Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Tablescapes - Three DIY Ideas

I have loved creating tablescapes ever since I discovered Sandra Lee on the Food Network years ago! I love how she took a holiday, created a theme, took it to the table, and even to the door as guests left with a sweet party favor. And because of her inspiration, I have tried to create simple table settings for our own holiday, and any other party, we've hosted.

So with Thanksgiving just three days away, which I can't even believe, I took some time to get my dinnerware together and created a few test runs in the tablescape department. You don't need a ton of fancy centerpieces to make an elegant or whimsical table. All you need is some festive dinnerware, autumnal colors, and a few small things to place in the center of the table. 

When it comes to centerpieces, or tablescapes, keep it as minimal as possible. You don't want to distract from the gorgeous dinner at hand or the amazing company that has gathered around the table. And, keep everything low. You don't want to block the views of the people in front of you. You want to be able to look across the table and look them in the eye when conversing.

I started with my antique Iroquois dinnerware that my mom and I found several years ago at our favorite antique store. I loved the colors and design within the place settings and the serving pieces are just as cool. We've been able to fill in the gaps with replacement pieces we've found online. I love the idea of taking in someone else's treasures!  It makes our dinner table even more special.

I've added in a couple of different charges, one in a grapevine wreath design and the other in gold. I found the wine glasses and water goblets at Pier 1 last year. I love the rich amber color. 

From there, I scoured my cabinets for some fun and festive fall themed pieces to create a couple of possible centerpieces. I love the idea of playing around with turkeys, it is the main event of the dinner ahead, but I also love the corn cob candles, the bud vase filled with flowers, and the different glass pumpkins. So many great options! 


 I set the table first. I placed the grapevine wreath charge below the gold one and then piled on the dinnerware from there. The dinner plate, then the salad plate, then the bowl, and a nicely folded napkin is placed within the bowl. I even have sweet little butter plates for each place setting. There's even a little place setting for McKinley. Don't leave out the little ones. Make them feel like they're part of the "big people table"! He has his own plate and a sweet little turkey ornament as his napkin ring.

For the first tablescape, I set out four sweet bud faces full of gorgeous fall flowers. The flowers are fake and can be picked up at any arts and craft store. I got mine at Michael's. I placed a colorful turkey between each vase and that was it. I love it! I think it's my favorite of the three! 

So simple yet so chic!

Next up is a cute little centerpiece created around a colorful little ceramic turkey. I placed two taper candles on each side of the turkey and one corn cob candle on the end of the tapers. Still low for conversation and it adds a little whimsy within an elegant place setting. 

Lastly, I clumped three different pumpkins pieces together to create a very small cluster within the center of the table. One thing I would love to add is a bouquet of sweet flowers within the orange pumpkin one. A cluster of mums or vivid yellow roses would be amazing! Maybe I will rethink my original version and play around with this one.

I definitely think the bouquet would make this really pop! I do like the cluster effect. It keeps the table open for all the food! And a couple of bottles of wine. (Note that the turkey ornament napkin ring is missing. McKinley decided he needed it more than the table did. A sick three year old wins every time.)

One thing I have learned is to never have scented candles at the dinner table. You never want the scent of the candle to interfere with the aromas of all the food being served. Candles do set a gorgeous mood. Just make sure they are unscented.

What is your favorite way to set the table? Do you reach for the china or your every day dishes? Do you have a family piece that you serve from every year? I love incorporating traditions. It keeps it so personal. Please share your Thanksgiving traditions and ways you ready your table! I can't wait to read them!

Monday, November 24, 2014

November Tres Chic

This month's Tres Chic brings you darling mini dresses with an unexpected twist, long sleeves! So many short dresses are either sleeveless or strapless. I love the long sleeves on these little dresses. They're sexy without being over-the-top. You can definitely wear them to work or for date night. A versatile dress is definitely a must-have in every girls closet! See how Lauren, Caitlin and I styled ours!

Lauren of Classy and Fab Girl

 dress – Bluetique | black tights - ModCloth (similar)| scarf – Nordstrom (similar) 
purse – Zara | shoes – J shoes | pearls – Bluetique 

Caitlin of SophistiCAITed


And lastly, mine!

 Vest: H&M (similar); Dress: Piperlime (similar); Tights: Target; 
Heels: Louise et Cie (50% off); Necklaces: Ann Taylor/Talbots  

Next months brings the holidays and I bet you can't guess what we're thinking about styling? See you in December! 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Faux Fur Obessed!!

