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NYX haul!

Hey y’all!

Last weekend while in NYC I was able to set foot in a brick and mortar NYX cosmetics store. Now, this is so amazing because up until that very weekend, I didn’t know NYX stores existed (don’t judge me, y’all!) ! Imagine my surprise and delight!

My husband was amused by me.

If I could have taken the whole store with me, I would have. But since I only had 3 pounds to spare in my checked bag, I only brought a few items home with me. I’m starting to think that NYX is my new favorite brand! Keep reading to see what I got and a few flicks of me wearing these products.

1. Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

Y’all have heard me say before how oily I am, so I’m always looking for products to keep me matte. Previously, I had been quite loyal to the MAC brand and wouldn’t have dreamed of using any other foundation. However, when adult acne took hold of my face at around the age of 26 (that’s a post for another day), my dermatologist told me that my beloved foundation was not the best for my skin type. I went on the hunt and have been ever since. I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll settle with this foundation, but I’m liking it in the meantime. The fact that it’s only $7.50 doesn’t hurt either! It does a decent job of keeping me matte and lasts all day. I also like that there’s a nice variety of shades. I got this foundation in “Deep Golden”.

2. Gotcha Covered Concealer

I’m a huge fan of contouring (when it done right; heck, sometimes I still miss the mark) so the kind of concealer I use to achieve my desired look is important. I usually go for concealers that are easy to apply and don’t cake. Though this concealer is not the easiest to apply with my flat top brush (it may be easier with a beauty blender), I do enjoy the consistency of it and the overall coverage. Again, there’s a range of colors to choose from which made it easier to find a color that matches well with my complexion. I got this concealer in “Golden” (sensing a theme yet?).

3. Soft Matte Lip Cream

I love matte lipstick! I love even more that these matte lip colors don’t dry my lips out. I picked up three of the babies, two of which are the same color. I decided to pick up two lip creams in “Los Angeles” because I thought this color was discontinued! I’d gotten it a while back in one of the NYX sample kits and had fallen in love. However, I was never able to find it at my local Ulta. I was despondent…ok not really because I literally have over 100 lipsticks, but I really wanted it. So, when I found it tucked away in NYC, two had to come home with me. By the way, shout out to the ladies of the Union Square NYX store! They were super knowledgeable and helpful! Thanks girls! The second color is “Toulouse” which you’ll see me wearing below.

4. Slide on Lip Pencil and Pin-Up Pout Lipstick

My obsession with lipstick has lent itself to a slight obsession with lip liners. I picked this one up after seeing it on one of the ladies working at the NYX store. I believe the combo she was wearing was this lip pencil with the “Dubai” soft matte lip cream and it was gorgeous; I was sold. The name describes this pencil perfectly. It glides on so easily and with good color! I got this pencil in “Urban Café”. I’m wearing it below with the “Toulouse” soft matte lip cream.

The Pin-Up Pout lipstick was a freebie with my purchase! BONUS! I actually haven’t used it yet, but I snagged it in “Deep Dirty Mauve” for the freeski (it’s and $8 value).

Here I’m wearing the foundation, concealer, soft matte lip cream in “Toulouse” with the “Urban Café” liner.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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Weekend Rundown: A Girl About Town

Hey y’all! Happy Super Bowl! I hope the team you favored won; if not, better luck next year!

This past weekend was exceptionally eventful for me, not including Super Bowl festivities. Keep reading for things to do if you live in the Raleigh/ Durham or Triad areas.

1. AR Workshop Raleigh

On Friday I met up with the ladies of my book club for dinner and what I thought would be a wine and design of sorts; I was wrong. I’d chosen to paint a centerpiece wood box. When I sat down, I realized there was no box in front of me, but five pieces of wood waiting to be sanded and stained. This place is a real workshop!

It was a lot of fun, though overwhelming at times, to put this piece together. Choosing the colors for my box was the hardest, while sanding was my least favorite. I hate the feel and sound of sandpaper. Luckily, I have friends who spoil me.

All in all, it was an amazing time. I think I did a pretty decent job, and plan to go back to make a lazy susan. If you’re not in Raleigh/ Durham, that’s fine because these workshops are all over (find locations here). I highly recommend this for a girls night or date night with your honey.

Though I didn’t get any decent photos of my outfit (I was having too much fun), I’ve linked similar items below.

