I typically tend toward dainty jewelry. I have a petite frame and small stature, so I usually find myself feeling swallowed whole by bulky jewelry. Then, it seemed like chunky jewelry was beginning to take over – the bigger and bolder the better! Then, layering lots of delicate jewelry seemed to be on trend: stack rings, knuckle rings, charm necklaces, any and every light weight bauble in the jewelry box! Once the layering trend caught on, ladies started packing and stacking on multiple pieces of chunky jewelry – bangles piled elbow high! How’s a girl to know what to do with her collection of chunky and dainty jewelry? I realized the key is finding a balance.
The take away here is that tracking trends can become overwhelming and can ultimately confuse your sense of style. Jewelry is one of the easiest areas to play around in your wardrobe. You can mix metals, weights, and styles of jewelry, and despite the trend that happens to be the flavor of the week, you really can’t go wrong. However, I still believe in having some staple pieces of jewelry in your collection.
I’m a gold jewelry girl, and mixing metals is a style I’m still working on. So, my 4 jewelry essentials are featured in gold but would be great in rose gold, silver, or gunmetal too!
THE ESSENTIAL NECKLACE
Layering dainty necklaces is my go-to everyday look. However, my ESSENTIAL NECKLACE is a chunky statement necklace. Having this necklace in your collection gives you an instant outfit. Do the math!
Basic Black Dress + Statement Necklace = Instant Outfit
Simple Solid Tee + Statement Necklace = Complete Look
Crisp White Blouse + Statement Necklace = Done!
Shop a similar necklace by Dream Collective on Of a Kind here
THE ESSENTIAL BRACELET
I probably rely on my gold bangle too much. This is my ESSENTIAL BRACELET. With my small frame comes teeny, tiny wrists that almost never accommodate your average bangle, so once I find one that fits, I basically never take it off. I’m typically very active and expressive with my hands, so I only layer bracelets under special circumstances to avoid unnecessary banging and clanking. Work at a computer all day like me and sworn off bracelets? Bangles are easy to take on/off at the desk and are too big to lose. Fashion vs. Function dilemma solved!
Shop a similar bangle by Dannijo here
THE ESSENTIAL EARRING
You thought I was gonna say hoop or stud, right? Let’s rethink the essential earring. Sure, I hope you have a great hoop and a go-to stud in your jewelry collection, by my ESSENTIAL EARRING is the drop earring. Some necklines compete with a necklace, and you need an earring to be your anchor. A dainty drop earring is the perfect feminine focal point in such outfit occasions!
THE ESSENTIAL RINGS
Two rings (or three rings, or four rings) are better than one. Let’s be honest, the only ring that stands alone is an engagement ring. When it comes to any other rings, the more the merrier, but pairing them well is key. So, my ESSENTIAL RINGS include a balance of basic bands and easy to pair statement rings. Don’t forget the latest fashion: knuckle rings!
Shop similar bands and knuckle rings by Gorjana here
Shop similar statement rings by Dara Ettinger here
Photographed by Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography
P.S. Angie has a giveaway going on now through Sunday, June 1 for a 90-minute session – enter here!
Hello readers! In case you haven’t been following along with me on Instagram, I just got back from a beautiful five-day, six-night trip to Mexico celebrating five years with my man. Now I’m back just in time to continue my fiesta with Cinco de Mayo!
There are three essentials for any Mexican celebration: booze, food, and a festive ensemble. This may seem like a recipe for any party, so let’s spice things up a little bit.
Of course you can never go wrong with a basic cerveza or margarita on Cinco de Mayo, but Bethenny Frankel has some tips to enhance your Skinnygirl cocktail. Heat up your margarita by muddling some chopped jalapeno slices in the shaker or sweeten your margarita with some frozen berries. Eating out tonight? I perfected how to order a skinny margarita on my recent trip to Mexico. Start with clear tequila or tequila blanco. Ask for the tequila blanco on the rocks with a splash of lime juice, orange liquor, and soda water. Like your margarita a little sweeter? Ask for a splash of Sprite or other lemon/lime soda instead of soda water! No matter what your booze of choice tonight, always remember to drink like a lady!
We’re all pretty familiar with classic Mexican fare: guacamole, queso fundido, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and so on. When it comes to dessert we think of classics like tres leches cake or churros, but in the spirit of putting a new spin on things this Cinco de Mayo I’m sharing a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies with a Kick courtesy of food blogger and New York Times best-selling author Bakerella.
1½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
1¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In one bowl mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne using a wire whisk.
3. In another bowl cream butter and sugar. Then add eggs and vanilla and mix til combined.
4. Add flour mixture in two portions until just combined. Then stir in chocolate chips.
5. Place balls of dough on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
*Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the fashion! I’m obsessed with Anthropologie’s Mexican inspired May look book. There is one ensemble that is my particular favorite, and even better, the key pieces are all under $100. After just visiting Mexico, I can assure you this would be a go-to look for a day in the city or a night on the town. The crucial article of clothing in this outfit is the sheer fringe pullover. This is a must-have for the beach breeze in Mexico. By now you also know I can’t resist a classic black and white look, and this one is pure perfection. The only addition I would make to this ensemble would be to brighten it up with some jewelry. Accessorizing this little black look with a pop of color adds just the fun and festive touch for your next fiesta!
