A Year in Review: 2014

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I haven't posted as much this year, the lack of accessible rooftop space at my new job has been the only downside of the position, but all in all I would say 2014 has been a good-to-probably-great year.

I blew past my original purchasing goal less than halfway through 2014, and tracking my purchases got way too depressing when I realized just how much I spent on clothing. It was one of those "ignorance really is bliss" moments, but I think I'll take the information and at least make sure I remain cognizant of what I'm buying in 2015. I don't want to deny myself the option of shopping, and I'm still constantly pulling things out of my closet for donation, so as long as I'm not buying mindlessly I'm going to say things could be worse.

I hope you've all had a great holiday season, no matter how or who you celebrate it with, and I'm going to send up a wish for all of us that 2015 is slightly better for the world.

(Outfits: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven)

Some of my favorite looks from the past year :)

Silly Questions & Geek of the Week #22

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Sometimes when I'm out and about I find myself asking, "Dana, do we need this?". Which is always a silly question because no one ever needs anything once you're past the bare essentials, but I still consider this decoupaged piggy bank a worthwhile purchase. I mean look at it! It's covered in all the best women heroes and villains, up to and including Xena and Storm!

Best $20 I've spent in a while.

long time no see

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So somehow it's been almost a month since I posted up here. I can blame some of that on November being absolutely nuts commitment wise, but honestly I've just been feeling pretty blah. The news coming out of every corner of the world has been depressing and it's hard to take pictures in that kind environment. I did manage to turn 29 over the interim, and hopefully between that and Christmas I'll be able to work in some positive energy.

Dress: Old Navy ~ Blazer: J.Crew (similar at J.Crew Factory) ~ Boots: Naturalizer ~ Scarf: 14th and Union ~ Purse: TJ Maxx ~ Tights: Target ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade

wintery feelings

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It feels like DC dropped into Winter this past weekend, though thankfully there wasn't any snow to go with our gale force winds and suckily low temperatures. Combine that with a metro system that always seems to be too hot and it's hard to figure out what to wear. I went with layers and my new plaid scarf to protect things around my face and neck.

Sweater: Banana Republic ~ Jeans: Levi's ~ Boots: Bandolino ~ Jacket: Marc New York (also seen here) ~ Scarf: 14th & Union (from Nordstrom Rack) ~ Purse & Sunglasses: Kate Spade

work on the weekends part 2

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Happy Halloween everyone!! I'm headed out tonight for some sort of DC shenanigans, but we'll see how things go with all the predictions of rapidly falling temperatures and rain being thrown around. This second work look shows off another one of my new Fall purchases, the zip up sweater from Banana Republic. I'm wearing a size medium and I think it's a great cozy piece, with just enough detail around the neckline that I can keep accessories to a minimum. It comes in a few different colors and I'm trying to convince myself that one is enough!



Sweater: Banana Republic ~ Pants: H&M (similar) ~ Shoes: Nine West ~ Purse: TJ Maxx ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade

work on the weekends

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Since I can't seem to find a space to take outfit pictures at my new job, it's been almost impossible to get what I actually wear to work up on the blog. And because I actually do enjoy the business/business casual pieces in my closet, this makes me a little sad. Rather than admit total defeat though I decided to take part of my weekend to recreate a couple of my favorite work looks, using pieces that are still available in stores. So no, this isn't what I wore the whole day Saturday, but it is what I wore the Thurs before that!



Top: Ann Taylor (I recommend sizing down in this shirt - I'm wearing a Medium) ~ Skirt: Halogen (also in black & polka dot) ~ Shoes: Franco Sarto ~ Purse: H&M (old but they have something similar) ~ Necklace: Banana Republic ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade


red

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Sometimes the unexpected purchases turn out to be the best purchases, because did I want my cute little red H&M bag to snap like a twig on my way to work? No. Did TJ Maxx have the most perfect of replacements? Yes, yes they did.

