Festive Holiday Party Shoes

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It's hard to say what I love most about holiday fashion - plaids, faux fur, sparkles or gold accents. I've been so happy to see that all of these accents have been incorporated into a gorgeous assortment of footwear this season. 

With the holidays come parties upon parties, and that means festive outfits complete with the perfect pair of shoes. I've rounded up my favorites from various brands today. Any of these pairs would be perfect paired with a classic dress or skirt and button down for a night of dancing and celebration. I made sure to include a balance between heeled and flat options so that no matter your preference you can find something lovely for the holiday season.


Gift Guide: For the Gals

*It's the most, wonderful time, of the year!*

The holidays are upon us, finally! I'm so excited to spend time with friends and family this year and to enjoy every minute of this holiday season. I love buying the perfect gift for everyone on my list, and I always find gift guides so helpful whenever I need some inspiration. Today, I thought I would put together a few ideas of items that I think would make the perfect gift for the gals in your life. Hope you enjoy!

J.Crew - Fair Isle Sweater

I love fair isle sweaters; they're a classic that so many different people can enjoy. They also feel especially festive this time of year and can be worn winter after winter, so they make a lovely gift!

J.Crew, L.L. Bean, Land's End, and Brooks Brothers make high-quality fair isle knits at different price ranges (Brooks Brothers being the priciest, with Crew and Bean in-between, and Land's End on the more affordable end). Any of these brands are lovely options; I'm partial to this particular pattern in J.Crew's line this year, but there are so many options available to pick from.

L.L.Bean - Signature Chunky-Knit Scarf

Everyone can use a scarf, especially a lovely neutral knit that can go with many different outfits. I have many scarves that I've gotten over the years and without fail they're one of the first things I pull out when the weather starts getting cooler. They're a great thing to add to a larger gift or to just give on their own. Personally, I love the idea of creating a "cozy gift set" with a scarf, a pair of mittens, and a gift card to a coffee shop for a hot cocoa. It's a thoughtful and stylish gift option that is also very practical and seasonally-appropriate!

Mark and Graham - Tortoise Keychain

Keychains are a great budget option or stocking stuffer. Monogramming also adds an extra touch that makes these particular keychains from Mark and Graham stand out. My best friend bought me a keychain for my birthday this year and I love it -- I use it every day, and whenever I pull out my keys I'm reminded of her. Mark and Graham also have other cute options, including this adorable pom-pom keychain (which can also be monogrammed and is on sale!).

Kiel James Patrick - Tortoise and Pearl Bracelet & Pearl Earrings

If you've been reading along you've probably noticed how much love I have for the Kiel James Patrick brand. Their jewelry is truly gorgeous. Last year I received a set of pearls from them as a gift; they were so beautifully packaged and handmade, and I cherish them.

I love this tortoise & pearl bracelet and pearl earrings - they have many options in their line, but I feel that these are designs that will appeal to lots of different people, making them the perfect option for gift-giving.

Pearl earrings, in particular, are a good option for someone on your list who is tricky to buy for. Almost anyone can appreciate and get use out of a set of pearls, and these are a great price. If you're looking for more options size-wise, I've also bought pearl earrings for my mom from the Etsy shop Penner Pearls and they're lovely and high quality. I would definitely recommend them, and they're also one of the most affordable options I've found for beautiful pearl jewelry. As a bonus, buying from either Penner Pearls or KJP is also supporting a small business!

Mark and Graham - Monogrammed Daily Mini Crossbody

A purse can sometimes be a tricky gift to give, but if you know the person you're gifting well, they can be a special item that the recipient will use every day. I think that the daily mini crossbody, in particular, is a bag that many different types of girls will love. It's a classic style and comes in several different neutral color options, but it's still very sleek and modern - perfect for a night out or just running errands. Of course, you can also add a personal touch with a monogram.

Daniel Wellington - Classic Petite Melrose Watch

I've sung Daniel Wellington's praises many times here; I have a Southampton watch from several years ago and I simply love it. The Melrose watch is universal - it's simple, elegant, and will suit almost anyone's fashion tastes. It also comes in silver, or in a leather band if you would prefer. I've always thought that watches are especially conducive to gift giving because they usually come in really pretty packaging, complete with a separate box that is:

a. easily wrappable (perfect for the wrapping-impaired, like yours truly)
b. like a present in and of itself!

S'well - Gold Water Bottle

I had a S'well water bottle until a few months ago when, in a sad twist of fate, I misplaced it. I've been missing it ever since. They really are amazing at keeping your water cold all day, even when your metal water bottle is sitting out in the hot sun on top of concrete (any other tennis players have this issue?). The same is true for hot beverages. I used to put tea in my S'well all the time and halfway through the school day it was still as hot as when I first poured it. I love this gold and silver option, although they have many different colors available. Again, this is a great gift for someone if you're not sure what they might enjoy.