Coat: Nordstrom (gift/similar); T-Neck: Ann Taylor; Jeans: Loft (similar/on sale); 
Boots: Halogen (similar); Handbag: Pour La Victoire (similar); Shades: MbyMJ; 
Necklace: Ann Taylor

 By now I'm pretty sure you all know how obsessed I am with faux fur anything! And this little number is no exception. I mean, this coat is everything! What's better than black and white faux fur in a chevron print that's reminiscent of a Rachel Zoe piece?! I feel like I'm channeling my style icon and cyber guru!

And in true RZ fashion, I went with a great pair of flared denim, black heeled boots, and statement necklace. Now, if only I could walk a day in her shoes and truly learn the art of styling!


With it being this cold in November, I'm pretty sure we are in for the long haul of freezing temps! I can't wait to keep styling up my faux's! This one especially. I have a few things in mind and can't wait to share!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Dress - Two Holiday Looks

Vest: H&M (similar); Dress: Piperlime (similar); Tights: Target; 
Heels: Louise et Cie (50% off); Necklaces: Ann Taylor/Talbots  

Remember the pictures of the dress I wore to our anniversary dinner? They were dark, unfocused, and not truly blog worthy. But I was so excited to share the look that I overlooked the poor quality! That's not the case today. Broad daylight does wonders, no?

I am in love with this dress! It's so comfy, so chic, and the perfect piece for the upcoming holidays. Whether it be for a family Thanksgiving day gathering, or all those holiday parties on the horizon next month, it can be worn in so many different ways. Today I'm bringing you two looks, that with the removal of a MAJ vest, goes from trendy to classy in an instant.

I went into H&M to look for one specific piece and walked out of the store with this statement piece instead. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and I haven't had an ounce of buyers remorse since. It's simply amazing! I am constantly styling it in mind, and now that it's beyond freezing outside, it's time to take this vest for a stroll! I really like how it brings this dress down a notch. It makes it more playful and whimsical. I loaded up the pearls, added my fav berry lipstick, and wore my new pony hair heels. I just love it!


If you aren't into such a bold vest, simply remove it. You are left with a simply classic sheath. Again, keep the oodles of pearls and berry lip, and this look is cocktail ready!

Which look is your favorite? Would you wear either of them to upcoming holiday events? I can't wait to bring you more holiday looks! A stylists dream!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fair Isle - A Timeless Classic

Sweater: Ann Taylor (similar); T-Neck: L.L. Bean (gift/fun option)
Boyfriend Jeans: LOFT (similar); Sneakers: Jack Parcell; Hat: Ann Taylor (similar); 
Shades: Prada (gift); Gloves: Target  (gift)

Fair Isle sweaters are having a moment right now, but let's be honest, fair isle has been around for ages and it's timeless! I received this t-neck as a gift last year for my birthday and I'm not sure why it took me so long to pair it with one of my favorite cable knit sweaters. It's freezing here in Kansas City and all I can think about are layers, wool, and more layers! These pieces were perfect for a cold Sunday of laziness!

 The Fair Isle Sweater: Before and After

Texture, texture, and more texture! I'm loving the chunky cable knit mixed with the fair isle, mixed with the faux fur on my gloves! People talk all the time about mixing prints, but mixing textures is so rich! And my hat is a fav as well. A great way to stay warm without having to worry about doing your hair for the day. A win/win, right? I did mention it was a Sunday full of laziness!

When it comes to staying warm, what are the pieces you go for? Do you layer several pieces or throw on one big piece? I need all the inspiration I can get because I'm thinking the temps are here for the long haul....

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sting Like a Bee

Top: Kate Spade; Blazer: LOFT; Jeans: LOFT (on sale); Heels: French Connection (on sale);
 Belt: J.Crew; Necklaces: The Zoe Collective/Stella & Dot

Remember last Monday when it was in the mid 60s and you could run around town in just a 3/4 sleeve blazer with a sleeveless top underneath? And you sat outside for over two years so your son could watch the crane trucks put up a Christmas tree in the middle of Crown Center? And then you went to dinner with your girlfriend and took pics and it was still in the upper 60s? I remember it like it was a month ago because it's been freezing since last Tuesday!!

