Three Ways to REALLY Wear Marsala

As you all probably know, Marsala was named the 2015 color of the year and I couldn’t be more excited!I mean, we all loved Radiant Orchid, but was that a color we could really build a closet around? Well, Marsala is definitely the most wearable Pantone color to come about in the past couple of years, and the fashion world is LOVING it! Shades of the famous color were spotted all over the runways at New York Fashion Week and it’s beginning to pop up in store of all price ranges. To prove just how wearable Marsala actually is, I have created three very different outfits for three very different occasions and very different girls. Check them out and let me know how you’ll be wearing Marsala this year!

Marsala 1

 

    

 

Score! Pants that aren’t only work appropriate and universally flattering, but the pattern gives the perfect hint of color to your workday look. To complete the look, throw on a white silk top and your best pair of black shoes. I love how the black contrasts with the pants and makes your accessories pop. Need a little bling? A simple rose gold necklace, like this ADORABLE palm tree, does the trick! You’ll be getting compliments in the coffee shop and the cubical with this amazing look!

 

Marsala 2

 

 
Sweater dress? Yes please! I know everyone has their minds in spring mode, but we still have snow on the ground and probably will for awhile, so this look is perfect for a chilly march day. The best part about this dress is that it is easily transitioned into spring, just replace the beanie and throw on a pair of sandals and you’re good to go! However, for right now, you’re gonna need that beanie (and maybe even a jacket). However, one thing’s for sure, you NEED this dress!
 

Marsala 3

 

 
As much as I love Marsala as a solid color, I am loving it more as a pattern! I am especially obsessing over this Topshop mini skirt. I mean imagine the possibilities! Not only does it go perfectly with a collared sweater, but you could wear it with stripes, a cardigan or your favorite graphic tee. This little skirt is definitely a closet must-have. Don’t kid yourself, I know you are plotting the many outfits you could make with this little beauty. So go ahead, grab one for you AND one for me!
 

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The Perfect Snow Day Playlist

We have had another round of snow here in wonderful Arkansas! I am loving this beautiful winter wonderland around me, especially because it has given me some time to catch up on some Alligator Food Design projects (blog post with details coming soon!). In celebration of another much-needed snow day, I have created a Spotify Playlist of the top 10 songs I have been listening to recently. You can hear them below, or for those of you who don’t have Spotify, feel free to look up any of the ten songs that grab your attention. I absolutely love finding new artists, so comment below and let me know what you’ve been listening to this winter! Oh and make sure to put on your warmest pair of socks, it’s cold out there!

New Hair – So care!

For the last 6 years I have had the same little pixie cut. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my short hair, but sometimes you just need a change. About a year ago, I decided to grow my hair out; if any of you have ever tried to grow out a pixie, you understand how miserable it can be. After feeling like Shaggy for the last couple of months, I decided to change up my style and go for an edgier asymmetrical bob. Although I was a little shocked at first, I have grown to love my new do! And, as all of you know, nothing makes a girl feel better than a new haircut and today I am feeling sassy! So I am channeling that inner sass and amping up my usual floral look with some edgier accessories, including my favorite military jacket (which if you follow me on Instagram you see quite frequently), and some black knee-high socks. Finally, I pulled the look together with a simple, architectural gold cuff and a pair of layered necklaces. Hopefully, this style will last and I won’t end up in one of those “I HATE MY HAIR” moments in a few day. Don’t lie, you all know exactly what moment I am talking about.

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All photos by Laurence Tan Photography

Jacket: PacSun, Romper: PacSun (old, similar), Socks: Riffraff, Necklace: Stella and Dot, Cuff: Vince Camuto, Wallet: Hobo

5 Pairs of Printed Heels You Need for Spring

I’ve been talking about spring a lot lately, maybe it’s because the weather has finally warmed up around here or maybe it is because my Pinterest feed is full of shorts and sundresses. Whatever the reason, I am already prepping my closet for the day when I can officially say goodbye to my sweaters and break-out the sandals. There are a couple trends that I am dying to try out this spring season, one of which is the patterned heel. If you watched Nicole Miller’s Spring 2015 you were bound to have noticed these gorgeous sandals at least once:

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I mean how could you not? They scream “Hello sunshine! Let’s go on vacation!” So instead of drooling over shoes that I will most-likely never own, I began my search for an affordable alternative. Here’s what I came up with:

5 Pairs of Printed Heels You Need for Spring:

The Go-To:

 New Look Wide Fit Preview Faux Ponyskin Heeled Sandals – ASOS ($66.31)

They’re leopard, they’re chunky, they’ll go with everything AND they’re under $100! Need I say more?

 

The Co-Worker:

Leather Pumps – H&M ($99)

A classic silhouette along with time honored print, these pumps will make every co-worker jealous. The low-contrast and muted color palette will keep your work outfit feeling fresh without compromising on professionalism. These are a must have for the corporate girl!

