Refinery29's Next Big Style Blogger Contest

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hello lovelies, I'm here today to ask a big favor... you see, I've entered the Refinery29 Next Big Style Blogger Competition (eeps!) and your support would mean the absolute world. If you feel so obliged, hop on over to Refinery29 and click the heart next to my entry (it'll look like the picture above). (At the moment, it's easiest to find me by clicking the 'Popular Contestants' tab and scrolling until you see my mug shot.) There are some fabulous bloggers in the lineup and I'm sure you'll find a few new faves in the process, I already have!  Thank you in advance for the support now and always!

P.S. There's a convenient little badge in my side bar if you'd like to come back and vote again. And again, and again. Just sayin'. ;)

We have a winner!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sara of Project Soiree, come on down!

Thanks to everyone for playing!
Stayed tuned for another sweet special offer coming up soon, you won't want to miss this one, promise! 

In the meantime, if you're in the love-y spirit, check out this couples contest from H.Bloom happening in NYC, Chicago, DC and San Francisco. Nominate yourself or your favorite couple to win free flowers (& more) for a year! And if you'd like to put in a vote for us, we'll take it ;)

Errand Day

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jacket - BDG (old) similar //  Sweater - Forever 21 - similar  //  Pants & Beret - aerie  //  Necklace - J.Crew (old)  
 Boots - b.o.c. (old)   Watch - DKNY  //  Bracelet - Gorjana  //  Sunnies - Sears  //  Scarf - gifted  
  Clutch - Asos sold out, I'd recommend this

Two weekends ago I ran errands wearing skinny jeans and a sweatshirt. (Fashion blogger what?) Ok, a shirt a little better than a sweatshirt but still not appropriate for dinner and drinks with friends, which is exactly the plans my sweatshirt wearing self ruining when errand day turned from a full afternoon on the town to dinner time and event invitations. I vowed not to make that mistake again so I stepped it up a little for this weekend's errand day just in case. I swear these most-comfortable-boots-in-the-world are not different heights in real life, must be a weird angle.

And if this outfit were a room, it'd be... my head anyway. I'm dreaming of redecorating lately. Anyone want to volunteer to peruse my living room inspiration pins and let me know what my taste is, where I should be shopping and how I can make it work with some of what I've already got? I'd be your best friend forever.

P.S. Last day to enter the Valentine's giveaway, winner will be announced tomorrow!

P.S.S. ps - I'm part of refinery29's next style blogger contest and would love it if you took a minute to vote for me (just click the little heart by my photo). You might have to scroll around to find me, but here are lots of other lovely blogs in the contest so maybe you'll stumble on some new favorites as well!

Because You're Sweet... A Valentine's Giveaway!

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's nearly the end of January and that means 2 things: we're one step closer to spring and Valentine's Day is right around the corner! As discussed last year (here and here), in my opinion, February 14th isn't just for lovers. On this proclaimed day of love I enjoy giving happy surprises to all the sweethearts in my life - Mom's, Dad's, Brothers, Aunts, BFF's... This year I'm going with personalized Classroom Cards from Minted, I mean just look how cute!

Can you guess which one I'm choosing? Hint: it's in my New Year's Resolutions. And if I can get my act together my friends are lucky, they'll receive a real version of the sweet treat along with it.

Minted is being a sweetheart and offering 15 free classroom cards (one set) to one of you! Classroom Valentine's Day cards are the perfect size (2.5" x 3.5") for desk drops, sneaking into your friend's bag, hiding in a lunchbox or the obvious - handing out in a classroom.

How to enter:
Simply leave a comment below. Feel free to mention who your Valentine will be this year... hubby, your baby, grandpa or maybe your favorite barista? (Be sure to leave an email address if you're not a follower.)

For extra entries: (leave separate comments for each)
-Be a GFC follower
-Follow@LittleAshleigh on Twitter
-Like Little Girl, Big World on Facebook
-Share giveaway on Twitter - tag @LittleAshleigh
-Share on giveaway on Facebook - tag @LittleGirlBigWorld
-Correctly guess which card I'm selecting from the 4 above (hint)

Minted also has an assortment of adorable valentine notebooks and full-sized cards, perfect for those folks that were just too busy around the holidays to send out greetings. (In addition to beautiful stationery, invitations, announcements, etc.) I had the opportunity to preview some of the collection at Blogher last summer. The quality is fabulous and I just loved the designs - selected from independent graphic designers and design challenges, which I think is way cool. Plus, I'm a sucker for a good story

Good luck!! Contest ends Tuesday, January 31 at 7:00pm EST. (This is a quickie! Gotta give you time to make your selection and personalize...) Winner will be announced on Wednesday morning! 