ATTAIN the Look:
Erica Bryan has pursued her artistry through theatre and music since childhood. From an early age, she realized that she’s not afraid of failing, she’s “only afraid of never trying.” This principle has guided her craft and her career around the country from her hometown outside of Atlanta to New York City, and finally to her current home base in Nashville, TN. Erica believes her theatre experience has enhanced her new journey as a singer, which springs from her realization that her goals for theatre and songwriting are one in the same: to make people feel something.
I can say first hand that Erica is making people feel something through her artistry. She gave me an exclusive preview of her debut single, This House is Haunted, and encouraged me to draw inspiration from the song to compose the wardrobe for her upcoming performance in Atlanta at Smith’s Olde Bar.
Erica’s debut single has a beautiful balance of light and dark. When you first hear the title of single, the word “haunted” elicits that feeling of darkness and possibly a place that is plagued by something or someone. As you listen to the verses, a lightness trickles in, revealing a sense of nostalgia and fondness. While it’s evident that the speaker is in fact haunted by a person or memory, there is a warmth and deep connection, possibly even love, with the “ghost.” It’s this sensation that is truly “haunting” the speaker and illustrates the dichotomy between light and dark in the song. This duality instantly became the inspiration for her look.
While styling Erica for her performance in Atlanta, I focused on the balance of light and dark, the juxtaposition of softness and strength, and the harmony of femininity and edginess. As I proposed concepts, we both felt inspired by Kristen Stewart’s upcoming Chanel Pre-Fall campaign, Paris-Dallas, which plays with opposing styles from the cities and blurs the line between the two cultures.
We built her ensemble around a key piece featuring one of spring’s top trends, fringe. In addition to the cropped fringe faux leather jacket, Erica purchased a pair of statement studded black booties. The rest of the outfit evolved from staple pieces in Erica’s closet: faux leather pants, a flowy silk and lace tank, and vibrant turquoise jewelry. The finished look stayed true to Erica’s Country/Folk vibe and illustrated the play between light and dark in This House is Haunted.
For more information on Erica, please visit her website and listen to her music on Reverbnation. Her debut single, This House is Haunted will be available for purchase on iTunes May 13. Until then you can listen to this exclusive preview on Erica’s YouTube page. Erica is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so connect with her on these platforms to follow along with her journey!
Sometimes the middle of the week just hits us like a hefty credit card bill. We’re overwhelmed, overextended, and overworked. There’s accomplishment in knowing the week is halfway over, yet we’ve still got so much to do in the next two days and the weekend feels so far away. If you’re like me, your reaction is denial: avoid, zone out, distract, escape. I typically turn to social media looking for some mindless reading, creative inspiration, or just some good old midweek motivation. My particular sluggishness during this midweek slump triggered me to create an inspiration board for all of you out there who may have the same case of the Wednesday-blahs. So before you head to bed, do one last thing for yourself on this Wellness Wednesday and enjoy some midweek motivation! Thursday is almost here, Friday is right around the corner, and the weekend is just about in our reach. We can do it!
I’m so excited to celebrate the first day of spring with a spotlight on the spring look book from one of my favorite boutiques: Encore.
Encore is an upscale clothing boutique in the heart of downtown Athens, Georgia. When the owner of Encore, Nikki Grant, published their first official look book in the summer of 2012, I was absolutely blown away. Nikki took the quaint charm of her little southern boutique and raised the bar with high quality photography, skilled models, and impeccable styling of the boutique’s apparel and accessories. Encore’s look books truly set it apart from the numerous boutiques in Athens.
They recently published their Spring 2014 look book, which was shot by photographer Logan Potterf on location at The Hill, a neighborhood owned by Lee Epting of Epting Events. Some of their top spring looks were selected and styled by Nikki and her team and modeled by the stunning Mercedes Bleth.
I chose three of my favorite ensembles from the look book that feature some of the hottest trends for Spring 2014.
Spring 2014 Trend: Try a NEW Look
Spring is all about renewal. This spring try a new look – something boho chic like this ensemble. The key pieces that make this look are the brightly colored and patterned maxi skirt and the beaded bracelets by local Athens designers, Chic Sisters Designs! Remember, local always looks good on you!
Spring 2014 Trend: Floral
This is my favorite outfit from the look book because it pairs an ultra feminine and spring inspired floral pattern with a wardrobe basic: the white blouse. When a new season rolls around, it doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Use the staples you have in your closet in combination with investing in a few key pieces that are on trend for the season, like these Line & Dot shorts!
Spring 2014 Trend: Fringe
Fringe is my favorite new and exciting trend for Spring 2014. This versatile sheer fringe wrap by Ellison is aptly styled with a classic denim short in the look book. This piece would also pair perfectly with a pant, a skirt, a dress, or even a swimsuit. I could see this transitioning to fall as well – the possibilities are endless!