Friday, December 29, 2017

Holidays 2017

It's been a whirlwind few weeks, but I wanted to get in one last post of 2017. As the year winds down, and as I look ahead to 2018, I am so thankful for all the love in my life. My husband, my sisters, my parents, my two boys... I have a wonderful life.

Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:

December 22nd: The Nutcracker

My friend, Lindsay, and I had a Girls Night Out downtown on a cold Friday before Christmas. We started with dinner at The Melting Pot, the only place within walking distance of The Fox Theatre where we could get a reservation, followed by The Nutcracker. We had fun dressing up for the occasion, and the festive atmosphere really helped set the tone for the weekend ahead.

I'm wearing Halston Heritage; Lindsay is wearing BCBG.

December 23rd: Bake Me a Cake

I spent Saturday doing a lot of baking, as I was determined to make a chocolate layer cake for Christmas Day dinner. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end!

My chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Pug Cookie Jar from World Market.

Christmas Eve: Our Italian Tradition

Christmas Eve in our house always follows one rule: seafood required. We try to keep to the Italian good luck tradition of eating seven different types of fish on Christmas Eve, though I think we only made about four or five this year.

With my parents on Christmas Eve 2017. I'm wearing a dress by Erin Fetherston.

Christmas Day: Boys and Toys

We spent Christmas Day with my family this year, traveling to my sister, Laura's, house for Christmas Day dinner. I had fun playing with my nephews and seeing them open some gifts. They love ripping off that wrapping paper, which this year was pug-themed (thanks to World Market). I also gifted my parents and Laura with a pug cookie jar (and one for me, too, of course).

Here are a few photos from Christmas Day:

My hubby is wearing one of his Christmas gifts: a cashmere sweater! I'm in Alice + Olivia.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rarely Worn

I was searching through my closet today, trying to decide what to wear, when I came upon this bejeweled Shoshanna fit-and-flare dress.

I don't think I've worn it on the blog before, and it's too beautiful not to share, so here you go!

I originally purchased this Shoshanna dress several years ago, but only wore it once or twice, though it was the dress I chose for our 2014 holiday family photo. That was George's last Christmas with us, and I probably haven't worn the dress since the day this photo was taken. (I picked a few hairs off the dress this morning, and immediately wondered if they were George hairs.) He would start getting sick at the end of that December, and passed away a month or so later. I still miss that boy every single day. He was my soul pug.

Holiday Photo 2014

Since the dress is three years old, it's no longer available online, but it's definitely still in style. I'm also glad to see I haven't aged too much since this photo was taken back in 2014, and I think my hair and eyebrows look even better than they did then.

Dress: Shoshanna Black Jeweled Fit and Flare Dress

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Abel Patent Leather Disco Hologram Pumps

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dresses With Detail

This Trina Turk dress has a lot of subtle details: a small amount of fringe, the all-over floral embroidery, and the mesh hem that shows a hint of leg. It all combines into one beautiful and very unique sheath dress that makes me excited to see the Trina Turk label back on its game. The dress has a 1920s vibe that I just adore, and it's just a really flattering look.

Dress: Trina Turk Energetic Embroidered Floral Dress in Indigo

Find the dress at Amazon, Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik Specchio BB Pumps in Bronze

I'm getting over a cold or sinus infection or something, which is why I look a little tired in these photos. I blame the weather! Atlanta got snow on Friday (and into Saturday), and the constant change in temperature -- warm, cold, then warm again -- always throws me off balance.

Here's a photo from Friday night before all the snow had really fallen. I think we got about four inches in West Midtown.

I loved how many friends in the city were showing off their dogs or children enjoying the snow, running around in it and so delighted with Atlanta as a winter wonderland.

Not my boys. 

Here is how they preferred to weather the snowstorm:

I guess they take after their mamma!

Monday, December 4, 2017


Blue is definitely a color you can wear throughout the year -- even bright hues like the aquamarine of today's Black Halo dress. The right color can do wonders for your skin tone, and I find that wearing brighter colors can even help lift my spirits. I knew I would be stuck inside today, with not even a break for lunch -- I went from meeting to meeting, report to report -- so I purposefully chose this dress for the color. I want to avoid all cases of the Mondays!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Black Halo Mattie Sheath Dress in Atlantic Aqua

Shoes: Schutz Scalloped Lace-Cut Leather Sandals

I'm coming off a weekend full of baking and birthday fun for the hubby, who turned 41 on Sunday. His favorite dessert is anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter, so I made him this three layer cake as a special treat. I normally stick just to cookies, so creating this beauty was a first for me -- but it turned out really well. I even used gluten free flour to great success; the cake was moist and not dense at all. Get the recipe here on my new favorite recipe site: Brown Eye Baker. I did everything but the chocolate ganache topping.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ready to Pounce

When it comes to a good deal, you have to be ready to react -- quickly. I scored today's dress on for just $38! It's still hard to believe that I could buy a dress that retails for $298 for such a small price.