{Necklace inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6} ••• {Boot inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4}•••{Bodysuit inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5}•••{Kimono inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5}

2. International Civil Rights Museum and Center

On Saturday, my husband and I ventured into Greensboro to take some photos and be tourists. In our travels, we briefly visited the International Civil Rights Museum and Center that is housed in what use to be the F. W. Woolworth Co. building. When we visited, they were not offering self guided tours and we were unable to stay for an hour and 15 minutes long guided tour. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. We will be returning in the near future for a full visit.

On February 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Their passive resistance and peaceful sit-down demand helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South. Their commitment ultimately led to the desegregation of the F. W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960.

How cool is this street?

If you noticed the miscellaneous box, it’s because I got the opportunity to partner with Le Tote! Check them out and get 50% off your first box with code “HEARTLT”.

{Coat inspo: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5} {Jeans inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6} {Blouse inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5} {Bootie inspo: 1| 2| 3| 4}

3. Melt Kitchen and Bar

After our downtown frolic, we grabbed lunch with friends a Melt. This was our second time here and it was just as delicious. I had the pimento cheese burger with a side of mac & cheese. I’d initially decided on the duck club, but psyched myself out of ordering it. Luckily my friend girl got it so I was able to taste hers; it was equally as delicious. The duck fat fries were also amazing. Melt has two locations in Greensboro. I highly recommend it for good and fast eats.

4. Red Oak Brewery

The Red Oak Brewery Lager Haus and Biergarten is a super cool location. Equipped with many different table top games and even corn hole, it’s a huge space to gather with your friends or family. Of course Red Oak’s signature beers are on hand (the black oak is the bomb!) as well as a variety of wines. Food truck are usually available Wednesday through Saturday, or you can bring your own food in.

5. Mindgames of Mebane

This was my first escape room experience. Honestly, if I hadn’t gone with someone who’d been before, I probably still be there. I had no idea where to start, but once we got going we were pretty much on a roll. We made it out with minutes and clues to spare (wipes sweat from brow). We’ll definitely be back to check out the other rooms. It was so much fun for a Saturday date night location.

What did you guys do this weekend? Did you discover anything fun/ new? If so, share in the comments. As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me. If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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Valentine’s Day ’18

So Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether you’re stepping out for an intimate dinner with your man or a obstreperous night with your girls, I’ve got your outfit inspo! Keep scrolling for more…

Red is the quintessential Valentine’s Day color. I layered my red blazer over a lace bodysuit for this look. I personally would wear a bra under this bodysuit, but depending on whether or not you wanna make it to dessert, bra is of course optional. I’m not here to judge! I paired this look with high waist jeans since they create a sexy silhouette. I opted for my tan knee boots because of my undying love for the look of black with a brown/ neutral colored shoe. I finished this look with my taupe Vince Camuto clutch to keep it simple.

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Sticking with the Valentine’s Day theme, I built this second look around my blush mock neck, open back body suit. Can I just say how I love bodysuits?! They take the tucked-in look to the next level. I paired this bodysuit with my tan cape blazer and floral print pencil skirt. I finished this look with my favorite lace up open toed booties and a cute brown clutch.

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Ok, ok! I really like pink! Hence my third and final look. This off the shoulder bodycon Dress is a V-Day no brainer. The dress itself is very demure and pretty, so I kept the accoutrements simple; my floral purse and my pigalle plato Louboutins to seal the deal.

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Can’t forget the purse options!

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As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk Soon! 💋

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The Ebony Fashion Fair Experience

Over the weekend, my husband and I ventured down to Raleigh to visit the NC Museum of Art to see the wonder that is the Ebony Fashion Fair Exhibit. The exhibit closes this week, so if you’re in the area and you’re a fan of fashion and history I encourage you to see it.

The exhibit began with a look at the evolution of African American fashion over the last five decades, spanning from the 60s to the 2000s.

Homage was paid to the founder of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Johnson (pictured here). The exhibit showcased a dress worn by Mrs. Johnson.

Taking time to admire this piece worn by the creator of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Johnson

The exhibit showcased some of the statement pieces that were included each year in the Fashion Fair. These pieces were meant to bolster the decadence of the Fashion Fair, but weren’t necessarily ready-to-wear.

Mrs. Johnson often partnered with designers who offered pieces which incorporated precious materials such as fur and leather. These pieces were meant to appeal to the more affluent buyer.

Mrs. Johnson showed the fellas love too, draping them in beautifully designed pieces.

Mrs. Johnson acknowledged the fact that people with darker complexions were discouraged from wearing bright colors. However, she dressed her models in bright, vibrant colors directly discrediting that notion.

