Monday, February 25, 2013

Feature: Brooke

Today's featured blogger is Brook from Lemon Drop Shop where she shares about all things party and DIY. She also has an adorable etsy shop - my go to place for all things party like paper straws, cupcake flags, and treat bags. She is also a full-time working wife and mom of three little people (and two rather large furry quadrapeds--aka fat cats). Her clothing choices need to be versatile - she look for clothing that can be dressed it up with a pencil skirt or could work with jeans.

Brooke knows how to make pattern work. A while back, she was slightly obsessed with plaids (and threw a bit of houndstooth in the mix. Both looks are comfortable and neutral enough to be changed many times over. They work for three seasons and can be punched up with any color to for a little pizazz (if you wish).

You can find Brook regularly flitting around on pinterest and occasionally on facebook and twitter.

Outfit details: Left: shirt - j.crew factory // skirt - j.crew factory // tights - target // shoes - target // belt - target // necklace - target  Right: dress - H&M // tights - target // cardigan - old navy // boots - nordstrom rack // purse - tjmaxx // necklace - groupdealz

If you would like to be considered to be one of our featured bloggers, email Shannon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday's Fancies: Red Carpet Ready

This week's Friday's Fancies theme revolves around this weekend's Oscar awards. So let's pretend for a hot second that my nine to five job involved working the red carpet.

A girl can dream, right?
dress | shoes | bracelets
I like dresses to be comfortable, and this dress looks flattering and less constricting than a lot of other dresses out there. Plus it has built-in bling on the neckline. What more could a lady want? Throw in some Louboutin's (obviously) and some easy bangles and you are ready to work the red carpet.

What would you rock if you got the chance to strut your stuff?

Disclosure: Compensated affiliated links may be used in this post.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

101: Spring Pencil Skirts

I don't know about you, but I am over winter. It has been way too cold recently. Spring better hurry up and get here - only 26 more days! One of my favorite spring to summer work essentials is a pencil skirt that steps a bit outside of the traditional conservative suit attire of my work place. Something about warm weather loosens dress code up, just enough that you can get creative with print in classic shapes. Here are some of the top styles you can find this season:

Anthropologie Mint Skirt (pair this with a classic white button down and a navy blazer and it meets even the strictest office dress) $98

J.Crew Double Serge a forever classic with a twist in fresh pear, on sale for $98, other colors $110 (like colbat blue that I have my eye on!) 

Modcloth Lei it On I love the way this skirt could go from boardwalk to board room with an accessory quick change. The key here is making sure that when you wear this skirt to work, the rest of your attire is finished well. $39.99

Boden Modern Pencil Skirt my favorite of the options. I would wear it to work, a bridal luncheon, and church on Sundays. It is classic, and its versatility is limitless. $88

Monday, February 18, 2013

Featured Blogger: Kim

::: Work Environment and Staples ::: 
I'm so excited to push through my fear of showing my personal style!! I am an interior designer, a stay at home mom and a blogger!! Whew...needles to say, my style changes hourly! It almost always has to be comfortable and movable ( heels for this girl) I am either, chasing a 3.5 yr old, meeting with clients with arms full of "stuff" (plans, tiles, fabrics, photos) or sitting at my computer writing, researching and spending way too much time on social media.

Because of my ever changing schedule, I have a few major staples in my wardrobe. Cute Flats, Dark Jeans (I like to say "spills to stylish in 10 seconds flat") and cute accessories, mainly a chunky bracelet and long necklaces! I love Banana Republic and Forever21 for necklaces and bracelets...did you laugh at the difference there? Here is why..I like cheap pieces that are cute, that my son can pull on, and I don't worry if they break (Forever21) but I also like to have nicer pieces for client meetings, that look a little more expensive. When I am blogging, I am typically wearing a t-shirt or sweatshirt and jeans.

::: Does blogging make you a better employee? :::  
We just recently moved form New York to Nashville. While in New York, I worked for an architect 3 days a week, and stayed home with my son 2 days a week. I have been blogging since 2011, and I think it definitely helped me in my day job. I feel like I am more aware of all things design now. I always see things while shopping for clients that catch my eye and make me think, "oh I have to write about that!!" Also, blogging started out as a hobby for me. So it relaxes me, it helps me focus!! 