Outfit Details:

Dress: Parker Leopard Keyhole Fit and Flare Dress

This dress is so light and comfortable, and I love the color and print, though it does remind me of another dress I own. I cringe looking at some of those old photos, even though I'm a few years younger in them. I don't know what I was thinking not filling in my eyebrows for so long. They are so sparse, and need all the help they can get! Ladies: Don't pluck your eyebrows, because they may never grow back! I'm a victim of over-plucking in my youth.

Where to Buy:

You can buy this exact dress at Saks Off Fifth, or in a pretty blue or floral print at Nordstrom Rack. Unfortunately, although the dress is on sale at both retailers, you won't find it for the price I paid.

If you would like to check for the latest deals, let me know, and I will send you an invitation to the shopping site.

Sandals: Stuart Weitzman Soundtrack High Heel Sandals

Monday, November 27, 2017

When Design Meets Length

I'm not the biggest fan of long dresses that hit you right at the mid-calf. Often referred to as "midi dresses," these styles usually make my short frame look even shorter. However, today's dress, from the wonderful, feminine and stylish Alice + Olivia line, has a unique design to it, with lace cutouts toward the bottom that show the lining underneath. The effect is almost an optical illusion; I'm wearing a long dress, but it sure doesn't seem like it.

Dress: Alice + Olivia Mallie A-Line Dress

The dress was in stores a few years ago, but you can still find it on Bluefly and on eBay. I love all the details of this dress, but the armholes are enormous, and you can easily see my bra on both the sides and through the lacy back. Ideally, you should forego a bra when wearing this dress, but I'm not about to go bra-less at work!

Shoes: Kate Spade New York Idelle Ankle Strap Dress Sandals

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We had a lot of fun visiting with my husband's family in Alabama, including our nephews. They loved on Wally and Norman so much! Don't they look excited about all the attention? ;)

Thanksgiving 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Turning Red

It's a short week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but I wanted to start it out strong in this bold red dress from Black Halo.

Dress: Black Halo Marcelle Sheath Dress in Bonfire Red

This dress works for both the office or after hours, and while the overall design is fairly simple, it really helps show off a woman's best features, the shoulders and calves, in particular. I always feel like a red dress is a power statement, too, perfect for days when you need an extra boost of confidence or just need to feel in charge. I recommend wearing heels to elevate your height and make you feel even taller. In a dress like this one, you can take on the world!

If I look a little more made up than usual, it's because I took some extra time today to experiment with my makeup. I did a darker, smoky eye and red lip to match the dress. I am not sure if red is really my perfect lipstick color, but you really can't wear another color lipstick in a dress as fiery red as this one.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals (no longer available)

This past weekend, I also wore red to my family's early Thanksgiving meal. Since we all won't be together on the actual day, we decided to do a Faux Thanksgiving the Saturday before (minus my sister, Gail, who is staying in Chicago this year). My mom is always so thoughtful to have gluten-free options available for me, and the meal was so good. Thanksgiving food is probably my favorite food.

Here's a photo of me with my sister, Laura. It's the only photo we took the whole day. Oh well!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cutting Out

When it comes to cutouts, placement is critical. The cutout needs to add "value" in some way, maybe showing a little skin to help elevate a dress (or other item of clothing) into a sexier stratosphere. 

The cutout on this structural green dress from Halston Heritage is very intentional. While keeping with the overall architectural design of the dress, the asymmetrical cutout allows a little cleavage to show through. Combined with the color, it helps this seemingly normal fit and flare dress really stand out. (The color is even more bold and beautiful in person.)

Dress: Halston Heritage Geo Cutout Silk Faille Fit and Flare Dress

Find the dress at AmazonBloomingdale's and

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Romy Embroidered Satin Pumps (no longer available)

It's hard to tell form the photo, but the buds on the shoes have a green center that perfectly matches the green of the dress!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November Floral Trend

I thought I would continue this week's floral trend by wearing this sweet dress from the Erin Fetherston brand. I'm in love with all the beautiful hues of blue, pink and green, and since the flowers are so small, I find the print overall so flattering. (A larger print design can sometimes be less flattering on a curvy figure.) The weather has been so mild in Atlanta the past few days -- I'm enjoying it while I can.

What made this dress a little more difficult to wear is the back, which has criss-crossing straps that will show a typical bra. I'm using a bra strap holder for the first time to help hide them, and it is doing its job -- for the most part. You can still see my bra at certain angles. Oh well!

Outfit Details

Dress: Erin by Erin Fetherston Floral Fit and Flare Devon Dress

The dress is for sale on Amazon, but also available to rent on Rent the Runway.

