Red Pant Redo

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweater - Kmart  //  Tank - Target  //  Pants - AE  //  Watch - DKNY  //  Earrings -  Forever 21 // Necklace - Crossroads Consignment 

Maybe you remember the red pants from summer (if not, no biggie - here's the linky for ya). This is my cold weather recreation using the same base pieces, adding a sweater and swaping the dainty necklace for a gold stag head. Oh yeah, the sandals are long gone too. I'm still getting comfortable with the cowboy-ish boots - thanks for your prior encouragement :)

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011

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In preparation for a Thanksgiving post, I went back to last year's to see what was on my mind. I found it, read it and realized I wouldn't change a thing. But since it would be unoriginal of me to post it all for a 2nd time,  here's a new list of a few things I'm thankful for in no particular order:

My health, planned travel, spontaneous travel, memories, blogging networks and communities, meeting many of my favorite bloggers in real life, nail art, salted caramels, the roof over my head, the shoes on my feet, the commute that means I have a job and the busy schedule that means I have friends, family and am fulfilled.

Whether you'll fellowship with those you love, rest and relax or shop to your hearts content, I'm wishing you and your's the happiest of Thanksgiving's.

Gobble gobble sweetie (pumpkin) pies!

Streets of SoHo

Monday, November 21, 2011

 Jacket - Zara  //  Sweater - Aerie  //  Necklace - Macy's  //  Earrings - Forever 21  //  Belt -  borrowed  //  Boots -  Shi  //  Sunnies - Sears  //  Bag - Steve Madden (seen here) 

I love shooting outfits on location (ahem, a fancy way of saying I was out of town and snapped some shots.) These come to you from SoHo, NYC where we spent the 2nd (more fun) portion of my week - the weekend!! And I'm super excited to debut my new jacket - if you could see my coat closet you would say, "Really, Ashleigh. Another one?" But yes, New York was freezing (convenient excuse) and bonus - the super soft collar is removable to convert into a straight up bad a$$ moto-chic blazer. And let's love on the goes with everything shade of peanut butter for a moment, shall we?

Also debuting on the blog, my red boots. Surprisingly, they've never had a spotlight on the blog but rest assured, if I posted every outfit I've worn in fall/winter for the last 3 years, 50% of them would be with these boots. They've been resoled, through rain/sleet/snow and even featured on our Christmas card, I can't get enough. Definitely one of my most favorite items, as the jacket is quickly becoming as well.

So... let's talk faves, what are your's lately?

P.S. I was selected as part of the Chicago Blogger Network style contest with a chance to win an Ipod! I just need your votes! Super easy - no registering, no account to set up, just select me, #7 (if you think I deserve it ;) and submit. Thanks in advance!  (I'm a few days behind due to travel so please help me catch up!)

Got Baggage?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A peek inside my carry-on bag

Though I've always been a particular packer, in the last year I've perfected my version of a well edited suitcase. Since I’m usually traveling alone it’s up to me to lug the bags so I like to be a light as possible. One of the things that always blows my mind is the amount of stuff people bring onto airplanes as carry on items. When I’m checking a bag and don’t have to worry about liquids or large items (and assuming my daily items - wallet, phone, iPod, sunglasses, etc. - are in my handbag) here are my absolute carry-on essentials.

Domestic flights:
  • Documents – Flight itinerary/hotel confirmation/directions/transportation info
  • Makeup – if my luggage gets lost and I have to wear the same shirt for 3 days in a row, at least my face will look decent. (Purchasing single items of clothes in a pinch is much cheaper than temporarily replacing an entire makeup collection.)
  • Camera
  • Laptop – fully charged
  • Cell phone charger
  • Travel liquids – only the necessities, usually just hand sanitizer/lotion
  • Light jacket – I favor this military one. It’s light enough to crinkle into my bag or use as a pillow, yet warm enough to knock off the chill. Pashmina’s are another popular option. In fall/spring, I pack my heavy coat in my checked luggage and retrieve at baggage claim.
  • Peppermint – in gum or candy form can help ward off nausea.
  • Reading material – book and/or magazine’s
  • Recycled napkins – grab a couple from Starbucks on your way to the gate and stash for a pre-landing facial oil blot. (Facial mists are popular for dry skin.)
  • Bag of almonds & cranberries. Peanuts aren’t free anymore folks.
  • Bobby pins – make an in-flight bun and remove upon landing for extra volume. (Don’t bother pre-bunning, some pins can set off the metal detector.)
  • Jewelry case – keep the good stuff nearby at all times.
  • Business cards – because locals have the best scoop!