Top & Blazer: J.Crew (old, but similar here and here) ~ Pants: GAP Factory ~ Boots: Bandolino ~ Bag: TJ Maxx ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade ~ Necklace: Forever21

rule breaker

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No white after labor day is just one of those rules that never made much sense to me. Fall in DC is an interesting time, as days switch constantly between the low 60's and high 70's, so if a sunny day screams graphic tee and white jeans, I think I'm just gonna go with it

Shirt: HSM Designs ~ Pants: The Limited ~ Purse: H&M ~ Shoes: Express ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade

weekend update

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I'm sure I'll inundate your feed with more Fall awesomeness soon, but this past weekend I went up to see my friend in Pennsylvania and we visited the National Apple Harvest Festival (the 50th!) and the Historic Round Barn and Market and let me tell you what - Fall has exploded up there. It is a wonder to behold and I had to share some of my favorite pictures of the weekend. If you live in or around Gettsyburg, or just want a fun relaxing weekend on the East Coast, then I highly recommend you make your way there!


fall favorites

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As the temperature finally starts to cool down in DC I've found myself starting to reach for the darker, more saturated pieces in my closet. While I'm lucky enough to not have to do any wardrobe transitions to bring forward my warmer options, I thought it might be helpful to highlight some of the trends I'm going to be rocking more often this season.
 
Burgundy is still going strong this year and faux-leather accents. I picked up this raglan inspired shirt from The Limited last year, but there are plenty of options in stores for you to take a look at (Banana Republic in particular seems to have embraced the look).  If I was that type of person I would have paired my jeans with Converse or some other cute sneaker, but at heart I'm a ballet flats kind of girl. I do have say these Vince Camuto ones (from DSW) are AMAZING and have actually replaced most of the other shoes in my closet. Who has time for blisters when you can walk on air? I can't find them online but they do seem to still be around in stores, in a variety of colors, so I highly recommend checking them out!

And since updating ones wardrobe can at times be a budget busting activity, may I suggest you take a look at Raise? It's an online tool that not only lets you sell unwanted gift cards, but gives you the opportunity to buy new ones at a discount. For example, you can save up to 4.2% on a BR gift card, or 25.5% on one from Ann Taylor! Personally I've got my eye on these AMC options since there are so many cool movies coming out lately.

Top: The Limited (similar, also similar) ~ Jeans: The Limited (similar) ~ Bag: Target ~ Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar) ~ Necklace & Sunglasses: Kate Spade

wishlist wears

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Since I've given up on finding the perfect cropped trench this season (Ann Taylor and Banana Republic both had options, but neither of them really appealed to me) I've turned my eye to other colors/shapes. This navy trench from ASOS looks just about perfect, with the double breasted buttons and tie at the waist. 

A blogger favorite (see it on Cee and Anh) I have to admit I've fallen in love with this swing trench. I'm not 100% sure it'll fit - the size chart says it'll be too small, but then their description says to size down for a more fitted look so....we'll see. I may have to try it just to get the image of it out of my head.

I've been looking to kick my evening routine up a notch (why I don't know) and I think going into the winter a nourishing skin oil like this one is going to do the trick. It's not perfumed so the overall effect is a little funky but I preferred its non-scent to the Tsubaki's Beauty Oil strong floral aroma. I've been using a sample the past few days and I really like what I'm seeing/feeling!

Window shopping in Nordstrom last Friday I had a chance to swatch the new DIOR eyeshadow palettes and I have to say their just lovely. Super pigmented and smooth I think almost any of them would be a great addition to your collection, but my heart was won by the neutral beauty of #796. I walked away due to budget reasons (I will be strong!) but I'm 95% sure that I'll pick it up eventually. 

How about you all? Any clothing or makeup/skincare items caught your eye?

lavender & blue

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It might officially be Fall, but this past weekend DC was in the mid 80's so please excuse the dress! It's a slightly more recent purchase of mine and I love it for its simplicity and grace, plus it's unlined, which makes it perfect for warmer days.

Happy Monday!

Dress: With Flare (custom) ~ Shoes: Jessica Simpson ~ Bag: Shiraleah ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade

well, hey there

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Bet you were wondering where I've been huh? Well DragonCon was a blast - as usual really - but this year I actually caught some form of con crud. Being sick at the end of summer sucks, so that definitely put a damper on my plans for a re-cap post but then the world REALLY decided to screw with me and I got a corneal abrasion. Aka a big ol' scratch on my eyeball. From my mascara. FML.

Guys, don't get scratches on your eye ball. They really hurt and then you have to spend a day of work looking like a crazy person because you have to wear your sunglasses inside.

Sigh.

Still I'm putting all that behind me for now and starting the first of a couple DragonCon posts. This first one is going to highlight the costumes I wore throughout the weekend - 3 were planned and one was a last minute shopping addition!

Friday's "look" was really more of a "I don't want to wear a costume on this little sleep" outfit, so here's a snap of me in my SHE-READ shirt with John from Cake Wrecks/Epbot! I stumbled upon them both at the Vintage Vogue Fashion show - the quickest I've ever done so - and it was so great to say hi to them both :D.


