Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

Today's outfit is a mix of fall and summer staples - the temperatures here in St. Paul are getting cooler and I want to wear my favorite skirt a few more times before white eyelet is no longer seasonally appropriate.(I really hope Sealed with a Kiss makes this skirt style in fall and winter fabrics...are you listening, Sarah?) So I paired it with one of my new favorite fall tops- the black and red striped sweater from Forever 21. I'm also excited to be wearing one of my favorite pair of ballet flats, again. Let's hear it for transitional outfits!





The Outfit:
Black and red striped sweater- Forever 21+
Black tank top- Gap
White 'Freesia' eyelet skirt- Sealed with a Kiss
Jeweled buckle belt- Gap
Murano glass bead bracelets- Red Envelope
Gold hoop earrings- Lia Sophia
Bow ballet flats- Payless

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just in at Kiyonna

It's been a while since I clicked over to Kiyonna to see what's in their current collection. I'm so floored! I kept saying, "Oooh, I like that. No, I like that!" Kiyonna has stepped it up, versatility-wise. For a long time, I felt that the line offered the same four cuts in five different colors....and that was about it. Not anymore! Kiyonna is out with a really diverse selection of tops and dresses, even jeans.

And yes, they do still create the same piece in several different colors - which is actually pretty great. If you find something that fits perfectly, you can stock up on it. Here's what caught my eye.



The Satin Siren Dress in Graphic Rapture



The Boardwalk Breeze Top in Grass Green



The Roselyn Ruched Tank in Cherry Polka Dot



The Jemma Ruched Dress in Black

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lovedrobe Transitional Collection

Guess what, you guys? We now have another season of clothing that we can shop for! Yes, there is no longer the need to make that (sometimes) clunky jump from Summer's tank tops to Fall's chunky knits. Nope...we can transition from one to the other with official Transitional Collections. I know I certainly don't need another reason to shop, so I'm going along with this one. Especially when the transitional clothes are as cute as what Lovedrobe has produced.



These are just a few of the transitional pieces from Lovedrobe, available for purchase from Evans. They're transitional because, although the prints are decidedly Fall (deep purples, blacks and leopard print) the cuts and fabrics are light and airy.

Lovedrobe sent me a few samples to test-drive for you; here's what I picked:





This deep amethyst tunic features a very chic flutter effect that extends from the sleeves, across the chest. It's very roomy and begs for a belt and skinny jeans or leggings. I'll bet it would look great tucked into a high-waisted skirt with tights and booties, too.





I fell for the autumnal paint strokes that define this little dress. The plunging ruffled neckline is the perfect mix of sexy/sweet; and I like the subtle tiers of fabric along the hem.

You can find Lovedrobe's Transitional Collection online at Evans.

*Lovedrobe sent me the two items I've reviewed, at no charge. The opinions included in this review are my own and are unaffected by the complimentary receipt of the clothing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Beauty Stash- Aromafloria

Today's Beauty Stash features products from Aromafloria. It's a brand that's new to me...which products will find a permanent place in my beauty stash and which will not?



On a side note- I'm sorry for all the "uhms" in this video. Terrible, I know. I'm recovering from a cold and am still having a hard time focusing. At least, that's my excuse.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ashley Stewart Vest Remix

A few months ago, I participated in a sweater remix challenge with Tina (T Minus, T Plus), Kimberly (Fab Finds Under $50) and Maddy (Plus Model Magazine). We each bought similar sweaters, then put our own unique spin on it to create a look. It was so much fun that we've decided to do it again.

The one piece around which each of our outfits will revolve is this gorgeous Faux Leather Vest with Belt from Ashley Stewart.



It's the absolute definition of urban chic...though I will admit that I was a little uncertain as to how I would make it fit my personal style. I pulled it out of the package and gulped. It's amazing - very well made, with perfect attention to detail. But the vest just didn't look like me, upon first glance.

And then I turned it around. And immediately clapped my hands in delight. The ruffle detail that's visible on the sides of the vest go all the way around the back and create a modern bustle effect. So girly! I decided to embrace the vest and go all out with my vision of a Bombshell date look: sultry pencil skirt with a clingy pink top, purple snakeskin print slingbacks, and dangly earrings. The form- fitting vest topped the outfit perfectly.