Target also sells Sip by S'well bottles that are a fraction of the price; I can't vouch for their insulating ability as I've never tried them, but they certainly come in just as many adorable patterns, and even some prints!

New Balance x J.Crew - Sneakers

I walked my way through London and Amsterdam in these shoes and I can't recommend them enough. They're extremely comfortable and come in so many different colors to suit anyone's style. The gold and white is a great neutral option that many different people will love, but there's also a pretty navy and rose gold version that I just adore.

J.Crew - Chateau Parka 

This is definitely a very generous gift, but I am of the mind that coats are some of the best gifts to give. They're practical, stylish, and often something you're hesitant to buy for yourself. Of course, there are a plethora of options online to choose from (I also love L.L. Bean's coats as well, especially for a less expensive option with a lifetime warranty!). I chose this one from J.Crew because it comes in both tall and petite sizes (as well as regular), so no matter who you're generously gifting to, you'll be able to get them something that will fit them perfectly.

Hope this was helpful in providing some gift ideas for this season! Who are you gifting for this year?


Stepping into Eighteen

Today is my 18th Birthday! It feels funny to have it on a Tuesday, but we stretched out birthday festivities to fit with our weeknight schedule and it ended up feeling like an extended birthday week (which I'll never complain about!).

On Saturday night, my family and I enjoyed a pre-birthday dinner. I wanted a Thanksgiving Part II, as Thanksgiving food is my favorite, and my parents were kind enough to make a delicious meal. Sunday afternoon my best friend Mary and I went into the city to see the Washington Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. I had never been to see the Washington Ballet, but I have to say it was magical! I loved the performance; everything from the detailed costumes to the intricate and delicate stage design (pictured above) was truly incredible. Since the ballet is more formal, I wanted to dress up while staying comfortable. I opted for a white sweater over a flouncy plaid skirt from last season and tassel mules. My mom gave me the idea to leave the sweater untucked, which I love!

But of course, no outfit could compare to the beautiful atmosphere of the Warner Theater. If you're ever in DC, I would definitely recommend paying a visit to see a show. The lobby alone is worth the trip!

Tonight, we had Thai food and coffee cake (a birthday tradition for me!). Since I went from vegetarianism to veganism this past year, my mom was a star and researched a vegan coffee cake recipe so I could have some. It was delicious! She also made an amazing vegan dark chocolate cake with white icing on Saturday night.

Last year was filled with memories, and I'm so excited for the many new changes and opportunities this upcoming year will bring - both foreseen (going to college, moving away from my home for the first time, studying something I love), and unexpected. I'm so lucky to have amazing friends and family, and while I'm sad to leave them soon, I know goodbye is not forever.  On the blog, I'm looking forward to new content and another fun year ahead!


Friday Roundup #3

1. Sale Week

Is anyone else exhausted by all the talk of sales? Not just in the blogisphere (that's a word, right?), but in your inbox, on the news... everywhere it seems. And I'm just as guilty of talking about them as the anyone! Don't get me wrong, I love the deals and I definitely took advantage of them, but I'm glad the season is winding down. Did you know that this Cyber Monday was record-breaking, with Americans spending over 6.5 billion dollars?

2. The Starbucks App

If you're as addicted to coffee as I am, you need to get the Starbucks app. You can order ahead (or pay in store) and customize your drink to exactly what you want, right down to the number of pumps of each flavoring. But by far the best part is the fact that you earn rewards on every drink, which eventually add up to a free drink or food item. If I'll be buying Starbucks anyways, I may as well get the rewards, right?

3. KJP Buys 

Thanks to the amazing 25% off Christmas sale at Kiel James Patrick, I picked up a few new things for myself. Their new line is simply gorgeous, I wish I had a chance to pick up one of their flannel dresses but sadly they sold out lightning fast! Stay tuned to see what I got featured in upcoming blog posts.

4. The Perfect Everyday Dress for Winter

Wearing dresses in the winter is truly an art. They have to be warm, but also stylish, which can be a bit of a feat. I bought this mock-neck sweater dress from Old Navy on a major sale a few weeks ago and I love it. It's warm, flattering, and so easy to incorporate into outfits for any occasion! Dress it up with heels, warm tights, and a statement necklace, or wear it casually with boots and a scarf. Plus, it comes in tall and petite sizes as well.

5. Talbots Dalmation Sweater

I discovered this dalmatian sweater from Talbots on Wednesday; how cute is it? I'm completely in love. When I was younger my favorite movie was 101 Dalmatians, and now I can't resist anything with dalmatian print. I definitely have this on my Christmas list!

How has your week been?