Weekend Reads

Weekend Reads

Happy weekend! I am so happy Friday is finally here! I can tell the holidays are quickly approaching because our weekends seem to be busier and busier. We finally booked our trip home to Michigan for two weeks over Christmas and New Years and I can hardly wait. Baking with my mom and sister, hanging out at the ski lodge with J’s family and our catering tasting (!) are just a few things we have planned.

Here are a few of my favorite weekend reads and sales from around the web.

  1. This version of Alanis Morissette’s Ironic with #firstworldproblems lyrics is hilarious and totally spot on.
  2. Chandra Wilson picks her best moments from Grey’s Anatomy. (If you’re as obsessed as I am, it’s a must watch.)
  3. The perfect pink winter beanie.
  4. 80 beauty tips and tricks from Marie Claire. (Many of them are actually genius!)
  5. Kate Spade is offering 25% during the Shop with Purpose Sale with code GIFTED.  This dress is perfect for the holidays, these boots are a season staple, and this little black bag is the perfect size.
  6. I’m contemplating a little change at my next hair appointment. What do we think about this color?
  7. These sweet potato, black bean and goat cheese taquitos sound absolutely delicious.
  8. J. Law’s cover story in the December issue of Vogue is simply amazing.
  9. Love this proposal advice from little girls.

Bow Tie Blouse

Bow Tie Blouse

J. Crew sweater, Express blouse, Express scarf (tied as a bow; sold out, similar here), J. Crew skirt, Louboutin pumps (similar, less expensive options here and here), Chanel wallet, Elizabeth & James sunglasses

I had been looking for the perfect bow tie blouse for what felt like forever. This Express blouse and scarf combo was all over Instagram a couple months ago, so I hesitantly ordered it. They ended up being perfect. I love that I can wear them together or wear the blouse solo, which makes it look a bit like the pajama dressing trend thanks to the black piping (which I’m a fan of!).

Bow Tie Blouse Bow Tie Blouse

This faux leather skirt is so buttery soft. I bought it in store and I didn’t even realize it was faux leather until I read the online description. I like that it adds a bit of edginess to this outfit and keeps me from looking too much like a schoolgirl. I’m eyeing the longer version in the spiced raisin color.

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Oh, these Louboutins. They were my Christmas present from J last year. I think he called every store in New York City trying to track them down–they were sold out everywhere! Here’s a little tip about Louboutins: everyone complains about how uncomfortable they are (J heard horror stories from his female coworkers when he was buying them for me), but that’s because they buy the 120 mm heel height. These are the 100 mm and they still have plenty of height but they are actually comfortable! I wear these to work all the time and I’ve even worn them to a day-long work event where I was on my feet almost the entire time.

Bow Tie Blouse Bow Tie Blouse Bow Tie Blouse

My favorite thing about this outfit is that it’s made up of basics that I can style multiple ways. I love a good trendy item, but building a wardrobe of basics is key. These are all pieces I know I’ll be reaching for again and again.

J. Crew sweaterExpress blouse, Express scarf (tied as a bow; sold out, similar here), J. Crew skirtLouboutin pumps (similar, less expensive options here and here), Chanel wallet, Elizabeth & James sunglasses

Flower Swaps to Save Money

Flower Swaps

Flowers were quite the topic of discussion when J and I were setting our wedding budget. I would spend each and every paycheck on fresh flowers (kidding…sort of) while J prefers not to waste money on something that will die in a couple days. We settled on a number we both felt comfortable with and I set to work, trying to find a florist who could make all of my floral dreams come true within our budget. Enter Tracy Park of Park Place Design. I came across her Facebook page and spent two hours scrolling (and drooling) through her pictures.

I had a big vision, and I knew that in order to make it happen, I couldn’t be particular about the types of flowers in the arrangements. Lucky for me, Tracy recommended flower swaps for some of the most popular varieties that look similar but have a much smaller price tag. Also lucky for me, Tracy agreed to guest post today on Life with the Champions, sharing her favorite flower swaps to save money.

From Tracy:

When you visit your florist, you should know that an accommodating designer knows what is in season and can suggest good alternatives for your floral wish list. That being said, seasonal flowers don’t just mean cheaper–it also means they are at their best.

Flower Swaps

Peonies

We all love them, but we know they are only here for a short time. A great alternative is a garden rose. They come in many shades and we can get them all year long.

Flower Swaps

Anemones

The paper-thin petals and black center are stunning. I use lisianthus, which come in many colors and are very pretty.

Flower Swaps

Ranunculus

This very well-loved flower is sometimes hard to get. Mini carnations can be made to look like ranunculus if they are designed right.

Flower Swaps

Orchids

They are very pricey per stem. To get a tall and formal look, try gladiolas, which come in many shades.

Flower Swaps

Hydrangeas

These are big and full and used in many weddings. If you love the deep purples, pinks and greens, they tend to be very expensive. But a good designer knows how to turn a white hydrangea into any color you want. With new design paints, they will look natural and no one will know any different.

1 Jose Villa Photography, 2 Pictilio, 3 Honey Honey Photography, 4 J. Anne Photography, 5 Taylor Barnes Photography, 6 Umberto D’Aniello, 7 Jen Wojcik Photography, 8 Marin Kristine Photography, 9 Britt Rene Photography, 10 Julie Cate Photography, 11 Branco Prata

Weekend Reads

Weekend Reads

Happy Friday! J and I are headed upstate this weekend for my friend’s wedding, which I am so excited for. We worked together at my previous job, so we spent many months planning our weddings together. Do you have any fun plans?

Here are a few of my favorite weekend reads and sales from around the web.

  1. These 14 first look photos from Loverly will make your heart melt.
  2. This Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson duet literally gave me goosebumps.
  3. Love this J.O.A. coat. The color is gorgeous and the price is right.
  4. J and I ordered our save the dates (yay!) but I’m loving these fun options, too.
  5. The latest Burberry campaign is adorable and perfectly festive.
  6. Life goal: a pizza cleanse.
  7. Banana Republic Friends and Family Sale is going on through 11/8. I’m eyeing this skirt, this classic camel coat, this dress and these heels.
  8. I made these crock pot chicken taco bowls last week and will definitely be re-making. Delish!
  9. This article by Jenna Lyons about the skirt that changed her life is amazing.

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather

french connection sweater (old, similar here, here and here), j. crew jeans (last seen here), ferragamo flats (last seen here), ralph lauren purse, pucci scarf

Fall is my absolute favorite season, mostly because it means it’s finally time for sweater weather. Once the leaves start to turn, all I want to wear are oversized, cozy sweaters. I bought this French Connection sweater last year on super sale and it ended up being one of my most-worn items. I live in it on the weekends.

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I love using accessories in different ways to transform an outfit. I had this New York Pucci scarf still sitting in the box in my closet, so I decided to tie it around my purse strap for a fun pop of color and pattern. I love how it adds a little something special to an otherwise very neutral outfit.

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Boyfriend jeans have been my go-to denim style as of late. I love how they get better with age. I can’t even remember when I picked up this J. Crew pair, but every time I wear them they get a little more comfortable.

Sweate Sweater Sweater

Hope you all are enjoying this sweater weather before the impending freezing temps hit. I’m crossing my fingers for a mild winter!

french connection sweater (old, similar herehere and here), j. crew jeansferragamo flatsralph lauren pursepucci scarf