Saturday I had planned on wearing another comparatively normal dress (though covered in pies) but I fell to the magical allure of Pendragon Costumes and bought THIS three piece set:


Fantastic, right? I completely blew the budget out of the water but when I stepped out of that changing room I felt beautiful, and if that's not a reason to buy an outfit that might only ever be appropriate for a Renaissance Fair, then I've never heard one.

Saturday night I changed from one red themed corset-y outfit to another red themed corset-y outfit to cosplay with my friend Jessica as Cher and Dionne from Clueless.



Saturday was not the day for cool or breezy clothing, lol, but it was so much fun sporting these two looks that I regret nothing >.<.

But let me tell you about Sunday. Sunday was possibly one of my favorite days at DragonCon EVER because I got to wear a comfy outfit that totally represented my original idea while also hanging out with all my friends! Sunday was the time of Sock Hop Disney!!


Back Row (L to R): Kristoff, Anna, Gaston, Belle, Megara, Venellope, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider
Front Row (L to R): Esmeralda, Cinderella, Tiana

One of the best things you can do at DragonCon is hang out with the people you like the most, reveling in the geeky goodness that brought you together in the first place.

And finally, Sunday night, Jessica and I brought back a DragonCon classic (but this time with a 1950's twist): Bobbi and Carla!


I might not have been able to actually wear my mask this year, I forgot to bring contacts and it pushed my glasses so far into my eyes I felt claustrophobic, but I think the gloves gave me a bit of cover and all in all it was a solid effort! (For reference here's the original Bob and Carl.)

Thanks for sticking with me friends! I've got a couple outfit posts in the wings and another DragonCon highlight, so those should be heading your way shortly.

Happy Thursday!

HSM Designs

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As I'm gearing up for another year filled with sorority related activities, I'm happy to add this HSM Designs shirt to my arsenal.

One of the pieces in our first seasonal debut, HSM Designs is a labor of love between me and two of my sorority sisters, and an outlet to create the paraphernalia for Theta Nu Xi that's not currently available. I love this white v-neck for its versatility - here I've paired it with denim shorts and a hat (DC was beautiful but HOT this past Sunday) but on my Instagram you can see other outfits suitable for day or evening.

I've got one more slightly dressier outfit coming up next week featuring our other design so stay tuned!

Shirt: HSM Designs (size XXL for reference) ~ Shorts: Forever21+ (old) ~ Shoes & Hat: Target

life's lemons

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This dress might need a little bit of tweaking (I'd like to take the shoulders in slightly so it sits smooth against my body) but I just had to wear it before sending it off. I picked this up on a whim during Nordstrom Rack's extra sale off sale event this past July, and despite the fact that the tag said size 12 it fit wonderfully. I love the retro feel and the fun pattern. Summer might be ending but I get the feeling I'll still be pulling this out whenever I need an extra lift.

Dress: Kate Spade (similar) ~ Purse: Thrifted (also seen here) ~ Petticoat: Etsy ~ Shoes: Jessica Simpson ~ Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples

Geek of the Week #21

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 Really Anthropologie? Just say no to trolling.
(Seriously though, wtf is up with that hat thing?)

Honesty like this is priceless.

One of my favorite moments from one of my favorite movies. Don't you just love behind-the-scenes peeks?

Sometimes all you need is a mouse pad to send you down the spiraling path of budget busting in a Convention merchandise room. 
(This is often how I feel at DragonCon so I love knowing I'm not alone in my lack of willpower >.<)

 If anyone has the original source let me know, but I love this meme!

Posts I Love: I've added in some new products to my daily skin routines and articles like this have helped a lot in figuring out what to use and when. // I made this breakfast bake last weekend and it was kind of life changing. // I fell down the blogger hole looking for some beauty swatches and fell in love with The Beauty Look Book. Her blog's minimalist aesthetic and crystal clear photos make scrolling through her posts a true pleasure. // Also just stumbled upon The Classy Cubicle. Is it rude to say I think of her as a more work appropriate Atlantic Pacific? // Robot Hugs is a great web-comic and helps me release the sometimes huge amounts of anger, frustration, and sadness I can have about the world.

And Closet Stuff I Love too...: So pretty, but so expensive // Despite the waist not sitting on me all that well, I still love the pattern on this dress // The rare novelty tee I just added to my closet! // I know my closet is maxed out on cutesy patterns but look - owls! And dogs! // I could never buy/wear these Gnome shoes but they're hilarious! // Super cute and practical blue heels for spring/summer