12 Days of Christmas

| 1. Partridge in a Pear Tree | 2. Turtle Doves | 3. French Hens | 4. Calling Birds | 5. Golden Rings | 6. Geese-a-Laying | 7. Swans-a-Swimming | 8. Maids-a-Milking | 9. Ladies Dancing |  10. Lordes-a-Leaping | 11. Pipers Piping | 12. Drummers Drumming |

It's December (almost)!  And no matter if you celebrate Christmas or another holiday in this season, gifts are wonderful to get and give.  If you're an Office fan, you may remember when Andy gave Erin the 12 Days of Christmas for the Secret Santa.  Well, here is the less dangerous version.  Happy Shopping Season everyone!


The Matrix

 | Coat - TJMaxx | Similar | Pants - Loft | Similar | Booties - Kohl's | Similar |

Remember all of those coats I bought at TJMaxx?  Here is the other.  I love the leather on the sleeves.  I feel like I'm super important like a Bond Girl or in the Matrix or something.  Like bring it on - I'm wearing black and leather and yes, there is an asymmetrical zipper so BAM!

The booties were not necessary to purchase, but in my weird mind I have to have leather AND suede booties in both black and brown.  Who am I?  But I saw these beauties, they were on sale and they're SUPER comfy.  Why not?

Hope you're enjoying all of your shopping!



| Picture


I'm on my way to see the family in Delaware and enjoy the beach in winter.  My one side of the family lives at the beach and for years, I've been spending my Thanksgiving dinners there.  For me, a cold beach, a cracklin' fire in the house, and my grandma's pineapple fluff just speak Thanksgiving.

There is so much I'm thankful for this year, and of course, one of those things is you - my reader!  I'm so happy you stop by, maybe once, maybe over and over.  It's people like you that make me keep going.  I've met some AMAZING people through this experience and I'm so grateful for that!

Enjoy, whether you have an elaborate dinner planned or are having take-out Chinese, and know that there is someone out there who is grateful and blessed to have you in their life!


Funny Face

| Top - Ann Taylor | Similar | Necklace - J.Crew Factory | Similar | Pants - Old Navy | Similar | Flats - Target | Similar |

Have you ever seen the movie, Funny Face?  It's one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies.  She's so iconic in it and there is dancing and I just love it.  Fred Astaire says she has a funny face (got it?  Haha) and that's how I feel in these pictures.  We went to go take these pictures and this was stuck in our door:

I had a minor panic.  What?! WHY?!  I'm a decent human being!  I don't want to have to deal with the sheriff's office ever!  What is wrong?!

I was freaking out.  Boyfriend, not so much.  He was like, "it's whatever".

Flash forward five minutes and the Important to You person was named NOT my name (or boyfriend's).  Turns out it was for someone who lived in our apartment before.  Oops!

Clearly, I work well under pressure and don't jump to conclusions :\


The Liebster Award

| Photo from Google Search |

Thank you so much to Ariana of Thoughts Through a Teacup for nominating me for a Liebster Award.  The award goes as follows: 

1. Thank the blog that nominated you, follow them if you'd like, and link them. (Check!)

2. Post eleven facts about yourself.
- I have a weird obsession with F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald
- So weird that I think it's destiny that they married on my birth date
- I prefer chai lattes with soy milk, even thought I'm not lactose intolerant or drink it in anything else
- I'm an early bird and I hate it - I wish I could be a night owl!
- I really want a pygmee goat named Nelson Rockefeller (Little Nel)
- I knew all of the words to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles before I knew "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
- I have yet to meet a baby in person who was bigger than I was at that age
- My favorite movie is Now & Then
- I'm double jointed in my elbows
- My eye color can best be described as "seafoam"
- My favorite city is London

3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven question set for the next group of nominees. 

1. What's your favorite thing to do when you're sad?
Drink tequila?
2. Coffee or tea?
3. If you could re-live any day of your life, which would it be?
Uh.  Probably my first Paul McCartney concert?
4. What's your favorite thing about the autumn/winter months?
Fires in the fireplace
5. When do you feel happiest?
6. What secret talent do you wish you had?
Being able to part my hair down the middle.
7. All time favorite classic Disney movie?
The Little Mermaid, duh.
8. Early mornings or late nights?
Late nights tend to be more fun so I'll go with that.
9. What's your favorite song to listen to on repeat?
Too many to choose!  Higher by The Saturdays
10. Who's your favorite book character?
Atticus Finch
11. What made you start blogging? 
I needed a creative outlet while I was in an anti-creativity job.  And I also really like clothes.

