Winter 2016

What to Wear: New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is just a few days away, but for some, okay maybe just me, it’s hard to decide on what to wear. Sure, I’ve already written about sequins and shared some holiday party inspo, but when thinking about my own outfit I’ve been stuck in a rut. Do I wear a romper with a coat? Coated jeans and a sweater? That leather mini dress I’ve been eyeing at Zara for weeks? 

Choosing the perfect New Year’s Eve out truly depends on what your plans are. Of course, it’s going to be pretty cold outside and there’s a chance of rain which is disappointing to my plans (Which include spending a bit of time outside). Comfort (along with warmth) is essential because, like with anything, if you’re uncomfortable it will show. I think a short romper can easily been worn at parties taking place inside homes, restaurants, or clubs because the time spent outside will be minimal. Long jumpsuits are chic and can be worn anywhere while dresses are the most common choices for party attire.

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Zara velvet dressH&M sequin dressBCBGeneration cocktail dressTopshop blazer dressMaggy London dressTopshop sparkle dressEverly two piece dressOlivia Palermo x Chelsea28 cape dress,Zara shiny pleat dressH&M dress

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Alexis lace romperWarehouse pleated top jumpsuitSelf Portrait jumpsuitH&M jumpsuitMadewell velvet jumpsuitZara short romperZara tuxedo jumpsuitLOFT jumpsuitZara shiny romperNew Look choker romper

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BaubleBar earringsASOS heelsHouse of Harlow 1960 necklaceASOS metallic box clutchGianvito Rossi heelsASOS silver heelsCara box clutchElizabeth and James cuffJenny Bird EarringsEssie nail polish

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Winter Wellness: Let’s Organize Some Stuff

It’s been mere hours since Christmas ended, and that means we are currently existing in the “between holidays limbo.” That cool 7 days where the floor is filled with remnants of holiday gifts and it’s just too early to put the holiday decorations away. But in a few days 2017 will be here which means a fresh start. I’ve never needed a giant reset button as badly as I do now.

One of the simplest ways to embrace a fresh start is to purge the old and organize the rest. There are a few items, areas of the home and life that can create a perfectly clean slate for 2017. 2016 has been a rough one so it’s not really a hard decision for me to want to pretend it never existed. I mean, was there an option to sleep through the year? I should have taken it.

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That said, here are a few of my favorite things to organize right before the new year.

  • Decorations + Wrapping Paper. For whatever reason every time there is a birthday or holiday requiring gifts, I end up purchasing new gift wrap, tissue paper, etc. Toss out the rolls with minimal paper left (or remove & fold the remaining paper for later use), fold the tissue and other items, and toss them all in a clear plastic bin easily accessible for later. Or if you want to get fancy, check out the Container Store’s Customized Gift Wrap Center.
  • Beauty Products. With the new year fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to get rid of all the make up and beauty products you no longer use. Many, if not all, products have a shelf life which should be followed because of things like bacteria. If you don’t know the exact date or months of ownership of a particular product, but think you’ve had it long enough, pitch it.
  • The year in review. At the end of the year I’ve accumulated a years worth of concert tickets, movie stubs, and other odds and ends in random places. Keep the important (to each their own) and toss the rest. For this use storage boxes or simple clear plastic containers to keep things in one place.
  • Clothing. Between all the gift cards received during the holidays and the sales it might be fun to load up on new additions to your closet, but that also means getting rid of things you no longer wear. It may feel a bit strange to do this mid-season, but odds are if you haven’t worn your old clothes yet, you won’t. Donate them and pass them on to others who could really use them.
  • Goals + Resolutions. Yep, it’s that time of year again. Just a suggestion, but don’t make resolutions. Set goals. Monthly goals, daily goals, or even yearly goals are much easier to reach plus you’re less likely to drop them a week later. Avoid the disappointment and self-hatred by being realistic.

