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Preppy Oxblood Look

Gap sweater  |  J.Crew shirt (similar)  |  Zara jeans (similar)  |  Forever21 necklace (similar)  
J.Crew leopard pumps  |  Celine bag  |  Hermes, Madewell, Giles & Brother bracelets 

The IT color of the fall/winter seems to be oxblood, which to me looks exactly like maroon.  At first, I was a little annoyed that everyone kept calling it oxblood.  But now that it's been several months, I've learned to live with it.  I big of me.

I've always loved the preppy shirt under a sweater look but I think I've worn it maybe once before (here).  I feel like how Steve Carrell's character looks in Crazy, Stupid Love when he's put in so many layers.  It just isn't that comfortable and everything is bumpy and lumpy under that sweater.  But in any case, I paired the preppy top with my forever21 sparkler, oxblood jeans and my leopard pumps.

If anyone is in the market for a pair of oxblood colored jeans, I got these at Zara for $35 and they are stretchy comfy good!  I couldn't find them online but head to your local Zara for a pair...highly recommend!


Gift Guide for Him

So I have a confession to make.  People always assume that I shop for and dress the hubby but the truth is I know nothing about men's fashion.  Unless I get a clear hint thrown my way, I'm pretty clueless as to what to get hubby for gifts.  So I enlisted Mr. Dress Up Files himself (who in my unbiased opinion, has pretty good taste!) to curate this Gift Guide for the deserving men in your lives.  Happy shopping!


Gift Guide 2012

Here are some of my picks for that fabulous woman in your life, be it your wife, bestie, sister or even yourself.  Is it just me or do you end up shopping for yourself a lot around the holidays? I always go intending to buy gifts for people and then I somehow find myself in the dressing room with 12 items to try on.   


Family Portraits


We'd never done a professional family photo session before but we knew exactly who we wanted to shoot it.  Kenny Nakai of Nakai Photography is an amazing photographer, happens to be an old college friend of the hubs and is one of the nicest guys you'll meet.  He was doing all kinds of silly things to get the girls to laugh during the easy feat.  If I could do it all over, I would have hired him to shoot my wedding but oh well, coulda woulda shoulda.

If anyone in the Chicagoland area is in need of a photographer, I highly recommend Kenny Nakai!


Meeting The Sartorialist

Forever21 sweater  |  White + Warren skirt (similar)  |  Rag & Bone booties 
Forever21 necklace (similar)  |  Celine bag  |  Cartier watch  |  Hermes, Jules Smith bracelets 

What does one wear to come face to face with Scott Schuman (aka The Sartorialist)?? Lucky (for hubby), I found out about the book signing the day of and didn't have time to shop.  I ransacked my closet and pulled out this silk White + Warren pleated skirt once again.  I got this skirt 7 or 8 years ago and blogged about getting it altered here and have worn it multiple times on this blog since (like here).  I actually had it listed on my sale site awhile back but looking back, I'm so glad it didn't sell.  

I paired the skirt with a heavy, grey sweater and my basic black booties, which I love more and more everyday! I highly recommend the Rag & Bone Newbury's if anyone needs a classic pair. You can't really tell in the picture, but the sweater has a lot of texture to it, which I think made interesting contrast with the smooth and silky fabric of the skirt.

In line with some fashionista friends, H & M!

We got there at the perfect time and ended up being 3rd in line.  We were chatting away and then turned around at one point to see this huge crowd! 

OMG! Can you feel my nervous energy through this picture?? I was literally shaking and could not speak.  I think I asked him, in between a lot of ums and uhs why he was in South Korea so much.  I really wish I could have played it cool and come up with something better to say to him!

Here's my book! I absolutely love it so much.  The pictures are beautiful and so inspiring.  If you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a fashion loving man, woman or child, pick one up ASAP!  You can buy it here.


Fancy meets Dingy

Zara t-shirt  |  BCBG vest (similar)  |  Aritzia pants  |  Forever21 necklace (similar)
BCBG vest (similar)  |  Aritzia coat  |  Tory Burch shoes  |  Goyard bag

Here we have the classic fancy necklace meets worn in t-shirt story.  It's a look I've been wearing nonstop (like here) and as always, I love a good contradiction when it comes to fashion. 

fancy + fancy = boring and predictable
fancy + dingy = interesting & fun!