And here's how Tina and Kimberly used the vest to express their own style:


Tina's look is perfect for her conservative law office. Just goes to show that you can add your own special kind of sass to a professional work setting.


I love that Kimberly paired her vest with jeans! She'd tried it out with a couple different looks and we all, hands down, loved this casual twist.

Maddy couldn't participate in this round of the remix because she got sick...but I know she would have put together something fabulous. Next time!


My Outfit:
Faux Vest with Belt in gray- c/o Ashley Stewart
Pink open cardigan- c/o Sealed with a Kiss Designs
Ponte knit skirt- Lane Bryant
Dangly silver feather earrings- Forever 21
Purple snakeskin print slingbacks- Jessica London

*Tina contacted Ashley Stewart to see how we could purchase the vest since it was not in-stores at the time that we got this great idea. They were kind enough to send us the vests for these posts...and good news! They are in-stock now, so you can snag one too.

Everyday Bombshell

Here's the debut of one of my new fall pieces: the striped Forever 21 cardigan. Granted, it looks pretty summery (if not just a little transitional...)paired with my cameo blue classic surplice dress. But still. In my mind, I know it's a fall cardigan.







The Outfit:
Nautical striped cardigan- Forever 21+
Cameo blue Striped Surplice Dress- Sealed with a Kiss*
Cameo pendant - Grandma Ruth's (one of my all-time favorites)
Gold hoop earrings- Lia Sophia
Black slingbacks- Jessica London

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fall Additions

I'm looking forward to pulling some of my fall favorites off the top shelf of my closet, steaming them and getting them back into the wardrobe rotation. But what fun would fall be without a few new pieces of clothing, too? Here's what I'm adding to my closet this season:



My friend, Sarah, at Sealed with a Kiss has told me I'll fall in love with their Monica Jeggings. She's never steered me wrong before; plus they're long enough for those of us who are taller than average. And I picked up this Tiger-print skirt from the clearance section of Talbots. It's going to be so versatile, and will go with practically any solid-colored top in my wardrobe.



I love plaid but have such a hard time wearing button-down shirts. They always make me feel manly. But the ruffle detail on this version by Lane Bryant is a great feminine detail; and I'll tailor it to fit my curves to perfection. Fall is a season that begs for structure, just like the Trapunto Trim Long Top from eShakti. It'll look great with jeggings or a skirt. And the Pima Cotton Turtleneck that I ordered from Talbots is so soft and light; it'll become my go-to piece for layering under sleeveless dresses all fall and winter.



I need to jump on the Allegra Dress from LucieLu - the sizes available are very limited. I love the simplicity of this classic dress, from the flowing hemline to the puffy ruched sleeves. Maybe Lucie will cut a few more of this cutie...



I wear the heck out of my pale pink Open Cardigan from Sealed with a Kiss, and think this luxe grape purple shade would be a pretty shot of color to lighten up my darker fall clothing.



And last but not least, I've had City Chic's gray Military Jacket with Tails sitting in my hall closet for weeks now...it seems like a terrible idea to actually wish for colder weather, but I can't wait to wear this.

Your turn- what are you adding to your wardrobe this fall?

Shopping Craze

I almost lost my mind while shopping this weekend. My best shopping cohort and I spent a couple hours this Saturday browsing the racks at Forever 21 and Banana Republic. I went into the excursion with nothing but an urge to shop - no plan for what I wanted to add to my wardrobe; no real idea, even, of what I want to wear this fall. Leggings and tunics? Lace and blazers? Tights...shift dresses...bib necklaces? What do I need and what do I want?

I quickly became overwhelmed. I would pick things up and then put them down. Stuff a couple dresses in my shopping bag and then pull them back out. It was ridiculous. My friend and I started laughing at our contradictory shopping styles.

I agonize over every purchase. "Do I need this? What would I wear it with? Don't I already have a dress with a similar pattern?"

She buys what catches her eye and will figure it out later. We're both well-dressed women (if I do say so), so it's obvious that there is no right way to shop. There's only what is right for each woman.

I came home with two items - both of which I love and am excited to wear.