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik BB 105 Metallic-Striped Leather Pumps (no longer available)

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Fitting Floral

A sure sign of Fall in Atlanta: all the leaves littering the sidewalks and streets. Since I'm not a fan of the colder seasons, I'm trying hard to enjoy the cacophony of colors around me -- all the beautiful reds, yellows and oranges -- and dressing in bright floral dresses to remind me of the Spring to come.

Today's fit and flare dress is by Ted Baker London, and I call it my Tahani dress. (If you watch The Good Place, you know what I mean.) I'm a big fan of the higher neck here and the way it's designed to show off the shoulders. It's quite a beautiful look. Plus, it has pockets!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Ted Baker London Cesilia Expressive Pansy Skater Dress

Find it at Bloomingdales and -- on sale!

I paired the dress with my pink Christian Louboutins, which I don't get to wear enough! I thought they matched perfectly with the dress and the overall fun vibe of the outfit.

I spent the weekend working, seeing my family and watching Stranger Things 2, which Chapin and I just finished watching last night. I'm more obsessed with the show than ever. If you want to chat about this latest season, let me know.

Have fun watching if you haven't seen the show yet. I'm a little jealous you get to experience it all for the first time. This show is a mix of genres in the vein of Buffy and Angel... sci-fi, romance, thriller and intellectual, all the same time. Highly recommend!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017

It's a Star Wars Halloween in my house today! Check out Princess Leia, Han Solo, Yoda and a little pug Ewok!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Lacy Does It

I wanted to wear this Alice + Olivia dress today as a subtle nod to the wedding I attended over the weekend. Yes, it's a little fancy for work, but how could I not wear such a exquisite piece of clothing? It's simple yet extremely elegant and feminine.

Clothes are supposed to make you feel beautiful, and this dress definitely accomplishes that goal!

Dress: Alice + Olivia Gracia Cap-Sleeve Lace Cocktail Dress

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals

I could almost see someone wearing this outfit to get married in a simple ceremony at City Hall. That is definitely not what happened this weekend, though. My colleague, Heidi, married Star 94 Jeff and Jenn Show producer J.P. Allen on Saturday night at Monday Night Brewing Company's new event space. The ceremony was supposed to take place outside, but it was pouring down rain on Saturday, so everything was moved inside.

The event space is really new -- so new that there was not actual pavement leading into the venue. Chapin had to CARRY me in so I would not ruin the Jimmy Choos I was wearing. He is a wonderful husband!

Here's a photo of us at the wedding. My hair got soaked, so it's a mess, but Chapin looks so handsome in his suit. I love the all-black look.

Chapin and Michele: 10.28.2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fall Floral

This Karen Millen dress boasts a bright floral pattern, but I think the color palette makes it perfect for a beautiful Fall day in Atlanta. The weather has been so gorgeous this week, with most days in the 60s or 70s. And the best part? Low humidity!

Dress: Karen Millen Floral Fit and Flare Dress

The dress is on sale now at Karen Millen (in stores and online). I'm wearing the US Size 4 for reference, though it's a little snug in the bust area.

The whole design is just really flattering, though -- especially those dainty cap sleeves. I've been using more five and eight-pound weights at the gym, but it's hard to tell any difference in my arms. I like how cap sleeves do show them off, though!

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik BB Pumps

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sparkle and Shine

You're never too old for a little glitter or sparkle. I'm a true girly-girl, so I was of course drawn to this fun, flirty, yet still work appropriate black CeCe dress. The dress is reminiscent of designs from Kate Spade, but of course the CeCe brand is much, much cheaper. 

Dress: CeCe by Cynthia Steffe Sparkle Stripe Fit and Flare Dress

The dress is sold out online, but I did find a similar black CeCe dress in a sparkly tweed. It's available now at Nordstrom Rack. You can find the CeCe brand at major retailers like Macy's, Belk and Nordstrom if you're interested in seeing more from this line.

Shoes: Kate Spade New York Women's Aviana Pumps

If my dress sparkles, my shoes should, too! These Kate Spade pumps, which have a low heel, are adorned with rhinestone polka dots in bright primary colors. I thought they were the perfect complement to the dress.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Make It Simple

Fashion shouldn't be complicated -- it should just follow one specific rule:

Wear what makes you feel good (confident, beautiful, sexy... insert any superlative here).

I definitely have a lot of fit and flare dresses in my closet, as many people often remark.

BUT... The "fit and flare" is my favorite silhouette, as it suits my frame, shows off my best assets, and doesn't require me to wear Spanx underneath.

Today's dress is probably a version of one I have worn before, but I liked the delicate print, with its combination of gold, beige and blue. Plus, I got a great deal on it.

Dress: French Connection Niko Fit and Flare Dress

I paid just $40 for the dress on Amazon, where it's still available in select sizes, though not at the very low price I paid. You can also find the dress at the following retailers:

The French Connection USA site is selling a different version of the dress: same print, more conservative design.