::: Do you see blogging as a means to recording life as alternate career? :::
I waiver on this. At first, I absolutely just did it to record life, and share great finds with my readers, along with honest mommy moments. But as my readership grows, and I make more connections, I am getting more offers. I can see that it IS an opportunity to make money, but I am so afraid that I will LOSE some of the passion behind it. I am staying open!! Trusting that whatever this little blog is suppose to turn into, will happen ;)

::: Is blogging your main outlet? Or do you have other hobbies? ::: 
Meditation is my main outlet, blogging is second. Before leaving New York, I had a daily meditation practice. It grounds me, it calms me. Now that we have just moved to Nashville, and I am a full time at home mom, its been a struggle balancing everything, I haven't been meditating as much, but I am still blogging ;) Blogging is really my passion, its what I like to do with my down time!!

::: How do I find time to do it all? ::: 
Here is the truth. I don't. Its really that simple. I absolutely do not find time to do it all. Its a struggle for me. I want to be present in everything I do. SO that means when with my son, I am 100% WITH him...when I am blogging, I am 100% WITH Design Thoughts. That's what I WANT, It just doesn't happen though, the way I make it work, is giving myself a break. Remembering that real life balance isn't equal. Its 20% here, 50% there and 30% over there. NOT balancing everything equally is my balance!!

The one thing that has helped me a bit, is starting a weekly schedule and trying to stick to it. So Mondays are my days for housework (cleaning, groceries, re-arranging) Tuesdays are my days for blogging, so any chance I get, I am blogging. Wednesdays are my days that I commit to my OTHER project called Moms Just Being, a Facebook community of moms who support each other, that I started with my two friends, Thursdays are my "Social Media" days, and Fridays are free days. I try really hard to stick to the schedule, but also know that the world doesn't end if I dont post on Instagram on Thursday!

::: What have you been pinning lately? :::
I had a major window treatment fail at my own house (way too short) so I have been pinning color block curtains. A hopeful solution to my problem! Also, I am WAY into large scale items, so anything and everything large scale.  

You can catch up more with Kim on her blog, Design Thoughts 
or on facebook, twitter, instagram, google+ or vine: Design Thoughts

Outfit Details:

Navy Polka Dot Shirt-$39.95 GAP
Banana Republic Skinny Jeans Dark- $35.99 on sale!!
Grey flats- GAP ( I don't remember the price I have had them forever!!)
Necklace- Banana Republic( last summer )$16.99

if you are interested in being one of our featured bloggers, email shannon for details

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday's Fancies: Red + Pink

Though it's a day past Valentine's Day, {av} picked an awesome theme for this week's Friday's Fancies with red + pink. Nothing screams love like those two colors, and here's how you can easily do it in the office!

sweater | skirt | shoes | bracelet | bag
Did you rock red + pink for Valentine's Day this year? And tell me, what did you do to celebrate the holiday??
Disclosure: compensated affiliate links may be used in this post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

101: Travelling Shoes

If you live in a city and travel through public transport or walk, you have probably heard of "travelling shoes." They're the shoes you throw on to get to your office, swapping them out for a more appropriate work pair. A lot of people just through on their sneakers and call it a day, but I'm a firm believer in cute travelling shoes.

They don't need to be anything fancy; you're just schlepping in the elements in them. But they don't need to be ugly! Check out a few of my go-to travelling shoes.
+ The Hunter wellies seem a bit self-explanatory for me. There's no reason to ruin any pair of shoes in the rain or snow. Hunter's solve that problem quite stylishly. And adding in a pair of boot liners makes them warm enough for the winter! Also, if you have big calves like me, Hunter has a pair of boots for you. So don't be discouraged by the small leg opening!

+ Madewell's Skimmer flats are cute and perfect for sunny days. If you often wear heels in the office, this is a good pair to step into when you're walking to the subway or home. They're airy, though they do require a bit of breaking in. I highly recommend this technique.

+ Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes are a classic in my opinion. They're my constant weekend companions, so they're super broken-in and perfect for walking around on the street. I don't mind if they get scuffed up; I feel like it adds character.