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Style Inspiration: Holiday Parties

Holiday party season has been in full swing for awhile now, but there’s no doubt going to be an increase of parties in the coming days. So, better late than never with my guide to holiday dressing. Between the holidays and New Years Eve, there’s plenty of opportunities to rock your most stylish, fashion forward outfit for a night out on the town. No lie, I’ve already started thinking about my New Years Eve look even though I think wearing a dress in the winter is awful. Maybe I’ll switch to some coated jeans….

When it comes to parties I have one rule: comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable in something it will definitely come across that way and you’ll be more focused on how you look rather than spreading cheer and taking in the festivities with your loved ones. That said, I have chosen some really great outfits for style inspiration. Mainly because I can only wear my pug sweater to just one party…the novelty wears off. The looks are festive and can be done with pieces you most likely already own or by adding pieces last minute. There are even a few that are office or office party friendly and translate well from work to party mode in a flash.

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Zara pearl sweaterMango leather miniBaubleBar chokerPublic Desire sandalsRebecca Minkoff wallet

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H&M sweaterLands End midi skirtLOFT pumpsKate Spade x Minnie Mouse clutchTed Baker rings

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Zara high waisted shortsLOFT blouseVero Moda sequin blazerGigi New York clutchMichael Kors pumpsMadewell earrings

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Zara sweaterTopshop jeansWho What Wear x Target Style BootiesJ. Crew crossbody bagLC Lauren Conrad ring

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Tart Collection sequin jacketH&M leather pantsZara pumpsASOS V-Neck blouseChelsea28 clutch

Winter Wellness: How to Beat the Winter Blues

As the popular song suggests, the holidays are often described as the “most wonderful time of the year,” but this time of year, and through the winter, there is an increase in seasonal depression. Despite nearly every street corner being illuminated with beautiful lights, blissful music playing from every store, and cheesy heartwarming movies on the television, there are plenty of reasons the holiday season isn’t cheerful for everyone. I know this first hand.

The end of the year is often met with deadlines, money concerns, common illnesses, and reminders of the things and people we’ve lost when gathering with our families for festive celebrations. It’s not just a holiday depression, but can lead to months of the blues due to weather and the lack of sun. There are plenty of things one can do to avoid the holiday and winter blues. Set realistic expectations for things you want to accomplish, don’t attempt to take on too much (my biggest problem), and take care of yourself even if it’s a few minutes a day.

One of the most important things, I think, is not comparing your life to the lives of others especially around the holidays. With social media its key to understand people are only sharing the happy (or seemingly happy) moments of their lives. They too go through rough times just not on display. We share the things we want people to see, and keep everything else to ourselves. While looking at people’s families, vacations, or even their gifts, keep in mind that doesn’t make your existence or life inadequate.

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There are a few things I like to do for myself in order to beat the winter blues. In addition to what I’ve listed below, you can increase your vitamin D with supplements, eat all the bread you want (it keeps blood sugar levels regular because it breaks down slowly), or just brighten up your space.

  • Be active. Going to the gym or on a simple walk can feel like a pain in the ass sometimes. I usually hit the gym at times when there’s no one there (use Google’s peak time indicator for wherever you go to find the best time), because I get to have time to myself without someone using the treadmill right next to me (my biggest pet peeve). If you don’t feel like hitting the gym, go for a walk or even try yoga. Just 35 minutes to an hour can improve the symptoms of depression and increase your confidence levels.
  • Eat chocolate. Consuming chocolate releases a temporary euphoria like feeling in the brain leading to a decrease in anxiety and feelings of depression. Whether its hot chocolate or baked in a treat, chocolate is readily available this time of year so there’s no excuse not to have some.
  • Listen to happy music. During the holidays classic carols and radio hits can bring along memories of happier times, but for the other months of winter, choose cheerful music that makes you happy. Dancing and smiling (even forced) can bring upon a faux feeling of happiness which eventually the brain begins to believe is true. I’ve even created a playlist for cheering up.
  • Help Others. Get outside and volunteer. When you’re feeling like your life isn’t going the way it should or you’re bummed out, give your time to others who are having it a little worse. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter, give your latte money to one of the Salvation Army bell ringers, or deliver an entire bag of non-perishable food items to a local food bank. Just the feeling of knowing you made someone’s life a little better can lead to a better mood.
  • Unplug. When viewing everyone’s lives on social media gets to be too much, sign out. Sure, it’s easier said than done (I know this personally) but sometime’s it’s better for your own mental health. Taking a break from the news, photos, Snapchat filters and updates of everyone’s little move will feel great and it will all still be there when you decide to return. Recharge your brain and put it to better use elsewhere.