Shoes: Schutz Cadey-Lee Dress Sandals

I actually wore my blue Zara jacket over the dress as I walked into work this morning. It's been chilly here in Atlanta lately. The last summer of my 30s is definitely behind me. Sigh!

Monday, October 16, 2017

It Pays to Be Comfortable

Although I do everything I can over the weekend to get ready for the work week ahead, it never seems to be enough. I'm super busy and there aren't enough hours in the day. Argh!

I did have a nice weekend, though, getting my hair done on Saturday and meeting up with my dad on Sunday. He met me at Barnes and Noble in Norcross to help me pick out a new audio book for an upcoming work trip. Since my car is an older model -- meaning it won't play music or anything on my phone -- I am stuck (for now) with buying books on CD. 

I will be heading out tomorrow for a few meetings in Alabama, and without an audio book I would go crazy! I ended up with The Identicals, the newest Elin Hilderbrand novel. I love all her books, but they are pure escapism, all set on the beach in Nantucket. It's my dream to spend a long vacation there one day!

Today's dress is one I normally wear on the weekends or on very casual days. It's light and airy, but so comfortable to wear. Since I have so much work to do today, I wanted something that wasn't binding or high maintenance.

Dress: London Times Full Skirt Denim Dress (no longer available)

I've had this dress for over a year, so unfortunately it looks like it is sold out online. I originally bought it for my trip to Charleston last summer (2016), but have never worn it to work...until today! London Times is my go-to brand for cheap, casual summer dresses. I paid just $35 for this dress.

These wedges are super comfortable. I bought them for my recent trip to New York City, and walked around Central Park for hours in them without my feet hurting or getting blisters. If you need a cute, comfortable sandal with some height, I definitely recommend this style.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Showing Skin

Today's dress is by the always fabulous Ted Baker London. While I have a lot of black dresses hanging in my closet, I thought this dress was a little different -- and a little daring. The color you see at the waist and the hem is actually skin (with no lining). It's sexy in a subtle way... my favorite way.

Ted Baker London dresses are expensive -- most will say too expensive -- so I will only purchase them on sale. I got this one for about 60% off at Nordstrom, but like most good sale items at Nordstrom, it sold out very quickly. You really have to keep an eye on the things you want. That's when your online bookmarks come in handy!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Ted Baker London Dayzey Fit & Flare Dress in Black

Shoes: Prada Bow Tie Platform Sandals (no longer available)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dressing for Atlanta Humidity

I absolutely love living Atlanta -- except on high humidity days like today. Since it literally rained all day yesterday -- thank you, Nate! -- I probably should have expected the 80-degrees temperatures and out-of-control humidity levels that greeted me when I stepped outside this morning.

I still couldn't help but cry out: "But it's October!"

It feels more like the middle of  July.

On days like today, I like to dress more comfortably, but since I had interviews (to conduct) and meetings (to run) pretty much back-to-back at the office, I still needed to look my best.

Enter Karen Millen!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Karen Millen Ombré Blossom Sheath Dress (no longer available)

I absolutely adore this dress. It's form-fitting but still professional, and the detail at the waist makes me feel so skinny! The back of the dress has some lace detail, too.

Shoes: L.A.M.B. High Heeled Sandals

I've had these L.A.M.B. sandals for at least six or seven years. They are still in great condition -- and still fetch me a lot of compliments, mostly awe for how I so easily walk in them. ;) I often feel like Carrie Bradshaw, just running around town in my heels.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Dress That Moves

Clothing with movement is often the most eye-catching. Whenever I walk in this organza CeCe dress, it's like I'm on a runway. As the fabric flows around and behind me, I feel beautiful. The right outfit can really fuel my confidence and help me believe in myself -- and I really need that right now.

The clothes you wear mean something. It shows you take pride in yourself, and that can inform everything else you do.

Dress: CeCe by Cynthia Steffe (no longer available)

Sandals: Jimmy Choo Hesper 85 Mirror Leather Sandals

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bold in Red

Despite working most of the weekend in an attempt to get ahead, I still feel overwhelmed with work. There just aren't enough hours in the day! I've been getting up at 4:45, but I think I'm going to start having to get up even earlier. Sleep? Who needs sleep?

I needed something easy and comfortable to wear today, so I grabbed this beautiful eyelet dress from one of my favorite designers, Alice + Olivia. This dress feels bold -- mainly via the smart choice of red -- yet still soft and feminine.

Dress: Alice +  Olivia Karen Eyelet Embroidered Party Dress

Shoes: Schutz Scalloped Lace-Cut Leather Sandals (no longer available)

It's windy here in Atlanta today! I love when the wind throws back my hair at the perfect angle. It's much cheaper than renting a wind machine. ;)