Splurge vs. Steal… Spring Designer Bags (and their Budget-Friendly Doppelgangers)

I love to get the trend reports each season with the hottest designer looks. Problem is, I could absolutely never afford any of them. So this spring, instead of just showing you some of my favorite designer bag trends, I’ve pulled together a list of designer bags and their on-trend, under-budget counterparts. After all, you can have the latest looks without breaking the bank…


Tassel Splurge  |  Tassel Save  |  Backpack Splurge  |  Backpack Save  |  Perforated Splurge  |  Perforated Save  |  Floral Splurge  |  Floral Save  |  Geometric Splurge  |  Geometric Save

I love how whenever I make these, I sometimes end up liking the “steals” better.

Which one is your favorite “steal”?


Top 10 Tuesday… Matching Sets

Remembering how matching was a must in the 80s and 90s, and then for about the past decade, it really hasn’t been cool? Well, to say matching is back would be a major understatement. In fact, the pendulum has swung all the back to the full-on, head-to-toe coordinating looks from the mid-20th century (Mad Men, anyone?).

And I’m all for it! Coordinating pieces are a perfect substitute for the summer dress. Especially if you deal with any proportion issues, since you have the ability to customize sizing and positioning.


Here are some of my favorite matching sets, from the high-end looks at the top, all the way down to pieces that are $17.95 each…

Top10_MatchingSets1  top  bottom  |  2  top  bottom  |  3  top  bottom  |  4  top  bottom  |  5  top  bottom  |  6  top  bottom  |  7  top  bottom  |  8  top  bottom  |  9  top  bottom  |  10  top  bottom


What do you think? Are you buying into the matchy-matchy craze?

Random Weekly Roundup #28

I hope you have a writing utensil on hand, because you’re going to want to take notes on my mind-bending profound thoughts this week. Just kidding. I literally couldn’t have less to say.

I had a photo shoot yesterday for an upcoming event for Alternative Fashion Week (for now, it’s top secret ;) ), but other than that, my weekend has literally been emails and cleaning and little excitement. Except the excitement that comes from finally getting my life back in order.

In my abundant amount of relaxation time, I was reading an article about Dakota Johnson, the star of the upcoming 50 Shades of Gray movie franchise, and I had to say I was a little fascinated that she, on more than one occasion, referred to her self/life as “normal.” In fact the complete non-normalcy of her family alone (her grandmother is Tippi Hedron, her mother is Melanie Griffith, her father is Don Johnson, and her step-father is Antonio Banderas) led me to a google search that ended in this post about Tippi and Melanie’s pet lion. Yep, this is Melanie Griffith in bed with her childhood pet…

And if you haven’t seen it before, you’ve really got to click the link and check out the rest of the photos, which include Melanie’s head in the lion’s mouth. And as much as I think this is the opposite of “normal,” my own mother would 100% own a lion if she were a wealthy Hollywood actress. So I can almost see this being my life under different circumstances. And maybe thinking any part of it were normal…? I don’t know it’s still a huge stretch. And I’m scared of squirrels, so my imagination can only go so far.

But who cares? Normal is for the birds anyway! (Tippi Hedren pun unintended, but recognized .) Here are my favorite better-than-normal Internet occurrences this week…


1  I literally salivate thinking about these mango blackberry fruit leathers. Mmmmmmm….. Someone make these for me.  |  2  You have to read this incredible story about Vivian Maier, a 1960s nanny whose interest in photography was a lifelong secret. Her amazingly vivid and intimate work was only discovered when a trunk full of negatives was purchased for a mere $380 after her death. See some more of her moving images, here.


3  The Kate Moss for Topshop lookbook has arrived!! Feast your price-conscious eyes…  |  4  These amazing prints by Alberto Seveso are actually ink plumes underwater photographed against a black background to optimize the billowy texture. A. Maze. Ing.

*Disclaimer: violent and dangerous twerking ahead…

5  Yeessssss! I’m not really buying into “Northern Soul” but I’ve never liked the rumba so much in my life. If you need me, I’ll be working on Q. :)


And some more…


This and this are the most beautiful Easter eggs in all the land.
What’s your hashtag? A hilarious perspective on the James Franco scandal. #tooyoung4you is right!
Crop top, full skirt, and a whole lotta curves. Simple. Stunning. Perfect.
A hilariously ironic coincidence between Louis C.K. and Bradley Cooper.
11 Stylish Hot Guys with Beards. Enough said.