This sheer striped sweater fulfills my craving for Back to School preppiness - offset with a feminine detail in the puffed sleeves. I'll wear this with skinny jeans and boots; tucked into a black high-waisted skirt with tights; and over a denim pencil skirt with ballet flats. Striped Knit Top in Red & Black ($14.80)



I picked up a cotton cardigan very similar to the one Kimberly of Fab Finds Under $50 is wearing here. My cardigan came from Forever $21 ($24.80), though it's not currently on their web site. This nautical combination nips in at the waist, and will look great over a variety of dresses and long tunics.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bring on the Boots

I know I'm not the only one who is sooo ready for fall fashion. Fortunately for me (I guess?) the temperatures in St. Paul have been relatively cool - perfect for breaking out my new boots. These boots will be a staple in my fall wardrobe. Can't wait to tuck my leggings into them.



I bought them on clearance at the end of this winter from Jessica London, and they perfectly fulfill the desire I had for cowboy boots. I've worn them twice over the past week or so, layering them up with a denim pencil skirt and blazer for work:





The Outfit:
Sweatshirt blazer- Gap
Striped scarf- Forever 21
Laura Top - c/o Sealed with a Kiss
Refined Denim Pencil Skirt- Lane Bryant
Silver feather earrings- Forever 21

Then with my striped tee-shirt dress for a date with Dan and a few of our friends:




The Outfit:
Striped tee-shirt dress- Gap
Filigree earrings- FredFlare.com
Green purse- Franco Sarto

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Plan Ahead- Halloween

For those of you who are longtime Bombshell Beauty followers, you know that I'm a firm believer in planning ahead for specific events. I think it's a good rule of thumb to buy certain clothes before you need them. Because it's not always easy to rush out the day of a big date or a funeral or a holiday and find the perfect outfit. Which is why it's not even September and I'm talking to you about Halloween costumes.

Plus size Halloween costumes can be hard to come by. But they are out there...I promise! Look - plus size Halloween costume!


Don't worry, I won't sting you.


I might wiggle my antennae at you, though.


I'm flying! Or buzzing? Whatever honey bees do.

When Minnesota-based HalloweenCostumes.com contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd be interested in reviewing one of their plus size costumes, I made a bee-line (ha) for this Honey Bee Costume. So cute! Plus, I think it would be hilarious for Dan to dress as a flower. We'll see if he agrees.

In addition to mass-market costumes like the one I chose, HalloweenCostumes.com carries a selection of exclusive plus size costumes that can only be found on their site. With over 180 different costumes ranging in sizes 1X-3X, and at a variety of prices, I think you'll find your own Honey Bee costume. Something that makes you look forward to heading out this Halloween.

To make sure your costume fits as expected, be sure to double check your measurements against the sizing charts for each outfit. And don't forget to check the hemline...Halloween costumes (especially the "sexy variety) are notoriously short. As point of reference, I typically wear a size 18 and am 6' tall. I ordered this costume in a size 3X/4X and it's quite roomy. I'll bet I could have sized down and it would have fit perfectly. Check out HalloweenCostume.com's return policy here. (Which highlights another good reason to order early, ahem.)

I'll remind you again when it gets closer to Halloween, but take my advice and start looking now. You don't want to wait to the last second and end up going to the big Halloween party as a Golf Pro (something I did once...it was pretty decent as far as last minute/free costumes go. But not much fun!).

*HalloweenCostumes.com provided this adorable costume to me at no charge. This does not influence my opinion of them or their offerings.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kissed with Style


For today's post, head over to my regular guest blog page on Sealed with a Kiss's blog. Click here to see how I style my favorite summer dress for two totally different occasions.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

Today's outfit is very...shiny.

Shiny satin dress.


Shiny mixed metal necklace.


Shiny gold threads in the shoes.

I certainly didn't feel that shiny wearing the outfit...which is kind of a shame!

The Outfit:

INES dress- c/o Shop Translated
Black cropped cardigan - Jessica London
Mixed metal necklace- c/o Lane Bryant
Black belt- Gap
Ballet flats- Payless

Friday, August 12, 2011

50% Off at City Chic

I love a good City Chic sale...because they definitely know how to do it right. 50% off select summer merchandise right now! Here are just a few of the pieces you can snap up for half off.