So now you know I wore this darling bee top with a cute blazer and skinny jeans for the day. During the day I sported flats because I just can't do heels with a three year old. I only wish I was as cool as Rachel Zoe and could pull it off with as much ease as her. I simply can't! I switched them out for cute (new) heels for evening because I am cool enough to rock that look for evening!


 The Top: Before and After


Also, do you remember that time the aforementioned girlfriend told you how thin you looked? I do! I've lost six pounds, and like any good super model or celebrity would tell you, I didn't do anything do it! Don't you just love those answers.....

Hope you're starting off your week with a fashionable bang!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Home Accents - Thanksgiving Decor

As a blogger things are ever evolving, and if they're not, then I feel you're not growing. For me, I've been going through some growing pains of my own with both the blog and personally. As most of you know, I've been staying at home since April and it's been a major adjustment. I've gone from working outside the home full-time for 17 years to working full time at home in a blink of an eye. McKinley and I have grown together in this process, but I feel like I still need to grow personally and professionally. 

Awhile ago, I tried to add some lifestyle posts to this blog, but at the time it wasn't a good fit. That is until now. My personal style has changed from corporate business looks to heading to the zoo or farmstead looks. Still the same closet of clothes, just a new way of styling them and I think I've made that transition fairly seamlessly. I still provide styling tips, before and after styling ideas, and what's currently on trend and how to add to your wardrobe. It's just on a more relaxed scale than a say January!

As a result of being at home, I've had time to do things around the house that I've always wanted to do. I've been redecorating, doing some DIY projects, becoming a Mompreneur, and I've wanted to share all of this with you. However, I was unsure of how to do it. This has primarily been a personal style blog, but I really want to start adding some lifestyle posts. As I've evolved my style outside of just clothing, I feel that my blog should evolve as well. I want to bring you crafting ideas, DIY projects, share funny stories about McKinley, show you fun things we're doing together, crafting projects for you and your kids, home decor ideas, and of course how to dress to impress while lunching at Chuck E.Cheese or making sugar cookies. 

Today I'm bringing you my first lifestyle post of what I hope is many. I am a huge fan of decorating my home for the holidays. Any holiday! We just transitioned from Halloween to Thanksgiving, a forgotten holiday in my opinion, and I had an overwhelming response to a photo I posted of my favorite nook in our living room. Just a few simple pieces can take an antique washstand to a darling table for giving thanks. 

Here is what you'll need:
1) Table for displaying
2) Wood or glass pedestal
3) Three pillar candles in varying height
4) Beaded grapevine wreath
4) Faux pumpkins or gords

Let's get started! I made this sweet piece several years ago and it's been one of my favorites for fall. I took a black wooden pedestal and added three burnt orange candles to the center. Place two tall candles in the back and the smaller in the front.

I found the small wreath at Michael's and I loved how the berries had a sugared appearance. Little elements like this add texture to the piece. The pumpkins came in a pack. Best way to purchase crafting items is in bulk! You never know how you will use them.

Next up, place the wreath around the candles and place at their base.

Starting adding your pumpkins to fill in the spaces around the sides of the smaller candle. 
Decorating Tip: Always clump or place things in odd numbers. Threes or fives are the best. Anything more starts to look cluttered.


This is how mine came together.

Another thing I love to do is frame beautiful cards that I just can't throw away! I've done this Halloween, Valentine's, and Thanksgiving cards and it's so easy and inexpensive. You don't need to get a really fancy frame. Just a simple black frame will do. For this one, I cut the card to fit and placed it on the table. 

Now it's time so decorate the table. Place higher pieces toward the back and decorate around it. I placed my Pilgrim's, some loose pumpkins, and the photo to one side of the table leaving room for one large accent piece at the other.

Here's the final look. I love this little nook. I added a basket weave cornucopia to the empty space to the right of the pedestal. It's all the area needed.

 There is a small space to the left of our front door that sat empty for a long time. I found this antique washstand and it was the perfect fit. For most of the year it houses photos of McKinley, but during the holidays, it's full of sweet treasures.

As my faithful readers I want to hear from you. Do you want to read about and see more posts like this? Style is a way of life and I feel like I try to live a stylish life daily! Whether it's putting a look together or currently creating McKinley's playroom, it's all about style. I hope you want more because I have so much to share. Like creating the playroom. I'm having a blast! 

Happy Friday, Fashionista's!