Mrs. Johnson obliged when consumers requested to see models who represented the average American, including shapelier models in the shows.

The increasingly more provocative and intricate designs, popularized by celebrities, were also on display.

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The lettering on this gown was made completely out of buttons. The front of the gown (not pictured) bore a face, also made out of buttons.

Take a look at some of the other stunning pieces on display.

The exhibit also offered footage such as interviews with the Fashion Fair Models where they described their first experience traveling to the Jim Crow Era South.

Listening in on an interview with Fashion Fair models as they describe their first time seeing “White Ladies Only/ Colored Women” bathroom signs during a visit to the South.

Overall, it was a very enlightening experience! Especially in the climate of the world we currently live in, it makes it a bit easier to grasp the gravity of what Eunice Johnson accomplished in an industry that did not welcome her. She was truly an innovator in the arena of fashion, and I appreciate her contribution to the fashion industry.

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As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe below!

Talk soon! 💋

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The Perfect Camel Coat

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a camel coat. However, I was never able to find one that was quite my style and if it was my style, it wasn’t in the range of what I am willing to spend on a coat. Then enters this beautiful specimen!

When I saw it, I immediately got excited. I quickly scanned the row of coats for my size, and excitement turned to elation when I found my size. Bingo! Then, a familiar sense of dread set in. A coat this beautiful had to be priced in the “no-go zone” right? Wrong! I took one look at the price tag and came to the realization that this little coat had just found a new home *cue chirping birds*! Ha!

My face when I saw the price of this coat.

Priced at just $60, dare I toss it into the cart? Oh no honey, I carried this one to the register!

How I walked out of the store after paying the check. Am I the only one who’s not above wearing a purchase out of the store?

Needless to say, this is may absolute favorite coat. It’s elegant enough to be dressed up, but casual enough to rock with flats. It’s the epitome of versatility, and the love of my entire winter.

Find this beautiful coat here. What outerwear are you guys loving this season?

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe below!

Talk soon! 💋

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New Product Alert!: “the Estée edit” review

So I mentioned on an Instagram story yesterday that I’d picked up some new products over the weekend. I’d never heard of the brand before, but noticed it bore the Estée Lauder name. I figured since it was backed by a reputable brand, it’d be worth a try. Plus, they were on clearance for $6 a piece! Sold!

The Flash Illuminator was easier to decide upon than the Skin Glowing Balm, as that required determining which color would match best without putting it on my already made up face. I chose the illuminator in Sunlight as it offered a deeper, bronze glow which can compliment darker skin tones. Since I was short on time, I had to take a guess at which shade of the balm would be the best match; I chose right! Though I’m pleased with both purchases, the Skin Glowing Balm is the stand out. Keep reading to find out why.

My first impression of the balm was how much I liked the thick texture of it. Still, I didn’t expect much from it in terms of coverage since it’s not a true “foundation”. Boy, was I wrong! I didn’t know just how wrong until today. The first time I wore it, I mixed it with my Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation. I did notice that is cooled the orange undertone of the foundation, which I liked, but I wasn’t able to adequately access its full abilities. It wasn’t until today around 2p that I noticed that I wasn’t as oily, and that my makeup hadn’t settled into the usual areas as much as it typically does. Sorcery! Especially since I was certain I’d be a ball of grease and shine by noon, the second I finished applying it. It gave my skin a nice glow (hence the name), which may be desirable for folks with normal to dry skin. However, for those who experience an astronomical level of shine like myself, that’s definitely not how you want to start the day! Still yet, a forged ahead with the rest of my routine. Fast forward to 5p, and I’m in awe. Now to say that it completely eliminated my shine would be false, but it was significantly less. Take a look!

I’m excited to see if today was a fluke or if I’ve stumbled upon a new “miracle” product! My initial assessment goes as follows:

Texture: 5 out of 5 stars. I tend to enjoy thicker products, but to each his own. Plus, it blended beautifully.

Color Match: 5 out of 5 stars since I was able to find a shade that matches my skin PERFECTLY just by eyeballing it.

Wear: 5 of 5 stars since settling and shine we’re observed to be considerably less, and my face lasted the entire day!

It’s safe to say, I’m sold (for now). What products do you guys swear by?

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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Refreshing thirsty curls; as easy as 1-2-3 with Cantu Coconut Curling Cream

Like most other naturals, I’ve co-washed, shingled and twisted my way through a sea of products specifically developed for natural coils, kinks and curls. I’ve tried the high end on down to the more economically priced, from sulfate free shampoos to curl enhancing creams. I say all that to say, that I’ve been around the block and there’s one brand of product in particular that I keep coming back to; Cantu.