Everyday Bombshell

A friend of mine was posting on Facebook a few days ago, recalling things from childhood that she missed. One of them was Track and Field Day at school. Me? I hated Track & Field Day. It was a day of torture- running races and jumping rope as many times as possible in a minute and seeing who could punt the football the farthest? Basically...an entire day of gym class? No thanks!

And yet, I realized that today's outfit was chosen for the grown-up version of Track & Field Day: my department's annual summer picnic. I work with a lot of really fun people, so the summer picnic is not nearly as traumatic as Track & Field Day. But we do grill out and play games (Minute to Win It style). I find it amusing that, for as much as we all grow up, we kind of never actually do.







The Outfit:
Emmylou Tunic- c/o Sealed with a Kiss
Mossimo skinny jeans- Torrid
Jeweled belt- Gap
Gold swirly necklace- Entourage (boutique in Athens, GA)
Gold hoop earrings- Lia Sophia
Ballet flats- Payless Shoes

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

Guess which is my favorite color. Can you spot it in today's outfit? It's subtle, I know...







Green! You know, I've learned a really great color lesson over the past few years. Sometimes you need to just go for it and buy that brightly colored cardigan or pair of pants or tank top or shoes...even if you don't have anything in mind to pair it with. If you buy the color, the inspiration will come. In ways you probably can't even anticipate.

I've had this white skirt for a couple months, and I've owned the green and white striped tee shirt for several years. Never thought to pair them together until I picked up this green cardigan. And now I have dozens of other, similar, combinations coming to mind. I love that.

The Outfit:
Green cropped cardigan- Jessica London
Green and white striped tee- Old Navy
Eyelet "Freesia" skirt- c/o Sealed with a Kiss Designs
Purple belt- Merona, from Target
Necklace- Arthur's Jewelers
Black bandage espadrilles- Jessica London

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beauty Stash- Velcro Rollers

Sometimes, it's hard to figure out what exactly makes a hairstyle look fine versus great. Extra smoothness or fullness...or, I don't even know. I'd kind of given up on even trying to recreate the hair perfection that my stylist is able to achieve. Until she gave me a tip. Wanna know what it was?





Velcro rollers! I'll admit, I scoffed internally when my stylist suggested I give them a try. But they're very cheap and readily available (at Target, Ulta, Sally Beauty Supply) and I have a lot of time on my hands so I thought I would give it a go. And you know what? I love them. LOVE velcro rollers.

This is my hair pre-velcro rollers. And this was about as good as it got. It was fine.



And here it is after using velcro-rollers. It's full and soft and smooth...fantastic!


Plus, using velcro-rollers has cut down on my styling time AND my hair is healthier because I no longer spend 45 minutes blow drying my hair straight and then taming it with a flat iron or curling iron. Nope, I can let my hair air dry. Air dry, people! This was not possible before because I have curly/wavy hair that needed to be blown straight and then straightened some more. Here's my new routine:

1.) Air dry hair.
2.) Pull out a large barrel curling iron and the velcro rollers.
3.) Curl hair, wrapping the strands around a velcro roller immediately after they come off the iron.
4.) Do makeup, get dressed.
5.) Pull out velcro rollers and go.

If my hair is a little flat on day 2 or 3, I'll touch up the top pieces of hair around my crown. Recurl and put in a couple velcro rollers. They are definitely staying in my beauty stash.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

This black and white striped dress was one of the best purchases I've made in several seasons. It's become my go-to dress; something I know will make me look and feel great, no matter the occasion. I've worn it to work, mostly, but the sweetheart neckline is perfect for evening events, too.



I combined an old styling piece with a new one...belting (not new)this soft, green cardigan (new - from The Limited). I love how lightweight the cotton is, and the subtle tiers that fall down the front of the cardi.

I've never bought anything from The Limited before, although I have tried to squeeze myself into a few of their pieces - no go. They stop at a pretty small size 16. But stretchy cotton tops and cardigans seem to work.

The Outfit

Striped dress- Forever21 +
Green tiered cardigan- The Limited
Jewel buckle belt- Gap
Bow-front flats- Payless Shoes
Pinecone necklace- Grandma Ruth's