I received product in return for this post, however, my opinions are my own, based on my experience and interaction with the brand. As always, if I don’t love it, I don’t tell you about it. There are no affiliate links, only direct ones so you can see for yourself! Read my official (i.e. “wordy”) disclosure here.

Bloggers need to get out from behind the computer & here's why (Oh, & an event recap)

Friday, January 27, 2012

First, look through these pictures and tell me you're not jealous...

Racks of Lara Miller clothes, hair and makeup artists that worked their magic and took me from drab to fab, a photoshoot for Lara's Spring 2012 Lookbook. Am I bragging? Maybe a teeny bit, but only so you'll realize how important (and fun!) it is to get off the computer and get out there and meet some new friends.

Photos by Fig Photography, see the full lot here

There's a new network in town and it's fun-times galore. (Events that center around fashion and cocktails... I'm in!) Even before we had CBN, local bloggers were creating our own meetups, like Mani's and Merlot, simple dinner's or date days. Lately, it feels like I'm on the once a week plan (a bit much perhaps) but the point is, I'm loving every minute of it and I think you would too. So you might say, "Oh, but you're a social person, Ashleigh." No. No I'm not. Maybe more so now because I've been practicing, but at heart I'd rather go home and watch Modern Family. In fact, even when I've got an outfit planned, have spent the day pumping myself up and am driving in the right direction I'm usually thinking of excuses to turn around, head for the couch and rest. I make myself go. Why? Because I love my blog and your blogs but I need a break from the computer 10 hours a day and fabulous pictures telling me I need to buy more fabulous things and Pin-spiration that I'll never get around to doing. I need real interaction with real people and real connections.

If you're overwhelmed, start small with just a few of you. Eventually, bring a friend, then they'll bring friends. Don't worry about conversation, you already have so much in common you have no idea. If nothing else you can vent about blogging issues, pet peeves, etc. Conversely, many times we never even touch on that subject - sometimes you just need a breather.

It'll make you feel like a stronger blogger. Your network will grow online and in real life. And if you think these people are cool on the internet, you have no idea how awesome they are in person.

*Update: 1/31/2011

The official photo!

See the full set here.

A Doe, A Deer

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Last night leaving work I passed a deer, as I sometimes do, and was inspired to share my affinity for the dear little creatures. I don't know what it is about them but I'm always captivated and slow down to watch (for safety too, of course.) I love how the white underside of their tails stands out and how delicate and graceful, yet powerfully strong they seem. And to be honest, it breaks my heart a little every time I pass one that met the end in an unfortunate car accident. Last year, I found this image online and thought it was the most fabulous ring ever but was never able to locate the source. Apparently, the store has disappeared. One of those internet mysteries... what a shame. *Update 3/2/2012 - found it!

I credit a lot of my deer enthusiasm to my Grandfather, who was a bit of a nature lover and who, to me, represented grace and sweetness in the most strong and powerful way. Seriously, I wish you all could have known him. Ok, ok you say, what does this have to do with regular programming? Well, I'm honored to own one of his black onyx deer cufflinks (they were a gift from my Grandmother). My mom turned hers into a pendant and I'm dying to transform mine into an awesome statement ring. Can't you just imagine? When it happens, I'll be sure to share it here. In the meantime, I've been wearing this necklace quite a bit.

In other relation, I acquired this little guy over the holidays and he's currently housing my assemblage of rose gold which I absolutely cannot get enough of these days.

deer / watch (similar) / bracelet / earrings (similar) / ring / band
Recognize that bowl?

I mean, I just can not get enough. Anything sweet or special you can't get enough of these days? I'd love to know!

P.S. My glitter Christmas deer and the sweeeeetest cake topper!