My favorite local gals…


A super chic and easy herringbone dish DIY.
Checkout Liz in a super cute vintage photo shoot!
These banana cream bars look so good you would never guess they’re paleo.
This spring look is color and print perfection!
A high-fashion look for $25 head-to-toe! This girl’s good!
Handmade and lovely.
Check out Miche and Amanda at Circa! So glad some of my fave bloggers made it out!


Well, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead of you! And don’t forget to enter my Honey Rose & K necklace giveaway before it ends this week!

Currently: April

image source


I always love when some of my favorite bloggers do their regular “currently” posts (like this, this, and that), so I decided to borrow (that’s a nice way of saying steal) their idea and make it regular feature here.

So this month I am currently…

Working on tomorrow’s photo shoot for Alternative Fashion Week’s Face Melting for Fashion. We’re going 70s retro and I can’t wait to show you some behind-the-scenes pics! 

Reading my piled up emails and magazines. And very slowly getting through The Death of the Heart, which is exactly as good barely tolerable as it sounds. (I’m trying to read through TIME’s 100 Best Novels and I always end up liking them in the end, so we’ll see…) 

Watching old episodes of Parks & Recreation obsessively. 

Listening to MS MR on Spotify, also obsessively. 

Taking some much needed naps now that Circa is over. 

Eating gluten-free pastries from Lucky’s Market, even though I can’t afford them, money- or calorie-wise.

Thinking about all of the Thank You cards I still need to send. 

Wearing kimonos again! I LIVE in them when the weather gets warmer. 

Planning some new blog updates for the upcoming 1 year blogiversary! 

Feeling relaxed, grateful, and excited for the future. 

My favorite episode, when everyone drinks Snake Juice… :)

onemoretimewithfeeling: thewordunheard: This, forever and ever and ever. Love

I’d love to hear what you’re currently up to! Answer one of the categories in the comments section and let’s get to know each other!

Top 10… Swimsuit Trends for Every Body Type

Top 10…Thursday night? I usually do these posts on Tuesday but, honestly, I’m just still playing catch up from the crazy sleepless past few weeks I’ve had. So bear with me. Regularly scheduled programming should be restored by next week. :)

And in the meantime, I’m pretty excited about this Top 10. Not because I love swimsuits. Oh no, I far from love swimsuits. But I do love the direction swimwear design has been taking. Right around the time of the midriff-loving millennium, there used to generally just be two choices: a skimpy bikini or an athletic-style one-piece. And both of those looks really require a near perfect body to pull off. And actually, an athletic-style one-piece is probably even harder to pull off than the triangles of fabric behind door number two. Tankinis started growing in popularity around this time, but they were pretty much the same shape as the one-piece, with a scoop neck and no chest support. Another less-than-desirable option.

And this is why I think the newest trends in swimwear are something to really rejoice over. Because no matter what your body “issues” might be, I guarantee there is something out there for you. Have a great hour-glass shape, but it comes with a little pooch? No problem! High-waisted retro-style bikinis will suck you in will still showing your figure! Want the modesty of a one-piece but with high-fashion edge? Cut-outs show just the right amount of skin and are majorly on trend! And pick one with a high cut leg and all of the sudden your legs look several inches longer! I mean, even rashies (those sleeved cover-ups seen on surfer girls everywhere) are having a major fashion moment. So whether it’s for modesty, skin protection, or just plain covering up- you’ve even got a full-on shirt as a stylish option!

So there’s really no reason to hide from the daunting task of swimsuit shopping anymore. I say pick your favorite features (because, no matter what you might think, you’ve definitely got at least 2 great ones), and find the style that flaunts them the most! Here are some of my favorites…


1  a  b  |  2  a  b  |  3  a  b  |  4  a  b  |  5  a  b


 6  a  b  |  7  a  b  |  8  a  b  |  9  a  b  |  10  a  b

What’s your take on the whole fashion-in-swimwear movement?

Bring on the peplums! or Give me back my triangles!

Let me hear your vote in the comments section! And feel free to air out your swimwear qualms as well. Let’s tackle this together! :)


It’s My Birthday! (But I’ve Got a Gift for You…)

Coming off of one of the best weekends of my life, I have to say I’m having a very blessed birthday this year. First of all, Circa on Friday night had a great turnout and went as well as I could have imagined! I seriously still can’t believe all of the support we received, from great sponsors, amazing designers, and everyone who bought tickets! I even had people I’ve never met before volunteer to help out and that is just simply amazing!