 

The Art Student:

Stella Printed Fabric Pumps – J.Crew ($268)

Okay, these are definitely a lot pricier than most items I post, but if you are in the mood to splurge, get it girl! This is the perfect shoe for spring, especially if you enjoy funkier, vintage inspired patterns like I do. The color palette means you can wear them with anything. The silhouette is beautiful. A chunkier heel means they will be comfortable during those long summer nights and they’re J. Crew. So basically, meet your dream shoe… you’re welcome.

 

The Day Dream:

floral

Thrive Got Work to Do Heel – ModCloth ($144.99)

These. Shoes. Everything about them is just pretty. Definitely buy these shoes if you’re someone who frequents garden parties, spring weddings, baby showers… fairytale castles. Or just buy them. You won’t regret it. Just imagine how they will look with all of those spring yellows!

 

The Statement Maker:

polkadot

Legra Gem Platform Sandal – Topshop ($60)

Spring doesn’t have to be all about bright colors. Pledge your soul to the monochromatic with these platform sandals. The polka-dot pattern adds a sweet and girly touch to the edgier silhouette, so they will go with any outfit. Imagine how adorable these would look with a cute little sundress?

 

 

 

 

Sweet as Southern Iced Tea

I’ve been a little under the weather and so for the last couple of days it has been me, DayQuil, and my puppy dog watching Grey’s on Netflix. But today, I am headed back to school, so in true school-girl style, I am wearing my favorite plaid skirt and, of course, the classic pair of oxford. I decided to go for a more interesting take on the time honored look by adding a graphic sweater, my felt hat, and some simple gold jewelry. However, how can I be expected to survive Art History without the help of a delicious cup of tea from the cutest little restaurant around? Savoy Tea Company is not only an adorable place to host a tea-party, but is also a great study alternative to the busy coffee shops around town. If you are local and haven’t been to one of the two locations (here), I highly suggest you stop what you’re doing and go now! When you’re there, order a Peach Honey Lemon tea for me please!

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All photos by Laurence Tan Photography


Sweater: Kensie (old, similar), Skirt: Banana Republic (sold-out online, similar), Hat: Riffraff Fayetteville (available in-store, similar), Shoes: Maude (available in-store, online here), Cuff: Vince Camuto, Gold Chains: Forever 21 (old, similar)

Weather or Not – A Layered Look for Spring

It has been a sunny 65 degrees here in the Natural State, and it has given me a little bit of hope that spring is coming. Yet, as much as I am loving this weather, it has sent my wardrobe for a loop. Since it has been getting back down into the 30s and 40s after the sun sets, I have had to find outfits that aren’t too hot during the day, but warm enough for night. This is where layering has really saved my butt.

Today I went for a classic mix of patterns (if you want, you can glance back at my Pattern Play post for some more inspiration) for my daytime look. This striped tee goes perfectly with these floral shorts, because of the difference in the weight of the prints. I also purchased these shorts with a coordinating blazer, which can be thrown on at night for a little warmth. Whenever I buy coordinates, I always make sure that I can wear the items separately as well. This gives me TRIPLE the use out of my purchase, by allowing me to create at least three unique outfits from one buy. (You can see the blazer paired with a classic denim outfit here). See, perfect!

Hopefully, this warm weather stays, but if we have a sudden change for the worst, this outfit is ready to brave the cold!

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(All photos by Laurence Tan Photography)

Blazer: Missguided,  Skort: Missguided (on sale!), Top: RIffraff (similar or restock wait-list), Wallet: Hobo (old, same style), Shoes: Modcloth

Spring 2015 Trend Report… Top 5 Trends from Fashion Week

Those of you who know me, know my obsession for the 1970s including everything from history, literature, style and music! This year fashion week took a slight trip to the past and brought back my favorite decade. The most exciting thing was seeing a turn from the clichè boho/hippie look that controls pinterest to more causal, tailored and almost glam looks. And of course how can you forget Tommy Hilfiger’s Rock and Roll themed runway show? (If you missed it see Style.com’s review/slideshow here.) I could go on and on about every collection (since I have viewed them all about 20 times now), but enough with the chatter.

Here are the Spring 2015 trends I am most excited for:

Suede

I have approximately 100 different pictures saved on my computer and narrowing the looks down to just my favorites was next to impossible. Suede was everywhere during fashion week, we’re talking coats, dresses, skirts, even some coordinates, and it came in an array of different colors. Of course, there was plenty of the classic 70s camel but I was more excited to see some variations to the classic colors, especially the Chloè pastels. Unfortunately I am still waiting for Tanya Katysheva to strut right off that runway, into my living room, and bring me that Gucci coat.

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Fringe

Of course we couldn’t have suede without at least a little bit of fringe and, just like it’s partner in crime, this trend showed up in a variety of ways. Although some looks didn’t quite take portion control into consideration (specifically in the Alberta Feretti show, but raise your hand if, like me, you totally want to rock her floor length fringe), others used a smaller, more sophisticated amount. Regardless, the good news is I will definitely be showing off my vintage suede fringe vest this spring. Hallelujah!