Okay, enough math for today.  I tucked the t-shirt into my old harem pants (inspired by Psy, who was inspired by it just me or was that performance a riot?)  I also added a sweater vest for some movement and/or to hide my muffin top if we're being completely honest here.  Topped the whole thing off with the most classic double breasted tan peacoat.  So now we have...

fancy + dingy + classic = synergy!

BTW...Homeland viewers, we just finished the first season and are 2 episodes into the 2nd season, it is RIDICULOUSLY good...I can't stop watching!!


Dana's First Birthday Bash!

For birthday parties, I'm always torn between going with pretty themes I love myself vs going with kid appropriate themes.  For A's dohl (first birthday) a few years ago, we only had a handful of kids (mostly 0-2 years old) so I planned a luncheon at an elegant restaurant and went with a sophisticated, girly color scheme.  Check out pictures here

For D's party, I knew we were tackling a whole different beast.  More than 50 kids were set to attend and having it at an elegant restaurant was absolutely out of the question.  I ended up renting out a gigantic indoor playground.  As friends were leaving at the end of the party, I noticed that child after child was walking out with a huge smile and a sweaty mop of hair and I knew the party had been a success.  When kids are having fun, parents get to relax and chit chat.  Winning!

A few months ago, I started seeing pictures of rainbow themed parties pop up all over the internet and I was sold.  I love the impact the vibrant colors have and how cheerful and happy it looks.  

All the paper goods were by chickabug, including the invites, cupcake toppers, banner, favor labels, etc. I bought the files and printed everything at home.  She was so great to work with and very helpful!  And I think the paper goods are what really brought everything to life.

Hubby's assistant is an ex-professional baker and still makes cakes for her side business. She made us this amazing rainbow cake!

I got these markers for 28 cents during the back to school sale. I put them in a ziploc bag and covered them with a label.  The entire favor cost less than 50 cents, which is nice when you have to make 50 of them!

I got these giant lollipops from Oriental Trading Company.  I added the sticker labels to personalize them.  The base is foam blocks from JoAnn's that I wrapped in rainbow paper.  I just stuck the lollipops into the foam blocks to have them stand up.  

I've been wanting a Polaroid camera forever and I finally used D's party as an excuse to get one.  I also got these props from etsy.  I had them set up on one of the couch areas and people got to take pics and take home the picture.  I will probably use these props and polaroid at every future party I throw!

Here are the props in action.

D changed into a hanbok (traditional Korean dress) for more pictures.

Not to be outdone, A had to don hers as well of course.

Dohl Ja Bee. This is a traditional Korean game played at first birthdays.  You set up different things in front of the baby until they grab one and it's supposed to predict what their future will hold.  For example, pencil means they will be a scholar, golf ball means an athlete, microphone means an entertainer and so on.  Here's D planning her attack.

She ended up choosing the stethoscope.  My grandfather was a doctor so maybe she will follow in his footsteps! Oh and excuse my sexy expression and why did no one tell me my slip was showing the entire party?? Ah...never a dull moment!

With my mom (who flew 17 hours to be here!) and my girls.  Blessed!

The party was fun but I am so glad that it's over.  Now, Thanksgiving and Christmas to focus on! 


Charm & Chain

I've been obsessed with the collection of jewelry at Charm & Chain as of late.  They carry a lot of my favorite jewelry designers from House of Harlow to Gorjana to Fenton & Fallon.  The best part is I'm offering my readers 25% off the entire website using code CC25OFF from now until 12/14.  That and free shipping means that Charm & Chain officially became THE place to do your Christmas shopping.  As always, I'm sharing some of the things that are on my wish list this year. 

Bangles (top-bottom) 

Don't forget to use promo code CC25OFF.  Happy shopping!


Cable Sweater & Brocade Pants

Zara sweater (similar)  |  Zara brocade pants (similar)  |  Schutz pumps  |  Celine bag  |  Cartier watch  |  Giles & Brother cuff

This cable sweater has been a real workhorse for the last couple of months.  I love how the comfy, chunky knit brings whatever it's paired with down to earth, whether it be leather leggings or brocade pants.

In other news, we started watching Homeland a few days ago and we are absolutely hooked.  Is anyone else watching this right now?