I couldn’t believe there was such a crowd for a first-time event! (non-phone pics coming soon!)

Then a couple of my favorite people got married yesterday at one of the coolest weddings I’ve ever been to. They’re huge hockey fans and had their ceremony and reception at Nationwide during a Blue Jackets game! And take a look at this bride…


I love a girl that goes against tradition! It was her day and she did it exactly how she wanted- you’ve got to love that!

So after a weekend that was full of so much love and good fortune that I am literally just in awe, I am very happy to spend my day relaxing and reflecting on what a great year it has been. In fact, this is something I’ve never talked about on here, but just less than two years ago, I was in one of the lowest places I’ve ever been. After being a victim in a violent random crime, I wasn’t sure I was ever really going to go back to feeling ”normal.” Sometimes I felt scared just even being in public and had an overall more negative outlook on humanity in general. I even had a hard time talking to some of my best friends because I just didn’t really have anything nice to say for a while.

I started blogging partly because of this. I just had a need to get my feelings out and start fresh. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for less than a year because it has brought so many amazing blessings to my life! It’s been a great way to connect with people and has helped me immensely to get out of my funk. This weekend especially, with two big events, I’ve realized that I’ve not only gotten over that sense of fear that something awful could happen any moment, but I’m actually getting to the point of being able to appreciate that happening to me. It sounds strange to say that, but it has actually gotten me to a point of living more fearlessly. I’m a fighter, a survivor, and most of all, I’m lucky. I’ve dealt with one evil person in my life, but they’re so outnumbered by the beautiful people.

So this year, I want to celebrate you! You who have read, commented, emailed. I want to thank you for every word of encouragement and support!

One of our Circa sponsors, the very talented Meredith Piccin of Honey Rose & K, offered me a piece of jewelry from her line (she’s awesome)! And as much as I want to keep it (her jewelry is AMAZING!), I want one of you to have it even more!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s my way of saying thank you for reading this blog, for supporting my dreams, and for helping me grow into the person I’m trying to be! And I hope this next year of my life brings even more changes, adventures, and better blogging! My heart is VERY full! :)


Random Weekly Roundup #27

It feels like it’s been 2 months since last Sunday’s roundup. I’m sure anyone who keeps up with this blog is sick of hearing about how I’ve been busy coordinating an upcoming fashion show. So if that’s you, good news! It is this Friday (!!!!) so you won’t have to hear about it too much longer. :)

But in the meantime, I barely have time to wash my hair, so I’m just going to get right to it! Here are my favorite links from around the web this week…


1  Rhianna’s high risk, high reward fashion philosophy is paying off. She’s being presented with this year’s CFDA Fashion Icon Award. See a collection of some of her best looks here.  |  2  Some of the best things from 2013 are combining magical forces and sweeping me off my feet. M’oticons: An Edie Parker X Del Toro Collaboration exclusive for Moda Operandi combines emojis with the uber trendy Del Toro moccasins and Edie Parker clutches. All I can say about this is heart eyes & confetti horn!


3  What better way to celebrate spring than with champagne and cupcakes? Get the champagne basics from Cupcakes & Cashmere…  |  4  …and then make these easy DIY rose cupcakes from Lauren Conrad and you’ll be feeling like a mini Martha in no time!



5  And I know you haven’t even dipped into your spring wardrobe yet, but I’m really excited about the Jenni Kayne Fall 2014 collection. It’s a little bit Hitchcock and a little bit Anderson. It’s retro. It’s minimal. It’s just really cool.

A few more…

I really want to make this springy sweatshirt.
Loving this modern fiesta.
And this bevy of shoe storage ideas.

And how the locals do it…

This oatmeal recipe by The Casual Classic seems like the perfect breakfast.
A spring-inspired post by Girl About Columbus for Meijer Style.
And way to go, Lily! She’s designed her own jewelry line, Eli & Barry! I can’t wait to see the rest of her pieces!


And I also want to say thanks to Taylor and the team at Capital Style for helping me spread the word about Circa! Now if I can just get some sleep…


Street Style: Back to Black

It’s hard to believe it’s spring with a day full of downpours and snow(?!). But honestly, sometimes I love a dreary day. Me and my introverted ways love an excuse to hibernate in my apartment and work/clean/relax without the pressure of sunny day expectations. I know that probably sounds crazy, but with warmer weather comes canoeing, camping, and a whole slew of things I would break my own arm to get out of.