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 Transparency

Obviously, I can’t even talk about sheer fabrics without mentioning the Valentino Collection, but since I could go on for hours about how beautiful the embroidery was it’s probably best just to give you the link to the entire show. However, Valentino wasn’t the only one showcasing both sheer fabrics, eyelets and even some die-cuts and the styles went from super elegant to street-style edgy. Click through the slideshow below to view my favorites. I’ll try to limit the Valentino images… maybe.

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Whites

It’s spring! Obviously the runway was full of white, but can we all admit that we totally think the designers amped up these styles just a little? In a season that was ruled by “Winter Whites,” these looks had to be a little more exciting than usual to catch our eye. This kind of brings me back to my last category, but since there were so many looks I love, I decided to give the trend it’s own slideshow. (PS: I did not include any of the Rick Owens’ models covered in white paint)

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Yellow

At last! A spring yellow, that isn’t mustard, and might actually be wearable! Lemon Yellow popped up in a number of collections this spring, but was the star of the Michael Kors’ show, along with its classic partner, navy. (Kors real talk: What do I have to do to get my hands on that floral skirt?) This color makes me a nostalgic for a preppy little raincoat and I can’t wait to grab some for my closet. However, I was a little disappointed Rubber Ducky Yellow wasn’t a 2015 Pantone color.

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 Honorable Mentions:

I still have a stack of trends I am obsessing over and I would love to chat more with you all about them! But for time’s sake, here are my honorable mentions, including bold florals, dresses with high necklines, flared pants and more, denim, leather and more.

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Let’s Get Weird! – Easy and Quick DIY Banner

In case you haven’t been on Pinterest recently, word banners are everywhere. They are fun, funky and super easy to customize so of course I am obsessed! So instead of spending my entire Sunday watching The Office on Netflix, I decided to throw together this quick DIY for you all! It’s quick, super easy to customize and did I mention it costs around $15 to make? So basically… It’s perfect!

What You’ll Need:

supplies

Paper (I got this package from Walmart for $5, but if you’re really adventurous hit up the Hobby Lobby)

A ruler

Scissors

String

Pen or Pencil

Paperclips, glue or a hole-punch (this all depends on how you want to attach the letters to the string)

Step 1:

step1

Since I wanted all of my letters to be made of different pieces of paper, I started my project with a little planning. To make sure I would like the final layout, I selected the papers I would use and arranged them in order on the floor to see how they would look together.

Step 2:

After I was happy with the design, I began to draw my letters. Since I enjoy a more eclectic aesthetic, I simply decided how tall I wanted my letters (mine are 7in) and then drew them freehanded.

Step 3:

step3

After I had drawn my letters, I cut them out with scissors. Easy as that.

Step 4:

step4

The hardest part of this DIY is deciding how to attach the letters to the string. I decide to use these adorable mini-paperclips (around $3 from Walmart), because I liked the idea of being able to easily change what my banner says. However, if you are looking for a more permanent product, you can simply hole punch the letters (make sure to put two holes in each letter so the letters lay flat) and thread the string through. Another option is to use paperclips, but use a small amount of superglue for reinforcement.

The Final Product:

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There you go! In about 30 minutes I had a perfect banner, designed exactly how I wanted! I love it and can’t wait to make a few more for around my home!

This Week in Instagram

The best way to keep up with me is to follow me on Instagram @cnicole726. See my daily outfits, adventures and shenanigans! However, for those of you who don’t follow me here is a look at what I wore this week:

Bookstore Date Night

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Dress: Brandy Melville (old), Jacket: PacSun, Shoes: Steve Madden, Necklace: The Wanderlust

Snow Day at the Trampoline Park

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Coat: PacSun (in-store only), Socks: Riffraff (similar), Shoes: Steve Madden

Sunday at Crystal Bridges

crystalbridges

 Skirt: Banana Republic (sold-out online), Top: Target (old), Shoes: Steve Madden (similar)

Lunch Date with Friends

skirt

Skirt: Banana Republic (on sale!), Top: Vince Camuto, Shoes: Maude, Bag: Riffraff, Hat: Target

Sunday DIY Day

werid

Shirt: Riffraff (similar), Overalls: Forever 21 (similar)

(New) Best Year Ever!

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(feel free to download and print this free printable from Alligator Food Design)

New Year, New You!

So many things happened this year! I worked hard to create an image for myself and in the process I achieved some of my biggest dreams! This new year is going to be all about adding fuel to the fire, believing in myself and marketing both my new business (Alligator Food Design) and my blog. 2015 can and will be even better than 2014. Don’t stop, get it, get it!

My goals for 2015:

1) Ride my horse at least three times a week

2) Blog at least three times a week

3) Create at least two new Alligator Food Design products each month

4) Cook at least one new recipe each month

5) Really clean out my closet

6) Go on a trip with a friend (who isn’t my boyfriend)

7) Visit at least two grad school programs

8) Create a more cohesive and inspiring instagram

9) Live a Pinterest worthy life