) and have been embracing my blankie poncho all day long 🙂

Stay warm friends!

-Alice

*No shade is being thrown at the snuggie or its inventor. If I could wear one to work it would be on like Donkey Kong!

Paint Night Evolution

 

Who doesn’t love structured activities that include wine?! Hopefully everyone has been exposed to the “Paint Night” craze in some capacity whether it was seeing your friends artwork hung in their home or putting on the apron yourself and letting those creative juices flow.

Joy and I have both attended several paint night’s before. Some art was definitely more appealing than others, but let’s be real: we aren’t going to walk out with a Monet. As most fads do, they build a huge following before quickly sputtering out and leaving us (the consumer) to turn out attentions elsewhere. 

The solution: find some other crafty projects and expand the brand. In our case, it was “Plant Night”. Same concept, same green aprons, but different product. Instead of a canvas we were creating our own little terrariums of succulents. 

Joy and I had great time and walked away with some new additions to our office space!

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My OCD was loving design idea #2

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Step 1: Lay down a rock bed. Step 2: Pick your succulents. Step 3: Really pack in the soil!

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Once the succelents have been planted it’s time to accessorize!

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Alice went with the minimalist approach (top) while Joy added touches of gold (bottom). Both chose the linear layout 🙂

-Alice

Tis the Season to Dress Appropriately Fa La La La La La La

The holiday party invites are rolling in.  Some of them are obligatory commitments others are super fun.  The fashion key here: Know your party audience.  Of course you want to keep in the mind the venue, time of day and level of formality.  While the holidays are a time to celebrate with your friends, you will inevitably celebrating with your colleagues or your partner’s colleagues.

First of all, let’s clear up black tie vs. formal.  Fortunately Amal Clooney covers this for us with beautiful examples. 

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Alice shows off her winged eyeliner and barrel curles in classic cocktail attire

Now that we understand the rules of formality, some other things to keep in mind:

  1. Length of skirt.  When you sit down, do you need to hang on the the hem of the dress or skirt so it stays in place?  If the answer is yes, it is too short and it is way too tight for a work function.
  2. Exposed back.  Is the back of the dress or top transparent material? Is the back lower than your bra line?  If the answer is yes, that means (fashionably speaking) you shouldn’t wear a bra because it would detract from the outfit and it means we can see way too much of your backside.  Save it for NYE with your girls or a hot holiday date night.
  3. Cleavage.  Sorry I’m not sorry.  There is a time and a place and the office work party (yours or someone else’s) is not the place.  Go with a neckline that covers the mid to upper half of your chest.

Alice and I are active alumnae and we serve on our Alumni Association Board. Since we are fancy grown ups now we were invited to our College’s annual alumni holiday party.  So not quite co-workers the occasion definitely called for a classy festive look.  

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Navy Blue Zara shift dress with paten leather Naturalizer pumps

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Two young fashion alumni who both work in men’s wear. Left: Burgundy silk button up, black blazer and sequin cigarette pants Right: Snake skin print mini dress cinched at the waist with leggings

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Left: Red cable knit sweater & black slacks Center: Royal blue sweater pops with a statement necklace Right: A 1920s look comes together with a long lace vest over a deep red strapless dress complimented with a long pearl knot necklace

Paint Night Is So Yesterday

Our college crew loves to do different activities together, there is always a groupon for Paint Nite.  Paint Nite is really weird concept if you think about it.  Someone instructing a group of people where and how to place paint on a canvas to create a seasonally relevant design.  Why?  Well why not?  It’s funny, it’s out of the ordinary, it’s the new Kings bowling night.  When Kings started opening everywhere, everyone thought it was super cool to eat and bowl at the same time.  Paint Nite became the new bowling.  

I love going to paint night but the end result leaves a lot to be desired.  Sitting in front of a canvas with a peppy teacher giving instructions is perfect for my artistic level.  I was definitely absent that day in kindergarten when we learned what colors to mix to make other colors.  But, I actually find paint night kind of relaxing.  A glass of wine, a step by step project in front me brings out my childhood love for arts and crafts and it’s a time to chit chat with my friends.  Other paint night goers are also usually really friendly, I’ve left paint night with some great restaurant recommendations.  

About 3 years ago, people were paint nite-ing left and right.  Ask anyone between the ages of 22-35 what they were doing over the weekend, paint nite bachelorette party, paint nite co-worker bonding, paint nite with three generations of female family members for mother’s day.  I was on this bandwagon for sure (no one wanted to go bowling.)  I grew a little collection of paintings and while I love the actual activity, the mounting canvases got kind of annoying.  Well, for those of you who have a pile of canvases in the trunk of your car, fear not, because the new Paint Nite is here: plant nite.   

Stay tuned, Alice and I taking on the new Paint Nite (old bowling while eating, if you will.)

Talk soon,

Joy