+ I feel like I need to defend the Uggs a little bit. I know they are not the cutest shoes on the block. But this button pair isn't the worst out there. And, quite honestly, nothing keeps my feet as warm as my Uggs do. Plus they're easy to throw on and off when I get into the office.

Do you use travel shoes for work?

Disclaimer: Compensated links may be used in this post.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Feature Flashback

While the North East is buried under a few feet of snow, I can't help but begin to dream of Spring. Transitioning my wardrobe from season to season is always the biggest challenge for me. How do I get rid of the pattern of black on black on black? Alex does this seamlessly  With a few accessories and a classic blazer, she takes a summer frock and makes if three-season office wear. See the full details of the original feature here and here.

Are you ready for Spring? 
What are your favorite ways to transition your wardrobe?

p.s. Alex just got engaged last week. woot, woot! pop over and share your congratulations!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday's Fancies: Lots of Layers

This week's Friday's Fancies theme is perfect for the office: layers! It's entirely necessary when you're in an office to have multiple layers. Some rooms are warmer than others (especially in my office), so I like to have as many layers on as possible. If your office doesn't allow sleeveless tops, just swap out the blouse for a long-sleeved version and you're set.
blouse | sweater | shoes | skirt | purse
What kind of layers do you rock in your office?
Disclosure: compensated affiliate links may be used in this post

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Join Us on Instagram

instagramers: @alexhubbardsays // @otbc // @thescribblepad

We would love to see all of your nine to five looks. If you snap a shot of your outfit of the day, use the hashtag #ninetofive and we will check it out and you might even show up in one of our roundups.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Featured Blogger: Courtney

To kick off the return of our Featured Blogger Monday, we bring you a woman who gets to wear jeans every day of the week. Yes, we sort of hate her too! Kidding, we actually love Courtney. She is a working momma who still has killer style. You can read more about her and her little family on her blog, Bowdenisms.

::: Describe your work environment from a style perspective :::
I am incredibly lucky to have a job where I can wear pretty much anything I want. We’re a casual clothing retailer, so that translates to a pretty laid back office environment. My role as a visual merchandiser means I’m pretty active throughout the day (building window displays, climbing ladders...basically rolling around and getting dirty while we “make pretty”) so I tend to skew on the more casual (i.e. practical) end of dressing. And it means heels are a non-option, which is fine by me.

::: What are your nine to five staples? :::
Because I work at AE, people always ask if I have to wear all their clothes, but that’s not required at all. I do end up wearing a ton of it because it’s stuff I like (and I get a sweet discount!), but I still mix in a ton of other brands as well. My look day to day is pretty similar- almost always jeans, with boots or flip flops (depending on the season) with a basic top. Most days I add a scarf (I’m scarf obsessed), and I pile on the jewelry. I tend to rotate favorite pieces and similar outfits (I wear navy and grey a lot) but then have fun by changing out the scarf for a different pattern, or throwing on a bright cardigan to add a pop of color. Now that I’m pregnant, I find my style hasn’t changed much at all...I just have to size up a bit, and shift the belt a little higher.

::: Does blogging make you a better employee at your day job? :::
Yes and no. I think my awareness and involvement in the blogging community helps me to make connections with ideas. You never know where the next creative spark is going to come from, and with the endless amount of inspiration out there in the blog world, its a hugely valuable resource for me. As for my actual blog though, I intentionally keep it pretty separate from my work life. I rarely post about my job, and in general use my site as a personal account of what I’m thinking or feeling at the time, rather than a space to collect creative ideas. The “work me” and the “blog me” are the same girl, so my style and personality is incorporated into both 9-5 just cares a lot less about seeing my baby’s pictures.

::: Do you view blogging as a means of recording life, or as the start of an alternative career? :::  
I guess you should never rule any possibility out, but for now it’s just an online scrapbook for me. I’ve been writing for five years, and I’m so thankful for the memories, thoughts and emotions that I have recorded on my tiny corner of the web.