My eleven:
1. NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
2. Who would play you in a movie?
3. If you could play any instrument what would it be?
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
5. Favorite drink?
6. Favorite scent?
7. Favorite color combination?
8. If you could have lunch with someone not alive, who would it be?
9. What's next on your must-have list?
10. Who was the first blogger you started following?
11. If you could be anything without having to go back to school or learn the skills, what would you be?

4. Choose five to eleven people to nominate and link them on the post. 
5. Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag backs!

6. Nominate blogs with under 200 followers.

I nominate: Allison of Always Eat Dessert,  Wendy of College Cheese, Denise of Fashion Love Letters, Alice of Style and London, and Katie of Vasiliki.


Mad (Wo)Men

| Blazer - The Limited | Similar | Dress - eShakti | Similar | Shoes - Target | Similar

Boyfriend says this dress looks like a Kimono.  I know it reminds me of something my Grandma would have owned in the 60s and I love it!  The print is so not me, but when eShakti asked me to try out their company, I knew that I had to really try something out of my comfort zone.

eShakti is very old school in look, which I love.  I can only imagine the cast of Mad Men using this website for a lot of their clothing.  What's even better, is you can customize your clothing to fit your style.  I decided I wanted a long sleeve business dress, something that Kate Middleton might wear to a royal outing.  The 3/4 length sleeve and boat neck neckline make this dress incredibly appropriate and the long hem would make the Queen quite happy.  This is exactly what I was looking for out of a dress.

The funny thing is, I'm so used to being too tall for most dresses, that when I stated I wanted it to be below the knee, I actually got below the knee!  It's great!  Next time, I'll trust them to make a dress specifically to what I want because they really do get every inch correct!  I'll probably hem this, just because I'm a little risque like that, but it's my fault... I should have put my faith into the company.

If you're looking for something classic and have a specific idea in mind, I would definitely try out eShakti.  Your every wish is their command.

This is a sponsored post, but all ideas are my own.  Please check out my mission for The Crown Bijoux to understand my thoughts on sponsorships and why I blog for you!


November Mid-Month Deals

It's that time again - here are some awesome deals:

- The Bag is 50% off (AH!)
- That sweater looks perfect for a lazy weekend day
- I saw this shirt full price at my favorite boutique this weekend and mulled over it.  You could get it for 50% here!
- I decided that I may want to get some cords right now, and J.Crew has them at 25% off - and great colors!
- I need to be more bold with my skirts and this Art Nouveau print is beautiful
- Who doesn't need more leggings?  These are on clearance at Target!

Happy shopping, ladies!


Falling in Love with Fall

| Sweater, Socks, and Bangles - Target | Similar Sweater | Similar Socks | Similar Bangles | Skirt - Loft | Similar | Boots - Old Navy | Similar | Earrings - Gift | Similar |

Boyfriend really wanted the last picture to make the cut.  I feel super British in this outfit.  And that is a wonderful thing.  I'm pretty sure I need to go to a fox hunt and drink some Earl Grey and go by the name Lady Sissy of Lancashire or something.  

Point is, this outfit is my perfect fall outfit and I love it.  Tweed, riding boots, and light, soft sweaters speak fall to me.  What speaks fall to you?


Always Eat Dessert

So I need to do a public service announcement: One of my best friends from college has started a new blog:

And it's awesome.  You know those girls who always have their shit together, yet are SO much fun and so real?  Yeah - meet Allison.  She's perfect - she can cook, she can sew, she's like Martha Stewart mixed with Sheryl Sandberg with a touch of Mindy Kaling.  You're like, you can do everything, you're smart and a go-getter AND you're fun?  Yeah.  She's that girl.

I remember the first night we met.  She was one of my best friend's "little" (yes, we are sorority girls, don't judge) and I don't know what words were said, but one trip to the bathroom together by ourselves and we became hooked.  That night, I fell in love with this awesome girl and that love has only grown.  (Also, this picture is from that night - see we already were in love! And for some reason it looks airbrushed... I promise that's not on purpose!)

When it comes to blogging, Allie has been my partner in crime and I'm so glad she took a break from wedding planning (did you really think she would still be on the market?) to start up a new place for me to keep up with her (she's in Philly and I never see her.  It's a travesty, I tell ya!) 

So please - check her out! I promise it will take you one blog post to fall in love, just like it took me minutes to know I wanted her around forever.  Love you to pieces, Allie!

PS - I've updated my Blog Inspiration page.  I'm all about promoting other bloggers, so please check out these ladies.  We are all amazing women, so why not spread the wealth of information!