 International flights:

 All of the above plus:
  • Passport
  • Cozy socks – an absolute must have, even in the summer. Not just socks, but the fluffy, furry kind. You’ll thank me. Airplane floors are freezing, especially in the middle of the night.
  • Travel liquids – as above plus makeup removers/creams
  • Toothbrush/Paste – you'll want this after 14 hours.
  • DVD’s for in flight laptop movie viewing – don’t forget the headphones.
  • Laptop charger
  • Optional – Non electronic projects: this is an excellent time to write cards/letters/thank you notes or birthday greetings for the month. They’re lightweight and can be mailed from the hotel.

Sometimes I like to consolidate to a small over the shoulder bag so my i.d. and boarding pass are easily accessible, packing my larger empty handbag in my checked luggage. Additionally, you may feel the need to carry-on other electronic chargers, you never know when your flight will be delayed, cancelled or worse, lost luggage!

I hope these come in handy for you, at least now I have a list standard list that I can refer to in the future, until now, it’s been in an excel format.

Happy travels!  

Traveling Alone

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunset over SoHo

For the first 7 years of my marriage Alex and I traveled everywhere together. Leaving town meant a vacation, no matter how mini. However, when I took a new position last year and the work travel amped up I had to get used to traveling alone again. Not that it's a bad thing, just strange not to have my airplane seat mate/baggage handler/local beer critic nearby. The worst part is that I'm a sharer (if having a blog isn't proof of that...) so being by myself means keeping my adventures to myself, at least until we talk again. Luckily,  I'm completely content to wander a city, talk to strangers or eat in public alone (gasp!). I guess you could say, the only problem I have with traveling on the solo is how sad it makes me that the ones I love aren't along to share it all. The point of this post, well I guess there really isn't one. I'm in the Big Apple (all alone) and just felt like sharing. You were warned :)

How do you feel about traveling alone - is the mere thought dreadful or is it a welcome escape?

P.S. Couldn't resist a roof top shot from my hotel. The building on the right is the office I'm spending time at this week. How's that for a commute??

Blogger Night Out

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last week a few Chicago blogger's got together for Mani's & Merlot. (Not the official name but catchy, no?)    Johanna arranged the salon, Cara chose the wine spot and the rest us just showed up to enjoy the show.     

The lovely salon space, Essential Nail Spa. Four days since my mani and absolutely no chipping - a record!

 With Zoe, letting our nails dry while....

 Cara, Mel and Kelsey get the final touches.

The finished product!  

The clan from left to right:

Then it was on to Vintage 338 where we sipped and munched and talked and talked and talked until nearly 11pm (on a school night!) Time flies when you're having fun...until next time!

Much love to Johanna & Cara for the organizing & Essential Nail Spa for the mani's.
Photo's by Johanna, Zoe and Cait.

Eddie Bauer Blogger Day

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Recently, I attended the Eddie Bauer Blogger Day in Chicago. It was a chance to preview the holiday collection and style some looks on our own - a fashion blogger's dream! I've always known that the brand was synonymous with quality, warmth and outdoors and after this event you can add 'style' to that list. Overall, I was incredibly impressed with the designs, patterns and sizing. Items fit well - especially the outerwear, and you guys must check out the jewelry - this was my fave piece. If it's been a bit since you've shopped the EB, I highly recommend getting reacquainted. In the meantime, here's a peek at what's up for grabs this season:

Men's flannel shirts have a special place in my heart. No joke.
A sweet memory from my buying years...

Finally got to meet Tabitha - she's adorable! 

Some of my favorite looks from the Holiday 2011 Collection

Life in the windy city requries a down coat, I'm in the market for a new one
so the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Loved this Red Satin Coat.