Mad for Mint

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
runway photos via Getty

There might be snow on the ground but I've got my sights set on spring and sunshine. Mint was a prominent trend on the Spring 2012 runways and I've fallen hard. In other words, I'm completely mad for mint, having a mint moment, am a mint maniac, etc., etc. This not quite green, not quite blue hue looks especially wonderful with neutrals and gold. Last year it was nail polish, this year it's shoes, handbags and jewelry, oh my! What spring trend are you super stoked about?? 

Snow Shoes

Monday, January 23, 2012

L to R: Roxy / The North Face / Sorel / Sorel 

The weekend dumped another snowstorm on the city. While I enjoy snowy strolls, I'm not a fan of the slip-sliding or shoe ruining that comes with it. That's why, roughly between say December 1st and April 30 I pretty much only sport snow boots outdoors. My beloved Coach pair has a cost per wear of probably a penny by this point. And while I'm not looking to replace them, an incident I witnessed this weekend inspired this cute boot round up {female exits a cab, steps into a snow bank while wearing stiletto's, loses a shoe and stands there freezing, balancing on one foot while her friend tried to find it.} And I had to ask myself, just why? when there are so many cute boots out there. Now get out there and snow safely & (stylish!)

The Best Sweater Ever?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The older I get the more I realize that if something's not comfortable I won't wear it. No matter how fabulous it looks, what a great deal it was or how outfit post worthy it might be - if it itches, hangs weird or feels slightly "off" it will just end up just taking space in my already cramped closet. (Except for shoes, thou shall suffer for shoes.) Enter, The Best Sweater Ever?. I say that with a question mark because I'm leaving it open for opinions (after all, that's a pretty bold claim) but for this girl, it's working. Here's the thing about sweaters: I adore the look of big chunky cable knit, the luxury of cashmere, and the warmth af an extra layer. But here's the reality: most are itchy, hot or heavy and as discussed, I'm stubborn about that. Yet I'm completely smitten with this one. Why? It's lightweight, breathable, is totally an effortless layer (I love it over dresses!) but it's not itchy, hot or dry clean only (I do hand wash it.) I belt it, leave it flowy and even tuck it in to high waisted trousers. Therefore, it's quite possibly the best sweater ever. I purchased cornflower blue in fall and wore it here. And I recently bought 2 more - strawberry and olive. Sorry for sharing my epiphany so late, it really hadn't been cold enough yet here to want to reach for it daily (which I totally do now) {oh hi, 7 degrees} but there are still some left - and cheap - hurry!

   The Best Sweater Ever? over a tee in NYC.

The Best Sweater Ever? over a dress in Tennessee.
(Did I mention she travels well? See, there's nothing she can't do!

Do you have a favorite sweater I need to know about? Do share!

P.S. More on sweaters here.

Fashion Fix: Denim

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Does your denim fade fast? Shrinkage giving you the blues? Confused about care?
At a reader request (I'm listening people!) today we're talking blue jeans, baby!

Caring for Denim:
  • Wash infrequently. Unless you're wearing the same pair daily or in dirty situations (I'm not even sure what that would be...) denim doesn't requires a wash with each wear.  Put it off as looong as possible to retain color, shape and fabric quality. Unless you're going for the perfectly 'broken in' pair.
  • Turn jeans inside out before washing. It prevents additional bleeding and helps even out any fading that might occur.
  • Wash in cold water using a mild detergent. (See below for recommendations) Never, ever, eeeever wash in warm/hot, unless of course, you need some shrinkage or are up for fading. 
  • Always air dry. The hot air from the dryer will shrink and fade your favorite blues.
  • As for storage, folding or hanging makes no difference. I prefer folding as the thick fabric doesn't wrinkle much and they just seem so heavy on hangers. 
  • Steam or iron as needed. Denim has as high cotton content (more on the awesomeness of cotton) and can take the heat (hee hee) when it comes to removing wrinkles.

  • Old jeans looking tired? Try washing them with a new pair to freshen them up! 
  • On the flip side of the aforementioned tip, don't wash dark and light denim together.
  • Use a color enhancing detergent or one formulated for darks like Cheer brightClean or Woolite Dark
  • To regain the crisp, newly laundered look in between washings, lightly mist with water and pop in the dryer for a few minutes.

Extra Credit:

When your favorite blues have bit the denim dust, don't give up yet. Take inspiration from a few of these ideas, bust out the scissors and studs, and get to work!