Puffer Fish

| Coat - Michael Kors at TJMaxx | Similar | Ring & Jeans - Old Navy | Similar Ring | Similar Jeans | Plaid Shirt - New Look | Similar | Booties - Target | Similar

I learned my mistake last year.  I haven't had a proper winter coat since my mom stopped buying them for me and after last year's winter, I learned that sometimes, you can be cute as a snow bunny.

So right at the top of my must-have list for this winter was a puffy coat.  One of my best friends had the North Face option that I was looking at and always seemed so cozy.  But when I saw this MK option at the Maxx, I knew I was in a lucky situation.  Sure, it wasn't North Face nor was it black, but who doesn't like navy (my favorite color)?

I didn't know how I felt about the hood - especially with the fur.  I wanted something simple.  But my boyfriend, who spent his college years in Chicago, assured me that I would love it and be glad I went this route.  

So I've learned - cover your butt.  Don't worry about look like the Michelin man.  Embrace the fur around your face.  Enjoy your hood.  Use those pockets.

I'm actually a little excited for winter...

Do you have items of clothing where you prefer comfort over cuteness?


How to Get Away With Murder Style

Shonda has freakin' done it again.  While I am one of the few who never got in to Grey's Anatomy (yeah, yeah, I know), I did binge watch Scandal on Netflix only to develop the biggest woman crush on Kerry Washington.  So naturally, when this show came out, I decided to give it a try.  And so did my boyfriend.  And it's now our must-focus-and-spend-one-hour-not-doing-other-things show.  He's not ashamed.

What always impresses me with these Shonda shows are the wardrobes.  I mean, Olivia Pope was one... but all of the leading players in HTGAWM (ew) have great styles.  They are definitely great for inspiration in your own work world (Annalise & Bonnie in the real job, Michaela & Laurel in the intern world).  I'm going to say "SPOILER ALERT" because if you haven't seen it, I'm afraid of giving away any spoilers... even though I don't think I am.  If you haven't seen it though, this is the time to do it, catch up, and then dream over these wardrobes (my personal fave - Michaela).


Annalise is the star of the show and she means business.  Like woah.  She has taken the power-suit to the 21st century by wearing classic and standard business professional cuts but adding twists - like color, leather trim, and texture.  She would definitely own a pair of Jimmy Choo's - she doesn't have time to deal with shoes.  She needs ones that are going to look great with everything and stand the test of time (and the courtroom).

| Sweater | Dress | Jeans | Watch | Bag | Picture

Michaela is the wealthy obsessive-compulsive Hermione Granger of the group.  She's very smart, but you're not sure if it's because she's naturally that way or she works crazy hard.  She always looks ready for the yacht or country club, the horse barn, or the Junior League.  She's probably personal friends with Tory Burch and grew up in Connecticut.  She understands that a preppy style translates really well from work to play.

| Hat | Picture | Shoes | Top | Sweater | Skirt |

Laurel is the nice girl who is always looking out for the little guy.  Sometimes a little too much (over-compensating for her wealthy upbringing perhaps?).  She doesn't want to look too put together or clean because she wants to give the perception that she shops at thrift stores and is too busy working to care about clothes.  But she happens to always look pretty cute.  She definitely uses mismatching to her advantage.  (I'm not a big fan of her... maybe because I want Frank for myself?)


Bonnie is Annalise's wing-girl, cold and stoic, she doesn't seem to be excited about anything but she's a shark.  She is as clean as a whistle and ultra professional.  I wonder if she wears the pearls to keep her head on straight.

How to Get Away with Murder is on ABC at 10 on Thursdays.  And no this isn't a sponsored post - I love it that much!


Printed Pants

| Glasses - Warby Parker | Similar | Blazer - New Look | Similar | Top - JC Penney | Similar | Cami - Target | Similar | Necklace - Charlotte Russe | Similar | Pants - Old Navy | Similar | Shoes - DSW | Similar |

I promise one day I'll stop wearing my glasses... but it's so much easier to wear them!

So I am afraid of prints.  But I decided to swallow my pride (or fear) and get a pair.  I stuck with black and white (safe) and went the pant route since I tend to be more boring in that department (I remember when I bought mint jeans, I thought I was wild).

I think the secret to wearing prints is going basic elsewhere.  Now, I seriously appreciate all of the bloggers out there who mix prints.  You are my idols.  But I look like a major fool when I do it.  So I'm starting out slow.  

Also - this necklace was a Halloween costume purchase that I loveeeeee.  My friend and I found some awesome headbands at Charlotte Russe and decided to go all out and be flappers (we love the 20s).  When I saw this necklace I knew I had to have it.  Who knew Charlotte Russe would deliver? 