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The 2016 Super Sized Gift Guide

Consider this the Toys R Us big book of toys for gift giving this holiday season

We are just about a week away from Christmas and while I haven’t finished my shopping (still got a few more things to pick up) I have had the time to browse the internet for the coolest gifts for pretty much everyone from moms & dads to hostess gifts.

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Natural yoga mat | Love & Lemons cookbook | Champagne high ball glasses | Poetic License candle | Pineapple measuring cups | H&M dress | Miu Miu hair mist | Zara Studio earrings | Zara heels

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Carry On Cocktail kit | Hedgehog boot scraper | Ojai candle | Dapper planner | Horn bottle opener | Cocktail book | J. Crew sweater | Apple AirPods | Sneakers

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J. Crew sweater | Columbo The Complete Series | Bath and Body Works candle | LaVanila perfume | Roku Streaming Stick | Double Leaf earrings | Pottery Barn throw blanket | Madewell slippers | Saturdays coffee | Warby Parker sunglasses

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Lumberpup hands free leash | Martha Stewart sweater | Aesop animal wash | Parker Lounger | Cat Pod | Sushi catnip toys | Bow Tie | Polka Dot bowl | Apple Cinnamon bone | Dog collar

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Parallele 45 Rose | Mixology dice | Marble cheese knives | Himalayan Salt tequila glasses | A Proper Drink book | Long burning matches | Vintage coasters | Pineapple serving dish | Monogram bottle stopper | Dark chocolate truffles

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Coach Rexy charm | Chill Pill charger | Quirky candle | Best Friend leather jackets | Rebecca Minkoff best friend pouches | Art Print | S’Well galaxy water bottle | Kate Spade iPhone case | Camille wine glasses | Who What Wear heels | Lush Ice Cube gift set | Cat necklace | Spirit Dust | Calm bath salts

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Mixtape 04: Happy Holidays

Around the middle of November one of the most popular local radio stations switches to Christmas music for the length of the season. It is one of my favorite traditions even though I appreciated it more when it began ON Thanksgiving. I have the happiest memories of laughing hysterically at my sister singing Boney M’s version of Mary’s Boy Child while looking at holiday light displays with my family. Why she loved the horrid disco song I’ll never know, but it makes me laugh to this day when I hear it.

Christmas Carols become a part of our lexicon and yearly traditions. There are half a million different ones all of which make listeners feel warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, they are pumped through the speakers of every retail and shopping establishment for a month straight to spread cheer and bring happy memories to the surface so you spend more money (marketing trade secret right there). There are classic ones, modern ones, and one’s I just don’t understand. What is figgy pudding? Why do you want it so bad? Why are you going to stay outside my house until I give you some? I didn’t invite you here. You just showed up and expect me to feed you?  Baby, It’s Cold Outside? Creepy and weird. Santa Baby…uh is she offering herself to Santa in exchange for gifts?

That brings me to this holiday mix I’ve made. It contains some of my favorite holiday music of past and present. All of the songs I turn up on the radio and the songs I play while baking or cooking in the kitchen during the season. I’ve even included the Mariah Carey version of All I Want for Christmas is You because it is a crowd pleaser. So consider this a little gift from me to you or just a chance to get inside my head (the secret to being Nicole is the music) if that’s your sort of thing.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

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Listen on APPLE MUSIC or SPOTIFY

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