I wore today’s getup for a GNO with Lauren, L. Avenue’s fab contributor on all things fashion. Lauren is my sale maven, always finding the best sales on the web, like yesterday’s holiday sales that I hope y’all took advantage of. Lauren and I met for drinks here the other night. I love today’s gold top for so many reasons but most of all because it’s just so easy and chic. A metallic jacquered print is so chic and the cut is just right for hiding a mommy middle. I’ve been rocking these slimming black skinnies and love the gold zipper detail and a gold and black pump is sure to put a little extra pep in my step.
Spring break is just around the corner for school boys and gals, college kids and people like me, who will use any excuse even if it doesn’t technically apply to my life to book travel during the snoozefest that is winter. There’s something inside me that starts itching right around January 15th, after the craze of the holidays, and yearns for a trip to look forward to. This year it was a little harder than most to book travel given my new little bundle of joy. We were lucky enough to take a quick trip to Four Seasons Costa Rica last week though, for a quick 42 hours in heaven. I’ll be recapping our travel later this week, but for now here’s some beach travel outfit inspiration, in case you’re planning a spring break getaway. And if you’re not, book something right quick and thank me later.
Beach getaway packing list
We only left for 42 hours (yes I counted!), which means packing should be pretty short, sweet and to the point right?! Truth be told, we both admitted that we overpacked because all you really only need is right here and nothing more.
How’s the weekend going guys? I have a sick toddler, so it’s been a pretty sleep deprived one for us. Going from two to three kids has been major for us and when you add a sick one to the mix it sometimes feels like there is never time to come up for air.
During a very rare nap time I had a chance to round-up some holiday weekend sales for y’all though! Including lots of new staples for spring at deep discounts for just this weekend.
I just bought these sandals for our Costa Rica trip and love them in this neutral color too. J. Crew’s earrings this season are some of my favorite ever. And if you’re not ready for sandals yet, these slides are the perfect spring transition pair. I’m ordering this pair and these gems too. And the hoop trend that we rocked in the early 2000’s is back this season so I may have to add this under $20 pair to my collection too. I own this casual crossbody in red but am loving it in this color for spring. If you don’t own a pair of J. Crew pj’s, now is the time. I’ve had this pair for 5 years and they are still in the weekly jammie rotation. Holy caftan, I’m obsessed with this one and it’s a fraction of the price of my favorite Lemlem numbers.
Banana Republic–40% off your purchase
This pant will go with everything in your closet. I love this pair with anything from sneakers to these unexpected red sandals. So I’ve been wondering when someone is going to copy the genius that is the Celine Trio bag. This BR piece that apparently snaps apart to become a clutch may be the closest I’ve seen. I can’t have enough white button downs in my life and love the ruffle detail and collar embellishment on this one. I can’t say no to a bold blazer, crushing hard on this green guy. Pleated skirts have been all the rage and I love this metallic midi.
They are basically giving it away over on Anthro.com. This top is adorable for spring/summer. This embroidered chambray pullover is just so easy, and at around $50 a no-brainer. And while we’re talking denim, this ruffle skirt is pretty fab. One of my favorite robes of all time is from Anthropologie and this one is a steal.
Hi friends! This week has been–and will continue to be–a whirlwind in the best way. My best friend got married last weekend, my birthday followed that Monday, and I’m celebrating in San Fran starting today. So I hope you’ll indulge me for my all things travel Friday Five today.
I’ll be boozy brunching by the bay with my boyfriend in a few hours at the beautiful Leo’s Oyster Bar.
I traded in NYFW for the beach this year, but if NYC had been in the cards, here’s what I’d be wearing…
Anything goes in big apple, but this season I’d be in sneakers for sure. Comfy casual kicks are all the rage right now, paired with everything from denim to formal dresses. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I’ve had my eye on these cult favorite sneakers. For those not wanting to break, this pair is running a close second. I would rock my kicks with this denim number, or these jeans with a casual shirt and go-to blazer. This blazer would be perfect transition to evening paired with this fun swing skirt, this classic pump steal (splurge version here) and this so fun red bag.
I’m also loving this chic bomber paired with this stripe top, these jeans and this bag. A perfect casual number for a night out in the City is a denim pant paired with this one shoulder top, this choker, and these killer fringe booties (ON MAJOR SALE).
For a slightly dressier option I’ve had my eye on a couple of lace numbers that I may have to add to my closet. This one or this one paired with these pumps and this perfect pop of yellow is gorgeous and a perfect transition to spring. For more pizazz, I’d throw on a colorful but slightly understated earring. I am also loving this dress paired with these studded booties and this bag for an edgier look. I also can’t live without this lace number as either a dress or a top.
Hey y’all! If you haven’t had enough decadence in your life post-Valentine’s, allow us to add a little more. Today, we’re stoked to collaborate with one of my favorite Houston chefs, Marcia Smart. Marcia is a food writer and cooking instructor who also works full time as a mother of three. She’s written recipes for Cooking Light and has also done freelance writing for Robb Report and Parenting Travel magazine. She recently started her own cooking website, Smart in the Kitchen, which focuses on helping busy moms menu plan with new crowd pleasing recipes for the entire family. I’m a huge fan of Marcia’s and am stoked that she’ll be joining L. Avenue from time to time with recipes, busy mom menu prep and entertaining tips.
Here’s what Marcia has to say about pulling off the ultimate cheese board….