The Finances of Shopping: Splurge versus Steal

After my Forever 21 post, I thought it might be helpful to discuss what I think is worth the money... and what I don't (Forever 21 purchases).

I give myself little rules to make myself feel better:

1. Will I keep it forever?  Splurge.  [Tory Burch boots - yes]
2. Is it trendy? Steal. [Fur Vest]
3. Is it a staple for the closet?  Splurge. [J Brand jeans that fit perfectly.]
4. Is it something out of the ordinary? Steal. [Sequin Mini-Skirt]
5. Can I wear it to work AND not to work? Splurge. [Dressy top]
6. Is it solely a casual piece? Steal. [Shorts, shorts, shorts]
7. Will I still wear it in three years/wear it once every two weeks? Splurge. [Black and white striped top]
8. Do I already own something similar but I want another? Steal. [Black dress]
9. Is quality necessary? Splurge [Winter Coat]
10. Am I wearing it once or twice?  Steal. [Bright Colored Heals]

What rules do you live by when buying clothes?


Old Navy Owns My Soul

I went to Old Navy over the Columbus day weekend and ended up giving them my first born child.

I bought the two sweaters you've seen in these two posts (1 and 2) and this sweater.  Because, duh.  I bought these pants and as well as the same pants in two other colors/patterns (you'll see them soon, don't worry).  I bought some riding boots.  I bought the camel coat.  And I bought some jewelry.  Just because why not hit that final punch in the wallet.  I've been very impressed by Old Navy lately.  They've definitely stepped up there game.  These pants are a must for work and the sweaters are so comfy.  It's just great!

Also... the wind on the Northeast is awful.  Case in point below:


How To Shop: Forever 21

I remember the first time I went to a Forever 21.  It was my senior year in high school and my mom took me on a shopping trip to the King of Prussia mall.  I had been to France that summer and had seen a Parisian girl in a navy and white polka dot dress with red shoes.  For some reason, this is a big, big moment in my love affair with fashion.  I think it was at that moment that I was shocked by the unconventionalism of this look.  Red shoes?  This didn't match and yet... look at how perfect that girl looked!  My mom had seen the look in my eye and she knew that I loved that outfit.  For the rest of the summer, all I wanted was a navy polka dot dress with red heels.  When I went into that Forever 21, I found my dress, and I kept it until a couple of years ago when, through wear and tear, I wore a hole in the cotton fabric.

Forever 21 makes sure to be on top of the trends for a reasonable price.  If you want that fur vest, green military jacket, asymentrical skort, you got it.  You can always guarantee that there will be a dress you can wear out to make the guys swoon (get it, girl).  And you know that you can walk in there with a $50 spending limit and leave with at least one item.

But there are downsides - the quality isn't the greatest and the sizing isn't always appropriate.  You might not be 19 anymore, but you still are on the same budget as you were... so why must you be forced to the stores where you can get the same look for triple the price?

Here are my rules for shopping at Forever 21 even if you aren't 21:

1. Use Forever 21 for your trendy items, not your staples.  I really want a fur vest.  I will not be spending more than $30 on a fur vest, though.  While I have yet to see an outfit on a blog with a fur vest that I don't like, I have a hunch that in 3 years, that fur vest will not be seen once in a year.  Fashion sometimes is that way, and we have to accept it.  I love trying out trends and at that moment, I go to my trendy staple.

2. If you're shopping for professional wear stick to tops/pants - avoid skirts and dresses.  I love my dresses from F21.  Some are cute and adorable sundresses (my polka dot hi-lo dress, my pink flutter dress, my floral strappy dress, for examples) - but trust me, even at my fun workplace, they would look childish and inappropriate.
| Pants | Top | Sweater

3. But if you're going out - F21 has some of the best low price party outfits.  Things I've learned in life - if you plan on dancing for hours in dingy, dark places, don't wear your expensive outfits.  It'll make you cry in the morning if you're trying to figure out how to get that mysterious sticky substance off your $80 dress.
| Dress | Skirt | Shorts |

4. Check out Love 21.  It's a great addition to the 21 family with more realistic sizing.  The skirts and dresses are longer, the cuts are more flattering for all body types, and the quality is a smidge better.
| Dress | Skirt | Blouse |

5. Embrace the huge crazy chaos of the store.  It may seem overwhelming but forcing yourself to look through the racks tends to make you try things you didn't know you wanted.  You may not end up buying them, but at least you try.  And sometimes you find something awesome (like my white peplum top I loveeee).  OH!  And try on items.  Time-consuming, but more worth it with their sizing.

Forever 21 is great if you know how to shop there - and you find one in almost every mall - you never knew you were so freakin' fashionable on a small budget!