Need more ideas? Here's a whole blog dedicated to Denim Therapy!
Do you have a question for Fashion Fix? I'm accepting 'issues'! :)

Fashion Fix is a new series dedicated to helping you care for your favorite pieces or solve your fashion dilemma's.  In case you missed it, check out last week's post on Sweaters!

Sh*t Fashion Girls Say

Monday, January 16, 2012

Soooo hilarz, it deserved it's own post.

A few of my favorite quotes:
"It looked like Forever 21 vomited all over her."
"I'm going to earmark this page in case you're feeling spendy."
"I have nothing to wear!"
"How do we feel about bangs?", "I think I'm going to get bangs.", "Oh my gawd I hate my baaaangs!"

But remember kids...


Update 1/25/11: Shut up. There's a Part 2!!!

What a Week

Friday, January 13, 2012

Johanna of 101 Things I Love, Jennifer of Red Soles and Red Wine, Moi, Monica of The MidWasteland
photo by Kevin Aeh

Man, this was a rough one! (As you might have noticed by my disappearance around these parts...) But it did include some goodness like a date with Johanna (which provided the 'cat attack' picture above that just cracks me up) and the little snowstorm pictured below. (It's no Snowmaggedon but it'll do.) This happened yesterday afternoon and as it was the first significant snowfall of this winter, we decided to get out in it last night for a stroll - which was equal parts freezing and pretty. Bonus =  it's just in time for our winter weekend getaway to Michigan with friends for a little cooking, game playing, skiing and large consumption's of wine. Have a happy one friends!

P.S. It's Friday the 13th - you know I love it!

At this point I'm thinking, "Somebody should have left work much, much earlier..." 

My view for nearly 2 hours. This kept me company. 

 Laser flakes!

 Snowy rocks on the beach.

Video Skyping with the mother-in-law. Technology is so darn neat! 

Mullet Manicure

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm dubbing this the Mullet Mani because it's business underneath, party on top!

I picked up this glitter polish in the fall at the Nordstrom Beauty Show. When the sales girl said real 24 karat gold flakes, I said "You know what rhymes with gold? Sold!" (Ok, that didn't happen but it would've been soo cool right??) I'm a fan because the flecks are different sizes so you never know what pattern you'll end up with. I decided to layer it over a neutral (2 coats of Sinful Colors "Vacation Time") after being inspired by this and I'm totally digging it. The pictures are lame, I know that. Can I do better? Sure. Was I too excited to wait for natural light? Guilty. Darn you daylight savings time!

P.S. The base color is really pretty on it's own it you want a non-pink natural color. And it's only $1.16 at Walgreens!

Fashion Fix: Sweaters

Monday, January 9, 2012

As bloggers and fashion lovers we spend time browsing, lusting after and not to mention our hard earned cash on some pretty fab pieces. I'm all for taking care of what you've got - if you love it why not?  So this begins a new series of offering solutions to some common fashion dilemma's. I'll be sharing some of my favorite tips for taking care of your favorite pieces. Since it's January and many of us are rocking the daylights out of some sweaters at the moment let's start there.

Caring for Sweaters:
  • Always fold, never hang.
  • Remove pills frequently. Pilling (those tiny lint balls permanently attached to elbows, armpits, hip area) are caused by friction. Remove with special tools like a lint shaver, sweater comb or even your fingers. This is the single most issue that makes sweaters appear old.
  • Repair holes quickly. This is important so the holes don't "grow". The beauty of many sweaters is that the texture somewhat absorbs any repairs anyway!
  • Hand wash. Regardless of the instructions (unless Dry Clean Only) I hand wash all of my sweaters using Woolite in cool water. This helps them retain shape and cuts down on pilling (less friction!). Additionally, don't wring them out, simply squeeze and roll in a bath towel to absorb more moisture. Lie flat to dry on a ventilated drying rack.

  • Avoid 100% acrylic or high acrylic blends. Though technology is much better than it used to be, I still find acrylic to be one of the worst culprits for pilling.
  • Allow deodorant, lotions and perfumes to absorb completely before putting on your favorite cozy.
  • Avoid moth attacks with cedar blocks or moth balls (be ready to re-wash after removing from storage though - pee-yew!)
Do you have a question for Fashion Fix? I'm currently open to issues!