I’ve not found another brand of products that transform my curls quite like Cantu’s products, specifically Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. In terms of skin, I’m SUPER oily but when it comes to my hair, I struggle with dryness. Cantu offers a range of products including thicker creams which make it easier to keep my thirsty locks moisturizes. Plus, I’ll admit, I’m not the best at moisturizing my hair regularly so I need a product with staying power.

I’ve gotten amazing results with a number of Cantu products, but my favorite remains their Coconut Curling Cream. The description boasts of capabilities such as “defining curls without weighing them down”, and “reducing frizz” which I can attest to both! Keep reading to see how I used this wonder product to refresh a 7-day old twist out.

As the title suggests, I’ll show you how I refreshed my curls in 3 easy steps using only a spray bottle, my Cantu Coconut Curling Cream and my fingers! Simple enough, right?

1. Starting with the sections that require the most TLC (e.g., the most frizzy or lacking in definition), separate the strands into a one inch (or smaller depending on the look you want to achieve) section with your fingers.

Lightly mist the section with your spray bottle. You don’t want to saturate the hair, lest you want to invite shrinkage to the party. If that’s your thing, more power to you! But, if not, a spritz or two of water will do.

2. Start with literally a dab of product. Dip your fingertip into the Curling Cream, scooping out about a pea sized amount or slightly less.

3. Smooth the Curling Cream down the section of pre-moistened hair starting at mid shaft and working your way up.

I know you’re probably thinking, “why mid shaft and not the root?” Though I like to moisturize the entire section of hair, I like less product at the root of my hair so that I can maintain volume. The bigger the hair, the better!

After coating the section, begin coiling it around your finger. If it’s a particularly stubborn section (like the entire left side of my head), try twisting the hair gently between your thumb and index finger to coil it. Repeat steps 2-3 until you’ve achieved the desired look.

Violá! You’re done! Now, I prefer to do this before bedtime to allow my hair time to dry overnight. That way the curls are less likely to frizz when I separate them. Using this method, I’m able to stretch my twist out for another 3-4 days while enjoying definition and shine.

How do you guys refresh old styles? I’d love to hear from you! As always, if you have and question, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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Christmas Feels

Christmas Day is finally upon us, and among mapping our route to homes of our loved ones, hoping we found the perfect gifts and figuring out how to get all the food we accumulated over the day into our car, was deciding what to wear for the day.

When dressing ,for most occasions, I typically go for cute as well as comfortable (I’m sure I’ve said that before). So, I thought today was appropriate to pull my hunter green velvet moto jacket out of the closet.

It paired easily, as you’d expect, with an all black ensemble. Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold during the day so it kept me warm.

I was also able to bring out this super cute bag that I happened upon at TJ Maxx! I’ve linked other cute ones here and here.

I was SUPER happy that my most recent order from Shoedazzle arrived before we got on the road to travel home.

This Anka Ankle Knit Bootie is my new bae!

I hope you all had a blessed and safe Christmas! As always, if you have and questions, comment or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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Velvet on velvet

Last night we hit the streets of Durham, NC to celebrate our friend’s *cough, cough* 21st birthday. I knew we’d be out and about quite a bit, so I wanted to be comfortable as well as cute.

This dress I found during the Thanksgiving sales. I took one look at it and scooped it up for 2 reasons! 1. I’m currently infatuated with velvet and 2. It has bell sleeves (double whammy!). See the dress here. The boots are from Shoedazzle and, though you can’t tell from this picture, are flats! Again, I knew we’d be walking quite a bit, so I opted for cute and comfortable. See the boots here.

Check out some more flicks of me and the birthday girl below.

Choker: Target

Necklace: Paparazzi

Behind every bomb instagram pic of a girl is a man taking it 😂. Look at our poor husbands ready to go to dinner. We’re like, “wait, one more please!”

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Happy Birthday, Rachel! 🎉

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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I got a new camera!

So, I finally took the plunge and invested in a big girl camera. This was surprisingly hard for me to do for 2 reasons. 1. I’m impatient and like to make decisions quickly. 2. I get overwhelmed when there’s too many options! Anybody who’s shopped for a camera and knows nothing about aperture or ISO (like me!), knows what I mean.