How To Pull Off the Ultimate Cheese Board
There’s nothing easier than unwrapping some cheese and sticking a knife in it, but let’s show some effort, shall we? A well-appointed cheese board, with all the sweet and savory nibbles and condiments to accompany it, can sustain a chatty cocktail crowd for hours. Book club? Check! Cocktail party? Check! Retro cheese and chocolate course after a dinner party? Super double check! The key to keeping things both interesting and delicious? Mix it up…
Variety is the Spice of Life
Start by choosing a variety of cheeses from different milks (cow, sheep and goat). And be sure to vary the textures, some should be creamy and runny and others firm and grainy. And even if you’re not a fan of veiny bleu cheese, there’s nothing like a wedge of creamy gorgonzola dolce and a glistening square of honey comb to get your appetite stirring (which are delicious eaten together, by the way).
If you’re shopping at a good gourmet grocer, look for Humboldt Fog goat cheese, Laura Chenel chevre, St. Andre triple cream cow’s milk brie and Mimolette (an aged raw cow’s milk cheese), aged gouda, Manchego or Pecorino Toscano. If you’re shopping at Trader Joe’s, most of the cheeses are packaged under their brand. A good mix would be their 1,000 Day Gouda, mini Basque, Manchego Anejo, Blue Stilton or any of their Toscano cheeses. I also like to “mess up” the cheeses a little, so people aren’t afraid to jump in. Hard cheeses, like gouda, can be pre-sliced with a sharp knife and fanned out on the board to make them more manageable.
The Homemade Touch
Even if you just choose a couple different cheeses — say a Manchego and a soft goat cheese — you can add a homemade touch by drizzling garlic- and rosemary-scented olive oil on the chèvre (recipe here) For warm, delicious olives, rinse off the brine your olives are packaged in and warm them in good quality olive oil (look for a cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil that’s a rich green color) with red pepper flakes, lemon rind and a bay leaf (recipe here).
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you keep your eyes on the prize. Choose your cheese and 2-3 “extras”:
3-5 cheeses (3 is absolutely fine, unless you have a crowd)
Charcuterie (prosciutto, hard salami or French ham torn in to thin, uneven pieces)
Crackers and flat bread (Sardinian flat bread, sliced baguette, seeded crackers, as well as rice crackers or endive spears for gluten-free friends)
Dried or fresh fruit (blackberries, fresh figs, dried cherries, dried apricots or dried wild blueberries)
Nuts (toasted pecans, pistachios or Marcona almonds)
Condiments (fig jam, quince paste, and mustards for meats, if serving)
I was recently interviewed for a feature in Houstonia and was asked for the perfect outfit for a new couple’s first Valentine’s together. Today’s look is exactly what I’d wear for my first Valentine’s with a new guy. It’s chic without trying so hard which is the vibe I’d want to put out there for my new beau. And a little pop of pink is perfect for hearts day.
Any plans for V-day? I share similar sentiment for Valentine’s Day as I do New Year’s Eve. It’s amateur hour. Most restaurants have a limited menu and exorbitant prices for dessert. They push you in and out to turn the table for the next in line. The last Valentine’s dinner we spent “out” was back when we were dating, only to vow to never do that again. Ha. To each his own, though.
I’m pretty lucky that Bret likes to cook on Valentine’s Day. The past 3 V-day’s in a row I’ve been flying back from NYFW, so low key has been a must for us. And even though I didn’t travel for fashion week this year, we’re keeping the stay-in tradition alive and including the girls in our Valentine’s dinner plans. Now that the girls are getting older, Valentine’s Day is getting some good hype again and I’ve decided this holiday should really just be about the kids. We made homemade Valentine’s and I’m not sure who’s more excited about passing them out at school tomorrow.
Today’s outfit is a dress I’d wear if B and I were going out for Valentine’s day. But now that I think of it, maybe the girls and I will get dressed up for our Valentines even if we’re staying in. On second thought, some heart shaped pajamas might do the trick too. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!
I’ve gone back and forth and back again on whether or not I could swing this month’s NYFW. I love Fashion Week and have been on a roll going in February and September for the past few years now. A lot of bloggers talk about being so over it. The chaos, the effort, the competition to get invites and be photographed for “free PR” for our businesses. And in February, we pretty much freeze in the name of fashion.
I think I’ll always be giddy over NYFW, but it is a lot of work. I’m sure most of you are shaking your heads at this last statement. Like, how is dressing up and going to shows work?! You’re right, this isn’t a new investment banking gig or a job on the Hill that a lot of my friends are currently clocking in major hours for. Coming from a career in politics and fundraising, I can tell you honestly that I work just as many hours at Fashion Week as I did during these jobs. Crazy right?!
The day looks like this, wake up-dress-shoot-shows-write-publish on social media outlets-outfit change-shoot-publish-maybe a quick dinner while publishing on Snapchat and Instagram stories-bed-repeat. It’s fun but exhausting and there is no time for leisure strolls in Central Park. Unless it’s a photo shoot, and then that’s more work, not play. If you don’t believe me, just ask my photographer, Traci. We went together last year and had only 1 non-work meal over the course of 3 days in NYC.
I digress here, but basically came to the decision that I’m going to take a little vacay from NYFW this time around and head on a real vacay. So I apologize in advance you won’t be seeing Insta posts from the excitement that is NYFW, but I’m sure you follow enough bloggers to get your fix and then some. It’s beach or bust for L. Avenue this week. For the next few days it’s sun-surf-sand-cocktails-repeat.
Here are a few outfit inspirations for NYFW. Stay tuned for more L. Avenue NYFW picks.
No outfit is complete without shoes and accessories.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, L. Avenue giving away this beautiful clutch to one of our lucky Galentines!
Last Fall, L. Avenue discovered LumillaMingus, and of course I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with them. You may remember this post from the holidays where I am showcasing one of my favorite LM designs, which I’ve been carrying on the reg. Anyway, I immediately fell in love with Denmark designer, Lulu Johansen’s handbag skills. Her designs are well crafted and handmade right here at home, in Los Angeles. The designs spoke to my individual taste and accommodate the demands of my everyday life. This soft leather clutch is beautiful and needs a happy home.