Wishlist Realized

Thursday, January 5, 2012

aerie goodies  /  domino book  /  asos clutch  / rose gold watch (similar)

Took a notion to share a few of my favorite gifts received this year. I'm still majorly lovin' on them and figured since many of us spend time blogging and pinning wishlists of fabulous items, it might be nice to show a little appreciation for the ones we actually become lucky enough to call our own.

The older I get I'm realizing if we're going to do this whole gift exchange song and dance every year, we might as well ask for what we want so I'm becoming less shy about sending ideas and hints when pressed. Turns out, Santa (and elves and Mom's) hang out a lot here (which is totally cool with me.)

What were your something specials this year - did you receive an it item from your wishlist?  Have you shared your gifts with readers? If so, let me know, I'd love to check out how lucky you are. Heck, I might even totally copy you and add them to my own. You know, Valentine's is right around the corner... ;)

Hope this doesn't sound at all braggy -ugh.  (So worried you would think that!) Just feeling like a lucky/satisfied girl at the moment. Shoot - I'm still lovin' on last year's too! 

I Married Adventure

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Starting my new year goals off on the right track, specifically to read more, I dove into "I Married Adventure" on New Year's Day. Though the book has been in my possession for a couple of years, I'm just now getting around to reading it and kicking myself for taking so long. (You may remember my obsession with the now shuttered Martin & Osa stores, which lead to more research and the discovery of a museum about the real life couple and their adventures.) I'm completely enamored by this book. I re-read pages over and over, sometimes out loud to my husband, in sheer awe of their experiences in the undiscovered world, pausing just to try and imagine what it was like. I could ramble on and on about it but really, you should just read it. And when you're finished reading it, use it in your home decor. It's uber popular in interiors due to it's zebra print cover design and has even been incorporated into the theme of wedding/engagement shoots. Peep the proof below!

Clockwise from top left: via Lonny, Country Living, unknown, Green Wedding Shoes

Once I finish the book, a road trip to the museum is on my absolute must do winter weekend list. So excited!
Have you read it? What did you think?? Have you or are you currently displaying it in your home?  Do share!

Happy 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Well here we are...three days into the new year. Welcome 2012!
Remember when I said I was going to take a bit to rest and rejuvenate for the new year? That's exactly what I did and I couldn't feel more refreshed. I also wasn't paying attention to the timing of the holidays so when I said I'd be back on January 1st, I had great intentions but just couldn't bear the thought of logging in on off days. (Sometimes, a girl's just gotta unplug. Do you ever feel that way?) Plus, (crazy confession) I get overwhelmed with the thought of the first post in the new year. (So much pressure!)

So as I was we are. What a fab year 2011 was, huh?

In January, we discussed open toed shoes with tights and created dream boards. Feburary brought fun times like the colorful Chinese New Year Parade, a Snowmaggedon and my very first outfit post! March offered adventures like a trip to LA and a fashion event I had a hand in planning. April came with cotton, green beans, and gratitude. Oh, and nail stickers!! May meant menswear, mint, and meaning. In June, we shared tips for shopping consignment, donned little black dresses, and colorblocked brights! July (and some of August) saw me travel for 34 days in a rowa milestone birthday, and my favorite look of the year - dip dyed tips! September started Spot the Steal, and held good times like a Winery Tour, Bridesmaids Party and a Beauty Show. October equaled a creepy manicure, trips to Tennessee (1,2) and lots of pumpkin spice latte's. In November we talked baggage (packing that is), and I had the opportunity to meet some of you lovelies at this and this. And finally, in December I shared my Christmas crib, our holiday card, a peek at my modeling debut with Too Faced cosmetics and my gift giving strategy.

Overall, I've been overwhelmed by the support, kindness and opportunity I've been offered this year: on, because of, and outside of this blog. Most of all, I'm grateful to you:  for reading, following along, sharing your thoughts and making me realize each and every day that I'm lucky to call this a hobby. (This was quite the year of meeting many of you in real life - bonus!)

Looking ahead, I reflected on last year's goals and am pretty pleased with the outcome. In 2012 I'm inspired to:
  • read more.
  • drink more wine (why not?)
  • travel even more (oh, how I love it.)
  • be fabulous (life's too short to be anything but fabulous!)
  • stress less.
  • master the art of macaron making.
  • create a mean gallery wall.

 Aaaaaand we're off! Happy New Year Lovelies!