After extensive research (approximately 2 hours 😂), I decided on the Sony A6000 in white. This was a difficult decision, not only for the reasons I’ve already mentioned, but because I know that the Nikons and Canons dominate the photography world. However I read the reviews (and read them again), and decided I could live with the pros and cons of this camera. Also, it’s super freakin’ cute (that was the real deciding factor).

My dear sweet friend, Lora was such a good sport and let me test out my new found camera skills on her. Check out some of my handiwork below!

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I was so impressed by the quality of these pictures, even in a dimly lit restaurant and outside in the dark!


Lora, who knows way more about camera than me, took a turn shooting me as well 😬.

Overall, I’m pleased with my investment and am excited to learn more about it. What cameras are you guys shooting with?

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋

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These are a few of my favorite things: Holiday Edition!

With the Black Friday sales just passed and Christmas quickly approaching, my time spent shopping has increased exponentially. Ok, who am I kidding? I shop all the time! Ha! But still, the holiday season not only makes my shopping addiction feel a little more justified, but has a exposed me to a number of very cute pieces that I’ve either added to my closet, will be adding to my closet, or wish I could add to my closet. Either way, check out some of the things I’ve eyed in stores (and online) lately that are perfect for this season. (*Note: click numbers to be linked to product!)

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Silver Jumpsuit Target

I spotted this cute jumpsuit in Target, and considered it for a wedding we’ll be attending on New Year’s Day. However, it would also be perfect for the company Christmas party or a New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s festive, cute, and the loose fit makes it perfect for dancing the night away.

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What other time of year screams “bow” more than the holiday season?! This shoe is perfect for Christmas and beyond. The lace overlay detail and bow makes for a demure and classy shoe.

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Faux. Fur. Scarf. Need I say more?! Fancy! Plus it comes in multiple colors.

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Wine is the perfect color for the holiday season! Plus, the off shoulder design and a-line fit makes for one very flattering dress.

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Need to add a little edge to your wardrobe this holiday season? Look no further, fam! These chunky heeled shoes are simple, yet make a big statement. The studs are the perfect detail to add a little spice to any holiday outfit.

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I personally own this jumpsuit, and let me just note how comfortable it is! I mean, it provides plenty room to gorge at holiday parties without worrying about having your tummy bound in a prison of shame afterwards (I’m just saying).

7.

I bought this jacket after having my heart crushed at New York and Company, where I found the most beautiful, velvet moto jacket.  Sadly, it was not only the last one in the store, but the last one anywhere as far as I could tell; it wasn’t in my size (le sigh). I went on the hunt for a similar jacket, but was disappointed with the alternatives. I gave up my search for a wine colored moto jacket when I came across this beauty on Macy’s website. She’s currently 30% off with code “FRIEND” until 12/11/17.

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I did mention that navy (well not quite navy here) is my new favorite color for the holidays right? A little added bling=sold!

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So, clearly, I’m all about some faux right now. And why not? It’s stylish and warm.

10.

This bootie I stumbled upon during my Black Friday travels. I was literally on the way out of the door when I spotted them. I liked them so much that I got back into the EXTREMELY long line to buy them after I’d already checked out. The color and material made it an easy sell for. They’re also really comfortable.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon!💋

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So, I think navy is my new favorite color for the holidays…

When you think of the holidays- Thanksgiving and Christmas- what colors come to mind? Obviously the warm, wine hues, the pine green, gold and silver. But, what about navy? When you think about it, where else does navy really fit in the grand scheme of season related colors? I think it fits perfectly in the most wonderful time of the year.

That’s why when I saw this beautiful velvet number, I knew I had to have it. If summer was off shoulder everything, then fall and winter is definitely all velvet everything (I bought an embarrassing number of velvet pieces during this weekend’s sales). The color and the hemline were an added bonus. Navy is one of my favorite colors (I just had this revelation as I’m typing this). So much so, it almost made our wedding palette cut. It’s such a regal color that looks great on an aray of skin tones.

I opted to wear this dress as we welcomed family into our home to celebrate Thanksgiving. The stretch of the fabric made for a comfortable fit which made it easy for me to move around the kitchen while putting finishing touches on the meal.

Another thing that I really love about navy is that it pairs well with gold or silver. As a result, it was a perfect fit for a pair of silver, sparkly Steve Madden sandals that I’ve had for quite some time now. However, I could definitely see myself wearing this dress again and accenting it with gold accessories and shoes.

I found this dress on Amazon. You can see it here. *Warning* This dress does come in multiple colors/ styles, so don’t be confused. Select color to see all available options.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe!

Talk soon! 💋