::: Is blogging your main outlet, or do you also write novels, run marathons, and knit all of your own sweaters? :::
Ha! Yes. I do all of those things...most days. Plus, I grow my own organic vegetables, organize a local soup kitchen and host a karaoke night on the weekends. I’m pretty much unstoppable. Except not at all. Between working full time, raising a one year old, and preparing for a new baby (in June), there’s not a ton of time for hobbies. I do tend to have my hands in all kinds of different things passions just rotate pretty regularly. Sometimes I’m obsessed with sewing baby legwarmers, and then the next week I’ll have a dream to learn to play the banjo. I find no matter how busy I am I have to have a steady stream of things I’m learning or working on, to keep my creative drive satisfied. (Plus I love some reality TV. An outlet for sure.)

::: How do you find time to do it all? When do you blog? :::
Isn’t that the million dollar question? I’m actually pretty fascinated by the idea of how people (and specifically women) “do it all”. I shared a typical day in our lives on my blog recently, in order to “show our real”- getting rid of the façade of over achievement and perfect lives, and showing what a real day looks like. Each day is different, based on schedules, priorities, or even just my mood, but the idea of striving for balance in total versus trying to make sure every single day is structured to include everything helps keep me sane. Sometimes I blog every day ( I don’t) and sometimes I only manage to write once a month. The same goes for every other area of life. I may not give my kid a veggie at every single meal, but in general she gets the nutrition she needs. I think it’s so important to share these realities with others- especially in the world of blogging which can get so competetive and fake. (Join in on instagram- #showyourreal)

::: Finally, what have you been pinning lately? What are the items you are just dying to add to your work wardrobe? :::
I don’t pin a ton of fashion...I'm more of a recipe and DIY project type of pinner. (Check out my pinterest profile here) But I just bought a leather clutch I'm super excited about. Because my job is so casual (and my weekends even more so) I find it hard to invest in things I need, but will only use rarely, like dressy shoes, or a fancy dress. I have to force myself to buy those types of things sometimes to keep my wardrobe from getting too heavy on my formula of "jean + striped shirt".

::: Outfit Details :::
Top: Collective Concepts from Stitchfix

Tank: Old Navy They actually call this shirt a “tami” because it’s a cross between a tank and a cami....I like the thinner straps with the lower scoop in the back. Plus they’re long enough to cover my ever expanding belly. Love that.

Boots: Macy’s. These are the perfect go-with-everything (seriously everything) boots. I featured them in one of my Closet Crash Courses, and started a small all my friends have them too!

Jeans: AE (gotta rep my company!)- Jegging in Dark destroy. I know not everyone is as lucky as I am to be able to wear jeans to work (and destroyed jeans no less...) But this outfit could easily be made office appropriate with a quick pant swap. Another maternity tip? Skip buying maternity jeans for a while. I get jeggings or skinnies in a size or two larger than normal. This gives me room at the waist, but the stretch still preserves a good fit in the legs. (maybe I ended up going 3 or 4 sizes larger by the end of my pregnancy last time....ignore the number and just go for what works).

Owl Ring: Forever 21

Boyfriend Watch: Fossil. This was a gift from my husband a few years ago (ok 4 years ago) and I still wear it constantly.

Bracelets: AE

Necklace: Chain + d (or b, or p!) + heart whistle: Anthropologie // Dot feather: Madewell
The necklace and charms were a valentine’s day gift last year. I love that the “d” stands for my husband’s name, but can also be interpreted as a B for our last name or a P for our little girl. I added the feather when I got it on super-super sale at Madewell (seriously, I paid in change.)

+ + + + + 

If you would like to apply to be part of our Monday Featured Blogger series, email Shannon.

Disclaimer: compensated affiliate links may be used in this post

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fridays Fancies: Après Ski

So I went for a stretch with this week's Friday's Fancies. Obviously the après ski theme {av} picked out is adorable, but this is a work-style blog. So here's an outfit to wear the Monday after you hit the slopes when you're looking to be extra cozy.
sweater | pants | necklace | flats
Everything is loose and cozy, and the flats will keep your feet super comfortable. You don't want to have to think too much about your outfit after such a draining weekend! Going back to work is rough enough. Or you could always play hooky and get a few more runs on the mountain...not that I condone lying to your boss. Not at all.

I mean, if you do, I'm not judging you...
Disclaimer: Compensated links may be used in this post.