What’s the opposite of an outdoorsy type? An indoorsy type? If that’s not a real thing it totally should be. Yep, the great temperature-controlled indoors is where it’s at, my friends. No dirt, sweat, or frizz. No sun-induced pre-mature aging.

I mean, spring who? I say today we celebrate the dark and dreary with some all-black ensembles. It’s a look I’ve been obsessing over lately. I think it looks chic, powerful, and overall just really cool. Here are some of my favorites…


Fashion blogger FAIIINT wearing Goldie pewter metallic leather collar chiffon shirt dress c/o stylistpick, H&M leather knotted belt, Topshop Boutique bandage leather platform wedges, balenciaga city bag. All black, dark fashion, gothic street style



New York Fashionweek 2012

Image by Jesse Maricic www.rawwblog.com

la modella mafia Mary Kate Olsen all black everything

Kate Bosworth street style all black

Style Snooper Dan, Stockholm Street Style, La Modella Mafia, It’s Anna

And if you just can’t buy into the all-black-for-spring thing, this look is equally as cool with pops of bright white, like this outfit from Man Repeller


What do you think of the all black look?



Top 10 Tuesday… Party-Worthy Headbands

It’s a very rare day that I think to accessorize an outfit with a headband. I went through a giant headband phase during the reign of Blair Waldorf- and when I say giant, I mean literally giant headbands with giant bows, flowers, feathers, etc. But thinking of putting a big bow on my head now that I’m a little older just doesn’t seem right. (If you’re making it work, however, go for it! You do you. :) )

What seems exactly right to me now, however, is a thinner, more sophisticated headband a la Princess Lupita…

I mean, we all know this girl can do no wrong on the red carpet. But when she showed up to the Oscars in a dainty gold headband that seemed more like a tiara, even a halo around her glowing face, it was like a neon flashing light signaling the launch of the headband as the new “it” accessory. This thinner, chicer, more metallic version frames and highlights the face just so, making it a must-have this Spring! Here are my favorite finds…

Top10_Headbands1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10

What do you think? Are you jumping on the ‘band wagon?
(Yeah, I went there.)

Random Weekly Roundup #26

I’m just going to say it- I’ve had a rough week. Being busy or running on a few hours of sleep doesn’t usually bother me, but lately I’ve not only had a stressful to-do list, but have also been dealing with some really unnecessarily rude people. And I’ve been letting it get to me… bad. But how the heck do you not? And that’s not a rhetorical question. Seriously, if you’ve got the answer, let me know!

I like to believe in the whole karma thing and I try really hard to make sure my interactions with other people are positive. I was even voted friendliest girl in the 5th grade. (Hold for applause) But in all seriousness, I was raised by very thoughtful people and taught to put others first, and I’m really proud of that, but sometimes I think the extra effort can make it a little harder to take when it’s not returned. It hurts more because you’ve actually tried.

So anyway, I’ve been a little down from some negative vibes lately, but luckily, those thoughtful people I was talking about (my parents) came to visit today and it gave me the perfect excuse to take it easy and have fun! We went to lunch and then did a little thrift shopping and it was just what the doctor ordered!

And now for some more positive encounters I’ve had this week…


1  I love this collection of the 9 Emerging Fashion Photographers to Watch. So inspiring!  |   Curvy fashionistas rejoice! Isabel Toledo’s exclusive collection for Lane Bryant brings high-fashion hype to the figure-friendly brand.


3  Healthy brownies have never looked prettier or more delicious.  |  4  From now on, sleevefacing is the only form of selfie posting I want to see. See a fantastic collection of sleeveface here.

RWR26_IfTheyWereInTheir20sNow5  I love these illustrations from Man Repeller imagining how female pillars of the 60s would dress if they were in their 20s today.

But don’t leave yet! There’s more…

Not sure how to pull off layered necklaces? Check out this guide.
I want to try this, even though it makes me scared and disgusted just thinking about it.
I also really want to try this, but because it makes me feel uplifted just thinking about it.
The best retro-inspired fashion photography.
My new hair-spiration.
And two DIY projects for spring I’m dying to try: here and here.


And from some of my local favorites…

Girl About Columbus is killing it this week! First with this collection of beautiful travel photos
… and with an adorable outfit showing her Ohio pride!
I totally want to make this popcorn from I Heart Vegetables.
Then there’s this beautiful photo shoot styled by Lovely + Rust for Capital Style.
And my favorite look of the week, cozy, laid-back perfection from The Casual Classic.


I hope you all enjoyed your Sunday as much as I did! And Mom and Dad- I miss you already! Thanks for cheering me up!



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