The MicroTherm jacket is sooo warm and so lightweight. It's almost unbelievable. 

Me + Hubs representing cozy sweaters

With the event organizer extraordinaire, Lainee.

 Tweeting about #EBBloggerDay post event. A blogger's work is never done...

Thank you to Eddie Bauer for hosting and including bloggers, it was a fabulous idea and so nice to get out from behind a computer to actually see and touch real product for a change. Jpeg's are great but nothing beats the real thing. Now, if I can ever decide which coat to get...

(photo credit: personal & Jeff Schears for Wireimage)

Oh Mia, Oh My

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last night, this guy:

 Husband  / Cat Father / Outfit Photographer

Gifted me with this girl:
the Sonic Skin Cleansing tool that dreams are made of

And now, I'm the happiest girl in the world.
I've only used it twice but it's my new favorite beauty/styling tool.

Don't worry

I still love you.

What's your favorite beauty/styling tool?
Heated eyelash curler? Mini cordless curling iron? Do share!

Black & Blue (jean)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shirt - AE  // Skirt - Kmart  //   Necklace -  Macy's  //  Belt - Vintage  //  Earrings - Gifted  // Boots - kelly & katie

The denim shirt/fancy black skirt combo might qualify as one of the most popular outfit blog ensembles of all time. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who post's outfits regularly that hasn't interpreted this look in her own way and who am I to not cooperate? Since the weather has been unseasonably warm this fall (thank you soooo much Mother Nature) I'm trying to get as much use as I can out of my skirts and tights (before things look like this again) including this sassy little number I picked up at Kmart for fourteen buckaroo's. (Same shopping trip as the sequin sweatshirt!) Call me crazy, but the Bieb's girlfriend {aka Selena Gomez} is becoming a bit of a favorite these days.

Have you experienced any unexpected finds lately?

Update: this look was featured on DailyBuzz Style's "Ladylike in Lace" Top 9 roundup - honored!!

Getting Ready Routines

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just curious...
How long does it take you to get ready?
I'm not a morning person so during the week I shower at night to ease my morning routine consisting of face washing, teeth brushing, makeup, hair (sometimes) and dressing. The whole process takes about 35 minutes.

For weekend days I can be out the door in 15 minutes. Minimal makeup, hair in bun, standby outfit. No thought required.

However, for events like a date with the hubster or nights on the town that deserve a bit more effort I need a solid hour and a half. I think it's pretty reasonable considering that it includes a shower with hair washing and shaving, a blow dry, precise makeup and more hair love than a bobby pinned bun. Not to mention time to decide what to wear. It's a process I actually enjoy if I have the time, an event in it's own right if you will...

So what about you - what's your getting ready routine? Do you have different routines for different days?

Are you a quickster or a 3 hour prep person? My friend does her makeup in the car and another keeps favorite handbags in her trunk to switch them on the go. Any tips or tricks to share?

Sequin Sweatshirt

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sequin Sweatshirt - Kmart  //  Black Silk Top - AE  //  Cobalt Jeans  -  Volt   //   Bracelets - Tiffany, Forever 21  //  Watch - Michael Kors  //  Nails - Sally Hansen Real Polish Strips

After all the hemming and hawing about a costume we ended up not going out for Halloween this year. (Unbelievable right? A first in surely a decade.) And gosh darn it I had a whole costume outfit post planned. Hopefully I can make up for it with ssseeequiiiins!! On Sunday I fell for a sequin sweatshirt at $60. On Monday I found a similar for $16. Trick or TREAT! Boo-yah. So of course I put it on instantly and headed to a pumpkin themed celebration at Fountainhead where we sipped on pumpkin beer and dined on dishes like Squash Arrancini with Sage Walnut Pesto Cream, Pumpkin Stew and Pumpkin Cheesecake Fudge Brownie and Pumpkin Ice Cream with Walnut Brittle and Bourbon Caramel. Told you things can get a little pumpkin crazy this time of year...  Then it was home to love on the black kitties with my silver spider nails. They love this holiday, or at least I tell them they do.

How was your Halloween?? Spooky Spectacular I  hope!